Adventure Tourism in Guanacaste - The UltimateTop 10 Adventures Guide
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Adventure Tourism in Guanacaste - The UltimateTop 10 Adventures Guide

Added: Jun 17, 2023
Category: Things to do

To have an unforgettable vacation in Costa Rica doesn’t mean you need to drive or fly for hours from one destination to the next. Guanacaste Province, which encompasses most of the country’s northwest and Pacific Coast beaches, has all the ingredients for an award-winning Costa Rica holiday.

Guanacaste has just about every attribute that makes Costa Rica a world-renowned adventure tourism destination: beautiful beaches, offshore islands, national parks, volcanoes, rivers, rainforests, and incredible surf.

Getting to Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Most travelers wishing to visit Guanacaste fly into Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, the provincial capital. Commonly referred to as Liberia International Airport or LIR, the airport is Costa Rica’s second-largest international hub and is conveniently located close to several major tourist attractions.

Another option is to fly into the Juan Santamaria International Airport near the nation’s capital in the Central Valley. Also referred to as the San Jose International Airport or SJO. From SJO, you can rent a car and drive to Guanacaste (approximately 4-5 hours). Or you can take a short in-country flight to LIR in Liberia.

ZINDIS, the best beachfront homes for rent in Costa Rica

As the premier Guanacaste, Costa Rica, vacation rentals enterprise, we at ZINDIS know what an unforgettable trip to Costa Rica looks like. We know Guanacaste is the best place to rent a house in Costa Rica, and we want your vacation to be just as memorable.

So, we’ve compiled a list of our Top Ten Favorite Eco-Adventure Activities in Guanacaste. When planning your next trip, pick and choose from ZINDIS’ best things to do in Costa Rica and you won’t be disappointed!


ATV tours in Costa Rica

Guanacaste is an outdoor playground of rolling hills, rugged coastlines, and dry tropical forests. The best way to see and experience it all is on an adrenaline-packed ATV tour in Guanacaste.

Diamante Eco Adventure Park, located just a few minutes from Playas del Coco and Resort Riu, Costa Rica, is Guanacaste’s #1 adventure park. Purchase of a Diamante Adventure Pass gives visitors access to all of Diamante’s activities, including a one-hour breathtaking ATV adventure.

Horseback riding, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Guanacaste is Costa Rica’s “cowboy country” and horseback riding is part of the local culture. There is no better way to spot wildlife and feel the thrill of the great outdoors than on horseback.

There are several horseback riding tours in Costa Rica to choose from. However, we recommend exploring the extraordinary countryside around Guanacaste’s three largest volcanoes.

Vandará, near the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, is a favorite destination for horseback riding. The extensive park also offers natural hot springs, authentic Costa Rican culture and cuisine, an unforgettable river canyon canopy tour, hiking, and Costa Rica’s longest waterslide.

Waterfalls in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

A Costa Rica vacation isn’t complete without taking a dip in a natural waterfall pool. The country’s steep mountains and rainforests provide the perfect conditions for hundreds of breathtaking waterfalls.

Our favorite Guanacaste waterfall to visit is Rio Celeste, located in the Tenorio Volcano National Park. Visitors hike from the park entrance to the falls, which are an otherworldly shade of turquoise blue.

For the full-immersion waterfall experience that includes taking a dip or a swim surrounded by nature, don’t miss Catarata Llanos del Cortés near the town of Bagaces, just over one hour from Playas del Coco.

To enjoy a combination of outdoor adventures, visit Vandará, near the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. Vandará’s natural Guanacaste hot springs are among the region’s prettiest. The streaming pools border the banks of the Tizate River beneath a cascading waterfall where visitors can cool off after soaking in the mineral-rich thermal waters.

Hiking in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Guanacaste Province is as rich in history as it is in natural biodiversity. At Santa Rosa National Park, just north of the Gulf of Papagayo in Costa Rica, visitors can experience both.

Santa Rosa National Park has extensive walking and hiking trails through dry tropical forests and coastal habitats. The park harbors both land and marine habitats, home to diverse wildlife. Surfers use the park as a launching point to reach the famous offshore swells of Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point.

A historical museum featuring remnants of Costa Rica’s geopolitical making is found at the entrance of the park.

Other hiking options include visiting any one of Guanacaste’s volcanoes and their respective national parks. Tenorio, Miravalles, and the Rincon de la Vieja volcanoes are all within one hour of Liberia.Eacg park has hiking trails, visitor services and access to a variety of bilingual nature guides.

Birding is especially popular as the volcanic topography harbors distinct habitats, home to exotic tropical bird species.

Vandará, near Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, offers hiking and horseback riding in Costa Guanacaste, as well as a breathtaking canopy tour, hot springs, and authentic Costa Rican culture.

Hot Springs in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s geothermal giants are a blessing on many levels. Their fertile volcanic soil is a huge asset for the agriculture industry, rainforests thrive on their steamy flanks, geothermal energy is harnessed as an important national energy source, and last but not least– Costa Rica’s volcanoes are the source of countless thermal hot springs.

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is the largest source of volcanic thermal waters in Guanacaste. Several resorts offer hot springs access as part of their lodging packages.

The Rincon de la Vieja hot springs day pass at Vandara is perfect for anyone wanting to enjoy Costa Rica’s hot springs and mineral mud treatments without the cost of an overnight. Visitors can combine Vandará hot springs and adventure activities by purchasing their Explorer Pass.

Canopy Tours and Zip Lines in Costa Rica

Zip lines and Costa Rica canopy tours are huge favorites among visitors seekingadventure and excitement.

Diamante Eco Adventure Park is hands-down Guanacaste’s best zip line adventure park. Diamante Guanacaste has Costa Rica longest ocean view zipline as well as a dual Costa Rica Superman Zipline so you and your buddy can fly through the sky in tandem.

In all, Diamantes zip line courses offer the longest ride times as well as a nearly one mile long ocean view line, and a 30 foot free fall Quick Jump. The Diamante Superman canopy zip line should not be missed!

If you prefer beautiful scenery over heart-pumping thrills, try Vandarás Canopy Tour, which crisscrosses the stunning Tizate River Canyon over cascading waterfalls. Visitors to Vandará can also choose from a wide assortment of outdoor and cultural activities.

Surfing in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Ask around, and you’ll likely hear that Guanacaste has the best surf breaks in Costa Rica. Tamarindo, Avellanes, and Playa Grande are all famous for their killer breaks and beautiful surroundings.

If you’re looking to sample Costa Rica’s best surf beaches, we recommend you book a surf excursion with a local boat tour provider like Captain Zodiac. Captain Zodiac offers fully customizable boat tours and services along Costa Rica’s Papagayo Gulf.

Captain Zodiac’s unique rib design and powerful outboard motors mean you can travel from swell to swell fast and comfortably. Try the Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point day tour or customize your own. They will also throw in a private surf instructor by request.

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Costa Rica

The northwest Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is dotted with idyllic offshore islands and rocky reefs teaming with marine life. Depending on your level of expertise and interest, there are a few well-known spots where the visibility and number of species are best.

Try Catalina Islands, Monkey Head, or Culebra Bay for starters. Private boat charters like Captain Zodiac offer customized snorkeling tours, while Diving Nomads or Tama Dive cater to scuba divers. Sea stars, sea turtles, octopuses, eels, white-tipped reef sharks, whales, countless fish, and other tropical species are common sightings in the warm coastal waters.

Sunset Cruises in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Sunset cruises take the cake as Costa Rica’s most romantic adventure tours, and the Pacific Coast has no shortage of providers. For private, customized catamaran sails, try the family-owned services of Marlin Del Rey out of Flamingo Beach.

Kuna Vela Sailing Tours is another highly recommended provider. Keep in mind most sunset cruises include additional activities, like beach hopping, whale and dolphin watching, snorkeling, and SUPs.

Several sunset tour providers in Costa Rica are customizable and offer options such as gourmet catering and picnics. Mixed beverages, fruit, and snacks are generally included.

Island and Estuaries Kayak and SUP Tours in Costa Rica

Exploring Guanacaste’s coastal estuary habitats by kayak or SUP is both peaceful and eye-opening. The watery mangrove forests are home to exotic reptiles, marine life and a host of tropical bird species.

Tamarindo Estuary is the region’s largest coastal estuary and part of the Las Baulas National Park. Tamarindo Estuary offers kayak and safari boat tours with bilingual naturalist guides.

Captain Zodiac offers a half-day SUP and surf tour of secluded beaches and islands along the Gulf of Papagayo. The experience includes Monkey Head Island, SUP boarding at Playa Iguanita, and a refreshing swim at Pinca Beach.

  • Zindis Group
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