4 Best Costa Rica Hikes You Can’t Miss

This sponsored post was written in collaboration with World Expeditions. As always, all opinions are our own and we would never promote a company, brand or service that we did not fully support or use ourselves.

Although small in size, Costa Rica is teeming with incredible opportunities for outdoor lovers. From the gorgeous Caribbean beaches to lush rainforest, the landscape of Costa Rica is diverse and unparalleled. Costa Rica famously got rid of their army 70 years ago, allowing for part of their defence budget to be transferred to environmental protection. Over 95% of its electricity is now generated from green energy sources.

All of this makes Costa Rica a sustainable travelers paradise and one of our favorite countries! The lush jungle interior is pristine and the beaches are clean, especially when compared to some of those in other Central American countries. On top of all this, it’s also very easy to get around in Costa Rica, which makes traveling to all these beautiful locations even easier.

 

 

Because of this, there are a variety of amazing treks available for travelers. If you’re looking for an experienced, reliable tour company, we recommend World Expeditions for your Costa Rica hiking tours. With their team of professional guides, World Expeditions has tours for each of these treks.

Here are our four best Costa Rica hikes and their corresponding tours:

 

Central Highlands Trek – Costa Rica Traverse

Adventure lovers should be excited to trek Costa Rica’s Central Highlands. Located in the heartland of the country, this area is characterized by its scenic mountain landscape dotted with local farming villages.

Starting in the town of Esquipulas you can begin your trek into the rainforest covered Central Highlands. This incredible tour features adventuring across the highlands region by hiking, biking, rafting and kayaking.

 

 

Talk about mixing it up! You’ll also get a taste of the Costa Rican culture by visiting local indigenous villages and coffee plantations. But be warned, this trek is not for the faint of heart. River crossings and steep, slippery trails will get any traveler’s blood pumping. But those that are up to the challenge will be rewarded with incredible views of the Pacific and Caribbean oceans (sometimes at the same time!)

 

Arenal Volcano – Costa Rican Adventure

You can’t hike Costa Rica without paying a visit to one of the country’s most famous sights, Arenal Volcano. An active volcano, Arenal was sputtering hot lava up until very recently – 2010! While you can’t climb the volcano itself (you never know when it could erupt!), there are plenty of treks you can take around the volcano in Arenal Volcano National Park.

 

 

The park has four trails of varying difficulty where you can see views of Lake Arenal and lava flows from previous eruptions. If you’re not scared of heights, we highly recommend checking out the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a 2 mile series of suspension bridges with views of the lake and volcano.

Up on the bridges you not only feel encompassed by the lush flora of the park, but you have a better chance of spotting local animals that make the treetops their home like sloths, toucans and monkeys. After a long day of hiking, you’ll be happy to know that the park is also home to natural hot springs you can relax your muscles in.

 

 

Monteverde Cloud Forest – Best of Costa Rica

Another well known natural attraction you can’t miss if you’re hiking Costa Rica is the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Monteverde is known as one of the most dramatic cloud forests in the world. The forest is almost constantly shrouded in cloud cover (I say almost because when we visited, it was actually sunny!).

Because of this, an incredibly wide variety of plants and animals are able to thrive in this habitat. Over 100 species of mammals call the park home, including sloths, tapir, deer and howler monkeys, infamous for their dinosaur-like roars. Lucky travelers can even spot endangered animals like jaguars, pumas and ocelots.

 

 

Unfortunately, the Monteverde Cloud Forest could come under threat by climate change in the coming years. Studies suggest that a reduction in cloud cover could make the temperatures rise, disrupting the hydrological cycle that make the forest so unique. This is just another example of why it’s so important to travel sustainably so we can protect these destinations for future generations.

 

Playa Gemelas Hike in Manuel Antonio Park – Costa Rican Adventure

Last, but certainly not least, you can’t visit Costa Rica without hitting up the beach. Manuel Antonio National Park has some of the best beaches in the country. Located on the Pacific coast, the park is known for its white sand beaches that trail off onto Costa Rica’s iconic lush forest.

 

 

There’s plenty to do in the park, whether you’re interested in hiking to waterfalls or just relaxing by the ocean. A variety of trails can lead you to different viewpoints and beaches. Most visitors stay on the Playa Manuel Antonio beach, so if you’re up for something more secluded, don’t miss Playa Gemelas.

Just a half hour walk from the main entrance on the Playa Gemelas trail, this quiet beach is perfect for an afternoon picnic. Just watch out for the local monkeys who may want a nibble of your food! The rock formations can make swimming a bit difficult here, so be extra careful.

Top 5 Reasons to Backpack Costa Rica

This weeks Top 5 Reasons to Backpack Costa Rica is brought to you by our friends Samantha and Yeison from the amazing travel blog Mytanfeet. Although both of us have traveled to Costa Rica, we couldn’t go past these two experts when it comes to Costa Rica backpacking! Enjoy!

It’s no surprise that when backpackers start planning their trip around Central America, Costa Rica is high on their list. As someone who has lived there for over 2 years, I can guarantee you that the longer you stay in Costa Rica, the more you’ll want to move there. Adventure seekers, outdoor lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, read on to have your wanderlust for Costa Rica jump through the roof! Check out our top 5 reasons to backpack Costa Rica and book your ticket today!

An Abundance of Wildlife

Did you know Costa Rica contains 5% of the biodiversity in the world? For a country that’s only 51,000 square kilometers, that’s a lot! With 26 national parks and more refuges, reserves and protected zones, wildlife simply thrives in Costa Rica’s protected land and waters, especially since they banned recreational hunting in 2012. You can spot over 800 species of birds, 4,000 species of insects and hundreds of mammals, reptiles and amphibians who call Costa Rica home. Some favorites are monkeys, toucans, whales, dolphins, turtles, sloths and crocodiles.

Adventure in Every Corner

Want to dive with bull sharks or rappel down a 200 foot waterfall or zipline across the top of a cloud forest? How about ATV on a beach with howler monkeys next to you? You can do all of that in Costa Rica! Adventure is never a hard thing to find and Costa Rica offers some of the best thrills and excitement all throughout the country. It doesn’t matter if you just want to go for a short hike through the virgin rainforest or go beach-hopping, every activity is bound to be an adventure on its own.

Fit in a Lot in Little Time

Because Costa Rica is a fairly small country, you can do and see more in less time. One day you can be lying on a beach in the Caribbean watching the sunset and two days later you can be hiking up a volcano crater in a rainstorm. With over 20 microclimates in the country it is impossible not to enjoy a range of different activities, climates and scenery. You’ll be able to get the best of everything!

Explore and Experience Nature at its Best

Everywhere you go in the country you’ll be able to experience nature to the fullest. Costa Rica has tons of waterfalls, beaches, volcanoes, mountains, rivers and forests all with unique characteristics waiting to be explored. Take a drive through the Central Valley and you’ll be amazed at the incredibly lush jungle laying just a few kilometers outside the city. Visit different beaches in the Guanacaste province and you’ll be shocked at all the types of beautiful beaches you can find. Venture a bit off the beaten path and you might find a little oasis all to yourself.

Learn How to Live Slower and Appreciate Life

There is a saying in Costa Rica: pura vida. In Spanish it translates to “pure life.” They use this to say thank you, hello, good bye, see you later or anything positive. Costa Ricans are a people who appreciate the little things in life and are grateful for what they have, understanding that the most important thing is to live a happy life. Pura vida is their way to reaffirm this belief and it is the country’s motto. Once you visit Costa Rica, you will experience pura vida. Everyone who goes there comes back with a new perspective and appreciation for life. That is the lasting impact Costa Rica leaves on their visitors.

About the Authors

   We are Yeison and Samantha, an adventurous couple whose home base is Costa Rica. We’re on a quest to take  our tan feet around the world while enjoying as many beaches and sunsets as possible. You can follow our  adventure through our Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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