Looking for an adventure? Look no further! Costa Rica is the adventure capital of Central America. Tours aside, just driving the roads can be adventurous due to the amazing scenery and mountainous, windy terrain. This article is not about the roads though as there is plenty more to talk about when discussing Costa Rica adventure. There is a reason that there are so many options and this is due to location and geography. The country is located between the Caribbean and Pacific with plenty of mountains, volcanoes and rainforest in between. This creates a varied terrain with plenty of options close at hand.
Whitewater Rafting: There are many whitewater rivers in Costa Rica with rapids from class I through V. Some of the most popular rivers are the Pacuare, Toro, Balsa, Savegre and Tenorio.
Kayaking: Kayaking opportunities in Costa Rica are plentiful. There are many options for coastal kayaking at beach areas. Whitewater kayaking is excellent on the Rio Arenal, Balsa and options are available on larger rivers as well, though professional guides can be hard to come by. Those looking for a more relaxing pace can check out Lake Arenal or mangroves along the coastline for wildlife observation.
Tubing: There are a few tubing options available, but the best is the Rio Negro located at Rincon de la Vieja. Other options are also available in the South Pacific as well as Sarapiqui regions.
Snorkeling: Snorkeling is a great activity to explore reefs and underwater formations. In truth Costa Rica is not the best place to go snorkeling, but there are a few good options such as the Caribbean side which has coral reefs teaming with marine life. The further south you go down the coast, the better the snorkeling.
Scuba Diving: There are several great locations for scuba diving in Costa Rica. Cano Island is always a favorite as there are many white tipped sharks, sea turtles, dolphins and whales. Bats Island is a great location off the Guanacaste coastline. Again, the Caribbean is best for reefs and all of the marine life that lives there.
Surfing: There are plenty of surfing opportunities in Costa Rica. Popular surf beaches include Mal Pais, Tamarindo, Jaco, Dominical, Samara, Puerto Viejo and Nosara.
Canopy Zipline: The only way to fly! The canopy zipline is the most popular adventure tour offered in Costa Rica. The basic concept is a metal cable is strapped between platforms and the user is hooked up to it via wheel and harness. You then soar through the rainforest from platform to platform. Some of the most popular operators are located in Monteverde and Arenal, though there are options in just about all popular destinations in Costa Rica.
Waterfall Rappelling: This is ultimate rainforest experience! Imagine rappelling down tropical waterfalls in the middle of the jungle. That is exactly what you do on this popular adventure. No experience necessary as your guides will give you a safety course and help you out along the way. Some of our favorite rappels are available from Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio.
Hiking: The mountainous terrain of Costa Rica makes for plenty of hiking opportunities. Some of the best hikes include Cerro Chirripo and Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.
ATV: ATV riding can be done from nearly all of the major destinations. This is a high speed, thrilling way to ride through the countryside, though not exactly environmentally friendly.
Horseback Riding: Until 20 years ago, there were few paved roads in Costa Rica. Even now, many locals in the countryside ride horses as a primary form of transportation. This is a great way to immerse yourself in local tradition. Tours are available on the beach or in the mountains to some best hidden treasures such as waterfalls.
Cave Exploration: While this is not Belize, Costa Rica does have a few caves to be explored. Among the most popular to visit are Barra Honda Caves located in Guanacaste and Venado Caves located near Arenal.
Biking: Biking on the narrow roads of Costa Rica can be flat out dangerous, but if you are looking for adventure, there are plenty of great trails.
These are just a few examples of the many Costa Rica adventures that are available. Check out our tours and activities section for more information about specific activities or click here to plan your Costa Rica adventure vacation now!
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