Best Things To Do in Costa Rica

1. Arenal Volcano National Park

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.

Epic landscapes. The tip of the volcano was covered by the clouds when I went, but the views were still amazing. There are two trails you can do. The yellow trail takes 2.5 hrs to do and the red trail takes 1.5hrs. The hike is an easy to medium trail with mild inclines. Definitely a must do when staying near or in La Fortuna! Bring good foot wear!

A beautiful place if you like hiking and the outdoors. We did two hikes, one that takes t you to the highest view point of the Arenal Volcano and another one called the Chato I believe. The scenery around the volcano is great and if you can see the top of the volcano on a clear day it is worth the hike in my opinion. We saw a few animals ( monkeys, snake and some birds).

We had a nice and a bit lonely (if yo go early in the morning, you can avoid crowds) hike trough Arenal volcano national park. We took the public bus from Fortuna and hiked to park to hike in park.. 😁 all in all-managable. Our slow hiking took us about 2,5-3h, i don't think it's a whole day activity even with kids.. I do recommend to wear proper shoes and to take some snacks and water with you. And a rain jacket to, as weather is changing. After hike you can check out /hitchhike to free hot water springs or opt out for some of the beautiful but pricey hot spring resorts.

A stunning place to visit, even on a cloudy day. The views are amazing and the surrounding forest and lava rock trail make a good hiking trail. The climb can be a little step in places but it's well marked and overall easy to get round.

2. Parque Nacional Tortuguero

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.

Be prepared to be very very very hot and sticky. There are also lots of mosquitos, so don't forget your repellent. We found the water tour a lot more entertaining than the land one, but I guess the amount of animals you encounter is simply a question of luck. We hired a guide for both tours for about 10usd per person, per tour. The walking tour gets very muddy if it rains and apparently it's the rainiest region of Costa Rica, so be warned. We visited outside the turtle season (July to October), so we didn't see any turtles (you sometimes can if you're lucky) but the visit was still very much with it.

My trip to Tortuguero was surprisingly nice. First day got blessed with sunny warm weather, where I took advantage of the beach. Second day, despite the rain, we went on the kayak tour in the park. It's an amazingly dense jungle, with many animals around. We saw a cayman and many birds. The island is very small, not much to do here for more than 2 days, especially when it's not the turtle season. Prices are decent compared to many touristic spots I've been in Costa Rica. Interesting, one of the evenings I fell asleep for a few minutes on the beach, to wake and find my phone missing. Gave a tip to a local to "find" it for me :)

Food was great, as were the employees and most of the facilities, but the rooms were too rustic and very hot. Only 1 ceiling fan in a room with screened windows and no glass. We spent most of our time by the pool and lounging in the public area which was much nicer than the rooms. Much too humid on the east coast to not have A/C for sleeping. The trip to get there was pretty bad too. The place where you catch a boat to go there was terrible. And Costa Rica was much more expensive than when we went last time. I paid more for street vendor items than I would at the store back home. And they weren't willing to haggle like last time. It's beautiful, but just not the same as we remembered. Much better than Mexico, though.

3. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

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.

This visit felt quite disappointing to be perfectly honest. Don't expect to see any animals. We saw one (a small rodent) and were told by a guide that we were very lucky. The paths are well marked and conditioned, but all you are going to see is trees. At it is not a cheap visit compared to may others in the country where you will see wildlife almost guaranteed.

RUGGED hiking. This isn't like the other parks you'll go to. This is all natural, and the entire place is uphill. The views are breathtaking, and the wildlife was fantastic. But you won't see anything without putting in the effort. Just try not to scare away all the wildlife with all the huffing and puffing!

Beautiful scenery. There is a good map and trails for all hiking abilities. The staff members at reception will help you decide which hike is right for you. There is a discount for students, so if you have a student ID, bring it with you. The parking lot is small, but there is free overflow parking about 1km away with a free shuttle that seems to run continuously.

4. Parc national Rincón de la Vieja

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.

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!

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.

Catarata la Cangreja waterfall is a pretty nice hiking destination 6 km from the Las Pailas visitor center. The hike traverses tropical hardwood forest, semi-arid mountain meadow, and dry arroyo terrain. The park features another waterfall and volcanic fumaroles. The summit trail is closed due to volcanic activity.

Very nice 10k hike to a beautiful waterfall on well maintained trails. Plan on about 2 hours in each direction... but it's worth it. Took a nice refreshing swim at the falls and enjoyed a hot spring that flows in left of the falls.

5. Pura Aventura

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.

Fun and very friendly instructors. Highly recommended

Great Zipline. Guides provide tremendous support with a smile.

The best zip lining tours over Costa Rican jungle terrain! Excellet service and safety, a fabulous experience! "Las Chikitas Fantasrikas" strike it rich again with adventure and enthusiasm!

6. 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.

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.

This is Paradise. Located on the Osa Peninsula, this lush, pristine wonderland is home to an outstanding array of flora and fauna of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Walking through the forests will feel as if one is walking through the Garden of Eden, with its limitless beauty illuminating on the face of the Earth. It is also the representative of the beauty of Costa Rica, an amazing country rich in culture, and scenery.

7. Arenal Volcano

Ordered the molten chocolate lava cake. Was way too hot and not at all what I expected. Service was slow and terrible. Loud atmosphere. I guess the view was adequate.

My first volcano experience. Not as big as I had in my mind for some reason. Still a wonderful site.

Beautiful volcano that is so big it takes over the town! Heats the water into hot springs and is an iconic land mark in La Fortuna

If you go to Costa Rica - chances are you will spend some time at this ultra popular tourist spot. You will love it. Make sure to allow an evening of soaking in one of the volcanic hot springs.

Other than that it's in the rainforest and therefore you can hardly ever see the top like in pictures, it's really cool. Walking on the lava fields was really interesting, but you can't get very close because the volcano is active.

8. Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

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.

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!

Got scammed into paying $10 for parking so anyone who is driving, DON'T stop along the side streets when driving towards the park. They look like they're wearing the national park uniform and have a whistle around their neck and will point at your car and tell you that you have to park here if you are going to the park (and they'll also try to tell you there is no further parking beyond this point - which is a lie!!). The park in itself is beautiful and quite the hike. The beach is the best part - white sand and crystal clear warm water. There are LOTS of monkeys that play in the foliage around the beach. Lots of sloths sleeping throughout the day high up in the trees so don't forget to look way high. Also there are LOTS of people that visit the park so maybe go earlier on in the day where its a bit more quiet so the animals don't hide.

We visited it in December 2017. The toilets were in deplorable conditions by 7:45am. This means that they hadn’t been cleaned overnight, at least. The women’s toilet had diarrhea all over the seat. Additionally, one of the pathways were closed but nobody mentioned anything before entering. Very disappointing for a $16 entrance fee. I give it two stars just because its nature is nice, but it doesn’t justify the price. Tourist trap!

Quite a busy place as people go to access the beaches as well as the wildlife, but there is a lot to see. It is worth taking a guide as it would be easy to walk through and miss seeing most of the animals and birds. The beaches are beautiful, although the Pacific surf plays rough! The walkways in the park are mainly wheelchair accessible and go through both rainforest and mangroves. Make sure you take insect repellent and sunscreen for your visit. Toilets are available in the park.

9. Travel Excellence Costa Rica Vacations

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!!

10. 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.

11. Кауита улуттук паркы

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

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).

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.

Great trails. It has a white sand beach and a black sand beach, the black coming from the active volcano ash in the area. Really cool! A must see! Great wildlife to with park rangers that will point you out the sloths and howler monkeys!

Great place to visit and enjoy nature. Nice walk through the jungle, lots of monkeys and sloth. Saw a racoon also. It's a very easy walk so can be enjoyed by families, young and old.

12. El Toledo Coffee Tour

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.

His tour was so fantastic! Educational, engaging and interesting! We had a group of 13 and all loved it! The family that ran this plantation were just lovely! Thank you for everything!!

Remarkable tour. This is a small family farm which has ceased "conventional" farming and gone to organic permaculture farming. The two hour tour shows coffee production and processing. Extremely interesting and informative. Only 20 min from Atenas, not a tour you should miss!

Great educational activity option when in the Central Valley. We appreciated the intimate feel: no crowds, no rushed agenda, the entire experience is customized to the interests of the attendees. Gabriel shares his family history in terms of farming coffee and other crops, and their journey. The scenery is amazing, the information presented very well balanced and objective, and the lunch very tasty. We learned a lot about coffee and truly appreciated the opportunity to just hang out and chat with Gabriel. In terms of logistics: it is easy to take the bus from San Jose to downtown Atenas, and take a taxi or Uber from there to the coffee farm (5-6 min from bus stop).

13. Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

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.

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.

Definitely a beautiful hike worth going on if you're in Costa Rica for the hiking and nature. A good amount of it is uphill so if you have trouble with that you should probably avoid it or bring a cane and take it slowly. If you go at your own pace you should be fine. The bridges are really cool and the scenery is beautiful. Didn't see any monkeys but I saw a lot of beautiful birds.

We enjoyed our day here. Easy walk through the jungle. Guides were strategically locate where certain creatures happened to be that we might have walked by (i.e. sloths and a tiny snake). The view from the restaurant was reasonably priced and the view was fantastic.

Not exactly the adventure it is advertised as. However, it is a beautiful walk on well-maintained paths with beautiful scenery. It’s not necessary to use a guide unless you really want help finding wildlife (which even some of the guides seemed to have a hard time finding). The price was a bit high ($26 USD per person) but we figure it goes toward maintaining the location. Definitely wear sneakers and bring water. It’s not too rigorous of a hike but some areas are uneven.

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!

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.

Alex is the man. He has a great group of employees that make this experience worth your time.

15. 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.

16. Tabacon Resort

Tabacon is a premier resort and spa in the Arenal area. The rooms, the service, amenities, and the food are exceptional and second-to-none. I stayed at Tabacon with my family and was very satisfied to see them happy and enjoying themselves. I had a bit of snafu booking the rooms as I was too late and the hotel was fully booked. However, I contacted the hotel via chat and they were able to split my trip into two different room types to make it work. I really appreciate this level of customer service. Word of Caution: Please book as early in advance as possible or the rooms will be gone. The hotel is split into two sections: One part for reception, rooms, restaurants, etc..., and the second part about 300 meters away is for the hot springs, another really nice restaurant, and the awesome heated pool. I will review that separately. While staying at the hotel, make sure you order the fruit plate from room service. It is very good

Wow just wow! This resort is truly an impeccable resort. The rooms were clean and comfortable. There was a nice pool with a bar. And of course the hot springs were really interesting and fun to explore and relax. This resort is situated near a volcano - a little intimidating - but rather exciting and exotic. The food is great, no complaints. The service was wonderful as well. If you are into nature and are fond of rainforests then I highly suggest this resort - it's breathtaking!

Absolutely beautiful! We did a half day pass and it was just too rushed. The front desk won’t let you in a second before hand, so don’t show up too early :) Stunning resort and the lunch buffet was great. Would recommend staying for a day as the half day was pricey for the amount of time. Would highly recommend it!

The thermal springs were energizing and exhilarating. Beautifully landscaped to inspire calm walks through the gardens. People were friendly and very helpful. There are many private areas to sit and relax and I never felt crowded or rushed. Loved it!

Beautiful place. Feels like you are really in the jungle and not a man made hot springs. We were there in the rain and it made it so much fun. I would highly recommend it if you are in the area. We stayed in a local airbnb instead of the hotel. Buffet lunch and dinner was nice. There are other eating places nearby, but this is by far the most convenient if you don't want to leave and come back. Staff is extremely nice.

17. Butterfly Conservatory

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.

The Butterfly Conservatory is very large and well maintained. The staff is friendly and eager to help you learn about the butterflys, frogs, and their habitats. The admission price is fair, and they do a lot of good work to upkeep the conservatory. Would love to go again.

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.

I really love this place. A lot of beautiful butterflies, staff will tell you many interesting things about every butterfly you see there and ask any question you can have. You can also find some reptiles there. Some famous toads, and other. I recommend to visit this place.

Not just a butterfly garden. Very educational from egg to larva to cocoon. See birth of a butterfly. Help repopulate CR.Expert staff. It is a must do!

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.

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.

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 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. Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

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.

Overall just a great place. A rehab/rescue for Costa Rican animals - not a zoo. Anyone who cares at all about animals will love it here. Florian (our guide) was very knowledgeable and funny.

This is a small rehab and release sanctuary. Please consider donating and taking a tour despite it's size. They cannot walk you around the rehab section but they can walk you through the small outdoor cage areas that house some of the animals that cannot be released back. The stories are a great addition to the tour. I recommend close toed shoes as there are biting ants around some of the cages. Bug spray is also recommended for later afternoon tours. There is an attached hotel/villa option and an upper scale restaurant on the property as well. The pool looked very inviting and the hotel offers a great overlook to the ocean.

A really great experience! Got to hear lots of good details about the rehabilitation process and how the sanctuary is run. I would recommend for any animal lovers, and yo can even get a tasty bite and drink afterward at the attached hotel. Get there while you can still see Pandora, she was worth the trip on her own.

20. Nauyaca Waterfalls

I’m all for getting exercise. But pick and choose your battles. You can walk from the main road and it is like 2.8 miles one way to walk to falls, or you can park closer like 1.4 miles away if you got balls and want a thrill driving your rental on a mud/stone road to the half-point parking lot, or you can pay $20/person extra over admission and take a ride in the back of an open air old style 4x4 pickup. DO THE 4x4 RIDE... oh, I’ve never seen so many miserable looking people as we passed on our way. It is not a flat walk. It has some serious hills. And it is doable. But it is at least 1 hour plus each way. At least. My time is too valuable on vacation to cheap out over $20 to save close to three hours of walking. Falls were great. Fun to swim in cool water and nice photos abound! Well worth your time. If you are walking and with the drive to get there, it will be your activity for the day.

This is a great place to visit. I recommend you ride the horses to the falls. You van get a tour the feeds you coming and going. And the guides are very good with small children. We had a 5yr old on her own horse and the guides stayed close and taught her well. We were there in the dry season, and were told the wet season you often cant swim in the falls due to high water flow.

Amazing waterfalls. Incredible place to stay for a few hours. You can enjoy the waterfalls and swim in a nature place. The peace that you breath its amazing. I totally recommend to pay the truck because the road to the waterfalls is long and hard.

Very cool waterfalls, well worth visiting if you are in the area. I went on a Sunday and the only option was hiking from the parking lot. The hike was nice but don't underestimate the heat and humidity if you go on a warm day.

Best day trip. Super easy to find, just follow the GPS directions and it will end at the little house by the side of the road where you buy tickets to get in. Super easy. We hiked the whole way to the falls, was super hot and beautiful. Took us about an hour and even faster on the way back. The waterfall was super gorgeous. Water was cooler but refreshing, you could see a lot of fish so snorkeling mask may be a good idea. Super happy we went there. Go for it!