I traveled to Costa Rica for my honeymoon in July 2018 and loved every minute of it!
Costa Rica is an amazing country filled with the most welcoming people. The direct translation of "pura vida" is "pure life." In Costa Rica, this is used as a greeting or a way of saying goodbye to people.
My husband and I had an idea before our arrival of three excursions we wanted to partake in, but we decided to not book and prepay in advance in case we changed our minds. It was the best decision we ever made.
We ended up changing two out of the three excursions we had planned based on recommendations from other guests staying at our resort. Our final decision was to do Canopy Zip Lining, the Palo Verde Boat tour, and the Sensoria rainforest tour. They were all booked easily through a company called Amstar, and we could not be happier with our tour experiences.
1. Canopy Zip Lining Tour
I'm sure any zip lining tour in Costa Rica is a great experience. The one I experienced is through a company called "The Congo Trail" in Guanacaste. I was so glad we chose this one and not the one that was advertised in the airport as, "The Longest Zip Line."
It looked fantastic in the pictures, but the issue is the way you are hooked into the zip line like you are Superman; you will be hurting within seconds. I learned that first hand at The Congo Trail. They asked me if I wanted to go Superman-style down one part, and I eagerly said yes. All of my body weight rested on the harness, making it dig into my stomach. It was a lot of fun, but I was glad it was only for a short distance and not two minutes long.
|What to Consider||And Why|
Half a day and no food included.
Wear something comfortable that you don't mind getting dirty. I wore an old t-shirt and leggings.
Just do it!
Leave your cameras and your phones behind with your transportation if you can. It's completely worth the price to have the company's photographer take great quality photos of you zip lining.
2. Palo Verde Boat Tour
This was our favorite! We are so glad someone told us about it and convinced us to go. You are taken on an amazing boat ride on the Palo Verde River, after which you get to visit the Guanacaste Pineapple Park and explore Liberia.
Upon our arrival, we were given fruit to snack on. On our boat ride, we saw an abundance of wildlife: monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, the "Jesus Christ Lizard" (because it runs on water), and exotic birds.
Our favorite part was when our tour guide called out to the Howler monkeys to get them to show off for us. They even responded back to him! After our ride, we were given a traditional Costa Rican meal called "Casado." It was outstanding! We have never eaten tilapia that tasted so good! We were also introduced to Lizano sauce, which is a must for you to try.
Nothing tastes better than fresh pineapple off of the plant itself! Upon your arrival, you'll be encouraged to taste the fresh pineapple juice they have waiting for you. Your tour guide will then bring you through the farm and tell you everything you can possibly know about pineapples.
You are then allowed to pick one pineapple from the plant yourself. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take them back with you. The ones you pick are used to make pineapple juice for the next tour that comes. However, the tour guide cuts one up right in the middle of the farm for everyone to eat and enjoy.
Liberia (pronounced lee-BEAR-ee-ah) was the last stop of the day. We were able to go off on our own and do some souvenir shopping, drink some coffee, and look at historical buildings. We didn't spend a whole lot of time here, but it was enough time for us to see everything we wanted to see.
|What to Consider||And Why?|
Full-day tour and food is included.
This isn't necessary, but you should bring it just in case.
Wear comfortable shoes and light clothes. It's a long day, and it could be warm or humid depending on the day.
Bring a digital camera if you have one. You don't want to miss out on taking pictures of wildlife from far away.
3. Sensoria Rainforest Tour
The Sensoria tour grants you the opportunity to hike through the rainforest to see exotic animals, visit two waterfalls, and take a dip in three natural hot springs. We were told that this tour was better than the one we were previously interested in because other hot springs that are advertised are man-made. The first two hot springs were rather cold, to be honest. The last one was the warmest. It was very relaxing!
After the hike, you come back to the main area and enjoy a meal with your group, while watching a video about the rainforest.
Note: Before we went on our rainforest tour, we stopped by Marcelo's Bakery & Coffee Shop for a quick snack. Our tour guide said it was important for us to have something in our stomachs before going on our hike.
|What to Consider||And Why?|
Full-day tour and food is included (though you should have a good breakfast before you go!).
Just do it.
I wore a swimsuit underneath a t-shirt and gym shorts. I also wore a hat, a rain jacket, and sneakers to hike in. It is a rainforest, and it will rain! Bring extra clothes and extra socks to change into for the ride back home.
Bring a digital camera for quality photos, but an iPhone can get the job done. You will definitely want to bring a waterproof case or pouch.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Jackie Zelko
Jackie Zelko (author) on June 13, 2019:
Thank you so much! We had the time of our lives there!
Liz Westwood from UK on June 13, 2019:
You give some great ideas of things to do in Costa Rica and also some good advice.