Pura Vida Adventures: Discover the 15 Best Things to do in Costa Rica

Steve Cummings

El Rio Celeste Waterfall, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country that enchants and excites at every turn, with everything from towering volcanic peaks to lush tropical jungles, tree-filled cloud forests, and picture-perfect beaches. 

Due to its remarkable biodiversity and easy access to the Caribbean and Pacific environments, this magnificent Central American country has long been a favorite vacation spot for those who love the outdoors and the great outdoors.

So, are you ready to explore it?

Fun Things to do in Costa Rica

It is a country that is filled with amazing adventures. Let's have a look at the fun things in Costa Rica. 

1. Zip lining in Santa Elena

Although zipline courses may be found nationwide, some being higher, faster, or longer than others, the Santa Elena canopy tours are unique. More importantly, there's something magical about rising over the tops of trees with the clouds swirling around you. 

This is where the Costa Rican canopy craze begins. Experience the adrenaline-charged, hazy wonder of the cloud forest. Monteverde, La Fortuna, and Guanacaste are other top places for zip lining.

2. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Costa Rica offers excellent scuba diving and snorkeling because it borders the Pacific and Caribbean seas. Thus, if you enjoy the ocean, you must know snorkel or scuba diving in Costa Rica. The top dive spots for scuba diving are the Tortuga Islands shipwrecks, Cahuita National Park, Cocos Island, Bat Islands, Las Catalina Islands, and the Gulf of Papagayo.

 A PADI-certified 2-tank dive costs approximately USD 115. You do not need to be certified to try scuba diving because “Discovery dives” are designed especially for people without certification.

3. Explore the Biodiversity in the Cloud Forests 

Cloud Forests that are exceptionally damp and humid due to constant cloud cover are scattered across Costa Rica's highlands. The thick clouds dampen the warm tropical temperatures, and the humidity makes it ideal for plants and animals to flourish. Travelers can visit cloud forests in Costa Rica to learn more about biodiversity. The Monteverde Rainforest is the most famous cloud forest in Costa Rica. 

This is undoubtedly one of the nicest things to do in Costa Rica. The tourists can enjoy plenty of fun things here, including zip lining, hiking, and scrolling around on long suspension bridges with breathtaking rainforest views. 

4. Visit Arenal Volcano, National Park

Arenal Volcano
credit: depositphotos

The Arenal Volcano is an iconic landmark in Arenal, Costa Rica's self-declared capital of adventure. The lovely Arenal Volcano National Park surrounds it. The park offers breathtaking views of the volcano and verdant, lush trees. 

This national park is home to one of the planet's most active volcanoes and breathtaking landscapes. The Arenal Volcano National Park's La Fortuna Waterfall is a must-visit in Costa Rica. Swim in the pools and enjoy your hottest days in the country. 

Related: 15 Super Cool Things to do in Antigua, Guatemala

5. Have Fun at La Leona Waterfall

This excursion is a canyoneering expedition rather than a trek or a swim under a waterfall. Go down the Rio Blanco in Curubandé de Liberia, where you can enjoy swimming, scrambling, spelunking, climbing, and cliff jumping. 

You'll stare and gaze at three distinct waterfalls on the way, including a last celestial-blue beauty tucked inside a simply amazing cave. 

6. Fly Fishing

Every adventurer should visit Costa Rica at least once in their lifetime to experience fly fishing. You can have one of the most rewarding fly fishing experiences at the Gulf of Papagayo on the Pacific Ocean, where you can hunt for tarpon and roosterfish legends at the little bays. 

There are innumerable waters in Costa Rica, including the Pacific and Caribbean seas, so it is a top destination for fly fishing. There aren't many places outside this country where you can catch trophy-sized fish.

7. Canyoning

credit: depositphotos

Canyoning involves hurtling down the fast-flowing moving water at high speeds. Tourists often engage in this thrilling, adrenaline-pumping adventure in Costa Rica. You may take a canyoning excursion in Fortuna's Pure Trek, which has a mind-blowing 200-foot waterfall. 

Other fantastic places for this new adventure sport are The Park at Jaco and Explornatura in Turrialba. Costa Rica is famous for canyoneering because of the huge amount of mountains there. 

8. Splurge on a Multicourse Meal in The Sky

San Lucas is more than just a restaurant; it's a dining experience with a surprise nine-course menu. Overall, the food presentations are creative, fascinating, and superb, but the sky setting gives you another vibe. Each table is in its glass cube, perched high above the community of Santa Elena and the cloud forest. 

There are two seatings every night at the San Lucas Treetop Dinner Experience. If you make a reservation for the early one, the first meal includes a breathtaking sunset.

9. Try White Water Rafting

Many rivers near Costa Rica are suitable for whitewater rafting due to the abundance of forest and humidity. This is an exciting way to explore the jungle; just be sure to stay inside your comfort zone and find out in advance how intense the rapids will be. 

One of the best river rafting spots in Costa Rica is the Pacuare River, close to the Caribbean coast, and the Ro Naranjo near the central Pacific coast is another excellent choice. 

You may go rafting on the Tenorio River in the Guanacaste region. If you want to spend more time inland, the Arenal Volcano is close to several incredible whitewater rafting locations.

10. Soak in Hot Springs

Natural hot springs have developed into some of the top tourist destinations in Costa Rica due to the region's active volcanoes. Many natural hot spring options are available to you if you're staying close to the Arenal Volcano or in the La Fortuna District. 

The Tabacon Hot Springs, close to the La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal Volcano, is one of the most lovely places. Many more, less busy hot springs are found nearby, including Eco Termales, Titoku Hot Springs, and Río Agua Caliente.

11. Food Tour in San Jose

Several amazing food excursions in the capital will offer you a taste of the nation's top-notch culinary culture, whether you prefer sweet, savory, or anything in between. 

With strong, varied recipes that represent the huge diversity of ingredients found in different locations, this is a perfect place to start savoring a taste of the delectable traditional food of the country. 

Try sopa mariscos, a seafood and tomato soup popular near the coast, or casados, a mixed dish common at food stands throughout Costa Rica and consists of plantains, rice, beans, and meats.

12. Pay a Visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels

Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels
credit: depositphotos

One of the finest examples of religious architecture in the country is seen in Cartago, a picturesque agricultural city and the former capital of Costa Rica. Since its construction in 1639, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels has played a significant role in the city's skyline. It is named after a miniature statue of the Virgin Mary that, according to legend, first appeared in the town's middle. 

Its elaborate interiors, which showcase a rare fusion of Byzantine and colonial architecture elements, are only equaled in beauty by its stunning exteriors. See the renowned statue, which is still displayed in the church in an iconic location.

13. Take a Sunset Cruise

Going on a sunset cruise is the greatest way to plan a beach vacation. Costa Rica provides special family excursions that let you sail at night and watch the stars. You can also swim, snorkel, or unwind to breathe the purest ocean air. In a similar vein, scheduling your cruise for the morning will improve your snorkeling opportunities. As you slowly tour the Gold Coast, Marlin del Rey provides some of Guanacaste's most amazing sunset cruise packages.

If you're lucky, the trip will include snorkeling excursions and wildlife sightings of dolphins, turtles, flying fish, and whales breaching. Samara Sea Tours, Playa del Coco's Sea Bird, and the Lazy Lizard are further suggested for your sunset cruise.

14. Sleep in a Tree House

You can embrace your inner monkey and spend the night in the treetops in the wilds of northern Costa Rica, surrounded by lush forestlands. Maquenque Eco Lodge includes several amazing treehouses built under the green canopy, 12 meters (39 feet) off the ground, and surrounded by trees on the edge of its named wildlife reserve.

The spacious balconies, outdoor showers, and screen walls of the treehouses provide a luxurious touch while providing total immersion in the rainforest. The hike to the main lodge takes 10 minutes. 

15. Kayaking

Playa Ventanas, a small but stunning palm-backed beach on the Costa Ballena on the southern Pacific coast, stands out for the mysterious caves in the cliffs at its northern end. You can explore the two caves that lead to the shore at low tide. If you're ready for a challenge, you can explore the cliffs and sea caves as you kayak along the stunning coastline.


Ahh! Costa Rica is a country with some amazing surprises for you. Whether you love kayaking, surfing, hiking, or zip lining, this stunning destination awaits you. While taking our list of things to do with you, discover the beauty of it. 

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