Things to Do in Costa Rica
There are many things to do in Costa Rica, including hiking the stunning mountain trails and visiting the stunning waterfalls. But you’ll also want to see the wildlife, including the hundreds of species of birds. If you’re a nature lover, you might be interested in a day trip to Carara National Park, which covers more than 13,000 acres. There are interpretative trails throughout the park that you can use to learn about the wildlife. Many tour companies offer hiking, river boating, and birding excursions in the park. During your time hiking in Costa Rica, you’ll be able to visit hundreds of waterfalls, including the impressive Carara Volcano.
El Chorro Waterfall
The El Chorro Waterfall in Costa Rica is a unique waterfall that plunges from a cliff into the ocean. You can visit the waterfall on horseback or rent a car and reach it from either direction. You can also stay at the Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel & Villas in Montezuma and access the waterfall from there. Aside from the waterfall, the area is a haven for a variety of wildlife, including rare tree species and hundreds of species of birds. This area was also one of the first places in Costa Rica to be protected.
A trip to El Chorro Waterfall is a great way to experience the lush rain forest and its wildlife. This waterfall is 230 feet high and is a double fall. You can visit the falls from a viewing platform or even take a zip line. Getting to the waterfall is easy and requires a small fee. From the town of Giron, a taxi to the trailhead will cost you around $5. Otherwise, you can take a bus or walk to the base of the falls.
Manuel Antonio National Park
If you are interested in learning how to surf, Manuel Antonio is the place to visit. The city is home to many surf shops and classes. Beginners can take lessons on the southern end of the beach and experts can head to the north end. The nearby Quepos marina is a great place to catch a few fish.
There are many ways to enjoy the sunset in Manuel Antonio. If you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery, consider taking a sunset boat tour. These tours stop at the beautiful, jade-colored Playa Biesanz. The tour includes drinks and snacks and sometimes music as well. There are also amenities onboard the boats, including a slide and a jacuzzi.
After you’ve enjoyed the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park, you’ll probably want to explore nearby towns. Monte Verde and La Fortuna are both about a five-hour drive from Manuel Antonio. It’s worth the drive, and you can meet some friendly locals along the way.
El Poas Volcano
You can drive up to the top of El Poas Volcano and view the surrounding landscape. The drive takes about one and a half hours, and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Central Valley and green pastures below. You can even hike a half mile down into the crater. You’ll need to book in advance.
One of Costa Rica’s most iconic volcanoes, Poas Volcano is more than a mile wide and over 900 feet deep. It’s a popular tourist destination because of the volcano’s colorful ecosystem and exciting geothermal activity.
If you’re planning a visit to the crater, you should visit early in the morning, before the cloud cover moves in. Otherwise, the volcano will be obscured by clouds by midday.
Zarcero Topiary Gardens
If you are a fan of topiary gardens, Zarcero in Costa Rica is worth a visit. This small town is home to a number of beautiful topiary gardens, including the Parque Francisco Alvardoa. Created in the 1960s, this park has been a delight to visitors for many years. Its stunning arches and sculptured shrubs are sure to make your day.
The park at Zarcero is set in the mountains around 80 kilometers from the capital city, San Jose, and is a veritable Alice in Wonderland. It’s filled with psychedelic cypress trees, shaped into archways. You’ll also find dinosaurs, monkeys, airplanes, and more. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot the latest creation by Evangelista, who is attempting to create a life-sized self-portrait of himself in this park.
To reach Zarcero, take a scenic drive into the countryside. The town sits 1,736 meters above sea level and has cool mountain weather. Its location behind the Arenal Volcano National Park offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountainside forests.