Visit Rainforests & National Parks

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The world is best explored on foot. And a trip to Costa Rica is not complete without a hike in at least one of its top destinations. Costa Rica hiking tours are very popular for those who enjoy being engulfed by nature, pushing their physical limits, learning about local flora and fauna and take in some well-deserved, breath-taking views.

Nature Hiking in Costa Rica

heredia nature

True Costa Rica nature vacations are more than just a nature retreat – They should introduce you to fantastic destinations in the form of nature walks. From deep jungle trails in the mountains to the evergreen fields of the lowlands, Costa Rica is meant to be explored on foot!

Do you need some inspiration? Here are some of our top picks.

  • Canopy Suspension Bridges – Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal National Park
  • Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano
  • Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve
  • Corcovado National Park
  • Miravalles Volcano
  • Barva Lagoon

Cloud Forest Canopy Suspension Bridges – Monteverde Cloud Forest

Hanging bridges in Arenal tourists

Although technically not a full-on hike, your Costa Rica experience won’t be complete without a canopy walk. Here you can experience the jungle from a very unique perspective – above!

An excellent example of a canopy bridges tour in Costa Rica, is Selvatura in Monteverde.  The Selvatura experience includes jungle trails and eight suspension bridges that take you into, over and under the tropical cloud forest where many tourists hope to spot birds and wildlife like sloths or Quetzals. Monteverde Costa Rica has a lot of sights to offer including a hummingbird garden where you are guaranteed a perfect picture opportunity of these dazzling creatures.

Selvatura’s attractions:

  • Zip Lining in the Cloud Forest (unique).
  • Tree Top Walkways.
  • Hummingbird Garden.
  • Insect exhibition.
  • Herpetarium (snakes and frogs).
  • Butterfly Garden.

Hiking Header

Manuel Antonio Wildlife Bonanza

Manuel Antonio Jungle

Manuel Antonio National Park is an excellent place to visit during both the low and high tourist seasons. During the high season, however, the trails can get crowded with hordes of full gear nature lovers hoping the enjoy its biodiversity to the fullest. Manuel Antonio National Park is best experienced with a government qualified nature guide who will help you spot all the elusive animals. This oasis of nature along one of the most beautiful beaches in Central America, is definitely worth a visit.


480 Steps to La Fortuna Waterfall and a hike in Arenal National Park

adrenalinum maximus canyoneering near la fortuna river

Arenal Volcano National Park is the number one destination for most of us. The conical beauty together with La Fortuna Waterfall are a sight you can’t miss on your visit to Costa Rica. You can choose from several hiking trails that leave from the entrance of the park, some only taking 30 minutes, some taking a couple of hours. Solo hikes on the trails are permitted but you can also easily arrange guided hikes in La Fortuna.  The Arenal Volcano National Park is also a good place to spot animals and plants. Hiking through the park you are likely to see monkeys, tapirs, snakes and deer. Some notable flora includes higuerones, orchids, ferns and guayabo de monte.

A 480-step journey down a jungle covered canyon will lead you to a tall, powerful waterfall and natural swimming ponds of La Fortuna Waterfall. Here you can have a well-deserved rest and even enjoy a swim. Make sure to get here early enough since it can get pretty crowded from mid-morning to afternoon!

Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve

Cabo Blanco Nature ReserveThe Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve is a hike that requires moderate to good condition and plenty of water, especially during the dry season months, when it is best to visit. At a slower pace, the Cabo Blanco trail can be completed in about 5 hours.  This is an excellent trail that involves a three-hour journey through a jungle where the tropical dry forest transitions into the tropical rainforest.  In Cabo Blanco, elements of both ecosystems can be appreciated just steps away from each other in a unique display of ancient giant trees.  Monkeys, deer, and wild turkeys are usually your observant bystanders as you walk through their territory.

The ultimate reward of this beautiful hike lies at the end of the trail at Cabo Blanco beach; the solitary and pristine corner of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula and home to a great number of brown pelicans and ocean side beauty.

Corcovado National Park: For the true nature lover

Corcovado National ParkCorcovado National Park is Costa Rica’s wild child and part of the Osa Peninsula. The biodiversity Costa Rica is so known for will reach a climax here. Within Corcovado you can find 13 major ecosystems, all monkey species, all sea turtle species and over 40 frog species. In addition, there are 100 butterfly species, 10,000 insect species, several types of snakes, over 25 lizard species all six feline species, tapirs, crocodiles and over 400 bird species including the scarlet macaws!

Only explore this park with a licensed guide! The jungles are thick and wild and some of the wildlife like peccaries or even Africanized bees can be dangerous to encounter on your own.

Off the beaten path and pushing your physical limits: Miravalles Volcano and Barva Lagoons

Barva VolcanoIf you crave a physical challenge combined with some of Costa Rica’s less crowded locations, you have two great options. If you are staying close to Liberia, you can hike to the summit of the Miravalles volcano. Even during high season, you could be the only person there! If you are staying in the San Jose area, consider visiting the Barva Lagoons. A tough hike will be rewarded with the sight of misty, green lagoons conjuring up a Jurassic Park– like charm.




Are you curious about more stunning hikes near San Jose? Read our blog about day hikes from Costa Rica’s capital!


Sky Tram Lake View

Arenal Sky Tram Up & Down

Arenal. Nature Guide, Drinks.
From: $50 - $75
Palo Verde Costa Rica Tiger Heron

Palo Verde National Park Boat Tour

Palo Verde. Nature Guide, Meal, Transfer.
From: $75 - $100
Venado Caves Exploration

Venado Caves Costa Rica

Arenal. Adventure, Nature, Excursion Drinks, Transfer, Equipment, Entrance Fee.
From: $50 - $75
Rincon de la Vieja Animals

Hiking in Rincon de la Vieja National Park & Oropendula Waterfall with Hacienda Guachipelin

Rincon de la Vieja. Nature
Rincon de la Vieja Animals

Hiking in Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Las Pailas Trail with Hacienda Guachipelin

Rincon de la Vieja. Nature
Lyre snake

One Day Nature Pass with Hacienda Guachipelin

Rincon de la Vieja. Adventure
La Fortuna Waterfall Costa Rica

La Fortuna Waterfall Guided Hike with Desafio

Fortuna. Nature
Arenal Sky Walk Arenal Nature

Guided Sky Walk with Sky Adventures

Arenal. Nature
Ostional Beach Turtle Night Tour

Pacific Green Turtle Nesting Tour at Night with Jacamar

Ostional. Nature
Oropendula Waterfall

Rincon de la Vieja Waterfall Hike with Jacamar

Rincon de la Vieja. Nature
Arenal Volcano Hot Springs

Arenal Volcano Observation Hike and Hot Springs

Arenal. Nature, Excursion Guide, Drinks, Transfer, Entrance Fee.
From: $50 - $75
Rincon de la vieja Monkey

Rincón de la Vieja National Park Guided Hike & Liberia City Tour with Jacamar

Rincon de la Vieja, Liberia. Nature
Santa Rosa Monkey

Santa Rosa National Park & Liberia City Tour with Jacamar

Santa Rosa, Liberia. Cultural
Costa Rica Waterfalls

Waterfalls Summer Day with Jacamar

Rincon de la Vieja. Nature
Sloth Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio National Park tour with Tucanes Tours

Manuel Antonio, Quepos. Nature

Arenal Volcano National Park with Desafio

Arenal. Nature
Santa Elena Reserve

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve Hike

Monteverde. Adventure, Nature Guide, Drinks, Transfer.
From: $50 - $75
Chocolate Tour Arenal

Arenal Combo Chocolate Tour & La Fortuna Waterfall with Desafio

Arenal. Nature
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Waterfall

Guided Hike Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Monteverde. Adventure, Nature Guide, Drinks, Transfer.
From: $50 - $75
Santa Juana Costa Rica Rural Traditional tour

Santa Juana Rural Mountain Adventure Tour with Si Como No

Manuel Antonio. Cultural
Monteverde Sky Walk Bridge

Monteverde Sky Walk with Guide

Monteverde. Family, Nature Guide, Equipment.
From: Under $50
Corcovado Rainforest

San Pedrillo Corcovado National Park Tour

. Nature, Excursion Guide, Drinks, Snack, Meal, Transfer.
From: $75 - $100
Aerial Tram Tapirus Lodge

6-in-1-Tour with Rainforest Adventure

San Jose. Adventure
Night Walk Tour

Night Walk at the Wildlife Refuge Monteverde

Monteverde. Adventure, Nature Guide, Transfer, Entrance Fee.
From: $50 - $75
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano, Doka Coffee Plantation & La Paz Waterfall Gardens with Expediciones Tropicales

San Jose. Nature
Manuel Antonio Canopy for kids Costa Rica

Canopy & ATV Tours at Safari Adventures

Manuel Antonio. Favorite. Adventure, Family Guide, Meal, Transfer, Equipment.
From: $50 - $75
Doka Shop

Doka Coffee & La Paz Waterfall Gardens Tour with Expediciones Tropicales

San Jose. Excursion
Manuel Antonio Travel Packages

Manuel Antonio National Park Tour with Expediciones Tropicales

Manuel Antonio. Nature
Monteverde Forest

Guided Hike in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve with Desafio

Monteverde. Nature
Trapiche Coffee Tour Costa Rica

El Trapiche Coffee Tour

Monteverde. Cultural, Excursion Guide, Transfer, Entrance Fee.
From: Under $50
Bird in Tree

Night Hike at the Wildlife Refuge in Monteverde with Desafio

Monteverde. Adventure
La Paz Waterfall Gardens Jaguar

La Paz Waterfall Gardens Tour with Expediciones Tropicales

San Jose. Nature
Entrance Santa Elena

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve Hike with Ocotea Tours

Monteverde. Nature
Ecological Night Walk insect

The Bug Lady Night Tour

Drake Bay. Nature
Corcovado Tucan

San Pedrillo Ranger Station – Corcovado National Park Tour

Corcovado. Nature
Jaguar Face

Jaguar Rescue Center, Chocolate House & Waterfall Tour with Willie’s Tours

Cahuita. Cultural
Cahuita National Park Beach

Hike to Cahuita National Park with Cahuita Tours

Cahuita. Nature
Arenal Hanging bridges

Mistico Hanging Bridges Natural History Walk

Arenal. Nature Guide, Equipment.
From: Under $50
Manuel Antonio Monkey

Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

Manuel Antonio. Favorite. Family, Nature Guide, Drinks, Snack, Transfer, Equipment, Entrance Fee.
From: Under $50
Cahuita National Park Entrance

Hike Cahuita National Park Tour

Cahuita, Puerto Viejo. Favorite. Nature Guide, Drinks, Snack, Meal, Transfer, Entrance Fee.
From: Under $50
Arenal Hanging Bridges Jungle View

Arenal Sky Walk

Arenal. Family, Nature
From: Under $50
Wildlife Refuge Sloth

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge Day Tour

Manzanillo, Puerto Viejo. Favorite. Nature Guide.
From: $50 - $75
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