Costa Rica tour as one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet—the country is home to half a million species—Costa Rica’s diversity of ecosystems, favorable tropical microclimates, and pristine habitats draw visitors to the country. Wildlife sightings are frequent and easy, but if you’re not blessed with wild encounters, there are many nature reserves and conservatories around the country that provide close-up views.
See the extraordinary biodiversity
While it is possible to spot wildlife in every region of the country, there are some particularly active spots where the chances are greater. Tortuguero National Park is ideal for spotting sea turtles, sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, frogs and birds. Manuel Antonio has an abundance of monkeys, toucans, proboscis and iguanas. Monteverde is famous for orchids, many species of hummingbirds and the beautiful blue Quetzal. Marino Ballena National Park is optimal for humpback whale and dolphin sightings before or after swimming in the fresh water pool.
Zip-line through the forest canopy
Costa Rica tour gave the world a zipline canopy tour, a device that lets you slide from tree to tree, courtesy of a series of cables, a helmet and a safety harness. Although such operations are found all over the world these days, they remain arguably Costa Rica’s signature tourism activity, with about 100 zip-lining tours across the country. The tours are billed as a means of spotting wildlife in the rainforest canopy, but in truth, you’ll probably scare the birds and monkeys away with your screams of delight. If you’re afraid of this thrill ride, Rainforest Adventures, with operations near both coasts, provides an easier and quieter option as it slowly glides you in a six-seater gondola car over the cabin.
Most adventurous in Arenal
A stunning 30,000-acre rainforest with a pleasingly symmetrical conical volcano at its center, Arenal is where nature meets adventure through a range of high-flying, adrenaline-pumping activities.
Adventure parks like Sky Adventures Arenal bring fun to the rainforest. Visitors can zipline through the jungle canopy, test their strength on suspension bridges or mountain bike through challenging terrain. Outside of the adventure parks, there are plenty of tour companies that offer half-day or full-day kayaking, rappelling, rafting, horseback riding, and more.
Arenal is also nice for more relaxed travel styles. Hot thermal baths bubble through the landscape and offer a satisfying soak in a jungle setting. The zoo’s butterfly gardens and conservatories bring the creatures up close, and there are plenty of fine dining options to round off the day with an unforgettable meal. There’s a range of accommodation to suit all budgets, but Arenal is known for its strong selection of budget-friendly hotels with luxury spas or relaxing ecolodges with immersive nature experiences.
Embrace Pura Vida on the Pacific Coast
The sand, surf and healthy living on the Pacific coast draw many visitors to this warmer and drier Costa Rica tour. The coasts of the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas host a number of quiet beach communities, lively tourist towns and all-inclusive beach resorts. Swimming holes, mountaintop coffee farms and pristine national parks wait nearby inland.