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Hiking in Costa Rica

Visit Rainforests & National Parks

Hiking in Costa Rica for the adventurous kind!  These tours are very popular for those who like adrenaline activities combined with breath-taking views.


Nature Hiking in Costa Rica

hiking in costa rica

Heredia Trails

True Costa Rica nature vacations are more than just a nature retreat. They’re more likely to introduce you to fantastic destinations in the form of nature walks. From deep jungle trails in the mountains to amongst the evergreen giants of the lowlands.  We were meant to explore on foot, and there’s so much more to explore in Costa Rica.  Nature walks in Costa Rica put you up close and personal with some of the best spots Costa Rica has to offer!

In order of easiest to most difficult, physically speaking, these are my favorite walks on the wild side in Costa Rica. Anything else is a hike.


Poas Volcano Crater Observation Walk

Poas Volcano has a very easy paved trail and is even wheelchair accessible.  You would think that peeking over a crater’s edge and looking eye to eye into the depths of an active volcano would require high fitness training.  But in the Poas National Park, it’s truly a ten-minute walk in the park.  Accessibility over pavement makes it the easiest active crater to take a peek into in the world.

The National Park has other easy but uphill trails like one that penetrates, as a tunnel would a mountain.  Thickets of tropical cloud forest stumped growth towards a clearing of jaded water glaring from the reflection of a jungle wrapped volcanic crater’s lagoon.

Top cuatro reasons to love Poas Volcano, National Park:


Cloud Forest Canopy Suspension Bridges

hiking in costa rica

Hanging Bridge in Arenal

Canopy walks should not be excluded in your Costa Rica Nature Vacation.  They are very popular with tourists in the jungle.  This places them at a point of view they have never experienced before in nature.

An excellent example of canopy bridges in Costa Rica is Selvatura in Monteverde.  The Selvatura experience includes jungle trails and eight suspension bridges that take you into over and under the tropical cloud forest canopy where visitors come to look for Quetzals. Also, the three-wattled bell bird and some other unique creatures. Selvatura can also claim the shortest walk in Costa Rica, a ten second twenty step stroll to its hummingbird gardens where, at hand grasping distance, these speedy little insect looking birds will leave you in awe.

Selvatura’s attractions:


Manuel Antonio Wildlife Bonanza

hiking in costa rica

Manuel Antonio Beach

Walking Manuel Antonio National Park is an excellent place to visit during the low tourist season.

During the high season, the Sloth Trail in the park can get crowded with mobs of full gear nature lovers inspecting its biodiversity to the fullest.

Manuel Antonio National Park is a great place to get most out of your walking experience by paying for a government qualified nature guide, who you can pay for at the entrance.

This oasis of nature along the most beautiful beach in Central America is worth a visit.


480 Steps to La Fortuna Waterfall

hiking in costa rica

Canyoning in La Fortuna

Then there is the short, difficult Hiking in Costa Rica that are also very much worth taking, like the one to La Fortuna Waterfall.  The 480 step journey down a jungle covered canyon which destination is a tall, powerful waterfall and natural swimming ponds. This puts you in the essence of what most people were expecting to see in any Costa Rica nature vacation.

The strong plunging fresh water through a crevice of a wall of rock attracts valiant swimmers. Here swimming is recommended a few steps further down the trail where a dark green pond awaits for picture perfect moments in Costa Rica.

Ah, but it’s going back up! That’s the hard part.

Their low price souvenir shop is also worth a visit.


Hiking in Costa Rica, Absolute Natural Reserve

The Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve is another walk that requires a body in good condition and plenty of take-a-long water, especially during the dry season months, when it is best to visit.

At a quiet pace, the Cabo Blanco trail can be accomplished in a total of 5 hours.  This is an excellent trail that involves a three-hour journey through a jungle where the dry forest transitions into the wet forest back and forth.  In Cabo Blanco, elements of both life zones can be appreciated just steps away from each other in a unique display of ancient giant trees and dusty dry thickets.  Monkeys, deer, and wild turkeys are usually your observant bystanders as you walk through their territory.

The reward for such a beautiful walk that at times transitions into a hike, lies at the end of the trail.  It is Cabo Blanco beach; the solitary and pristine corner of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula and home to a great number of brown pelicans and ocean side beauty.

Hiking in Costa Rica is a great way to explore new surroundings, anything more difficult would be considered an outright hike, which is also a great way to enhance Costa Rica nature vacations.

Hiking in Costa Rica


From: $75 - $100

Guayabo National Monument Air View

Guayabo National Monument: Archeological Hike

Guayabo is the largest discovered archeological site of Costa Rica. These findings of high cultural importance are located near Turrialba.

Duration: Full Day

Activity level: Easy

What to bring: Camera Sunscreen Insect Repellent Drinking Water Jacket Raincoat Sneakers

What is included: Guide Meal Transfer Equipment

Type Educational Cultural Nature Family Friendly

Activity

The La Fortuna Waterfall

The falls crash down 200 feet or 65 meters giving great views the whole way down. At the bottom of the 480 step trail, there is a quiet jade colored pool with soft sands and surrounding boulders that turn a vibrant turquoise hue as the water gets deeper. This pool makes a great swimming hole. It has clear waters, and you can see silvery darting river fish energetically chasing food that happens to fall in the water. The pond provides a perfect backdrop for photographing the La Fortuna waterfall with green foreground and gently drifting currents.

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Swimming Suit Towel Camera Waterproof Camera Extra Clothes Insect Repellent Drinking Water Shorts Sneakers Hiking Shoes

Type Water Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: Under $50

Manuel Antonio Monkey

Manuel Antonio National Park

One of the most popular national parks in the country. The park emanates unparalleled beauty within its vast beaches and lush rainforests. A slice of heaven on earth!

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Camera Binoculars Sunscreen Insect Repellent Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Drinks Snack Transfer Equipment Entrance Fee

Type Educational Relaxation Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: $50 - $75

Manuel Antonio Canopy for kids Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio Canopy

Reviewing some of the most vivid areas of Manuel Antonio Costa while taking advantage of the great facilities will create an unforgettable experience.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Adventurous

What to bring: Swimming Suit Towel Camera Extra Clothes Insect Repellent Shorts Sneakers Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Meal Transfer Equipment

Type Adventure Family Friendly

Activity

From: $50 - $75

Wildlife Refuge Sloth

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge Day Tour

Situated in Costa Ricas southeastern Talmanca region is the grand Gandoca-Manzanillo Refuge. The refuge offers an assortment of diverse ecosystems such as rainforests, wetlands and coral reefs. Measuring at 23,348 total acres (9,450 ha) it runs down to the Panamanian boarder and serves as 1 of 2 coral reefs found in the country.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Swimming Suit Towel Camera Extra Clothes Sunscreen Insect Repellent Sneakers Water-Sandals

What is included: Guide

Type Educational Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: Under $50

Cahuita National Park Entrance

Cahuita National Park Tour

Cahuita National Park is a stunning showcase of the diverse biodiversity of the region. Peculiar and extraordinary organisms living amongst the parks various habitats will surprise and inspire as you explore.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Swimming Suit Towel Insect Repellent Sneakers Water-Sandals

What is included: Guide Drinks Snack Meal Transfer Entrance Fee

Type Educational Water Nature Family Friendly Romance

Activity

From: $75 - $100

Corcovado National Park Tours Rainforests

Corcovado National Park Tour

Corcovado National Park is truly one of Earth’s treasures and a rare pleasure to explore. Harboring an extraordinary variety of animals, some of which are threatened or endangered species. Be on the lookout for elusive jungle cats like jaguars and ocelots. Enjoy the chatter of the many species of monkeys as they scamper through the trees. Discover the resplendent beauty of tropical birds like the Quetzal and the majestic Red Macaw.

Duration: Full Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Camera Binoculars Extra Clothes Sunscreen Insect Repellent Drinking Water Comfortable Clothing Raincoat Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Drinks Snack Meal Transfer

Type Educational Water Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: $50 - $75

Venado Caves Exploration

Venado Caves Costa Rica

The Venado Caves Tour will bring out the spelunker in anyone! In a mysterious subterranean world deep within the Earth you with see a natural environment that makes you feel you are on another planet: one that is filled with shimmering stalagmites and stalactites, deep echoing caverns, ancient fossils, and bizarre underground creatures.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Adventurous

What to bring: Extra Clothes Fast Drying Clothes Sneakers

What is included: Drinks Transfer Equipment Entrance Fee

Type Adventure Nature

Activity

From: Over $100

Costa Rica Highlights Tour

To begin this recommended tour, which should really be called Ten in One, we take the Pan-American road to Alajuela.

Duration: Full Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Camera Binoculars Jacket

What is included: Guide Drinks Meal Transfer

Type Adventure Educational Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: $75 - $100

Costa Rica Waterfalls

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

La Paz Waterfall Gardens, located on the slopes the Poas Volcano, are one of the most beautiful waterfalls of Costa Rica.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Easy

What to bring: Camera Sunscreen Insect Repellent Jacket Raincoat

What is included: Drinks Meal Entrance Fee

Type Educational Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: $75 - $100

Palo Verde Costa Rica Tiger Heron

Palo Verde Costa Rica Tour

Have your camera handy as you search the riverbanks for monkeys, crocodiles, and a myriad of birds on this nature cruise through the Palo Verde National Park.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Easy

What to bring: Camera Binoculars Sunscreen Comfortable Clothing Sneakers Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Meal Transfer

Type Water Relaxation Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: Under $50

Arenal Hanging Bridges Jungle View

Arenal Sky Walk

Sky Walk offers visitors a 3.6km (2 mile) trail system through primary rainforest that includes 5 suspension bridges, 2 observation points and 2 waterfalls. The tour is for all ages and the trail is in fine condition but it is a hiking tour and visitors need to be capable of walking for about 3 hours and through slight elevation changes.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Camera Comfortable Clothing Sneakers

Type Educational Relaxation Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: Over $100

Arenal Volcano Tour view

Arenal Volcano Tour

Arenal is a magical, diverse destination with enumerous activities and tours for you to explore its rushing rivers, thundering waterfalls, abundant tropical rainforests, steep canyons, and relaxing hot springs.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Swimming Suit Towel Camera Binoculars Comfortable Clothing Shorts Raincoat Hiking Shoes Water-Sandals

What is included: Guide Meal Transfer Entrance Fee

Type Relaxation Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: Under $50

Arenal Hanging bridges

Arenal Hanging Bridges

Hanging bridges are a new way of discovering the hidden secrets of Arenal, as you walk right into the jungle throughout a 2 mile circuit. A naturalist guide will accompany you and point out animal and plant species along the way. You will also see some of the most stunning vistas of the Arenal volcano.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Camera Comfortable Clothing Raincoat Sneakers

What is included: Guide Equipment

Type Educational Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: Under $50

Trapiche Coffee Tour Costa Rica

El Trapiche Coffee Tour

After this Costa Rica cultural tour, you will start to appreciate life, nature and the joy different Costa Rican produce bring into your life.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Easy

What to bring: Camera Raincoat Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Transfer Entrance Fee

Type Educational Cultural Relaxation Family Friendly

Activity

From: $50 - $75

Night Walk Tour

Ecological Night Walk

Enjoy a night hike and discover the wonders offered by the forest of Monteverde. Among the species that visitors can see during a night walk are: sleeping birds, tarantulas, spiders, crickets, lizards, frogs, porcupines, raccoons, olingos, snakes, insects, armadillos, raccoons, reptiles, hopefully can find a Sloth sleeping.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Camera Insect Repellent Comfortable Clothing Raincoat Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Transfer Entrance Fee

Type Adventure Educational Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: Under $50

Monteverde Sky Walk Bridge

Monteverde Sky Walk

The Sky Walk is a well-thought-out combination of suspension bridges and walking trails through the Monteverde rainforest.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Insect Repellent Comfortable Clothing Jacket Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Equipment

Type Educational Relaxation Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: $50 - $75

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Waterfall

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

The Monteverde Cloud Forest is such a unique and beautiful place, nature’s bounty and diversity will astound you with every step you take through the Reserve.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Camera Binoculars Sunscreen Insect Repellent Comfortable Clothing Raincoat Sneakers

What is included: Guide Drinks Transfer

Type Adventure Nature Family Friendly Romance

Activity

From: $50 - $75

Santa Elena Reserve

Santa Elena Reserve Tour

The cloud forests of Monteverde provide a uniquely beautiful and lush landscape in a rich, rainbow palette: orchids, mosses, vines, ferns, fragrant flowers of every shape and size. As the clouds waft in, settling in the treetops, they feed the plants with vital nutrients and moisture. It’s a magical sight to behold!

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Camera Binoculars Sunscreen Insect Repellent Comfortable Clothing Raincoat Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Drinks Transfer

Type Adventure Relaxation Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: $50 - $75

Arenal Volcano Hot Springs

Arenal Volcano Hike and Hot Springs

This Volcano tour starts with a drive to the Western side of the volcano. It is possible to observe a great variety of plants, wildlife and magnificent lava rock formations.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Moderate

What to bring: Camera Sunscreen Insect Repellent Comfortable Clothing Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Drinks Transfer Entrance Fee

Type Water Relaxation Nature Romance

Activity

From: $50 - $75

Sky Tram Lake View

Arenal Sky Tram

Share a ride on the marvelous Sky Tram gondolas that ascend effortlessly through the stunning rainforest. Take advantage of the endless views as you are able to stop the tram at any point. This feature provides you with a once in a lifetime opportunity to capture the beauty of the rainforest and the tropical birds nearby.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Easy

What to bring: Camera Insect Repellent Comfortable Clothing Jacket Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Drinks

Type Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: Under $50

Bat Jungle Tour

Bat Jungle Tour

This fascinating exhibit is sure to thrill the whole family, particularly the budding naturalist in your group, as it gives you a window into the world of these unique Monteverde nocturnal creatures, you’d never otherwise be able to observe.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Easy

What is included: Guide

Type Educational Nature Family Friendly

Activity

From: Under $50

Monteverde Walk tour

Monteverde Selvatura Park

Among the stunning animal species, you would be able to spot howler monkeys, sloths, toucans and even the jaguar. The very rare resplendent quetzal lives here, as well.

Duration: Half Day

Activity level: Easy

What to bring: Camera Sunscreen Insect Repellent Comfortable Clothing Hiking Shoes

What is included: Guide Drinks Transfer Equipment Entrance Fee

Type Nature Family Friendly

Activity

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