Best Eco-Tours in Costa Rica for Adventurous Souls

It’s time to get green! But where to do it? Costa Rica! Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is widely regarded as one of the prime ecotourism destinations. With some of the Earth’s most biologically diverse habitats that house an array of habitation that ranges from rainforests to volcanoes and mangrove swamps, the land here is green and is perfect for an adventurous soul who wishes to be as eco-friendly as possible whilst still exploring the world’s beauty.

From the mountainous Central Valley to the cloud forests of the Talamanca range, the pristine Osa Peninsula, the tremendous Arenal Volcano and the Sarapiqui River - eco tours are in absolute abundance in Costa Rica due to its natural beauty and wildlife and the country’s desire to keep it intact. Disclaimer: Travelling sustainably doesn't need to be expensive. Find out how to make eco-travel fit your budget.

The Impact Of Eco-Travel In Costa Rica? 🇨🇷

Despite the biologically diverse natural habitats and landscapes here, you may wonder if the flood of eco-tourists impacts the environment despite it being the prime spot for eco-tourists. The eco-tours that take palace in Costa Rica have a brilliant blend of adventure and diversity. This means that very little environmental harm/impact is made. But how? The tours here are marketed to those who seek adventure and are willing to make changes to be more sustainable, especially when they travel, attracting those who have a common interest in nature, culture and wildlife.
These tours provide environmental education, allowing tourists to get involved in conservation projects as well as have fun and live out their life of adventure. The eco-tours give you a unique opportunity to learn and truly experience nature while creating awareness regarding conservation.
Volcán Tenorio, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
Volcán Tenorio, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica

Where To Go? 👣

For a fully immersive eco-experience in Costa Rica, it is recommended that you visit the various biological reserves and the national parks in the country, where you will come face to face with some of the most exotic flora and fauna.

Top Eco-Tours 🍃

Arenal Volcano National Park - Arenal Volcano National Park is located in the northern zone of Costa Rica, just on the fringe of the Talamanca Mountain range. It is home to the Arenal volcano, which is Costa Rica’s most active volcano. As a result of the volcanic activity, tourists cannot hike up the mountain. The national park, however, was established in 1991  not only to ensure a safety zone around the active volcano but also to protect the wildlife that inhabits the forest surrounding it. If you feel like hiking a volcano, all is not lost - check out some of the world's top volcano hikes.
Arenal Volcano National Park protects 12,080 hectares or 29,850 acres worth of land as well as the wildlife that lives within it. The elevations of the park range from 400 – 1,755 meters at the top of the volcano, making for a brilliant hiking destination. There are 131 species of mammals, including white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, and three-toed sloths, as well as 135 species of reptiles. This is also a brilliant bird-watching spot, with keel-billed toucans and hummingbirds making an appearance regularly.
You can wander through the protected national park using its 13 hanging bridges, while the more adventurous might want to explore the canopy by zip wire. Rafting, canyoning and mountain biking are just a few of the other activities that you can do in the surrounding area and is therefore a top spot for adventurous souls!
Arenal Volcano, Alajuela Province, San Carlos, Costa Rica
Caño Island - Rated as one of the top diving spots in Costa Rica, you already know this spot is ecologically stunning without reading any further. A fantastic marine biological reserve located 53 km from the shore with bright blue waters making it the perfect tropical paradise for snorkelers and divers.
It is home to a spectacular variety of stunning marine flora and fauna and is famous for having Costa Rica’s largest concentration of coral-building organisms along the Pacific Ocean. Dive into the protected waters for world-class snorkelling and scuba diving, including superb deep freshwater experiences with large schools of jacks, barracudas, manta rays and sharks.
After a day in the water, wander the stunning beaches gazing out at the Pacific Ocean and catching glimpses of animals hiding in the trees. Or take a sneak peek inland at the bird life on the island. Unfortunately, visitors cannot go very far inland as a result of the landscape and wildlife being protected.
Caño island, Costa Rica
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve - Monteverde translates to the green mountain, which is an understatement. This is more than just a green mountain. Its an extensive reserve of lush, verdant cloud forests. As voted by the Costa Ricans, this reserve is one of the seven wonders of the nation.
Located in the north of Puntarenas province, this 26,000-acre biozone is brimming with a wonderfully diverse amount of wildlife and plant life. Covered in a misty blanket, the cloud forest is located 5,249ft above sea level and is home to an incredible two-and-a-half per cent of the world’s biodiversity in eight distinct biological zones.
This green oasis is the pride and joy of ecotourism in Costa Rica, and there is a number of activities that eco-tourists can enjoy under the blanket of clouds. Explore the forest on foot on one of the many hiking trails that wind through the trees. Go birding in the canopy via a skywalk or zip-line tour on a series of bridges suspended in the trees. Or, wait until the sun goes down and explore the ecosystem at night, when it really comes alive. Night-time tours of the cloud forest showcase a new perspective of this unique ecosystem.
Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Tortuguero National Park - Attracting eco-tourists from all around the globe; this location is a dense jungle maze of winding canals that is evocative of the wild Amazon. The significance of this spot is that not only is it majestic but the national park protects one of the last large areas of tropical rainforest in Central America.
As well as this essential eco significance, this park is named for the famed sea turtles that come to the area to nest. Four species of sea turtles come to Tortuguero annually for the “arribada” or mass sea turtle nesting. Visit the beautiful beaches of this ecosystem and spot some of the infamous turtles.
Tortuguero also makes a fantastic location for both migratory and resident bird species because of its variety of habitats: beach, forest, freshwater, aerial, and clearings. Make the most of the varied habitations here by observing the wildlife by boat, kayak, or canoe or, walk, swim or climb the biome to really take in the beauty here.
Turtle swimming in coral reef

Starting from Skratch? Here Are a Few Tips to Get Started:

Costa Rica- Facts before you go


💸 Costa Rican Colón

Time Zone

⏰ Central Standard Time (GMT-6)


💰 Tipping as a tourist is completely optional. Most tip 10% of their bill.

Known For

🏞 Incredible National Parks

🦥 Amazing Wildlife

🌋 Volcanoes & Waterfalls

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Imogen Kemp
August 30, 2023

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