4 Best Costa Rica Hikes You Can’t Miss

This sponsored post was written in collaboration with World Expeditions. As always, all opinions are our own and we would never promote a company, brand or service that we did not fully support or use ourselves.

Although small in size, Costa Rica is teeming with incredible opportunities for outdoor lovers. From the gorgeous Caribbean beaches to lush rainforest, the landscape of Costa Rica is diverse and unparalleled. Costa Rica famously got rid of their army 70 years ago, allowing for part of their defence budget to be transferred to environmental protection. Over 95% of its electricity is now generated from green energy sources.

All of this makes Costa Rica a sustainable travelers paradise and one of our favorite countries! The lush jungle interior is pristine and the beaches are clean, especially when compared to some of those in other Central American countries. On top of all this, it’s also very easy to get around in Costa Rica, which makes traveling to all these beautiful locations even easier.


best hikes Costa Rica


Because of this, there are a variety of amazing treks available for travelers. If you’re looking for an experienced, reliable tour company, we recommend World Expeditions for your Costa Rica hiking tours. With their team of professional guides, World Expeditions has tours for each of these treks.

Here are our four best Costa Rica hikes and their corresponding tours:


Central Highlands Trek – Costa Rica Traverse

Adventure lovers should be excited to trek Costa Rica’s Central Highlands. Located in the heartland of the country, this area is characterized by its scenic mountain landscape dotted with local farming villages.

Starting in the town of Esquipulas you can begin your trek into the rainforest covered Central Highlands. This incredible tour features adventuring across the highlands region by hiking, biking, rafting and kayaking.


hiking in Costa Rica


Talk about mixing it up! You’ll also get a taste of the Costa Rican culture by visiting local indigenous villages and coffee plantations. But be warned, this trek is not for the faint of heart. River crossings and steep, slippery trails will get any traveler’s blood pumping. But those that are up to the challenge will be rewarded with incredible views of the Pacific and Caribbean oceans (sometimes at the same time!)


Arenal Volcano – Costa Rican Adventure

You can’t hike Costa Rica without paying a visit to one of the country’s most famous sights, Arenal Volcano. An active volcano, Arenal was sputtering hot lava up until very recently – 2010! While you can’t climb the volcano itself (you never know when it could erupt!), there are plenty of treks you can take around the volcano in Arenal Volcano National Park.


trekking in Costa Rica


The park has four trails of varying difficulty where you can see views of Lake Arenal and lava flows from previous eruptions. If you’re not scared of heights, we highly recommend checking out the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a 2 mile series of suspension bridges with views of the lake and volcano.

Up on the bridges you not only feel encompassed by the lush flora of the park, but you have a better chance of spotting local animals that make the treetops their home like sloths, toucans and monkeys. After a long day of hiking, you’ll be happy to know that the park is also home to natural hot springs you can relax your muscles in.


best animal hikes Costa Rica


Monteverde Cloud Forest – Best of Costa Rica

Another well known natural attraction you can’t miss if you’re hiking Costa Rica is the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Monteverde is known as one of the most dramatic cloud forests in the world. The forest is almost constantly shrouded in cloud cover (I say almost because when we visited, it was actually sunny!).

Because of this, an incredibly wide variety of plants and animals are able to thrive in this habitat. Over 100 species of mammals call the park home, including sloths, tapir, deer and howler monkeys, infamous for their dinosaur-like roars. Lucky travelers can even spot endangered animals like jaguars, pumas and ocelots.


Costa Rica best hikes


Unfortunately, the Monteverde Cloud Forest could come under threat by climate change in the coming years. Studies suggest that a reduction in cloud cover could make the temperatures rise, disrupting the hydrological cycle that make the forest so unique. This is just another example of why it’s so important to travel sustainably so we can protect these destinations for future generations.


Playa Gemelas Hike in Manuel Antonio Park – Costa Rican Adventure

Last, but certainly not least, you can’t visit Costa Rica without hitting up the beach. Manuel Antonio National Park has some of the best beaches in the country. Located on the Pacific coast, the park is known for its white sand beaches that trail off onto Costa Rica’s iconic lush forest.


beach hikes Costa Rica


There’s plenty to do in the park, whether you’re interested in hiking to waterfalls or just relaxing by the ocean. A variety of trails can lead you to different viewpoints and beaches. Most visitors stay on the Playa Manuel Antonio beach, so if you’re up for something more secluded, don’t miss Playa Gemelas.

Just a half hour walk from the main entrance on the Playa Gemelas trail, this quiet beach is perfect for an afternoon picnic. Just watch out for the local monkeys who may want a nibble of your food! The rock formations can make swimming a bit difficult here, so be extra careful.

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