10 Reasons Why Costa Rica is Perfect for Adventure

Find Adventure in Costa Rica
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Ziplining

Where to Visit in Costa Rica for Adventure

This article will assist you in finding the best spots in Costa Rica for adventure and fun this Winter. Costa Rica is a beautiful Central American Country with coastlines on both the Pacific and the Caribbean is one of the most biodiverse places in the World. The lush wild natural environment is easily accessible to adventurous visitors! This 5 day adventure trip includes visits to;

Central Costa Rica:

  1. Arenal Volcano National Park
  2. The town of La Fortuna
  3. El Silencio Nature Reserve
  4. La Fortuna Waterfall
  5. Baldi Hot Springs Resort

Mountainous (elevation 4662) Northwestern Region of Costa Rica:

  1. Monteverde Cloud Forest and Ziplines
  2. Butterfly & Hummingbird Gardens
  3. Hanging bridge 500 feet high

Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica:​

  1. Manuel Antonio National Park
  2. Marine exploration of Manuel Antonio National Park
  3. Manuel Antonio Beach

Costa Rica is a about 19,700 square miles or approximately the size of West Virginia or Denmark. There is a lot of natural territory to explore. The stops listed are some of the most popular tourist destinations. They are a great sampling for a first-time visit to Costa Rica.

10 Reasons to Visit Costa Rica this Winter for Adventure

5 Day Costa Rica Road Trip – Stops along the Way!

La Fortuna Area – Central Costa Rica

Trip N Trek Travel Club - Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

If you are enjoying this post about tropical adventure, you might like this post about Glamping in Maui!

1.  Arenal Volcano  The Arenal Volcano is located near the town of La Fortuna in the Arenal Volcano National Park in the Central region of Costa Rica. If you fly into San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city, the drive to La Fortuna is about 3 hours and 30 minutes away by car.​Remember that the roads in Costa Rica are not well maintained. Some regions have roads filled with pot holes and they can be extremely difficult to navigate…but.. the locals do it daily! I drove the entire trip, and it is a 4 out of 10 for ease of driving. The mountainous pot-hole ridden roads and the traffic on the main roads make for tedious driving.

View of Arenal National Park
Arenal Volcano National Park

2. & 3.  Arenal Volcano National Park and The El Silencio Nature Preserve

The National Park is 29,960 acres and the volcano is in a resting phase since a 2010 eruption.  The volcano rainforest and natural history tour takes you through the lush rainforest along the base of the Arenal Volcano. We hired a private guide and learned about the interesting plants and wildlife in the primary rainforest and the secondary rainforest of El Silencio Nature Reserve. At the end of the tour, we hiked up to the perfect vantage point to see the dramatic volcano and the clouds hovering around the peak.

If you would like to go on this same exact trip check out the dates Trip N Trek Travel Group has slated for 2020!

La Fortuna Waterfall - Judy Hughes
La Fortuna Waterfall

4. The La Fortuna Waterfall

The La Fortuna Waterfall is located about 30 minutes away from the Arenal Volcano National Park and is a  short scenic 15 minute hike down to the 200 foot perfect waterfall. You can swim, picnic and enjoy the lush setting. Wear sturdy shoes as the hike back up is pretty steep! There is an $18 fee that is collected by a local non-profit that supports local conservation. The parking lot is a bit hectic, but the scenery is well worth it.

Baldi Hot Springs Resort
Baldi Hot Springs Resort near La Fortuna Costa Rica

5. Baldi Hot Springs Resort 

Baldi Hot Springs Resort is located close to the town of La Fortuna and is the perfect spot to relax after a day of hiking and adventure. The gorgeous lush setting is situated on 4.5 acres, and offers 25 different types of hot spring pool options. The average temperature is 104 degrees.  You can easily spend 3-4 hours lounging, and they offer a delicious buffet and the usual spa treatments for an additional cost. We opted for the day pass as we were staying in the quaint town of La Fortuna. A bit touristy, but not too crowded when we arrived. Definitely worth the stop for relaxation.

Town Center La Fortuna Costa Rica
Town Center La Fortuna
La Fortuna Costa Rica at Night
La Fortuna Costa Rica at Night

6. Town Center La Fortuna 

Costa Rica is leading the way in sustainable tourism. We were lucky enough to find a reasonably priced hotel in the town center of La Fortuna. Hotel Las Colinas is a charming boutique hotel which is owned by a local family and is committed to sustainable tourism. It offers a local vibe with small rooms and an open air courtyard with a fun bar area. The room prices are in the $60 range and the rated includes a traditional breakfast.There are many restaurants within walking distance in La Fortuna. We made dinner reservations for our group of 9 and dined at Chifa La Familia Feliz.  They served traditional Peruvian food which was served in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I ordered the ceviche and it was fresh and delicious. I highly recommend this restaurant as an option in La Fortuna.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve

trail in monteverde cloud forest costa rica
Trail Monteverde Cloud Forest

7. Monteverde Cloud Forest – Ziplining

Our next stop was the Monteverde Cloud Forest which is approximately 4 hours South ( But a higher elevation!) of La Fortuna. You will think yo are lost on certain portions of the road, but if you have downloaded Google Maps offline, you will eventually arrive in the Cloud Forest.  Aventura Canopy Tours boasts the longest zipline in Latin America at .9 miles long! The 15 ziplines are situated along a path in the cloud forest with platforms in between and an incredible staff. The experience was exhilarating and we felt safe despite dangling high above the forest. I’ve ziplined in other locations, but this was just breathtaking and like nothing I’ve experienced before. Well worth the $57 admission for an adult. Don’t forget to add on the Tarzan swing option at 148 feet!!  

woman ziplining costa rica
Ziplining Monteverde Cloud Forest

8. Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardens

The biodiversity of this unique habitat is greater than almost any other ecosystem and makes a visit here one of the highlights of any Costa Rican journey. You’ll see butterflies of all colors- red, orange, yellow, and lots of Blue Morphos, Costa Rica’s national butterfly.The hummingbird garden is also a sight to see. There are fifteen different species of hummingbirds that are housed in this beautiful open area

Blue Morphos Butterfly image
Blue Morphos Costa Rican National Butterfly
Hummingbird Monteverde Garden
Hummingbird Monteverde Garden

9.  Hanging Bridges 

The Monteverde hanging bridges are up to 500 feet high, and great for bird watching and seeing other interesting plants and wildlife. Note that the bridges are an additional fee and about a 2 mile walk. Definitely worth it for getting the feeling of walking in the tree tops in the mountains of Costa Rica!

Hanging Bridge in Monteverde Cloud Forest
Hanging Bridge Monteverde Cloud Forest

Manuel Antonio National Park

White-Faced Capuchin Monkey
White-Faced Capuchin Monkey
Sloth Hanging from Tree Manuel Antonio National Park
Sloth Manuel Antonio National Park

10. Nature Trails, Boat Tour & Wildlife Manuel Antonio National Park

Arrive early at the National Park, and be aware of vendors posing as National Park officials. We paid to park and determined a legitimate and approved tour guide to take us on a 2 hour wildlife hike. The sloths are really high up in the trees, and you will need a guide with a high powered telescope to see them. We did, and they are so amazingly cute.​The endangered white – faced capuchin monkeys do not feel endangered in the Park. They are unfortunately all over the beach area and are very aggressive in taking food. Take precaution and put away your food as soon as you are finished. The tour felt a bit touristy, but it was well worth getting to see the birds, insects and mammals native to Costa Rica.

10 Reasons to vist Costa Rica for Adventure
Aerial View of Manuel Antonio National Park

The beaches at Manuel Antonio Natonal Park are spectacular. They are consistently rated the top beaches in the World. That rating comes with a price…they are busy. Despite being busy, you can enjoy a day on the beach and take in the gorgeous scenery on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.The two main beaches inside the park, Espadilla Sur Beach and Manuel Antonio Beach are about a 30-minute hike from the main entrance of the park. Playa Manuel Antonio is best known for its spectacular views, but if you’re looking to beat the crowds, venture a bit further down the main trail to Playa Espadilla Sur.

10 Reasons to Visit Costa Rica for Adventure
Playa Espadilla Sur

A boat tour exploring the rugged rocky coastal perimeter of Manuel Antonio National Park was the perfect ending to our day. The boat tour took us to a popular snorkeling spot and we jumped off the diving platform into the warm waters. The best part & finale to an incredible trip was the magical sunset over the Pacific.

10 Reasons to visit Costa Rica for Adventure
Sunset View in Manual Antonio National Marine Park

Costa Rica is one of my favorite tropical trips. This country offers so much to do and see. The challenge will be seeing enough of this gorgeously biodiverse country. You will definitely want to travel back and experience other regions not mentioned above.This trip included a great sampling of some of the most popular sites in a short amount of time. It will be a busy trip with hours of driving on pothole-filled roads, but… If you are a traveller who wants to do more than sit at a tiki bar and read on the beach, Costa Rica would be the perfect spot for you this Winter!!​Oh…and did I mention how delicious the coffee is, and how inexpensive & scrumptious the food is? I’ll save that for another post.

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Judy Hughes

Hi there..I’m Judy. I am a Mom, Wife, Dog Mom and Realtor. My posts are a potpourri of my favorite activities in life. I will dabble in home design & staging (specifically small spaces), real estate tips, plant-based eating, pickle ball, camping and adventure travel. ​Hoping you join me …....Thanks for stopping in! Judy

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