Best Outdoor Adventures in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has activities for seasoned thrill seekers and inexperienced explorers alike. We’ve spent nearly 30 years in this Central American paradise finding the best hikes, bike rides, rivers and beaches and building long-standing local connections.  

Read on to uncover the best outdoor adventures in Costa Rica, as selected by leading experts in adventure travel.  

Raft the White-Water Rapids of Río Savegre 

For the adrenaline junkies 


Splash through rapids on a white-water rafting excursion. Follow the twists and bends of the river and look up to spot magnificent birds — Costa Rica has hundreds of species! 

Zip-Line through the Forest Canopy 

For the spirited adventurers and excitable travelers  

Guest Ziplining Costa Rica

Fly through the trees on a zip line canopy tour and get a bird's-eye-view of the forest. Add this fun and family-friendly activity to your list.  

Swim Nearby the Impressive La Fortuna Waterfall  

For the fearless - who can’t resist a polar plunge  


The chilly water in one of La Fortuna’s natural swimming holes is bound to send a shiver up your spine! For some, there’s nothing like a rejuvenating dip in an icy stream. 

Surf or Kayak in the Pacific Ocean  

For the water lovers and beachgoers 


Catch a wave in a beginner’s surf lesson or sea kayak along Costa Rica's coastline, admiring marine life and rain forests from a different perspective. A trip to this remarkable country wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its epic beaches.  

Soak in Geothermal Hot Springs at the Base of Arenal Volcano 

For those looking to experience la pura vida 


Relax in natural hot springs tucked away in the rain forest. Soak your muscles in the warm water, surrounded by a lush jungle full of vibrant palms and colorful bromeliads. A visit to the springs is a wonderful experience in and of itself, yet a perfect complement to a day of hiking and biking.

Bike Along Lake Arenal’s Lush Shoreline  

For beginning cyclists and avid bikers alike  

Biker on a road with a mountain and grassy field in the background

Cycle alongside the majestic Arenal Volcano and ride the Vuelta al Lago bike race route. Pedal past singing howler monkeys, over rivers and beside fruit groves. Savor Costa Rica by immersing yourself in its incredible landscapes by bike.  

Hike through the Misty Cloud Forest 

For the nature lovers  

4 women standing in front of trees

Trek to breathtaking waterfalls through a cloud forest reserve. Marvel at the misty, verdant scene as you hike.  

Our Multi-Adventure Trips in Costa Rica highlight the best of the region by offering lively outdoor adventures, in addition to enriching local activities. 

Beyond epic outdoor pursuits, take the chance to visit a biological reserve, feast on an authentic Costa Rican meal, learn about mask-making from an indigenous artist, or make guaro sours in a beachside mixology class.  

Discover all of this and more on Backroads’ adventure tours in Costa Rica

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Find your perfect trip at Backroads today. Search through over a hundred unique adventures.