Costa Rica Vacations & Adventure Tours

costa rica adventure tour

Fall in love with this slice of paradise as you explore from beach to rainforest on our Costa Rica adventure tours.

With a motto of Pura Vida (pure life), it's easy to see why Costa Rica tops the charts for adventure travel. Rolling green hills, lush cloud forests, mighty waterfalls and picture-perfect coastlines are just a few of the features that await your discovery on our Costa Rica adventure tours. As you explore Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Playa Carrillo, Isla Chora and more, two guides will be by your side, ensuring every detail is looked after. By day, take to the skies ziplining, snorkel amongst colourful fish and hike to breathtaking waterfalls. Then by night, relax in charming accommodations with endless views of mountains and the sea. Whether you're relaxing in a hot spring at the foot of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano or watching monkeys play amongst the native trees, there's no doubt you'll fall into the relaxed paces of life Costa Rican is known for. Sit back, let your incredible guides do the hard work and make memories of a lifetime on a Costa Rica adventure tour.

Costa Rica Trip

Central & South America

Costa Rica Guanacaste Adventure

4.5

  • Duration 6 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 2 
    • Activity Level 2

      On the Move

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.

    Read more about the Active Range

Explore the volcanoes, cloud forests, and jungle waterfalls of Costa Rica’s stunning Guanacaste province on this six-day eco-adventure.

Trip Start: Liberia, Costa Rica Trip End: Liberia, Costa Rica

Central & South America

Costa Rica Tortuguero Adventure

  • Duration 9 days
  • Travel Style
  • Activity Level Level 2 
    • Activity Level 2

      On the Move

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.

    Read more about the Active Range

Starting in San José, you'll embrace the Pura Vida (pure life) over the next nine days as you hike, bike, and kayak through the Tortuguero National Park and the Cahuita National Park. By evening, relax with a cold drink in hand at premium eco-lodges.

Trip Start: San Jose, Costa Rica Trip End: San Jose, Costa Rica

FAQs about visiting Costa Rica

What's the best time of year to go to Costa Rica?

The best time to visit Costa Rica is between December and April on its Pacific Coast, when the weather is at its driest and brightest, with January and February providing ideal sunny beach weather. March and September are the best months to visit on the Caribbean side, with Alaska/California humpback whales; leatherback & hawksbill sea turtles around for wildlife watching in March and the rain lightening up in September, making it a great time to visit.

Is tipping expected in Costa Rica?

Most people do choose to tip their Active Adventures guides at the end of an awesome trip. US$100 per person per Trip Leader seems to be the norm, however less, more or not at all is also fine too. During your Active Adventures trip, your trip leader will take care of all included restaurants and service tips for you. For other restaurants or services during your time in Costa Rica, 5-10% is a typical gratuity amount.

Is it safe to go to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is considered one of the safest countries in Central America, however we recommend taking the same precautions you would anywhere else - just to be on the safe side! As long as you stay away from isolated areas, don't wave your valuables around, and don't travel alone at night you will be able to avoid the most common dangerous situations. Pickpockets occasionally operate in areas where visitors are found so we suggest you leave any valuables you don’t need with you in the hotel safe (e.g. passports and credit cards).
A copy of your passport and any valuables you do need with you should be kept in a passport wallet under your clothes and a small amount of money in your pocket/purse. It’s also a good idea to take a taxi after dark rather than walking. We recommend only using established tour operators and officially registered taxis, and only change money at banks or official exchanges.

Do I need a visa for Costa Rica?

If you’re travelling on a US, UK, EU, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport, you’ll be issued a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival in Costa Rica. To be issued with a visa exemption for up to 90 days, you must produce evidence of your onward travel to exit Costa Rica (either flights to return to the U.S. or travel to another country), and an immigration official will check this on arrival. It is advisable to make a photocopy or take a picture of your passport with the entry stamp to carry at all times during your stay. If you’re a citizen of another country please check with your nearest Costa Rican Embassy about entry requirements and if you need any assistance let us know.

What about vaccinations in Costa Rica?

For travel to Costa Rica we recommend getting vaccinated against Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Rabies and Tetanus. at least two months before your trip starts. For the most up-to-date recommendations please check with your doctor or travel clinic, and always go with their recommendations, as these can often change. There are no official vaccination requirements for entry into Costa Rica, however if you’re entering Costa Rica from a country that is considered to be at risk from Yellow Fever, or when you go home afterwards, then you may be required to show a certificate of vaccination (to be obtained from your doctor prior to travel).

Where do you fly into Costa Rica?

Many international flights arrive directly into San Jose or Liberia so there's no need to book any connecting domestic flights. The major international carriers who fly to Costa Rica are United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Spirit Airlines & Jet Blue.

What if I need a special diet?

We are accustomed to catering to the following special diets:

  • vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • vegetarian (no meat products)
  • fishatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
  • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • lactose intolerant (no dairy products)

You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in our pre-trip questionnaire. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online questionnaire.

Can you help me find flights to Costa Rica?

We recommend booking your flights through our preferred travel partner – Fuzion Travel. They’re our experienced hand-picked experts in travel, passionate about what they do, and will tailor-make your flight itinerary to match your Active Adventures tour. Get in touch with them directly by email – active@fuziontravel.co.nz or on +1-833-244-5886. Let them know your preferred travel plans, including any stopovers or extra nights’ accommodation, and they’ll put everything in place for you. They offer a total travel solution and five star service that you’ll want to tell your friends about!

Do I need Hiking boots or are hiking sneakers okay?

You will need proper hiking boots - trail shoes are not good enough. We'll be taking you to some awesome places where you'll be hiking over a variety of terrain, therefore your boots should have full ankle support and a stiff sole with a high profile tread. It's also important that whichever footwear you decide to bring that it's well broken-in and waterproofed before you come down. If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with varied terrain, then good hiking shoes should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support.

How much luggage can I bring on the Costa Rica trips?

You’ll need one piece of luggage on your trip, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage can be anything from a backpack, to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase and a good quality trekking daypack 25-30 litres (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days on the trails. 

What kind of clothing should I be packing for my Costa Rica trip?

Once you've booked your trip, you'll have access to a gear list in your portal on exactly what to bring along. The gear list is carefully thought out to provide you with everything you need to be warm and happy, or cool and relaxed, whatever the weather! So it is best to bring everything we recommend along, if you don't bring everything you need, we can't guarantee your comfort.

Can I drink the water in Costa Rica?

Tap water in Costa Rica is generally clean and safe to drink. However in some areas, mainly on the Caribbean side and in non-touristy pockets around the country, it's best to stick to bottled water and this is widely available to purchase.
Active Adventures is promoting ‘Travellers Against Plastic’ pledge, so to reduce single use plastic we encourage you to bring a durable water bottle to refill instead of purchasing bottled water.

What is the food like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica food is tasty, rather than spicy with base ingredients of plantains, rice, fresh fruits, beans, vegetables and corn (rather than wheat), making it easy to cater for a gluten-free diet. Beef and pork are the most common meats, but chicken is also standard, and the fish is excellent, especially on the coasts. Costa Rica isn’t known for being overly vegan-friendly, however there are vegan food options available.

What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The currency of Costa Rica is the Colón (CRC/₡) however US dollars are accepted just about everywhere, so you won’t have to convert your cash into Costa Rican colones. 

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get local currencies?

Your trip fare includes all transportation, guiding, meals and activities (except any optional activities). Most people like to bring a little extra to cover a round of drinks at the pub, take home some souvenirs, book a tour and eat out on their free day, and tip our guides if they've had a great time. 

A small amount of cash is useful when you first arrive to cover costs until you join your group. You can withdraw either US Dollars or Colons from ATMs inside San Jose airport, as both are accepted. When paying for goods and services in dollars, you’ll more than likely get your change in colones. Bills larger than $20 may not be taken by some businesses. With larger amounts of cash, we suggest going directly to the bank for the best exchange rates.

Usually the easiest thing to do is use your credit or debit card to withdraw money directly from your home account, in local currency. 

We recommend keeping enough cash on you to handle everyday expenses like meals, however not to carry so much that you’ll worry about losing it or becoming a victim of theft. 

Will the altitude affect me in Costa Rica?

San Jose is located at 1,172m (9,350 feet) and the highest elevation reached on our trips there is 1,000m (3,300 feet). If you’re concerned about the altitude on your arrival into Quito, chat to your doctor about a Diamox prescription or consider taking alternative treatments of ginkgo or Oxyshot/Oxishot.

Do I need to speak Spanish?

Spanish is the main language of Costa Rica, with Quechua being the main indigenous language. English is spoken in some hotels, airports and tourist areas but not everywhere. A little would be helpful, especially on arrival and for ordering food in restaurants, but it's certainly not required. Our trip leaders are all fluent Spanish speakers so if you don't have time to learn a little Spanish before arrival you don't have to worry... they will take care of everything.

What time zone is Costa Rica in?

Costa Rica is in the Central Standard Time. It is -6 hours behind of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

What type of plugs and voltage do you use in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is in the Central Standard Time. It is -6 hours behind of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Will I have access to internet/WiFi in Costa Rica?

WiFi is available almost everywhere in cities and easy enough to find in most towns/villages so you can rely on having regular access during your trip. If you have data roaming switched on, then you'll be able to use the internet on your smartphone, but beware of the fees! WiFi is available at some of the accommodations that you'll be staying at, usually for a small cost so check this out at each location when you arrive, though it may be sporadic.

Internet cafes are readily available, economical (~US$0.60 per hour for high speed access), and have long opening hours, so we don’t recommend bringing a laptop - although the Spanish keyboard can sometimes be a little challenging!

What is the weather like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is made up of many different climate zones, which also creates a lot of microclimates within the country. This tropical couintry is very close to the Equator, with a dry (high) and rainy (green) season, and plentiful sunshine! The temperature difference between January as opposed to July does not vary greatly, with the average annual temperature sitting between 70° and 81°F (12° and 27°C), with February to April recording the highest temperatures. However the amount of rainfall in Costa Rica does fluctuate fairly drastically with the heaviest rainfall from May to November.
Dry Season (December - April)
During these months, the weather in many parts of the country is very warm getting little to no rain, and with temperatures ranging from the mid 80’s to the high 90’s (F) depending on which part of Costa Rica you are in. However, in some provinces, seasonally cool winds offer some respite from the heat, particularly in January and February. Temperatures tend to reach their highest in March and April at the peak of the dry season.
Rainy Season (May - November)
Its affectionately called “The Green Season” and is the time of year when all vegetation starts to grow again and the country blooms into life and becomes incredibly lush. The overall climate is much wetter, and thunderstorms, heavy rains, and tropical depressions are far from unusual, especially in the afternoon, though it’s unarguably the time of year when Costa Rica is at its most beautiful, with temperatures rarely drop below the mid-60s (18°C).

Is there a number to call in an emergency? How can my family, friends or colleagues contact me

Please contact our New Zealand office using the details below. If the office is unattended (outside of New Zealand business hours), please leave a message so we can pick it up and respond as soon as we can.

Free phone 1 800 661 9073 (USA, Canada & Australia)
Free phone 0808 234 7780 (UK)
Free phone 0800 234 726 (New Zealand)
Worldwide +64 3 450 0414, ext 1
Email: service@activeadventures.com

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What people say about the trip

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- April 2022

Guanacaste/Costa Rica: Amazing Nature

"Really enjoyed the trip: incredible nature, a wealth of wildlife and superior guiding. read more

"Really enjoyed the trip: incredible nature, a wealth of wildlife and superior guiding. read less

4 Stars (4 reviews)

Flavia, United Kingdom

Active Adventure Assurance

Our Active Adventures Assurance

If your plans change or you decide to travel to another destination, you can change your trip to any of our departures in any destination or request a refund (less deposit) up to 90 days out from your original trip start date.

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