With a rainforest worth of variety, Costa Rica has something for the adrenaline junky, the foodie, and the explorer. Offering rare habitats, preserved coastline, and “Pura Vida”—Costa Rica attracts travelers and investors from around the world. The country is small, meaning you can enjoy luxurious accommodations on both Pacific and Caribbean coasts on the same trip.
Whether you’re seeking a restorative tour through the country’s best spas and restaurants, or a lifetime spent exploring its natural wonders, you’ll find something irresistible in this Central American marvel.
Costa Rica is teeming with jungles, rivers, national parks, volcanoes, and the opportunity for a very active vacation. If you’re looking to see the gorgeous landscapes and beaches that Costa Rica is world-famous for—wake up early, and seize the day. It’s a small country, but there’s a lot to see and do. Below are a few adventures worth planning:
- The Guachipelin Adventure Volcano is a thrilling all-day adventure that blends some of the best outdoor recreational opportunities Costa Rica has to offer. Go on an exhilarating zip line tour, horseback ride through coastal landscapes, and go tubing down a river—all in the same day. Tours include a natural hot spring, a volcanic mud bath, and a delicious lunch.
- Explore Tamarindo’s beaches and dry forest with an off-road ATV tour. You’ll cross rivers, and take in beautiful mountain views and tropical scenery. Your guide will teach you how to maneuver your ATV before navigating rugged terrain.
Canopy Tour, Photo courtesy of Selvatura Park
- Selvatura Park is a national attraction in Costa Rica. This expansive 850-acre nature-adventure park is nestled in the cloud forest above Monteverde. The park offers various adventure packages, including a Butterfly Garden, Treetop Walkways, and Natural History Walks.
- Spot howler and capuchin monkeys, toucans, and the incredible biodiversity of the Costa Rican rainforest on a three-hour Volcano Hike within Rincón de la Viega National Park. Your full-day tour includes hiking past volcanic craters and mud pools, swimming beneath the Oropendola Waterfall, soaking in hot springs and volcanic mud baths, and re-fueling with a Costa Rican lunch.
- Embark on a five-hour Tamarindo sunset cruise that includes snorkeling and kayaking. In addition to water sports equipment, the catamaran tour features lunch and an open bar with top-shelf liquor.
- Pay a visit to Costa Rica’s most famous beach, Tamarindo Beach. Spend the day sunbathing on the white sand, splashing in the warm blue water, and relishing some excellent surf.
- Beyond the popular destinations above, Costa Rica is teeming with gorgeous public beaches. You can spend your days snorkeling, surfing, hiking, and putting your toes in the sand. Check out Viator’s list of top 10 attractions in Costa Rica to help you plan which areas you wish to explore.
Many travelers visit Costa Rica specifically for luxury self-care and meditation. If you’re seeking a holiday filled with spa treatments and lavish amenities, we’ve compiled a shortlist of extravagant pastimes that will make your trip to Costa Rica a relaxing, pampered experience.
- The Spa at Tabacon blends the rainforest with hot springs and personalized service. The spa menu includes massage therapy, facials, and Costa Rican signature treatments.
- Relax and recharge at the luxurious Onda Spa at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo. Scheduled activities include yoga, meditation, and sound healing classes, while Onda Spa offers everything from massages and manicures, to body treatments and Reiki. For the ultimate physical and mental replenishment, book a spa package.
- There are plenty of yacht charters available for you to lounge and soak up the sun and enjoy various water-related activities, including fishing, snorkeling, river rafting, and rainforest eco-tourism. Day Yacht Charters provides clients with a comprehensive collection of crewed luxury yachts.
- Take a Private Catamaran Charter on Playa Flamingo in the morning or evening, including snacks, libations, and use of snorkeling equipment.
- Enjoy a 15-day luxury tropical vacation complete with nature excursions and VIP pampering. Some trip highlights include snorkeling in the waters of the Caño Island Biological Reserve, exploring the Corcovado National Park, Grand Safari on the Tárcoles River, and a private tour of La Paz Waterfall Gardens. The itinerary is action-packed yet provides the exclusivity you desire in a luxurious holiday.
- Soar over the iconic Poas Volcano with a private helicopter tour. The two-hour flight gives you a spectacular view of Poas Volcano, boasting an expansive 1.5-kilometer wide and 300-meter deep crater surrounded by lush rainforest and the volcanic Laguna Botos.
Costa Rica offers more than world-class resorts, spas, and natural expeditions. Foodies can relish the delectable flavors of Pura Vida all day long—from the best morning coffee on earth, to heavenly chocolate for dessert. Costa Rica is a tropical paradise brimming with delicious foods.
- See how cocoa flowers are transformed into chocolate bars during a private Eden Chocolate Tour. Your experience begins with a tour of the plantation to see growing techniques and how cocoa beans are fermented and dried. After the plantation visit, you get to roast, grind, conch, and refine the beans before devouring your handmade chocolate bonbons!
- From seed germination to the first crop, observe the step-by-step coffee production process with a private Doka Estate Coffee Tour. You will visit the Doka Estate plantation, processing plant, and packing house before indulging in a traditional lunch.
- Delight in a four-hour San Jose tour, complete with San Jose’s iconic landmarks and a three-course traditional Costa Rican dinner and beverage pairings. This Food and Culture Small-Group Tour will also give you a glimpse into San Jose nightlife and an insider’s perspective on local cuisine.
- Learn some traditional cooking techniques during a Private Cooking Class in San José. The lesson takes place on a charming 150-year-old estate, where a local chef will walk you through every step of preparation.
- Explore San Jose’s Barrio Escalante and its selection of local pubs during the San Jose Beer History Walking Tour and Beer Tasting. You’ll get an exciting look into the Costa Rica craft beer scene, sampling excellent local craft brews and eating savory Costa Rican tapas. The trip includes a free beer at two pubs, a beer tasting at a brewery, snacks, and a local English-speaking guide.
- Revel in an exciting evening in La Fortuna with dinner and a show. Experience an entertaining performance of Costa Rican dances, a tasting tour of nine traditional and fusion dishes, and one bottle of wine per guest.
Below are a few must-visit restaurants.
- Sobre las Olas in Cahuita is a charming local spot serving mussels on the half-shell, fresh ceviche, and a menu filled with dishes showcasing local ingredients.
- Le Monastère is the perfect dining destination for affluent travelers. This restaurant is located in Escazú and offers fusion dishes, with many European and Latin influences. This restaurant is ideal for a date night or group outing to share tapas, enjoy refreshing gazpacho, munch on coconut shrimp, and sip ginger margaritas.
- Hotel Grano de Oro Restaurante has grown to be one of Costa Rica’s finest restaurants. This casual yet elegant establishment boasts a rotating Costa Rican/European menu. Some of their well-known dishes include savory beef bourguignon ravioli, slow-cooked lamb shank, and roasted Costa Rican pork tenderloin, prepared with yucca croquette, mango chutney, and tamarindo sauce.
Costa Rica is a rare, magical place worth visiting—however you choose to spend your time. When you’re ready to book your next vacation, begin by reserving accommodations at the Wilder Collection of Costa Rica luxury villas.