Top 10 Outdoor Activities in Costa Rica

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / Top 10 Outdoor Activities in Costa Rica

While small, Costa Rica has a vast environmental diversity which makes it a prime location for outdoor activities. Costa Rica has two coastlines — the Pacific and the Caribbean. It also has towering mountain ranges that feature several volcanoes, tropical rain forest, dense jungle, rushing rivers, and breathtaking waterfalls. Additionally, Costa Rica’s population is very physically active, and they are very happy to share their country’s natural wonders with those who come to visit. Here are the top ten outdoor activities in Costa Rica!

La Union Hike in Uvita, Costa Rica

Top 10 list of activities

Zip lining

Also known as a canopy tour, is a very popular activity in Costa Rica. Not only is it extremely exhilarating, it is also a good way to see some of Costa Rica’s beauty from an entirely different perspective. Some of the best places to zip line in Costa Rica are near Arenal volcano, in Monteverde, Costa Rica’s “cloud forest”, and right here in the Southern Pacific Zone!


Costa Rica has some great snorkeling, especially in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. You can see all sorts of colorful sea animals, coral, and underwater flora. Another wonderful but less-known place to snorkel is at Isla del Caño, a small island and protected park off of Costa Ballena on the Pacific coast.

Whitewater Rafting in Costa Rica

White water rafting

There is no shortage of water in this country, and this water, especially during the rainy season, feeds into some of the country’s many rivers. Costa Rica has some of the world’s best white water rafting rivers: the Pacuare, Reventazón, Sarapiqui and Corobici. We have two great rivers right near us in the Southern Pacific Zone: the Savegre and the Coto Brus. White water rafting can be put under the “exhilarating” category. Whether you are an avid rafting fan or a beginner, there will be something for you to enjoy in Costa Rica.

Sea kayaking

This activity can be both a peaceful or exhilarating, depending on your personal preference. It is a great way to see some of Costa Rica’s marine life, and is an extreme sport for those who chase after some of the country’s great surf. There are plenty of places to rent sea kayaks in Costa Rica, both on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Here in Bahia Ballena, you can kayak out to the infamous Whale Tail!

Surfer girl in Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica


This activity is very close to our heart, and is also an incredibly popular activity in Costa Rica due to the availability of world-class surf breaks that line both coastlines. People from all around the world come to surf in Costa Rica — the warm water, awesome waves, and stunning environment are enough to entice anyone. There are many “established” surf locations such as Playa Negra and Jaco, and other “up-and-comers” such as those in Costa Ballena, where Bodhi Surf + Yoga is located.

Mangrove tours

The mangrove system is as fascinating as it is important to the marine ecosystem. Tour the mangroves from boat or kayak, and see some of the different animals that reside within them: birds, fish, snakes, and so much more! Bodhi Surf + Yoga is located a mere 45-minute drive from some of the most important mangroves on the coast of Costa Rica — the Térraba-Sierpe National Wetlands!


With so many other exciting activities to do, people often forget that Costa Rica can be experienced in a simpler (and more affordable) way! No matter where you are in the country, there is bound to be a good hike or walk in the vicinity. If you aren’t comfortable going on your own, there are also sightseeing/hiking tours available in most places. Bodhi Surf + Yoga guests love to hike to La Union, a local lookout and waterfall, on their day off!


Also known as canyoning, is another way to see Costa Rica’s wilderness “up close and personal”. In Costa Rica, rappelling is mostly done down waterfalls of varying sizes, and is an awesome and exhilarating way to experience these natural wonders.

Horseback riding

For a (potentially) more mellow activity, you can always take a horseback riding tour. This is a nice option for those who want to experience nature as well as perhaps forge a special connection with this regal animal. There are plenty of places all over the country where you can take horseback riding tours.

Coatamundi in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica

Jungle and wildlife tours

Costa Rica features some of the most exotic flora and fauna in the world, it is also one of the world’s leading countries in environmentalism and conservation. Jungle and wildlife tours in Costa Rica are pristine: you will see the natural environment, not one manipulated by humans. The Osa Peninsula on the South-Western side of the country has some of the most wild and rugged environment that you can see in the entire country.

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About the author


Adrianne is the fun-and-food-loving socialite of Bodhi Surf + Yoga. If she's not whipping up a feast for Bodhi Surf + Yoga guests, or out in the water giving surf lessons, she's probably busy writing for the Bodhi blog or keeping people up-to-date on the goings on via social media!


  1. Rigoberto Gonzalez on March 5, 2013 at 9:06 am

    The combination of many popular outdoor activities with means of transportation can definetely benefit travel budgets nowdays but is not clear or public who is doing it and how.

  2. Adrianne on March 7, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Thank you for your comment Rigoberto. Having transportation available to get to certain outdoor activities in Costa Rica is key, especially in the Uvita area because most things (activities, hotels, and restaurants included) are spread out along the coast. While we recommend most visitors to this area rent a car, it is possible to visit without a vehicle, you will just be limited in what you can do – and you should be prepared to pay some expensive taxi rides.

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