101 Awesome Things To Do in Costa Rica

I found out first hand, more than a few times, that there are a ton of great things to do in Costa Rica, things I haven’t been able to do any where else. From hot jungle treks to white sand beaches, to cloud forest and volcanos, Costa Rica is the adventure capital!

I will always remember Costa Rica as being my first county I ever visited outside of USA, and my introduction to the world of travel. I will never forget that “pura vida” vibe, or the monkeys stealing my drinks, or sloths hanging from my porch!

Here are just a few of the fun things I discovered in this tiny Central America country, to motivate you to make a trip of your own!

 

101 Awesome Things to do in Costa Rica

 

1. See the Museums in San Jose

See the Museums in San Jose
Flickr Credit: Esteban Cervantes Jiménez

Costa Rican history is incredibly vast and varied, as well as its local culture, and there’s no better place to learn about such things than the museums in San Jose. Many of them are absolutely free, while some only require a small entrance fee, museums like the Jade Museum, Banco Central, or the Museum of Contemporary Arts are all wonderful visit, completely worth the time it takes to see everything inside them.

2. Take a stroll through Plaza de la Cultura

This architectural gem in the heart of San Jose is its main square and is impossible to miss when visiting the city. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the local culture, as there are many people passing through the square, while street performers and vendors lend the square an air of uniqueness only found in the hub of Costa Rica – San Jose.

3. Photograph the distinctive architecture of San Jose

While Costa Rica’s natural beauty is lush and absolutely impressive, the man-made allure of the city’s architecture is no less attractive. With gorgeous stately residences and incredible public buildings like the National Theatre, as well as locations like Morazan Park, immortalizing your memories of Costa Rica’s capital is something you wouldn’t want to miss.

4. Make an itinerary to visit as much of Costa Rica as possible

Costa Rica is divided into 7 provinces each more memorable than the last. While it might seem that visiting most, if not all, of them impossible due to the size of the country, it’s actually quite probable to see a lot of Costa Rica, because of the infrastructure and how everything is laid out. Planning to see most of the country is half the fun – the other half is actually doing it.

5. See Arenal National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park Costa Rica
Flickr Credit: BORIS G

Near the town of La Fortuna you can find a most peculiar national park, a place absolutely intended for adventure. In this national park there are two volcanoes – Arenal and Cerro Chato. While Cerro Chato is a dormant and inactive volcano, Arenal is still active – though it’s only been spewing gas and smoke in recent years. The national park itself is a place for hiking and leisurely retreats, and has been a fan favorite for a long time.

6. While in the area, see the waterfalls in La Fortuna

A few kilometers outside the city of La Fortuna you can find arguably the most postcard-worthy sight in all of Costa Rica. The waterfalls of La Fortuna are a splendid view, and with a 75 meter drop, the blue pool that forms right under the falls is something you’re likely to never forget.

7. Hike the Cerro Chato trails

While Arenal is one of the biggest reasons La Fortuna is as famous as it is, the other nearby volcano Cerro Chato is just as worthy for your time. On the top of the volcano there is a stunning crater lake, with emerald colors popping out of the bottom giving the lake an almost surreal look. And the hike up to the crater is amazing as well.

8. Explore the Venado Caves

Spelunkers have enjoyed this vast cavern complex under Arenal volcano for a long time. Its labyrinthine tunnels filled with stalagmites and stalactites are over 15 million years old, and takes over an hour and a half to tour, but they’re definitely not for the claustrophobic.

9. Relax in the natural springs in Arenal

Because of the volcano’s geothermal activities plenty of different springs have formed throughout the ages. There’s a wide variety of springs with different temperatures to choose from, with some even including waterslides. Definitely ideal to relax in after a long hike.

10. Explore the Coast of Arenal Lake

Shoreline of Lake Arenal
Flickr Credit: Dan Watts

The entire coastline of the lake is picture-perfect with picturesque stops each one more perfect than the last. The natural beauty is breathtaking, and even the towns around the lake, like Nuevo Arenal are charming and great for a stop for refreshment.

11. See the San Luis Waterfalls

When you’re on the road to Monteverde make sure to make a stop to see these spectacular waterfalls. The Catarata de San Luis can be found on the hills of Tilaran, and because they’re off the beaten path, they’re not as known as other falls, but are just as amazing.

12. Explore Monteverde

The city of Monteverde used to be one of the most visited cities in Costa Rica. Maybe it’s not same tourist destination that it used to be, it’s still a charming town with many wonders, like the nearby Cloud Forest. Forests such as this one are becoming increasingly rare due climate change, so Monteverde is an ideal place to check the out.

13. Zip-line through the forest

Costa Rica is known for the many adventures it offers, and one of the most prominent ones include zip-lining through its spectacular forests. These tours are sometimes called Canopy Tours, and because of their adventurous nature, they’re quite famous and sought-after.

14. Also do the Tarzan swing while zip-lining

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Many of the zip-lining tours give the opportunity to swing around the forests and jungles just like Tarzan did, but with extra security, of course.

15. Or glide like Superman

Flying over the forest
Flickr Credit: snick_doodle

Nothing beats the experience of flying above the tree line like Superman, and that’s just one of the many thrilling activities you can do when on these Canopy Tours. Due to the natural incline gliding up or down the zip-lines feels exactly like flying, and nobody does it better than Superman.

16. Travel to Tenorio Volcano National Park

One of the best national parks in all of Costa Rica, this tropical forest offers just about anything for anyone. From amazing hiking trails, to the hanging bridges in the rainforest, as well as the astounding Celeste Waterfall, it’s definitely a sight to behold.

17. Take the San Juan River Tour

The San Juan River is the natural border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and it’s a long stretch of water that connects the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The tour lasts for about two hours and showcases just what the importance of the river used to be in colonial times, and gives a chance to see the two countries at the same time.

18. Check out the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

One of the most important wetlands in all the world, Cano Negro is a stunning example of biodiversity in a single region. It’s a protected area, one that’s perfect for everyone that wants to see wildlife in their natural habitat, Cano Negro is one of the top must-see regions in all of Costa Rica.

19. Splash in the waters of Tamarindo Beach

Costa Rica is a paradise when it comes to natural beauty, and beaches are no exception. However, most of them are not that easy to access due to their locations, but that’s not the case with Tamarindo Beach. A tropical heaven that’s just developed enough to not feel overcrowded, Tamarindo Beach is an unforgettable visit.

20. Also don’t miss Samara Beach

Also don’t miss Samara Beach
Flickr Credit: zabajawa

Playa Samara one of the calmest and prettiest beaches in all of Costa Rica. With stretches of perfect white sand and a superb coral reef, Playa Samara is an excellent resort area for anyone, from kids to surfers and divers. Well-maintained with thriving communities in the region, Samara Beach is absolutely worthy of your time.

21. Surf off the coast of Santa Teresa

This small town on the coast of Costa Rica has become quite well-known. Only two decades ago it was a very poorly developed place until one day it boomed and became something of a tourist powerhouse. From delicious food being served on the coast, to the ATVs vrooming on dirt roads, and perfect waves splashing on the coast, Santa Teresa can be an amazing visit.

22. And see everything in the Montezuma Area

The entire area of Montezuma has been consistently voted as having some of the best beaches in Central America. It’s pretty much perfect in that regard. The sands are white and ideal, the waters warm, and the wildlife is perfectly intact and can be seen while relaxing on the wonderful beaches in this area.

23. Check out the Curu Wildlife Reserve

This privately owned reserve is one of the biggest jewels of the Nicoya Peninsula. It’s also part of a large farm whose biggest concern is preserving the environment and all of the wildlife that lives on the reserve. With breathtaking visuals, as well as a worthy mission, visiting this wildlife reserve is a must.

24. Cross the Nicoya Gulf by ferry

Although many people prefer to fly over to Montezuma, the ferry ride from Puntarenas to Paquera is not only a valid way to cross the gulf, also quite fun. It offers breathtaking visuals and a unique chance to see the pristine nature around you, just make sure to follow the ferry’s boarding procedures.

25. Visit San Lucas Island

Another view of Isla San Lucas
Flickr Credit: hpmoon

This island is famous for two things. One of the is the National Wildlife refuge, where you can find an incredible amount of biodiversity and stunning natural scenery, and the other is the former penal colony with a brutal and bloody history. Accessible only by boat, it’s one of those places that you’ll never forget – both for the scenery and for the history.

26. Relax on Isla Tortuga

This is a gorgeous and peaceful island off the southern coast of Nicoya. It’s an idyllic location known its completely laid back villages and unique local culture, it’s where you go when you want to just sit back and enjoy the view. It’s also perfect for all sorts of watersports.

27. Go on a coffee tour

Costa Rica is known for many things – lush rainforests, pristine beaches, exotic wildlife, but one fact that’s not as known as the other is that coffee is a very important part of the culture. There are numerous coffee plantations where you can get a tour, and it’s here that you’ll learn the history behind the importance of coffee, while also trying out some of the best local brews you can find.

28. Kite surf on Costa Rica waters

You haven’t lived until you’ve kite surfed in either the Pacific or Atlantic side of Costa Rica. There are few things that can match this thrilling experience. Both Lake Arenal and Bahia Salinas are known to be excellent spots to try kite surfing, so make sure not to miss out.

29. Do some horseback riding in the rainforests

It’s as glorious as it sounds. The rainforests lend themselves as an awesome location to pass through on horseback, and these noble beasts might be the ultimate companion you could ask for on a trek through Costa Rica’s exotic environments.

30. Visit Poas National Park when it reopens

Visit Poas National Park when it reopens
Flickr Credit: Jose Gonzalez

The stunning Poas Volcano National Park has been one of the biggest jewels of Costa Rica. It’s a very unique place with magnificent scenery, but unfortunately, due to unpredictable volcanic activity visits to the park have been suspended. Repairs are currently underway and the park will reopen shortly, and when it does make sure to visit it as soon as possible.

31. See the Pacific sunset

With a country as beautiful as Costa Rica and an ocean as breathtaking as the Pacific, it’d be a shame of one were to miss out on the unforgettable sunsets. As generic as it sounds, the sunset truly are something to behold.

32. Take a tour on Irazu National Park

Costa Rica has many volcanoes, and Irazu Volcano National Park is another one. Irazu is also active, and even though the next eruption can’t be predicted, farm fields around the slope of the volcano are thriving, as well as tourism.

33. Escape city life in the Orosi Valley

For those seeking a little isolation, this little town and the valley that surrounds it are the perfect retreat. It’s about 35 kilometers away from San Jose, and the naturally peaceful ambiance works wonders for those overwhelmed by modern life and bustling cities.

34. Explore history in Ujarras

In the Orosi Valley there’s a quaint little historic town by the name of Ujarras. It’s a small, charming little town that has a fascinating deep-rooted history. It’s also the location of Costa Rica’s oldest church that was built in the 1570s, around which there’s a garden that’s well-kept and maintained to this day by the locals.

35. See the most venerated church in Costa Rica

Basilica de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles
Flickr Credit: Dominik Gubi

The city of Cartago is well-known for one of the most important sites in the entire country. The Basilica de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles is an old church that dates back to the 1630s, and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Besides from the religious importance, it’s also an architectural wonder.

36. Take a mountain bike tour

The gorgeous terrain is perfect for mountain biking, and tours like the ones from Irazu Volcano to Turrialba Volcano are the ideal ones to see that for yourself.

37. Do some whitewater rafting

Costa Rica’s reputation for adventure can be easily verified simply by doing some whitewater rafting in the rapids of one of the world’s most scenic rivers – Pacuare River.

38. Hike through Braulio Carrillo National Park

As one of Costa Rica’s most expansive national parks, Braulio Carrillo is perfect for hiking through. With a vast expanse of virgin forest, and stunning imagery that goes along with that, this is an adventure that should not be missed if possible. Besides beautiful flora, the fauna is spectacular as well, with many indigenous species of birds that can be easily seen in this national park.

39. Take a photo from Rio Sucio Bridge

This bridge is located on a very unique position, and it allows for people to see something that is not easily seen anywhere else in the world. Very near the bridge two rivers of different colors meet head on – one of them perfectly clear, while the other brown and dense. Together they form a very peculiar sight, one that should definitely be immortalized in the form of a photograph.

40. Spend a night in Tortuguero National Park

Canopy Lizard
Flickr Credit: Daniela A Nievergelt

A national park most known for many endangered species, as well as plethora of other forms of wildlife that can sparsely be seen anywhere else, spending a night here, if only to witness the unique nature is something everybody should do at least once.

41. See the turtles on Tortuguero Beach

The beaches of Tortuguero National Park are famous for their turtle nesting grounds. These endangered species meet on these breathtaking beaches to perform mating rituals, as well as live out their daily lives. Once in Tortuguero, it should be a priority for anyone to go and see these turtles, as it’s an opportunity that probably won’t repeat itself.

42. Travel around on domestic flights

The best way to experience Costa Rica would be to see as much as possible. Arguably the best way to achieve that is to fly everywhere domestically, and with affordable prices, most people recommend flying everywhere. Not only is it the fastest way to get around, but the views from so high above ground are great for anyone that wants to see landscapes from high altitudes.

43. Explore the caves of Barra Honda National Park

The area where the Nicoya Peninsula meets the mainland is the spot where the water has cut through the mountains, and has formed extensive caverns throughout the ages. This National Park is situated right on top of these caverns, and these caves are another one of Costa Rica’s natural treasures that everyone should see.

44. Shop for souvenirs in the Moravia Market

This market for craftsmen and crafts can be found in San Jose and is the best place to find all sorts of trinkets and baubles. It’s not a bazaar so you won’t find produce or food, but rather the place where different crafts of wood and the like are sold at very affordable prices.

45. See the Oxcarts museum in Sarchi

Oxcarts museum in Sarchi
Flickr Credit: Ted McGrath

Even with today’s modern ways of transportation, some coffee and sugarcane farmers still require the need of a sturdier way of transport. Oxcarts are still used from time to time in this region, but the biggest gem is the Oxcart museum, which is dedicated to the regions deep history concerning the modest, yet much appreciated, oxcart.

46. Shop for local trinkets

Every Costa Rican province has its own traditions and culture, and these are best reflected in the many wooden trinkets being sold in all of the markets of the country. Finding the one you like the most is always a treat, and seeing as there are many unique ones, it’s best to go looking for as many as possible.

47. Explore the Central Market in San Jose

The largest market in all of Costa Rica, the Central Market of San Jose has been up and running ever since the 19th century. It’s a place to shop for anything – from handmade clothing and trinkets, up to local delicacies from the unique Costa Rican cuisine.

48. Take a walk through the forests at night

Even though it might seem dangerous at first, as well as scary, it’s in fact, quite the opposite. There plenty of guided tours that give the opportunity to walk around the unique forests of Costa Rica at night, so as to escape from the sun, as well as the daily bustle.

49. Take a boat or kayak tour on the mangroves

Part of the wonder of Costa Rica’s gorgeous nature are the mangroves. These stunning bodies of water are filled with life and biodiversity, and naturally, there plenty of tours that allow for a boat or kayak ride.

50. Kayak your way in the Pacific

Kayak your way in the Pacific
Flickr Credit: Endless River Adventures

The emerald waters of the Pacific are an amazing way to experience Costa Rican nature in its fullest. With stunning views, these calm waters are ideal for kayaking, and once you’re done with the tour, you can relax on the nearby isolated beaches that you can easily reach thanks to your kayak.

51. Spend a night in the bungalows in Bahia Drake

One of the biggest reasons why Bahia Drake is so alluring is that it’s effectively cut off from the rest of the country. Due to its unique location, getting to and from there won’t be that easy – but it’s not that hard as well – so getting away for a while might do wonders for some, especially those seeking the natural experiences that these types of places offer.

52. Backpack through Corcovado National Park

If you’ve been looking for a place to go backpacking through, Corcovado National Park is absolutely the place for that. The ideal location to spend a lot of time walking through these magnificent woods, only to top it off with a campfire, is one of the best things anyone could do while visiting Costa Rica.

53. Snorkel around Cano Island

Right off the coast of Bahia Bay there is one of Costa Rica’s best locations for snorkeling. Crystal clear waters with innumerable schools of fish just lazily swimming about, and with warm waters that you’d never want to leave, Cano Island is a definite treat.

54. Do some bungee jumping

The list for types of adventures you can do in Costa Rica is practically infinite. If you dare to try the highest bungee jump in all of Costa Rica – as well as in all of Central America – then definitely head on to Monteverde to sign up for the thrill that is bungee jumping. There are other locations as well, and all of them are amazing of course, like Naranjo Beach and Jaco.

55. Relax on Playa Dominicalito

Relax on Playa Dominicalito
Flickr Credit: Travicted Photography

Once you’ve grown tired of adventuring around the country of Costa Rica, it might be time for a day of relaxation. Dominical Beach is where everybody goes to just sit back and do nothing, if that’s what they wish. There are restaurants that serve fine delicacies, and hammocks that are available and sway in the calm breeze, but also activities like diving, for when you’re feeling your energies restored.

56. Experience Costa Rica’s Marine National Park

Cahuita National Park is very well-known for being a very unique marine park. It’s not only the home for plenty of coral reefs near the shore, but also for the threat these reefs are under. They’ve been on decline for some time now, and this park was created in order to preserve them.

57. Visit the dry tropical forests

Costa Rica is the home some of the largest dry tropical forests in both Americas. Even after surviving after a long dry session during the year, they still maintain a very large degree of biodiversity, especially when it comes to different plants and trees. The ones in the northern province of Guanacaste are especially a treat.

58. Immerse yourself in the charms of Puerto Viejo

What was once known only as a haven for surfers has now grown into a veritable tourist attraction. This growing town has become the go-to place when you’re looking for a party in Costa Rica, as it’s a both like a hippy colony and a raver’s dream location. And yet with a reputation such as this one, the natural beauty of the region never fails to impress.

59. Experience Gandoca–Manzanillo National Wildlife Reserve

Costa Rica is chock full with national parks and wildlife reserves, each one more beautiful than the last, and yet it seems that Gandoca-Manzanillo is the one that takes the cake when it comes to natural beauty. Absolutely packed with mind-blowing scenery, like wetlands and rainforests, it also has beautiful sandy beach to frolic on.

60. See the Cocos Island

Coco Island, Costa Rica
Flickr Credit: T-all

An entire island that has been designated a national park, Cocos Island is the natural habitat for many different species of marine life that are under constant protection. It’s an easy place to get access for, but those do go there are greeted by waters to die for and undisputed marine life. Cocos is also mentioned in our list with Best Diving in the World.

61. Hike to the top of Rincon de la Vieja

This national park is in a very unique location, as it allows for spectacular views to both oceans, depending on which side you’re on. In any case, taking a hike to one of the two volcanoes’ craters is a highly enjoyable activity, but there’s a plethora of other things to do in this wonderful national park.

62. See the crocodiles in Tarcoles River

The famous Tarcoles River bridge is found on a very specific point of the river, mostly because right underneath is a place where plenty of crocodiles constantly congregate, which is a peculiar site on its own. Stopping for a dip in the river is not recommended, though, as it’s also the most contaminated river in all of Costa Rica.

63. Take the most difficult hike in the country

If you’re looking for a wilder destination, one that still hasn’t been quite as tamed as the other regions, the Cerro Chirripo National Park is the one you’ve been looking for. While it’s easily accessible by foot, its many hiking paths are not easy to traverse and are sometimes downright inaccessible, but the prize in the end is completely worth it – Costa Rica’s highest peak.

64. Experience the uniqueness of Las Hornillas

One of the world’s rarest museums, one that’s dedicated to the steaming bubbles of volcanic waters, Las Hornillas also doubles as a spa. It can be found on the foothills of Miravalles Volcano, and it’s one of the few places in the world that you can observe an active volcano from so up close.

65. Take a bird watching tour

Magnificent Frigatebird
Flickr Credit: Tim Sackton

With a nature as vast and expansive like the one at Costa Rica, it should come as no surprise that part of the local tourism are bird watching tours. It’s an experience like no other, mainly due to its meditative nature, but it’s an affordable activity, if not downright relaxing.

66. See the whales and dolphins during mating season

The Pacific Ocean is enormous and hold beauties and natural treasures of all kind, but few can match the dolphins and whales and all of their intricacies. Their mating seasons are times that instill a sense of childlike wonder when all of us wanted to swim with the dolphins ever since we were little. It’s an absolutely must-do activity.

67. Take an ATV through Tapanti National Park

There’s a feeling of raw nature that fills the air in Tapanti National Park. Found in the Orosi Valley this national park is an ideal place for a picnic, and even a swim in some places, but the best way to experience it would with a high-octane tour with an ATV.

68. Witness the duality of Palo Verde National Park

The country of Costa Rica is filled with natural wonders that can scarcely be found anywhere else on the planet. Palo Verde National Park is one such wonder, mainly due to it being two polar opposites that have formed one cohesive whole – it’s both a wetlands, and a spectacular one at that, and a text book example of what a tropical dry forest should be. Both of these parts meet and create the entirety that is Palo Verde.

69. Take a tour through a banana plantation

For a long time now bananas have been an important export for Costa Rica. The peculiar plantations where bananas grow are a great place to take a tour on, as it shows an interesting part of the local culture that can barely be found anywhere else.

70. The same goes for pineapple plantations

Pineapple plantation
Flickr Credit: Tom…

One of the world’s most sought after fruits also grows in Costa Rica thanks to its perfect climate. Once you’re there make sure to take a tour through one of its many plantations.

71. Take a boat tour through Terraba Sierpe River

The Terraba Sierpe region is a huge expanse of wetlands, and also the home to the largest system of mangroves in Costa Rica, and also one of the largest in all of Central America. The Terraba Sierpe River flows through these wetlands and offers a unique possibility to see these beautiful mangroves from up close.

72. See the ruins of ancient cities in the Central Province

There are mysterious ruins found in the Central Valley of Costa Rica that are thousands of years old. Supposedly populated for many millennia, the city of Guayabo used to be a center for politics, arts, and culture, before it was mysteriously abandoned.

73. After that, see the ruins in Guanacaste

Costa Rica is sprawling with ancient cities just waiting to be uncovered. There are innumerable ruins scattered all across the country, with some of the most interesting ones found in Guanacaste.

74. Ride the Tico Train

Although originally envisioned as outing for local Costa Ricans, tourists are welcome aboard this peculiar excursion. It’s a train ride that leaves San Jose, and is an all-day trip to Puntarenas and back. It’s a very nice and charming trip, one that isn’t really a guided tour, but rather something like a local oddity. While awesome, it can get a little hard to find the exact schedule of the train.

75. Do some sunset sailing

Do some sunset sailing
Flickr Credit: Magnus Bråth

The Pacific Ocean allows for spectacular views of the sunset, that much is already known. But sailing in the Pacific while watching the sunset? Something that’s truly unforgettable.

76. Relax in San Gerardo de Dota

This is a little known location, one that can be found in a valley south of the capital. It’s surrounded by the towering Talamanca Mountains, and due to its remote locations it’s perfect for a relaxing getaway. It’s quite, calm, and serene, and a heaven for bird watchers, due to the many different species of birds that have made their nests in the region.

77. And make sure not to miss out on the amazing waterfalls

Near this quaint little town you can find the most splendid waterfalls. These are the San Gerardo Waterfalls, also known as Rio Savegre Falls, they’re not only gorgeous to look at, they’re the ideal place to relax, as well as take a peek at the rare Resplendent Quetzal – a most famous bird mostly found in this region.

78. Hike the Highlands of Cerro de la Muerte

While in the region, you might want to do the adventurous hike that starts at the peak of the mountain. From there it winds down up until the waterfalls. It’s mostly reserved for the adventurous and bold, as it’s a difficult trek, but one that’s absolutely worth it due to the gorgeous scenery and sightings of the Quetzal.

79. Experience the national bus system

The local busses in Costa Rica are not are like the most typical western bus systems. While they’re not often that crowded, sometimes it happens that they’re overflowing with people, but as disheartening as that sounds, it can be a charming experience in its own right. Riding the bus at least once is practically require in order to have the full Costa Rican experience.

80. See interesting animals

See interesting animal at Manual Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Flickr Credit: Patty Ho

Costa Rica is well-known for a wide range of biodiversity and plenty of different animal species living in its lands. That’s why it’s always a treat whenever you see a monkey, or a sloth. These wonderful creatures can easily be found in Manual Antonio and Cahuita National Park, though they’re pretty much present everywhere in the country.

81. Witness the uniqueness that is Dia de Boyero

Dia de Boyero stands for Day of the Oxcart Driver, and it’s a festival that place on every second Sunday of every March in the village of San Antonio de Escazu. It’s a festival that honors Costa Rica’s deep history, particularly the part of the importance of oxcart riders. It’s a day filled with celebration, splendor, and colors, and it’s one of the memorable experience one can have in Costa Rica.

82. Rappel down a waterfall

As adventure is ever-present in Costa Rica, one of the most thrilling activities you can do is rappelling down a waterfall. There are plenty of locations that offer these services, and naturally, they’re quite safe.

83. Plant a tree

There different foundations and ecological groups that allow the opportunity to plant trees. Due to increased industry in the region in the recent past, large parts of the rainforests have disappeared because of deforestation. While planting one singular tree might not do much, once a lot of people do it, it will make a difference in the long run.

84. Try a popular local beer

While on first glance it might appear that Central America, and by extension Costa Rica, might not have a long tradition involving beer, but rather more exotic drinks, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Beers like Imperial Beer are a big part of the culture, so naturally every visitor should try it at least once.

85. Try the Casado dish

Casado - Steak, Egg, Plantain, Rice, Beans
Flickr Credit: kimberley blue

When eating at a typical Costa Rican restaurant make sure to try the local delicacy called the Casado. It’s a very rich meal that will absolutely satisfy every foodie.

86. Have a volcanic mud bath

As previously stated, Costa Rica as plenty of volcanoes. Near most of the volcanoes there are places where you can have a mud bath, which is not only relaxing but also incredibly healthy.

87. Try the arroz con leche desert

This is one of the most traditional deserts in Costa Rica, which is perfect to top off the Casado.

88. And the rest of the traditional cuisine

Everything is delicious. No person that loves trying out new foods will leave Costa Rica dissatisfied because of its food.

89. Do some camping on Marino Ballena National Park

A fan favorite, Marino Ballena is a national park that protects long stretches of beach, mangroves, and coastline, but it’s most known for when humpback whales come back from the frigid waters of the north to congregate, after which they return to the north.

90. Do some watersports

Do some watersports
Flickr Credit: Ian D. Keating

The entire country of Costa Rica is host to some of the finest spots in the world when it comes snorkeling or diving. Places like Cahuita Beach, Cano Island, or the beaches of Cocos are all perfect spots. The beautiful waters are home to some of the world’s most amazing marine life, and even if you’ve never been underwater before, Costa Rica is the place to learn.

Check out our guide to Scuba Diving Costa Rica

91. Go on an Air Balloon Tour

There are many places in Costa Rica where you can hire an air balloon to see the country from up high. Once of the best places to do just that is in San Carlos, as there are regular Air Balloon tours, ones that will keep you coming back for more of those breathtaking views from up high.

92. Do some paragliding

If you’re up for some more extreme sports, paragliding is one of those activities that are best done in Costa Rica. The country rugged, yet splendid, natural beauty is ideal for this competitive sport, and there are innumerable spots to paraglide.

93. See the indigenous species

When traveling through Costa Rica make sure to make notes of all the unique species that you might encounter. Some are more reclusive than others, but there are some species that can be easily found, like the turtles on Tortuguero. Some of them might be endangered as well, so do tread carefully.

94. Try the unique Rice ‘n Beans recipe on the Caribbean side

Not to be confused with gallo pinto, this dish is actually unique to Costa Rica. While it does shares some similarities to other similar recipes from all around the world, this one is unique in that it’s mostly served for dinner or lunch, and has an extra exotic ingredient – coconut milk.

95. Walk on the hanging Bridges in Arenal

Walk on the hanging Bridges in Arenal
Flickr Credit: Ian D. Keating

One of the most unique ways to experience Costa Rican nature, the hanging bridges are an amazing eco-touristic project, one that will have you witness the stunning migration patterns of many different species in the region. It’s one of those trips that separates a good visit to Costa Rica from a great one.

96. Say Pura Vida to a Costa Rican

Saying Pura Vida to a Costa Rican – or Tico, as they endearingly call themselves – represents more than the sum of its parts. It’s not only about the meaning of the words – Pure Life – because they say that both for hello and goodbye, but also for a wide variety of other things, like everything is good. Pura Vida represents the way a Tico lives, because Pura Vida is a way of life.

97. See the Botanical Gardens

As stunning as nature always is, there’s something peculiar and interesting about it being maintained in an orderly fashion. That’s where botanical gardens come in. There are plenty of different botanical gardens in Costa Rica, like Lankaster Garden and Wilson Garden, and with such a wide variety of natural splendor to show off, they’re always a great visit.

98. See the Waterfalls in Sarapiqui

No matter which side of Costa Rica you explore, you’re bound to see some breathtaking waterfalls. These falls are actually a complex of 4 waterfalls that are form and combine, and altogether offer a splendid sight.

99. Be in awe of Zarcero Plaza

Truly a horticultural wonder, Zarcero Plaza is a topiary garden that’s filled with many animal forms made entirely out of foliage. It’s a calm and serene place, one that won’t want to leave, and for a very good reason – it’s amazing.

100. See the Butterfly Farms

See the Butterfly Farms
Flickr Credit: TheOakmonster

When most people think of farms they don’t think of butterflies. But that’s exactly the case for Costa Rica. They’re places of learning and examining, and where you can observe how butterflies live out their lives first hand. To say that these farms offer beautiful sights would be a drastic understatement.

101. See the Frog and Snake Farms

These types of farms can be found all over Costa Rica. That’s because the climate is ideal for these creatures, and there is an innumerable number of them found in its lands. These many farms are great for those seeking to learn more about them, as they offer a unique insight in how the function and live their daily lives.

 

Also read:

101 Awesome Things to do in Bali

101 Awesome Places to Visit in Jaipur

Top 62 Cenotes in Mexico

 

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Justin Carmack
Justin is a dive master and world traveler on a mission to dive and document the top 100 dive sites in the world. In doing this he hopes to bring love for the marine environment to the world!

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