Costa Ricaâ€™s fantastic array of parks and preserves with their wildlife and scenery draw travelers from all over the world. Outdoors enthusiasts will not quickly grow tired of the wide selection of adventure travel activities. Bird watching in Costa Rica is considered world class. Travelers looking for bigger animals are not disappointed either and often spot monkeys, sloth, leave-cutter ants, blue morpho butterflies, poison arrow frogs, crocodiles and iguanas among others. The Costa Rican national tourism board (ICT) has an office in the capital, and locally run tourist offices or commercial tour operators provide information throughout the country.
Many of Costa Rican tours focus on eco-tourism, or nature tourism. Tours around the many protected areas of Costa Rica are a highlight for many tourists. Visit some of the last stretches of dry tropical forest in the Parque Nacional Santa Rosa, the cloud forest of Monteverde and the Talamanca Mountains, nine active volcanoes in the VolcĂˇn Arenal National Park. There is a standard entrance fee of $7 to all national parks. See our national parks and eco-tourism section for more information.
For those interested in surfing, there are dozens of recognized surfing areas. Most are not crowded and have good waves. The best surf is found at JacĂł, Quepos, Tamarindo and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, which also host a lively nightlife and plenty of opportunities to relax in the sun between waves.
Rafting tours, especially on RĂo ReventazĂłn and RĂo Pacuare, can easily be found in San JosĂ© and include lunch. Tour operators provide rafts, paddles, life jackets and guides. Kayaking and canoeing are also popular both on exhilarating rapids and quieter rivers where excellent wildlife viewing is possible. Sea kayaking is found along the coast where rentals are plentiful. This is a great way to spot remote wildlife.
Scuba diving and snorkeling is popular in the warm waters of Costa Rica. There is plenty of marine life but the water is often murky with low visibility, especially in spots near rivers. Try Playa del Coco, Playa Ocotal and Playa Hermosa for dives. For snorkeling, go to Manuel Antonio, Montezuma and Cahuita. Dives and snorkeling on the Caribbean side often features views of wrecks, reefs and more.
Rainforest hiking is best at Parque Nacional Corcovado, Santa Rosa offers great tropical dry forest camping and ChirripĂł is best for treks in the highlands.
Laguna Arenal is considered to have some of the best windsurfing in Central America. Tours run regularly from San JosĂ© and include supplies.
Throughout the country, you can find good horseback riding. Overnight trips can be arranged. But be sure that your horse is well taken care of, well-fed and given a clean stable at night. There have been some reports of mistreatment of horses.
Canopy Tours are a combination of elevated platforms, bridges, cables and ropes and provide an unforgettable birdâ€™s eye view of rainforests and cloud forests throughout Costa Rica. For those seeking adrenaline rushes, hook yourself up to the cable and let it rip. For more mellow travelers, there are clear-cut paths, lookout towers and bridges to give you a stable view of the canopy below.
Sport fishing is excellent off both coasts. Expect to find sailfish and marlin off the Pacific and snook and tarpon in the Caribbean. It is often best (and cheapest) to get a group together and rent a boat independently, but there are also organized tours that can help you arrange a sport fishing tour.
Check out our other V!VA Travel Guides Pages:
Other Tour Operator pages in Costa Rica that may be of interest: Montezuma Tours, Cahuita Tours, Turrialba Tours, Quepos Tours, Puerto Jimenez Tours, SĂˇmara Tours, Hone Creek Tours, Jaco Tours, Manuel Antonio,quepos Tours and Costa Rica Rainforest Tours.
Costa Rica Vacations|
South American Vacations offers fully customizable small group and private tours to Costa Rica. Experience the adventure sports, natural attractions, and abundant wildlife that make this country special on one of our Family, Adventure, or Best of Costa Rica Tours.