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3 Excursions in Costa Rica You Don't Want to Miss Out On

Updated on July 4, 2019
Jackie Zelko profile image

I traveled to Costa Rica for my honeymoon in July 2018 and loved every minute of it!

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¡Pura Vida!

Costa Rica is such an amazing country filled with the most welcoming people. The direct translation of "pura vida" is "pure life". In Costa Rica, this is used as a greeting or a way of saying goodbye to people.


My husband and I had an idea before our arrival of three excursions we were going to partake in. We decided to not book and prepay in advance in case we changed our minds, and it was the best decision we ever made. We ended up changing two out of the three excursions we had planned based on recommendations from other guests staying at our resort. Our final decision was to do Canopy Zip Lining, Palo Verde Boat tour, and Sensoria rainforest tour. They were all booked easily through a company called Amstar, and we could not be happier with our tour experiences.

1. Canopy Zip Lining Tour

I am sure any zip lining tour in Costa Rica is a great experience. The one I experienced is through a company called "The Congo Trail" in Guanacaste. I was so glad we chose this one and not the one that was advertised in the airport as, "The Longest Zip Line". It looked fantastic in the pictures, but the issue is the way you are hooked into the zip line like you are Superman; you will be hurting within seconds. I learned that first hand at "The Congo Trail". They asked me if I wanted to go Superman style down one part, and I eagerly said yes. All of my body weight rested on the harness making it dig into my stomach. It was a lot of fun, but I was glad it was only for a short distance and not two minutes long.


THINGS TO PLAN FOR AHEAD OF TIME

  • Time: Half a day and no food included.
  • Outfit: Where something comfortable that you do not mind getting dirty. I wore an old t-shirt and leggings. I was told by a family member who had gone zip lining in Costa Rica to wear something that I do not mind getting dirty. Some zip lines will leave grease marks all over your clothes, but this was not the case for me.
  • Bug spray: Use it!
  • Pictures: Leave your cameras and your phones behind with your transportation if you can. It is completely worth the price to have the company's photographer take great quality photos of you zip lining.

Our view from our Canopy Zip Line tour. We could hear the Howler monkeys in the distance!
Our view from our Canopy Zip Line tour. We could hear the Howler monkeys in the distance! | Source

2. Palo Verde Boat Tour

This was our favorite! We are so glad someone told us about it and convinced us to go. You are taken on an amazing boat ride on the Palo Verde River, you get to visit the Guanacaste Pineapple Park, and you get to explore Liberia in Guanacaste.


BOAT TOUR

Upon our arrival, we were given fruit to snack on. On our boat ride, we saw an abundance of wildlife: monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, the "Jesus Christ Lizard" (because it runs on water), and exotic birds. Our favorite part was when our tour guide called out to the Howler monkeys to get them to show off for us. They even responded back to him! After our ride, we were given a traditional Costa Rican meal called "Casado". It was outstanding! We have never ate tilapia that tasted so good! We were also introduced to Lizano sauce, which is a must for you to try.

I was able to capture this incredible photo of a Howler monkey with my digital camera. Its abilities to zoom in far exceeds any iPhone.
I was able to capture this incredible photo of a Howler monkey with my digital camera. Its abilities to zoom in far exceeds any iPhone. | Source
Crocodile sun bathing.
Crocodile sun bathing. | Source
Casado served with your choice of chicken or tilapia. Absolutely delicious!
Casado served with your choice of chicken or tilapia. Absolutely delicious! | Source

PINEAPPLE PICKING

Nothing tastes better than fresh pineapple off of the plant itself! Upon your arrival, you will be encouraged to taste the fresh pineapple juice they have waiting for you. Your tour guide will bring you through the farm and tell you everything you can possibly know about pineapples. You are then allowed to pick one pineapple from the plant yourself. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take them back with you. The ones you pick are used to make pineapple juice for the next tour that comes. However, the tour guide cuts one up right in the middle of the farm for everyone to eat and enjoy.

It is important to consider size and color when picking a pineapple.
It is important to consider size and color when picking a pineapple. | Source

EXPLORING LIBERIA (pronounced lee-BEAR-ee-ah; emphasis on -bear)

This was the last stop of the day. We were able to go off on our own and do some souvenir shopping, drink some coffee, and look at historical buildings. We did not spend a whole lot of time here, but it was enough time for us to see everything we wanted to see.

Liberia, Guanacaste
Liberia, Guanacaste | Source

THINGS TO PLAN FOR AHEAD OF TIME

  • Time: Full day and food included.
  • Bug spray: Not necessary but possible because of the river. Bring it just in case.
  • Outfit: Wear comfortable shoes and light clothes. It is a long day, and it could be warm or humid depending on the day.
  • Pictures: Bring a digital camera if you have one. You do not want to miss out on taking pictures of wildlife from far away.

3. Sensoria Rainforest Tour

BAKERY

Before we went on our rainforest tour, we stopped by a bakery and coffee shop for a quick snack. Our tour guide said it was important for us to have something in our stomachs before going on our hike.

Marcelo's Bakery & Coffee Shop
Marcelo's Bakery & Coffee Shop | Source

The Sensoria tour grants you the opportunity to hike through the rainforest to see exotic animals, visit two waterfalls, and take a dip in three natural hot springs. We were told that this tour was better than the one we were previously interested in because others that are advertised are man-made. The first two hot springs were rather cold to be honest. The last one was the warmest. It was very relaxing!

Spider monkey
Spider monkey | Source
Hot spring naturally heated by the active Arenal volcano.
Hot spring naturally heated by the active Arenal volcano. | Source

After the hike, you come back to the main area and enjoy a meal with your group, while watching a video about the rainforest.


THINGS TO PLAN FOR AHEAD OF TIME

  • Time: Full day and food included.
  • Bug spray: Use it!
  • Outfit: I wore a swimsuit underneath a t-shirt and gym shorts. I also wore a hat, a rain jacket, and sneakers to hike in. It is a rainforest, and it will rain! Bring extra clothes and extra socks to change into for the ride back home.

    *WARNING! When you dry off, you will notice that you stink. It is from the volcano naturally heating the waters you dipped into. You may want to bring some baby wipes to freshen up with.
  • Pictures: Bring a digital camera for quality photos, but an iPhone can get the job done. You will definitely want to bring a waterproof case or pouch for either one you bring. I got mine and my husband's pouch off of Amazon, and we have been using it for all of our adventures. You can even text and take pictures through the plastic; although, the quality may not be great depending on how much water is on the outside.

Questions?

Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions you may have about your upcoming Costa Rica trip. I would be more than happy to answer. Be sure to also check out my other article "The Best Time to Travel to Costa Rica" for more of your travel decisions.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

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    • Jackie Zelko profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Zelko 

      5 months ago

      Thank you so much! We had the time of our lives there!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 months ago from UK

      You give some great ideas of things to do in Costa Rica and also some good advice.

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