Top 8 Eco Tour Activities in Costa Rica

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is regarded as one of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world. Home to over 250 mammal species and an array of natural habitats from rainforests to volcanoes to mangrove swamps – there’s no denying that the natural landscape of Costa Rica is nothing short of phenomenal.

Costa Rica is unique because it occupies just .03% of the world’s surface area, and yet it is home to over 5% of the world’s biodiversity. With 28 National Parks, 58 wildlife refuges, 32 protected zones, 15 wetland/mangrove areas, 11 forest reserves, and 8 biological reserves, it’s only natural that Costa Rican eco-tours are considered the best in the world.


Keel-billed Toucan, Costa Rica

Among their efforts to conserve the natural environment, Costa Rica has become the first country to commit to becoming carbon neutral by 2021. Additionally, over 90% of the electricity required is produced through renewable means like hydroelectric, geothermal and wind power.

So with all factors considered, it’s only natural that eco-tours are one of the biggest strengths of the travel industry in Costa Rica. Causing a minimal impact on the environment, eco-tours offered in Costa Rica attract those who have a common interest in nature, culture and wildlife. Eco tours provide environmental education, contribution to conservation projects and an opportunity to truly experience nature while creating awareness regarding preservation.

So, let’s now look at the Top 8 Eco Tour Activities in Costa Rica:


1. Float among turtles along the Tortuguero Canal

Based within the Tortuguero National Park, on the Caribbean coast this destination is one of the most important nesting sites in the world for marine turtles. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for spiders, howler and white face monkeys swinging through the trees, as well as hundreds of bird and wildlife species like boas and iguanas.


2. Explore the remote and pristine rainforest in Corcovado National Park

Probably the most remote and pristine rainforest experience in Costa Rica, Corcovado National Park. The park is located on the rugged and remote Osa Peninsula. You have the best chances of spotting the most elusive and endangered wildlife here, including tapirs, tanagers, spider monkeys, scarlet macaws, harpy eagles, and wild cats are just a few.


3. Step over old lava on the Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

The Arenal Volcano stands at an incredible 5,358 feet, and up until 2010 was the most active volcano in Costa Rica. Take in its imposing beauty on a short, guided hike (approx. 40 minutes) over old lava flows, through the primary rainforest and witness a unique set of plant and animal species along the way.

You can book your Arenal Volcano experience with us.


4. Scuba dive on Caño island

Caño Island sits on the Pacific Ocean side, providing clear visibility from 30 to 100 ft year-round. This ensures divers experience an unobstructed view of the vast variety of marine life deep below the surface. Be on the lookout for white-tip and bull sharks as well as spotted dolphins.


5. Hike through the oldest National Park in Costa Rica

Santa Rosa National Park was the first national park to be established in Costa Rica back in 1971. Based in the Guanacaste province, Santa Rosa protects some of the last remaining tropical dry forest in the world, sprawled over a hefty 38,000 hectares. There are several trails to the surrounding beaches in varying distances between one and eleven kilometres. Throughout your hike, expect to see oak forests, beaches, swamps, and mangroves.

Visit Santa Rosa with us.


6. Rejuvenate body and mind in the hot springs at Baldi Resort

The therapeutic mineral-laden waters of the hot springs in Costa Rica have been used to treat a variety of health concerns for over 200 years. Formed by volcanic springs heated underground and returning to the surface, bathing in the water can bring relief and relaxation after only a short amount of time. Baldi Resort has a total of twenty-five springs that have various temperatures to suit everyone.

The hot springs of Baldi awaits you.


7. Snorkel on the Papagayo Peninsula

Sea turtles in Costa Rica

Papagayo Peninsula is without a doubt one of the best places to snorkel in the whole of Latin America. The Gulf of Papagayo is a wonderful snorkelling destination for its calm and protected inlets and bays. Famous for its numerous species of tropical fish and turquoise waters you won’t need to dive deep to see large marine creatures such as eagle rays and sea turtles.


8. White water rafting in the Pacuare River

If adrenaline fuelled adventure is more your scene, don’t hesitate to try white water rafting on the Pacuare River. Expanding over 30 kilometres, the river is flanked with stunning rainforest filled with exotic plants, animals and waterfalls. Most importantly, along the way you can expect one thing for sure – gushing rapids.


Given that Costa Rica is one of the biggest ecotourism destinations, many of the hotels, isolated nature lodges, and tour operators around the country are dedicated to sustainable practices. We like to think our tours are dedicated to a more positive and ethical experience too. Here at Exploriada – we are committed to supporting tour operators that contribute to conservation and community projects where we operate. With the We Give Back project, our tour operators are currently contributing to the Bolson Community, Guardia Elementary School, Las Pumas Rescue Center and the Vida Aventura Reforest program.

See all of our Costa Rica tours here.

by  Lexi Connors

Lexi is your ultimate wanderlust enthusiast with an incurable case of curiosity and a deep passion for action on climate change. You can read more of her work Find her on Facebook or Instagram @avaycay.