My Three Favorite Adventures in Costa Rica

best area to stay in Costa Rica
Photo by Arturo Sotillo on Flickr

Ten years ago I headed to Costa Rica with my husband. It is a very easy country to travel in because it is safe, clean and easy to drive in. We rented a car from the San José airport and headed first to the beach near Rincon Volcano and then into the rain forests around the volcano Arenal. The beaches were lovely, but the adventures in Costa Rica and its rainforest still remain in my mind as some of my best adventures yet! I know others agree, as it has been submitted for my series Your Best Adventures Yet by Wendy from Adventurous Retirement.

Viewing Sloths in Trees While Floating Down a River

adventure activities in Costa Rica. Guanacaste Costa Rica excursions
Photo of the 3-toed sloth by NH53 on Flickr

This tour took place around the old volcano, Rincon. We started with some zip-lining off cliffs over the Black River. We also got to do some rock climbing, rappelling, Tarzan swings and rope bridges. It was exhilarating and not scary!

I am not sure why, but one of the things that I am most afraid of are horses. I also believe that the ones I have met don’t want to be ridden. In spite of that, a tour that included horseback riding was one of my favorite days in Costa Rica. I may or may not have been white knuckled throughout the ride, even though the horses were very tame.

My favorite part of the tour was white water tubing down the warm Rio Negro starting at the Victoria Waterfall. It was fun and a bit thrilling. The best part of it was looking way up into the canopy of the tropical dry forest and seeing sloths just hanging out- so completely magical!

After our invigorating float, we had lunch and went to the Río Negro Hot Spring. I love a natural hot spring and these are heated by the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano. We also got to exfoliate with clay from the volcanic mud. Such a fabulous day that is still in my memory.

I really think this has to be one of the best Guanacaste Costa Rica excursions. Book this tour, or one just like it elsewhere in Costa Rica.

Watching Arenal Volcano Erupt While on a Nighttime Hike

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Photo of nighttime eruption of Arenal volcano taken on February 7, 2006 by Scott Robinson on Flickr.

Arenal Volcano commands the landscape around it, but only at night is the fact that it was actively still spewing lava apparent. We took a fabulous, guided, fairly easy hike to the top of an adjacent crest which gave us a perfect view to watch the magic on our favorite night in Costa Rica. The guide was perfect about education us about the volcano and the wildlife surrounding us. I have been told that the activity is no where as active as it used to be and you can no longer see the actual lava, only puffs of smoke. This world is constantly changing and evolving for sure.

Book a tour for this hike or any daytime hike to see the volcano and its lava beds.

Feeling Arenal Volcano Erupt While Sitting in a Natural Hot Spring

adventure activities in costa rica
Photo of Arenal Grand Spa by Amanda on Flickr.

I have been in many hot springs around the world, but this is definitely one of the most exceptional. The spa sits on the slope of the volcano. There are many naturally heated pools to chose from surrounded by lush vegetation. It is otherworldly to feel the rumbling and shaking that the mountain does. So cool! Since the volcano is less active than when I went, I am not sure how big the rumbles are, but I know the mountain is resting, not dormant and have read it still rumbles. You can read more about its current activity here.

If you don’t have a car, you can book a tour to the spa.


What are your favorite activities in Costa Rica? Please let me know in the comments.

I hope that you enjoy your time in Costa Rica as much as we did. If you book a tour through any of these links, you will help support this website at no additional costs to you.

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13 thoughts on “My Three Favorite Adventures in Costa Rica”

  1. Areanal was awesome back in its prime, but make sure your readers know that it’s been dormant since 2010, and they shouldn’t expect to see any lava flows. I’d hate to see someone see this article that was published in 2018 and think it reflected current conditions.

  2. I’ve been to a few countries in Central America but have yet to visit Costa Rica. I think the night hike sounds cool but think the best would be to feel a volcano erupt while relaxing in a natural hot spring.

  3. Relaxing in a hot spring heated by a volcano seems so surreal, it has got to be my favorite! But I’m sure many would enjoy watching the wildlife while white water tubing too.

  4. OMG! I can just live here! That volcano looks gloriously beautiful, though I dont know if I can relax in the hot springs knowing a volcano is about to erupt. Just wow!


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