Seven Amazing Outdoor Activities in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is located in Central America in a tropical climate area. What is so amazing about this country, however, is it’s diversity. Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea the country offers more than 800 miles of coastline. The mainland includes volcanic mountains some of which range over 12,000 feet. Lower elevations are covered with tropical rainforests while higher up there are grassy plains. The year is measured by the dry season and wet season. In short, there isn’t much that Costa Rica can’t offer in the way of outdoor activities.

1. Canopy Tours

Want to get off the ground? What about exploring the tree tops? Costa Rica zip line canopy tours are becoming increasingly popular and certainly one of seven amazing outdoor activities in Costa Rica. Various tour companies offer a variety of places and ways to act like a monkey and travel the top of the rain forest. You can “fly” from tree top platform to platform via a zip-line or swing from a cable “grapevine”. Some companies offer a more sedate tram or gondola-like ride, or walks including hanging “bridges”. For extra amazement, spend the night in one of the tree-house hotels while there.

2. White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting costa rica

Due to its great changes in elevation, the rivers in Costa Rica offer year round white water rafting opportunities. When rafting in Costa Rica, the levels of difficulty range from Class I (easy) to Class V (difficult). The extra warm climate just begs you to get wet, and rafting provides the answer! See the beauty of the country by a lazy paddle on calm water or keep your stomach in your throat on a more challenging class. Reasonable prices make this another one of seven amazing outdoor activities in Costa Rica.

3. Hiking and Walking

Beach walks, mountain hiking and rainforest exploration are just some offerings for footing it around the country. This is maybe the most popular of the seven amazing outdoor activities in Costa Rica. Whether you want an informal beachcombing time or a guided, planned hike, Costa Rica can provide it. The weather is always accommodating and the price is always right. Just remember to wear clothing appropriate to the weather, the countryside and the altitude. Take plenty of water with you. Hiking is one of the best ways to spot some of the exotic birds and animals native to the county. It gets you to the remote areas with great scenery such as waterfalls and lava flows. Hiking lengths can be tailored to beginners or very experienced and is a family oriented activity.

4. Bird Watching

Bird Watching

For a less strenuous activity, take up some bird-watching. This can be combined, of course, with walking or hiking. Even for non-birdwatchers, this has to be one of the seven amazing outdoor activities in Costa Rica, because of the varieties of birds, over 885 species. In addition, many of the birds include some of the most colorful and exotic in the world. Think scarlet mccaws, toucans, hummingbirds and the gorgeous, but exclusive quetzal. Your chances of seeing more of these beauties improve with hiring a guide. Take the family along with you.

5. Surfing

With over 800 miles of coastline, Costa Rica has, if not the biggest, some of the best surfing in the world. The Pacific Coast is good to go almost all year round. Wave action ranges from gentle to challenging. Some of the best areas are remote, but all the sweeter for the lack of crowds. Various river entrances, reefs and rocky coastline provide the different kinds of waves. The Caribbean side offers La Salsa Brava, probably the biggest wave area of the country. Wave size and volumes change with the weather. Surfing is one of the seven amazing outdoor activities in Costa Rica because if there isn’t any action on one coast, there are shuttle buses that go back and forth from the other coast–which isn’t that far away!

6. Biking and Mountain Biking

Biking and Mountain Biking

As an eco-friendly and healthy activity, biking is also one of the popular seven amazing outdoor activities in Costa Rica. Biking gets an explorer to more remote, off-the-beaten-path areas where some of the incredible wildlife and plants exist. The National Parks, Corcovado and Totuguero, provide some of the best biking paths. These bio-diverse areas feature beautiful orchids and other colorful plants, several varieties of turtles, sloths and monkeys just to name a few! Costa Rica also has 14 known volcanoes and six of them are still active. Biking tours will get you closer to the lava flows than other ways.

7. Fishing

Fishing must be included as one of the seven amazing outdoor activities of Costa Rica because of the two coasts and the rivers. Big sports fish are found all up and down both coasts and there are plenty of boats and guides to take you to the best places. Some of the big fish are seasonal, but locals will know when the time is right. For those who can’t or don’t want to pay the big prices for the big fishing, the country has some of the best trout fishing in those higher elevations. Fishing has been and will continue to be one of the main activities for locals and tourists alike.

With so many things to do and so many ways to do it, Costa Rica is an amazing place. There are outdoor activities to fit any budget, any interest and any physical limits. All this may be found in a compact area of friendly people just waiting to show you a good time all year round. Don’t you deserve a memorable visit to the amazing Costa Rica?

Image by Captain Kimo illbeninato


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