You’ll soon understand why Costa Rica has been voted the world’s happiest country as you explore the rich and diverse protected rainforests which make up around a quarter of the country. Zipline through the cloud forest canopies, bathe in volcanic mud pools or seek out endangered species with the help of a local guide. One thing is for sure, you won’t be stuck for new and exciting activities to try.
Here are just 10 activities you should try in the Costa Rican jungle.
Rappel down waterfalls
One of the hottest new adventure sports in Costa Rica, strap yourself to a harness and rappel down crevices within metres of thundering, picturesque waterfalls with spectacular jungle views. Also known as canyoning, you’ll find a multitude of availability across the country from half day excursions suitable for the whole family to eight-day adrenaline tours.
Don’t worry, for those travelling with daredevils but not willing to rappel down a waterfall, you can sit back and take in the relaxing views.
Find a resplendent Quetzal
Known for its brightly coloured plumage and long tail feathers the Resplendent Quetzal, once common in the mountain jungles of Central America, now appears of the endangered species list. If you want to catch a glimpse of one of these shy feathered friends, head to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve early in the morning in the north central region of Costa Rica, the most famous quetzal habitat in the world.
Go out after dark
If you want to experience life in the rainforest after dark, sign yourself up to a guided night hike where you’ll bump into nocturnal natives such as armadillos, sloths, caimans, frogs and bats. Most excursions depart around twilight, taking advantage of the best paved paths and last two to three hours.
Wetlands safari by boat
As you cruise through pastureland and mangroves in Palo Verde National park you’ll spot monkeys, lizards, bats, anteaters and one of the world’s highest concentrations of crocodiles. Most tours include a round-trip transfer from hotels in the Guanacaste area including Playa Flamingo, Playa Tamarindo and Playa Hermosa.
Soak in a hot spring
Thanks to its volcanic landscape, Costa Rica boasts some incredible hot springs and mud pools. Rincon de la Vieja National Park is home to 10 natural hot pools accessed by a beautiful trail of hanging bridges through the dry forest. Paint the hot mud onto your body and leave to harden before washing in the welcoming springs.
Visit chocolate and coffee plantations
You’ll find plenty of chocolate and coffee plantations in the cloud forests of Costa Rica and tours around these working farms are packed with history, culture and of course, all important tasting. Although scattered throughout the country, the highland areas offer the best climates for production.
Zipline through the tree tops
So you’ve explored the rainforest at ground level, now it’s time to take to the canopies and hurtle along ziplines at high speed across the tree tops. As you fly from platform to platform you’ll enjoy an unbeatable bird’s eye view of the abundant wildlife living in the canopy.
Walk through the cloud forest
If ziplining through the forest canopy doesn’t float your boat, explore the abundant tree tops in the Monteverde rainforest along the non-strenuous Sky Walk. Combining a series of suspension bridges and walking trails, local guides accompany each tour helping visitors to learn about native plant and animal species.
Explore the jungle on horseback
Costa Ricans themselves view horses as an all-natural, all-terrain vehicle, offering a unique opportunity to see some of the country’s spectacular landscapes. Follow trails through pastureland, forge across streams and summit mountains on an organised tour from your resort.
Try your hand at white-water rafting
An adventurous way to discover the diverse landscape of Costa Rica is on a white-water rafting excursion. From absolute beginner to advanced, all levels of experience are catered for as you cruise some of the world’s finest white water surrounded by rich vegetation and an abundance of wildlife.
Book yourself a trip to Costa Rica today!
Riu Guanacaste Hotel
Playa de Matapalo, Costa Rica
Recently returned from the jungles of Costa Rica or planning a trip? Let us know your top recommendations or where you’re headed in the comments below.