Attractions – Adventure

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For lovers of adventure tourism, Costa Rica is a destination with an abundance of emotions and adrenaline. Some tourists prefer adventures with lots of action whether on land or water. They want to experience the wonders of this country by practicing their favorite sport. Throughout the year and in most of the country, whether by water, land or air you can choose from a wide variety of activities for the whole family that occur in natural settings where you can live memorable experiences.

Safety is the most important part when enjoying adventurous activities.  For this reason, Costa Rica requires activities that they must be regulated and that those who provide the services obtain permits from several different governmental entities. If you are going to try one of these activities, ask your provider to prove you that they are in compliance with all the requirements to guarantee your safety.

Because of the excellent quality that adventure tourism in Costa Rica has demonstrated, several international entities have distinguished our country as the best destination for adventure.

One of the most popular activities among those who visit Costa Rica is diving as well as snorkeling.

The person will come in contact with a colorful underwater world where one can watch the spectacular whales, sharks, white tip sharks (in Coco’s Island), stingrays, schools of different species, eels, lobsters, beautiful coral formations and many more.

Coco’s Island is one of the ten most important marine places in the world.  It was declared a Natural Heritage Site of Humanity by UNESCO in 1997.  For this reason, visits to this island are controlled by SINAC- MINAE, the government agency responsible for the environment.  The island is located 500km from Puntarenas and it takes approximately 20 hours to get there by boat.

Land Activities:

  • Walks: To have a closer contact with nature, you will discover stunning mountain trails that invite you to penetrate into the beautiful corners of the country and to appreciate majestic rivers and waterfalls.
  • Mountain Biking: Beautiful landscapes, bold and fun trails await those who love to mountain bike.
  • Horseback Riding: You can enjoy horseback riding throughout most of the country with excellent guides. You can explore different paths through the forests, beaches and waterfalls or live an experience in harmony with the local community while discovering interesting people and sharing with immersion into the Costa Rican way of life.
  • Caving: Get to know the underground mysterious world of the caverns as you practice spelunking this will allow you to experience beauty from a completely different perspective while you practice an adventure sport that is not common and entails somewhat of a risk.
  • Hanging Bridges: Be adventurous some as you get on some of these incredible structures of hanging bridges.  The entire family can get up close and personal with scenic rivers, the forest canopy and the sensation of depth while seeing how life exists on the tops of the trees.
  • Rappel: This is an exercise where you will descend from the top of a tall tree, a waterfall, a Cliff or other rocky formation to the ground.  The only thing needed is comfortable clothing and choose the best “tour” for you to fulfill your adventure needs.
  • Canopy: This is traveling between two platforms that are usually located at the tops of the trees, while going at different speeds in a harness and holding on to a steel cable. During your ride sometimes you will cross river canyons for which it will be necessary to climb the mountain higher up to be able to continue.  From the heights of the platforms and throughout your journey, you will be able to appreciate breathtaking landscapes and views of the forest from above. The advantage of the canopy is it can be enjoyed by everyone and it can be tempered to the level of adventure that each one wishes to try.
  • Bungee Jumping: Enjoy the adrenaline rush as you defy vertigo by falling freely through the air and bouncing back several times before coming to a stop. Bungee jumping has been practiced in Costa Rica since 1991.  It is done on Bungee cords in several different places.

Water Activities

  • White Water Rafting down the rivers of Costa Rica: While you travel down our rapids and eddies, you will enjoy a natural world around you.  If you prefer to go to more calm waters that can be also arranged.  You will be able to see better the environment and you will be able to admire the wild animals and exuberant forests that will beckon you to become one with them.
  • Surfing: Costa Rica is the perfect place for surfers. The point breaks, beach breaks and perfect lefts and rights found here all make this tiny Central American country a leading surfer hotspot in the world today. Its beaches are usually very clean, pristine and rarely crowded.  Costa Rica has definitely become a favorite hangout for surfers, specially for those who would like to try out some of the most challenging waves on the planet.
  • Costa Rica has well over 50 famous surf breaks along its shoreline. Legendary and truly spectacular, the waves here are big and with the many reef breaks found along the coast surfers here are in for hollow and fast rides. Though some of the surfer beaches maybe kind of hard to reach due to poor road conditions, they are well worth the trip as the waves are good all year round. Some breaks like Pavones have the longest rides in the world and is definitely worth the long trek to get there.
  • Major swells can be found on the Costa Rican coast between the months of April and October, but it is from December to April that the surf is at its cleanest.
  • While the top five surf destinations are at Playa Hermosa, Playa Grande, Pavones, Witches Rock and Salsa Brava, some other popular surf points in Costa Rica are Dominical, Santa Teresa/Mal País, Playa Negra, Playa Junquillal and Playa Avellana. The surf at Playa Naranjo or Witches Rock is also very good with many surf scenes from the movie Endless Summer II having been filmed here.
  • Kayaking: You can also enjoy kayaking in our oceans, where you will experience the exciting movement of their waves under the radiant sun and you will be able to see the wonderful beaches of Costa Rica with their multicolored sands surrounded by exuberant vegetation.  You can also enjoy relaxing canoe/kayak trips down our rivers, canals, lakes and wetlands surrounded by nature and its exquisite beauty.
  • Snorkeling/Diving: Diving is one of the activities that attract most the tourists who visit Costa Rica.  Snorkeling is also greatly sought after. There are many places along both coasts that these activities can be enjoyed.   Good diving areas are: Cocos Island and Caño Island.  Good snorkeling areas are: Caño Island, Ballena Marine National Park .