5 Must-Do Adventures in Costa Rica


Before you board a plane to Costa Rica, there are somethings that you should know about this beautiful country. And then I will tell you the five adventurous things that you should definitely do when you go there.

First of all, you should know that Costa Rica is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites (three relating to nature and one to its precolumbian culture), and its tourism industry is the country’s leading foreign exchange earner. You might aslo be surprised to know that since 1948 Costa Rica is one of the 23 countries in the world that don't have standing armies. Costa Rica is home to over 200 volcanic formations. The residents here are called ticos and ticas and they're generally a a contented bunch - the country ranks number one in the Happy Planet Index.

Now let’s get down to business and explore the adventurous things to do in Costa Rica!

Scuba Diving

Its an activity that I think everyone should try at least once in their life irrespective of the country, but Costa Rica offers some of the world's best scuba diving. If you're a beginner, you need to take a certified diving course - which can be completed in a day or 2-3 half days - but trust me, it will be well worth it. My top pick is Drake Bay, in the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica's south. Of course, many wonderful snorkeling options are also available to you on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.


My personal favorite activity on this list, invented here decades ago, it of course involves whizzing through treetops in a harness suspended from thick steel cables. Costa Rica has dozens of zipline operations (aka canopy tours) all over the country. I found a course that covered as long as a mile in Central Valley and another that includes 14 separate zip-lines that go down the side of a mountain. It's an activity perfect for young and old; you just have to be older than six and weigh under 300 pounds.

Volcano Tours

If, like used to be the case for me, you've seen a volcano only in pictures or on TV, you're in for a treat, as a number of Costa Rica's volcanic formations can be visited, either on your own (a couple you can even drive right up to) or with a tour operator. The most popular are Arenal, Barú, Irazú, Poás, and Rincón de la Vieja. At some you can see steam rising, at others lava, and at yet others, volcanic hot springs can be enjoyed in the area.

Canyoning/Waterfall Rappelling

Costa Rica is a heaven for waterfall fans, and quite a few outfitters across the country offer adventure tours than involve rappelling down pre-approved cascades - some as high as 50 meters -after a short hike through rainforest and some instruction on technique and safety. The ultimate refreshing adrenaline rush!  

Surfing Lessons

This country ranks among the world's top ten for surfing, with gnarly waves all up and down both coasts and top spots including Playa Guiones, Naranjo, and Santa Teresa on the Pacific and Cocles, Manzanillo, and Salsa Brava on the Caribbean. Each beach has multiple surfing schools that do a great job getting newbies into riding the waves - it's very tricky at first, but you'll soon get the hang (ten) of it!

So as the ticos like to say, pura vida ("pure life")! Come learn more about these and other fantastic Costa Rica experiences with us at Sky ITL.

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