Best Things To Do in Costa Rica

1. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

3.5 stars. Of you have a good guide like I did (Elvin). A real passionate naturalist. The reserve is nice with walkable mostly paved paths. Expect to see, birds more then anything ( Quedzales), you will hear about monkeys and sloths but most likely will not see any. May be a tarantula, a non venomous snake. You will get a great ecology lesson and lots of plant talk. It's not a bad way to spend 2.5 hours. If you go by yourself, you can spend all day walking around exploring. I would recommend that as well.

Gorgeous forest. Lots of relatively well maintained trails to walk along. You have a chance to see a lot of nice wildlife there. Unfortunately it was raining the entire time we were there but the walk was still very lovely.

We had such a great time this time around. I've been here once before and didn't see much wildlife then. But regardless, just the forest itself is well worth the visit. It's beautiful, tranquil and if you take your time and spend big portion of a day here, you'll see a lot. Also I'd recommend to take a guide first thing in the morning and then keep exploring yourself 👌 Next time I'm in Monteverde, I'm going again!

Well I'll start of saying the cloud forest was amazing. But my adventure is probably different then most. I found it by accident... yes by accident. We were on our way to do the zipping and repelling and THE SUPERMAN you'll see it posted everywhere. We rented a vehicle for our stay. After we did the zip lining and repelling. We decided we were going to continue down the dirt road to see how far it goes. So windy turn after steep canyons to little villages to climbing up windy roads of the mountains we finally came to a point in the road where it was so steep and filled with boulders are vehicle would not go any further. Along the way we noticed a sign for the cloud forest which to be honest we had never read about. A few hours back we had seen a sign for 4x4 or dirt bikes only. But it didn't look too bad at that point. Needless to say we got to see thing the average tourist doesnt. We stopped at the little villages talked to locals. We were taken to cocoa fields high in the mountains. It was superb. So 6 hours later we made it back to the little hotel where the superman zip lining was and the owner came over and asked if we had venture down this road. We responded by saying yes and started to laugh. The owner said word had got out that white people were seen many villages away in the mountains. He went on to say that people very rarely see white people let alone tourists.

The park is beautiful and the trails were great. You can find a trail that is right for your level. I imagined the park to be quiet different, more like the name implies. The bridge is rather short and not very high up. In any case, if you're in monteverde, the cloud forest is definitely a must see. You will see a bunch of different animals, hear all kind of birds singing and get to see the most beautiful views at the top of the mountain. We were walking pretty quickly and took us roughly 3 hours for the entire reserve.

2. Pura Aventura

Great tour with these guys. We had 4 adults and 4 kids in our group. Very instructional and very safe. Nice ending with fruit, water, beers, and frozen cocktails if you want. The drinks are not free, but quite a bargain and worth it after 11 ziplines.

Had a great time. The guides were fun, felt totally safe and it’s just the right amount of lines so you get to experience it without being there for hours and hours. Nice venue as well, and there’s a bar! Great views from the lines and we saw howler monkeys too!

Very nice people. Everyone is very knowledgeable and professional. We did the zip lining. There were eleven runs down mountains and through forests. I highly recommend Pura Aventura.

Had an amazing experience ziplining! Got to take in the breathtaking views of Costa Rica!

I was nervous to go ziplining for the first time, but they made it such a great experience. With 11 total ziplines, we really got our money's worth. The location is beautiful and some of the ziplines are very long.

3. Arenal Volcano National Park

This hike is great!!!! We visited with our friends and had some the hike prior in 2015. The price is reasonable and the staff speak some English and Spanish. They provide walking sticks; which I highly recommend taking on you hike. You will see a lot of birds, possible snake and bugs. Take you bug spray and water bottle!! You can request a tour guide to point out animals and birds and they will give you the history of the area.

Absolutely worth visiting if you are in the area. I highly recommend doing the two volcanoes tour, you should expect to pay $50-75 for the full day tour through Arenal Jungle Tours. The tour includes hiking both sides of the volcano, 2 hanging bridges, swimming in a waterfall, Tarzan swing, and a light lunch. It was literally my favorite day in La Fortuna. The hike itself is easy and the tour guide stops often to explain things, you do not need to be an experienced hiker to make it. Purchasing directly with the tour company or buying in a group will bring down the price. I highly encourage you not to buy at small vendors or hotels, as you will pay a mark up. It is important to note that any tour will not take you to the top of the volcano. It is possible to hike, but illegal. If this is option you're going for, then take a taxi to the base of the volcano and good luck not getting caught... the fine is about $200 dollars. There can be falling rocks and loose gravel.

The view of the volcano was disappointing as cloud surrounded the top and the tour I went on did not stop for long. It might have been better to do the 4KM hike around the volcano. I would recommend trying that because otherwise your enjoyment is entirely dependent on the weather!

Beautiful place to spend a few hours. While the park is nice be sure not to miss the La Fortuna waterfall which is inside the national park but a completely different entrance and entrance fee. Well worth spending an additional $ 15.00 USD. Just be aware that there are around 600 steps to climb back to the parking area where you began.

Amazing hikes and views of the Arenal Volcano. Loved the lava trails and the crater watch. Just make sure you visit this with the right people and that you know what you sign up to. We did our first hike with a company that charged $65 for a 10min walk up and down a mirador....

4. Travel Excellence Costa Rica Vacations

We had the most magical trip to Costa Rica (what a beautiful country) and that was most certainly helped by the amazing team at Travel Excellence. It was our first time visiting and so had no idea what to expect. From the second we we're greeted at San Jose airport by our driver and the first of many travel excellence reps we met along the way, we felt at ease and we're blown away by the passion they have for their country! The local knowledge of our drivers and guides was fascinating and helped us better appreciate each destination we visited (San Jose, Tortaguero, Arenal, Monteverde & Samara) the people and local customs. Every pick up was timely and communication was exceptional throughout our trip and I know (being an event planner myself) how hard it is to make travel as seemless as possible so we we're extremely impressed! I would highly recommend using Travel Excellence to any of my friends, family and clients or to anyone visiting Costa Rica. They made our holiday truely special and helpped create beautiful memories. We will definitely be back. Pura Vida! Rachel & Jonathan

We had a wonderful tripped to Costa Rica. We chose Travel Excellence because of its commitment to eco-sustainability (very important to us) and reasonable prices. We were especially pleased that we made some special requests ahead of time, and they were all met. There was one small mix-up that would have caused us to leave early in the morning and miss breakfast, and Cindy and the team at Travel Excellence solved this problem immediately by having a private driver pick us up a little later so we would have time to eat. Great customer service and attention to detail. We are very impressed.

First time using an agency and it was amazing! They had everything covered. All the transportation, routes, tours, and OMG the accommodations! They have spoiled us with the 5 star hotel we stayed at. The price was reasonable too. Very happy with our decision!

What an amazing company is Travel Excellence! Always taking care of every detail and exceeding the expectations of their clients. If you are planning your Costa Rica vacations, I highly recommend that you contact Travel Excellence...they will make your dream trip a reality!

Muy bueno el servicio al cliente!!

5. Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

The place is crawling with monkeys and other interesting wildlife. Nice beaches and usually not too crowded. Sunday is the day that many locals go - unless you arrive early, you may be turned away on Sunday. Closed Monday. There's a blue ticket booth close to the entrance that is the legitimate place to purchase tickets. There is normally parking relatively close to the entrance, although lots all the way may tell you that they are the "last closest".

I don't know about you, but I could watch leafcutter ants for hours. Fascinating. We had a private guide for our tour of the park, who was fantastic. He had a great set of binoculars so we could get crystal-clear views of sloths (two and three-toed!), monkeys (we actually had squirrel monkeys jump over us to a tree on the other side of the path, Planet Earth-style), iguanas, and other interesting or cute mammals. Plant diversity in the park is also impressive, with lots of trees and ivies and vines to look at in addition to flowers. We got to the beach right as it was closing, but it felt like stepping into a postcard. Large rocks jutted out of the water, creating a small harbor of sorts. A nearby tower worked as a great observation spot.

Manuel Antonio is a national treasure. Although the smallest park in Costa Rica, it contains an amazing degree of biodiversity. From sloths to monkeys (watch your bags) to a gorgeous white sand beach, it is a delight for you and old alike. That said, I highly recommend a guided tour as the guide can somehow magically locate and show you that elusive snake or tree frog that you might have otherwise missed. Bring your swim gear and a good pair of walking shoes and both inspiration and beauty will follow.

Yes, as others note, it's a special place. Get a guide if you can, but if you have additional time or a day, just explore the place on your own. I hit nearly 80% of the trails and many are very different from each other. The best was the point of Manuel Antonio where you will do some up hill climbing. Try to get away from people so you can listen into the wild life and those around you aren't scaring the animals away. Lots to see if you take your time. Beautiful place! Always feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @joerazz

The “Mafia” was the term used by the OFFICIAL TOUR GUIDES at the OFFICIAL ENTRANCE of the park to describe the local who scammed us into paying much more money for parking and a tour of the park. These Mafia men stepped in front of our car and blew a whistle pointing us to a dirt pitch to park as they claimed this was the official entrance to the park. My group was on a mission to hit the beach and expressed such to the guide and he insisted that we needed a guide to get there. We got upset when we realized he had us following him for a 10 min walk to the official entrance of the park. We became furious when we realized that there was a concrete path to the beach and there was no need for a guide. LEARN FROM MY EXPERIENCE AND DON’T GET SCAMMED!!! Side note... you are not allowed to enter the park with chips of cigarettes. The water was very warm and relaxing. At about 4pm park officials come and blow a whistle to call you out of the water and make your way out of the park.

6. Arenal Volcano

Great hiking. You can feel the heat of the volcano right through the soles of your shoes. There are plenty of other options for hiking in the area, including a seldom visited caldera.

Very cool area, a must see. Was foggy when in the area but still spectacular. A must stop destination

Absolutely beautiful! We came during the beginning of the wet season and it couldn't be a more perfect time! It was warm and sunny morning thru to 3pm then light rain for the night and everything was freshly green and fresh the next morning!

Beautiful volcano which you can see throughout all of La Fortuna. Unfortunately it is closed for hiking because it is still in activity and has a very moving landscape with a definite risk of avalanche. Climbing it has been defined by some as "a suicide mission", and only "really really crazy people" would think of doing it.

Beautiful and incredible volcano within a very well preserved national park. Climbing it is virtually impossible and YOU WILL GET IN TROUBLE if you try to hike up the volcano. If you’re into slightly less illegal and dangerous hikes, I recommend the crater lake volcano next to Arenal called Cerro Chato.

7. Rincón de la Vieja National Park

We went on a 3-KM “easy” hiking trail in the National Park. While the hike was paved, there are steps and incline/decline so wear sneakers and bring water. NO water or drinks are available for purchase there. We thought the trail was beautiful but perhaps $15 per person is a bit expensive — maybe that goes toward maintenance/conservation though. We saw a huge toad and lizard, and heard a howler monkey! Seeing geothermal activity was worth the walk!

Did the shorter trail past the volcanic activity , great hike. Did not hire a guide, don’t think I missed anything

Awesome display of volcanic activity. Boiling water holes, blurping mud pits, and sulphuric steam vents. Well kept paths wind through tree cover and open spaces. Great workout. Steps get to you by the end of the journey. And that was the shortest trail.

The mud pots are different than anything else in the area, so that was interesting. We didn't get there early enough to do the waterfall hike, so we just did the short loop with the mud pots and geysers.

Great hikes, bring lots of water, seriously it's dry and windy outside the wet season. There is a place to buy soda, sandwiches, ice cream and beer. After a long hard hike you'll be ready for a beer. Don't bother with a tour, just pay the $15 per adult and $5 per child, plus 700 Colones per person entrance and you will have a full day, see the different landscapes, and leave wiped and ready for a snooze before dinner.

8. Things To Do in Manuel Antonio

My family and I traveled to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica in late April and we used Things To Do Manuel Antonio to book all of our excursions. The staff is very helpful and they put us on the best tours with really competitive prices. We enjoyed not having to search around to find the different activities offered in the area of Manuel Antonio. This company offers all the excursions and an easy stress free way of booking, so we had more time to relax and enjoy our vacation time in Paradise.

Looking for some help to book a waterfall tour and found Things To Do Manuel Antonio and all I can say is great job. The waterfall tour was amazing. Thank you guys at Things To Do Manuel Antonio for the wonderful waterfall experience. Highly recommend booking all of your activities with Things To Do Manuel Antonio.

Rafting in the Savegre River! My brother and I booked a rafting tour in the Savegre River through Mandel at Things To Do Manuel Antonio and it was a great time. The crew was very professional and gave us all the information and tips we needed to have a safe and exciting day.

Amazing canopy tour!! Thank you to Things To Do Manuel Antonio for hooking me and my wife with a Canopy Tour, we really enjoyed it and hope to be back soon. Pura Vida!!

Fun day with Carlos on the mangrove fishing tour. Caught 5 Red Snapper, 3 Snook and 1 Mero. We enjoyed it very much and had fun being in the estuary where we saw monkeys and squirrels.

9. Parque Nacional Tortuguero

A quaint village on a small island. Do the cruise and/or the night walk to see the turtles with the guide who will point out the loveliest animals for you. We were lucky enough to see everything from unique colorful birds to the rare spider monkeys playing right above us. This place embodies the pura vida lifestyle.

I visited a couple years ago on a Spanish class field trip from America. Tortuguero was probably one of my favorite places we visited. I loved the quaintness of the town and the art work all around coupled with the beauty of Costa Rica. Their ice cream was fabulous and the locals were very friendly.

This place is very annoying to get to if you are going alone but it is worth every moment of traveling. I did a canoe.tour through the national park for $20 it was pouring rain most of our trip but it was absolutely fantastic. We saw so much wildlife and it really felt removed from everything. Our tour guide was amazing and a lot of fun and I really felt the tour was worth every penny spent.

Great park with high biodiversity, accessible by boat. It gets very busy, and a lot of the boat tours are noisy and rush around, scaring everything away. So choose your type of tour, tour guide and timing carefully.

Beautiful and Breathtaking. Check it out for yourself. Lots of wildlife and friendly people. It's a "hakuna Matata" kind of vibe. Will come back to spend more time there.

10. Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Beautiful trail, excellent experience. I've never seen so much wildlife on a 3.5 km trail. If you go, go with a guide. Otherwise you'll miss out on the animals that only they know how to spot. We were 17 in our group and had kids as young as 3. We all had a blast. Highly recommended.

Okay. We went to the hanging Bridges on the spur of the moment one day... Oh my goodness!!! Beauty at it's best. The staff speak English and Spanish; which helps us to learn Spanish. You can take a tour solo or with a guide, the guide is a little more but he/she will be able t point out wildlife to you better than you on your own. There is a restaurant and gift shop on the property. We went solo and saw a few but the forest itself was breathing..... And Volcano Arenal was very visible. I wish I had more pictures!!😉

This place was nice for a flavor of the area. The trails are all paved, and the 'hiking' is relatively easy, except for going down to the waterfall. The hanging bridges offer some beautiful views of the valley, and volcano. I strongly recommend the Night Tour! Our guide- Berto- was amazing. with his help, we felt more like invited guests than intruders in the park at night. Getting a guided tour is a must for getting the most out of the experience.

Nice to be in the jungle but way too many noisy groups when we went, there also seemed to be workers everywhere raking up leaves on the path. It's quite expensive at $25 entrance fee for a jungle walk but it is located near the aptly named town of la Fortuna. To get there you need a car or you can add on the return bus price for $15 extra, there is a public bus but it's a long walk from the main road when you get off the bus. If you've never been to the jungle before then it could be worth the price. Binoculars essential if you don't pay extra for a guide.

It was our first full day in Costa Rica, we were up-and-at-em bright and early. Our guide Erica was waiting for us at our hotel ready to show us native plants and animals at Mistico Hanging Bridges Park. She gave us some background information on the ride to Mistico and by the time we arrived we were ready for the adventure. The gardens and plant life in the park are amazing and well looked after. Trails are pleasant with lush plant life and something new to see around each turn. While the park is busy, it is large enough to accommodate all the guests and not feel crowded. The bridges are cool and quite amazing how high some of them are over the forest floor. While somewhat overcast, we were fortunate to see most of the volcano as we traveled through the park.

11. Cahuita National Park

Nice national park, when if not one of the prettiest on on the Caribbean side if Costa Rica. We recommend to take an local tour guide, they can show you so many animals already on first few meters of the path. And take enough water and snacks with you. Depending on on weather's you can swim and chill on fine beaches too or even snorkel on the reefs (only with guide, but they will be so honest and inform you, when the conditions are the best).

A wonderful place.... The nature is magnificent, the beach is wonderful... You can see many animals having a good time walking through the park. The path is easy and gives you many possibilities to meet monkeys and other animals. The sand is white and the sea is light blue... It seems paradise.... The best of the caribe

Beautiful walk between jungle and caribbean ocean. Furthermore you can see lots of animals like monkeys and you can enter for free.

Super cool place to walk and use the beach. Very very nice. Easy to get your own little spot on the stretch.

Man I gave so much money to this place, it is a very linear trail, beautiful but still.. I like how the ants walk freely through the trail so be careful you don't stand on the innocent creatures! I go barefoot to truly feel the surrounding, and of course be careful you don't stand on a leaf cutter ant.

12. El Toledo Coffee Tour

The drive is beautiful and a bit brutal. Nestled up in the hills lies this coffee farm with revolutionary ideas and methods that is changing the way farming is done. We went for the coffee and left with our minds blown and our lives changed. Gabriel and his family are pioneers in farming in a way that is good for our health, the plants, and the planet. You need to take this tour. They are making wine out of the coffee fruit and skins! And oh yeah...the coffee is excellent!

This tour was very informative and educational. Gabriel is very knowledgeable and you can see that he is passionate about what he does. We left there with so much more knowledge about the coffee farming world and we really enjoyed the discussions with Gabriel. Highly recommend this tour!

This is an exceptional coffee tour. Gabriel is a total legend and comes across genuine and sincere, and is very knowledgeable about both the coffee industry as a whole and farming. No matter how much you think you know about coffee you will learn something here!

A true must-do tour if you're in the area. Learn about coffee and this family farm's progression in ethical organic techniques. Stay for the home-made lunch! Gravel entrance and parking, but our rental car was fine. Wear shoes with some traction for a mild walk through the farm. Most of the tour is on flat land, so you can skip the rest if you have knee problems.

If you're gonna go on a coffee tour make it el Toledo! Small family farm such kind and open people who truly care about coffee production and doing it right! Organic permaculture production for 25years! Crazy !!! Also the coffee is absolutely hands down the best we had in Costa Rica ! The farm is just as lovely as the owners true stewards of the land ! The drive is a bit intense but also a wonderful way to see the countryside surrounding Alajuela...we went when it was closed and they still sold us coffee and gave a tour of the farm with coffee and snacks to boot! Go and you will not be disappointed.

13. Corcovado National Park

I was only able to access this national park by tour (on a boat). It’s definitely worth going with a guide as they use a telescope and you’re able to take pics of what you’re seeing through the scope lens. It’s long tour, and if you’re in the heat, it’s definitely not suitable for young children. I still enjoyed learning about all the different species of plants and animals and getting excellent pictures. I would highly recommend this tour in Drake Bay, over other land tours.

Pretty cool visit. It's a long way out to the park. That means it's relatively untouched, very wild feeling. We saw some crocodiles and macaws etc. I wish we could have seen more wildlife, but that's the way it goes with nature, never certainty.

A beautiful NP you definately have to see when you're in Costa Rica. We booked our tour by Pacheco tours and was really lucky about this adventure.

Highlight of our trip to Costa Rica. There was so much wild life. We saw tapirs, bull sharks, ant eaters, etc. Many people saw pumas but we weren't that lucky. Absolutely gorgeous beaches, our guide was amazing. She knew so much about the park and all of the animals in it. We did the 2 day tour which was a little expensive compared to other excursions but welllll worth it. We're so happy we splurged for it as it exceeded our expectations.

We went on the half day tour. If you love a close up look at animals and birds, in a fairly small area of the park, this is an ideal to go on. If you wanted a long hike through the forest, look at different options. Take a cushion for the boat journey, as it can be hard on the rear, bouncing over the waves in unpadded seats. It says a three hour walk, but it was actually five hours. As such it's better value for money, but felt a bit too long for me.

14. Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates

I meant to write this review when we returned home from Costa Rica back to Cleveland about a year ago. Black Stallion and Alex left us with such a great memory of a wonderful evening in Costa Rica. My husband and I had read great reviews and love barbecue so figured we would try it out. Every person working and every customer here was extremely friendly. It is a very inviting atmosphere! At the end of the evening, Alex offered to drive some of the guests that were still left hanging at the restaurant up to the mountain where we had an amazing experience to say the least. My husband and myself, as well as some visitors from out west who we enjoyed the time with had a great time together. We can not thank Alex, and his staff enough for sharing his place and the experience with us. We will be next time in Costa Rica! It is especially a must with a small or large group.

By far the most welcoming, accommodating, and friendly group of people. Couldn't have expected a better place to spend our limited time in this beautiful country! Thanks for making our day one for the books! This experience makes it hard to imagine not coming back to Cista Rica if only just to hang with you guys. Karaoke and BBQ next time for sure!

Hands down the best zip lining in Tamarindo! Everything from the price to the guides and service was excellent. We booked it through Kacey at ATV Tamarindo and had a blast. Next time we will definitely check out the BBQ.

We went to Tamarindo for our honeymoon and our hotel paired us with Black Stallion for zip lining. The owner, Alex, picked us up from our hotel and brought us to his estate. The instructors were very nice and helpful. There were about 3 instructors who went through the course with you, which was nice. Our group was small and that made our experience very personable. We had a great time and would go to see Alex and his crew again!

Alex is a great host. My husband and I went because our grown children had been there and raved about the BBQ (and my husband is vegetarian and also enjoyed it). So we didn't go zip lining or horseback riding, but we had an amazing time hanging out at the pool and meeting some very interesting people. The food, the company .......well worth going.

15. Monteverde Orchid Garden

I loved this garden! What an amazing learning experience. I had no idea that orchids could be so tiny. If it weren’t for this tour I would have missed so many. After this tour I was able to spot orchids in the preserves. Teeny tiny little flowers that I otherwise would have missed. If you’re a plant lover like I am, then this is a must do!

Great experience! Our guide knew her stuff and walked people through many of the quirks of orchids. Their company collection of miniature orchids was impressive. This place is worth a visit.

Interesting. I love orchids. Small but always something to see. Bit expensive but the guide loves her job. I think there should be a tourist price and a tico price.

Very nice. Small but very beautiful. Orchids are beautiful.

Did not enjoy coming here due to the fact that I did not see any orchids that were alive for the most part. I think it is mostly due to the fact that we came to the garden in December however it is not a big place and regardless of it being the off season for orchids (perhaps) the grounds were not kept up nicely and the green house was falling apart on the inside. We also were put into a tour group which I was not expecting and it was a small and crowded area to even walk around and enjoy the minimal orchids that were alive. Save your money and your time and see the orchids in Monteverde in the cloud forest.

16. Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park

What a beautiful place! This is definitely one of the best spots to see hummingbirds in action. They placed many feeders along one of their terraces and that enables you to watch many hummingbirds very closely which is such a wonderful experience! In addition, they have another terrace that you can see other birds from thanks to the fruit they place for them right below it. The place itself is beautiful, they started it only in 2009 and the scenery is already so full and green. Dave senior or Dave junior who own the place will give you a tour in it up until the river which takes about an hour, and you will see the lovely trees, plants and if you’re lucky - the blue jeans frog and many more. The tour is very informative and both Daves are so nice and welcoming. Highly recommended, don’t miss it!

If you are in Costa Rica and are looking at birds or want to see some interesting local birds coming to Dave & Dave's is a must. And all honesty their pricing is absurd but it's worth it in the end. You will see the white-throated Jacobin which is an astonishing hummingbird. I saw two species of toucans hear a wide variety of species. Both of them are genuinely very nice the grounds are very good. I guess I should say I saw a black crested Coquette here as well. Difficult bird to see so that was very exciting.

Amazing place to see the tropical birds of Costa Rica! If you are in to nature at all you will not want to miss this place. The owner's take pride in conserving the nature in the area and are excellent at sharing information about what they do there to preserve the natural habitat. If you like to take photos, there are two excellent platforms to do it from for both birds and hummingbirds.

One of the best tours ever for me, and I've traveled some. Standing in a peaceful veranda as the birds feed only several yards away. Never any problem spotting the various species and younger Dave gave terrific information about bird behavior. Also met father Dave, a very charming person. They have a real mission to preserve habitat.

We loved Dave and Dave (father and son). Beautiful 15 acre sanctuary that has been planted and cultivated over the years with trees that birds love. We saw about 25 species, not including the numerous hummingbirds. Highly recommended.

17. Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

Amazing people and amazing animals. They are not a zoo that captures animals for the amusement of people but are reather a place that rehabilitates animals and releases them back to the wild if possible. But if it is not possible they help the give the animals the most natural and clean environment to live. 100% worth the drive and would suggest it to my friends.

We absolutely enjoyed our time here! Our guide was funny and informative. He made us feel good about our visit and how we in a small way are also helping the animals. Our kiddo enjoyed seeing the animals up close and also the ones that were in the wild just hanging around. Keep doing what you are doing!! 👍🏼

Great group of people doing awesome work. Tour is very informative. All tour fees fund the rescue operation. Additional donations can be made through their Amazon Wish List or Amazon Smile. Please visit and donate. It's an Amazing place.

Amazing place. Wonderful guide. Passionate and really dedicated to the well-being of the animals. I fell in love with this important sanctuary which rescues, rehabilitates, releases and educates the public about the wonderful and vulnerable species of this region of Costa Rica. Please support this vital organization.

Great ethics and mission. The sanctuary do lots of education and work with locals to help the animals. They release and rehabilitate everything possible and provide an enriched life for those that can't be released. There's a vet centre and two permanent on call vets. Check ahead for tour times and grab a meal at the hotel. Well recommended.

18. Paradise Hot Springs

This is a wonderful place to stay. The rooms are newly renovated, the grounds are beautiful and staff was very friendly and helpful. The hot springs are very comfortable with a lot of temperatures to choose from! I highly recommend anyone looking to spend a few days in the area try this place out! If I had only one complaint, it would be the buffet options, they are very limited and serve the same meal daily. But there are plenty of other great food locations near by.

Excellent 10/10. We came here for our honeymoon and David at the front desk was phenomenal. He had our back the entire time, and guided us on every single thing for our stay. He called us cabs, called our shuttles, and made everything extremely comfortable. The rooms are extremely clean and have an excellent air conditioner, smart TV, and a very comfortable bed. This area is so close to downtown Fortuna and you get to experience the locals who are so friendly and have a loving spirit. There is nothing between the hotel and the volcano and it is extremely peaceful. The food is excellent and is all made fresh. STAY HERE. Seriously.

For the price I was expecting only a 2 or 3 star, but pleasantly surprised! We were extremely pleased with the helpfulness of the hotel staff, fit and finish of the rooms and general cleanliness of the resort. Very quiet location making you feel like you're in a secluded tropical paradise while still having accessibility to plenty of other offsite attractions nearby. Only complaint I had was the mattress on the bed was too firm. Definitely recommend Paradise Hot Springs Resort for anyone visiting Costa Rica.

Nice experience. We went for our honeymoon and it was truly a good experience but not as romantic when there are children everywhere. We went at night hoping this would be less of an issue but lots of little ones there still. The food was amazing! They provide towels and a locker.

Nice place, not too crowded. Good cocktails. Great service, comfty beds. Good quality toiletries. No spa for massages ,they are out in the open near pool, it gets noisy and ruins the experience.

19. Butterfly Conservatory

Very informative about the history of the conservatory as well as the butterflies they raise and release. Great nature trail, cool frogs, turtles and toads and the butterflies were breathtaking. The owner (who is from Austin, TX) was very helpful and shared his knowledge of the area with us. I didn't really want to take the time to go, but it was worth it and I'd do it again.

A very mellow and pleasant experience off the beaten path. A guide followed us around each of the areas and explained each species, mating patterns, etc. An unexpected highlight of the experience was the solo rainforest walk - my young daughters (5 and 3) loved the 20 minutes or so of walking to get back to the front gate. Cost was $15/person. No credit cards accepted. They sell bottled water at the entrance.

Exceeded expectations! The moment we walked in, we saw four howler monkeys (wild, they just hang out in the conservatory trees) and then saw hundreds of gorgeous butterflies. They also had various kinds of frogs and turtles. Staff were friendly and helpful - clearly passionate about what they do and we're very excited to show us their work.

My wife and myself had a wonderful time in the butterfly Conservatory. We saw many butterfly and frogs. The road to El Castillo is a dirt road and you need to have an SUV to get there. Make sure you don't drive too fast on the dirt road. The butterfly are in large areas covered by net so that they can't fly away. Make sure you bring good walking shoes when you walk through the garden.

A life-changing experience... We had never seen so many butterflies, or being so closely I touch with them. They had four sections devoted to four different kinds of butterflies... You have to visit this during your time around the Arenal volcano.

20. Museum of Costa Rican Art

Some of the museum was closed off. There were a lot of drawings of the national theatre which were interesting but would have liked to have seen a wider range of art. The building itself is very interesting though.

A wonderful slice of Costa Rican history through art! The "Gold Room" is especially wondrous; in its depiction of the important eras of the history of Costa Rica one is treated to a feast for the eyes!

Go with a guide who can give you a full history of the Gold Room. Staff is lazy and made us leave 15 minutes before closing time. Otherwise, the works are fascinating.

This is a historical place tha used to be the Costa Rica International airport.Nowdays is a Museum showing different art exhibitions. You won't regret visiting this place.

Great free museum. Make sure you check out the sculpture garden!