Things to do in Guanacaste

Our most recommended things to do in Guanacaste

La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

1. La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

Escape into the nature of the La Fortuna on a guided hike. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Have a delicious lunch at a Maluku Indian village and trek through forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort with a drink. Be collected at your accommodation and be driven to the beginning of the forest walk. Trek on the easy track along the crystal clear La Fortuna river. En route, hop on a tractor cart uphill to a panoramic viewpoint. Spot the next location from a distance then begin the return walk down a jungle staircase. Halfway down is a high suspension bridge to cross. The trail leads further down the huge canyon, which was shaped by a volcanic mega-eruption. Encounter the spectacular La Fortuna waterfall. Be amazed by the lush vegetation on its 70-meter high walls, the huge volcanic rocks at its foot, and the water splashing down in its massive pool. Bask in its beauty or even take a refreshing dip. Return to the viewpoint then walk down to the little village of the Maluku Indians. Seated in their Palenke (main house), enjoy a rest while listening to an interesting story about their culture, art, and history.  After being active for a few hours, the time has come to relax and enjoy a typical hot lunch. Next to the restaurant is a butterfly garden and frog pond that you can explore until your food is served.  Reenergized, take a 15-minute ride to the park at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Being the trek through the primary forest where you can see huge trees with giant roots. Besides a variety of birds, the forest is host to monkeys, sloths, and coati. Leave the forest and each the highest viewpoint that exists around the volcano and absorb the most spectacular panoramic views of Lake Arenal, the jungle, the valley, the lava fields, and most of all the Arenal that towers over you.  Conclude your tour at the natural hot spring resort. Relax in its soothing warm water for about an hour and enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail. Afterward, you will be taken back to your accommodation.

Rio Celeste: Tubing Tour with Snacks and Drinks

2. Rio Celeste: Tubing Tour with Snacks and Drinks

Expereince the rush of spilling over the rapids of the turquoise Celeste River on this tubing tour in Katira. Spot colorful birds, monkeys, and frogs as you float safely along with the provided safety helmet and life vest. Refuel with some delicious fruit and drinks that are included in the tour.  Meet your guide and get set up with your well-maintained tubing gear. Set off down the river through dense jungle over the blue water. Keep an eye out for local birds like toucans, bear-necked umbrella birds, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds.  Awaken your inner adrenaline junkie as you glide over rapids on this family-friendly adventure. Relax and get some incredible photos of this area that is just outside the Tenorio National Park. 

Playa Flamingo: Catamaran Tour and Snorkel With Meal

3. Playa Flamingo: Catamaran Tour and Snorkel With Meal

Your tour begins from Playa Flamingo where you will be shuttled from the shore to one of two boats. The captain will welcome you aboard and brief you on safety features before you set sail for a relaxing afternoon, sailing along the Pacific coast of Guanacaste. You will begin to feel that you are part of a big family as the staff will be at your constant attention offering you drinks, snacks, music and descriptions of the flora and fauna around you. Halfway into the tour the boat will stop and you will be offered to partake in some diverse water activities, such as snorkeling, swimming, SUPs and kayaking or just hanging out at an amazing beach. After your water activities you will be offered a delightful meal including deserts. Then the music will soothe you as the captain pulls up anchor and begins your slow sail back to shore while allowing the gentle movement of the boat to soothe your soul. The final moments pulling into shore will be livened up with some music to wish you well on your way. The crew onboard is strongly focused on providing you with an unforgettable memory, as soon as you get on the catamaran you'll feel the Pura Vida experience. Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy!

Playa Minas: Sea Turtle Watching Tour

4. Playa Minas: Sea Turtle Watching Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel at 6:00 PM and driven to Playa Minas or a nearby beach that is home to nesting turtles. Playa Minas constitutes one of Costa Rica's most important nesting sites. Between October and March, large numbers of turtles migrate to this region. It remains one of the last untouched beaches in the world, giving it a remote paradise feel. There will be a 700-meter hike in the dark with infrared flashlights provided by your tour guide. Once arriving at the beach, the guide will educate the group on how to respectfully navigate the area. You will see the black turtles, and if you are lucky, the rare leatherback turtles. The leatherback sea turtle is the largest sea turtle in the world, weighing over 1,200 pounds and averaging almost 8 feet in length.

Tamarindo: Dream Chaser Catamaran Sunset Cruise

5. Tamarindo: Dream Chaser Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Discover picturesque secluded beaches on a 5-hour catamaran cruise. Benefit from relaxing lounge areas, an open bar, lunch buffet, snorkeling equipment, and paddleboards. Board the 40-foot Dream Chaser catamaran and cruise along the north coast and, depending on weather conditions of the day, anchor in the secluded beaches of Playa Minas, Playa Huevo, or Piratas Bay.  Jump into the refreshing waters and tryout water activities like snorkeling, paddle boarding, and playing with the floaties (noodles). Feast on a delicious home-style buffet and enjoy an open bar where you can get unlimited refreshments, liquor, and mixed drinks.  Lounge on the spacious upper deck while listening to a modern sound system. Cool off in the shaded main cabin, relax in comfortable leather seats, and make use of the free Wi-Fi.  As you head back to Playa Tamarindo, be treated to unforgettable views of the Costa Rican sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Diamante Eco Adventure Park: Zipline & Aerial Adventure Pass

6. Diamante Eco Adventure Park: Zipline & Aerial Adventure Pass

Enjoy Costa Rica's longest dual zipline courses at the Diamante Eco Adventure Park on Matapalo Beach. Led by professional guides with all the necessary equipment, feel the thrill of a 30-feet free fall on the “Quick Jump” and go down headfirst on a mile-long ocean view zipline called the "Superman". Make your way to Diamante Eco Adventure Park, located roughly an hour from Liberia or Tamarindo in the province of Guanacaste. Then, explore the ziplines and aerial rides at the oceanfront park at your own pace. With dual action lines, you can share your adventure with friends or family members, riding side by side. Follow the guidance of certified guides at the eco-adventure park for a fun and safe experience. Soar above treetops on a ziplining course designed and engineered according to ACCT standards. With state-of-the-art carbon ziplines and an automatic braking system, you never have to touch the lines.

Boat Transfer between Monteverde and La Fortuna

7. Boat Transfer between Monteverde and La Fortuna

Add a little adventure to your transportation needs between Monteverde and La Fortuna and avail of a transfer that includes an informative boat tour across Lake Arenal. Get spectacular views of Arenal Volcano and the cloud forests of Monteverde as you travel by van and boat. Choose from a morning or afternoon departure in either direction to suit your schedule, and relax in the knowledge that your luggage will be taken care of on every step of the journey. Depart La Fortuna and travel to Lake Arenal by van. Then, take a 30-minute boat ride to the town of Río Chiquito before continuing to Monteverde by van. For departures from Monteverde, travel to Lake Arenal by van. Cross Lake Arenal on an enlightening 30-minute boat ride to the earthen dam, and then continue to La Fortuna by van for drop off at your hotel.

Guanacaste: Palo Verde National Park Jungle River Cruise

8. Guanacaste: Palo Verde National Park Jungle River Cruise

Palo Verde National Park encompasses one of the most important wetlands of Central America. You’ll have the opportunity to explore its varied habitats on this half-day jungle river cruise. Throughout the year resident and migrant water birds sharing the mangroves and marshlands with white- tailed deer, coyote, white-nosed coatimundi, howlers, white-faced monkeys, iguanas, and crocodiles. Wildlife is plentiful here, from tiny hummingbirds feeding at heliconia flowers, to the huge and flamboyant Roseate Spoonbills. Enjoy the countryside as it changes from savannah to plantations and small villages as you make your way to the pontoon boat, which is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to explore Palo Verde. You’ll travel by boat along the Tempisque River, which borders the National Park. You’ll pass through a wide variety of habitats, including pastureland and mangroves. Observe huge crocodiles resting in the sunshine and monkeys moving rapidly through the trees. You’ll see diverse bird species such as the Anhinga, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, the rare and endangered Jabiru, Blue Heron, White Ibis, and more.

Guanacaste: Rainforest Canopy Zipline Tour

9. Guanacaste: Rainforest Canopy Zipline Tour

Enjoy a thrilling half-day adventure with a rainforest canopy zipline tour in Guanacaste. Depart from your hotel, and after a short drive, arrive in the tropical dry forest where you will be surrounded by high trees and pristine nature. Once there, take a short hike to the first platform, where your tour guide will get you ready for the ride of your life. Then get ready to start zipping through the trees and flying down the suspended cables. During the tour you will also come across a walking bridge between 2 platforms. If you are lucky, even the howler monkeys will be your company during a part of these canopy travels.

Tamarindo: Boat Safari at Las Baulas National Park

10. Tamarindo: Boat Safari at Las Baulas National Park

Embark on an adventure and experience the mangrove swamps and bays protected by Marino Las Baulas National Parl. Spend your afternoon exploring on a boat trip.  See frigate birds, brown footed boobies, pelicans, and other waterbirds that are the main attraction. Witness also monkeys, but as conservation takes hold, it is becoming easier to spot ocelots, crocodiles, and anteaters. Find big iguanas and different species of wading birds, amidst the mangroves, orchids, and trees lining the river. Experience Las Baulas that includes in its habitats beach, coral reef, and mangrove, with wildlife from green marine iguanas, bottle-nosed and common dolphins, leatherback sea turtles, sponges, anemones, lobsters, trunkfish, frigate birds, brown footed boobies, to pelicans.  Sail up the waters of Las Baulas National Park, in a 2-hour tour, where you'll be able to watch crocodiles sunning on the banks or swimming alongside the boat while green parrots call from the above and howler monkeys play among the treetops.

Other Sightseeing Options in Guanacaste

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What people are saying about Guanacaste

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 741 reviews

Its a long day but totally worth it, our guide Eric was awesome and super knowledgeable. You could tell he really had a passion for nature and teaching others about it. Its not a very physically demanding day the only real uphill is going back up from the waterfall. I would highly recommend bringing water shoes. Overall it was a great day and wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

Our tour was AWESOME!! The guide, Santiago, was EXCELLENT!! He was very informative, helpful and always looking after us. The whole experience was the perfect way to start our Costa Rica vacation. We did hiking, swam on the waterfall, visit an indigenous village, saw the volcano and ended in the hot springs all super!!

We had a great time on the lake. We got to see so much wild life ! Including monkeys, scarlet macaw, a great egret and a neo tropic cormorant. The kayaking it’s self is fun and relaxing. Our tour guide was so friendly and he was very knowledgeable about the area. Definitely recommend this activity!

I really enjoyed this long day!! We did a lot, we laughed a lot with our guide Franklin, we learned a lot, I definitley high recommend it!!

amazing. so fun and beautiful. the waterfalls are breath taking.