Adventure, culture, pristine wilderness and amazing wildlife: a vacation in iconic Costa Rica is an incredible kaleidoscope of unique experiences found nowhere else on earth.
It’s about discovering an amazing culture that’s warm and welcoming, about finding a slice of unspoiled paradise close to home, and about creating unforgettable memories.
Whether it’s the first time you’re visiting Costa Rica – or the 100th – you’ll find a myriad of iconic experiences and activities in which to indulge.
Here are our favorite five:
Overnight in an Eco-Lodge
Costa Rica is considered to be the birthplace of the eco-lodge and it’s indeed here that you’ll find some of the most amazing jungle lodges in the world, built with recycled local materials and run with environmental sustainability, resourcefulness and conscientiousness in mind.
The most famous lodges in the country have won multiple awards, thanks to their commitment to conservation of the local wilderness, support of local indigenous communities and relentless protection of the endemic wildlife. Spending at least one night in one of these awe-inspiring lodges is about as iconic as Costa Rica can get, and a chance for you to experience pure Costa Rican wilderness in comfort and luxury, all the while knowing you’re contributing to a truly amazing side of tourism.
Soak in a Natural Hot Spring
If there’s one thing this country is renowned for, aside eco-lodges, it would have to be therapeutic natural hot springs. Coast Rica is literally bursting with them! While some, like the über-famous Tabacón Hot Springs, have become bona fide tourist meccas and boast a multitude of facilities, others still offer remote, wild, and unspoiled soaks. Stumbling upon these by pure chance is priceless. Due to the country’s volcanic landscape, there are a near infinite number of small natural spring and mud pools strewn about. It’s always worthwhile asking in a village for the local thermal pool, as this is how you’ll discover the least touristy sites.
Check out: Tabacón for a soak with a view and delectable cocktails, Vandara if you want to add a horseriding and ziplining adventure to your jaunt, and Eco Termales for a much more intimate experience.
Learn to Surf
Few places in the world offer the chance to learn a new skill while enjoying superlative, unique and unspoilt scenery. Head to Costa Rica a swimmer and you can well come home a bona fide surfer! You’ll find easily accessible beaches here, along with professional surfing crew and plenty of options; from all inclusive learn-to-surf vacations (where accommodation, meals and daily surf lessons are included in the price) to random one-off lessons you can take at any time and at short notice. Costa Rica has it all!
Check out: the various surfing schools in Nosara if you want a mix of surf lessons and amazing yoga classes on the side (this is Costa Rica’s yoga central!), the über-popular Witchs’ Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo for a full-immersion experience, and head to Pointbreak Surf School in Guanacaste for one-on-one and group lessons, especially aimed at novices.
Go on a Kayaking & White Water Rafting Adventure
Costa Rica is all about adventures out in nature, and if you’re one of those people who love to be thrown in the heart of the action, all at once, then a combo kayak & rafting adventure is for you. This country boasts the kind of landscape that’s just perfect for waterborne activities whether out to sea or along a pristine river, so you’ll find the ideal spot to rappel down waterfalls, raft class V rapids, kayak or canoe for days on end.
Check out: The best in the game, of course! Join us on an 8-day kayak and canoe adventure over class II, III, IV and V rapids, as we show you how adventurous and exciting ‘our’ home is. For an incredibly comprehensive week-long adventure, then how about our Week of Adventure, where we promise to put you through your paces as we zipline, kayak, surf, snorkel, mountain bike ride and raft over a tremendously varied landscape.
Watching Turtles Nesting
There’s something utterly mesmerizing about watching colonies of sea turtles coming to shore to nest, and colossal waves of tiny hatchlings trying to find their way to the sea. To animal lovers the world over, this is one of the most unforgettable spectacles of Mother Nature. Time your visit just right and you can admire the nesting or hatching of sea turtles, under the light of a full moon. Turtles absolutely love Costa Rica, its idyllic waters and prime nesting spots so here you’ll find numerous nesting sites, country wide.
Check out: Tortuguero National Park is the unrivalled headquarters of nesting and if you visit here between March and October you’ll see four different turtle species digging new homes for their babies. Head to the Las Baulas National Park from October until March and you’ll see Tamarindo awash with these incredible creatures.