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Costa Rica Tours, Adventures & Vacations

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A tour of Costa Rica offers a breathtaking array of sights and adventures with lush rain forests, pristine beaches, and a plethora of wildlife like sea turtles and howler monkeys. Your Costa Rica vacation might include adventures like whitewater rafting, a rainforest canopy tour, relaxing at the beach, or exploring the rainforest from one of Costa Rica's ecolodges. Vacation hotspots include Manuel Antonio National Park, Tortuguero, Monteverde Cloud forest, and Arenal VolcanoCosta Rica has a long, proud history of ecotourism and adventure travel, with one of the most developed conservation programs in the Americas and friendly Costa Ricans, "Ticos," who enthusiastically invite travelers to experience Pura Vida —"Pure Life." Contact one of our Costa Rica vacation experts for a free, custom-made Costa Rica trip plan.
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10 Best Costa Rica Tours & Adventures for 2023-2024

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Top 6 Costa Rica Adventure Cruises for 2023-2024

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
San Diego to San Jose (Puerto Caldera)$635915Oct 3, 2023Explore some of the most biodiverse places on earth on this 15-day Pacific Paradise expedition cruise from San Diego to San Jose aboard Ocean Victory
Unveiled Wonders: Panama and Costa Rica$65008Sep 30, 2023Join the Safari Voyager on this fantastic 8-day cruise of Panama & Costa Rica to admire the tropical wonders this famous region has to offer. Start …
Crossing the Panama Canal: Costa Rica to Panama$29508Dec 30, 2023Board the Panorama for this 8-day Pacific Ocean cruise along the coasts of Costa Rica and Panama. Discover rarely visited ports of call, hidden …
Costa Rica & the Panama Canal$68208Dec 7, 2023Discover Costa Rica & Panama on this wonderful 8-day expedition cruise aboard the National Geographic Quest. Venture into remote wilderness: hike …
Costa Rica & Nicaragua$16008Dec 9, 2023Discover the natural beauty and history of Costa Rica and Nicaragua on an 8-day voyage aboard Star Clipper. Enjoy relaxing days at sea before …
Costa Rica & Panama$16008Dec 16, 2023Embark on an 8-day cruise exploring Costa Rica and Panama's natural beauty and rich history. Land at Puntarenas, discover the tropical paradise of …
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Costa Rica Travel Tips & Vacation Guide

Our Favorite Costa Rica Tour Stops

Manuel Antonio National Park is the quintessential Costa Rica natural paradise where the beach meets the rainforest filled with boisterous monkeys, cute sloths, and tropical birds.

Tortuguero, on Costa Rica's lesser-visited Caribbean coast, whose name literally means "sea turtle breeding spot" in Spanish lets you experience green turtles in their natural environment.  

Arenal Volcano to the north of San Jose is a tropical paradise with hot springs, rainforests and the towering, billowing namesake of the region, Volcan Arenal. 

The Monteverde Cloudforest is one of Costa Rica's original eco-tourism hotspots featuring cloud forest walks, canopy ziplines, visits to local farms and staying in ecologically friendly lodges at night ensure an authentic Costa Rica vacation.
Costa Rica, the Original Eco-Tourism Destination

In the 1990's a movement began in tourism that brought a greater level of awareness of the impacts that travelers can have on their travel destinations.

Costa Rica was an early innovator in eco-tourism, a style of travel that gives back to the local environment and community by minimizing negative impacts of travelers. Numerous eco-lodges opened and offered tours of the rain forest with local guides that not only explain the value of the rainforest to travelers, but instill value of the rainforest in the minds of locals to avoid further deforestation by local populations. Over 25% of Costa Rica's land is protected, mostly by their excellent system of National Parks.

Adventure Life uses only the most ecologically-friendly lodges and tour guides so you can rest assured that your trip has a positive impact on the people and environment of Costa Rica.

Contact one of our Costa Rica specialists for help designing your dream eco-tour.    
Getting to Costa Rica & Back - Transportation Guide

Most people travel to tiny Costa Rica by flying to either San Jose or Liberia Airports. San Jose's Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) is the country's most trafficked and located in the center of the country.

Those traveling to the northern Pacific beaches of Guanacaste may fly into Liberia's Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR). 

Once in Costa Rica, distances traveled are relatively short in this small Central American country. In a few hours from the capital of San Jose by car, van or bus, one can get to both the Caribbean coast and the Pacific coast. The Panamerican highway runs from Nicaragua in the north to Panama in the south where you'll find the remote Osa Peninsula & Corcovado National park.

Contact one of our Costa Rica vacation planning specialists to plan your flights and transportation.

Top Costa Rica Adventure Activities

Costa Rica has long been the top adventure travel destination in Central America, and Adventure Life will take you from the highest peaks, to the wildest rivers and even into the rainforest canopy on one of our Costa Rica adventure tours. Here are our picks for the top adventure tours in Costa Rica.Contact one of Adventure Life's Costa Rica specialists for help planning the perfect trip.
Best Family Vacation Ever!

There's never a dull moment for anyone in the family when you're on one of our Top Costa Rica Trips & Vacations for Families.

Costa Rica Family Vacation Highlights 
  1. Hiking through the rain forest looking for monkeys, sloths and tropical birds as your guide tells you about the medicinal plants his family uses.
  2. Getting "just close enough" to Arenal Volcano as you see glowing red lava flow down its slopes at night, and a billowing cloud of ash during the day.
  3. Learning a little Spanish and making friends with some locals.
See our Top Costa Rica Family Vacations
Birding in Costa Rica

Whether you're a novice naturalist or a seasoned birder, the tropical climate and dense jungles make for the perfect habitat for over 600 native species of birds and more than 200 migrants who visit seasonally.

What birds can you see in Costa Rica? Here's a short list of some of the most popular ones you could encounter with a little luck, patience and our top-notch naturalist guides :
  • Dozens of hummingbird species
  • Resplendent Quetzal
  • Rufous Motmot
  • Kingfishers
  • Toucans & Aracaris
  • White-collared Manakin
Our Favorite Eco-Lodges in Costa Rica

Your trip to Costa Rica can, and will, have a positive impact on the environment and local Costa Ricans by staying in an ecologically friendly lodge such as:

Selva Bananito Lodge & Reserve - is situated in a pristine and natural setting, located at the foot of Mochila mountain in the eastern outcropping of the Talamanca Mountain Range in the province of Limon, Costa Rica. They ake an active stand in conservation by supporting  the Limon Watershed Foundation with logistic and financial support provided by your stay.  Visit on our "Beaches & Rainforest", or "Turtles & Rainforest" vacation packages.

The Pacuare Nature Reserve - was established by the Endangered Wildlife Trust and protects 800 hectares of  rainforest and deserted beach on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast between the sea and the Tortuguero canal. The mission of the reserve is to protect Leatherback Turtles and it's one of the most important nesting sites in Central America for this critically endangered species. Visit on our Costa Rica Quest or Turtles & Rainforest Pacuare Reserve tours.

Rios Tropicales Lodge - is located riverfront on the Pacuare River and ideal for rafting and adventure activities offers a haven for relaxation and immersion in tropical sights and sounds while running on sustainable clean energy. Visit on our Wild Costa Rica Corcovado or Pura Vida itineraries.

Lapa Rios Ecolodge - is located in a private nature reserve of over 1,000 acres of tropical rainforest near Corcovado National Park and overlooks the point where the Pacific Ocean meets the Golfo Dulce. Made from local materials, each bungalow has an intricately woven thatched roof. Guests can experience hiking, birdwatching, boating trips, dolphin and whale watching. Visit on our Wild Costa Rica tour.
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Costa Rica Travel FAQs

Do I need a visa to visit Costa Rica?
You will need a passport that's valid for at least 6 months in order to travel to Costa Rica, but a visa is not required for tourism.

When is the best time for a trip to Costa Rica?
The most popular time to visit Costa Rica is during the dry season from December to April, but many people enjoy the less crowded months of the green season from May to November, when daily showers might be possible. Overall, there's never a bad time to visit and the temperatures are relatively consistently warm year-round.

Is tipping customary in Costa Rica?
Tipping is, of course, not required on any of our trips, however it is always appreciated. If you'd like to tip, budget $2-10/person/day for the guides and $1-3/person/day for the drivers.

Will I need power adapters or converters in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica uses 110 volt, 60 cycle electricity, with two flat prongs. This is the same as the United States, so you will not need a power converter unless you are traveling from another country.

What is internet access like in Costa Rica?
Internet access in the developed parts of Costa Rica is pretty strong and high speed. In public areas you might find a WiFi hotspot, and most restaurants and hotels will also have high speed internet. You could also easily find a cyber cafe with a good connection.

Will I have access to WiFi during my cruise?
Maybe, but don't count on it. Some ships or yachts do offer free WiFi, but more often than not these boats focus more on the experience and comfort rather than connectivity to internet.

What are the bathrooms like in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica has standard western flush toilets, but per local tradition, you should throw your toilet paper in the waste basket next to the toilet to avoid clogging the pipes.

Can I use my cell phone while in Costa Rica?
If you have a GSM phone, you can use international roaming, or to avoid roaming charges, use an unlocked smartphone and simply replace the SIM chip with a local chip from Kolbi, Claro, or Movistar and then charge it with a balance based on how much you plan to use it. This can usually most easily be done in the airport upon entry at various kiosks.

Can I drink the tap water in Costa Rica?
In general, yes - unless otherwise told - it is safe to drink the tap water and eat any foods washed with it; however, if your cruise visits other neighboring countries, like Colombia, Panama, or Cuba, it is not safe to assume that you can drink the tap water there too.

Are credit cards generally accepted? Are ATMs accessible?
In the more developed parts, you can use your credit card and find ATMs fairly commonly, but smaller stores and more remote destinations will likely be cash-only. Fortunately, most of our tours are are all-inclusive, so all of the meals and activities from the beginning to end of your itinerary are included in the price, unless you decide to depart from the itinerary or add on extra activities. 

Should I purchase travel insurance?
Absolutely! Having travel insurance is very important just to make sure that you're covered no matter what happens - a small investment now can save you thousands if something doesn't go as you expect it to. Our Once You're Booked page has more details on this, including discounts through one of our partner companies.

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