6 Awesome Eco-Adventures in Costa Rica
From adrenaline rush to lazy days, must-experience adventures for your Costa Rica vacation
A vacation in Costa Rica means plenty of eco-adventure in the rainforests and oceans.
Costa Rica is as close to paradise in the tropics as it gets: gorgeous surroundings, laid-back vibes, and a different awesome adventure every day. As high season ramps up on the Central Pacific Coast, we think you’ll get your money’s worth from any or all of these local adventures.
When you’re rafting, the view from the river gives you a different perspective on the rainforest and its inhabitants. High season coincides with Costa Rica’s dry season, resulting in lower water flows. Río Savegre’s Class II-III rapids are great for learning to paddle. Naranjo’s rapids are more technically difficult, supplying more experienced river rats with a bigger rush. All reputable rafting companies employ veteran, bilingual river guides to lead you downriver. Safety instruction and gear are provided.
Zipline canopy flying
The rainforest’s treetop inhabitants: monkeys, sloths, and birds are not so easy to spot from the ground. Neither is the exotic plant life that favors the diverse ecosystems of the rainforest canopy. Ziplines, invented right here in Costa Rica by an enterprising research scientist, it turns out, are a whole lotta’ fun. Reaching speeds of 35 – 50 mph (you can control the speed), you’ll soar from platform to platform, enjoying a real bird’s eye view of the world around you.
Canyoneering is a combination of hiking, zip lining, and rappelling down a waterfall. For added excitement, you can try cliff jumping from 25 feet up. No experience is required; tour operators near Jacó provide safety equipment and instruction, as well as bilingual guides to lead and assist your party. Be sure to pack a swimsuit because you’ll have the option to go swimming too, if you’re not already wet enough.
High season in Costa Rica means primo surfing, with some of the most challenging waves to be had. Surf shops lining the beach from Jacó to Manuel Antonio provide lessons and board rentals for beginning and intermediate surfers. Take note: just because the pros are riding the big breaks, don’t assume you should paddle out. Be honest with yourself about your abilities and ask the pros at the shop: Look for International Surfing Association certification to be sure you’re asking someone who knows local conditions.
Wave runners are an exceptional way to get on the water and explore around Herradura Bay’s small islands. Rentals are available at either Jacó or Herradura beach. Go on your own and check out the hidden coves accessible only by boat (or jet ski), stop for swim in the waters of a crystal clear, or do a bit of beachcombing.
Scuba diving & snorkeling
There’s a 5-star PADI diving center in nearby Quepos to help you explore reefs and volcanic formations just offshore. Lessons and guided dives are available for beginners and those who want to take advantage of local knowledge. If diving seems to complicated, snorkeling the reefs is another way to get a look at what’s under the sea.
Single and double kayak rentals and tours are available in Jacó if you prefer a quieter exploration. Fully trained bilingual guides can show you all the best views.
As adventures go, not all our suggestions are spine-tingling fun, but they are fun. Contact Croc’s Resort front desk for help booking the right adventure for you.