Things to do in Costa Rica

Dave Lauridsen

You could be in Costa Rica for years and never do it all, thanks largely to the country’s dynamic and varied landscape. At Cocos Island, divers seek ... Read More

You could be in Costa Rica for years and never do it all, thanks largely to the country’s dynamic and varied landscape. At Cocos Island, divers seek out intimate experiences with hammerhead sharks, while the Pacuare River offers white-knuckle, Class V rapids. Those seeking Costa Rica’s more laid-back pura vida lifestyle may eschew ziplines for bird-watching from the hotel hammock, cocktail sipping, or a Costa Rican coffee tour. Budget-friendly attractions are plentiful, as so much of the country is simply wild, breathtaking scenery meant to be admired.

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  • Sibu Chocolate Tours in Costa Rica Courtesy of Sibu Chocolate
    Sibu Chocolate

    Those with a sweet tooth should make time for Sibu, an education center focused on all things chocolate, with a worthwhile tasting experience offered... Read More

  • Finca Cristina Cafe in Costa Rica Courtesy of Café Cristina
    Café Cristina

    Coffee has been an important part of Costa Rican culture since the 18th century, when the “grano de oro” (golden grain) grown in the Central Valley... Read More

  • Pacuare River White Water Rafting in Costa Rica Courtesy of Exploradores Outdoors
    Rafting the Pacuare

    The Río Pacuare offers the most thrilling rafting in the country. Experience is not required, but a sense of adventure is must. Rafters on the Pacuare... Read More

  • Cocos Island Scuba Diving in Costa Rica Courtesy of Undersea Hunter Group
    Diving Cocos Island

    Advanced divers should reserve time for the daylong trip to Cocos Island. This rugged, uninhabited island and marine park is best known for its... Read More

  • Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica Dave Lauridsen
    Corcovado National Park

    Central America’s largest population of scarlet macaws can be found in Corcovado’s 127,000 acres of primary rain forest, among some 400 other bird... Read More

  • Cerro Chirripo Mountain in Costa Rica Alamy
    Cerro Chirripó

    Summiting Cerro Chirripó, Costa Rica’s tallest peak, is a national rite of passage. The 12,533-foot-tall mountain promises serious adventurers stunning... Read More

  • Spheres of Diquís in Costa Rica Ashley Harrell
    Museum of Stone Spheres

    Known colloquially as the Balls, these gabbro, limestone, and sandstone spheres are some of the best known (and most mysterious) sculptures from the... Read More

  • Tortuguero Turtle Watching in Costa Rica Courtesy of Costa Rica Tourism Board
    Tortuguero National Park

    An intricate network of jungle canals, lagoons, and beaches is contained within this remote, 47,000-acre coastal presere—and it's accessible only by... Read More

  • Tamarindo Surfing Beach in Costa Rica Toh Gouttenoire
    Playa Tamarindo

    Tamarindo is one of the most famous surf spots in Costa Rica, thanks largely to its impressive year-round surf. The area is replete with surf schools... Read More

  • Poás Volcano National Park in Costa Rica

    Courtesy of Costa Rica Tourism Board

    Poás Volcano National Park

    No other national park in Costa Rica receives as many visitors as the Poás Volcano and its gigantic crater, which measures almost one mile across and... Read More

  • Quetzal Bird in San Gerardo de Dota in Costa Rica Courtesy of Costa Rica Tourism Board
    San Gerardo de Dota

    Despite their reverence for the quetzal—a massive tropical trogon with irridescent green plumage and doe-like eyes—the Mayans nearly drove this bird to... Read More

  • Tabacon Hot Springs in Costa Rica Courtesy of Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
    Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

    Tabacón was the first hot-springs facility in Costa Rica, and it remains the most impressive. Here, twin rivers are heated by Arenal (one of the world's... Read More

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