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3 Excursions in Costa Rica You Don't Want to Miss Out On

I traveled to Costa Rica for my honeymoon in July 2018 and loved every minute of it!

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Costa Rica is such an amazing country filled with the most welcoming people. The direct translation of "pura vida" is "pure life". In Costa Rica, this is used as a greeting or a way of saying goodbye to people.


My husband and I had an idea before our arrival of three excursions we were going to partake in. We decided to not book and prepay in advance in case we changed our minds, and it was the best decision we ever made. We ended up changing two out of the three excursions we had planned based on recommendations from other guests staying at our resort. Our final decision was to do Canopy Zip Lining, Palo Verde Boat tour, and Sensoria rainforest tour. They were all booked easily through a company called Amstar, and we could not be happier with our tour experiences.

1. Canopy Zip Lining Tour

I'm sure any zip lining tour in Costa Rica is a great experience. The one I experienced is through a company called "The Congo Trail" in Guanacaste. I was so glad we chose this one and not the one that was advertised in the airport as, "The Longest Zip Line". It looked fantastic in the pictures, but the issue is the way you are hooked into the zip line like you are Superman; you will be hurting within seconds. I learned that first hand at "The Congo Trail". They asked me if I wanted to go Superman style down one part, and I eagerly said yes. All of my body weight rested on the harness making it dig into my stomach. It was a lot of fun, but I was glad it was only for a short distance and not two minutes long.


Plan Ahead

What to ConsiderAnd Why

Time

Half a day and no food included.

Outfit

Wear something comfortable that you don't mind getting dirty. I wore an old t-shirt and leggings.

Bug Spray

Just do it!

Pictures

Leave your cameras and your phones behind with your transportation if you can. It's completely worth the price to have the company's photographer take great quality photos of you zip lining.

Our view from our Canopy Zip Line tour. We could hear the Howler monkeys in the distance!

Our view from our Canopy Zip Line tour. We could hear the Howler monkeys in the distance!

2. Palo Verde Boat Tour

This was our favorite! We are so glad someone told us about it and convinced us to go. You are taken on an amazing boat ride on the Palo Verde River, you get to visit the Guanacaste Pineapple Park, and you get to explore Liberia in Guanacaste.


Boat Tour

Upon our arrival, we were given fruit to snack on. On our boat ride, we saw an abundance of wildlife: monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, the "Jesus Christ Lizard" (because it runs on water), and exotic birds. Our favorite part was when our tour guide called out to the Howler monkeys to get them to show off for us. They even responded back to him! After our ride, we were given a traditional Costa Rican meal called "Casado". It was outstanding! We have never ate tilapia that tasted so good! We were also introduced to Lizano sauce, which is a must for you to try.

I was able to capture this incredible photo of a Howler monkey with my digital camera. Its ability to zoom in far exceeds any iPhone.

I was able to capture this incredible photo of a Howler monkey with my digital camera. Its ability to zoom in far exceeds any iPhone.

Crocodile sun bathing in Palo Verde.

Crocodile sun bathing in Palo Verde.

Casado served with your choice of chicken or tilapia. Absolutely delicious!

Casado served with your choice of chicken or tilapia. Absolutely delicious!

Pineapple Picking

Nothing tastes better than fresh pineapple off of the plant itself! Upon your arrival, you'll be encouraged to taste the fresh pineapple juice they have waiting for you. Your tour guide will bring you through the farm and tell you everything you can possibly know about pineapples. You are then allowed to pick one pineapple from the plant yourself. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take them back with you. The ones you pick are used to make pineapple juice for the next tour that comes. However, the tour guide cuts one up right in the middle of the farm for everyone to eat and enjoy.

It is important to consider size and color when picking a pineapple.

It is important to consider size and color when picking a pineapple.

Exploring Liberia (pronounced lee-BEAR-ee-ah)

This was the last stop of the day. We were able to go off on our own and do some souvenir shopping, drink some coffee, and look at historical buildings. We didn't spend a whole lot of time here, but it was enough time for us to see everything we wanted to see.

Liberia, Guanacaste

Liberia, Guanacaste

Plan Ahead

What to ConsiderAnd Why?

Time

Full day tour and food is included.

Big Spray

This isn't necessary but possible because of the river. Bring it just in case.

Outfit

Wear comfortable shoes and light clothes. It's a long day, and it could be warm or humid depending on the day.

Pictures

Bring a digital camera if you have one. You don't want to miss out on taking pictures of wildlife from far away.

3. Sensoria Rainforest Tour

Bakery

Before we went on our rainforest tour, we stopped by a bakery and coffee shop for a quick snack. Our tour guide said it was important for us to have something in our stomachs before going on our hike.

Marcelo's Bakery & Coffee Shop

Marcelo's Bakery & Coffee Shop

The Sensoria tour grants you the opportunity to hike through the rainforest to see exotic animals, visit two waterfalls, and take a dip in three natural hot springs. We were told that this tour was better than the one we were previously interested in because others that are advertised are man-made. The first two hot springs were rather cold to be honest. The last one was the warmest. It was very relaxing!

Spider monkey in Costa Rica's Sensoria Rainforest.

Spider monkey in Costa Rica's Sensoria Rainforest.

Hot spring naturally heated by the active Arenal volcano.

Hot spring naturally heated by the active Arenal volcano.

After the hike, you come back to the main area and enjoy a meal with your group, while watching a video about the rainforest.


Plan Ahead

Waterproof Pouch off of Amazon

What to ConsiderAnd Why?

Time

Full day tour and food is included.

Bug Spray

Just do it.

Outfit

I wore a swimsuit underneath a t-shirt and gym shorts. I also wore a hat, a rain jacket, and sneakers to hike in. It is a rainforest, and it will rain! Bring extra clothes and extra socks to change into for the ride back home.

Pictures

Bring a digital camera for quality photos, but an iPhone can get the job done. You will definitely want to bring a waterproof case or pouch for either one you bring. I got mine and my husband's pouch off of Amazon, and we have been using it for all of our adventures. You can even text and take pictures through the plastic; although, the quality may not be great depending on how much water is on the outside.

Want More on Costa Rica?

Be sure to check out my other article "The Best Time to Travel to Costa Rica" for more of your travel decisions.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jackie Zelko

Comments

Jackie Zelko (author) on June 13, 2019:

Thank you so much! We had the time of our lives there!

Liz Westwood from UK on June 13, 2019:

You give some great ideas of things to do in Costa Rica and also some good advice.