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Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity. So, whether you’re looking to catch glimpses of scarlet macaws circling overhead; watch three-toed sloths chilling in the tree canopies; or see cartoonish, red-eyed tree frogs peeking out at you in Tortuguero National Park, rest assured that our trips in Costa Rica tick off every wildlife enthusiast’s bucket list. But it’s not all about the incredible wildlife encounters. From its natural hot springs and towering active volcanoes to its shimmering turquoise shores, read on to find out our most notable highlights and unmissable experiences this country has to offer.
Things to see in Costa Rica
1. Enjoy exhilarating treks around the Arenal Volcano
On a selection of our Costa Rica trips, you enjoy a trekking experience across lava fields in Arenal National Park where you’ll have the opportunity to bathe in their natural thermal hot springs. Feeling adventurous? You can also spend the afternoon zip-lining 200m above the lush rainforest canopy.
Take me there: Arenal Volcano
2. Take your adventure to new heights in the Monteverde Cloud Forest
One of the best ways to explore Costa Rica’s vibrant rainforests is from above with suspension bridges and canopy tours. Walking past the tops of canopies, you’ll be able to spot a number of vibrant bird species including the Scarlet Macaw, the rainbow Billed Toucan and Resplendent Quetzal. This unique experience truly helps you appreciate the astonishingly rich biodiversity in Costa Rica.
Take me there: Monteverde trips
3. Explore the Tortuguero waterways by boat
Accessible only by boat, this vast network of waterways is remarkably tranquil. Representing the second largest wetland in the country, the Tortuguero canals are teeming with tropical wildlife. It’s not uncommon for you to spot giant leatherback turtles, crocodiles, and iguanas. If you’re lucky, you might also see Great Curassows, Bare Throated Tiger Herons and Amazon Kingfishers paddling along the brackish canals. If you’re booking from late July to October, you can choose to have the optional experience of seeing endangered Green turtles hatch on the Tortuguero beaches. It’s a once in a lifetime experience you wouldn’t want to miss.
Take me there: Tortuguero trips
4. Do your part for the environment by staying at a friendly Eco-lodge
Situated in the south of Costa Rica, the Esquinas Rainforest Lodge is an ecological success story, and we’re proud to have continued to bring our travellers here for over 20 years. Being one of the few lodges in Costa Rica that is 100% carbon-neutral, they grow their own organic local vegetables, fruit, and chocolate onsite while also using biodegradable products and energy-saving methods to effectively minimise their carbon footprint. During their stay, our travellers can explore the network of hiking trails in the remote Piedras Blancas National Park to find Howler monkeys, three-toed sloths, and many species of hummingbirds.
5. Relax on the white sands of Manuel Antonio
It may be the smallest park in Costa Rica, but its beautiful beaches and clear aquamarine waters definitely make this park a must-visit. On our trips, you’ll reach the coast via a walking trail through this national park. But beware of your snacks, you may find eager Capuchin, Howler and Squirrel monkeys hanging from the tree canopies!
Take me there: Manuel Antonio trips
6. Take spectacular photos of tropical birdlife
Although Costa Rica has a relatively small landmass, it has over 900 species of birds! The most colourful ones to keep your eye out for are the Crowned woodnymph hummingbird, Scarlet macaws, Golden-hooded Tanagers, Motmots and of course the Keel-billed toucan with its oversized rainbow beak.
7. Visit Costa Rica’s most adventurous corner: Corcovado National Park
Described by National Geographic as one of “the most biologically intense places on earth” a visit to Corcovado National Park is a must-do. On our Costa Rica holidays, we take a boat trip around this tropical wonderland that takes you past cloud forests and across mangrove swamps. With over 365 bird species, Corcovado National Park protects the largest population of Scarlet macaws in Costa Rica, so you will definitely be able to spot flocks of these beautiful vermillion birds flying overhead on your trip.
8. Get your adrenaline pumping by choosing from one of Costa Rica’s favourite past-times
Whether you want to take on whitewater rafting, rigorous mountain biking sessions, zip-lining through tropical rainforests or snorkelling in the turquoise coves: Costa Rica offers adrenaline-charged thrills every bit as wild as its flora and fauna!
If we’ve inspired you with our top Costa Rica highlights, browse more trips below.