Top 5 Things to do in Costa Rica
Costa Rica, which is sandwiched in between Panama, Nicaragua, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, is teeming with a whole host of fun activities for laid-back beach goers and outdoor adrenaline junkies alike. So much so that it can be challenging to narrow down your list of activities during your time in this beautiful Central American country. Which is why I’m here to help you! And keep in mind that I am sitting in a beautiful Costa Rica yoga retreat right now as I write this because I, personally, had the pleasure of cherry-picking my own itinerary during my 5-day stay and thought I would share all my finding with you.
Listed below are my top five things to do in Costa Rica. However, an important thing to keep in mind is that while these locations may appear relatively close on a map, road conditions in Costa Rica lend way to very long commute times. I would allow yourself 1-2 days minimum for each hot-spot on the list.
Monteverde is well known for its famous Cloud Forest, with suspense bridges allowing visitors to see the beautiful, bright, and biodiverse forest of central Costa Rica. This the perfect time to zipline amongst monkeys, a variety of birds, and jaw-dropping foliage. Monteverde also offers the opportunity to see butterflies at Sepulvera Park or you can tour a coffee plantation to see how Ticos (Costa Rica locals) create their addictive cup of joe.
(Beach in Playa Negra, Guanacaste. Photo by Megan Looney.)
This area of Costa Rica truly has it all. Whether you want to lounge on some of the most popular beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula, partake in the “One Day Adventure (or Nature) Pass” at Rincon de la Vieja National Park, or soak in the Costa Rica yoga retreat lifestyle, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone.
3. Arenal Volcano
(Tabacon Hot Springs. Credit: wanderlustliving.com)
Arenal is Costa Rica’s most recognized volcano and for good reason. Even though the beautiful spherical volcano is in its resting phase, guests aren’t allowed to hike to the top. But there’s plenty to do in the surrounding area. You can do a nature walk around the base and see the stunning plants and old lava flow, soak in the scenic (and totally Instagramable) Tabacon Hot Springs, or go underground and into the Venado Caves for a glimpse of fossils, stalactites, stalagmites, and a waterfall from 8,000 feet below the surface.
Tamarindo is a lively and touristy beach community with a huge expat population. You can surf the waves at Playa Tamarindo, rent ATVs on the beach, check out local nightlife at places like Monkey or Aqua Bar, or get a little more romantic with a scheduled sunset boat ride.
Seriously. One of the best things you can do when you’re in Costa Rica is to forget about the list that you just read, kick your feet up and relax. ¡Pura Vida!