Welcome to Northwestern Costa Rica
What did you come to Costa Rica for? To lounge on pristine beaches and ride glorious waves? To hike up volcanoes and soak in geothermal springs? To spy on birds and monkeys and get lost among ancient trees? The northwestern corner of Costa Rica packs in all this and more. Unlike any other part of Costa Rica, Guanacaste – in the far northwest – is a wide, flat expanse of grasslands and dry tropical forest, where... Read More
Top experiences in Northwestern Costa Rica
Northwestern Costa Rica activities
Buena Vista Transition Forest Combo Tour
Experience the beauty of Costa Rica on a full-day combo tour from Guanacaste! After pickup from your Guanacaste hotel, enjoy a scenic drive to the Buena Vista Rainforest. Explore the hot springs, experience a sulfur bath and a try a mud facial! Then, enjoy an exciting zip lining ride. This unique paradise was built deep in the forest among trees, rivers, ravines and thermal springs, and boasts tropical vegetation that has been preserved to maintain the rustic and natural style of the area.Spot three species of monkeys in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, an area home to howling monkeys, spider monkeys and white-faced monkeys, as well as many other species of mammals. Keep an eye out for coatis, ocelots and more than 257 species of birds! Admire the wildlife as you relax in one of the five hot spring water pools or enjoy a volcanic mud mask on the decks.Enjoy this jungle spa adventure as you relax in the rainforest, and experience the natural beauty of tropical Costa Rica!
Vida Aventura Park in Guanacaste: Zipline Tour, Horseback Ride and Hot Springs
Prepare for an active morning in the cool climate of a Costa Rican mountain rainforest. When you arrive at Vida Aventura Park, your experienced guide will provide training on how to ride the zipline. Then, secure your harness and take off through the canyon, gliding easily around the treetops along seven cables.Once you’ve landed and caught your breath, mount a horse for a trail-riding experience along a tropical forest drive, learning about the diverse flora and fauna as you cross streams and grass pastures. Keep an eye out for two active volcanoes, Rincon de la Vieja and Miravalles, and admire the spectacular panoramic views along the way.When you’ve completed the horseback ride, enjoy a typical Costa Rican lunch, choosing from a variety of dishes such as chicken and rice. Then, head to the soothing part of your tour – a thermal mud bath and hot springs spa in gorgeous natural surroundings. Wearing a bathing suit, lather the soft volcanic mud on your skin and face, making a natural mineral mask, and lay out comfortably until it dries in the sun. Finally, dip into a geothermal pool, washing away the clay and soothing any sore muscles as you relax more deeply into the thermal pools.
Nicaragua Day Trip from Guanacaste
After pickup from your hotel in Guanacaste, enjoy a typical Costa Rican breakfast at Rest Toro Negro (or similar) in Liberia, located in the northwest region of the country. Then, re-board your coach to cross the border into Nicaragua.First, stop at Catarina viewpoint, one of the highest hills surrounding the Apoyo Lagoon. Look out across the water to adjacent Lake Nicaragua and admire Mombacho Volcano, which borders the lake.Next, head to the Catarina Craft Market. It’s an interesting place to search for souvenirs, including textile and ceramic handicrafts along with goods made of leather and wood.Continue to Granada, established in 1524, and hop inside a volanta for a 45-minute horse-drawn carriage ride. Learn about the city’s colonial history and architecture as you pass the colorful homes and squares along the palm-lined streets. Pass attractions such as Parque Central, a central park popular with local residents, and admire the 12 stained-glass windows of Granada Cathedral, housed within its borders. Next, enjoy a leisurely a la carte lunch at Rest El Mariscazo (or similar) before heading to Masaya Volcano National Park, Nicaragua's first and largest National Park. You will be able to see the active volcano and the sulfuric smoke fumes spewing from its main crater, Santiago. You will have a chance to take pictures and enjoy the beautiful views of the whole area.Your tour ends with transport back to your hotel in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Day Trip from Guanacaste
Depart from your Guanacaste-area hotel upon pickup for an amazing day in Arenal Volcano National Park. A breakfast will be served to help you gather energy for the day. When you arrive, follow your expert local guide on a gentle hike along the volcano's base, keeping a safe distance away from the crater – active since 1968.You’ll see regenerating secondary forest and lava fields, evidence from previous eruptions. Head to a safe viewing area to experience the thundering volcano – one of the most active in the Western Hemisphere. Learn about the geological complexity of the 5,000-foot (1,524-meter) giant as you take in the views of Guanacaste’s green hillsides.Traveling through the lush rainforest on the eastern slope of this majestic natural attraction, your guide will point out the native flora as well as many species of birds. You’ll learn about this unique ecosystem of Costa Rica, a country that includes six percent of the world’s biodiversity.After your hike, it's time to relax at Baldi Hot Springs, which consists of several therapeutic pools of varying temperature. Enjoy a complimentary lunch and spend the afternoon soaking in the rejuvenating mineral pools. Afterward, your guide will drop you off at your Guanacaste-area hotel.
Monteverde Cloud Forest and Butterfly Garden from Guanacaste
When you arrive at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve after hotel pickup, you will automatically feel cool breeze and the peace of the forest. The private reserve, administered by the Tropical Science Center, includes six ecological zones that protect a wide variety of insects, butterflies and mammals – such as the ocelot and tapir – plus thousands of plant species.After walking through the reserve, you will head to the Monteverde Butterfly Garden, or mariposario, for a visit. In this controlled climate that hovers around 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) to support more than 20 butterfly species, you’ll learn about the insects’ life cycle and adaptations that helped them evolve for their rainforest habitat.On your guided walk through the butterfly exhibit, admire some of the world’s most beautiful creatures. Then, stroll through the medicinal plant garden and visit the biodiversity center to see informative displays of insects and arachnids. Here, witness a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis and observe live insects in action via bug cameras. Afterwards, you will be taken to Don Juan's plantation for a coffee tour, where you will learn he process of coffee, chocolate and sugarcane. Once the coffee tour ends, you will be taken back to your Guanacaste-area hotel.
Corobici River Float Tour and Las Pumas Jaguar Rescue Center
Meet your guide at your hotel and then head to the Corobici River, where you will board a rubber raft for a floating group tour through the Costa Rican rainforest. This gentle course takes approximately two hours, allowing you to safely relax and admire the natural attractions while your experienced river guide navigates the waterway.As you wend through the lush tropical forest, learn about the ecosystem that supports an abundance of wildlife. Your guide will inform you about fascinating animals, such as the many varieties of iguanas and monkeys that inhabit the region, as well as the flora that coexist with them. You’ll also likely spot birds such as ospreys, herons, egrets and mot mots.After disembarking, enjoy lunch with your group and then head to Las Plumas Jaguar Rescue Center for a visit. At this private reserve, you’ll see different species of wildcats in their natural environment, as well as monkeys and birds such as parrots, pizotes and tucans. Your guide will explain how the Hagnauer Foundation protects wild animals like Central American jaguars, which are rehabilitated at the center, before dropping you off at your hotel.