In this 3rd part, we continue with the previous list of the 50 things that you should not stop doing when you go to Costa Rica:
31. Kayaking on Lake Arenal
The Arenal area is also wonderful for sports. A very popular activity to do in Costa Rica is renting a kayak and paddling down the Arenal River. Be careful not to get lost with the views and go to the water, because the panorama with the volcano in the background is spectacular.
32. Photograph the famous red-eyed frog
There are many animals in the country, but few are as distinctive as the famous red-eyed frog. It was even the cover of the Lonely Planet guide! You can find it in almost any part of the country. It usually goes out at night and is attached to the leaves to camouflage itself. If you can sight her, do not be dazzled by her red eyes and take a good look at her blue back. It is quite a beautiful animal!
33. Go rafting on the Pacuare River, an adventure excursion to do in Costa Rica
Between Cartago and Limón, there is one of the best rivers in the world for rafting. The Pacuare River is considered the best place to practice this extreme sport in Costa Rica due to the force with which the water descends, in addition to being surrounded by waterfalls and a beautiful green nature.
34. Discover the Venado Caverns
Just 1 hour from La Fortuna, there is a number of true gems of nature. The Venado Caverns are a geological formation that arose approximately 6 million years ago. With its stalactites and stalagmites, waterfalls and an inner environment full of animals, it is a very amazing tour to do in Costa Rica. They are also famous because 4 different species of bats live there.
They were discovered by chance during a hunting expedition in 1945 and since then, speologists have continued to investigate the more than 450 caves. Only a small part is accessible to visitors, but entering these caves is a very exciting thing to do in Costa Rica.
35. Meet the “mentiriólogo”, something pretty curious to do in Costa Rica
Do not doubt about it: weather conditions do matter a trip a lot. For this reason, we come to the country by checking the weather forecasts every day. But we quickly realized that it was of no use! Because of Costa Rica’s location between the influence of 2 oceans, with a central mountain range and so much seismic activity, it means that local meteorologists are not used to getting right.
That is why they have earned the nickname of “mentiriólogos” (this term is kind of blending the Spanish verb “mentir” and the Greek root “logos”, so the idea is saying something like lying meteorologists). Being completely honest, that unique Costa Rican expression made us laugh for hours!
36. Visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest
Costa Rica is one of the countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world! In fact, one of the regions with the most plant species is Monteverde, where there are more than 3,000 different plants. The most striking and characteristic are the different types of orchids, the national flower of Costa Rica. The biological reserve is also home to hundreds of species of birds. There, you can find a park with hanging bridges like the ones in Arenal area.
37. Let your adrenaline level rise to the fullest by canopying
Adventure sports are a must to do when visiting Costa Rica. There, you can find zip lines in many parts of the country, but Monteverde Selvatura Park has one of the best adventure tours with 15 zip lines. Another very popular option, if you do not plan to visit Monteverde region, is doing a canopy tour in Arenal area. Flying over the jungle will get your adrenaline level pumping up to the top!
38. Stroll through the canals of Tortuguero National Park
One of the most emblematic things to do in Costa Rica is visiting the town of Tortuguero. This place owes its name to the hundreds of green turtles that every year, between July and October, stay on the nearby beaches to spawn. In addition to this wonderful natural phenomenon, Tortuguero is surrounded by canals where you can navigate in search of alligators, iguanas, monkeys and birds. The entrance to the park costs US$ 15, plus about US$ 20 that will be charged for the boat ride and the guide.
Getting there on your own is a bit tricky, as it will take you a whole day by public transport. If you have a rental car, you will have to leave it in the La Pavona car park and continue the tour by boat, since cars cannot circulate in Tortuguero. That is why we recommend booking a tour.
Despite the difficulty of getting there, visiting Tortuguero is something unique to do in Costa Rica. If you decide to arrive on your own, you will have to sleep in one of the Tortuguero hotels and get up quite early the next day in order to explore well this national park.
39. Taste the “Chocobón” ice cream from Dos Pinos, a delicious plan to do in Costa Rica
A different thing to do in Costa Rica is to enjoy one of the best ice creams in the world. We have a sweet tooth and we love trying ice cream. By chance, we bought this ice cream in a supermarket and we simply loved it. It is chocolate with little pieces of chocolate chip cookie. Another day we wanted to try the vanilla with macadamia nuts and we were disappointed. Do not miss tasting the Chocobón!
40. Enjoy the environment and history of Puerto Viejo
The most characteristic and touristic city in the South Caribbean area is Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. This place has always been a fishing village. But what makes it special is that in the 19th century a lot of Jamaicans, who would work on the construction of the railroad, landed there. That fact brought us about a surprising cultural mix!
The town has a little more than 5,000 inhabitants, but it has one of the most eclectic lifestyles in Costa Rica. There, the Costa Rican and Jamaican cultures coexist with a European touch, since many Europeans have settled in the area in love with that special cultural environment.