Top 10 Outdoor Activities in Costa Rica

white water rafting

Costa Rica with its vast environmental diversity offers something incredible for everyone to experience. There are plenty of options to enjoy and so much to explore. There are lush green jungles and forests and hidden beaches that are perfect for enjoying a lot of outdoor activities. In this country you can enjoy a memorable vacation by experiencing and discovering the nature like you never have before. Costa Rica, is a great destination for enjoying a variety of outdoor activities including leisure and adventure activities. There are two coastlines including Caribbean and Pacific with mountain ranges which are featured with wonderful waterfalls, several volcanoes, amazing tropical rain forest, rushing rivers and dense jungles. Here goes a list of top 10 outdoor activities that you can enjoy while you are in Costa Rica. On this list you will find a good mix of adventure, touristic, cultural and local activities:


In Costa Rica more than a quarter of area is covered in rainforests and Zip-lining is one of the best outdoor activity to enjoy discovering the enchanting ecosystems of this country. This popular activity can be enjoyed throughout the country but the best places you will find in Monteverde cloud forest and close to the Arenal volcano. This country offers a number of zipline courses that fly over beaches, through treetops and across canyons. While flying from one tree to another you will enjoy watching the breathtaking views of the rainforest. People who are scared of heights, they can try the zipline that are not so high and long and choose the short small and short canopy tours. Adventure seekers can enjoy the kilometer long cables and experience thrilling adventure.

White Water Rafting:

In Costa Rica there are some best white water rafting rivers include the Sarapiqui, the Corobici, the Pacuare and the Reventazon. Each river has differing degrees of difficulty, making it easy to find one that suits the skill levels of the paddlers. No matter whether you are a beginner or already have experience in rafting, you will find something to enjoy. If you are a beginner, the calm of the Corobici will allow you enjoying the wildlife that you can watch along the shores. If you are adventure lover, you can go for enjoying white water rafting on the Pacuare river that offers thrilling roller-coaster rapids and overnight camping opportunities.

Sea Kayaking:

Depending on your personal preference, you can enjoy sea kayaking as a invigorating or peaceful activity. During this activity you can enjoy watching some of the amazing marine life of the country. In both of the Caribbean coast and Pacific coast, you will find plenty of places to go for sea kayaking. In recent years, sea kayaking has become increasingly popular. This outdoor activity is ideal only for the experienced kayakers and should never be attempted without a guide.

Snorkeling and Diving

In Costa Rica you can enjoy some terrific snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, especially in the warm waters of the Caribbean. There you can also enjoy watching a wide variety of marine wildlife and underwater flora, particularly at the small reef near Manzanillo. You can also enjoy this outdoor activity in another less-known place and that is Isla del Cano (a small island and protected park off of Costa Ballena on the Pacific coast. There are also many snorkel opportunities all along the Pacific coast such as Bahia Ballena and Playa Panama. You can also enjoy snorkeling and diving at many other places such as Catalina Islands, Tortuguero and the Gulf of Papagayo.


Due to its world-class surf breaks in both coastlines, Costa Rica is a popular surf destination. There are many popular surf spots such as Playa Negra, Playa Hermosa, Santa Teresa, Playa Tamarindo and Playa Jaco. In this country you will also find several surf camps and learning centers where you can learn the techniques of surfing and enjoy brushing the waves.


In anywhere in Costa Rica you will find a good hike or walk in the vicinity. You can enjoy this outdoor activity from lowland tropical rainforest to beautiful beaches or can just choose the vast fields of hardened black lava that surround the Arenal Volcano. There are many hotels and centers that arrange hiking or sightseeing tours that you can enjoy and have a lifetime memory. People who don’t feel comfortable to go alone for hiking, they can join others and enjoy a tour or can take help from a private local guide.

Horseback Riding:

Almost everywhere in Costa Rica with the exception of the waterlogged northern Limón Province you can enjoy horseback riding. This is one of the best outdoor activities to enjoy exploring the Costa Rica’s countryside. You can go through the forests and spot different species of wild animals as well as discover the natural beauty of the area. You can also visit some of the wonderful waterfalls and up to breathtaking viewpoints or along the beautiful coastline is probably the best area in the country for riding, with a cluster of excellent haciendas. Riding along the beach on the Nicoya Peninsula, especially in Montezuma in the south and Sámara on the west coast are also very popular.


Bird watchers will find Costa Rica just like a heavenly place. In this country about 840 species of birds are found. Depends on the season, you will choose the location for bird-watching. With the help of a good birding guide, you can find out the right place and spot some of the more elusive species. You can spot popular scarlet macaws, oropenulas, Royal Flycatchers, toucans, Laughing Falcons, White-fronted Nunbirds, Cinnamon Woodpeckers, kingfishers and many more.

Sport fishing:

In Costa Rica another popular outdoor activity is Sport fishing. This country is one of the best places for enjoying sport fishing with healthy waters and knowledgeable locals. Both of the coasts are blessed with variety of fishes such as mahi mahi, sailfish, roosterfish or even the mysterious marlins. In the Central Pacific of the country there are some of the best places to enjoy sport fishing.

Canyoning or Rappelling:

To explore the wilderness of Costa Rica from totally different view, Canyoning or Rappelling is another popular outdoor activity. This activity is ideal for enjoying thrilling adventure. Waterfall rappelling is the most adventurous way to enjoy this activity. This activity will give you the opportunity to get very close to the natural wonders and have a heavenly feeling.

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