Every year, around three million people visit Costa Rica either for business or pleasure, but mostly for pleasure. There are so many reasons for all of those visitors to come to this small country. One of them and a significant one is the opportunity to have a memorable adventure vacation.
In Costa Rica, there are adventure activities for all levels of adrenaline needs. Just think about it. Costa Rica has two oceans, five active volcanoes, a complex mesh of rivers, five different mountain ranges that cross the country from border to border, and mountains as high as 12,000 feet. In Costa Rica, you can hike, mountain bike, white water raft, rappel, zip line, surf, windsurf, dive, snorkel, climb, and more.
But because the offer is so vast, it is very easy to get lost in the numerous offers there are out there. We want to share with you some advice on what to look for when you are trying to find that unique tour to have a Costa Rica Adventure Vacation.
And if you are traveling with your kids, we have prepared this separate article to help you find the right match for your family adventure vacation.
What to Do in Costa Rica for Adventure?
As previously mentioned, the adventure activities you can find in Costa Rica are many and very varied. We at Costa Rica Explorations, have our favorites and want to share them with you.
Let’s start by talking about Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica. To visit Chirripó means a 12+ mile long trail with a 6,000-foot elevation gain that will take you through very different landscapes, like cloud forest and tundra. This hike can be done in one day if you are in perfect physical shape. But if you want to take it a bit easier as you enjoy everything this destination has to offer, you need to spend at least one night at the shelter located at 10,000 feet.
Now, we can’t talk about adventure vacations in Costa Rica without mentioning the most famous biodiverse destination, Corcovado. Hiking inside this national park is a treat, giving visitors the opportunity to incredible encounters with monkeys, wild peccaries, tapirs, and even jaguars. The good thing about Corcovado is that it is not reserved only for those capable of hiking in through two 20+ km trails since you can fly in or take a boat in.
Another must-do adventure activity in Costa Rica is white water rafting in the Pacuare River. This fantastic river not only offers visitors incredible rapids level III and IV, but also an astonishing rainforest scenery.
Now, when it comes to Zipline and canopy tours, Costa Rica is the place to go; after all, it is where it all started. There are so many of these tours in Costa Rica, so before you settle for one, make sure to visit our canopy tour blog post to help you pick the right one.
We have also mentioned that Costa Rica has a lot to offer when it comes to volcanoes and mountains. Just imagine visiting Poas Volcano, one of the biggest craters in the world and an active volcano. Another active volcano you can visit is Rincón de la Vieja. At this national park, you can see bubbling mud and small geysers surrounded by incredible dry forest and wildlife.
As you can see, the problem here is not what to do, but what to choose from, and that is why we invite you to let us help you plan the perfect and unique adventure tour that will fit your adrenaline needs and dreams.
Where to Stay in Costa Rica for Adventure?
If you’re looking for the area of Costa Rica that has the right amount of adventure, we also have our list of favorites.
Because of its remoteness and beauty, Drake Bay in the Osa Península is one of our favorites. From here, you can hike Corcovado, snorkel and dive the Caño Island, deep-sea sport-fish, mountain bike, rappel, and much more. But what’s even better, you can enjoy amazing lodging too.
If you want to have a chance to surf and enjoy fantastic food, we always love to recommend Dominical. This community in the South Pacific of Costa Rica offers excellent hiking, and many other adventure activities involving waterfalls, rivers, and mountains.
Now if you are looking to enjoy the power of a volcano, Arenal is the place to visit, where hot springs will relax you after enjoying some great adventures.
What Does A Unique Tour for A Costa Rica Adventure Vacation Look Like?
If you like the activities and the places that we’ve suggested so far, take a look at some of the adventure vacation itineraries we’ve created:
- The Spirit Trekker Adventure Itinerary will take you to as high as you can go in Costa Rica.
- The Couples Romantic Adventure Itinerary will make sure you feel adventurous but pampered at the same time.
- The Avid-Explorer Adventure Itinerary is for those who want to see it by land and by sea.
- The Family Adventure Itinerary keeps in mind that the adventures are a great way to strengthen family bonds.
- The Tico Panama Adventure Nature Vacation Itinerary will take you to where Costa Rica and Panama have perfected the chill adventure vibe.
- The Volunteer-Adventure Itinerary is for those that love to travel with a mission.
Those itineraries are our way of showing you what we love to do. Still, the beauty of working with us at Costa Rica Escapes is that we are ready to customize the perfect trip for you.
Are Adventure Resorts Adventurous?
In our opinion, resorts and mainly all-inclusive resorts, are not the more adventurous nor authentic way to travel. We do understand why one can decide to book a trip to one of these types of destinations. Still, if you are looking to have an adventure in Costa Rica, we advise you to try to stay away from them. Resorts and all-inclusive resorts have been created to please the mass majority of travelers, which means sacrificing a unique and authentic experience.
What to Do With Passport During Adventures in Costa Rica?
When traveling around Costa Rica, we suggest you leave your passport in your hotel room safety box. Also, carry with you either a photocopy or a picture of the front page and the page with Costa Rica’s entry stamp of the passport.
What adventures are the most authentic?
Costa Rica is all about wildlife and nature. Any of the adventure activities and destinations we have suggested in this post are as authentic as it gets in Costa Rica. But if you want to find not only authentic but the right fit for you during your vacation in Costa Rica, let us help you by organizing the trip for you.
What adventures are most dangerous?
Any adventure activity that you decide to engage in has a level of risk and danger. Accidents can happen at any moment and place. But during your travels around Costa Rica, you have to consider that the majority of adventures are related to the natural world. Therefore, you’re at the mercy of mother nature.
If danger is your middle name, consider these activities. Keep in mind that all of these are actually quite safe as long as proper precautions are taken.
- Canyoning (waterfall rappelling)
- White water rafting
- Off-trail hiking (we do not recommend for vacationers!)
Something as silly as a bite from a bullet ant, or as serious as falling during a rock climb, can hinder your experience in this tropical country, so remember to always travel with good travel insurance and ask for expert advice when deciding which adventure tour operator to hire.
What adventures are the least dangerous?
Like we mentioned before when it comes to nature, there is no guarantee. But if we have to suggest an activity that we consider to be the least dangerous, it would be hiking in high-ish traffic and well-maintained trails, where dangerous animals, like snakes, tend to stay away from.
So, can you find unique travel adventures in Costa Rica?
We hope that after reading our blog post, you are convinced that Costa Rica has the perfect travel adventure activities for you. And that Costa Rica Escapes has the right expertise to create the ideal adventure itinerary for you in Costa Rica.
Please browse our website to learn more about traveling in Costa Rica. And send us a request to help you plan the perfect fit for your family and friends in Costa Rica.
John Rabenau has been working in the eco-tourism & adventure travel industry in Costa Rica since 2002. He has worked in a variety of capacities from Outdoor Educator & Principle Guide to Itinerary Design Manager & Business Owner for numerous organizations. He has grown Costa Rica Escapes into one of the most reputable Costa Rica travel agencies since its creation in 2006, hosting more than 5,000 people with custom vacation itineraries.