Wondering what to do in Costa Rica? It’s easier to wonder what there isn’t to do!
Few countries, even in Central America, are as literally and figuratively green as Costa Rica: you may already know that its name means “Rich Coast” in Spanish. and it is indeed a beautiful emerald jewel situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
What you might not also know, however, is that Costa Rica is the world’s leader in eco-tourism, having turned its economy around finding safe and Earth-friendly ways for other citizens of the world to enjoy their beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests, rugged mountains, and sparkling oceans.
Over two-and-a-half million tourists visited Costa Rica in 2015, a total that makes up almost half of the nation’s indigenous population. The Costa Rican government makes sure they don’t leave many footprints behind, carbon or otherwise.
But what if lounging on the beach just isn’t your style?
What to Do in Costa Rica If You’re an Adrenaline Junkie
if you’re into extreme or “adrenaline” tourism, there’s no better place to be than Costa Rica: it doesn’t just provide a beautiful backdrop for your adventure, it contributes to it with giant waterfalls, rugged terrain, and naturally turbulent waters.
Following are 10 of the most blood pumping tourist challenges to take on if you want to know what to do in Costa Rica.
1. Bungee Jump in Monteverde
Sure, you can bungee jump off a bridge at home, but can you do it for nearly five hundred feet into one of Nature’s greatest remaining wildlife preserves?
Monteverde, or the Green Mountain, is the focal point of Costa Rica’s cloud forest — not to be confused with the rainforest. Drop down through the misty mountains and into the orchid-filled valley below.
There’s no other bungee jump on earth like it!
2. Rappel Down the “Lost Canyon”
The Lost Canyon is so named because it wasn’t even on the map when it was discovered; that’s how many parts of Costa Rica are still pristine. This canyon is located in the small and still very vital town of La Fortuna, near the famous active Arenal Volcano.
“Canyoning” is extreme speak for rappelling down into the crevasse, but it also involves a lot of full-body climbing and hiking to get around. The canyon’s many waterfalls, ranging from 10 ft to 150 ft high, make it more than worth the effort.
3. Raft Down the Pacuare.
You can find lots of Class II and III rapids in the roiling rivers of Costa Rica, but the Pacuare is where the real thrills can be found if you’re wondering what to do in Costa Rica.
The Reventazon has rapids up to IV+, but it’s being destroyed by a dam and a nearby city. To get the full experience you want the Pacuare, which features Class III to IV rapids right in the middle of beautiful jungle canyons.
4. Get Rocket Launched Over Jaco
Jaco is the big resort town on Costa Rica’s Pacific Shore, and as such it has miles of beautiful beaches to enjoy.
If that sounds a little bit too relaxing for you, though, there’s always its famed rocket launchers, which can hurl you 300 feet through the air in just three seconds!
You’ll never find a more picture-postcard beautiful expanse to fly over — and you can also bungee jump into a waiting pool if you so desire.
5. Surf a Storm on the Caribbean Coast
Costa Rica’s famous point breaks have made it a traditional surfing destination for decades, but the action really gets hot with an approaching tropical storm.
There are lots of tourist traps, but the real surfers head over to Puerto Viejo for swells that can rival those even in Hawaii. Playa Bonita is almost as thrilling but more dangerous for novices.
6. Zipline Through Manuel Antonio
Zip lines are all the rage these days. But how’d you like to travel the better part of a mile over Costa Rica’s famed rainforest?
It can be done… if you know where to go. In this case, it’s near Manuel Antonio National Park.
The zipline was actually invented in this country by biologists who wanted to navigate above the thick forest canopy. Now you can retrace the journey!
7. Go Bouldering in Chirripo
“Bouldering,” for those of you not in the know, is rock climbing in its purest form, and Chirripo Grande, as the highest point in the country, is the perfect place to practice.
No ropes, no footholds, no harnesses — just conquering the mountain, 20 feet at a time. Mountaineers say this peak has the most in common with South American mountain ranges, such as the Andes… and now it’s your turn to find out.
8. ATV Through the Agujas
Taking an all-terrain vehicle through the rainforest doesn’t sound like the most eco-friendly idea, but Costa Rica’s got this down to a science by now.
If you want to see all the Costa Rican countryside has to offer, this is the excursion for you: halfway up that gorgeous mountain range, with stops for waterfalls, villages, and a chance to sample Costa Rica’s amazing Latin cuisine.
9. Skydive in Quepos
Take off from one of Costa Rica’s many Central Pacific “fincas,” or small indigenous farms, head 10,000 feet in the air for a scenic tour — and then get ready for the most powerful 30 seconds of your life as you freefall over the beautiful Costa Rican coastline.
Another few minutes takes you back down… and you have several options as to what vistas you want swirling under you as you fall.
10. Cliff Dive in the Nauyaca Waterfalls
Cliff diving is more of a South American tradition, but you can do it in Central America thanks to the gorgeous waterfalls of the South Pacific region.
This one is a two-level monster in the Southern Zone that’ll take your breath away before you even leap. Leap into a 50-60 ft canyon and plunge into 20 feet of beautiful emerald waters at the bottom.
Cliff diving is great on the coast, but it’s even better in the jungle!
You’ll Never Wonder What to Do in Costa Rica
You can head down to Costa Rica and get the best of South America and Central America in one, with its delicious native cuisine, friendly locals, and best of all its unblemished rainforest paradise.
But why be a passive observer when you can jump right in and feel the rush of adrenaline coursing through your body like one of the country’s roaring rivers?
Book your vacation now and indulge your thirst for thrills and your love of nature at the same time!
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