A Unique Costa Rica Bucket List - 55 Amazing Things to Do


19 min read
A volcano peak in the background with green tree-filled hills in the foreground
The beautiful Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most popular Central American countries to visit. This lush country is teeming with energy from wildlife, people, volcanoes, oceans, rivers, jungles, and thousands of years of history.

One of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, there are always unique things to do in Costa Rica. There are numerous national parks to explore, beaches to relax on, adventures to have, and famous Costa Rican landmarks to learn about.

This perfectly curated Costa Rica bucket list gives you plenty of opportunities to get you out of your comfort zone, many options to get into a relaxation zone, plus everything in between.

Whether you're looking for adventurous things to do in Costa Rica, unusual things to do in Costa Rica, or even just the most popular, this list will help you plan your perfect trip. Continue reading to learn more!

  • 55 Costa Rica things to do

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55 Best Things to Do in Costa Rica

  1. Learn Spanish at the Morpho Spanish School in Orosi Valley
  2. Watch the crocs on the Tarcoles River Bridge
  3. Visit volcanoes in the Arenal Volcano National Park
  4. Snorkel in Manuel Antonio National Park
  5. Go on a yoga retreat in Santa Teresa
  6. Learn about sea turtles in Tortuguero National Park
  7. Touch the sky in the Monteverde Cloud Forest
  8. Summit Costa Rica’s highest peak, Mount Chirripo
  9. Rent an ATV to explore Montezuma
  10. Mingle with monkeys on the Osa Peninsula
  11. Pay respects to the dead on Cemetery Island
  12. Birdwatch in Carara National Park
  13. Charter a deep sea fishing tour from the Osa Peninsula
  14. Go canyoning in La Fortuna
  15. Go white water rafting down the Peñas Blancas
  16. Jump out of an airplane in Quepos
  17. Learn to surf in Tamarindo
  18. Go horseback riding in Puerto Viejo
  19. Fly high on a zip line
  20. Have a coffee at Finca Rosa Blanca
  21. Go scuba diving in Cocos Island
  22. Take a step back in time and visit Palmar Sur
  23. Say your prayers at one of the oldest churches in Costa Rica
  24. Treat yourself to private hot springs
  25. Sleep overnight in the jungle in Corcovado National Park
  26. Stargaze in Guanacaste
  27. Go to a Full Moon Party in Jaco Beach
  28. Whale watch in Uvita
  29. Visit the Jaguar Rescue Center
  30. Swim under the falls of the La Cangreja Waterfall
  31. Go shopping in the Central Market in San Jose
  32. Count the sea shells on Playa Conchal
  33. Go treetop climbing in Monteverde
  34. Visit Isla del Cano
  35. Take a tour of the National Theater in San Jose
  36. Go chocolate tasting at La Iguana Chocolate
  37. Search for sloths in Cahuita
  38. Snorkel in Cahuita National Park
  39. Visit the black sand beaches of Playa Negra
  40. Go on the Tree of Life Tour in the "Southern Zone"
  41. Take a road trip to Cerro de la Muerte
  42. Go hiking on an active volcano
  43. Walk through the CATIE Botanical Gardens
  44. Visit the Valley of the Waterfalls in Domincal
  45. Explore Poas Volcano National Park in the Central Valley
  46. Hang out at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens
  47. Unwind in Matapalo
  48. Explore the Venado Caves
  49. Adventure through the La Selva Biological Station and Reserve
  50. Walk along the Rio Celeste
  51. Wander along the Rainmaker Aerial Walkway
  52. View Costa Rica's largest butterfly collection
  53. Learn to salsa dance in La Fortuna
  54. Explore San Lucas Island
  55. Wander around at the Catarata del Toro Waterfall

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Costa Rica Things to Do Map

A map of Costa Rica. Use the map to explore all the things to do.

Learn Spanish at the Morpho Spanish School in Orosi Valley

If learning Spanish is on your Costa Rica to-do list, the Morpho Spanish School is a perfect option. Offering small-scale classes, usually one-on-one, ensures you meet your Spanish language goal. When you're not in class, you can explore the coffee plantations that the area is famous for.

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A big crocodile looking up near dry grass beside a river
Dozens of crocodiles can be seen sunning on the banks from the Tarcoles River Bridge

Watch the crocs on the Tarcoles River Bridge

The Tarcoles River is Costa Rica's main waterway flowing into the Pacific Ocean, and the giant American Crocidle loves sunning itself on the banks. You can park on either side of the bridge (make sure to lock up and take everything with you) to view dozens of crocs at any given time.

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Brown horse eating grass near trees and plants with a volcano in the background
The Arenal Volcano is a must on your Costa Rica bucket list

Visit volcanoes in the Arenal Volcano National Park

Sitting inside the Arenal Volcano National Park is its namesake, the Arenal Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, erupting almost nightly.

This volcano is also the perfect conal shape, the shape we all think of when we imagine a volcano. After enjoying the volcano, you can soak in the natural hot spring found nearby.

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Green rocky hills surrounding bright blue water
Manuel Antonio National Park has warm and clear waters perfect for snorkeling

Snorkel in Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is a perfect location for many things, and snorkeling is one of them. With its warm and gentle, clear waters, it's ideal for beginners and people of all ages to explore the underwater environment.

Snorkeling is great because you can wade right into the water from the beach. The underwater world is just as vibrant, if not more than above the surface. You can find tours to book, but it is also just as easy to buy or rent your own gear!

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Go on a yoga retreat in Santa Teresa

Pranamar Villas & Yoga Retreat is nestled in the quiet beach town of Santa Teresa. They offer open yoga retreats, private yoga retreats, workshops, yoga vacations, and daily classes. There is a spa and restaurant on-site, and of course, you are surrounded by the beautiful jungles and beaches of Santa Teresa.

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Giant sea turtle on a sandy beach moving towards the water
The sea turtles are the major attraction of Tortuguero National Park

Learn about sea turtles in Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park is one of the best places in the world for turtles to thrive. Four varieties of sea turtles use the park's coastline to lay their eggs.

Seven species of land turtles live throughout the park, including thirty freshwater fish, bull sharks, crocodiles and manatees, monkeys, sloths, and jaguars.

You can only get to this park by boat or plane, but it is well worth the travel efforts. You can check out the Sea Turtle Conservancy for more detailed information.

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Monteverde Cloud Forest is a must on your Costa Rica bucket list
The Monteverde Cloud Forest is known for its evergreen flora and diverse wildlife

Touch the sky in the Monteverde Cloud Forest

Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest is impressive on many levels. There are over 3,000 types of plants, 700 varieties of trees, and 500 classifications of orchids alone!

The park is also teeming with wildlife - it is home to the puma and jaguar, ocelots, monkeys, sloths, snakes, lizards, toucans, raptors, and hummingbirds, just to name a few!

There are various tours you can book to explore the park, or you can hike some trails on your own.

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A small lake between green mountains, under a blue sky on a sunny day
Mount Chirripo is Costa Rica's highest peak

Summit Costa Rica’s highest peak, Mount Chirripo

Rising 3,820 m (12,532 ft.) into the sky is Mount Chirripo. Costa Rica's highest mountain offers stunning views of wildlife and scenery.

The hike is 19 km (11mi), and most people plan to take 2-3 days to complete the trek due to the altitude changes, and there are lodges where you can book accommodation.

You do need a permit to summit the mountain, so plan accordingly! The reward for this hike is seeing the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Ocean from the summit.

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Tropical vegetation facing a sandy beach with some rocks on a sunny day
Montezuma is a town full of adventures which can be best explored by renting an ATV

Rent an ATV to explore Montezuma

Montezuma is tucked away on the jungled cliffs of the Nicoya Peninsula. The cliff and jungle come all the way to meet the ocean of this quintessential beach town. You can take a tour or rent one on your own to explore the beaches, hike to the Costa Rica waterfall, or cruise around town.

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A group of small brown and white monkeys on a green banana tree
One of the best places to see monkeys is on the Osa Peninsula

Mingle with monkeys on the Osa Peninsula

It's rumored that Costa Rica has more monkeys than humans! The country is home to 4 species: the Howler, White Faced (Capuchin), Squirrel, and Spider monkey.

If you want a chance to see all four kinds, then taking a trip to the Osa Peninsula is your best bet. Corcovado National Park is home to all four, and taking a hike or tour through the park will definitely take you into monkey territory.

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Pay respects to the dead on Cemetery Island

Close to Montezuma is Cemetery Island. Officially known as Cabuya, it has been used as burial grounds since the early 1700s.

The cemetery is only accessible during low tide when the pathway is visible. The path is rocky, so you'll want more than just flip-flops! There are plenty of empty beaches along the way for picnic lunches, swims, or snorkeling.

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A red and white parrot hiding among the green leaves of a tree
Carara National Park has a beautiful rainforest and excellent bird-spotting trails

Birdwatch in Carara National Park

Located on Costa Rica's Central Pacific Coast is Carara National Park. One of the top birding destinations in Costa Rica, this park is home to the Scarlet Macaw, orange chinned parakeets, antbirds, and many more.

There are five main trails throughout the park for spotting birds and other wildlife, or you can book a tour with an expert guide.

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Charter a deep sea fishing tour from the Osa Peninsula

Quepos, on the Osa Peninsula, is known as the Sailfish Capital of the World. Sportfishing and deepsea fishing are super popular in this region of Costa Rica, and for good reason. The waters are teeming with Snapper, Dorado, Marlin, and Rooster Fish - all common catches.

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A black-feathered and yellow breast toucan resting on a branch
La Fortuna offers some amazing tours where you can get close to nature

Go canyoning in La Fortuna

Canyoning is one of the most thrilling ways to get close to nature. It encapsulates hiking, climbing, repelling down waterfalls, swimming, and exploring all in one adventure.

You will also get the chance to see toucans, sloths, and monkeys. This La Fortuna activity comes with expert guides, all the equipment you need, and lunch at the end of your trip.

Check out times, prices, and availability for canyoning in La Fortuna.

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Go white water rafting down the Peñas Blancas

The Peñas Blancas is a class l river, making this the perfect rafting adventure for beginners or families. There are even parts of the river that are calm enough to swim in. This tour gives you a perfect view of the Arenal Volcano and its surrounding area. Towels and fruit are included on your trip.

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Jump out of an airplane in Quepos

Skydive Costa Rica will give you the most epic view of Costa Rica ever. Situated in Quepos, this skydive center will teach you all about your equipment and safety before taking you above the clouds.

After jumping, you will float gently down to Earth while witnessing intense views of the jungles, ocean, and surrounding areas.

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Waves breaking on a sandy orange beach with mountains in the distance
Tamarindo has plenty of surf schools that make use of the friendly waves

Learn to surf in Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a popular tourist destination for many reasons, but its proximity to friendly waves and plenty of surf schools makes it a great option if you want to learn to surf.

Whether you want to hire a private instructor, join a camp, take lessons or rent a board and give it a go on your own, Tamarindo is a pretty safe place to do so.

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Under a brilliant blue sky, a beautiful sandy beach with tropical green flora
An untouched beach close to Puerto Viejo

Go horseback riding in Puerto Viejo

The Caribe Horse Riding Club offers incredible horseback tours for all levels. Located in a wholly untouched location in Costa Rica, you and your horse will truly experience what the Costa Rica beaches and jungles have to offer.

There are day trips and multi-day trips available and even opportunities to swim with your horse.

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Fly high on a zip line

Canopy Safari operates Costa Rica's first and best canopy tour since 1997! They feature 20 platforms, 11 zip lines, and two rappel lines. You can also find a Tarzan swing, hanging bridges, a butterfly garden, a cayman pond, and a serpent house in the park.

Check out times, prices, and availability for other zip line tours.

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Have a coffee at Finca Rosa Blanca

Finca Rosa Blanca is one of Costa Rica's premier coffee farms. Not only does it produce some of the world's best coffee, but the farm also has an inn, restaurant and does full tours. The organic coffee tour and cupping is one of the most popular things to do in Costa Rica, even if you aren't a coffee connoisseur.

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Hammerhead shark's bottom view, swimming in the blue ocean with small fish around
Cocos Island is famous for scuba diving, and it has over 20 beautiful dive sites

Go scuba diving in Cocos Island

If you're an advanced diver, Cocos Island is the spot for you. Only reachable via liveaboard charters, you know you'll be experiencing the very best of Costa Rica's marine life.

The island itself is surrounded by deep reef walls and over 20 separate dive sites. Divers regularly see tuna, dolphins, sailfish, hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks, silky sharks, whitetip reef sharks, manta rays, and turtles.

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Take a step back in time and visit Palmar Sur

Costa Rica has a long and sometimes mysterious history. In the Palmar Sur region of the country, you will find one of Costa Rica's long-standing mysteries.

Here, you will find perfectly round sphere stones. The best site to see them is the "site museum farm 6". At one point in history, this was the largest settlement in the delta.

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Facade ruins on a green lawn with beautiful trees around
The old Ujarras ruins was built in the 1580s

Say your prayers at one of the oldest churches in Costa Rica

The Ujarras ruins, fully named Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Limpia Concepción, was originally built in the 1580s. The church has gone under some restoration work and is now recognized by Costa Rica as a National Monument.

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A boulder in a multi-leveled stream that runs through a lush green rainforest
Tabacon is a rainforest spa-resort, famous for its natural hot springs

Treat yourself to private hot springs

Tabacon is a beautiful thermal resort and spa that is a remarkable experience within the jungle.

Designed and built by an award-winning, nature-loving, Costa Rican-born architect, Tabacon's pride and joy are the naturally flowing hot springs warmed by the Arenal Volcano.

The river and its various pools are private and protected and range in temperature from 75-105 degrees F.

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Sleep overnight in the jungle in Corcovado National Park

Described by National Geographic as "the most biologically intense place on Earth," Corcovado National Park is not for the faint of heart. It is rugged, remote, and thriving with wildlife.

There are several tour options that will lead you into the jungle for a night or two. Various hikes, food, mosquito netting, and sheets are provided for you, as well as a professional guide.

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A grassy landscape with trees on the horizon, beneath a starry sky
Shootings stars are common in Guanacaste and is one of the best spot for stargazing

Stargaze in Guanacaste

Costa Rica is one of the best countries for stargazing. The skies in Guanacaste give you an unobstructed view of the Southern Cross, Omega Centauri, the Magellanic Clouds, and Eta Carinae Nebula. Shooting stars are also common. The warm climate just adds to the wonder and amazement of the night sky.

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Go to a Full Moon Party in Jaco Beach

Full Moon parties are a huge part of Costa Rica, and attending one has to be a part of your Costa Rican itinerary. While attending one of these parties, you will surely find yourself drinking, dancing, and celebrating the full moon well into the night. Beach bonfires and local music will fill the air.

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A whale tail above the water's surface from a distance
Uvita is a popular spot in Costa Rica for whale watching

Whale watch in Uvita

Whale watching is a super popular activity in Costa Rica, and Uvita is one of the most popular places to do so.

Home to the Marino Ballena National Park, the jungles and surrounding waters are flush with wildlife. Marino Ballena actually means "marine whale," and you have a really good chance of seeing a humpback whale here.

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Closeup of a wild spotted jaguar surrounded by green tropical leaves
Get up close and personal with jaguars in Costa Rica

Visit the Jaguar Rescue Center

The Jaguar Rescue Center provides temporary or permanent homes to ill, injured, and orphaned animals. Their main goal is to rehabilitate and release animals to their natural homes. You can book private tours or join a public tour, and you can also stay on-site and volunteer.

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A tall thin waterfall near a rocky wall with some vegetation
La Cangreja Waterfall is hidden in a jungle and is a perfect spot for swimming

Swim under the falls of the La Cangreja Waterfall

Hidden in the vibrant jungles of Rincón de la Vieja National Park is La Cangreja Waterfall. This stunning waterfall empties into a refreshing pool that you can swim in. La Cangreja can be found at the end of a 3-mile hike that meanders through the lush flora and fauna.

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Close up of piles of green and yellow bananas with other fruits in a market
Bananas at a market in San Jose, Costa Rica

Go shopping in the Central Market in San Jose

The Central Market in San Jose is jam-packed with everything you could need and want, plus everything you don't need but want. The market is a maze of local stalls and shops selling literally everything; it's a one-stop-shop.

You can find local produce, fresh meat and fish, flowers, handcrafted jewelry, clothing, furniture, souvenirs, and even places to sit down and eat.

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Waves crashing on a sandy beach with seashells and mountains in the background
Playa Conchal is a unique beach made of seashells and a must-see attraction

Count the sea shells on Playa Conchal

Playa Conchal is a special beach; it is considered one of the most exotic and secluded of Costa Rica's many beaches. This unique beach is made up of billions of seashells!

Conchal, which means shell in Spanish, is protected by two rocky points - one side is brimming with brilliant jungle, and the other has calm, cerulean waters; this beach is a must-see! However, the best part is the sound the shells make after the waves crash on them.

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Aerial of a luscious green rainforest canopy on a grey day
The lush rainforest canopy of Monteverde

Go treetop climbing in Monteverde

Treetop Climbing is one of the most unique things you can do in Costa Rica. Through Fina Modela, you can climb 131 feet up a hollow Ficus Tree.

You have three options to climb toward the platform, where you will be rewarded with incredible views of Monteverde. After hanging out on the platform, you can either repel down or climb down from the inside.

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Sunset view of the ocean with a silhouette of trees and plants in front
Isla del Cano is a biological reserve famous for its wildlife and nature

Visit Isla del Cano

A popular place for snorkeling, this biological reserve is flourishing with wildlife both above and below water. Not only is this island rich in flora and fauna, but it is rich in history as well. On the island, you can find more of Costa Rica's mysterious spheres.

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View of a beautiful theatre's facade under a partly cloudy sky
The National Theater in San Jose is one of the most important buildings in the city

Take a tour of the National Theater in San Jose

The National Theater in San Jose is a beautiful and ornate example of architecture. Built in the 1800s, the theater puts on tours and shows and is one of the most famous and important buildings in the entire city. The first show ever played was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust.

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Go chocolate tasting at La Iguana Chocolate

Chocolate is another one of Costa Rica's top exports, and you can't visit the country without taste testing the product. At La Iguana, you can tour the farm, take a class or workshop, and, of course, eat and buy all the chocolate you want!

Check out times, prices, and availability for other chocolate tours.

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Search for sloths in Cahuita

This little town on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica is the perfect place to go hiking in search of sloths. Cahuita National Park is home to an astonishing amount of wildlife, including venomous snakes. It is easy to follow the trail system on your own but also highly recommended to hire a guide!

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Stunning sandy beach lined with palm trees and foamy water on its shore
Cahuita National Park has a beautiful reef only accessible with a guide

Snorkel in Cahuita National Park

One of the best places to snorkel in Costa Rica, the reefs here are protected, and you can only go with a guide. The reef is home to several types of coral, nurse sharks, tropical fish, lobsters, starfish, and much more! All your equipment and even lunch are provided for you!

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Cliff with vegetation along a sandy black beach, under a vibrant blue sky
Playa Negra is a unique beach known for its black sand coming from lava deposits

Visit the black sand beaches of Playa Negra

Playa Negra is one of Costa Rica's more well-known black sand beaches, especially amongst avid surfers. Playa Negra literally means "black beach" in Spanish, and the black sand comes from old lava deposits.

Whether you're looking for some tasty waves or just some downtime in a secluded beach town, Playa Negra is your spot.

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Go on the Tree of Life Tour in the "Southern Zone"

If you're the adventurous type, the Tree of Life Tour should be on your Costa Rica bucket list. This tour takes you to Casa de Piedra, a cave in the middle of a cloud forest.

The cave is set up with a kitchen, bathrooms, and sleeping mats, and for your entertainment, there are two streaming waterfalls over the front of the cave. The hike to and from the cave isn't easy, but the reward is worth the work.

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Huge boulders with vegetation on the bottom and fog in the background
Cerro de la Muerte has a cooler temperature than other areas in Costa Rica

Take a road trip to Cerro de la Muerte

The Inter-American Highway, often called the Pan-American Highway, runs through Central America, and Cerro de La Muerte is its highest point. Translated to Mountain of Death, the nickname was before the time of cars.

The climate here is noticeably different than the rest of Costa Rica, with cooler temperatures. An excellent bird watching location, Cerro de la Muerte is home to quetzals, emerald toucanettes and bell birds.

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View of a volcano crater erupting white fumes into the blue sky
The Turrialba Volcano offers trails where you can see an active volcano up-close

Go hiking on an active volcano

The Turrialba Volcano is a beautiful place to go hiking. The well-marked trails let you wander through the active volcano while witnessing puffs of sulfur, smoke, and ash. You can also see where various lava flows have ended during different eruptions and find a variety of lookout points.

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Walk through the CATIE Botanical Gardens

CATIE is an international institute that specializes in agriculture and biological conservation. The botanical gardens onsite house tropical plants from all over the world, including Costa Rica. The first of its kind in Costa Rica, the institute and gardens is the first graduate school in Agricultural Sciences.

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Green and clear pond with a waterfall in the background and plants around
Dominical has amazing waterfalls where visitors are allowed to jump and swim

Visit the Valley of the Waterfalls in Domincal

People typically visit Dominical for its beaches, but there is plenty more to see. The jungles of Dominical also hide wonderful freshwater waterfalls where you can jump and swim in after your hike to get there.

The waterfalls here are guaranteed to be less crowded but just as beautiful as other waterfalls in Costa Rica.

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Volcano crater with cyan water releasing fumes and trees around
The Poas Volcano National Park is a unique volcano because it can produce acid rain

Explore Poas Volcano National Park in the Central Valley

Poas Volcano National Park is one of the most-visited volcanoes in Costa Rica. The volcano is nearly 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level and is capable of producing acid rain.

Two craters on the volcano are typically filled with rainwater and appear a gorgeous green-blue color. There are various marked trails for you to follow to spot wildlife and other remarkable flora and fauna.

Book tour now

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A tall thin waterfall secluded in a green tropical rainforest
La Paz Waterfall Gardens has the largest animal sanctuary in Costa Rica

Hang out at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens

The Nature Park and Gardens are some of the most popular attractions in Costa Rica. Featuring five major waterfalls and Costa Rica's largest animal sanctuary, you're guaranteed to enjoy your time here. The sanctuary is home to monkeys, sloths, snakes, butterflies, birds, jungle cats, and much more!

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Small boat on blue water near a rocky coast with tropical trees and plants
Matapalo Beach is a popular spot for surfers and its town is mostly solar-powered

Unwind in Matapalo

Matapalo is a secluded beach town marked with the Blue Ecological Flag for its dedication to conservation. The whole area is united in being eco-friendly and is mainly run on solar energy.

The town is popular with nature enthusiasts and surfers. You can also find tide pools to swim in, waterfalls, fishing, diving, and plenty of other activities.

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Explore the Venado Caves

Get underground and explore the Venado Cave system! This is an essential Costa Rica bucket list item and one of the most exciting. You can choose from several different tours and are provided all the necessary equipment and, of course, a professional and knowledgeable guide to keep you from getting lost.

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Brown iguana resting on a branch with green leaves
The La Selva Biological Station and Reserve is the perfect place for nature lovers

Adventure through the La Selva Biological Station and Reserve

If you really want to learn about Costa Rica's jungles, flora, fauna, and creatures, the biological station and reserve are perfect.

Essentially a privately-owned research compound, you can take tours with experts on all things Costa Rica. In addition to tours, you can sign up for classes and workshops, and theater presentations.

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Turquoise blue river running through a rainforest with lush greenery
Rio Celeste is a river famous for its unique turquoise color and natural hot springs

Walk along the Rio Celeste

The Rio Celeste is one of the most heavenly bodies of water in Costa Rica. Famous for its bright turquoise coloring, the local lure says the color comes from God washing his paintbrush in the river after painting the sky.

The hike along the river can be a bit muddy during the rainy season, but there are hot springs along the way and a waterfall at the end of the hour-long hike.

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Wander along the Rainmaker Aerial Walkway

This privately-owned biological park offers guests a unique look into the jungle and its creatures, flora, and fauna. As you explore the park, you cross six suspension bridges 25 stories above the ground. At this height, you'll encounter monkeys, reptiles, and birds on their level.

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Blue and black colored butterfly sitting in a yellow flower with green leaves
The Giant Blue Morpho Butterfly can be spotted in the The Butterfly Conservatory

View Costa Rica's largest butterfly collection

The Butterfly Conservatory is home to 6 separate atriums dedicated to protecting and studying Costa Rica's butterflies, including the Giant Blue Morpho Butterfly.

There is a learning center on-site, and tour guides are available to show you around the atriums and tell you about the different species of butterflies.

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Learn to salsa dance in La Fortuna

Dancing is a huge part of Costa Rican culture, and most Costa Ricans learn at a very young age. Taking a lesson or two from a true local might just be the highlight of your trip. The classes are small, so you can focus on learning the right steps.

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Explore San Lucas Island

San Lucas Island has had many lives. This beautiful island was once home to one of Costa Rica's most notorious prisons. Several old buildings, including a church, a medical building, temporary holding cells, and prison cells, are now considered historical sites.

The island is now considered a national park and preserve where you can walk around and look for wildlife like monkeys, spiders, snakes, deer, bats, hammerhead sharks, and turtles.

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Empty benches in a fenced garden, facing a beautiful waterfall with vegetation around
The Catarata del Toro Waterfall is one of the tallest waterfalls in Costa Rica

Wander around at the Catarata del Toro Waterfall

The Catarata del Toro Waterfall is one of Costa Rica's tallest waterfalls, plunging 300 feet into the crater of an extinct volcano. The hike to the waterfall is well marked and has several viewing platforms along the way. These platforms are strategically placed at different angles so you can see the falls in all their glory.

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In Summary

Costa Rica is one of the most amazing places in the world to visit. From dramatic scenery, diverse plant and animal life to the vibrant culture, this Costa Rican bucket list should satisfy your every desire.

This article was edited by Loredana Elena.

For more interesting articles about Costa Rica, read:

For some great articles about things to do, check out:

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Written by Amanda Strube

Amanda_Strube WRITER I grew up in a beach town in New Jersey. I started traveling up and down the east coast of the US for surf trips and then moved to Nicaragua and then New Zealand. Im currently back home, planning some new adventures.


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