Adventure Activities in Costa Rica
Some travelers prefer "action - packed" adventures when they are visiting another country. Whether it's on land or in the water, they want to experience the thrill of Costa Rica while enjoying their favorite sport. If this is your kick, then Costa Rica won't let you down. There are a number of activities that can keep your heart pumping while visiting some of the most beautiful areas this country has to offer.
Adventure may be enjoyed thanks to the volcanoes, humid and cloud forests, waterfalls, and rivers, which allow you to enjoy a wide possibility of activities that include rafting, kayaking, cavalcades, bird-watching, hikes, sports fishing, windsurf, diving, and surfing, among others.
Costa Rica Surf
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Costa Rica already has quite a reputation among surfers, who are drawn there from near and far by the quality and consistency of its waves. Though the country gets plenty of the big waves, that true surf fanatics live for, there are also days and spots that are perfect for people who have little experience with the sport, or who have been away from the ocean for a long time, and would like to try it again. This means that whether you're a veteran wave ripper or a belly-boarding beginner, you can usually find the conditions you need to have a great time.
With 755 miles of coastline on two oceans, Costa Rica has more breaks than you can shake a stick at. The country's selection of surf spots range from idyllic beach breaks to coral platforms where the water leaps up and tubes like a miniature Pipeline. Having coastline on two oceans is quite an advantage, since when one ocean is flat, there is usually something breaking on the other side of the country. Often enough, there is good surf pumping on both coasts.
Since it is five times longer than the Caribbean coast, the Pacific has considerably more surfing spots. Many of the country's best breaks are found in the Northwest province of Guanacaste, but there are also some excellent spots in the Central Pacific and Southern Zones. And the few breaks that are available in the Caribbean province of Limon are certainly nothing to complain about. The following is a listing of the country's best surf spots:
North Pacific: Guanacaste Potrero Grande: Right point break in Santa Rosa National Park, only accessible by boat; no camping. Playa Naranjo: Great beach break by Witch's Rock, in Santa Rosa National Park, accessible with four-wheel-drive vehicle or boat; camping permitted. Playa Grande: Very consistent beach break north of Tamarindo. Tamarindo: Good beach break, excellent base for surfing nearby beaches. Playa Langosta: River mouth break south of Tamarindo. Avellanas: Very good beach break further to the south. Playa Negra: Right point break further to the south. Nosara: Several Beach breaks near selection of accommodations.
Central Pacific: Boca Barranca: Long river mouth left just south of Puntarenas. Tivives: Beach breaks and river-mouth left, south of Puntarenas. Jaco: Popular beach break with abundance of hotels and restaurants. Hermosa: Several very consistent beach breaks south of Jaco. Manuel Antonio: Beach breaks near plentiful accommodations. Dominical: Great beach breaks near hotels and restaurants. Matapalo: Right point break at tip of Osa Peninsula. Pavones: Very long left at mouth of Golfo Dulce.
Caribbean: Playa Bonita: Left over reef off popular beach just north of Limon City. Cahuita: Beach break on Black Beach, near hotels and restaurants. Puerto Viejo: Fast right over coral reef, plenty of hotels and restaurants. Cocles: Beach break just south of Puerto Viejo. Manzanillo: Beach break, only when big, some accommodations nearby.
Costa Rica Windsurfing
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In this category you can find out about the best spots for windsurfing, learn secrets from the pros, and hear more about equipment requirements and facilities such as the hotels, restaurants, equipment and car rentals that Costa Rica offers windsurfers from around the world. We will focus on Lake Arenal, one of the most famous spots in the world for practicing this exciting sport.
We'll present personal experiences and anecdotes from this region, commentaries and short interviews with amateur and professional windsurfers, all adding to an exciting story born between wind and water at the shore of Arenal Lake.
Come with us to experience the sensation of windsurfing in an exclusive setting where sport becomes passion, carried through Costa Rica by the strength of nature and the magic of the winds.
Costa Rica Fishing
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Although relatively small in size, Costa Rica is extremely diverse in what it has to offer with over 15 different ecosystems. Whether it is the swamplands of the Tortuguero National Park (referred to as the "little Amazon"), the breathtaking ocean and jungle views found on the central and southern pacific coast or the drier climate of the northern Pacific region offering incredible scuba diving and surfing, this country truly is a hidden treasure waiting to be found.
One of the greatest advantages of visiting Costa Rica is that this country offers something for everyone. Those looking for a classic resort getaway will find world class resorts while those looking for that unique getaway off the beaten path will find the perfect spot that they have always dreamed of. Costa Rica has become famous for its world class surfing, record breaking sport fishing, exotic beaches, dense rain forests, exuberant flora and fauna and has proven to be a safe and exciting destination for travelers of all ages and interests.
Great fishing is to be had from the Osa Peninsula which is in the Southern Zone of Costa Rica and is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and by the Golfo Dulce, the tenth deepest gulf in the world to the east. The climate is tropical with 4000 - 7000 mm of rain per year. Temperatures range from lows in the mid-eighties in the rainy season (September-November) to highs in the mid- to occasionally high-nineties in the dry season (December-April). Two thirds of the land area of the Osa Peninsula is taken up by the crown jewel of the Costa Rican Park System, Corcovado National Park, which contains the largest contiguous expanse of virgin rain forest in the western hemisphere north of the Amazon basin.
On the Atlantic side we have "Barra del Colorado" the second largest rainforest preserve in Central America. Wildlife in Barra del Colorado is abundant. Many species of mammals, reptiles and birds can be seen on a daily basis.
Booking a fishing trip with us!
Not only to we take care of all the details for a fishing trip of a lifetime, we can combine it with other activities such as river rafting, tree top canopy, canyonning , ATV tours, scuba diving or just sight seeing in the rainforest and jungle, seeing an active volcano or sit in the thermal waters of a hot springs, take a mud bath, get a massage and a full spa treatment. The good news is that we can set up everything for the non-fisher person to enjoy their vacation while you are out fishing.
Costa Rica Golf
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Meticulously crafted on acres of gently rolling terrain, Costa Rica's golf courses offer a spectacular collection of golf holes unique in character and strategy. Exceptionally playable for the beginning golfer, with plenty of interest and challenge for the expert player, Costa Rica's golf courses offer the optimum golfing experience for every skill level.
Costa Rica Whitewater Rafting
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Among whitewater enthusiasts, Costa Rica has long been respected as a world class destination whose rivers provide unsurpassed rafting and kayaking challenges. Conditions range from Class I, for relaxed easy paddling, to Class V, with roaring whitewater rapids suitable for expert paddlers only. On most commercial excursions, no rafting experience is necessary.
White water rafting is a unique way of touring Costa Rica's natural wealth. It allows you to travel to the very heart of a forest. Just sit back, hold your paddle, and let the strength of the river guide you through the wonders of nature and the magnificent views of the landscape.
Costa Rica Diving
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Costa Rica's waters also boast an abundance of sea life flourishing just beneath the surface. In the waters of the Osa Peninsula, awe inspiring sights include dolphins and birthing humpback whales, while back in the waters of the Manzanillo, the Tucuxi and bottle nose dolphins have been known to make an appearance.
For a view from below, diving and snorkeling provide a look into a realm governed by otherworldly creatures and fantastically colorful life forms. Manzanillo Beach on the Caribbean coast, Ocotal Beach in the North Pacific and Cano Island in the South Pacific are just three of the many options from which to choose.
In the warm waters of the Caribbean, in the clear waters of the Pacific or in the lakes, lagoons and hot springs deep within its interior, Costa Rica offers something for everyone. The only difficult decision is where to start.
Costa Rica's underwater wonders range from coastal coral reefs to offshore islands. Those varied dive spots contain diverse and beautiful marine life that includes giant manta rays, timid sea turtles, colorful angel fish, intricate coral formations, psychedelic sea slugs, spiny puffer fish, delicate sea fans, curious dolphins and, on rare occasions, whales. Though the country's waters contain enough marine life to please the most experienced of divers, you need be little more than a curious swimmer to catch a glimpse of some of its underwater sights, since there are plenty of spots that are perfect for snorkelling. Costa Rica is also an excellent place to learn how to scuba dive, since most dive centers offer inexpensive certification courses in English that can be completed in less than a week.
There are several excellent snorkeling areas along the southern Caribbean coast. The country's largest coastal reef is protected within Cahuita National Park, south of the town of the same name, where you can rent snorkeling equipment and hire people to take you out in boats. The point at Puerto Viejo, south of Cahuita, also has a coral reef wrapped around it that makes for convenient diving. Punta Cocles and Punta Uva, two points to the south of town, have healthier coral formations with plenty of fish around them.
Manzanillo, a small fishing village a few miles further south, also has some decent diving off shore. There are also a few good dive spots near the city of Limon, such as the water surrounding Uvita Island. The best visibility in the Caribbean is from March to early May and from mid August to mid November, but water quality can change from day to day.
The Pacific has the country's best diving, with less coral, but plenty of big fish. The most popular Pacific diving area is the Northwest, where dive centers in Playa del Coco, Ocotal and Hermosa offer trips to several spots in the Culebra Bay and the Bat Islands (Islas Murcielagos), to the Northwest, where divers often see sharks and manta rays. The dive center in Flamingo usually takes people to Santa Catalina Island, about five miles off shore, which is another good spot to see sharks and other big fish. The best visibility and water temperatures in the Northwest are found from June to September, though the conditions can change from day to day. There is good snorkeling in Curu National Wildlife Refuge, and near the beach resorts of Tambor and Montezuma. There is also usually good snorkeling off the second beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, and around the points and islands between Dominical and Marino Ballena National Park. However, the best diving off the Pacific coast is found at several underwater reefs near Caño Island, which can be explored on dive trips offered by some of the lodges in nearby Drake Bay. Contrary to the Northwest, the best visibility in the waters around Caño occurs during the dry season, though the water tends to be pretty clear year round.
Cocos Island, a national park located some 330 miles Southwest of the Costa Rican mainland has the country's best diving by far. While the Island is covered with virgin forest, the ocean that surrounds it contains abundant marine life, and the visibility is good year round. Divers at Cocos Island regularly see such impressive animals as manta rays, dolphins and hammerhead sharks, which sometimes gathering in schools of 30 or 40 animals. It takes about 36 hours to reach Cocos Island, and some companies have ships that run regular dive cruises there, which last ten days
Costa Rica Birdwatching
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Costa Rica has long been famous among serious bird watchers, but many people who would never consider the activity at home quickly become interested in the country's spectacular avian diversity. With almost 850 species of birds -more than in all of North America- packed into an area half the size of Kentucky, it's hard not to become enthused about the variety of feathered creatures one encounters in Costa Rica.
And the country's travel agencies can provide experienced nature guides who make any bird watching expedition an educational experience. One of the reasons for Costa Rica's extraordinary bird life is the country's great variety of habitats: rain forests, mangrove swamps, beaches, cloud forest, rivers, etc. And any two of those ecosystems, with their resident bird species, are often only a short distance apart. Birders from North America who visit Costa Rica during the northern winter invariably recognize familiar faces in the forest, since many species of warblers, flycatchers, vireos, orioles, etc. migrate to Costa Rica every winter.
The country's exemplary system of national parks and protected areas provide more than ample stomping grounds for birders, but just about anywhere you look in Costa Rica, you spot interesting avian species. Even some of the hotels in the San Jose area have such colorful critters as blue-grey tanagers, great kiskadees and crimson-fronted parakeets in their gardens. However, those interested in bird watching, will want to see the resplendent quetzal, which lives in the cloud forests of Monteverde, Los Santos region and the Central Volcanic Mountain Range, and the equally spectacular scarlet macaw, which can bee seen on the Osa Peninsula or the area around Carara Biological Reserve.
Costa Rica Horseback Riding
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As with mountain biking, horseback riding has become a part of adventure tourism partially as a way to enjoy "getting there" as part of the process. Numerous operators incorporate horse travel into single and multi-day tours, allowing access to areas that vehicles can't manage as easily. In some cases, the trip over the mountain ridge is unforgettable and surely no more difficult than the poorly maintained road one would take otherwise! Visitors can expect a range of possible adventures, from volcano exploration to rainforest treks, or viewing mountain vistas or a sunset at the beach on horseback. Most area lodges can help coordinate horse rental for a local excursion within their area.
Costa Rica Cycling - Biking
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Exploring Costa Rica via bike is often a rewarding, interesting and entertaining way to enjoy the contrasting landscape, allowing riders easy access to forest and mountain trails across a vast span of Costa Rican terrain. One trail sure to delight and challenge all comers circles the base of Arenal Volcano, offering visitors approximately 125 kilometers of trail from which to enjoy unobstructed views of the local mountains and Lake Arena). Other popular biking destinations include Samara, Carrillo and the surrounding areas of Volcan Rincon de la Viejo, where one can ride the trails on tropical dry forest terrain. Bike rentals and guided bike tours are also available in Liberia, Quepos and Tamarindo.
Costa Rica Hot Air Ballooning
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Costa Rica provides for sure the most fascinating hot air ballooning available in the world: low and slow drifting, over rain forest or mountain towns, caressing the tops of giant trees, chasing monkeys in the treetops, ascending to watch awesome Arenal Volcano erupting above its halo of clouds.
Costa Rica Soccer
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Soccer, or fútbol, is the country's most popular sport. Kids play soccer whenever and wherever they can. After school most vacant lots become soccer fields. Small town plazas often feature soccer games, and the whole village gathers to watch. Fútbol fanatics can see the national soccer team duke it out with competitors at the Estadio Nacional (National Stadium) in La Sabana Park or at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in Tibas, both in San Jose.