Arenal volcano

1. Arenal Volcano Tours

Spend the day hiking through lush rainforest, soaking in geothermal hot springs and cooling off under a beautiful waterfall. There are many options to choose from depending on your personal preferences. The Arenal area offers adventures to suit different skill levels as well as different interests. There are caves to be explored, bike and hiking trails of varying difficulty, you can even take a helicopter tour to get the best view of the volcano. Nearby is the town of Sarchi, where there are local craftsman eager to share their creations.

2. Doka Coffee Estate

This estate has been producing award-winning coffee for decades. Take the tour and see the entire coffee making process from seed to bean. You’ll learn about growing and about how different roasts are developed. You can, of course, taste the offerings. Also at the estate, you’ll find a bonsai tree and orchid garden, where you can see the painstaking attention given to these two plant breeds. When you get hungry, the estate has a restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. Lastly, you can view every stage of a butterfly’s life cycle in the estate’s butterfly garden, where 15 species are housed.

Pacuare River Rafting

3. Pacuare River Rafting

Class III and IV rapids await you. Luckily, no experience is required. A guide will get you safely down the river and along the way you’ll get to see the lush fauna and diverse flora that the forest has to offer. Monkeys, birds, various reptile species and maybe even some big cats will be checking you out from the shore as you travel 19 miles along the river. Tours can include transport from your hotel as well as offering breakfast and lunch. Safety equipment will be provided.

4. San Jose City

Experience Costa Rican culture by visiting its capital city. Join a tour or just wing it. See architecture dating back over 100 years. The National Theater was completed in 1897. Take a tour to see the intricate interior touches. San Jose also offers several museums including a children’s museum, a jade museum and the Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold. The city has several open parks, pavilions and the Simon Bolivar Zoo, where you can see plants and animals that are local to the area. The La Sabana Metropolitan Park has a few unique buildings and houses a museum in the old airport.

5. Tortuga Island

Experience the peace of the turquoise water and the white sand beach. Just offshore you’ll find excellent snorkeling and SCUBA sites. Kayaks are available for rental, so you can explore the island from the water. Due to the island’s location in the gulf, the water tends to be calm, which is perfect for a relaxing day at the beach. When you get hungry, the island has a few popup style BBQ restaurants right on the sand. The island is famous for its family of peccary (pigs) who make their home in the forest. Spot them and various tropical birds on a relaxing hike. Remember when visiting any location to wear a good sunscreen.