ADVENTURES & ECOTURISM

Thanks to the biodiversity of the area, Costa Rica is one of the top ecotourism and adventure destinations worldwide. It’s a popular tourist spot for hundreds of thousands of nature lovers and responsible ecotourists.

Ecotourism involves traveling with minimal impact on the environment. Ecotourism generates significant revenue in Costa Rica, which in turn helps protect important natural areas and also encourages people to reduce their reliance on economic activities that harm nature.

Fortunately, as Costa Rica is the birthplace of ecotourism, there’s a wide selection of nature activities for everyone. You can find «soft» tours like a leisurely stroll in a national park, as well as adventure excursions like jungle trekking, along with rafting and canopy zip lines over white waters. Costa Rica offers a unique experience of direct contact with nature that is adaptable to all fitness levels, tastes, and ages.

Importance of Guides

Costa Rica has excellent tourist guides, who speak all languages and have specialized training and official licenses for practice. It is highly recommended to hire the services of a guide, at least for part of your trip. Guides recognize bird calls, animal tracks, where to find animals, and can explain in a simple and understandable way the fascinating aspects of nature. With their help, you will awaken your five senses, often dulled by the pressures of everyday life.

On a guided tour, you can experience much more than if you were to venture into the jungle on your own. Lately, customized trips accompanied by a private guide have become very popular. If you are traveling individually, you can find local guides at all major tourist spots; however, we emphasize the importance of prioritizing guides authorized by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).

Mountain Hiking

A favorite adventure activity is discovering Costa Rica’s natural beauty by hiking along trails through the forest. Most of Costa Rica’s national parks and reserves have well-maintained trails for this purpose. It’s important to bring a good pair of hiking shoes, as well as binoculars for bird and animal watching. If you prefer more challenging adventure, you can choose routes that require preparation and skill, such as climbing high mountains or crossing unique natural areas.

Mountain Bike / Cycling Tours

Mountain biking and bicycle tours have become increasingly popular in Costa Rica. The countless trails and dirt tracks in Costa Rica are very suitable for cycling. Full-day bike tours, day trips, or tours to different locations can be arranged. The most well-known routes are around the Irazú Volcano and the Orosi Valley, and around the Arenal Volcano.

Tree-Top Adventure

The American biologist, Dr. Donald Perry, pioneered the exploration of tree canopy biodiversity. With ropes, he climbed trunks and branches to study the flora and fauna of the platforms he built high in the tree canopy. To make this fascinating world more accessible to the general public, cable cars (or gondolas) through the canopy were carefully made so as not to damage the environment. This subsequently led to a more adventurous way to discover nature, known as a «canopy tour,» where one swiftly glides from one platform to another suspended in harnesses on steel cables and pulleys. Additionally, you can walk on hanging and fixed suspension bridges that cross through the tree canopy in various parts of the country. If you enjoy adrenaline, you may decide to sleep on a platform located in the treetops.

Water Sports

Amidst the pristine nature, you can hear the murmur of hundreds of rivers, streams, and channels. Costa Rica is very popular for enjoying rafting and kayaking tours. The Pacuare River is known worldwide as one of the best scenic rivers for rafting. Another adventure like no other is paddling silently in a canoe very close to the flora and fauna in the calm channels of Tortuguero National Park. On the coasts, sailing and sport fishing excursions can be arranged.

Surf y Windsurf

Tamarindo, Jacó, Playa Hermosa, and Puerto Viejo are among some of the favorite surf beaches in Costa Rica. The consistent waves are rated by experts as world-class. For windsurfing, you can visit Lake Arenal or the northern part of the Nicoya Peninsula in Guanacaste.

Volcanoes

Not only do volcanoes pose danger, but they also have a friendly side, as is the case with the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. The Arenal Volcano is a gem of this country’s geography, around which many famous and distinctive tourist facilities reside.

In addition to the natural beauty, hot springs flow through the lush tropical vegetation surrounding many volcanoes in Costa Rica. From a safe distance, you can enjoy the magnificent natural landscape. Popular facilities near Costa Rica’s volcanoes are the hot springs, which offer health and beauty treatments in comfort. Mineral-rich volcanic mud has revitalizing and rejuvenating properties and is one of the commonly used materials in the hot springs. Spending the day in the volcanic hot springs, under a small waterfall, can be a very relaxing and unforgettable experience.

Bird Watching