Blessed with 4% of the world’s bio-diversity, Costa Rica offers a myriad of nature bound recreational activities. The dense rainforests of Costa Rica provide extraordinary opportunities for adventurers and it’s never easy to decide from the irresistible and exciting options. A hike on a wobbly bridge while you gaze at vibrant species, an adrenaline rush while river rafting in the whitewater rapids or a galloping horse ride in the cloud forests. What’s your choice?
Delve into the 5 most popular rainforest adventures of Costa Rica, pick your favorite or try them all and show your valor!
1. Rainforest Walks
One of the most exciting ways to discover Costa Rica’s rainforests is to walk on its elevated treetops, beautified with vibrant flora and several animal species. The suspension bridges that connect one part of the forest to another are thrilling to walk on while gazing at the colorful birds, monkeys and other animals who are quietly hiding behind the woods. Tour operators and vacation services in Costa Rica offer great deals and packages for canopy and rainforest tours.
The skywalk in the Monteverde rainforest has six suspension bridges and is popularly known as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Costa Rica. Walking tours can be arranged with local guides, who take tourists for a three-hour walk and show them the diversity of animal species as well as native plants of this forest. Spanning across canyons and drainages, skywalk bridges can carry 12 people at a time.
Cinco Ceibas is a new forest attraction in Costa Rica. This is an adventure park with a private reserve and many people come here to explore the forest via the boardwalk. Personal guides take visitors hiking on the one-mile long wooden board walkway and show them the richness of tall Ceibas trees and telescopic views of birds and animals.
2. Divers Pride, Cano Island
Next to the Corcovado National Park is the Cano Island, a stunning untouched destination that offers a myriad of opportunities for adventurers. Only a small section of the island’s beach and some dive sites are open for visitors, making this island a unique exotic location.
A small patch of the dense rainforest across the beach offers a remarkable view to the ocean, inviting visitors to dive, snorkel and discover some of the world’s healthiest coral reefs. One can enjoy the spectacular view of the rapid shifting currents that give way to big fishes like sharks and rays. Experienced divers can go deeper to spot rare varieties such as moray eel, puffer fish, tiger snake and sea anemones.
3. Bird Watching, Corcovado National Park
National Geographic describes the Corcovado National Park as the most biologically intense place on earth. This renowned park is located in Drake Bay and is a home to 894 species of vibrant birds, which can be spotted on shrubbery and dense treetops with the help of a guide. Scarlet Macaw, Tipped Cotinga, Black-Cheeked Ant Tanager, Sicklebill, Marbled Wood Quail and Hummingbirds are some common varieties seen here.
It is preferable to go bird watching in the morning when one can easily spot at least 100 species in a single tour. Many tour operators recommend visiting the park consecutively for three to five days to cover the entire forest area. Serious bird watchers can bring their personal list to spot a special variety or check with the tour operator for the best season to spot a specific variety. It may be difficult to locate medical shops around the park, so it is advisable to carry insect repellents or buy natural products in Costa Rica such as body lotions and medicines for personal safety during the tour.
Bird watching is one of the favorite activities of many tourists and reservations should be made at least a month before the visit. A pair of binoculars, a camera with extra batteries and a bird guide book are three must-haves for bird watching tours. Guides will offer telescopes for intense bird viewing.
4. Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is an inexpensive and unique way to explore the sandy beaches and rainforests of Costa Rica. Horseback tours are ideal for almost any adventure destination, be it a clouded forest or a rainforest, gearing up before river rafting or simply galloping around vast lakes and dense tropical forests of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has many horseback tour services that offer vast opportunities for rides in rain forests, cloud forests, volcano sites, mountains and beaches. Monteverde, Arenal and Manuel Antonio are some of the best places for horse riding and many tour operators here welcome all types of riders. Guanacaste is famous for its cowboy culture and several culture ranches can be explored during a horseback riding tour.
5. River Rafting
Costa Rica is one of the best places for river rafting. The country’s valleys and canyons are ruggedly shaped by intense weather conditions and provide an ideal terrain for kayaking. Pacuare, Corobici, Sevegre, Naranjo and Reventazon are Costa Rica’s top kayaking rivers, with breathtaking waterfalls, views and exciting opportunities for river rafting in maneuvering rapids.
Pacuare offers the perfect blend of nature and adventure. While raft passengers admire the inspiring waterfalls and rush through the rapids, vibrant tropical birds fly overhead, leaving the adventurers amazed. The group can also witness en route, the richness of wildlife – toucans, sloths, parrots, butterflies, coati and frogs. Ardent adventurers can opt for a five-day kayaking tour and make arrangements for home rentals in Costa Rica, providing short term accommodations.