Costa Rica Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Snipernurse
  • Gerardo and his 'payasos
    Gerardo and his 'payasos"
    by sarahsanantonio
  • Blue Dolphin Catamarans - Happy Girls (2009)
    Blue Dolphin Catamarans - Happy Girls...
    by Kaspian

Costa Rica Things to Do

  • National Theater

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    San José Things to Do

    On Monday, one of the things we did was a tour of the National Theatre (which was being renovated, so it wasn’t really a tour, and we didn’t pay for it because the guard at the entrance wasn’t there) and had lunch there ($12.91 for 2 including tip). I didn't take many photos because everything was shrouded with dust cloths. Now the visiting hours...

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  • Museo Nacional-National Museum

    4 out of 5 stars

    San José Things to Do

    Although not its most modern museum, this is San Jose's best museum. It houses a substantial collection of pre-columbian artifacts along with colonial and national treasures. The museum is housed in the old Army headquarters. It's a Spanish-style courtyard building filled with displays of Costa Rican history and culture from pre-Columbian times up...

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  • Mercado Central - Central market

    4 out of 5 stars

    San José Things to Do

    On our first day in San Jose, we walked through some of the Central Market but did not see anything worth buying. Friday morning March 1st we went to the Mercado Artesania. We did our last souvenir shopping here. I was trying to buy a creche but couldn't figure out the Spanish for that. I didn't want a ceramic one because I figured (correctly)...

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  • Jade Museum

    4 out of 5 stars

    San José Things to Do

    When we were in San Jose in 1996, this museum was free and it was open on Monday when the Gold Museum was closed. It was on the 11th floor of an insurance company. The jade part takes up about 25% of the museum, with the other part being about history of Costa Rica, ancient practices, and historical facts. This was my first experience with the old...

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  • Pedestrian Mall - Avenida Central

    San José Things to Do

    There is a very nice car & bus-free walk down the main street, Central Calle. It’s about 8 blocks long, no cars and no buses mean the diesel exhaust is a away from you. There are a couple plazas, the big Post Office, a plaza filled with pigeons and kids feeding them, and many shopping stores. Pedestrian only streets are always a draw, and I always...

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  • Museo de Oro, Banco Central - Central...

    San José Things to Do

    The entrance to the Museum is close to Central Park----There was a crowd of school kids so we just followed them to the Museo del Oro, which also includes exhibits about coins and archeological sites in Costa Rica. Lots of actual gold items that have been found in the country dating from BC times with bilingual explanations...also clay figures...

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  • Plaza de la Cultura - Square of Culture

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    San José Things to Do

    Under the not very exciting park you find the Gold Museum, a vast collection of pre-Columbian gold figures. A must see in San Jose! The museum opens from 9:00 to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday.

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  • Catedral Metropolitana - Metropolitan...

    4 out of 5 stars

    San José Things to Do

    The Metro Catedral is close to Parque Central and lovely on the outside and the inside. There was a service at the time we walked past, and we stopped inside for a peek---the congregation was singing a hymn with the Priest leading in a loud voice. Built in 1871.

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  • Correo Central - Post Office

    San José Things to Do

    Constructed in 1917, the main post office is still functioning today. On the first floor is the Museum of Stamps with free admission. A small park parallels the building across the Calle 2 pedestrian mall. Open 7 am to 9 pm weekdays, Sat. from 8 am to noon.

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  • Parque España – Park of Spain

    San José Things to Do

    The closest you can get to the jungle and still be in San Jose, this park holds tropical trees transplanted from around the country. The entrance to the park features a fountain and a statue of conquistador Juan Vasquez de Coronado. On Sundays, artists have there work on display for sale. Strangely, for such a small park, I’ve almost always seen...

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  • Parque Francisco Morazán

    San José Things to Do

    Surrounding the park is an iron fence with ornate gates. The park itself contains and assortment of greenery, statues and busts. Central to the park is the Temple of Music, a pavilion that serves as a band-stand on Sundays. As with all parks, not recommended after dark.

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  • Carnival

    San José Things to Do

    Around christmas time there is a festival in San Jose with a big parade, rodeo and market. I dont remember the name, but they have one every year. I have never seen so many horses in my life! There must have been several thousands... All the people had traditional costumes, people in all ages where particepating with music and dancing (with or...

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  • Spanish Classes

    San José Things to Do

    Spanish lessons at the Montana Linda Spanish School Montaña Linda is a low budget backpacker's youth hostel and a Spanish Language School, with probably the cheapest Spanish Classes around Costa Rica.

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  • Visit the national park

    Start early in the morning, you can go on your own or going with a local guideThe advantage of having a guide they know where to find the FaunaWe have a local guide on this walk she knows everything where to find the Sloth, monkeys, viper and etc.There are sometimes we have to crossed to some flood water be sure you are wearing short pantsIt' s a...

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  • Samara Beach

    Tucked between two wooded hills, lies the village of Samara, idyllically situated on the crescent shaped bay. The beach slopes gently into the sea here, and is therefore a great place for families with (small) children to spend undisturbed holidaysSamara is originally a fishing village and is famous for its long stretches of white sandy beach and...

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  • Irazu Volcano

    This national park extends over the upper slopes of this Volcano. The road to the top winds upward visibility along vegetable fields. From the platform watching the visitors right into the 300m deep and 1 km wide crater, which contains a green grass. Four other craters are also accessible, but you need to stay on marked trailsThe volcano is often...

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  • Cahuita National Park

    Cahuita National Park is definitely worth to see and it gives you a nice walk through the park and less crowded tooWalking on the large path parallel to the beach you see monkeys, beautiful birds, crabs and with some luck a slothDuring the walk you will see different kinds of trees, and animals. The Howler monkeys were very loud, it occupies our...

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  • Monte Verde Cloud Forest

    The Monte Verde Cloud Forest is one of Costa Rica's most unique ecological zones and home to the rare Queztal. It is a high elevation forest perpetually shrouded in mist with an average precipitation of over 200 inches yearly.

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  • Lake Arenal

    This is Costa Rica's largest man-made lake and a main source of the country's electric power(70%) via hydroelectricity. It also has a very scenic ride on the way from the Arenal region to Monteverde via taxi boats. The venue also offers various activities such as fishing, kayaking, boat tours and windsurfing. While on its surrounding area, land...

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  • Seeing the land upon a horse

    Another activity we wanted to try while in Costa Rica was horsebackriding. While we were in Sámara, we again touched bases with our friends at Anywhere Costa Rica to setup the excursion with the Sámara Adventure Company located at #75 on the map of Sámara, and off we went on a private tour of the area for almost 3 1/2 hours.

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  • Learn Spanish

    I've always wanted to be fluent in multiple languages. Call it a bucket list item.Signed up for 2 weeks of study with CPI in Costa Rica. Also requested to stay with local families to get a more intense experience, meet a few locals and see how they live. Interacting with locals is the hardest part of being a traveler, but with a home-stay, an...

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  • By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful...

    As you can tell, we really had a wonderful time in Costa Rica. Our last adventure involved sea kayaking and snorkeling. On our last full day in Sámara (as well as Costa Rica), we got up early, had breakfast and got ready for our sea adventure. We again had made our reservations with Anywhere Costa Rica and they had set everything up with the Sámara...

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  • What an adrenaline rush!!!

    One of the activities we wanted to do while in Costa Rica was ziplining. We had tried it in San Diego and loved it, so why not do it again, but this time from the southern face of Volcán Arenal with fantasic views of Lake Arenal as well as the rainforest (get a taste of what we experienced by looking at the video on our Costa Rica page) and believe...

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  • The Phenomenon ~ Rio Sucio & Rio...

    On our way into the Braulio Carillo National Park, we came upon the amazing sight of the confluence of the Rio Sucio and Rio Honduras -- Rio Sucio is the "dirty river" melding with Rio Honduras, aka "Rio Blanco" or "Rio Claro" which is a clean river. The phenomenon occurs because, at least for some distance, and though becoming one river body, each...

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  • Coffee Lovers Tour at Cafe Britt in...

    If you are a coffee lover, don't miss the Cafe Britt "Coffee Lovers Tour." I found Cafe Britt online before leaving for Costa Rica, and booked the "Coffee Lovers Tour" which included transportation hotel pick up and return, an in-depth educational tour, tour of the Beneficio Tierra Madre Coffee Mill museum, lunch, barrista demonstrations and...

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  • Teatro Nacional ~ Costa Rica's National...

    Costa Rica's capital of San Jose has its fair share of sights and museums, but the place which ranked high on my list of "must sees" was its famed "Teatro Nacional." Located on the southern side of the Plaza de la Cultura and adjacent to the Hotel Gran, the Teatro is the country's most treasured public building and rightfully deserves that...

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  • Canyoneering

    By far the most fun adventure EVER! We did this tour through Desafio (the best) and I can not say more good things about it. They pick you up, drive you up a mountain, get you set up with gear (helmets, harness, etc.), and take you on a hike where you repel down mountain sides and walk through the rainforest. It was unforgettable for sure... fun...

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  • White Water Rafting

    White water rafting through Desafio was so much fun!! We felt safe while testing our limits for adventure. They put you in groups of 4 and assign a Desafio white water rafting guide to each boat. Our guide was particularly amazing, having my friend sit on the front of the boat to "ride the bull," showing us where we can jump off of rocks, and...

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  • Ziplining (NOT with Desafio)

    Ziplining through the rainforest canopies was a lot of fun. We didn't get to do this activity through Desafio, and there was a difference. I would recommend doing all activities through Desafio because they are really friendly, make you feel safe, and it seems like they try to make your trip as fun as possible!! Ziplining should definitely be a...

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  • The National Museum

    The Museo Nacional, Costa Rica's finest, is housed in a former military fort, facing the Plaza de la Democracia. Actually the museum is older than the fort, as it was established in 1887 whereas the barracks were constructed between 1917 and 1932. The present location is the museum's fourth.When you enter the museum, you first pass through a...

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  • Museos del Banco Central

    Staying as we did in Alajuela, we did not spend much time in San José. We did walk Central Avenue and visit a few museums. The bus from Alajuela (half an hour, COL 290) stops at the Heredia church, from there one just walks east.The Museums of the Central Bank are located underground, under the Plaza de la Cultura. The plural refers to there being...

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  • Arenal Volcano National Park

    We arrived at 8am sharp at the park entrance, and asked the guard to keep an eye on our car as it was full of luggage. He was very cooperative and told us to park close to his booth “back in”. At the time we tought this was so he could watch the back door, but later we learned that this is a rule so that one can leave in a hurry should the volcano...

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  • To La Fortuna via Bajo del Toro

    Heading for La Fortuna from Alajuala we did not take the shortest route, but route #708 through Bajo del Toro. We think it more interesting to take the by-roads. Few traffic on this one, splendid sights and several rustic bridges. The road passes west of Poás National Park and reaches the watershed at Bajo del Toro. It was easy driving without need...

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  • Those white-nosed coati

    So many places we have seen monkeys begging for food on the road-side. These white-nosed coati were new for us. They were quite tame, trying to take cookies from our hand. But we found they are not like the monkeys who take food with their hands. The coati's use their jaws and have difficulty differentiating between cookie and fingers. Fortunately...

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  • The "Crocodile Bridge"

    It is an obligatory stop for everyone travelling to the Pacific Coast from San José: the bridge over Tárcoles river, better known as the Crocodile Bridge.When Helen passed by in 2001 the bridge was still a rickety wooden one, scaring bus passengers: “If the bridge breaks down, we are crocodile food.” Since then the bridge has been replaced by a...

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  • Extreme Ziplining ~ Sky Trek at Arenal

    Ziplining is a sport that has seen an explosive growth in the last 10-15 years. You can now zipline in many places around the globe. Several years ago my family and I ziplined at Roatan Island in Honduras and I felt pride that I had gone through with it. However, after that experience and now being several years older, I wasn't completely sure I...

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  • Monte Verde Hummingbird Gardens

    This "garden" is simply a series of Hummingbird feeders. However Monteverde has a huge diversity and quantity of hummingbirds making this a fantastic place to get shots of these otherwise shy creatures.

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  • Tortuguero National Park

    This park along the Caribbean coast is one of Costa Rica's largest and most secluded national parks. It's famous as a turtle nesting ground. The nesting season is from June to Mid October. Crocodiles, 3 types of monkeys, toucans, 13 of the country's 16 endangered species, such as jaguars, cougars, river otters, tapirs and the rare green macaw, call...

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  • Arenal Volcano

    The cone of Volcán Arenal dominates the skyline from La Fortuna. Its attraction seems to have been glowing lava streams preferably observed by night. However, the volcano has been quiet for quite some time now. Still one is not allowed to climb the volcano cone, just in case.... So if you come to see a crater up close or look down into it, better...

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  • Río Céleste in PN Volcán Tenorio

    It's called Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio, but hiking to the volcano is strictly forbidden. The real attraction of the park is the Río Céleste or Heavenly River, so named after the skyblue colour of its water.We went to see Río Céleste from Fortuna with our rental car, and stayed two nights at Cabinas Píuri near the park entrance. It was raining...

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  • Road #927 via Tierras Morenas

    We like to travel the low roads, and from Fortuna to Bijagua (Río Céleste) took the short cut by road #927 via Tierras Morenas. Although partly not sealed, the road was smooth and well passable. Not much traffic here while you travel windswept highlands.

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  • Venado Caves

    The Cavernas de Venado are in former Maleku territory, but there is no indication that these Amerindians entered the caves before a farmer discovered them by accident in 1945. Anyhow, we went to the caves the day of our stay at Tonjibe, a Maleku village.They say better to make a reservation, but it was not that crowded, we could join a guided tour...

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  • Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquí -...

    The Sarapiquí Neotropical Centre tries to combine eco-tourism with education about pre-columbian history and culture. For guests staying at the Eco-lodges, roaming the SNC grounds is free. We just walked in for the three attractions, viz. the botanical garden, the museum and the archaeological site. The centre has been built adjacent to the actual...

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  • Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquí - museum

    The Sarapiquí Neotropical Centre tries to combine eco-tourism with education about pre-columbian history and culture. For guests staying at the Eco-lodges, roaming the SNC grounds is free. We just walked in for the three attractions, viz. the botanical garden, the museum and the archaeological site. We were the only visitors of the museum; it was...

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  • Centro Neotrópico Sarapiquí - garden

    The Sarapiquí Neotropical Centre tries to combine eco-tourism with education about pre-columbian history and culture. For guests staying at the eco-lodges, roaming the SNC grounds is free. We just walked in and expected to pay a fee for each of the three attractions (according to our LP guide), viz. the botanical garden, the museum and the...

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Costa Rica Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Costa Rica things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Costa Rica sightseeing.
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