Five, six, seven, things I love to do in Costa Rica. There are so many things to do when in Costa Rica. One trip is never enough. From extreme adventures of ziplining or river rafting, hiking to a waterfall or volcano or through a rain forest, horseback riding or ATVs, coffee plantation tours to cooking with local tours, surfing and massages on the beach, to just exploring local towns…one trip to Costa Rica may not be enough.
Manuel Antonio Park – Wildlife
When I first went to Manuel Antonio National Park, I had no idea what to expect. Once I was in the park, I was amazed at the different kind of wildlife I was able to see and photograph. From land crabs on the ground to sloths at the top of the highest trees and so much in between. I was with a tour guide, which I would suggest on the first trip. He spotted animals that I would have never found without them. After I walked through the temperate rain forest, I was at the beach. This is one of the areas where rain forest truly meets the ocean. However, you should keep a close eye on your items. There are mischievous little monkeys that will steal your pack or purse and run up a tree. These little creatures will keep what they want and throw everything else away. The beach is beautiful, and the water is warm. Perfect place to spend the afternoon.
This is the first place I ziplined. I always wanted to try it, but never really pursued it. There are many options for ziplining in Costa Rica. There are mellow ziplining tours and there are thrill seeking ziplining tours. Ziplining is usually combined with other things to do when going with a tour company. On my first trip to Costa Rica, I took a day trip to Arenal. It was a cloudy day in the mountains, so I never saw the iconic volcano. But that didn’t stop us from doing what we went to do – soaring over the canopy while hanging from a cable with Sky Adventures. When we arrived at the starting point, we took a tram up the mountain, through the rain forest to the top of the canopy. I cannot describe the rush when I took that first jump. This particular zipline tour is not for the weak at heart. This was a pure adrenaline rush!
One of the tours I’ve been on combines nature, wildlife and adrenaline. The Hanging Bridges in Arenal are not what I expected. This tour includes a walking tour through massive trees. The walk is not difficult. I was with a group and had a guide, but there were also people walking on their own. The nice thing about a guide is getting the history of the area as well as spotting wildlife that I would have never found on my own. The sounds of the forest are relaxing. I heard birds, howler monkeys and babbling springs. The bridges are a different story all together. Each bridge is higher in the canopy than the previous until you are looking over the canopy. Definitely a must do!
Arenal Volcano National Park
Arenal Volcano is the iconic volcano. It is the perfect cone shape that I imagine when I think of a volcano. It last erupted in 1968 and destroyed everything in its path and is now dormant. The forests have grown back and there are hiking trails through the lava to the base of the volcano. It was a great trail to hike after a long day of more strenuous hiking. I hiked the Coladas trail which put me between the base of Arenal and over looking Lake Arenal.
I’ve been on different catamaran cruises when I’ve been to different parts Costa Rica. The different areas had different options. In Quepos, I saw turtles and whales. The boat stopped at an area where we could snorkel or slide off the top of the catamaran into the ocean. In Guanacaste, I sailed to a secluded beach and was able to paddle board, kayak, or just swim in the ocean. On the way back, stingrays jumped in the wake of the boat. Regardless of which cruise, there was food and booze. The crews will keep you eating and drinking all while relaxing as the sunsets or as the sunrises – your choice.