Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Costa Rica

Things to do in  Costa Rica

Welcome to Costa Rica

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica spans just 170 miles (274 kilometers) coast-to-coast, yet contains six percent of the world's biodiversity. Postcard-perfect beaches; lush, protected rainforests; and a proud history of promoting conservation and eco-tourism have helped make the country a veritable paradise for active travelers and nature lovers—as well as Central America's top travel destination. Many tours begin in Costa Rica's ""Golden Triangle"" and string together the most popular destinations: Arenal Volcano National Park and nearby La Fortuna, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and Manuel Antonio National Park. In this region alone, there are enough outdoor activities to fill several vacations, ranging from ziplining through the rainforest canopy, to whitewater rafting, to rainforest safaris, and perhaps even a glimpse of the Arenal volcano in action. Many tours offer family-friendly options, and proximity to the Pacific coast makes it easy to include plenty of beach time. Off the beaten path, consider a private tour of Tortuguero National Park, a protected wilderness reserve and seasonal sea-turtle nesting ground that's home to monkeys, crocodiles, and more than 300 species of birds. If you have some time in San Jose, the capital offers a wealth of museums, including the National Museum, the Gold Museum, the Jade Museum, and the Children's Museum. Or tour the lively Central Market to shop for handicrafts. Everywhere you go, Costa Rica casts its spell—don't be surprised if you fall in love with the ""pura vida"" lifestyle and never want to leave.

Top 10 attractions in Costa Rica

#1
Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo Beach

star-51,357
Once the site of a quiet fishing village, Tamarindo Beach has become one of Costa Rica's most popular stretches of golden sand. Surfers travel from across the globe to ride Tamarindo's waves, but you don’t need to be a pro to hang 10 here. There are spots nearby that are calm enough for first-time wave riders to learn.More
#2
Selvatura Park

Selvatura Park

star-4.5211
Selvatura Park is a popular nature-adventure park in the cloud forests of Costa Rica. Located just outside Monteverde, the park contains over 850 acres (344 hectares) of ecologically diverse forest. Attractions include zipline and suspension bridge tours, hummingbird and butterfly gardens, natural history walks, and reptile exhibitions.More
#3
Tortuga Island (Isla Tortuga)

Tortuga Island (Isla Tortuga)

star-470
A postcard-perfect paradise of white-sand beaches, swaying coconut palms, and sapphire-blue water rife with marine life, Tortuga Island (Isla Tortuga) is an ideal spot to swim, snorkel, or bask in the sunshine. The island is only accessible from Costa Rica’s main cities via a scenic boat ride across the Gulf of Nicoya—an extra perk for your vacation.More
#4
Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park

star-52,223
Although visitors once flocked to Arenal Volcano for its impressive lava shows, the 5,437-foot (1,657-meter) volcano has stayed quiet since its last eruption in 2010. However, Arenal and the surrounding Arenal Volcano National Park remain a hot spot for visitors to Costa Rica, and is especially popular among those seeking hiking trails, swimming holes, hot springs, bird- and wildlife-watching, and sweeping views of the tropical rain forest.More
#5
Jaco Beach

Jaco Beach

star-5888
Jaco is a lively beach town known for its water sports and party atmosphere. Located on some of Costa Rica’s most developed coastline, within two hours of the capital, it’s a favorite escape for San José residents, as well as backpackers, snowbirds, and North American retirees.More
#6
Rainmaker Park

Rainmaker Park

star-5395
Brimming with lush forest, wildlife, and waterfalls, Rainmaker Park provides a quieter alternative to the often-crowded Manuel Antonio National Park. As well as being home to animals such as dart frogs, snakes, and butterflies, the off-the-beaten-path attraction offers great forest views from a set of swinging bridges.More
#7
Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

star-51,462
The 16 hanging bridges that line the paths of Costa Rica’s Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park stretch a total of 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometers) across the steep landscape. See the birds, monkeys, sloths, snakes, and frogs that call the forest canopy home by ascending these spans, suspended above gorges and stretched across jungle floors.More
#8
Gold Museum

Gold Museum

star-599
Housed in a historic building and managed by the Central Bank of Costa Rica, the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum holds one of the largest collections of gold artifacts in Latin America. In total, the museum holds more than 1,600 pre-Columbian items, including Costa Rica’s very first coin, handmade ceramics, jewelry, and religious icons dating from 500 AD to 1500 AD.More
#9
Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja National Park

star-5786
Rincon de la Vieja National Park is the ultimate “one-stop shop” for Costa Rica’s natural attractions. Expect fuming volcanoes, gushing waterfalls, sky-high ziplines, natural hot springs, and more—all within just a couple of hours of the popular Guanacaste coast.More
#10
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park

star-4.5123
Poas Volcano National Park houses one of the more popular volcanoes in Costa Rica—a telling superlative for a country with world-famous geothermal activity. But with its spectacular wildlife, informative museum, and variety of hiking trails, the accolade comes as no surprise.More

Trip ideas

Top Hiking Trails in Arenal Volcano National Park

Top Hiking Trails in Arenal Volcano National Park

Where to Go Bird-Watching in Costa Rica

Where to Go Bird-Watching in Costa Rica

How to Spend 2 Days in San Jose

How to Spend 2 Days in San Jose

Top activities in Costa Rica

Rio Celeste Hiking, Sloth Sanctuary & Llanos de Cortes Waterfall Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Day Tour to Playa Fantasia on Sealounge Catamaran
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
100% Adventure Park Combo: Zipline, Superman, and Mega Tarzan Tour in Monteverde
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Blue Dolphin Sailing Adventure

Blue Dolphin Sailing Adventure

star-4.5
547
From
$75.00
Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from Guanacaste

Special Offer

Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from Guanacaste

star-4.5
60
From
$153.94
$171.60  $17.66 savings
Full Day Nicaragua Tour from Costa Rica
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Recent reviews from experiences in Costa Rica

star-5
Cista Rica fun!
Karen_C, Dec 2021
Coffee Experience, Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens
We did not get to see the volcano crater due to the clouds, but it was still an amazing experience!
star-5
Ziplining with a side of nature.
Preston_G, Oct 2021
Zipline and Hanging Bridges Combo Tour in Monteverde Cloud Forest
We can't wait to visit again.
star-5
Great day, amazing views!
CARY, Oct 2021
Coffee Experience, Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens
The waterfalls is a must, we loved it!
star-5
History and Culture Lover!
Zuzana_B, Oct 2021
San Jose Walking and Bus City Tour
I got to visit two museums, the central market (my fav) a couple other landmarks and end the day with an authentic lunch.
star-5
Fantastic Night in the Woods
Joel_J, Oct 2021
Private Monteverde Night Tour
We saw absolutely every little critter I had wanted to see in Costa Rica.
star-5
Amazing Experience!
Chelsea_B, Sep 2021
Costa Rica Full Day Combo Tour - Zip lining, Waterfalls, Volcano & Hot Springs
He also made stops not listed on the excursion to show us waterfalls, enjoy some local snacks, and more.
star-5
Thank you to Juan for a wonderful day trip to Arenal!
Tamara_T, Sep 2021
Arenal Volcano Experience Full-Day Tour from San Jose
The waterfall, volcano and hot springs were very beautiful and we got great pictures.
star-5
Best atv tour in Costa Rica
Gianna_C, Aug 2021
Jaco Beach & Los Suenos 2 Hour ATV Adventure
The water fall was beautiful and the sun was shining bright!
star-5
Highlight of our vacation!
Craig_C, Aug 2021
Whitewater Rafting Class III and IV
Breath taking scenery and a great way to see wildlife.
star-5
Amazing Experience!
Hector_G, Aug 2021
Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner
The ziplines were awesome, and the hot springs were really nice, but we were improve by the food provided in the tour.
star-5
Pura Vida I fully recommande
Milana_V, Jul 2021
Arenal Volcano Experience Full-Day Tour from San Jose
This 1 day tour guide trip was pure joy with amazing surprises: food, landscapes, animals, hot springs and more important amazing people.
star-5
5 stars
Tasha_A, Jul 2021
3 Hour ATV Tour Through Costa Rican Rainforest
Alex our tour guide was excellent very good communication speak very well English help you with everything the view was to die for he took us around definitely something you need to try if you go to Costa Rica
star-5
Totally worth it!!
Luke_P, Jul 2021
3 Hour ATV Tour Through Costa Rican Rainforest
The waterfall jumping was great and driving in the river was one of the funnest activities I did in Costa Rica!
star-5
Best excursion in Costa Rica thus far
Tina_M, Jul 2021
Arenal Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall
The horses were fun our guide was super friendly and the water fall and the surroundings were beautiful.
star-5
Highlight of Costa Rica
Matthew_W, Jul 2021
All-Inclusive Jungle Night Tour
Our guide was so knowledgeable and we were so fortunate to see many animals!
star-5
Don’t miss this tour!
Jamie_B, Jun 2021
Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Typical lunch and Arenal Volcano Hike
She was an expert navigating us through the volcano hike, waterfall and hanging bridges.
star-5
Excellent
Lisa_P, Jun 2021
Rio Celeste Waterfall & Sloth Sanctuary Private Day Trip from Guanacaste
It was great to see the rainforest.
star-5
Must do!
Nicolas_C, Jun 2021
From San Jose Combo tour Canyoning with Canopy, Rappel, Trails, 4x4 ride
By far one of the coolest things to do.
star-5
Amazing Tour
Kermina_T, Jun 2021
Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner
In one day, we did and got to see so much!!
star-5
Do this tour!
Kristine_G, Jun 2021
Private ATV Adventure, river crossing view points & secret spots
An excellent way to see most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica and the guides were great.

All about Costa Rica

When to visit

Costa Rica’s climate splits the year cleanly. The dry season—December through April—is the ideal time for beach hopping, surfing, and partying at winter fiestas. If you don’t mind taking a siesta during afternoon rainstorms, visit May through November for lower room rates and an explosion of green foliage in the rain forests.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Costa Rica?
Q:
What are the top activities in Costa Rica?
Q:
What are the top things to do near Costa Rica?
A:
Check out things to do near Costa Rica:
Q:
What do I need to know before visiting Costa Rica?