Costa Rica Rios

The Best Foodie Tours in Costa Rica

Costa Rica foodie toursFoodie tours are becoming increasingly popular in Costa Rica and make for fantastic additions to active vacations, where the emphasis is, primarily, on enjoying the adrenaline-pumping pursuits for which this country is so revered.

Mind you, the cuisine in Costa Rica and the country’s predilection for organic, home-grown ingredients and home-made food, means your taste buds will be delighted at every single meal here. Nevertheless, with the latest addition of Costa Rica to the slow-food movement and the world’s recognition of the country as an exceptional fresh-food grower and producer, food tours can add an in-depth experience to what is already bound to be an unforgettable journey.

Selection of the best foodie tours in Costa Rica for 2018:

Don Olivo Chocolate Tour – La Fortuna

Consistently rated THE favorite food tour in the country by visitors, Don Olivo is not to be missed if you’re in the Arenal Volcano region. This 2hr guided trip offers a behind the scenes look not only at local chocolate production methods but also all the other goodies grown in this luscious and prolific family-owned farm. Tastings are generous and varied (of fruit and cane sugar juice as well as mouthwatering chocolate) and, combined with the passion of the hosting family, help make this the most delicious and high-rated tour of all.

Costa Rica Cooking – La Fortuna

Cooking classes for the gourmand traveler who loves nothing more than to get involved in the making of local specialties, Costa Rica Cooking classes are inarguably the most polished and professional in the region. US chef and Costa Rica restaurateur Scott Alan and his dedicated team of local chefs will astound you with their culinary creations which, you follow all the steps correctly…can be your creations too! Local favorites and international delights using organic local ingredients make up the sumptuous meals in the cooking classes, which you can either help create or just admire and learn. Scott and his team will happily organize bespoke classes for families or groups of friends traveling together, and you can incorporate a visit to a local farmer’s market as well, for that ultimate ‘farm to table’ foodie tour experience.

Foodie Tours Costa Rica – San Jose

San Jose can be overwhelming to the unaccustomed, with the sprawling and busy city usually seen as a mere springboard for onwards travels through the country. But if there’s one reason to hang around for a day, it would definitely be Foodie Tours Costa Rica. Ingenious Adriana Font, the brains behind the concept, creates foodie tours itineraries that are custom-made for each client, matching tastes and interests with local hidden spots to deliver a personalized service that’s impossible to beat. Whether you want to delve into the vegetarian side of Costa Rican cuisine, or fusion, desserts or perhaps a farm-to-table experience (which includes 6 meals in 3 different restaurants) Adriana will take your taste buds to new heights and showcase the city’s trendiest and best eateries. Moreover, you’ll learn a lot about local cuisine and ancient recipes. A small, tailor-made service that’s certainly found its niche-market in the capital, Foodie Tours also organizes public tours on occasion, so check with their FB page before you go.

Tropical Gardens Cooking School – Playa Samara

A gorgeous private home set up to accommodate authentic cooking classes that incorporate organic local produce, a love for the earth and a desire for wholesome, healthy cooking, the Tropical Garden Cooking School is an absolute feast for all the senses. The cooking is traditional, the ingredients locally grown and the menu designed with your tastes and dietary restrictions in mind. A splendidly luscious foodie experience in one of Costa Rica’s most delightful coastal regions. A variety of cooking tours are on offer, including tamales-making and bond-fire cooking.

A foodie tour or cooking class makes for a wonderful add-on to Costa Rica adventure vacations. Keen to taste your way through the country as you indulge in exceptional adventure? Let us know! We’ll be happy to organize cultural and culinary experiences for your next trip with us.

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Travel to Costa Rica: Your Dream New Year Resolution

Whether you crave fun, excitement, relaxation, an adrenaline-rush or a blissful stint of soul searching, Costa Rica makes for a truly awesome New Year’s resolution. Why? Because when you travel to Costa Rica, the destination quite simply, has it all. Yoga retreats invigorating and soothing hot spring treatments, heart-pumping multi-sport tours, seaside escapades and volcano climbs, combined with a delicious and healthy cuisine and a wealth of attractions that would embarrass most large nations ten times its size. Compact, easy to reach and a breeze to explore, Costa Rica is that hassle-free yet hugely rewarding destination that ticks every box.

So don’t look down the barrel of a long year of work ahead without hope of reprieve. Plan your adventure vacation to Costa Rica and make your 2018 your best travel year yet.

Here’s why!

Costa Rica is warm and idyllic, all year long

Travel to Costa RicaBoasting divine year-round temps, Costa Rica is a paradise at any time, and especially during the long and cold northern winter, when you’ll find the country at its best.

Moreover, given the eclectic topography of the country and the choice of destinations, you can have an excellent adventure vacation here at any time of year. Rain season affects each region of the country at different times, and with varying intensity, so no matter when you wish to visit in 2018, you will find a destination that is at its prime.

Cosa Rica is ideal for family vacations

Tico’s love of children and the modernity of the infrastructure make Costa Rica a beloved and hassle-free family vacation destination. The food is not too spicy nor exotic and choices are plenty, so even the pickiest eater usually has no problems with the local food. Having said that, the most popular areas boast enough expats to offer an array of home food your kids will love. But food will be the least of your issues, we can assure you. The biggest problem you’ll have, when traveling with kids in Costa Rica, is stopping them from trying to hug all the monkeys and colorful birds that’ll beg for their breakfast at outdoor tables of every resort in the country. The wildlife here is copious and eclectic and is undoubtedly the most cherished aspects of a family vacation for all kids.

Costa Rica is one of the world’s best wedding & honeymoon destinations

Costa Rica seems to ooze romance at every turn, with idyllic sunsets, remote resorts and tons of unspoilt and hidden beaches attracting love-struck couples like nowhere else on earth. Tailor-made for the adventure honeymoon-seeker, the country is also rising in ranks as a very popular destination wedding destination, and a flurry of resorts offer wedding packages that care of everything, from the ceremony to the reception dinner and all the accommodation for your cherished guests. Can you imagine a more romantic and unforgettable experience than a Costa Rica wedding and honeymoon? Didn’t think so!

Costa Rica is safe and fun for singles

Single travelers are often torn between finding a destination that’s safe enough for them to travel alone and finding one that’s interesting enough to visit, time and again. That’s why so many choose Costa Rica. Our adventure vacation packages, for example, are suited to anyone who dreams of exploring this thrilling country and partaking in its most heart-pumping activities. Traveling alone? Come join us! Our group tours are sensational to say the least and always attract a brilliant array of super fun, curious and interesting characters who cherish having company with whom to experience Costa Rica. Check out some of the reviews of past guests and you’ll discover what fantastic fun we can have together.

Costa Rica makes you MOVE!

Yes, you could head to Costa Rica and spend all your time sunbathing on some pristine beach or lounging by the sensational pool of some uber-cool eco-lodge. But we bet you’ll last barely half a day before the temptation to DO something urges you on your feet. The world’s premier adventure vacation destination offers plenty of exhilarating and fun stuff for the whole family, from horseback riding to kayaking, white water rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, hiking, wildlife-watching and more. Even the most brooding and impossibly uninspired teenager will find it hard to resist. With its array of active pursuits, Costa Rica beckons the adventure seeker and the active travelers, the one who isn’t just happy admiring nature but the one who wants to be among it. Preferably, swinging from a canopy and zip lining at breakneck speed.

Costa Rica rewards all your senses

Organic food, freshly grilled fish, hotly roasted coffee, glorious sunsets, luscious forest, loud and curious wildlife: Costa Rica is a feast for all the senses.

Costa Rica is close and inexpensive

At the end of the day, all this gorgeousness would be amiss if only the country were on the other side of the planet or prohibitively expensive. But it’s neither of those. Short and inexpensive flights from major US cities will have you IN the country and AT the beach or mountains just a few hours after leaving home. No need to deal with jetlag and long transfers! Costa Rica makes an especially ideal short holiday destination as well as a genial last-minute escapade. Moreover, US citizens don’t need a visa to visit Costa Rica, making a last minute visit a truly doable alternative.

The perfect springboard to jump start your fabulous new year?

We think so too.

Contact us for more info on tours and help in planning a bespoke itinerary, and we’ll see you when you travel to Costa Rica!

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Ditch the Winter Freeze & Escape to Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the best countries in the world to visit at the beginning of the year as it coincides with its driest – and most idyllic – season. Imagine the delight, then, when you discover how easy, affordable and hassle-free a Costa Rica adventure vacation can be.

Ready to ditch the winter freeze and escape to this adventurous playground brimming with volcanoes, jungles, cloud forests and sensational beaches?

Go on…Costa Rica awaits!

Last-minute escapes – because it’s never too late to be totally amazed

What winter freeze?Perhaps you haven’t had any time, in the last few months, to think about an end-of-year vacation to celebrate in style. To propel yourself down raging waterfalls, raft and kayak exhilarating rivers and to reconnect with nature, and your loved one, on a fantastic adventure in a tropical wonderland.

There’s still time! Our Costa Rica adventure vacations are tailor-made to showcase the very best this incredible country has to offer and our itineraries include kayaking, rafting, ziplining, snorkeling, surfing and canyoning in the heart of the country’s most picturesque regions. Among all the fun and excitement, there’s still plenty of chances for relaxing and enjoying gorgeous eco-lodges, something for which Costa Rica is world-renowned. Last-minute spots are still available and, as always, we’re ready to design a custom and all-inclusive tour where you – and your travel companions – are in charge of the itinerary and inclusions. You’ll be amazed to discover how affordable this all is, in Costa Rica, where a week’s unforgettable adventure can cost as much as just a couple of days in Disneyland.

When it comes to value for money, Costa Rica is an unrivalled travel destination.

Impromptu family getaways – just pack up the kids and GO!

The end of the year is one of the most stressful times of all, with a host of social and family obligations adding to an already over-done, over-worked and over-tired household. So why not throw it all in, pack the bags and the kids, drop the dog off at the in-laws and take a last-minute flight to Costa Rica? Deals on our family favorite adventure vacation packages are this year’s very best bargain and deliver you all to a weeklong jaunt through unspoilt rainforests, pristine beaches and the base of the most eye-catching volcano of all. Rafting, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, hot springs and stunning beaches, in the two most coveted regions of the country: Manuel Antonio and Arenal. This family package vacation serves up an exceptional compromise between organized and spontaneous fun, leaving all the tedious organizational work to us and leaving you and your family to simply sit back…and relish.

Delayed honeymoon? Cosa Rica…for barefoot bliss

Barefoot romance really is the best way to describe Costa Rica, a country that’s risen through the ranks to be dubbed one of the world’s top honeymoon destinations. But to be honest, a couple need not even be actually on honeymoon to indulge in the delights. Surely every couple deserves at least one honeymoon a year?! Unwind, reconnect and revitalize on our Barefoot Romance Honeymoon packages – currently on sale – and let us plan your action-packed love fest, complete with accommodation, activities and some meals, for less than an average nightly hotel room rate back home. Insane! Indulge in two glorious resort stays, enjoy daily adrenalin-pumping activities and cap off your week with a few lazy days in a super-romantic beach bungalow, watching the waves lap at your feet and basking in one of the most glorious tropical sunsets you’ll ever witness.

Ready to inject some serious romance back in your life or planning a last-minute honeymoon?

Your honeymoon paradise awaits!

At Costa Rica Rios, we love to plan and offer the best value-for-money adventure packages in the country and have been awarded copiously for our efforts over the years. Not only with industry awards, always so graciously received, but primarily by our treasured guests. Our continued commitment to showcasing the best of Costa Rica is evident in the continuous glowing reviews of those who come, enjoy, indulge and return, time and again, to explore yet another hidden corner of this jewel of a country WITH US.

So what are you waiting for?

If there’s ever been a perfect time to ditch the freeze and escape to Costa Rica…it is right NOW!


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Your Ultimate Guide to Tamarindo, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica

Your Ultimate Guide to Tamarindo showcases the premier surfing and luxury resort destination in all of Costa Rica. The heart and soul of one of the most developed regions of all, Tamarindo is often overlooked by nature-lovers who seek more middle-of-nowhere travel experiences. However, Tamarindo is a brilliant destination in its own right and boasts enough modernity to make it a sublimely relaxing stopover either before or end of more adventurous journeys to the Nicoya Peninsula and the furthest reaches of the Guanacaste Province. Loads of gorgeous accommodation options and a thriving seaside town offer you the best of Costa Rica, be it food, shopping, activities and scenery.

Because more than anything else…Tamarindo is resplendent.

guide to tamarindoThere are some very good reasons why Tamarindo has grown from small and quiet fishing hamlet into a thriving tourist hot-spot. Its strategic location on the western Pacific coastline of Costa Rica means Tamarindo is a fantastic base point from where to explore the two national parks to its northern and southern end, picturesque mountains to the east and awesome surfing waves to the west. This entire region is naturally gifted, offering immense options for outdoor pursuits.

Tamarindo and its surrounds are excellent spots for animal-spotting, volcano hiking, trekking in pristine nature, canopy ziplining, horseback riding on the beach, deep sea fishing, surfing, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, sailing and every other water sport under the blazing Costa Rican sun.

All of this (and so much more) is on offer within merely an hour’s drive from the Liberia International Airport.

Yes…there are very good reasons Tamarindo is just so popular.

Tamarindo’s Best Highlights

Playa Tamarindo – Few things can be as blissful as taking a gentle stroll along Tamarindo’s 2-mile-long beach upon arrival. Beautiful swimming at high tide, fabulous sunbathing spots, surfing lessons for beginners and sensational sunsets are on the menu here, every single day of the year. Within just a half hour drive in both directions, experienced surfers will find fiercer and more impressive waves to tackle. From Playa Tamarindo you can join a flurry of seaside adventure trips, including sailing and snorkeling trips by day and heavenly sunset boat tours in the late afternoon.

Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge – Covering more than 1,200 acres of protected reserves and mangroves, this wildlife refuge is brimming with enticing animals – including 400lb American crocodiles – and the best way to explore it is by kayak (if you dare) or boat tours.

Catalinas Islands – For the best SCUBA trips in town. The reefs of Catalinas are inhabited by an impressive concentration of marine life and colorful, thriving coral, as well as magnificent underwater canyons hiding reef sharks, Pacific giant mantas, turtles, star fish, eels and SO much more. The Catalinas are a cluster of uninhabited islets close to Tamarindo’s coast and offer more than a dozen separate, distinctive and rewarding dive sites. So many, in fact, that you can dive for several consecutive days here and never have to visit the same place twice.

Although you may just want to.

Las Baulas Marine National Park – Baulas are giant leatherback turtles in Spanish and in this aptly named national park on the fringes of Tamarindo, you’ll see one of the world’s largest concentration of its largest sea turtle during nesting season, between October and May each year. Revered for its colossal arribada (mass nesting turtle arrival) La Baulas is a fervently protected reserve and your night-time visits will be highly-controlled and immensely educational. Witnessing 800 female turtles heading ashore to nest would have to be one of Costa Rica’s truly astonishing sights.

Adventure activities – From white water rafting to kayaking, ziplining and more, Tamarindo is a great springboard for adventure tours of Costa Rica when what you also crave is a vibrant beachside base.

Shopping – Tamarindo’s town centre is peppered with gorgeous boutiques selling artisan products, organic skincare and handmade swimsuits and sarongs, all interspersed with the ubiquitous souvenir stalls. Because no-one ever suffered greatly after a little spot of retail therapy!

Resort stays –Tamarindo plays home to a vast collection of revered resorts. Places like Diria Resort, one of our faves, offer an impressive array of activities and amenities in-house, ideal if you wish for a few relaxing days where not much is required of you except to wake up and gather just enough energy to laze around some glorious pool or idyllic stretch of beach. In and around Tamarindo, you’ll find a host of accommodation options to suit families, honeymooning couples and singles alike, of all ages and budgets.

A Guide to Tamarindo – How to Reach It

Tamarindo is less than 30 miles from the Liberia International Airport so ideal if you’re flying into Costa Rica through its northern airport. The seaside town is also only a 45-minute flight from San Jose if you happen to bag cheaper flights to the capital city instead.

Best Time to Visit Tamarindo

Costa Rica’s climate is divided into dry and rainy seasons, with the former happening between December and April, and the latter from May until November. Although you may be tempted to book your Tamarindo tour for the dry season, do note that temps can be soaring….as can crowds. For the very best enjoyment of the town and all it has to offer, we’d highly recommend you aim to visit during the splendid shoulder-season weeks, between the end of April and mid-May, and again towards the end of October. This way, you’ll get to share this corner of paradise with fewer tourists but still have all activities available to you.

Dreaming of fantastic adventures in Tamarindo? At Costa Rica Rios, we plan group and bespoke tours to the most magical corners of the country, combining adventure, adrenalin, relaxation and indulgence into each and every trip. Contact us if you’d like to know more.

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Top 10 Costa Rica Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow

Whether it’s to research a new region of the country you haven’t yet visited, discover hidden treasures off the beaten path, or to simply satisfy the heart and soul with idyllic images of your upcoming trip, the Top 10 Costa Rica Instagram accounts you need to follow are blissfully inspirational. And just a little bit wanderlust-inducing…

  1. Visit_CostaRica

Top Costa Rica instagram accountWe love that the Costa Rican government showcases such a fervent commitment to eco-tourism and protection of the amazing wilderness and wildlife, and their efforts to show off the best assets of the country should be recognized.

The official Instagram of the country’s Tourism Board has access to an endless cache of seriously drool worthy photos and a quick scroll is enough to make you want to pack those bags for a trip with no return date.

  1. Discover Costa Rica

Diego Eskenazi describes himself as a wildlife seeker, nature addict and consummate photographer and, luckily for us all, the immensely talented man calls Cosa Rica home.

Diego LOVES colors and it seems that no effort is too much to capture breathtaking sunsets, elusive wildlife and even the tiniest of creatures. This talented photographer’s extensive travels means you’re exposed to an array of destinations, as well as photographic subjects. Great Costa Rica travel inspiration and wonderful research base point.

  1. This is Costa Rica

Some of the most spectacular Costa Rica drone photos on the net, right now, This Is Costa Rica is visually mesmerizing, to say the least. These guys don’t just make you wish you could see a bird in the country…they make you wish you could be one.

  1. CRAnimalRescueCentre

Helping in the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife, the Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre – located in the Alajuela Province – does really amazing and much-needed work. These guys are true angels and the photos and videos they upload to their Instagram account are infinitely heartwarming. For those stressful days at work when only an impossibly adorable photo of a sloth being weighed will do.

  1. Costa Rica Traveler

Andres Madrigal is a photographic contributor to the local Tico Times news service and widely acclaimed inspirational Costa Rica Instagrammer.

If his outstanding photos don’t make you want to go to Costa Rica five minutes ago, then you need to refresh your browser! Andres travels the country extensively, bringing the world some truly astonishing scenes

  1. Picsbypipo

Nature-lovers and extreme wilderness seekers will get their pulses racing just scrolling through this Instagram account. Most of the photos are captured, in action, with a GoPro Hero 3.

  1. EatCostaRica

Because mouthwatering Costa Rica food!

With detailed description of the places behind the delicious photos posted, this is THE best travelling foodie’s account to follow. Don’t mind our drool….

  1. MyTanFeet

Living the dream-life of adventurous couples the world over, Yeison and Samantha get up to all sorts of inspiring shenanigans all over Costa Rica. From rafting to repelling, snorkeling, hiking, wildlife-spotting and more, these two embody the very essence of the country’s Pura Vida mantra. And their Instagram account proves it.

  1. PacuareLodgeCostaRica

One of the most stunning lodges in the whole country manages an Instagram account that’s as delicious as the culinary treasures that emerge from its gourmet kitchen. This place offers a super intimate rainforest lodging experience and their Insta-GLAM account will fuel your indulgent jungle dreams to no end.

  1. Costa Rica Rios

Well…we don’t normally like blow our own trumpet but if you’ll excuse us, we may just sneak ourselves in there. Why? Because we do all the hard work for you, bringing you the very best and most evocative Costa Rica Instagram pics right to your feed. You’re welcome!

At Costa Rica Rios, we bring you the most mesmerizing adventure vacations to Costa Rica, a country not even Instagram’s best filters can do justice. So turn your daily swoon worthy photo scroll into an unforgettable real-life adventure and come experience Costa Rica up, close and very personal.

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Costa Rica’s Love Affair with the Slow Food Movement

The Slow Food Movement was first dreamed up in Italy in 1986, as a way to combat the popularity, worldwide, of unhealthy and environmentally damaging fast food. The premise is quite simple: to shine a light, promote and protect authentic regional cuisines, and preparing wholesome and nutritious meals using only organic, locally-sourced produce. The idea spread around the world like wildlife, infecting countries as far afield as our own beautiful Costa Rica. The culmination of Costa Rica’s love affair with the Slow Food Movement was the wonderful Slow Food Fair which took place last month in the capital, San Jose.

Slow Food Movement

slow food movementFeaturing stalls brimming with regional culinary specialties of the highest order, from cheese to coffee, chocolate and unique fruits and vegetables, as well as stalls selling local arts and crafts, the Slow Food Fair – or Mercado de la Tierra – aimed to showcase unique regional produce and products that are made with so-called ‘clean technologies’, which are farming methods specifically designed to reduce environmental and animal impact.

The premise of the movement is admirable and it’s certainly found its ideal home in a country so enriched with regional culinary culture.

The Slow Food Movement focuses on the conscientious farming, production and consumption of food. It promotes local produce, wherever one may be, and the sharing of food to prevent wastage and mindless consumption. Costa Rica, at its core, is the very personification of this movement. Meander your way through any of the weekly produce markets held all over the country, and you’ll feast your eyes on fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs you’ve probably never seen. Vibrantly fresh, aromatic and undoubtedly local, the fresh produce here is second to none. The country is brimming with organic farms, where GMO is shunned in favor of sublimely fertile soil and an ideal climate. Add to that a culture that is near food-obsessed and what you have is a feast for the palate and the soul. Every single day.

Mind you, it hasn’t always been like this in Costa Rica, a country that has always had the potential for great culinary greatness, but one seduced by the allure of the imported. Like many other countries in the tropics, the belief has been that imported must always be better than local when, in fact, it most often isn’t. In the last few years, however, there has been a noticeable shift in thinking, not just in Costa Rica but in other less-developed countries too. A return to nature, if you will, and the sparking of a new and deeper love affair with indigenous ingredients to make authentic dishes following old-school regional recipes.

The tourist industry hasn’t exactly been kind to local Costa Rican cuisine either, if truth be told. Many come here for a week, surmising local fare to be bland and simple, never giving a second-thought that perhaps they should frequent a kaleidoscope of different food outlets. Instead, they’ll look out for Italian pizza joints or sodas selling hamburgers and chips. But authentic Costa Rican food is delightful and unique, flavorsome and wholesome. And, more often than not, is prepared and savored at leisure.

Clandestinos are local unlicensed restaurants and, not unlike agriturismo farms in Italy, lack any kind of structure or menus. They are held in people’s homes, are known only to locals and having a meal at one can take anything from half an hour to three hours, depending on what time of day you visit. Clandestinos serve the most authentic food in the country, cooked by mothers and grandmothers with recipes passed down through the generations. Whilst most tourists pay top dollar for mediocre fare (the travesty of this is they go home thinking food is boring here) astute travelers know to seek out a clandestino. They go there with only a few dollars in their pocket and plenty of time up their sleeve. Real Costa Rican food, of delicious tastes, local ingredients and old-world methods, takes time. And it’s always worth it. Yes, you can find tamales, empanadas and ceviche served in touristy restaurants, but once you taste them a la authentique, you’ll never go back.

Eating like a local in Costa Rica necessitates knowing a local in Costa Rica. So next time you head to this mesmerizing country, make friends with your guide and ask them for recommendations.

The slow food movement has always been part and parcel of Costa Rica life. When you visit Costa Rica, leave your watch at home and seek a more authentic culinary experience in this magical place. Your taste buds will thank you for it.


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Time-saving Tips for Rewarding Costa Rica Adventure Vacations

It may seem like a corny cliché to say that ‘time’ is life’s most precious luxury…but it is. We’re forever craving more time with our loved ones, more time for fun, more time for relaxation and, when it comes to Costa Rica adventure vacations, more time to see and do it all. Yet unlimited time is a luxury afforded to no-one, so the next best thing is to make sure whatever time you do have, to visit this splendid country, is time spent well.

To this end, we’ve compiled a few of our best time-saving tips for rewarding Costa Rica adventure vacations. A collection of tried and tested habits we’ve learnt over the years, which ensure any trip be a memorable, rewarding and unforgettable one. Because it shouldn’t matter how much time you have to spend in this magnificent country: whether you’re visiting for 3 days or 3 weeks, a Costa Rica adventure vacation can always be the best-spent time of your life.

  1. Don’t cram too much into your vacation

Usually, our first tip to anyone heading to Costa Rica is to not endeavor to cram too much into a single visit. If you do, you’ll risk ending your vacation exhausted and spent rather than invigorated and amazed. Between travel time, acclimatization, activities and sheer enjoyment of the place, you should aim to visit only two destinations a week. FOMO (fear of missing out!) has no place in a country which offers innumerable highlights and is easy and affordable to reach. You will always be back, trust us! So fight the urge to fit in everything on your first trip and hone in on a specific region of Costa Rica for each and every visit.

  1. Choose great base points

Costa Rica AdventureA great base point is the holy grail of all those who wish to save precious time on their Costa Rica adventure vacation. A town, hotel or resort that’s strategically located and offers multiple options for activities should be your priority. Spend a few days in one spot and take advantage of the surrounding highlights and all the sports on offer, before moving on to the next, making sure to squeeze every moment from your full-day outings without having to pack, move, unpack etc.

  1. Pre-book as much as you can

The most important titbit of advice is to pre-plan and pre-book everything you wish to do, most especially if you only have a short time at your disposal. In fact, pre-booking becomes more important the shorter your vacation time. Tours – whether they be white water rafting, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding or wildlife watching – can sell out fast in this very popular destination, as do the best accommodation choices. The only time in Costa Rica when it actually makes sense to ‘wing it’ is when you have a lot of time at your disposal. Wasting a day here or there is fine if you’re here for a month, but not so fine if you can only stay one week. The last thing you need is to arrive with only a few days up your sleeve and find everything booked out! Avoid this disappointment and book ahead, especially if traveling during high tourist season, Christmas and Easter week.

  1. Choose your destinations wisely

There are very valid reasons most travelers to Costa Rica make it to the Manuel Antonio National Park but not to Corcovado. The former is infinitely easier and faster to reach and perfect for a few days’ explorations. Corcovado on the other hand, whilst immensely breathtaking, necessitates a full day of travel to and from, and at least 3-4 days to fully appreciate. Make sure you know your destination and understand the logistics of reaching certain parts of Costa Rica. Consider travel times when mapping up your route and don’t rely on Google maps for drive times. Google may not be aware of the country’s driving conditions, so make sure you do!

  1. Combine an adventure Costa Rica trip with your honeymoon

In case you haven’t heard, Costa Rica is one of the world’s most coveted honeymoon destinations and with this much beauty, relaxation, romance and adventure on offer, it’s not difficult to see why that would be. Honeymoons would have to be some of the most unique getaways of all and for this reason even our own honeymoon adventure vacations range in time frames, from 6 days to grand 18-day adventures. Time your Costa Rica vacation with your honeymoon and you’ll bag the most priceless adventure of all!

  1. Bespoke, make-your-own adventure vacations rock

All-inclusive Costa Rica adventure vacation itineraries are immensely popular, especially with first-time visitors. It’s hard to imagine what travel here is like, how difficult it sometimes is to get from A to B and all the logistics that go along with a smooth and hassle-free trip. Sometimes, it’s just lovely to have someone do all the hard work. Save yourself precious time (both before and during your trip) and enlist the help of Costa Rica experts.

Here at Costa Rica Rios, we offer an array of Costa Rica adventure vacations, from weeklong family, solo and couple adventure trips to romantic honeymoons and bespoke tours that are ‘made to order’. Because no two travelers are ever the same and their vacations shouldn’t be either.

For more advice, planning help, itinerary ideas and bookings, simply contact us today.

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How Much Time Do You Need for a Costa Rica Adventure Vacation?

Costa Rica adventure vacationCosta Rica’s breathtaking mountains, rainforests, stunning beaches and awesome volcanoes attract adventure seekers from every corner of the globe. They come here not only because the nature is impressive but, primarily, because this is one of the most interactive travel destinations on earth and the PERFECT adventure vacation.

There is a TON of fun and invigorating stuff to do among all this natural beauty! In Costa Rica, you won’t just sit back and admire the wilderness; you can dive right into it. You can whitewater raft and kayak down raging rivers, you can surf awesome waves, hike mountains and volcanoes and you can snorkel and scuba dive in turquoise waters brimming with colorful marine life. You can also fly on zip lines, walk on hanging bridges suspended in the clouds and, more than anything else, you can get away from it all and relax with your loved ones immersed in pristine nature.

And what’s not to love about that?

A Week of Adventures in Costa Rica

Generally speaking, we think Costa Rica is the perfect destination for a one-week adventure vacation, ideal for those who are big on dreams and short on time. You’d be surprised at just how much adventure, discovery, culture and wildlife encounters you can squeeze into even just a single week of travels to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica adventure vacationFrom the Pacific to the Caribbean coast and all through the central highlands, you can soak up an array of contrasting scenery and partake in plenty of exhilarating adventure sports. On our own 8-day adventure tours, we also love to include an overnight rafting trip as this gives you the chance not only to enjoy phenomenal rafting in III and IV-graded rapids but also to seamlessly change locations to boot. When a tour is perfectly organized, you could enjoy 3 base points in a week without hassle. Moreover, the mix of activities can be brilliant, and include not only adventure sports but also wildlife watching, coffee tours, cultural encounters and stays in tropical jungle lodges and resorts.

Plenty of choices make a week-long adventure tour ideal for those whose traveling partners have diverging interests. You need not do the same activity if you don’t want to, and can split up for the day and reunite for sun downers and a recap at day’s end.

Short & Sweet Adventure Tours

Sometimes, time is of the essence. But fear not, for a 5-day itinerary need not feel restrictive in any way. With just 5 days to enjoy the best in Costa Rica, you’ll still have the chance to soak up the splendors of Costa Rica and three full days of outings can see you canyon, raft and zipline with abandon in two iconic locations.

Adventure Honeymoons

The sheer variety of honeymoon experiences makes Costa Rica a very coveted destination for newlyweds, especially those who want more than a simple lay-on-a-beach type vacay. Unique and unforgettable, Costa Rica honeymoons can be thrill-filled, relaxing, romantic and exhilarating, depending on your specific wishes. Again, a week is the most popular time-frame for a rewarding honeymoon here, with the most revered itineraries being split evenly between adventure sports and relaxing days on idyllic beaches. Our Best of Costa Rica honeymoon tour, for example, covers the two most popular destinations (Arenal and Manuel Antonio) and offers hot spring soaks at the sublime Tabacon Spa Resort, canopy swinging, whitewater rafting and 3 days of fun and relaxation on the glistening Pacific Coast beaches. When you hone in on these most popular and well-developed areas, you can really fill your days to the brim because infrastructure and sheer volume of activities are simply excellent.

Lucky enough to have even more time for your Costa Rica honeymoon? Then an intrepid 18-day honeymoon tour is for you. In just over two weeks, you can expect to cover a lot more distance and indulge in many more adventures. With added day-long hikes, cave explorations and plenty of downtime, a two-week (or longer!) honeymoon can see you discover wonderful, remote and spectacular Corcovado as well as the more visited northern hubs.

natl'l parkCorcovado is home to 50% of the country’s wildlife species and is one of the most priceless natural reserves on the planet. Hidden in the far western reaches of the Pacific coastline, Corcovado is a magnificent nature wonderland of its own accord and the most biodiverse region of Costa Rica. It calls for a few extra days to explore well but if you have the time and you do make it there, your rewards will be infinite. Read our Corcovado National Park guide for even more inspiration.

Of course, a long weekend getaway to Costa Rica is nothing to be sneezed at, either, if that’s all the time you have. As we love to say: a weekend in Costa Rica is better adventure vacation than a weekend anywhere else!

With even more time, the world is your delectable oyster. Combining adventure trips in several destinations means you can return to Costa Rica time and again, year after year, exploring new and exciting horizons. And it also means you can plan a journey of weeks and even months, without ever needing to backtrack – unless you want to, naturally! With custom-made tours you can literally build your own vacation, based on your time and budget constraints, as well as your wish list for travel styles, activities and comfort level.

Whether in Costa Rica for a weekend, a week or a fortnight, you can always experience the best this country has to offer. And remember, whatever you can’t fit into your itinerary will make for a wonderful incentive to come back, time and again.

How much time do you need for a Costa Rica adventure vacation?

Whatever time you have!

Contact us for more itinerary ideas, planning help and to dream up YOUR ideal itinerary through one of the world’s most astonishing adventure destinations.

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Costa Rica’s Most Memorable Road Trips

Fancy taking a memorable road trip through Costa Rica? We show you how!

Top Road Trips:

Top road tripsA compact country that’s easy to navigate and brimming with exceptional attractions, Costa Rica is full of truly EPIC road trips. Within merely an hour of exiting the capital’s international airport, you could be exploring some of the world’s most astonishing natural landscapes, discovering cloud forests, tropical rain forests, stunning volcanoes and countless valleys brimming with rivers, waterfalls and wildlife. For the adventurous traveler, one doesn’t mind going way off the beaten path, Costa Rica is a gem. A rewarding, exhilarating and unforgettable treasure. And the best part of it all is that whether you’re a self-drive vacation novice or expert, you’ll find a Costa Rica road trip that’s perfectly suited to your set skills and adventurous spirit.

For ease of planning, we’ve combined our favorite of Costa Rica’s Most Memorable Road Trips starting from San Jose, the capital. Although there is a slight chance you will arrive at the northern airport in Liberia, chances are higher you will land in the capital. Once you circle the most enticing spots on a map, you’ll get a good idea of how to combine the different destinations to create one continuous, awe-inspiring road trip through the whole country, if time allows and you so wish.

Please do note that drive times reflect time spent behind the wheel. Combine these memorable Costa Rica road trips with plenty of rest stops, lunch stops and overnight stays for a most rewarding travel experience.

San Jose to Arenal Volcano National Park, 90 miles, 3.5 hours

The most iconic destination in Costa Ria is reached after just a couple of hours’ drive from the capital, San Jose. Whilst there are plenty of curves and a bit of traffic to negotiate out of the city, the road trip is spectacular and a wonderful introduction not only to the country itself but also to the driving conditions and overall appeal of overland travel here. Arenal is stupendous and the whole region brimming with fantastic adventure sports like white water rafting, trekking, horseriding, kayaking and so much more. A 3-day stay would be ideal here if you have the time.

San Jose to Monteverde, 87 miles, 4 hours

The drive to the northern ethereal cloud forests of Monteverde is outstanding, as the road kisses the western coastline before ascending up into the clouds. Costa Rica’s most unique and spellbinding destination comprises virgin forests literally set on a bed of clouds, with dense wilderness and spectacular viewpoints making it difficult to stay focused on the actual driving. Take breaks, stop at every turn and soak up the magnificent scenery. With a bevy of activities on offer, with special focus on hiking, canopy tours, ziplining and hanging bridges, you’ll certainly be enticed to stay here for a couple of days, especially if you choose to spend a night on the cost in Punta Arenas.

San Jose to Manuel Antonio National Park, 85 miles, 5 hours

Take the road south of the San Jose and immerse yourself in the splendid wilderness of the Manuel Antonio National Park, by taking the long way down that cuts through the Quetzales National Park. This route may be longer than the alternative (it will see you emerge in Dominical on the coast before heading north but will grant an array of landscape vistas. Plenty of mountains curves on this route suit the experienced self-drive traveler but with plenty of time for multiple stops this memorable Costa Rica road trip is just sensational. Besides the road trip itself, the route ends in the country’s most celebrated national park. A wonderland of dense forests literally cascading onto stupendous beaches. A most fitting destination, we say!

San Jose to Tamarindo, 160 miles, 4.5hrs

Gained your confidence on the road? Then why not tackle a cross-country drive that’ll see you first head to the coast in Punta Arenas, head northwest and into the Nicoya Peninsula, finally across to Tamarindo. This Pacific coast destination is one of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destination so it offers a plethora of options, from accommodation to dining, activities and extras. Great shopping, plenty of yoga retreats, fine dining, excellent resorts and a myriad of sea sports are just the start. The wonderful beaches of Tamarindo are a sight to behold, especially if you stretch this road trip to a few days, spending time in the mountains first. Combine this with a visit to Monteverde and it will be a most memorable Costa Rica road trip indeed.

Self-drive road trips are indeed phenomenal but they aren’t for everyone. That’s why we offer an exhilarating collection of adventure vacations in Costa Rica that’ll see you explore the country’s best regions AND have an absolute blast along the way. Prefer us to be in charge of the driving? No problem! Contact us for more info and let us plan your own memorable Costa Rica road trip, with us at the wheel.

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Must See Wildlife in Costa Rica

Revered for being one of the most bio diverse countries on the planet, the wildlife in Costa Rica is an animal lover’s dream playground. So enriched is the country with unique and interesting creatures, that you need not even specifically go on dedicated wildlife-watching tours, if you don’t have the time or wish to keep expenses down. For in Costa Rica, wildlife is everywhere.

The most common, the most famous, the most beloved and even the most feared: here is the top wildlife in Costa Rica.


What they lack in size, insects more than make up for in sheer numbers in Costa Rica, where they make up almost 60% of ALL the wildlife species. Here, you’ll see over 1,200 vibrantly colorful butterflies, which equate to more than 10% of all butterfly species on the planet. Together with an impressive array of bee species, butterflies are responsible for the enormous variety of flora which blankets Costa Rica in its entirety.


Four species of monkeys inhabit the luscious forests of Costa Rica and the fabulous thing about them is that they live and travel in big troops, so once you spot one you will have time to grab your camera and, soon enough, you’ll spot several. These noisy and clever creatures can be sneaky and have been known to steal visitor’s lunches, so hold on to your foodie stash the moment you hear the cries of the cheeky mantled howler monkey.


wildlife in Costa RicaOut of the 900 species of birds found in Costa Rica, over 600 live there permanently. Non-birders can’t help but notice the more eye-catching species like the magnificent toucans and scarlet macaws, but fact is this is one of the most respected dedicated bird-watching destinations on the planet. From the lovely Yiguirro, the country’s national bird, to the stunning quetzal and impressive jabiru, Costa Rica’s birds come in all colors, shapes and make for astonishing viewing. In total, you’ll find six species of toucans inhabiting all the wonderful forests throughout Costa Rica.


Ever-smiley sloths are arguably everyone’s favorite Costa Rica wildlife and even if going in search of them gives you a crick in the neck it will be well worthwhile once you come face to face with this goofy character. Sloths do a mighty fine job of camouflaging in the canopy of low and mid-elevation forests and spotting them can actually be quite pesky. So channel your inner sloth, move slowly and carefully and you’ll no doubt soon see one just ‘hanging about’.

Sea Turtles

Renowned as one of the world’s premier turtle nesting destinations, Costa Rica is home to 5 out of the 7 existing sea turtle species, with each species preferring certain stretches of beaches. So take it slow when visiting Costa Rica, and follow our turtle-watching guide to get the most out of your trip.


Given Costa Rica’s prime location, its pristine seas are brimming with migrating whales in July and March, the gargantuan sea kings and queens make their yearly pilgrimage.

If catching a glimpse of these magnificent beasts is a priority, check out our guide to whale watching in Costa Rica for more detailed info.

Tree frogs

Over three-quarters of all of Costa Rica’s amphibians are frogs, the most notable of which is the red eyed tree frog. As a great many of frogs are nocturnal, the best chance of spotting several species of frogs is to go on a nighttime hike, but we do recommend you take a local experienced guide with you. Not only will it be safer for you but you’ll also see many, many more creatures than you would on your own.


The Costa Rica racoon gets a lot of flak from North American tourists, with many first-time visitors assuming they are as bothersome as those back home. But this gorgeous coatimundi is much more placid but just as curious, so although you should definitely never approach one or try to pet one, there’s no reason to run away screaming! But yes…do make sure you don’t wave your sandwich around should you spot one. They are very sweet…but they still wouldn’t turn down a free lunch!


Now here’s a species of wildlife you should definitely admire from a little distance! In Costa Rica, you’ll find two crocodilians: the large American crocodile and the much smaller and less threatening spectacled caiman.


Between November and May, large pods of dolphins can be easily spotted swimming off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Although dolphins live along this coast all year long, winter is when they breed so your chances of spotting many of them on a boat outing, are infinitely enhanced.

Big cats

Costa Rica is home to several big cats, many of them remaining elusive and very difficult to spot. Of the 7 species, the most coveted would have to be the jaguar and the puma, with the former being the largest wild cat in the country, growing up to an impressive 2 meters in length. Of all the top wildlife in Costa Rica, the jaguar remains the hardest to spot in the wild.

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