Best Tours to Take in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Sail away into the sunset ©
Sail away into the sunset ©
Photo of Jenn Parker
13 July 2017

The province of Guanacaste is located in the northwest Pacific region of Costa Rica. It is well known for its alluring beaches, advanced and beginner surf breaks, tropical dry forests, cowboy/farmer culture, high end resorts, and impressive selection of adventure and nature tours and activities. There are so many activities that the entire family can enjoy. All of the following tours will give you the opportunity to experience the dazzling beauty and immense biodiversity of this picturesque province.

Diamante Eco Adventure Park

The Diamante Eco Adventure Park is a one-stop adventure destination. Here you can choose to partake in an exciting selection of activities and tours, even combining multiple activities to create your own customized adventure-packed day. You can choose to go zip lining, ATVing, hiking, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, ocean kayaking, or horseback riding. There are also botanical gardens and an animal sanctuary.

One Day Pass at Guachipelin

There are two types of day passes at Guachipelin, an adventure pass and a nature pass. Guachipelin is a beautiful lodge and adventure center up by Rincon de la Vieja National Park. An adventure day pass includes a canyon canopy tour, Rio Negro tubing adventure, horseback riding, and Rio Negro hot springs and volcanic mud bath. The nature pass includes access to the butterfly gardens, serpentarium, frog exhibit, trip to a waterfall at Rio Negro, a hike to a beautiful look out point, and the Rio Negro hot springs and volcanic mud bath.

Costa Rica’s iconic tree frog | ©Danel Solabarrieta/Flickr

Pura Adventura Adventure

Pura Adventura is a beautiful hacienda that offers guests horseback riding tours, mountain biking trails, and an 11 cable canopy zip lining tour that also includes a swinging bridge and an exhilarating rappelling opportunity. All of this on a 150 year horse and cattle farm that is also home to both primary and secondary forest, six rivers, tree lined pastures, several natural springs, and two waterfalls.

Palo Verde Boat Safari

A boat safari tour is the best way to explore the wetlands and Tempisque River in the Palo Verde National Park. This rich and lively ecosystem is home to an astonishing number of both terrestrial and aquatic birds, crocodiles, caimans, giant iguanas, howler monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys, and a number of other incredible animals that are native to Costa Rica. Your tour will include a professional and highly knowledgeable guide who will be able to share with you the history of the park, the land and the native plant and animals species.

A sunning croc | ©Chuck Taylor/Flickr

Barra Honda Cave Tour

Barra Honda National Park is home to an intricate and exquisite underground cave system. The immense limestone caverns are decorated with ancient stalagmites and stalactites. Only 19 of Barra Honda’s 42 caves have been explored. Barra Honda National Park is a relatively flat mesa with hills that rise between 300-450 meters above the Tempisque valley. The caves are the real draw of this national park though.

Get down in there | ©m01229/Flickr

Miravalles Crater and Waterfall Tour

Most people tend to visit the Tenorio Volcano and the Rio Celeste waterfall when they are in Guanacaste. For this reason, the Miravalles crater and waterfall are almost like little secrets or hidden gems. On this tour, you will have the opportunity to see the active crater, boiling mud pots, and crystalized sulfur, on top of the beautiful scenery and waterfalls during your hike. Due to the volcanic energy of this area, there are multiple thermal pools that you can soak in and reap the benefits of all the volcanic minerals.

Dive the Catalina Islands

The Catalina Islands is one of the top dive destination in Costa Rica. This series of islands is home to an astonishing population of rays (giant manta rays, devil manta rays, bat rays, string rays, spotted eagle rays, cow-nosed rays, and bullseye electric rays) as well as sharks, turtles, pilot whales, dolphins, and occasionally whale sharks. The visibility is best between September and March.

Dive with giants | © Erin Brierley/Flickr

Sunset Catamaran and Snorkeling Tour

Almost any moderately touristy beach down in Guanacaste has at least one type of catamaran and snorkeling tour. They all follow a similar tour model: cruise to a protected bay where you can snorkel or swim, eat lunch, open bar, slow cruise back just as the sun is setting. A sunset catamaran and snorkeling tour is a really fun way to spend an afternoon on the ocean. It is also likely that you will spot some marine wildlife life such as sea turtle, jumping rays, flying fish, dolphins, and whales.

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