10 of the Best Things to do in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is a tropical paradise with lots to see and do. From unspoiled coastlines to lush rainforest and everything in between. You can chill on the beach, spot wildlife on land or in sea, or partake in any number of adventure sports. Here are 10 of the best things to do in Costa Rica.

10 of the Best Things to do in Costa Rica

1. Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is famous for its natural diversity. Along the hiking trails of this 680 hectare park you find rainforest, beaches, mountains, coral reefs, and more.

2. Poás Volcano

The Poás Volcano is an active stratovolcano which has erupted 40 times since 1828. The latest eruption was in 2017 and now the volcano has a 2.5 kilometer safety perimeter.

Near the summit are two crater lakes. Laguna Caliente (“hot lagoon”) is one of the world’s most acidic lakes and the bottom of it is covered with liquid sulfur. By contrast, Lake Botos is cold, clear, and surrounded by a cloud forest.

3. Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano is and active volcano. The surrounding park has hot springs and lots of wildlife. Inside the national park is the Las Coladas Trail, Lake Arenal, and the dormant Cerro Chato Volcano.

Arenal Volcano, Best Things to do in Costa Rica, Survive Travel

By Christophe Meneboeuf [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

4. Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal is the largest lake in Costa Rica. It boasts 85-square-kilometreand up to 60m in depth. The old town of Arenal are at the bottom of the lake! The new town is on higher ground. Both inside and outside the lake teems with wildlife.

5. Bahía Drake

Bahía Drake is a small bay on the southwestern coast of Costa Rica. This low-land tropical rainforest is a bit off the beaten track, but you can get there by plane, boat, or 4×4 in the dry season.

The best things to do in Bahía Drake are to go snorkeling/diving in Caño Island and hiking in the Corcovado National Park.

6. Cahuita National Park

Cahuita National Park encompasses land and water. There is a 600-acre reef which is fantastic for snorkeling. There are also many land animals and birds to see.

Cahuita National Park, Best Things to do in Costa Rica, Survive Travel

By Haakon S. Krohn [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

7. Tortuguero National Park

The beaches of Parque Nacional Tortuguero are famous nesting grounds for sea turtles. You can take a boat down the creeks through the rainforest to spot many types of flora and fauna.

8. La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall is at the base of the Chato volcano. There is a short hike to get to the 75m high waterfall. Once there you can swim in the stream and small rapids.

La Fortuna Waterfall, Best Things to do in Costa Rica, Survive Travel

By Photo by and (c)2007 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) [GFDL 1.2 or CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

9. Isla del Caño

Isla del Caño is a small island in the Corcovado Bay. In the Caño Island National Park there are beaches, snorkeling, whale watching, and more. It also has some interesting artifacts, such as stone spheres carved by early civilizations.

Isla del Caño, Best Things to do in Costa Rica, Survive Travel

By Peter Andersen [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

10. Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

The Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is a wetlands site surrounding Lake Caño Negro. To explore the forests, grasslands and marshes of the area you will need to get on a boat. If you are lucky you may spot from endangered species such as cougars, jaguars, Geoffroy’s spider monkey, and more. In the dry season there are thousands of migratory birds.

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Beaches, wildlife, rainforest, volcanoes, and more. Costa Rica really is somewhere anyone can have a great time. Whether you want relaxation, adventure, or a it of both, Costa Rica has it.

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