If you happen to’re a seasoned traveler, you may draw back from excursions and decide to go to locations by yourself as a substitute. I get it: I additionally benefit from the freedom to go the place I need, after I need, to be able to keep away from crowds.
Nonetheless, there are advantages of reserving excursions, particularly if it’s your first time in a brand new place. Certainly one of them is having a information who can reply your questions and supply significant context to what you’re seeing. One other massive perk is that hopping on a tour can probably prevent cash, as lots of them embrace meals and transportation.
I totally loved the excursions I went on in Costa Rica. Particularly contemplating the spectacular biodiversity there, it’s tremendous useful to have an knowledgeable with you who can level out totally different crops and animals that you simply may in any other case miss.
I’ve put collectively an inventory of the most effective Costa Rica excursions, together with free and finances ones, and luxurious and multiday excursions. Some stellar choices await you:
1. San José Bites and Sights Strolling Tour
I did this tour on my first day in Costa Rica, and it completely set the scene for all the month I spent exploring the nation. I discovered about totally different sorts of fruits, obtained a full rundown on particular customs and different cultural norms, and loved among the greatest meals that San José has to supply. My information was an knowledgeable in all issues San José, from its historical past and structure to the most effective locations to eat and the right way to get essentially the most out of the town. You may learn all about my expertise right here to get a greater concept of what you may anticipate from the tour.
- The place: Downtown San José
- Length: 3 hours
- What’s included: Native information, fruit & vegetable samples, espresso, and different small bites
- Worth: $38 and price each penny! Guide right here.
2. Jungle Night time Tour
There are few experiences which can be fairly like strolling by way of a pitch-black jungle at night time. I did this Manuel Antonio jungle night time tour on my first night time there, and I couldn’t consider how fascinating it was. The feeling of listening to the nonstop rhythmic sounds at night time felt surreal. My information had a eager eye for bugs, spiders, frogs, reptiles, and different critters, pointing them out for us as we hiked. There have been so many animals that I had by no means seen earlier than; I needed to do a double-take to essentially take of their magnificence.
Not solely was the hike itself an important expertise, however the tour included dinner and transportation, making it a stellar finances possibility. You may learn extra about my expertise on this tour right here.
- The place: Rainmaker Conservation Park, close to Manuel Antonio
- Length: 3 hours
- What’s included: Naturalist information, dinner with drinks, transportation, and park entrance price
- Worth: $59; contemplating the upper worth of meals in Manuel Antonio, the included dinner made it price it. Guide right here.
3. Waterfall, Arenal Volcano, and Sizzling Springs Full-Day Tour
There’s lots to do in La Fortuna, and it may be tempting to attempt to squeeze every little thing into a brief interval. That’s why I like to recommend hopping on this full-day tour to benefit from the time you may have right here. I booked this tour as a result of I didn’t lease a automotive and was overwhelmed by the trouble of attempting to get from place to position after I realized that La Fortuna doesn’t precisely have a strong public transportation system. Plus, taking taxis in all places would have been costlier than the tour and even renting a automotive for the day.
This tour began early, round 7am. I hopped on the bus, met my guides, and buckled up for the journey. Throughout the 10-hour journey, I obtained to go to the La Fortuna Waterfall, hike on volcanic rock close to the Arenal Volcano, and take a dip in some steamy sizzling springs afterward. There was even a beneficiant lunch included, with some drinks on the sizzling springs as effectively. For me, it was effectively definitely worth the worth.
- The place: La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano Nationwide Park
- Length: 10 hours
- What’s included: Native guides, lunch and drinks, park entrance charges, sizzling springs entrance price, and transportation
- Worth: $90, which is lower than it could value to do all of these items by yourself. Guide right here.
4. Río Celeste and Tenorio Nationwide Park Tour
This exercise was my favourite factor I did close to La Fortuna. Río Celeste is a sky-blue river that runs by way of the Tenorio Volcano Nationwide Park. Right here you’ll discover an abundance of wildlife, together with sloths, toucans, monkeys, and extra. Plus, the crown jewel of the park is the big Río Celeste waterfall, which crashes into one of many bluest swimming pools you’ll ever see.
This tour, very like the Arenal tour above, was effectively definitely worth the worth. Contemplating that the park is a 90-minute drive from La Fortuna, the transportation alone makes it an important bang on your buck. Plus, I had a blast studying concerning the distinctive ecosystem and dipping into a close-by sizzling river. Learn extra about my expertise right here.
- The place: Tenorio Volcano Nationwide Park
- Length: 8 hours
- What’s included: Naturalist information, lunch, park entrance price, and transportation
- Worth: $89, which is about the identical worth as it could be to lease a automotive for the day to get there, so it’s price it. Guide right here.
5. Rainforest Chocolate Tour
Cacao, the plant that turns into chocolate, is native to Costa Rica. There are cacao plantations all through the nation, a few of which you’ll be able to go to on a tour. That is the very best option to study concerning the harvesting and processing of cacao from begin to end, as you’ll have the ability to see the totally different levels and style the ultimate product on the finish.
- The place: close to La Fortuna
- Length: 1.5-2 hours
- What’s included: Native information, chocolate tastings, and entrance charges to the plantation
- Worth: $30. Guide right here.
6. Natural Farm Go to & Farm-to-Desk Cooking Class
So that you already did the San José meals tour, and now you’re itching to learn to make these delicious empanadas. Connecting with the way in which Costa Ricans put together typical dishes is an superior option to study concerning the tradition and respect it by way of meals. I really feel like I missed out by not doing this tour and can e-book it subsequent time I go to.
- The place: La Fortuna
- Length: 2 hours
- What’s included: Guided tour of the farm, cooking class, a meal ready by you
- Worth: $45, which is greater than a meal would value at a restaurant, however you get a studying expertise as effectively. Guide right here.
7. Lake Arenal Stand-up Paddleboard or Kayak Rental
Paddleboarding with a big volcano as a backdrop sounds fairly epic, proper? Lake Arenal is on the base of a volcano of the identical identify. Its waters are tranquil and ideal for a paddle, making this exercise a must-do whereas in La Fortuna. Some even say that the most effective view of the volcano is from the lake, so don’t miss out on the chance to see what all of the hype is about!
- The place: La Fortuna
- Length: 1 hour
- What’s included: Rental of paddleboard tools
- Worth: $20, which is the usual worth per hour to lease a paddleboard. Guide right here.
8. Cloud Forest Night time Strolling Tour
If you happen to learn my information to Monteverde, already that this was considered one of my favourite locations in Costa Rica. The cloud forest is nothing in need of magical, what with its mossy timber, thick foliage, and abundance of untamed animals scurrying about. Just like what I discussed above concerning the Manuel Antonio jungle night time tour, this one is important to any Monteverde itinerary. The forest is totally totally different at night time, and having a information there to level out totally different animals makes it effectively definitely worth the worth, as lots of them are tough to identify. The parks closed at night time, so that is the one option to see them after darkish.
- The place: Monteverde/Santa Elena
- Length: 3 hours
- What’s included: Naturalist information, entry ticket to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Organic Reserve, and transportation
- Worth: $28.25, making it one of the crucial reasonably priced actions on the checklist. Guide right here.
9. Aquiares Property: 2-Hour Espresso Tour with Tasting
Have you ever ever puzzled what it takes to make a cup of scrumptious espresso? Costa Rica is among the espresso capitals of the world, as a result of it has the best local weather for the crops to thrive. Many Costa Ricans make their residing harvesting, processing, and promoting espresso, so plantations are ample right here. Take it from me; you may’t depart Costa Rica with out visiting considered one of these — it was one of the crucial eye-opening experiences I had there. I’d dare to say that touring one made me increase the bar for what I take into account to be a superb cup of joe.
- The place: Aquiares, Limón Province
- Length: 2 hours
- What’s included: Skilled information, entrance price to the farm, espresso tasting
- Worth: $35, which is fairly commonplace for excursions like this one. Guide right here.
10. ATV Quad Bike Journey Tour (±Snorkeling)
So many lovely locations in Costa Rica are solely accessible by way of ATV or on foot due to how dense the jungles may be. Tamarindo is a seaside city, but in addition has some unimaginable forests with streams and waterfalls, and this ATV tour is the best option to attain these spectacular, off-the-beaten-path locations. Put together your self to get sandy and muddy throughout this wild journey by way of Costa Rican seaside and jungle landscapes.
- The place: Tamarindo
- Length: 2.5-3 hours
- What’s included: Native information, transportation to and out of your lodging, ATV rental (you get to drive), snorkel tools (if you happen to select the snorkeling possibility)
- Worth: $170 with out snorkeling, $220 with snorkeling. Guide right here.
11. Paragliding Flight
Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is known for its breathtaking sunsets. Although admiring them from the shore has its perks, there’s nothing fairly just like the panoramic view whereas parasailing. It is a dear exercise, however many individuals who’ve executed it describe it as surreal and the closest factor you may really feel to flying like a chook.
- The place: Jacó
- Length: 40 minutes
- What’s included: Paragliding flight with skilled pilot
- Worth: $230, making this a little bit of a splurge however price it for the once-in-a-lifetime expertise. Guide right here.
12. Day Journey to Tabacon Sizzling Springs & Arenal Volcano
If you happen to’re dying to take a look at the recent springs in La Fortuna however solely have at some point for it in your itinerary, take into account at the present time journey from San José to Tabacón sizzling springs and Arenal Volcano. Tabacón is maybe essentially the most well-known sizzling river in Costa Rica. It will get its steamy temperature from the geothermal exercise of Arenal Volcano.
In comparison with different sizzling springs in La Fortuna, Tabacón is pricier and extra luxurious. It’s one of many solely locations that has a soaking space that’s half of the particular river, whereas different sizzling springs are man-made swimming pools. This tour begins off with a hike close to Arenal Volcano, one of the crucial iconic locations within the nation, and finishes with the recent springs.
- The place: San José to La Fortuna
- Length: 13 hours
- What’s included: Tour information, round-trip transportation from San José to La Fortuna, entrance to Tabacón Thermal Resort, lunch and dinner
- Worth: $232, which is unquestionably price it as a result of a day move on the resort is round $70 alone. Guide right here.
13. 3-Day Tortuguero Nationwide Park Tour (2 nights)
Tortuguero Nationwide Park, on the northern Caribbean coast, is actually a protracted, skinny island with a community of canals on the mainland facet and the Caribbean Sea on the opposite. It was one of the crucial stunning locations I visited and the place I noticed essentially the most wildlife. It will get its identify as a result of the island is a hatching floor for a number of species of sea turtles, which you will discover there at totally different instances of the 12 months.
A 3-day tour like this one is a good alternative to get essentially the most out of Tortuguero in little time. Having a information is a giant plus, as they’re specialists in recognizing wildlife and giving tips about the place to go and what to do. Plus, having transportation to and from San José takes the strain off of determining the right way to get there, as the general public buses may be unpredictable at instances and the journey is kind of lengthy. Discover out extra concerning the itinerary right here.
- The place: San José to Tortuguero
- Length: 3 days, 2 nights
- What’s included: Guided excursions, all meals, 2 nights’ lodging
- Worth: $500, which is kind of cheap contemplating that you simply don’t have to fret about lodging, meals, or transportation. Guide right here.
14. All-Inclusive Package deal for 7 Nights (8 Days)
If you wish to take pleasure in the most effective websites on this lovely nation with out having to plan a single factor, an all-inclusive tour is a good possibility. This one is a spotlight reel of among the greatest locations to go to in Costa Rica, together with Poás Volcano, Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna, Monteverde, and extra.
These kind of excursions will not be for everybody, however if you happen to don’t thoughts going with the circulation and following another person’s itinerary, it may be stress-free to not need to plan each exercise. It’s additionally fairly good to have the ability to pay one flat price that covers nearly every little thing.
- The place: San José, Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna, Monteverde, Irazú Volcano and extra. Discover the complete itinerary right here.
- Length: 8 days, 7 nights
- What’s included: Tour information, transportation, 7 nights of lodging, admission tickets, breakfasts, and lunches
- Worth: $1,430, relying on the season (costs could also be increased from December to April). Guide right here.
15. San José Strolling Tour
Likelihood is that you simply’ll fly into Costa Rica’s capital metropolis, San José. Although most guests aren’t tremendous enthusiastic about spending a lot time within the nation’s solely actual concrete jungle, this metropolis may shock you. It actually was a lot extra attention-grabbing than I assumed it could be, and I truly wished I had spent extra time there. Contemplate becoming a member of a free strolling tour of San José (aka El Chepe or Chepetown) to get the inside track on its historical past, tradition, and meals scene from the angle of an area information.
- The place: Downtown San José
- Length: 2.5-3 hours
- What’s included: Native information
- Worth: Free, however tipping the information is really useful. Guide right here.
16. La Alegría Waterfalls Tour
Discovering free excursions like this one is fairly uncommon. The free waterfalls tour in La Alegría will take you to a secret waterfall the place you may go for a swim with out the crowds you’d discover at different, extra touristy locations. You’ll additionally have the ability to try some unbelievable jungle vistas from a viewpoint towards the Reventazón lagoon. The information is knowledgeable in ecological tourism and can have the ability to level out birds, mammals, and different crops and animals alongside the way in which.
- The place: La Alegría, Limón Province
- Length: 4.5 hours
- What’s included: Transportation to and from the waterfalls and a information
- Worth: Free, however tipping the information is really useful (most give $10-50). Guide right here.
One of the best Costa Rica tour for you is the one which excites you, suits your finances, and might make your journey right here further particular.
Which one will you select?