Guanacaste
Hiking

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Our most recommended Guanacaste Hiking

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 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.

Rio Celeste Hike & Sloths Wild Life

2. Rio Celeste Hike & Sloths Wild Life

Hike through the tropical rain forest and discover many picture-perfect sights along the way. Visit “Los Teñideros”, see the volcano's furnace vents, the magnificent Rio Celeste waterfall, and 2 species of sloths at the Sloth Sanctuary. Once at Tenorio Volcano National Park, your guide will give a short introduction, and then the hike starts going through the tropical rain forest, where fauna and flora are plentiful. During the hike, visit “Los Teñideros”, where two streams of crystalline water come together and form the astonishing blue color that gives the river its name. Come by the volcano’s furnace vents that expel gases of extremely high temperatures, and get the chance to take a dip in the natural hot springs. See the spectacular Rio Celeste waterfall. Head to the Sloths Sanctuary, where you will see 2 different species of sloths and wildlife in their natural habitat. The final reward will be an exquisite traditional meal at the end of your journey.

La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Hike

3. 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.

From Tamarindo: Zip-Line and Rafting Full Day Adventure Tour

4. From Tamarindo: Zip-Line and Rafting Full Day Adventure Tour

Kick-start your full day of outdoor thrills bright and early led by your private guide. This small-group tour will give you the opportunity to try your hand at rock climbing, horse riding, water tubing or river rafting, as well as enjoying a canopy tour. Begin your journey either water tubing or rafting down the peaceful waters of the Colorado River, meandering your way through its verdant canyon surrounded by steep sides. Next, enjoy the thrill of zip-lining over the canyon through the course of eight zip-lines that zig and zag across it. If you're feeling up for more, you have the choice to rappel down into the canyon and rock climb back up. Savor traditional local flavors over lunch, taking the opportunity to snap some pictures of the impressive backdrop. Get back on the adventure track, and horse ride along the mighty foothills of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, making your way to its hot springs. Here, relax in a natural mud bath and ease into the end of your day before being dropped off at your accommodation.

La Fortuna Town: Rio Celeste and Tenorio National Park Tour

5. La Fortuna Town: Rio Celeste and Tenorio National Park Tour

Following your pickup from your hotel in La Fortuna Downtown, you will venture to the heart of the Tenorio Volcano. Once having arrived there, you will discover the mystery of the minerals that produce the reaction that causes the river to turn a marvelous light-blue color. You will explore right where the Buena Vista River and Roble River merge, with both rivers originating from the volcano. The colors of these rivers is caused by the different concentrations of minerals. The natural chemicals mix and cause a reaction between the sulfur from the volcano and calcium carbonate from the rain, creating one of the most beautiful attractions in Costa Rica. Later on in your tour, you will be taken to a breathtaking waterfall called the “Bride’s Veil”, which is the highlight of your adventure. You will then be taken to the Tenorio Volcano viewpoint, thermos mineral hot springs, and volcanic mud ponds. At the conclusion of your geothermal experience, you will be returned back to your point of origin in La Fortuna Town.

Río Celeste National Park Hike

6. Río Celeste National Park Hike

Once we arrive to the Río Celeste National Park, you may use the facilities to get ready and look at the information booth provided by the Río Celeste National Park. We will then begin a hike through the dense, lush, tropical rainforest that surrounds the Río Celeste National Park. The hike is approximately 3-miles long and considered intermediate. You and your naturalist guide go at your own pace and you'll learn interesting things about the rainforest along the way. We then arrive to "Los Teñíderos" where two rivers come together to form the celestial, turquoise blue water color that gives the waterfall its name "Celeste." We'll return, walking back through the Rio Celeste National Park to the "Ollas" -- or mud baths -- and take a moment to relax in the natural hot springs. For the grand finale, we then walk-on further to see the spectacular Río Celeste waterfall - the perfect place to take photos. We finish off with a delicious lunch at a local restaurant and then head back to La Fortuna. Please note: the Río Celeste waterfall may lose its blue color during rainstorms. Our policy is to advise clients the day of the tour if it is raining in the area and offer the tour for the following day, should clients want to postpone or change to a different tour. No refunds for inclement weather.

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano 8-Hour Tour from Guanacaste

7. Rincón de la Vieja Volcano 8-Hour Tour from Guanacaste

On this 2-hour hike, you will visit the amazing Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and see the energy that this sleeping giant liberates. Bubbling water lagoons, steamy sulfur water ponds, little mud volcanoes, gases, and more are enough to understand that this is an active volcano. This National Park is home to one of the most active volcanoes with fumaroles activity. Sights include an extraordinary amount of interesting flora and fauna, as well as plenty of hot bubbling sulfurous mud pits and a little "mini-volcano." Rincón de la Vieja National Park is home to more than 300 species of birds, including the quetzal, as well as numerous reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, including kinkajous, tapits, monkeys, and jaguars. Mammals found here include peccaries, coatis, skunks, and of course monkeys (white-faced and howler), 2-toed sloths, armadillos, and anteaters. The park also has probably one of the largest populations of the national flower of Costa Rica, the orchid "Guaria Morada."

Tamarindo: Canyon de La Vieja 1-Day Adventure Pass

8. Tamarindo: Canyon de La Vieja 1-Day Adventure Pass

Discover all the fun outdoor activities available at Canyon de la Vieja Adventure Lodge with a 1-day adventure pass. Try out many different adventurous activities as well as relaxing mud baths. Enjoy a wide variety of adventure activities all in the company of specialized guides who will be with you at all times:  Tubing - Float comfortably in an inner tube through the waters of the beautiful Colorado River on a 2.5 km long journey White water rafting - Using an inflatable boat called "Doki", enjoy the journey with categories class 2 and 3 rapids (depending on the weather conditions); the trip is about 3 km long, and it takes approximately 1:10 hour Zipline - Travel from one end of the Colorado River Canyon to the other, with a total of 9 cables and 17 platforms, offers to you an impressive view of nature below; cables that vary in length from 150 m to 360 m long and 75 m high. Rappel-Rock Climbing - Enjoy the adrenaline of descending a natural rock wall that measures 55 ft. height. Once you are at the foot of the wall, you will proceed to climb it. To complete a perfect day, relax and treat yourself after a day of intense adventure with the included sauna, volcanic mud baths, and different temperatures swimming pools. Enjoy a full-service restaurant located on top of the Colorado River Canyon with a wide variety of dishes as well as fresh local fruit juices and traditional local dessert with Costa Rican coffee.

Liberia: Rincón de la Vieja Bird-Watching Tour

9. Liberia: Rincón de la Vieja Bird-Watching Tour

After being collected from your accommodation, you will journey towards Hacienda Guachipelin, where your experience will take place. There you will walk around the Hacienda in search of unique bird species with an expert bilingual guide. Hacienda Guachipelin is replete with bird watching opportunities due to its diverse ecosystems. Over 300 different species have been identified in these areas, including the spectacled owl, the turquoise-browed motmot, the emerald toucanet, and the Montezuma Oropendola. Throughout this ecosystem fly colorful, sonorous, intrepid birds, all of which you can take fun in seeking whilst in the park. The dry forest is full of wildlife and unique species, creating the perfect place to enjoy wildlife and bird watching in the gardens rich in native trees and exotic flowers. At the conclusion of your enjoyable bird-watching experience, you will be transferred back to your point of origin.

Arenal Forest: Bird Observation & Photography Tour

10. Arenal Forest: Bird Observation & Photography Tour

If you are a lover of birdsong and enjoy the beautiful colors of these feathered creatures, this tour and outing amongst nature is for you. Enjoy a gentle walk through the forest with the purposes of observing and photographing these incredible animals. The areas around the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal are fantastic for bird watchers. An expert bilingual naturalist and birdwatcher guide will help you find a wide variety of species such as toucans, parrots, orioles, colorful tanagers, parakeets and many more. Birds are most active early in the morning and in the late afternoon as the day cools into evening. For more experienced birdwatchers, you can focus on seeing Royal Flycatchers, White-Fronted Nun birds, Cinnamon Woodpeckers and other less commonly seen species.

Frequently asked questions about Guanacaste Hiking

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Other Sightseeing Options in Guanacaste

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What people are saying about Guanacaste

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 1 reviews

I highly recommend going on this excursion!!!! I am never the person to leave reviews, but I was honestly blown away by all that we did and got to see. Be prepared to spend the entire day as it lasted far beyond the 10 hours that is stated, but it’s so worth it! Our tour guides were Enrique and Isaac and they were phenomenal. They were very easy going and knowledgeable, they helped make the experience as enjoyable as it was. You will be doing a lot of hiking and climbing up and down steep and uneven stairs/terrain getting to the volcano as well as the waterfall (500 steps). I am not an avid hiker or even an outdoorsy person so some of this was a bit challenging, if you feel intimidated don’t let that stop you! There were people of all hiking levels on this trip. From seeing the volcano/the lava fields to climbing over rocks to take a dip next to a waterfall you will be impressed by the beauty around you. Ending the day in a hot spring with drinks was a great ending to the day! 11/10

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!

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!