Costa Rica is inarguably the most popular tourist destination in Latin America, and with good reason. Friendly people, great food, gorgeous beaches, and more await those who make the trip there. But what many people come seeking, and leave happily fulfilled with, is outdoor adventures. Here are five of our favorites:
Canopy tours have become one of the top selling tour packages. This activity involves climbing ladders and staircases up to treetop platforms, and then using a harness rig to traverse downhill to the next stop. They generally last for a few hours, and are the perfect mix between adrenaline and appreciation of nature. Kids and adults seem to love the sensation of zooming through the foliage an equal amount—you’re never too old for this one. Safety standards are high, and accidents are very rare.
With long coastlines on both sides of the country, both of which feature warm water and beautiful beach scenes, it’s no surprise that surfing has become a popular activity. The breaks are generally very good, especially in towns like Jacó. Nearby Herradura Bay is a popular base, and you can find Los Suenos Rentals of great value where you can relax between catching breaks. The whole country has a great surfing scene, with local and international aficionados.
3. Canyoning and Rappelling
Costa Rica’s topography and lush, humid climate make it a perfect spot for hiking to waterfalls. But why be content just looking at them, or even swimming in their pools? Rappelling allows you to be right next to (or in some cases even in) the waterfalls, making for an exciting and very wet adventure. This is another activity that looks more dangerous than it is, thanks to strict regulations and safety standards.
4. Jungle Tours
Costa Rica is famous for its state-led conservation efforts, and as a result its incredible wealth of natural beauty and diversity is well-protected. Small, eco-sensitive tours into the jungle are the perfect way to appreciate this without leaving too big of a footprint. The Osa Peninsula is an especially famous location for hiking trips for up to several days where you can get up close with amazing flora and fauna found few other places in the world.
5. Sea kayaking
Whether you find yourself on the Pacific or Caribbean Coast, you’ll never be far from an outfit offering sea kayak rentals. This is a great option because it gives you a lot of control over how relaxing or exhilarating you want your trip to be, from mellow cruises up close with marine life to navigating large swells and intense tidal movements. Be careful to not get in over your head, as rescue services can be limited. Go with a guide, or make sure that you are an expert in kayak safety, swimming, and first aid.
Because of these and more activities, it’s no surprise that Costa Rica is such a popular destination. With great deals that can fit any budget, you’ll always be able to find tour packages or independent options for getting outdoors and into some serious adventure. What are you waiting for?