Best Adventure Tours in Costa Rica
For the adventurous, adrenaline junkies, and outdoor enthusiasts, Costa Rica serves up a great variety of adventure and extreme tours, such as canopy ziplines, class II-III whitewater rafting, ATV tours, suspension bridges, canyoneering, waterfall rafting, bungee jumping, parasailing, rock climbing, and ultralight Flights. These activities guarantee an adrenaline rush—and a ton of fun!
Keep reading so you can find out about Costa Rica’s most extreme adventures and where to book these tours for your next vacation in Costa Rica
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Extreme Adventures in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has some of the most exhilarating and heart-stopping experiences that the world has to offer! These tours are safe—the country enforces very stringent safety requirements—but you’ll feel anything but secure as you rappel through the interior of a strangler fig or belly-crawl through caves as old as the dinosaurs.
Ease in with whitewater rafting on a class III-IV river, or up the ante with big daddy class V rapids; jump down into the abyss on wet-and-wild waterfall rappelling tours, and round out your entrée to Costa Rican adventure with one of the nation’s most extreme canopy tours. Next up, seriously intense adventures like cave spelunking, ultralight flights, bungee jumping, and rock climbing.
Whatever your adventure-fantasy, these tours are sure to get your heart pumping and your mind racing: they’re an exhilarating thrill ride through the best and most beautiful that Costa Rica has to offer.
Costa Rican spelunking is perfect for adventurers who yearn to explore the unexplored. With one of the largest cave systems in the Americas, the country does not lack sparkling stalactites, meandering underground rivers, and fantastical cave formations. Venado Caverns, near Arenal, is a semi-developed caving destination, with caves that are 10-15 million years old and that feature impressive formations, like the Altar Room and Giant Papaya.
For less touristic spelunking fun, head to Barra Honda National Park (near Nicoya), where you’ll descend into a below-sea-level abyss to explore caves that began forming 70 million years ago.
There are no paths or handrails here—Barra Honda is pure, rugged spelunking.
You have a few good options for bungee jumping in Costa Rica:
- Monteverde Bungee Jumping
- La Balsa River Bungee Jumping
- The Colorado River Bridge near Alajuela.
- Bungee/extreme machine in Jaco.
In Monteverde, a canopy tour offers a 150 Meters jump from an aerial tram.
Bungee purists prefer the Colorado Bridge jump, which has been perfecting its awesome jumps for more than 20 years, and in Jaco, a manufactured bungee free-falls 130 feet and includes a water touchdown.
You may also want to read our article about The best Bungee Jumping in Costa Rica
3. Canopy and Zip Line Tours in Costa Rica
There are several ziplines in Costa Rica that are fast enough, long enough and extreme enough to curl your toes. Look for tours that involve Tarzan swings (free-fall from a platform), Superman ziplines (soar belly-down, like the Man of Steel), tree rappelling, rock climbing, mini-bungees, or the option to ride upside-down. A spectacular location, like over waterfalls or by an active volcano, also lends thrill.
Some of the best, most extreme canopy tours are located in Arenal (up to 60 mph!), Rincon de la Vieja (rock climb a river canyon!) and Monteverde (nearly 600 feet off the ground!).
4. Paragliding in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has some of the best paragliding conditions in the world. There are many first-class paragliding locations all over the country and excellent flying conditions year-round. Few other places in the world boast 320 days of flying a year.
The common denominator is the excitement and anticipation, there are days when the thrill is electrifying. If the winds are between 12 to 25 kilometers per hour coming from the west-southwest the day will be a blast of fun.
5. Parasailing in Costa Rica
If you’ve ever dreamed of flying like a bird, you’re going to love this awesome activity. You’ll soar hundreds of feet above the ocean, a thin cable your only tether to the world below.
With the wind in your hair, your legs dangling over a 600 feet of open air, you’re treated to the nation’s most spectacular views.
It’s an incredible, exhilarating experience that you can have over the sparkling Pacific and powdery sands of Manuel Antonio and Playas del Coco.
6. Arboreal Tree Climbing Costa Rica
Enjoy the Costa Rican rainforest in a totally different way.
The Arboreal Tree Climbing Tour has turned the trees of Costa Rica into a climbing wall for an amazing experience with nature.
Trees are prepared with handholds attached by straps as to not damage the trees. Each tree is a different height and climbing difficulty.
Experience the great canopy of the rain forest up close and first hand as you climb to the tops of the trees and look out over the forest. Safety is first and the belay system ensures all guests are comfortable and secure. Expert climbers will control your belay on the way up and down to reduce any possible error.
7. Paramotor Flight in Costa Rica
It’s the ultimate fantasy—an adventure in three dimensions. Board a tiny two-seater “ultralight”—a lightweight, fixed-wing aircraft—for an extreme (and extremely beautiful) sightseeing adventure. You’ll feel as light as air on this open-air flight, and will enjoy the adrenaline rush as panoramic vistas unfold before your eyes. The best part of this extreme adventure is its scenic byproduct: beautiful views that will be forever embedded in your mind (and camera memory). Ultralight tours depart regularly out of Samara, Tambor, and Jaco.
8. Waterfall Rappelling and Canyoning in Costa Rica
If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure—and a quintessential Costa Rican experience—you have to try your hand at waterfall rappelling, also known as canyoning. Harness up, check your carabiners and belay down! You’ll scale the mossy cliff face as a roaring waterfall cascades over your shoulders, spitting cool mountain water into your face. For the biggest adrenaline rush, choose rappelling tours that scale 180+ foot falls and incorporate horseback riding, ATVs and other exciting methods of transportation; Los Chorros (in the Central Valley) and Arenal are great choices.
9. Whitewater Rafting in Costa Rica
Epic—that is the only way to describe whitewater rafting in Costa Rica.
The country’s rivers are legendary and the world’s most passionate paddlers make it their mission to navigate Costa Rica’s freshwater waves at least once in a lifetime.
You’ll find class III-IV rapids (and tours) on many rivers, including the:
Río Toro, Río Sarapiquí, Río Peñas Blancas, Río General, Río Cucaracho, and the Río Naranjo.
But if you’re in search of pure, unadulterated and totally extreme whitewater, head straight for the incredible class IV-V rapids on:
the Pacuare (near Turrialba), Reventazón (also near Turrialba), Upper Balsa (near Arenal) and the Cucaracho (Rincón de la Vieja).
10. Costa Rica ATV Tours
Are you ready to test your quad-riding skills on this challenging tour?
this tour will make you experience the most fun outdoor adventure that you´ve ever had, while you are driving your own 4×4 ATV between farms, muddy areas, little creeks and trails in the middle of the forest, you will have a lot of fun and you will feel the adrenaline to the top, prepare to get wet and dirty!