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Adventures in Costa Rica

Monteverde Bridge in Costa Rica
Monteverde Bridge in Costa Rica. Photo by Simon Dannhauer/Adobestock

Costa Rica adventures are the best way to get to know the jade forests, cascading waterfalls and riveting wildlife of this Central American country. Journey back in time by visiting untouched coastal towns, regal basilicas, centuries-old city ruins and more, on an upscale Costa Rica vacation adventure curated by our travel agency.

Whether your motive for visiting Costa Rica is to sample the world’s most exquisite coffee and chocolate or you simply want to get away and let nature revive you, Costa Rica is a worthy destination.

Monkey in Costa Rica
Monkey in Costa Rica

Best Adventures in Costa Rica: 6 Premium Vacation Packages

AAA is a trusted travel service that offers premium Costa Rica vacation packages. By partnering with AAA, you ensure that all the logistics and tedious aspects of travel are accounted for so that you can be fully present and enjoy your time in one of Mother Nature’s opulent havens.

To learn more about some of AAA’s most sought-after travel experiences, continue reading or get in touch and speak with one of AAA’s Costa Rica travel agents today. Keep in mind that specific dates, amenities and itineraries are subject to change.

Costa Rica Experience

This nine-day immersion into the diverse jungles of Costa Rica will have travelers considering a permanent relocation to the region. Explore the mystic “steamy cloud” forests of Monteverde, meander through the charming streets of Quepos or enjoy a meditative farm stay in the heart of untamed nature.

The itinerary for this unforgettable AAA experience is as follows:

  • Day 1: San Jose
  • Day 2: Santa Rosa de Pocosol (homestay near Juanilama agricultural community)
  • Day 3: La Fortuna (Cano Negro boat tour)
  • Days 4 and 5: Monteverde (zip-lining, wildlife sanctuary and serpentarium)
  • Days 6 and 7: Quepos (Manuel Antonio National Park)
  • Days 8 and 9: San Jose

Colorful Costa Rica

This adventure vacation in Costa Rica showcases the vivid colors of the country by surrounding travelers with Costa Rica’s brilliant wildlife and vistas. Pilgrims on this nature-centric package will see amber sunsets, blue morpho butterflies, red macaws and sapphire lagoons.

Colorful Costa Rica’s itinerary makes the following stops:

  • Day 1: San Jose
  • Day 2: Rafting Pacuare River
  • Day 3: Rafting Pacuare River/Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
  • Day 4: Surfing Manzanillo Beach/Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
  • Day 5: Tortuguero National Park
  • Day 6: Kayaking Tortuguero National Park
  • Day 7: San Jose
  • Day 8: San Jose

Tropical Costa Rica

Fierce volcanoes, eternal coastlines, emerald forests, and extravagant flora and fauna await those who embark on AAA’s Tropical Costa Rica adventure travel package.

Besides the breathtaking natural beauty that pervades this travel experience, vacationers also encounter the lavish side of Costa Rica during their nine-day sojourn. AAA includes a two-night stay at one of Playa Carrillo’s most glamorous resorts and an intimate cruise excursion for travelers.

AAA’s Tropical Costa Rica itinerary includes:

  • Day 1: San Jose
  • Day 2: San Jose (coffee plantation tour)
  • Day 3: Guanacaste
  • Day 4: Guanacaste to Monteverde
  • Day 5: Monteverde
  • Day 6: Monteverde to Lake Arenal (cruise)
  • Day 7: Arenal, Cano Negro, Arenal
  • Day 8: Arenal, Zarcero, San Jose
  • Day 9: San Jose

Monkeys, Jungles and Volcanoes in Costa Rica

Zipline through misty cloud forests, glide down Tortuguero’s canals or trek up rocky volcano trails during this nature-intensive adventure in Costa Rica.

This Costa Rica itinerary includes:

  • Day 1: San Jose
  • Day 2: Tortuguero National Park (river boat sightseeing)
  • Day 3: Tortuguero National Park (small canal cruise)
  • Day 4: Horquetas and Sarapiquí (visit Snake Garden Wildlife Center)
  • Day 5: Arenal National Park
  • Day 6: Arenal National Park (zip line excursion) and Manuel Antonio
  • Day 7: Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Day 8: San Jose

Costa Rica Eco Adventure (End Liberia)

Bask in youth-giving thermal pools, indulge in chocolate made from the world’s finest cacao, discover Old Town Monteverde and float lazily down tree-hugged waterways with the sights and sounds of nature encompassing you on AAA’s Costa Rica Eco Adventure.

This Costa Rica adventure includes:

  • Day 1: San Jose
  • Day 2: Tortuguero National Park (artisan chocolate workshop)
  • Day 3: Tortuguero National Park (wildlife viewing)
  • Days 4 and 5: Sarapiquí (Connect With Locals and MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experiences)
  • Days 6 and 7: Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Day 8: Monteverde and Liberia

Concierge Unveiled Wonders — Costa Rica and Panama Canal Cruise

This week-long cruise introduces passengers to the wonders of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal. From wildlife viewing, island hopping, kayaking and hiking, this enchanting cruise will satisfy all your vacation aspirations.

Ports of call on this AAA Costa Rica cruise include:

  • Day 1: Panamá City, Panamá
  • Day 2: Panamá Canal (marine life search)
  • Day 3: Gulf of Panamá
  • Day 4: Granito de Oro and Coiba National Park, Panamá
  • Day 5: Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
  • Day 6: Osa Conservation Area, Costa Rica
  • Day 7: Curú National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica
  • Day 8: San Jose
La Fortuna Waterfall. Photo by Ji/Adobestock
La Fortuna Waterfall. Photo by Ji/Adobestock.

Costa Rica Adventures: 9 Things to See and Do

Costa Rica is a country rich in cultural identity, verdant nature and opportunities for exploration. The country is a paradise for active lovers of nature whose ideal getaway includes lots of hikes, time in the water and meditation in the great outdoors.

If this is your first time planning a Costa Rica adventure vacation and you’re looking for things to see and do while you’re in paradise, the following sections contain an expansive list of Costa Rica’s best activities and sites.

1. Los Quetzales National Park

Costa Rica is passionate about eco-preservation and maintaining the country’s ethereal beauty. With more than 25 national parks and protected areas, visitors have ample opportunity to lose themselves in the sights, sounds and ambiance of pure, unblemished nature.

Los Quetzales National Park is home to around 200 bird species as well as an array of other wildlife such as pumas, jaguars, monkeys and even some Baird’s Tapir.

2. Hike to Arenal Volcano

Due to the country’s mountainous terrain, there are a total of five active volcanoes in Costa Rica. Although Arenal Volcano has been dormant since 2010, hikers still report feeling a deep-earthed rumble from time to time.

The volcano resides in Arenal Volcano National Park, a nature preserve covering nearly 30,000 acres (the national park itself is tucked inside an even larger conservation area that is over 500,000 acres).

Though it stands at an imposing 5,357-feet (1,633-meters), the hike to Arenal Volcano is a relatively easy with well-maintained trails all the way.

3. Relax in a Jungle Hot Spring

Arenal Hot Springs boasts 12 geothermal pools for hikers who have just completed their trek to the volcano. The waters are rich in bicarbonate and chlorides that work to soothe the skin and create a harmony for the senses.

Besides Arenal Hot Springs, there are numerous other geothermal pools peppered throughout Costa Rica, many of which can be accessed by staying at a hot spring resort. If you are staying at a hotel that doesn’t have its own hot springs, most resorts offer hot spring day passes so that non-lodgers can still enjoy the health-giving springs.

4. Hike to La Fortuna Waterfall

Crashing nearly 250 feet into two large pools, La Fortuna Waterfall is a masterpiece of nature that every traveler to Costa Rica must see. The waterfall was formed by lava flow from Cerro Chato Volcano (a now extinct volcano) and is a mystic paradise surrounded by rain forests and the melodies of nature.

Getting to the waterfall involves a simple 20-minute hike up a well-marked path, an ideal trek for beginners or those with kids in tow. If it’s a particularly sultry day, kick off your shoes and take a dip in one of the giant pools that La Fortuna flows into.

5. Visit Tenorio Volcano National Park

Adventures in Costa Rica are incomplete without a visit to Tenorio Volcano National Park. Within this lush haven you will find hiking trails, aquamarine lagoons, thunderous waterfalls and rope suspension bridges.

6. Find a 300-Foot Waterfall

Bajos del Toro is an impressive 300-foot waterfall that flows into an extinct volcanic crater. While there is an admission fee for entrance, basking in the grandeur of the majestic waterfall is well worth it.

7. Go White-Water Rafting

The Rio Pacuare is a nearly 70-mile long river that flows between lines of whispering trees until it eventually meets the Caribbean. According to National Geographic, Rio Pacuare ranks as one of the best spots in the world for white-water rafting excursions.

The river has class 5 rapids that make for an exhilarating journey through Costa Rica’s mystic flora and fauna.

8. Go Off-Roading

Costa Rica is filled with off-road trails that wend their way through untouched terrain and give adventurers the true experience of the road less traveled. Rent an off-road, 4×4 vehicle and go off the beaten track to discover the hidden treasures of Costa Rica’s prolific forests.

Five of the best off-road trails in Costa Rica include:

  1. Irazú Campsite Trail
  2. El Castillo
  3. Ruta 143 Mountain Pass
  4. Playa Naranjo
  5. Monteverde

Several tips to ensure that your off-roading experience is a success include:

  • Be aware that most beaches do not allow any vehicles.
  • Be on the lookout for potholes as there can be many on off-road trails.
  • Take a reliable, fully charged GPS along for your off-roading journey.
  • Know your route before you go as there likely won’t be many roadside direction signs.
  • Enjoy the journey! Be willing to operate at a slower pace, stop at roadside vendors for lunch and make friends with other people you encounter along the way.

9. Go Snorkeling or Diving

With pristine turquoise waters of the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean on the coasts, Costa Rica is an ideal destination for divers or snorkeling enthusiasts.

Five of the best places for water-based activities include:

  1. Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
  2. El Bajo del Diablo
  3. The Coral Gardens
  4. Gulf of Papagayo
  5. Cahuita National Park
Tropical Palms
Tropical palms in Costa Rica. Photo by Ramses/Adobestock

Things to Know Before Embarking on Your Costa Rican Adventure

Costa Rica has been home to people for more than 10,000 years, making it an intriguing place with troves of historic landmarks and cultural sites. Understanding the country’s curiosities and culture can make for a more enriching experience.

Four casual fun facts to commit to memory before touching down in Costa Rica are:

  1. Costa Rica is accessible (the Central American country is between a two- and six-hour flight from most places in the United States).
  2. The country has more than 800 miles of stunning coastline — ideal for surfers, divers and snorkeling enthusiasts.
  3. Costa Rica is the perfect destination for all types of travel. Whether you want a luxury travel experience or love the frugal, backpacking lifestyle, Costa Rica delivers.
  4. Costa Rica is home to some of the most delectable artisan coffee and chocolate.

Plan Your Costa Rica Adventure Trips With AAA

If you are ready to embark on the Costa Rica adventure vacation of your lifetime, get in touch with AAA today. AAA’s team of travel specialists has been working to raise the standards of travel by offering curated, luxury experiences all over the globe.

To learn more about AAA’s list of world-class Costa Rica vacation packages, contact one of AAA’s travel connoisseurs today.

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