Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Mexico & Central America
Reload this Page >

What are some must see destinations and must do activities in Costa Rica?

What are some must see destinations and must do activities in Costa Rica?

Old Oct 12th, 2007, 06:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 25
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What are some must see destinations and must do activities in Costa Rica?

This is my first time going there, so I would really appreciate some inside scoop and general advice. I will be going there in late February. Thanks to everyone in advance.
profi111 is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2007, 07:30 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,319
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Let's see, we've been to Arenal, Manuel Antonio, the Peace Lodge, and the Osa Peninsula - these are probably some of the most popular spots for a first-timer to visit. Do you have an idea of what you'd like to do? Are you a volcano person, or a beach person, or interested in seeing wildlife or waterfalls? My advice is to pick a couple of spots that interest you and not try to see it all in one trip. It can take quite a while to get from destination to destination.

Peace Lodge is a great spot for a night or two - pretty posh with five waterfalls you can hike to.

Arenal has the active volcano, which is really amazing to see, the Cano Negro river boat tour where you'll see howlers, capuchins, sloths, and birds, also ziplines like SkyTrek, and natural hot springs like Tabacon - also Hanging Bridges.

Manuel Antonio has beaches, nice views, loads of restaurants, and a National Park full of wildlife, but that can get crowded - also mangrove tours, sailing, horseback riding, etc.

The Osa is still relatively untamed. You can see toucans, scarlet macaws, howlers, capuchins, etc. all from the front porch of your cabin. We stayed at Bosque del Cabo and really liked it.

Other people go to the Caribbean side; Tortuguero has turtles laying eggs.

Monteverde is also popular - good spot for birding with lots of plant life.

If you give us an idea of what interests you, everyone will chime in and try to point you in the right direction. Also, do you have an idea of your budget?
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2007, 03:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 694
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What are your interests?

Suggest you buy one of the many good guidebooks to the country and do some research.

Also try using the search function in this forum.

Once you have a general understanding of what Costa Rica 'is about'then you will be able to ask more meaningful questions.

gannetmusic is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2007, 06:21 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,541
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, I agree, it would help to know where you are going in CR, your interests etc.
tully is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2007, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 611
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As other posters said above, I think the Arenal and Manuel Antonio areas are among the top places for first-timers to go. Depending on how long of a trip you have, you could add another destination to this... Monteverde, Peace Lodge, or Osa Peninsula, etc. Arenal and Manuel Antonio (or Arenal and Osa) are a great combination because Arenal is inland (volcano, lots of activities) and Manuel Antonio is on the Pacific ocean side (beaches, water-related stuff, and also lots of activities available). Osa is also on the Pacific side, but it's more remote (a little harder to get to), and sees less tourists... apparently a very special place (I personally haven't been, although many on this board have).

Regarding "must-do" activities, there are a ton, depending on your interests. I'd say among the most popular, which are available between the above destinations, are (in no particular order):

1. Hanging bridges in the rainforest canopy (you walk around the treetops viewing wildlife)... Available in various places including Arenal and Monteverde. Monteverde is a "cloud forest," which is a rain forest at a high elevation... it has a look all its own and is gorgeous. Many people enjoy staying at the Peace Lodge, which is also in a cloud forest.

2. a zip-line "canopy tour" (less about seeing nature, more of a mild thrill ride, and great fun!) Available just about everywhere. I HIGHLY recommend Canopy Safari in Manuel Antonio.

3. whitewater rafting

4. "float tour" -- on calm water for spotting wildlife. Cano Negro near the Arenal area, and the Damas Island mangrove tour in Manuel Antonio are both very popular boat tours.

5. horseback riding -- lots of options

6. in Arenal there are thermal hot springs to soak in, and a sunset hike around the volcano to see lava is a must-do

7. Manuel Antonio has nice beaches and trails for spotting wildlife (it's always great to hire a guide for some rain forest hiking... you'll see SO much more.)

These are just some of the "biggies," and I'm sure others would add to the list. There are also the La Paz Waterfalls, and a tour of a coffee plantation... both very popular. I've done almost all of the above (except I'm not a horse person!) and I think that Costa Rica is the perfect place to try to do as many different varied activities as you can, since so much is offered.

It's been said a thousand times here, but no matter what you choose, you can't go wrong in CR!
CarolM is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Mexico & Central America
Mar 20th, 2014 05:04 AM
Mexico & Central America
May 8th, 2010 10:36 AM
Mexico & Central America
Jun 30th, 2009 01:16 PM
Mexico & Central America
Feb 18th, 2008 01:27 PM
Mexico & Central America
Jun 1st, 2007 04:55 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:23 AM.