Guanacaste
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Guanacaste Day Trips

Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Hot Springs Tour

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

Escape into the nature of the La Fortuna area. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Visit a Maluku Indian village and trek through a forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort. 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.

Playa Tamarindo: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

2. Playa Tamarindo: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

Sail along Costa Rica’s Gold Coast on a 4.5-hour sunset cruise, passing Guanacaste’s exotic bays, white sand beaches, and tropical jungles. Gaze off the bow with a cold tropical drink in your hand as you scan the seas for dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish, or even a breaching whale. Stop in a tranquil bay, drop anchor, and enjoy a swim. Snorkel in the bay or take a walk down a deserted white sand beach. While you’re enjoying the sun, sand, and sea, the crew will prepare a lunch of chicken or pasta salad, fruit, chips, pico de gallo, guacamole, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. As the sun sets, you’ll see the ever-changing colors of the sky, while enjoying your favorite drink from the boat’s open bar. Capture the moment to show your family and friends the wonders of a Costa Rican sunset.

Playas del Coco: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

3. Playas del Coco: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

Sail along Costa Rica’s Gold Coast on a 4.5-hour sunset cruise, passing Guanacaste’s exotic bays, white sand beaches and tropical jungles. Gaze off the bow with a cold tropical drink in your hand as you scan the seas for dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish or even a breaching whale. Stop in a tranquil bay, drop anchor and enjoy a swim. Snorkel in the bay or take a walk down a deserted white sand beach. While you’re enjoying the sun, sand and sea, the crew will prepare a lunch of chicken or pasta salad, fruit, chips, pico de gallo, guacamole and homemade chocolate chip cookies. As the sun sets, you’ll see the ever-changing colors of the sky, while enjoying your favorite drink from the boat’s open bar. Capture the moment to show your family and friends the wonders of a Costa Rican sunset.

Tamarindo: Dream Chaser Catamaran Sunset Cruise

4. 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.

Guanacaste: 5-Hour Rainforest Canopy Zipline Tour

5. Guanacaste: 5-Hour 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.

La Fortuna: 6-Hour Arenal Volcano Observatory & Lake Tour

6. La Fortuna: 6-Hour Arenal Volcano Observatory & Lake Tour

Head to the Arenal Observatory on this 6-hour excursion from La Fortuna. Travel to the far side of the volcano and take in views of Arenal from different angles. Hike through gardens and forests with your guide, passing 2 hanging bridges. See the Danta River and waterfall, and learn about the ecosystem and the animals you encounter. Visit the Arenal Observatory and its museum and learn about the volcano and its history. Finish the hike at the observatory lodge and watch the sunset over Lake Arenal. End the tour in a relaxing way at a hot spring resort, where you can soak in the soothing hot springs. Enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail.

Tamarindo: Zip Line, Horseback Riding & Natural Spa Day Tour

7. Tamarindo: Zip Line, Horseback Riding & Natural Spa Day Tour

Experience a day of adventure with a canopy tour, hot springs, a natural spa, thrilling water slides, and horseback riding. This fun-filled tour is great for both adrenaline-seekers and nature-lovers. Get picked up from your hotel head to the Buena Vista Lodge and Adventure Center to start your experience. Take a canopy tour, where you’ll glide through the treetops and cross hanging bridges. Then enjoy a horseback ride along nature trails as you admire the beautiful landscape. Afterwards, soothe your muscles with a volcanic mud bath and relax in the swimming pool. During the tour you’ll savor a buffet lunch, with vegan and vegetarian options available, along with local coffee, natural juices, and water. At the end of your day trip, get dropped back at your hotel.

Horseback Riding Tour to the Oropéndola Waterfall

8. Horseback Riding Tour to the Oropéndola Waterfall

A guided tour to a beautiful waterfall is a memorable experience. Doing this on horseback makes the experience unforgettable. Your 2.5 hour guided tour will begin at the Hotel Hacienda, where you will mount your gentle and people-friendly horses. You will set out to visit the stunning Oropéndola Waterfall first, taking in the beautiful scenery along the way. Filled with flora and fauna unique to the area it will be a unique experience. During the final part of the trip you will enter the forest in which the waterfall is located. Here you will need to dismount. Though the walk is easy to do by foot, it cannot be accomplished by the horse. In the forest you will find the mesmerizing Oropéndola Waterfall. Standing 25 metres (82 feet) in height, it is just begging onlookers to take a refreshing dip into its depths. Here you may wish to explore the peaceful canyon in which the waterfall is located. After exploring the area with your guide, you will take your time returning to your horse before mounting up again and returning to the lovely Hacienda Hotel. For those looking to fully appreciate the natural beauty of Costa Rica in a relaxed fashion, you cannot miss out on this laid back, yet enlightening tour.

La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Hike

9. La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Hike

After being collected from your accommodation in La Fortuna, you will make your way to Rio Celeste. Rio Celeste is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Costa Rica, and on a clear day, it is possible to receive spectacular views. Upon arrival to the park you will set off on a 7-kilometer hike, which passes by the River Celeste Waterfall, the Tenorio Lookout, the Blue Lagoon (a great place for taking pictures), and Borbollones (little geisers), before you finally arrive to Teñideros.  In this area, mother nature magically mixes the water of two crystal clear streams, changing the water's color to a beautiful bright, light blue (hence the name Rio Celeste, or "Light-Blue River"). After visiting the most beautiful places of this park there is a tough hike back to the park entrance, where you will have a delicious, well-deserved lunch waiting for you.

Hibiscus Sunset Boat Ride: Open Bar, Food and Water Sport

10. Hibiscus Sunset Boat Ride: Open Bar, Food and Water Sport

Enjoy an afternoon sailing adventure of Costa Rica’s Tamarindo coast on the Pacific Ocean, departing at 2:00 PM from Playa del Coco, RIU hotel beach entrance or Playa Ocotal. Once you have checked in, you will be shuttled to the 48-foot launch boat for the start of your adventure. As the sails are raised, relax in the afternoon sun or find a shaded spot in the saloon as the crew serve drinks. You’ll head north along the coast, enjoying the fresh sea breeze, a cold beverage, and some fresh fruit. About an hour into the trip, anchor in a cove where you can snorkel in the warm tropical waters, kayak, swim to the beach, or just relax on the boat. Break for afternoon appetizers while making new friends. Finally, it's happy hour! Pull anchor and raise the sails while the crew eagerly prepares a rum punch, imperial beer, or other beverage to your liking. Dance to a mix of Latin and rock music as you glide across the ocean en route back to Tamarindo as the sun falls below the horizon.

Frequently asked questions about Guanacaste Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in Guanacaste?

The other unmissable things to do in Guanacaste are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Guanacaste

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What people are saying about Guanacaste

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 14 reviews

This is the best activity I have done in Costa rica ! Carlos & Julian were amazing and so knowledgeable. the overall day started with pick up (5 minutes late which is okay) and going to the local indigenous tribe, learning about their culture, seeing sloths in trees, waterfall, lunch was great, we saw a butterfly garden nearby, then continued to the hike on the volcano before finishing in the hot springs. it was a magical and perfect day ! I'd love to do it again !!!

This tour is run by Red Lava. It was a full day tour and the guides were really nice! There was a decent about of hiking but that was fine. The waterfall area was beautiful and we got to swim there for an hour. The lunch was the typical Costa Rican meal and it was really good as well. I am glad that we did this tour!

Amazing experience- Ivan was such a wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide! Only thing to note is that it will not get back on time. We read reviews and expected this, so we didn’t plan anything afterwards- it ended up being 11 hours.

This was the best tour I've ever been on. Erick and Isaac were such great tour guides. Erick was so knowledgable about the different plants, animals, history about Costa Rica. This tour was the highlight of my trip! :)

Très belle journée bien remplie et guide très sympathique!