Being only nine degrees north of the equator, Costa Rica is not only blessed with year-round tropical weather, but is also home to some of the best waves on the planet. After trekking through the rainforests, emerge from your jungle adventures and land on the white, tan, and brown sands of the Pacific Coast. For beginners and intermediates, try the Mediterranean influenced surf town, Tamarindo, as you test your skills on the blue waters. Or for experienced surfers, take your board out at Playa Negra, with a right-handed point break that locals describe as ‘epic’. With waves as powerful as they are reliable, the best time to visit is on days when storms are kicking up some fantastic surf. Though the beach requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle to get over a number of river crossings, Playa Negra’s dark-coloured sand, tide pools and shallow reefs make it the perfect adventure for couples and families looking to venture off Costa Rica’s beaten track.
As vital as your visa stamp, zip-lining through Costa Rica’s dense rain forests is an absolute must. Never far from a zip-lining company, you can enjoy the thrilling activity in just about every area of the country. That being said, the zip-lining in Arenal and Monteverde is at the forefront, with their stunning backdrops and luscious misty forests. In Arenal, try the famous Sky Trek, which begins with an open-air gondola ride to the tree canopy. With panoramic views over the towering volcano from the observation deck, you will fly down 10 cables to burst through the fog at top speeds whilst looking at the lake views and regional animals. For a combination of high-roping and sightseeing, the tour company Arenal Mundo Aventura starts with a horse ride to the roaring La Fortuna waterfall where you can then zipline over or rappel down the rushing river.
Suspend almost 500 feet above the ground, the Monteverde Extremo Canopy allows you to soar like Superman through the longest and highest cables in the area, which are dotted between 14 platforms. Spread over the cloud forest in Santa Elena, this park also includes a Tarzan swing, a fantastic bungee jump site and abseiling.
Surrounded by lush green forests, banana plantations and cocoa plants, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui is becoming increasingly popular as an adventure destination. At some time Puerto Viejo was just a small port town that exported goods down the Sarapiqui River but now, this same river is a major factor for the ecotourism in the area. Thrill seekers and sightseers head upstream for the adrenaline rush that is as fast as the river beneath. Offering everything from a scenic float down the river to the roller coaster ride of Class IV rapids, the Sarapiqui River is fed by waters from Poas Volcano. Interspersed with placid pools, the river winds 12km through a canyon, filled with dramatic scenery and exotic wildlife- so make sure to keep your camera at the ready!
If you are looking for a taste of Costa Rica’s action-packed highlights, check out this heart-pumping holiday here.