Things to Do in Costa Rica: Activities for Everyone

Beach & Water Activities

Costa Rica Catamaran Tours: How to Arrange a Trip

Snorkeling Costa Rica – A Fun Activity for All Ages

Fishing in Costa Rica: Charters, Shore Fishing, and More

Costa Rica Surfing: Top Spots & Tips

Montezuma Beach – Walk for Hours Along Pristine Shores

Isla Tortuga in Costa Rica – White Sand Beach & Snorkeling

Cabuya Costa Rica – A Unique Island Cemetery Guide

Costa Rica Sunset – Best Places to Enjoy the View

Jungle Activities

Zip Lining in Monteverde – The Best Places

River Tubing in Costa Rica: The 5 Best Places to Go

Canyoning in Costa Rica: An Adrenaline Pumping Experience

ATV Adventures in Costa Rica – A Fun Day Trip Choice

Costa Rica Zip Line – Adventure Guide

White Water Rafting Costa Rica

Costa Rica Hanging Bridges – Where to Visit

Arenal Hot Springs – Spots for All Budgets in La Fortuna

The 4 Best Companies for an Arenal Zip Line Adventure

Hiking in Costa Rica – Our Favorite Spots

Monteverde Night Walk – Is it Worth a Visit?

Food and Drink Activities

Costa Rica Chocolate Tours – A Fun Activity for All Ages

Costa Rica Coffee – Where to Take a Farm Tour

The Best Beach Bars in Costa Rica

Visiting Waterfalls

Rio Celeste Costa Rica: Bright Blue River and Waterfall Guide

Montezuma Waterfall – Best Ways to Visit the Falls

La Paz Waterfall Gardens & Peace Lodge – Should You Visit?

Llanos de Cortez Waterfall: Plan the Perfect Visit

Catarata del Toro: A Magical Rainforest Waterfall

Nauyaca Waterfalls in Costa Rica – Visitors Guide

The La Fortuna Waterfall – Visitors Guide

For more great ideas check out our waterfall guide

Visiting Volcanoes

Poas Volcano in Alajuela – One of the few active volcanoes that you can visit up close. This is easy to visit if you are flying in or out of the San Jose International Airport.

Arenal Volcano – Located in La Fortuna this volcano is best enjoyed from afar so you can admire its impressive appearance. 

Irazu Volcano– Located in Cartago, this is a good day trip from the San Jose area. Just be aware that the elevation is high (as in you will literally be above the clouds). 

Rincon de la Vieja – Located near the Nicaragua border on the Pacific coast, this is a great place to get a true volcanic experience. You can see bubbling mud and steaming lakes. 

For more info check out our volcano guide

Seeing Wildlife

Birds of Costa Rica: The Most Unique and Where to See Them

Ostional Costa Rica – See Thousand of Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs

Whale Watching Costa Rica – The Best Times and Places

Butterflies in Costa Rica – The Best Places to See Them

Rio Tarcoles: Visit Costa Rica’s Crocodile Bridge

Sea Turtles in Costa Rica

Wildlife in Costa Rica – See All the Most Exotic Animals

Costa Rica National Parks

Manuel Antonio National Park in Manuel Antonio – The most popular national park in the country. This is a good place to see tons of wildlife in a condensed and easily walkable area. 

Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula – This park needs to be accessed with a guide. Expect pure raw beauty here. 

Tenorio National Park – Most people visit this park to see the bright blue Rio Celeste waterfall. 

Tortuguero National Park in Tortuguero – The best way to see this park is by taking an early morning wildlife canoe ride.

Cahuita National Park in Cahuita – A great place to see a lot of wildlife on flat trails with a nice beach.

For more amazing national parks check out our National Park guide.

Free Things to Do in Costa Rica

Our absolute favorite free thing to do in Costa Rica is to visit one of the many beautiful beaches on either the Pacific or Caribbean coast. 

On the beach, you can watch the sunset, do some yoga, go swimming, etc. 

Check out 20 Free Things to Do in Costa Rica That You’ll Love for more ideas.

Round-Up of Activities by Location

30 Things to Do in La Fortuna Costa Rica That You’ll Love

30 Amazing Things to Do in Manuel Antonio

26 Fun Things to Do in Jaco Costa Rica

Booking Things to Do in Costa Rica

How you plan and reserve your Costa Rica activities really depends on your travel style.

For things such as visiting beaches and going to national parks, you (usually) do not need to reserve anything ahead of time. Just show up and enjoy.

For Costa Rica day tour excursions, it is usually possible to book things somewhat last minute. However, during the high season (late December through late April) we suggest reserving activities before your trip. 

Things can book up fast!

If you are staying at a hotel it is often possible to book things to do through your hotel. 

Lately, we have been booking more through Viator.

We like to book directly through tour companies when possible, but Viator has been helpful because most tours have really good cancellation policies.

If you would like your entire vacation planned, check out:

Nine Unique Costa Rica Wellness Retreats

Costa Rica Tours – 8 Guided Vacation Ideas

The Top Things to Do in Costa Rica on Viator

Manuel Antonio Park Nature Guided Tour

Pure Trek Canyoning and Waterfall Rappelling Tour in La Fortuna

Guachipelin Adventure Volcano Zipline Horseback River Tubing Combo

FAQ: Things to Do in Costa Rica

What is the number one thing to do in Costa Rica?

It is hard to say that there is a number one thing to do. Some of the most popular activities include; zip lining, wildlife tours, surfing, hiking in national parks, and visiting volcanoes.

Does Costa Rica have nightlife?

Yes, Costa Rica has a good nightlife scene depending on where you go. San Jose, Jaco, and Tamarindo are known for their good scene.

What are some fun things to do in Costa Rica?

Some fun things to do are; go snorkeling, rent an ATV, go whitewater rafting, relax on the beach, visit a beach bar, hike up a volcano, and slide down a waterfall.

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….if none of those appeal to you, check out our Must Know Planning Info on Costa Rica for more trip-planning advice