Away from the busier tourist spots, Playa de Matapalo offers kilometres of pale sand set against a backdrop of palm trees. Rich vegetation harbours an abundance of fascinating wildlife including monkeys, sloths and exotic birds. Close to the two biggest hotels in the resort you'll find a handful of restaurants, and locals selling refreshments but other than this Matapalo is the real off the beaten path experience.
If you prefer the idea of sunloungers, parasols and watersports, check out nearby Coco Beach, which is bursting with life and things to do and only a 10-minute taxi ride away.
Explore the area on horseback
Horse riding is one of Costa Rica's most popular activities. Saddle up and you'll soon find yourself trotting along country roads, navigating the velvet green jungle and splashing in the waves.
Offering tours for all abilities, horse riding is a natural, relaxing and fun way to explore the spectacular landscape around the area. Your expert guide will take delight in teaching you about the array of fauna and flora on offer around Matapalo, while you sit back and relax on your new mode of transport.
Volcanic day out
Set amid 38,000 acres of national park, surrounded by the vast Guanacaste mountain range, you'll find the wonder that is the Rincon de la Vieja volcano. Hike, horse ride or mountain bike your way through the dense forests and open fields keeping your eyes peeled for the rare purple orchid - Costa Rica's national flower.
You'll find nine volcanoes in total within Rincon de la Vieja national park, with the Santa Maria volcano the highest, standing proud at 1,916 metres. Leaving a trail of warm springs and bubbling mud pools, you can try a therapeutic mud bath before taking a dip in one of the many refreshing waterfalls adorning the park on your way to the summit.
Take to the tree tops
To experience the forest from a totally different viewpoint, there's a thrilling activity not to be missed while in Playa de Matapalo - ziplining through the trees. Designed to make you feel as though you're travelling through the forest like a monkey, The Congo Trail Canopy Tour is the ultimate adrenaline experience.
Covering a distance of 880 metres amid the treetops, zipline from tree to tree spotting howler monkeys and exotic birds as you go. But don't worry, you'll take comfort in the elaborate safety equipment and skilled instructors by your side.
If ziplining across the rainforest canopy sounds like your worst nightmare, the Monteverde Skywalk might be just the ticket. Comprising of two and a half kilometres of walkways and bridges, spanning canyons and drainages, the scenic skywalk provides visitors with a relaxing and informative experience.
Complete with a local guide to teach you about native animal and plant species you'll come face to face with many of the canopy residents including sloths and spider monkeys, gaining direct access to their unique web of life.
Throughout the year, we offer a whole range of cheap Costa Rica holidays to suit sun-worshippers and thrill-seekers alike, so make sure you take a look at the great deals currently on offer.