The Greatest Costa Rica Excursions (for Each Price range!)

For those who’re a seasoned traveler, you would possibly draw back from excursions and decide to go to locations by yourself as an alternative. I get it: I additionally benefit from the freedom to go the place I need, after I need, with a purpose to keep away from crowds.

Nevertheless, there are advantages of reserving excursions, particularly if it’s your first time in a brand new place. Certainly one of them is having a information who can reply your questions and supply significant context to what you’re seeing. One other large perk is that hopping on a tour can probably prevent cash, as a lot of them embody meals and transportation.

I totally loved the excursions I went on in Costa Rica. Particularly contemplating the spectacular biodiversity there, it’s tremendous useful to have an knowledgeable with you who can level out totally different crops and animals that you simply would possibly in any other case miss.

I’ve put collectively a listing of the perfect Costa Rica excursions, together with free and price range ones, and luxurious and multiday excursions. Some stellar choices await you:

Price range Excursions

1. San José Bites and Sights Strolling Tour

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I did this tour on my first day in Costa Rica, and it completely set the scene for your complete month I spent exploring the nation. I discovered about totally different sorts of fruits, acquired a full rundown on particular customs and different cultural norms, and loved among the finest meals that San José has to supply. My information was an knowledgeable in all issues San José, from its historical past and structure to the perfect locations to eat and find out how to get essentially the most out of the town. You may learn all about my expertise right here to get a greater concept of what you possibly can anticipate from the tour.

  • The place: Downtown San José
  • Length: 3 hours
  • What’s included: Native information, fruit & vegetable samples, espresso, and different small bites
  • Value: $38 and price each penny! E book right here.

2. Jungle Night time Tour

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There are few experiences which can be fairly like strolling by means of a pitch-black jungle at evening. I did this Manuel Antonio jungle evening tour on my first evening there, and I couldn’t consider how fascinating it was. The feeling of listening to the nonstop rhythmic sounds at evening felt surreal. My information had a eager eye for bugs, spiders, frogs, reptiles, and different critters, pointing them out for us as we hiked. There have been so many animals that I had by no means seen earlier than; I needed to do a double-take to essentially take of their magnificence.

Not solely was the hike itself an ideal expertise, however the tour included dinner and transportation, making it a stellar price range possibility. You may learn extra about my expertise on this tour right here.

  • The place: Rainmaker Conservation Park, close to Manuel Antonio
  • Length: 3 hours
  • What’s included: Naturalist information, dinner with drinks, transportation, and park entrance price
  • Value: $59; contemplating the upper value of meals in Manuel Antonio, the included dinner made it value it. E book right here.

3. Waterfall, Arenal Volcano, and Scorching Springs Full-Day Tour

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There’s loads to do in La Fortuna, and it may be tempting to attempt to squeeze all the pieces into a brief interval. That’s why I like to recommend hopping on this full-day tour to profit from the time you might have right here. I booked this tour as a result of I didn’t lease a automotive and was overwhelmed by the effort of making an attempt to get from place to position after I realized that La Fortuna doesn’t precisely have a sturdy public transportation system. Plus, taking taxis in all places would have been dearer than the tour and even renting a automotive for the day.

This tour began early, round 7am. I hopped on the bus, met my guides, and buckled up for the trip. Through the 10-hour journey, I acquired to go to the La Fortuna Waterfall, hike on volcanic rock close to the Arenal Volcano, and take a dip in some steamy sizzling springs afterward. There was even a beneficiant lunch included, with some drinks on the sizzling springs as properly. For me, it was properly well worth the value.

  • The place: La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano Nationwide Park
  • Length: 10 hours
  • What’s included: Native guides, lunch and drinks, park entrance charges, sizzling springs entrance price, and transportation
  • Value: $90, which is lower than it will price to do all of these items by yourself. E book right here.

4. Río Celeste and Tenorio Nationwide Park Tour

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This exercise was my favourite factor I did close to La Fortuna. Río Celeste is a sky-blue river that runs by means of the Tenorio Volcano Nationwide Park. Right here you’ll discover an abundance of wildlife, together with sloths, toucans, monkeys, and extra. Plus, the crown jewel of the park is the large Río Celeste waterfall, which crashes into one of many bluest swimming pools you’ll ever see.

This tour, very like the Arenal tour above, was properly well worth the value. Contemplating that the park is a 90-minute drive from La Fortuna, the transportation alone makes it an ideal bang on your buck. Plus, I had a blast studying concerning the distinctive ecosystem and dipping into a close-by sizzling river. Learn extra about my expertise right here.

  • The place: Tenorio Volcano Nationwide Park
  • Length: 8 hours
  • What’s included: Naturalist information, lunch, park entrance price, and transportation
  • Value: $89, which is about the identical value as it will be to lease a automotive for the day to get there, so it’s value it. E book right here.

5. Rainforest Chocolate Tour

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Cacao, the plant that turns into chocolate, is native to Costa Rica. There are cacao plantations all through the nation, a few of which you’ll go to on a tour. That is the best possible solution to be taught concerning the harvesting and processing of cacao from begin to end, as you’ll be capable of see the totally different levels and style the ultimate product on the finish.

  • The place: close to La Fortuna
  • Length: 1.5-2 hours
  • What’s included: Native information, chocolate tastings, and entrance charges to the plantation
  • Value: $30. E book right here.

6. Natural Farm Go to & Farm-to-Desk Cooking Class

So that you already did the San José meals tour, and now you’re itching to learn to make these delicious empanadas. Connecting with the best way Costa Ricans put together typical dishes is an superior solution to be taught concerning the tradition and recognize it by means of meals. I really feel like I missed out by not doing this tour and can guide it subsequent time I go to.

  • The place: La Fortuna
  • Length: 2 hours
  • What’s included: Guided tour of the farm, cooking class, a meal ready by you
  • Value: $45, which is greater than a meal would price at a restaurant, however you get a studying expertise as properly. E book right here.

7. Lake Arenal Stand-up Paddleboard or Kayak Rental

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Paddleboarding with a huge volcano as a backdrop sounds fairly epic, proper? Lake Arenal is on the base of a volcano of the identical title. Its waters are tranquil and ideal for a paddle, making this exercise a must-do whereas in La Fortuna. Some even say that the perfect view of the volcano is from the lake, so don’t miss out on the chance to see what all of the hype is about!

  • The place: La Fortuna
  • Length: 1 hour
  • What’s included: Rental of paddleboard gear
  • Value: $20, which is the usual value per hour to lease a paddleboard. E book right here.

8. Cloud Forest Night time Strolling Tour

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For those who learn my information to Monteverde, you realize already that this was one in all my favourite locations in Costa Rica. The cloud forest is nothing wanting magical, what with its mossy bushes, thick foliage, and abundance of untamed animals scurrying about. Just like what I discussed above concerning the Manuel Antonio jungle evening tour, this one is crucial to any Monteverde itinerary. The forest is totally totally different at evening, and having a information there to level out totally different animals makes it properly well worth the value, as a lot of them are tough to identify. The parks closed at evening, so that is the one solution to see them after darkish.

  • The place: Monteverde/Santa Elena
  • Length: 3 hours
  • What’s included: Naturalist information, entry ticket to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Organic Reserve, and transportation
  • Value: $28.25, making it probably the most inexpensive actions on the listing. E book right here.

9. Aquiares Property: 2-Hour Espresso Tour with Tasting

Have you ever ever questioned what it takes to make a cup of scrumptious espresso? Costa Rica is among the espresso capitals of the world, as a result of it has the best local weather for the crops to thrive. Many Costa Ricans make their residing harvesting, processing, and promoting espresso, so plantations are ample right here. Take it from me; you possibly can’t depart Costa Rica with out visiting one in all these — it was probably the most eye-opening experiences I had there. I’d dare to say that touring one made me increase the bar for what I contemplate to be an excellent cup of joe.

  • The place: Aquiares, Limón Province
  • Length: 2 hours
  • What’s included: Knowledgeable information, entrance price to the farm, espresso tasting
  • Value: $35, which is fairly commonplace for excursions like this one. E book right here.

Luxurious Excursions

10. ATV Quad Bike Journey Tour (±Snorkeling)

So many stunning locations in Costa Rica are solely accessible by way of ATV or on foot due to how dense the jungles could be. Tamarindo is a seashore city, but in addition has some unbelievable forests with streams and waterfalls, and this ATV tour is the best solution to attain these spectacular, off-the-beaten-path locations. Put together your self to get sandy and muddy throughout this wild journey by means of Costa Rican seashore and jungle landscapes.

  • The place: Tamarindo
  • Length: 2.5-3 hours
  • What’s included: Native information, transportation to and out of your lodging, ATV rental (you get to drive), snorkel gear (in the event you select the snorkeling possibility)
  • Value: $170 with out snorkeling, $220 with snorkeling. E book right here.

11. Paragliding Flight

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Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is known for its breathtaking sunsets. Although admiring them from the shore has its perks, there’s nothing fairly just like the panoramic view whereas parasailing. It is a dear exercise, however many individuals who’ve performed it describe it as surreal and the closest factor you possibly can really feel to flying like a chook.

  • The place: Jacó
  • Length: 40 minutes
  • What’s included: Paragliding flight with skilled pilot
  • Value: $230, making this a little bit of a splurge however value it for the once-in-a-lifetime expertise. E book right here.

12. Day Journey to Tabacon Scorching Springs & Arenal Volcano

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For those who’re dying to take a look at the new springs in La Fortuna however solely have someday for it in your itinerary, contemplate this present day journey from San José to Tabacón sizzling springs and Arenal Volcano. Tabacón is maybe essentially the most well-known sizzling river in Costa Rica. It will get its steamy temperature from the geothermal exercise of Arenal Volcano.

In comparison with different sizzling springs in La Fortuna, Tabacón is pricier and extra luxurious. It’s one of many solely locations that has a soaking space that’s half of the particular river, whereas different sizzling springs are man-made swimming pools. This tour begins off with a hike close to Arenal Volcano, probably the most iconic locations within the nation, and finishes with the new springs.

  • The place: San José to La Fortuna
  • Length: 13 hours
  • What’s included: Tour information, round-trip transportation from San José to La Fortuna, entrance to Tabacón Thermal Resort, lunch and dinner
  • Value: $232, which is certainly value it as a result of a day go on the resort is round $70 alone. E book right here.

Multiday Excursions

13. 3-Day Tortuguero Nationwide Park Tour (2 nights)

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Tortuguero Nationwide Park, on the northern Caribbean coast, is actually an extended, skinny island with a community of canals on the mainland facet and the Caribbean Sea on the opposite. It was probably the most stunning locations I visited and the place I noticed essentially the most wildlife. It will get its title as a result of the island is a hatching floor for a number of species of sea turtles, which you could find there at totally different instances of the 12 months.

A 3-day tour like this one is a superb alternative to get essentially the most out of Tortuguero in little time. Having a information is an enormous plus, as they’re consultants in recognizing wildlife and giving recommendations on the place to go and what to do. Plus, having transportation to and from San José takes the stress off of determining find out how to get there, as the general public buses could be unpredictable at instances and the journey is kind of lengthy. Discover out extra concerning the itinerary right here.

  • The place: San José to Tortuguero
  • Length: 3 days, 2 nights
  • What’s included: Guided excursions, all meals, 2 nights’ lodging
  • Value: $500, which is kind of cheap contemplating that you simply don’t have to fret about lodging, meals, or transportation. E book right here.

14. All-Inclusive Package deal for 7 Nights (8 Days)

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If you wish to get pleasure from the perfect websites on this stunning nation with out having to plan a single factor, an all-inclusive tour is a superb possibility. This one is a spotlight reel of among the finest locations to go to in Costa Rica, together with Poás Volcano, Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna, Monteverde, and extra.

A lot of these excursions usually are not for everybody, however in the event you don’t thoughts going with the stream and following another person’s itinerary, it may be enjoyable to not should plan each exercise. It’s additionally fairly good to have the ability to pay one flat price that covers nearly all the pieces.

  • The place: San José, Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna, Monteverde, Irazú Volcano and extra. Discover the complete itinerary right here.
  • Length: 8 days, 7 nights
  • What’s included: Tour information, transportation, 7 nights of lodging, admission tickets, breakfasts, and lunches
  • Value: $1,430, relying on the season (costs could also be increased from December to April). E book right here.

Free Excursions

15. San José Strolling Tour

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Likelihood is that you simply’ll fly into Costa Rica’s capital metropolis, San José. Although most guests aren’t tremendous enthusiastic about spending a lot time within the nation’s solely actual concrete jungle, this metropolis would possibly shock you. It definitely was a lot extra fascinating than I believed it will be, and I truly wished I had spent extra time there. Contemplate becoming a member of a free strolling tour of San José (aka El Chepe or Chepetown) to get the news on its historical past, tradition, and meals scene from the angle of an area information.

  • The place: Downtown San José
  • Length: 2.5-3 hours
  • What’s included: Native information
  • Value: Free, however tipping the information is advisable. E book right here.

16. La Alegría Waterfalls Tour

Discovering free excursions like this one is fairly uncommon. The free waterfalls tour in La Alegría will take you to a secret waterfall the place you possibly can go for a swim with out the crowds you’d discover at different, extra touristy locations. You’ll additionally be capable of try some implausible jungle vistas from a viewpoint towards the Reventazón lagoon. The information is knowledgeable in ecological tourism and can be capable of level out birds, mammals, and different crops and animals alongside the best way.

  • The place: La Alegría, Limón Province
  • Length: 4.5 hours
  • What’s included: Transportation to and from the waterfalls and a information
  • Value: Free, however tipping the information is advisable (most give $10-50). E book right here.


The most effective Costa Rica tour for you is the one which excites you, suits your price range, and might make your journey right here additional particular.

Which one will you select?

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