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The Top 10 Costa Rica Tours & Excursions

Costa Rica is a country known for its natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and rich culture. It’s no wonder that it has become a popular destination for travelers looking to experience all that this Central American gem has to offer.

 

With so many options for tours and excursions, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to prioritize during your trip. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 tours and excursions in Costa Rica, based on popularity, uniqueness, and overall experience. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking adventure or a nature lover wanting to immerse yourself in the country’s stunning landscapes, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Top 10 Costa Rica Tours and Excursions

There’s a reason why these tours and excursions have made it to our top 10 list. Each one offers something unique and memorable, making them must-do experiences in Costa Rica.

Damas Island Mangrove Boat Tour

Located on the Pacific coast, this tour takes you into the heart of an incredible mangrove ecosystem. With a knowledgeable guide leading the way, you’ll learn about this unique habitat and its inhabitants while gliding along peaceful waterways.

 

The highlight of this tour is spotting wildlife like monkeys, sloths, and birds in their natural habitat. You may also see crocodiles and caimans basking in the sun along the riverbanks. And to top it all off, a delicious lunch is included in the tour.

 

This tour is perfect for nature enthusiasts and anyone looking to explore Costa Rica’s diverse flora and fauna. Plus, with comfortable transportation provided, it’s a hassle-free excursion that can easily be added to your itinerary.

 

The price start 70$ per person and the duration is 5 hours.

ATV Tour

 If you’re looking for an adrenaline-fueled adventure, this ATV tour is the perfect choice. Explore the rugged terrain of Arenal Volcano National Park as you ride through forests and past stunning viewpoints.

 

With a professional bilingual guide leading the way, you’ll discover hidden gems like natural hot springs and breathtaking waterfalls. You may even spot some of Costa Rica’s wildlife along the way. And after an exciting ride, you’ll have the opportunity to relax and unwind in the hot springs.

 

This ATV tour is a great option for families or groups looking for an action-packed day in nature. It’s also a great way to see the Arenal Volcano from a unique perspective and experience its natural beauty up close.

Bioluminescence kayak tour

Located in the tranquil Paquera Bay, this kayak tour offers a unique experience that can only be found in a few places around the world. Witness the magical blue-green glow of bioluminescent plankton as you paddle through calm waters.

 

Your guide will lead you on a short but thrilling paddle tour to different spots where you can see this natural phenomenon up close. With every movement, the water will light up, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. You may even have the chance to swim in the bioluminescence and experience your whole body glowing in turquoise.

 

This bioluminescent kayak tour is suitable for all levels and requires no previous experience. It’s an unforgettable way to connect with nature and see Costa Rica’s stunning bioluminescence in person.

 

The price starts at $45 per person and the duration is 1.5 hours.

Canyoning & Waterfall Rappelling

For thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts, canyoning and waterfall rappelling is a must-do activity in Costa Rica. This exhilarating experience takes you on a journey through stunning waterfalls, combining hiking, climbing, and rappelling into one action-packed tour.

 

There are various locations throughout the country where you can join a canyoning and waterfall rappelling tour:

 

One popular spot is near the capital city of San Jose, just outside the charming mountain town of Grecia. Here, you’ll rappel down a 180-foot waterfall into a refreshing pool below. Another fantastic location for this activity is in La Fortuna, at the base of ew Ride along ad dirt road to reach your destination and then rappel down two magnificent waterfalls, one standing at 150 feet and the other a whopping 210 feet. If you’re exploring Guanacaste in the northwest, don’t miss out on canyoning and waterfall rappelling near Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. This tour includes horseback riding to reach the Victoria waterfall, where you’ll get to rappel and swim in a beautiful lagoon. In the Central Pacific region, near Manuel Antonio, you can join a tour to rappel into Indian Falls, standing at 90 feet. And for the ultimate adrenaline rush, prepare yourself for a free-fall jump from 45 feet into the natural pool below. For those in the southwest of Costa Rica, on the Osa Peninsula, you can embark on a canyoning and waterfall rappelling tour that will take you to four different waterfalls. Each one gets progressively bigger until the final stop, where you’ll face a 70-foot cascade

Coffee and Chocolate Tours

Costa Rica has a rich history and culture when it comes to coffee and chocolate production. The country is known for its high-quality coffee beans, which have been a major source of income since the late 1700s. Nowadays, while tourism has taken over as the main industry, coffee and chocolate tours are still popular among visitors who want to learn more about Costa Rican culture and traditions.

 

Coffee tours in Costa Rica usually take place in the mountainous areas, where the conditions for growing coffee beans are ideal. Visitors will have the chance to see how a coffee tree grows from a seed to its first harvest, as well as witness the entire process of picking, weighing, cleaning, drying, and roasting the beans. Of course, no coffee tour is complete without a tasting of the final product.

In addition to coffee, many tours also include a chocolate component. Visitors can learn about how cacao beans are grown and cultivated before being dried, fermented, and turned into delicious chocolate. This educational experience often concludes with a tasting of different types of chocolate.

Diamante Eco Adventure Park 

Apart from the various activities offered at Diamante Eco Adventure Park, visitors can also enjoy a delicious lunch at the on-site restaurant and purchase souvenirs from the gift shop. The park is committed to sustainable tourism practices and supports conservation efforts in Costa Rica.

 

Visitors can choose from a variety of passes, including single passes for specific activities or combo packages for multiple activities. Transportation to and from the park is also available for those staying in nearby towns such as Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo, and Guanacaste. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for special events and packages that the park offers throughout the year. These may include holiday-themed activities or discounted rates for certain activities.

Dolphin tour

For an even more immersive experience, visitors can opt for a dolphin tour in Costa Rica. These tours take you out on the water to see these magnificent creatures up close and in their natural habitat.

 

During the tour, knowledgeable guides will share interesting facts and information about dolphins while also taking you to some of the best spots for viewing them. Many tours also include additional activities such as snorkeling or fishing.

 

Be sure to book your dolphin tour with a reputable and responsible company that follows sustainable tourism practices. This ensures the well-being of the dolphins and their environment while providing a memorable experience for visitors.

Golf in Costa Rica 

Another popular course in San Jose is the Cariari Country Club Golf Course. This course has been around for over 40 years and offers a challenging round of golf with its many sand traps, water hazards, and fast greens.

 

For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, there are several public courses available throughout the country. These may not have all the amenities of a private course, but they still provide a great opportunity to enjoy the sport surrounded by beautiful scenery.

No matter which course you choose, Golf in Costa Rica is an experience unlike any other. From stunning landscapes to challenging courses, it’s the perfect activity for those looking to relax and unwind while on vacation.

 

So don’t forget to pack your clubs and tee off in paradise!  Remember to always practice responsible tourism and leave the courses in better condition than you found them.

Hanging bridges

Besides Monteverde and Arenal, there are also hanging bridge tours available in other areas of Costa Rica such as Manuel Antonio and Tortuguero. Each location offers a unique experience surrounded by stunning natural beauty.

 

Hanging bridges provide the opportunity to get up close and personal with the diverse flora and fauna of Costa Rica, while also enjoying incredible views from above. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera to capture these unforgettable moments. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, thrill-seeker, or just looking for a peaceful and scenic stroll, walking on hanging bridges is a must-do activity in Costa Rica. So don’t miss out on the chance to experience this one-of-a-kind adventure!  And remember to always respect the environment and follow the instructions of your guide to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Hiking and Trekking tour 

Another popular destination for hiking and trekking in Costa Rica is Manuel Antonio National Park. This beautiful park offers a variety of trails, from easy to more challenging, with the opportunity to spot wildlife such as monkeys, sloths, and colorful birds. The park also features stunning beaches where you can take a break and relax after your hike.

 

For those looking for a unique hiking experience, Montezuma offers the opportunity to hike through waterfalls and natural pools. This challenging hike rewards you with breathtaking views and the chance to take a refreshing dip in the natural pools along the way.

 

If you’re interested in hiking off-the-beaten-path, we recommend visiting Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula. Here, you can explore hidden beaches, rugged coastline, and lush forests while also getting a taste of the local culture and cuisine. For a more cultural hiking experience, visit Guanacaste where you can hike to historical sites such as Las Pailas Trail at Rincon de la Vieja National Park, which takes you through volcanic landscapes and bubbling mud pots.

Tips for a safe and enjoyable experience

  • Always wear proper footwear and bring water on hikes or treks.
  • Book tours and activities with reputable and responsible companies.
  • Follow instructions from guides to ensure your safety and the well-being of the environment.
  • Respect wildlife and their natural habitats. Do not feed or touch them.
  • Stay hydrated and protected from the sun while participating in outdoor activities.
  • Practice responsible tourism by leaving no trace and properly disposing of waste.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid any potentially dangerous situations.

With these tips in mind, you can fully enjoy all that Costa Rica has to offer while also being a responsible and respectful visitor. So pack your sense of adventure, sunscreen, and camera, and get ready for an unforgettable trip filled with amazing experiences and breathtaking sights.

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