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20 Most Exotic Things To Do in Costa Rica

Travel to Costa Rica, a beautiful rain forested country in Central America. Enjoy the Caribbean coastline, witness unique wildlife, and spend a holiday at the world’s best beaches. With plenty of things to do in Costa Rica, from witnessing volcanoes, awe-inspiring wildlife, amazing rainforests to sandy beaches, Costa Rica is where your next holiday should be. We take you through the top things to do in Costa Rica along with the famous Costa Rica attractions.

Travel 101: Top Things To Do in Costa Rica

1. Unravel Mysteries at Monteverde Cloud Forest

Visit the wonder of an ecosystem, the Monteverde Cloud Forest is a top tourist attraction in Costa Rica. Hike in this beauty of a forest and take a guided tour. This is a fun thing to do in Monteverde, as you hike up the trail almost to the clouds. You could even attempt a self-guided tour of the forest. Spend the whole day wandering through trees in this unique corner of Costa Rica. This is one of the top things to do in Costa Rica.

Timings: 7.30 am and 1.30 pm

Average Price: $25 (entry to forest)

Pro tip: You could pick a map of the park at the entrance.

2. Get Adventurous at the Arenal National Park

The Arenal National Park is your adventure playground and the best place to visit in Costa Rica for the outdoors. You can swing past the canopy on zip wires, go on the hanging bridges, get as close as you can to the crater, and visit the hot springs. The Arenal Volcano is a perfectly conical volcano you will ever see. One of the top Costa Rica attractions, watch the hot molten lava that has calmed but still emits smoke.

Timings: 8.00 am to 4.00 pm

Average Price: $15

Pro tip: Hiking is not allowed on the crater.

3. Sense the Freshness of Nature at the Corcovado National Park

This biologically rich national park is a popular place to visit in Costa Rica. Stay amazed at the array of birds in the rain forests of the Corcovado National Park Costa Rica. Roam the mangrove swamps and watch out for the big cats like the jaguars. The park is also home to river shelter crocs, bull sharks, giant anteaters, scarlet macaws, and more. You will feel like you are witnessing a nature documentary, LIVE. This is a top thing to do in Costa Rica if you want to interact with nature at its raw best.

Timings: 7.30 am to 5.00 pm

Average Price: $15

Pro tip: National Geographic calls the place ‘most intense biological place on earth.’

4. Dip in the Cool Waters of the La Fortuna Waterfall

The beautiful Costa Rica waterfall is a great place to picnic, swim, and have a lovely time. Bring along your swimsuits and take a dip into the freshwater under the fall. Feel the splash of water that falls from 200 feet emerging from a thick jungle. The fall settles into an emerald green pool below. If you are a nature photographer then this is your paradise. You could reach the fall either on a horseback or hike through pasture and rainforest.

Timings: 10.00 am to 2.00 pm

Average Price: $10

Pro tip: Spot toucans, monkeys, and many tropical creatures. It takes 15 minutes to hike down the stair set to the waterfall.

5. Dazzle at the Pre-Columbian Treasures

Sample the best of Costa Rican coffee and tropical fruits at the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in Costa Rica. Located in San Jose, the museum has an archaeological collection of 3567 Pre-Columbian artefacts, 1586 gold objects, 1922 ceramic pieces, and more. There is a replica of a Pre-Columbian grave containing 88 objects of gold. The gold collection dates back to 300/400 BC to 1550 AD. In Costa Rica, gold is a symbol of authority. The display is a testament to the craftsmanship of the period.

Timings: 9.15 am to 5.00 pm

Average Price: Cost of the tour

Pro tip: The National Coin Museum is also located in the same building.

6. Deep Dive at the Manuel Antonio Beach

Manuel Antonio Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica. It borders the Manuel Antonio National Park, a top Costa Rica attraction. It takes a 30-minute hike from the park entrance to the beach, so you could combine a rainforest adventure with the beauty of the ocean. Get ready to dive deep for a snorkelling adventure and explore the wonderful coral seascape. Enjoy the white sands and the sprinkle of seashells on the shoreline.

Timings: 10.00 am to 2.30 pm (park timings)

Average Price: $10 (park entry price)

Pro tip: You are guaranteed to see wild monkeys on the trekking trail.

7. Party at the Limon Carnival

October is the best month to visit Costa Rica to coincide with the Limon Carnival. The country comes to life especially in the Caribbean coastal city of Puerto Limon. Watch the extravagant costumes, dancers in the streets, and an explosion of colours. Immerse yourself in Caribbean culture. Join the dancers to revel in the excitement, celebrating Indian roots. Munch into spicy creole dishes served at the carnival.

Timings: 8.00 am to 5.00 pm (Tuesday to Saturday)

Average Price: $55 (adult)

Pro tip: Buy coffee seeds, hammocks, textiles, ceramics, and more that are popular in the coastal town.

8. Take Pleasure in the Beautiful Coffee Plantations

The Central Valley Coffee Plantation is a great place to learn about coffee cultivation when visiting Costa Rica. Indulge with the locals in the pretty town here and learn how to process and roast coffee. Be surrounded by cool green peaks and relax with a cup of the best Costa Rican coffee. It is a good idea to look out for boutique hotels to stay in. So you can spend more time learning about the magical brew. Take a coffee tour and understand the uniqueness of peaberry beans grown in the soil enriched with volcanic ash.

Timings: All Day

Average Price: Cost of the tour

Pro tip: The flavours of the coffee come from the oxygenation the seeds get from the soil.

9. Sail the High Seas at Tamarindo Bay

Tamarindo Bay is a beautiful place to visit in Guanacaste Costa Rica. With a great number of activities that you can enjoy in your Guanacaste Costa Rica vacation, sailing the Pacific Coast is one of them. Tamarindo is the largest coastal centre with surf, sand, sun, and other amenities on offer in this beach town. It is surrounded by National Parks with mountain backdrops. Sail the bay for an exquisite outdoor excursion. Discover snorkelling points and see lots of coral potatoes, dolphin players, and humpback whales.

Timings: 1.15 pm to 6.00 pm

Average Price: $85 (adult)

Pro tip: The Timarouba is a 53 ft catamaran you could try that sails out on daily tours and charters is a must-do in Tamarindo Costa Rica.

10. Travel the Outdoors in the Tiny Town of Cahuita

Cahuita is an hour north of Puerto Viejo, a lovely place to visit in Costa Rica. Hit the bar that gets lively at night to enjoy the cosy vibes of the town. Enjoy most of your day hiking, swimming, surfing, or animal spotting. Explore the local Afro-Caribbean culture and take delight in the local cuisine. Chill out and relax over a meal of grilled chicken or dessert crepes. The little town is next to the stunning Cahuita National Park. 

Timings: Day Tour

Average Price: Cost of the tour

Pro tip: It’s ok to just sit around and read. 

11. Ogle at the Beauty of the Sulphur Lakes

The best thing to see in Costa Rica is the Poas Volcano. Take a day trip from San Jose and reach the stratovolcano. It is filled with sulphur lakes that are so still that you can see your reflection akin to a mirror. It is almost like a picture on canvas. The volcano has erupted about 40 times since 1828. The volcano last erupted in 2019. It is at an elevation of 2708 and located in the Poas Volcano National Park.

Timings: 7.00 am to 2.00 pm

Average Price: $15

Pro tip: We recommended you to book the tickets to the park online.

12. Visit the Favorite Capital City

One of the popular Costa Rica cities to visit is the capital, San Jose. Take a tour of the city and visit the Jade Museum, Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, National Museum of Costa Rica among others. You could also explore La Sabana Park, a large park with sports facilities, Plaza de la Cultura, or the National Children’s Museum. Learn about Costa Rican history as you tour the capital’s museums and spend a few days in the hip urban vibe.

Timings: Day Tour

Average Price: Cost of the city tour

Pro tip: Be sure to bring a light jacket or sweater as the city is at an elevation of 3800 feet and the weather is nippy.

13. Witness Splendor at the La Paz Waterfall

The La Paz Waterfall is a beautiful Costa Rica Waterfall. Located in the gardens, this is a privately owned ecological attraction, a great place to visit in Costa Rica. Visit the famous waterfalls, explore the animal sanctuary, and stay involved in an environmental education program. You are among 100 species of animals in this wonderful nature park. Enjoy the attractions such as waterfalls, cloud forest, hiking trails, rain forest, feeding demonstrations, and more.

Timings: 24 hours

Average Price: $48 plus taxes

Pro tip: The garden offers a buffet lunch with a selection of Costa Rican dishes, fresh fruits, rice pudding, coffee, and tea.

14. Traverse The Bat Jungle   

The Bat Jungle is a popular zoo in Costa Rica. It is a top Costa Rica attraction. Discover the astonishing world of bats and take a guided tour of 45 minutes. An exciting thing to do in Monteverde is to witness the world-class bat exhibit where live bats fly around in a simulated environment. You will find 90 live bats of 8 species in an enclosure. Look at the way bats nurse their babies, socialize, and even give birth to little ones here.

Timings: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm

Average Price: $16

Pro tip: Hear the bats echolocating via the special ultrasonic microphone.

15. Rejoice in the Ponderosa Adventure Park

The amusement and theme park is a fun place to visit in Guanacaste Costa Rica. This unique park is a fun-filled activity for the whole family. Kayaking, horseback riding, waterfall, and safari tour, pool area and canopy adventures are all on offer here. This wonderful safari adventure park is located south of the city of Liberia in Costa Rica. Look around enclosures for animals such as warthogs, zebras, and giraffes. You could enjoy the wildlife sightings on a safari tour too.

Timings: 8.00 am to 5.00 pm

Average Price: $38 ($12 extra for lunch)

Pro tip: It is a good idea to book a tour in advance.

16. Revel in the Whale Sighting at the Whale’s Tail

South of the Marino Ballena National Park has regular whale sightings. This is one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica. It is known as the Whale’s Tail since the sandbar appears in the shape of a whale’s tail when the tide is low. The Whale’s Tail is at Playa Uvita town famous for several bars and restaurants. During low tide, you can walk to the end of the whale’s tail.

Timings: 7.00 am to 4.00 pm

Average Price: $10

Pro tip: It is a good idea to visit the place to watch whales during the mating season.

17. Relax at the Pretty Samara Beach

One of the best places to visit in Guanacaste Costa Rica for beach life is Playa Samara. Unwind in the laid back atmosphere and get away from the rush of everyday life. This is a unique beach due to its easy-going atmosphere. It is said that because of the accepting style of the locals here, they live longer lives. Located in the Nicoya Peninsula, enjoy yoga, surfing, organic food, friendly people, and the relaxed bohemian vibe.

Timings: All Day

Average Price: Cost of the tour

Pro tip: You could consider booking a beachfront bungalow for a better experience.

18. Play in Turquoise Blue Waters of Rio de Celeste

One of the most attractive Costa Rica waterfalls is Rio de Celeste. It is inside the Tenorio Volcano National Park, one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica. Splash and play in the milky blue waters. The waterfall gets its hue from a mix of sulphur and calcium carbonate from the volcano. You could also soak away your worries in the hot springs and enjoy the turquoise coloured waters of the river.

Timings: 8.00 am to 4.00 pm

Average Price: $12

Pro tip: You could use the restrooms in the ranger station.

19. Watch Turtles Hatch at the Tortuguero

A popular thing to do in Costa Rica is to visit the nesting site of Tortuguero. Stay awe-struck in the diversity of the area. The park has canals, beaches, and marshlands. It has all kinds of wildlife from caymans, birds, crocs, and turtles. The Costa Rica attraction is famous for turtle hatching that happens on the beach at night. Enjoy your time in the mangrove forest in Costa Rica. Plan your visit when the female turtles lay their eggs. However, this varies from species to species.

Timings: 6.00 am to 6.00 pm

Average Price: $15 plus taxes

Pro tip: You could rent kayaks or canoes and explore the wetlands.

20. Snorkel Under the Gorgeous Manzanillo Waters

South of the Caribbean coast next to Panama, the Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is a top tourist attraction in Costa Rica. The splendid hidden beaches are perfect for snorkelling as the sea is very inviting. This is a wonderful beach experience with golden sands and turquoise oceans for the company. The park’s jungle is filled with incredible animals. Witness howler monkeys and sloths. If you go deeper, you can spot jaguars too.

Timings: 8.00 am to 4.00 pm

Average Price: Free

Pro tip: The best months to visit Costa Rica for this attraction is in March, April, September, October.

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