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  • Writer's pictureKrista Tovell

Rappelling Waterfalls, Whale Watching, Caving, and Hiking in Costa Rica

The Central American country of Costa Rica is an adventure travellers’ dream destination. And has been for years, meaning that the infrastructure is in place to have an adrenaline-pumping holiday. Costa Rica offers a little something for everyone including the soft adventurer who may enjoy recreational kayaking, white-water rafting or even whale watching; To the more hard adventurers that may enjoy more physical activities such as cave hikes and trekking. We’ve rounded up our favourite adventure activities to consider when planning an adventure getaway to Costa Rica.

Rappelling Waterfalls

Rappelling, also known as canyoning, Victoria Waterfall in Costa Rica ranks as one of the most impressive waterfalls to repel, as does Diamante Verde as well. Once dressed in quick-dry clothing with a harness, you’ll make your way down the waterfall. The activity typically requires a bit of hiking and climbing as well so some level of physical fitness may be required but no experience is necessary to rappel some of these waterfalls.


Whether searching for a gentle paddle through the mangroves or heading out in the ocean for marine life watching, Costa Rica’s vast waterways provide ample opportunity to explore the country in your own kayak. Kayaking on Lake Arenal provides views of the aptly named Arenal Volcano. On the Osa Peninsula, kayakers may paddle alongside sea turtles and manatee. Venturing through the Tamarindo Estuary in a kayak provides an opportunity to see jungle wildlife one may not otherwise be able to see.

White Water Rafting

The thrill of paddling downstream in a raft with a few friends and nature all around, can’t be beaten. Costa Rica, with several rivers running through, has plenty of options with rapids at varying classes, so there is something to fit all comfort levels. Rapids range in class (size) from I-V. In these beautiful jungle passageways, and depending on the time of year, the Naranjo for sees between Class II and III rapids while the Savegre River reaches Class III. The world-famous Pacuare River reaches Class IV rapids as rafters paddle alongside the waterfalls.

Surf lessons

Famed as a surfing destination, surfing in Costa Rica is best from June to September, and has waves for all levels. Perhaps the most popular surf town in the country, Tamarindo’s two beaches are best for more experienced surfers. At low tide, Playa Jaco is great for beginner surfers. On the Caribbean coast, Ponte Uva is a top pick for those learning to ride the waves.

Whale Watching

For travellers looking for a whale-watching adventure, plan to visit Costa Rica between August through November when the humpback whales dive through the waters on the Pacific Coast. The Osa Peninsula is a top pick for both whale and dolphin watching. The Marino Ballena National Park makes protecting the waters its mission and as such this park provides some of the best whale watching in the country.

Jungle and Cave hikes

The seven-kilometre trek through the Tenorio Volcano National Park to the Rio Celeste doesn’t just take in the river, but the rainforest too. Travellers with an adventurous spirit will want to wander across the Arenal Hanging Bridges for volcanic and rain forest views. Don’t miss a nocturnal jungle hike to experience wildlife one may not otherwise see on day hikes.

The Diamante cave hike may be the most popular cave hike in Costa Rica as it takes in the nation’s tallest waterfall, but also provides an opportunity to sleep at the cave. The Barra Honda Caverns National Park, as the name suggests, houses several caves some of which are 240 metres deep. Climbing gear and a professional guide are required to limestone caverns.

For more information about Costa Rica, adventure itineraries, or wellness escapes, please contact Krista Tovell.

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