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Things to do in Costa Rica

Things to do in  Costa Rica

Welcome to Costa Rica

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica spans just 170 miles (274 kilometers) coast-to-coast, yet contains six percent of the world's biodiversity. Postcard-perfect beaches; lush, protected rainforests; and a proud history of promoting conservation and eco-tourism have helped make the country a veritable paradise for active travelers and nature lovers—as well as Central America's top travel destination. Many tours begin in Costa Rica's ""Golden Triangle"" and string together the most popular destinations: Arenal Volcano National Park and nearby La Fortuna, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and Manuel Antonio National Park. In this region alone, there are enough outdoor activities to fill several vacations, ranging from ziplining through the rainforest canopy, to whitewater rafting, to rainforest safaris, and perhaps even a glimpse of the Arenal volcano in action. Many tours offer family-friendly options, and proximity to the Pacific coast makes it easy to include plenty of beach time. Off the beaten path, consider a private tour of Tortuguero National Park, a protected wilderness reserve and seasonal sea-turtle nesting ground that's home to monkeys, crocodiles, and more than 300 species of birds. If you have some time in San Jose, the capital offers a wealth of museums, including the National Museum, the Gold Museum, the Jade Museum, and the Children's Museum. Or tour the lively Central Market to shop for handicrafts. Everywhere you go, Costa Rica casts its spell—don't be surprised if you fall in love with the ""pura vida"" lifestyle and never want to leave.

Top attractions in Costa Rica for Spring

#1
Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo Beach

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Once the site of a quiet fishing village, Tamarindo Beach has become one of Costa Rica's most popular stretches of golden sand. Surfers travel from across the globe to ride Tamarindo's waves, but you don’t need to be a pro to hang 10 here. There are spots nearby that are calm enough for first-time wave riders to learn.More
#2
Selvatura Park

Selvatura Park

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Selvatura Park is a popular nature-adventure park in the cloud forests of Costa Rica. Located just outside Monteverde, the park contains over 850 acres (344 hectares) of ecologically diverse forest. Attractions include zipline and suspension bridge tours, hummingbird and butterfly gardens, natural history walks, and reptile exhibitions.More
#3
Jaco Beach

Jaco Beach

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Jaco is a lively beach town known for its water sports and party atmosphere. Located on some of Costa Rica’s most developed coastline, within two hours of the capital, it’s a favorite escape for San José residents, as well as backpackers, snowbirds, and North American retirees.More
#4
Tortuga Island (Isla Tortuga)

Tortuga Island (Isla Tortuga)

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A postcard-perfect paradise of white-sand beaches, swaying coconut palms, and sapphire-blue water rife with marine life, Tortuga Island (Isla Tortuga) is an ideal spot to swim, snorkel, or bask in the sunshine. The island is only accessible from Costa Rica’s main cities via a scenic boat ride across the Gulf of Nicoya—an extra perk for your vacation.More
#5
Rainmaker Park

Rainmaker Park

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Brimming with lush forest, wildlife, and waterfalls, Rainmaker Park provides a quieter alternative to the often-crowded Manuel Antonio National Park. As well as being home to animals such as dart frogs, snakes, and butterflies, the off-the-beaten-path attraction offers great forest views from a set of swinging bridges.More
#6
Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park

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Although visitors once flocked to Arenal Volcano for its impressive lava shows, the 5,437-foot (1,657-meter) volcano has stayed quiet since its last eruption in 2010. However, Arenal and the surrounding Arenal Volcano National Park remain a hot spot for visitors to Costa Rica, and is especially popular among those seeking hiking trails, swimming holes, hot springs, bird- and wildlife-watching, and sweeping views of the tropical rain forest.More
#7
Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja National Park

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Rincon de la Vieja National Park is the ultimate “one-stop shop” for Costa Rica’s natural attractions. Expect fuming volcanoes, gushing waterfalls, sky-high ziplines, natural hot springs, and more—all within just a couple of hours of the popular Guanacaste coast.More
#8
Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

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The 16 hanging bridges that line the paths of Costa Rica’s Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park stretch a total of 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) across the steep landscape. See the birds, monkeys, sloths, snakes, and frogs that call the forest canopy home by ascending these spans, suspended above gorges and stretched across jungle floors.More
#9
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park

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Poas Volcano National Park houses one of the more popular volcanoes in Costa Rica—a telling superlative for a country with world-famous geothermal activity. But with its spectacular wildlife, informative museum, and variety of hiking trails, the accolade comes as no surprise.More
#10
National Theater (Teatro Nacional)

National Theater (Teatro Nacional)

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Modelled after the Paris Opera House, the National Theater in San José’s Catedral district is a neo-classical masterpiece representing Costa Rica’s greatest era of extravagance and sophistication. The historic building has been the epicenter of the city’s fine arts scene including opera, symphony, and other performing arts since its inaugural performance by Fausto de Gounod in 1897.More

Trip ideas

Top Hiking Trails in Arenal Volcano National Park

Top Hiking Trails in Arenal Volcano National Park

How to Spend 2 Days in San Jose

How to Spend 2 Days in San Jose

Top activities in Costa Rica

Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Typical lunch and Arenal Volcano Hike
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Rio Celeste Hiking, Sloth Sanctuary & Llanos de Cortes Waterfall Tour
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Blue Dolphin Sailing Adventure

Blue Dolphin Sailing Adventure

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Full Day Nicaragua Tour from Costa Rica
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Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner
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100% Adventure Park Combo: Zipline, Superman, and Mega Tarzan Tour in Monteverde
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Mistico Park Hanging Bridges Guided Tour
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White Water Rafting Pacuare River From San Jose
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Recent reviews from experiences in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica’s hidden treasures
Kerry_W, May 2022
Río Celeste-Tenorio Volcano and Sloth Watching Tour From Guanacaste
We learned so much about Costa Rica’s ecology and we were delighted to see 5 different sloths.
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Worth it!
Reema_C, May 2022
Day trip from San Jose to Wildlife Refuge La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Amazing tour of the La Paz Falls!
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Costa Rica experience
Denise_B, May 2022
3-Hour ATV Jungle Waterfall Adventure
This was my first time on an ATV our guide was awesome it’s was a great experience nice way to see a beautiful part of Costa Rica
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Great animal & bird finds and all the associated facts and information you could ever want!
DANIELLE_G, May 2022
ALL-INCLUSIVE Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Tour.
His scope was able to see everything up close and capture amazing photos for us!
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Great experience!
Requita_D, May 2022
Amazing Rainforest Sloth Tour & Waterfall Excursion
We saw several sloths and we were able to see them much more easily than expected.
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An adventure to remember
Robert_H, May 2022
Rio Celeste Hiking, Sloth Sanctuary & Llanos de Cortes Waterfall Tour
Our tour guide Hector was super knowledgeable and made the hike through the jungle to the waterfall extraordinary!
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Our favorite tour!
Jennifer_P, Apr 2022
Wild Life Safari Float
He was excellent with pointing out animals and giving us time to see them and teaching us interesting facts about them too!
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Great time!
Sarah_Y, Apr 2022
Sunset Sailing Tour on Ti Marouba catamaran Tamarindo
The crew was super nice, everyone on the boat was friendly and even though every sunset was incredible in Costa Rica, it’s a particularly magical thing to see it from the water.
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Fun, enjoyable and educational experience. My tour guide was knowledgable and personable.
Andre_F, Apr 2022
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
The hot springs and waterfall pool swim were fun.
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Best Tour
Michael_S, Apr 2022
Full day Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall and Hotsprings
We enjoyed a delicious Costa Rican lunch after our visit to the la Fortuna waterfall.
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Best tour, best guides.
Katherine_M, Apr 2022
Full day Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall and Hotsprings
The views and activities were great and the guides were so informative and showed us everything along each route.
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Great transport
Jeannie_J, Apr 2022
Private Shuttle From Liberia Airport To Arenal, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
He spoke English, and was so nice and friendly.
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Awesome Day
Cindy_G, Apr 2022
Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Typical lunch and Arenal Volcano Hike
She used my phone and took a picture thru her telescope to see Macaw and Parrots.
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Excellent Excursion
Adrianne_W, Apr 2022
Diamante Eco Adventure Park Day Pass with Lunch
All staff were wonderful, the animals were neat to see and the park visit was a great addition to our trip to Costa Rica!
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You see it all
Julia_T, Apr 2022
Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja
We hiked and swam, and relaxed in hot springs.
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Turriabla with it’s...
Ting_M, Mar 2022
Explore Two Amazing Active Volcanoes With a Local
Turriabla with it’s beauty of wildness , becomes my favourite Volcano in Costa Rica, really worth to visit
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Great food tour!
Thomas_F, Mar 2022
3 Hour Cooking Class and Medical Plants Garden
My guide Gregory also went out of his way to give local recommendations for things to do and see while staying in Quepos - highly recommend!
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Beautiful parc, great tour!
Nadine_K, Mar 2022
Full-Day Rio Celeste Tour From La Fortuna
Tenorio is by far my favorite park to visit.
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Costa Rica exploration!
Jennifer_S, Mar 2022
4 In 1 Sloth Water Falls Rain Forest Volcanoes
If you want to see sloths in their habitat this is the tour for you.
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Heaven on Earth!
LORETTA_R, Mar 2022
Skip the Line:Day Ticket-La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park & Wildlife Refuge
A MUST place to visit when you come!

All about Costa Rica

When to visit

Costa Rica’s climate splits the year cleanly. The dry season—December through April—is the ideal time for beach hopping, surfing, and partying at winter fiestas. If you don’t mind taking a siesta during afternoon rainstorms, visit May through November for lower room rates and an explosion of green foliage in the rain forests.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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