Below are some experiences in Costa Rica
Unknown to most people Costa Rica has a cowboy culture, head to Gunacaste and La Fortuna in the north to be fully immersed in the culture and be surrounded with cowboys and cowgirls. However, all over Costa Rica you will find cattle ranches and nature lodges offering horseback riding treks through tropical forests, beaches, waterfalls, hidden lakes. This is a chance to get close to hidden critters and reptiles.
The best way to see Costa Rica’s diverse landscape and biodiversity is from above. Zip lining, canopy and hanging bridge tours are the most popular activities.
Fly through the clouds by zip lining through Monteverde Cloud Forest or Aernal National Park. Arenal National Park is one of the popular places to visit in Costa Rica, due to its views of the active Arenal Volcano.
Monteverde a biological reserve is simply breathtaking. Famous for its clouds produced by humidity the mist sits at an elevation of 1,600 meters above sea level. The moisture creates a blossoming eco system below, and is home to 2,500 species of plants and 1,500 animal species.
For those looking for more of a challenge take the ‘one minute challenge’. Located in Central Valley the one minute zip line stretches almost a mile and its highest point is 328 ft. (100 m). Zip liners achieve speed up to 55 mph (90kph).
With a marine surface that is 10 times bigger than the terrestrial and an immense biodiversity, Costa Rica is the perfect place for diving fanatics.
The Pacific Coastline has spectacular scuba diving sites and has been listed as one of the top 5 diving destinations in the world for advanced scuba divers.
Seeking danger? Dive in Isla del Caño biological reserve, one of the most beautiful dive destinations on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Hammerhead sharks, white finned sharks, whale sharks and ray fish await. The area has good visibility all year round and is the only place in the world where humpback whales come to both from the North and the South at different times of year.
For snorkelers Cahuita National Park in the South Pacific and South Caribbean region offers an opportunity to explore the colourful Caribbean coral reefs and swim with tropical fish in a unique eco – system.
Costa Rica’s rivers offer rafting and tubbing adventures throughout the year, however optimum rafting season is mid-May to end of March. Rafting is one of the most thrilling and unforgettable experiences available in Costa Rica, with gentle Class I rapids to extreme Class VI rapids available.
Located on the Caribbean slope Río Pacuare (Class III –IV) is rated as one of the top rafting rivers in the world. Practice on the soft rapids as you make your way in to your eco lodge then take on the extreme rapids on your way out.
Rio Sarapiqui (Class II – III) offers excellent rafting. The run is suitable for experienced and new white water rafters and a chance to enjoy the stunning scenery. It is the country's longest river and is best explored on a two day trip.
Rio Reventazón has two sections, the Tucurrique section (Class III) is easy enough for first-timers however, The Pascua section (Class IV-V) is very wild, and requires previous rafting experience.
If you want to add a pinch of danger to your rappelling excursion, then choose to rappel down waterfalls. The fear of not slipping off a wet rock will create an adrenaline rush that will leave you on a high when you make it down. Pacuare, Arenal, Zamora Ravine and Prendas River (Alajuela) make great locations to rappel down some waterfalls, just make sure not to slip!
For the serious climber, scaling in Chirripo National Park is a serious challenge. It is the second highest peak in Central America, measuring 12,500 ft. above sea level and is located in the Talamanca Mountain Range. It is the ultimate experience in hiking. Experience a range of rapidly changing weather, including wind gusts, frost, constant drizzle, and abrupt temperature changes as you elevate higher. However, for those willing to make the climb, the surrounding view is beyond compare. Climbers can observe many lakes and valleys such as the Moraine Valley, Los Lagos Valley, and Los Conejos Valley.
In 2015, more than 400,000 cyclists toured the country, a number that continues to grow along with the sport’s popularity. There are an estimated 80 paths to choose from.
A favourite place for mountain biking is Turrialba in the Caribbean Coast. The small village is picturesque and has great selfie locations. Heredia in the north central part of the country is perfect for spotting wildlife such as, Howler monkeys, iguanas, insects, butterflies, and all types of birds that inhabit this rainforest.
Looking for a high altitude challenge? The Cerro de la Muerte AKA Death’s Peak is the highest peak along the Interamericana Highway at 11,300 ft. It is part of La Amistad Pacific Conservation Area and its high plateau descends towards the coastal beaches. Rainforest surrounds the Arenal Volcano, with difficult slopes and descents throughout.
In 2016, for the second time in history, Costa Rica was selected to host the ISA World Surfing Games. Costa Rica has become one of the favourite international destinations for surfing due to its easy ocean access and variety of surf conditions. There are four different zones: the Caribbean coast; the Northern, Southern and Central Pacific coasts.
The Pacific coast has the most surfing areas. The majority of them are found in Guanacaste, in the northwest part of the country. The Nicoya Peninsula off the Pacific coast in the Northern Region and Dominical near Manuel Antonio National Park has big surfing communities and are known to have some of the world’s best surf schools taught by locals.
There are also excellent places in the central and southern areas, as well as the Caribbean coast. One of the most frequently visited beaches by surfers is Puerto Viejo, also known as Salsa Brava due to its strong waves and huge tubes. Only experienced surfers should attempt this spot.