What You MUST See/Do/Eat in Costa Rica! - Part 2

Originally, I was just going to round up what to eat in Costa Rica, but I've been gushing about this trip to anyone who will listen so I decided to dedicate a post to activities as well.

Looking for what you MUST EAT in Costa Rica? See my first post!

Horseback Riding - You'll find Horseback Rides just about everywhere, for any skill level though there's definitely a focus on beginner. The horses are well-trained and chill, so you'll have a leisurely stroll through the gorgeous countryside. In Arenal, it's the best way to get as close to the volcano as possible for those incredible pictures! Taking into consideration the uneven terrain and length of the hike, it's a lot better to have a horse that can do the hard work for you. This is the tour I took, through the hotel I stayed at.

The Volcano! - Arenal is famous for their volcano, and the entirety of what you can do and see here pretty much revolves around it. We were lucky enough to stay close enough to see the volcano from our hotel room. While you can't actually climb it, you can get pretty close (see the horse riding tip above!) and it's pretty breathtaking just to be near.

Thermal Pools - These are in Arenal. Being a volcanic area, these are in no short supply. Luckily for us, we had them right in our hotel area! They were not quite "natural" but still used hot thermal water heated by the volcanic activity under the ground. Our hotel even had a swim up bar, which was pretty cool. We found that it was a great way to relax after a day of adventuring. There are a number of spas in the area that have their own thermal pools in every price range. Our hotel was the Arenal Pariso and we loved having it all right there.

Ziplining - You will see billboards for these EVERYWHERE but the best ones will be in Monteverde, where the rain forest is the most lush. We shelled out for the photography of our first zip and got some pretty good pictures. The guides are energetic and the views are to DIE for. Flying hundreds of feat above the canopy is a memory I won't soon forget. Even my husband, who is terrified of heights, had a blast. In his own words "you go so fast, and there's so much adrenaline, that there's no time to be scared." Plus, you're strapped in and typically flanked by little kids who have no fear--so it's hard to be scared. Click here for the ziplining tour we took in Monteverde.

Rainforest Night Hike - Most of your favorite rain forest critters are actually nocturnal, so a night hike is your best way to get a peek at them. We took two tours: one in Arenal that focused on frogs, and one in Monteverde that focused on mammals. Both had their charm and we saw a ton of animals at both! The best part of the Arenal tour was that it included a meal cooked by the family that owned the land, though it probably ties with seeing three sloths on the Monteverde tour! Here is the one we took in Arenal (with dinner included), and Here is the one we took in Monteverde.

Coffee/Chocolate Tour - We took this tour on a whim because our hotel in Monteverde (the Heliconia) had a deal with them. And let me tell you, it was one of our favorite things we did! You get to sample chocolate in every stage of its transformation from bean to bar, and learn the process of making coffee and sample different roasts. It was all on a working farm with an incredible tour guide that gives you the entire history of coffee. Check out the Don Juan tour we took here!

The Beach! - My one regret about our trip was that we didn't set aside enough time for the gorgeous Costa Rican beaches. While I have heard that the Carribean-side beaches are the best, I was only able to check out the Pacific side. Namely, Jaco. And I have to say, it was AWESOME. I loved it. It was a bit touristy, but the beach was absolutely gorgeous. We walked a bit past the main strip where the hotels are and had our own private little stretch of beach that looked straight out of the movies.

What do you think of this list? Let me know in the comments!


  1. The rainforest night hikes and family-cooked meals sounds idyllic and something for the bucket list. Sounds like you had a lovely honeymoon. Best wishes, Louise

  2. Wow! Beautiful place! I hope to get to visit Costa Rica some day! Thanks so much for sharing all these wonderful places to visit!


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