What are the Touring Options in Costa Rica?

Things to do in Costa Rica

Have you wondered what it would be like to hike around an active volcano?  Perhaps riding a zip line through the treetops while making friends with a Toucan is more your style. Regardless of your tastes, Costa Rica has something for everyone when it comes to tour excursions.  Here are just a few of the possibilities.

Canopy Tours

Zip-lining in Arenal Volcano Park.

Canopy tours are quickly becoming one of the most popular activities in Costa Rica for good reason. It’s relatively easy to do, won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and will be something to remember forever.

When the tour begins, you’ll be fitted with a safety harness and lifted up to a tree platform. You’ll then be clipped into the zip line and ready to go zipping to one of many platforms located in the canopy.

This is a great and thrilling way to see the rainforest. Although the community of Monteverde is where this first became popular, there are countless canopy tours all across the country available.  If you are staying at a hotel, chances are they can recommend a great local tour group.

Surfing & Rafting the Rapids

Surfing in Costa Rica can be enjoyed all year round. The best months for places in the south like Matapalo and Pavones is June and July. The Pacific coasts in the central area and north are great for surfing anytime. Be sure to check out Playa Grande and Playa Negra. They offer amazing opportunities for those who love surfing.

When it comes to white water rafting, your best bet is from May through December (rainy season). During these months, the rivers are running the highest.

Active Volcanoes of Costa Rica

If you have a chance, don’t miss seeing some of Costa Rica’s best volcanoes. First on your list should be the Arenal Volcano. It’s still very active and its red-hot lava flows can be seen miles away. The Poas Volcano is also a spectacular sight and not too far from San Jose. Check it out if you want to see its amazing 1-mile-in-diameter crater. Irazu Volcano, also not a long drive from San Jose, is a great site as well.

Rain Forest and Cloud Forests

When visiting Costa Rica, you must visit one of its tropical forests.  The Monteverde Cloud Forest definitely gets top billing which is deserving. The reserve is over 35,000 acres of lush rainforest that is engulfed in a cloud-like atmosphere.  While hiking on its more than 8 miles of trails, you may see many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. It’s one of the few places in the world that still has all six species of the wild cat family. This includes pumas, oncillas, jaguars, ocelots, jaguarundis, and margays.  You might also be lucky enough to see the 3-wattled bellbird and quetzal.

If you’re into hiking or backpacking, then the Corcovado National Park is absolutely amazing. It has the last remaining old-growth wet forests on the Pacific side of Central America. This park has nearly every type of ecosystem (13 total) you can think of. This includes; beaches, cloud forests, lowland rain forests, palm forests, coastal marine, and mangrove swamps. With such diverse landscapes in one area, you’re sure to see many species of birds and mammals. If you’re really lucky, you may see some Scarlet Macaws, Red-backed Squirrel monkeys, and perhaps a Jaguar! The trails here are in good shape, but a little more rugged than in Monteverde.  You can find good camping areas near rangers’ stations.

Guided Tours or Exploring on Your Own

If you like to explore things at your own pace the best thing to do is to rent a car. Adobe and Mapache are reputable car rental companies that you can use. It’s a good idea to have your route mapped out before you start, just to make sure that you are on a practical route. The road system is not the best in Costa Rica and actual driving times can take way longer than what the mileage suggests, so do your research ahead of time.

4-wheeler excursion – Costa Rica

If you prefer to be on a set itinerary you can join a guided or semi-guided/seat-in tour. With these options, you will have your accommodation, transfers, etc. pre-booked, so this reduces the amount of money you need to take with you when you go.

A fully guided tour is basically with a set group of people and an accompanying guide throughout. The size of the group varies depending on your tour operator. These include pre-determined excursions/sightseeing as well.

On a semi-guided tour, you are free to dictate your itinerary during the planning phase. And in fact, if you do a bit of research and plan properly, you can even do this without booking through an actual travel agent. In this case, the itinerary is drawn out to decide how much time you spend at each location, and your accommodation is pre-booked. Then you can book your transfers from each location to the other through a seat-in transfer operator such as our services at Costa Rica Transfers and others like InterBus which offers shuttle transfers specifically for tourist transport. Once the accommodation and transfers are set in place, you can decide to pre-arrange excursions at each destination – or you can leave the days free to arrange excursions locally when you get to Costa Rica.

In-Home Massage: in Costa Rica, you can stay in the city or the beach and still get a lot of professional services although many travelers prefer to stay in the Central Area, where other than having plenty of things they just stick with the parlor Massage in home or hotel, this service offer everywhere in the country by different companies

Taxis are an easy and cheap form of transportation in many areas. If you take a taxi, make sure the meter is at 0  and agree on a firm price with the taxi driver before you start.

Private transfers (with a vehicle and driver) can be a bit expensive, so try to avoid this as much as possible.