Costa Rica Excursions

For families, exploring a foreign land like Costa Rica is the ultimate bonding experience.

A trip to Costa Rica isn’t just a vacation. It’s a great opportunity to learn, gain valuable life experiences, and have some fun along the way.

But trips like this aren’t always easy to plan, especially when going to a place you’ve never been. You need to find the right places to visit and the best activities for everyone in your party, from Grandpa all the way down to the youngest child.

Luckily, Costa Rica has something for everyone. Here are some of the top Costa Rica excursions for your family.

National Parks And Wildlife

Costa Rica is home to more than 500,000 different species. This means that 4% of all species on the planet can be found in the small Central American haven.

If you have young children you want to teach, or you just want to see some native animals yourself, there’s no shortage of nature-rich Costa Rica excursions. Few places in the world are better to see, learn about, and help wildlife.

The Osa Peninsula is the home of Corcovado National Park, called the “most biologically intense place on Earth” by National Geographic.

The largest park in Costa Rica, Corcovado is a favorite of both tourists and ecologists because of the vast array of flora and fauna.

While Cocovado is the largest park, the smallest is Manuel Antonio. The small park packs a big punch. It was named one of the 12 most beautiful national parks in the world by Forbes.

Manuel Antonio’s draw comes from its variety. The park features rainforests, beaches, rocky headlands, and other eco-features, all in one small area.

One of the top tourist destinations in the entire country is the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Different from the other rainforests on the island, the “Green Mountain” is characterized by cloud cover at the canopy level.

Only 1% of the world’s forests are cloud forests, so Monteverde presents a unique opportunity. Hanging bridges and a vast zipline network give visitors the feeling of walking or flying through the clouds.

If you want to personally be a part of conservation efforts, check out Proyecto Asis Volunteer Center. Along with taking a tour of the area, you can volunteer to help feed and care for the center’s rehabilitating animals. It’s a great hands-on learning experience for the kids!


Costa Rica is part of the Central American Volcanic Arc, a long chain of volcanoes stretching across the western coast of Central America.

Because of its proximity to the edge of the Carribean and the Cocos tectonic plates, Costa Rica is full of volcanic features. There are 60 volcanoes that are dormant, while five others are considered active.

The five active volcanoes are Arenal, Poas, Rincon de la Vieja, Orosi, and Irazu. All of the active volcanoes, as well as some dormant ones, are considered prime tourist destinations in Costa Rica.

The most famous and popular of these is Arenal. Standing over 5,000 feet tall, Arenal experienced steady but safe eruptions between 1968 and 2010.

Arenal has been in a resting state since 2010, but it’s still a popular location thanks to the explosion of the tourism industry during its most active years. Hotels and resorts, zip lines, hiking trails, and other attractions surround the site.

Waterfalls And Springs

A trip to Costa Rica isn’t complete without a hike through a rainforest leading to a beautiful hidden oasis of waterfalls or natural springs.

One of the most popular and stunning waterfalls is La Fortuna. 230 feet high, La Fortuna cascades down into a pool of cool water perfect for swimming after the hike to get there. La Fortuna is near Arenal and is part of the many tourist activities surrounding the active volcano.

Also near Arenal is the Tabacon Hot Springs. Tabacon is often called one of the most relaxing and even romantic Costa Rica excursions.

Although one of the more expensive options, it’s also one of the most luxurious. Visitors can soak in the magma-infused hot springs, receive skin care with a volcanic mud wrap or coffee exfoliation, and take in the beautiful and intimate scenery.

A hidden gem is the Rio Celeste waterfall in a remote part of Tenorio Volcano National Park. Rio Celeste features an eerie and spectacular bright blue color caused by chemical reactions involving volcanic minerals. Although there’s no swimming allowed, the visuals alone are worth the two-hour trek to reach it.

Another Costa Rican favorite is the Nauyaca falls. Nauyaca’s uniqueness comes in its multi-level structure in which water falls over the cliff for 140 feet, collects in a small pool on the rockface, and then continues down another 60 feet. Take advantage of guided horseback tours to see the park and get to the falls in style.


Vamos a la playa! A list of Costa Rica excursions must include a few coastal beach recommendations, right? After all, Costa Rica means “Rich Coast.”

Part of the small yet world-renowned Manuel Antonio National Park, Playa Manuel Antonio is a top beach destination in the country. A rocky headland known as Punta Catedral guards the beach against crashing waves, making the water calm and great for children. Spotting wildlife from the park is another plus.

Playa Tamarindo is a massively popular beach. The town of Tamarindo is a bona fide surf town, with plenty of hotels and restaurants just minutes from the water. The wave breaks are perfect for all surfers.

For a less crowded beach, Playa Guione is a great alternative. More remote than Tamarindo, Playa Guione also has an excellent surfing scene. Whether you’re a veteran on the waves or just learning how to stand on a board, Costa Rica is full of great places to surf.

Beaches in Costa Rica can offer more than just swimming and surfing. The black sand of Playa Ostional is a popular sea turtle nesting site between July and October. Take a night tour to see the annual nesting, known as arribada, first-hand.

Book Your Costa Rica Excursions

By now you’re probably eager to hop on a plane or boat and start your vacation immediately.

Best of Costa Rica DMC can help you plan your trip with custom vacation packages and other travel services.

Start planning your trip to the beautiful land of Costa Rica today!

Trip Summary

Sumario de Viaje