Ah – the great outdoors. In Costa Rica, they’re even more spectacular: Fresh air, shining sun, and 180º Pacific panoramas. Breaching whales, squawking toucans, and curious white-faced monkeys. Dusty backroads, natural hot springs, and scenic lookout points. Underwater landscapes, jungle waterslides, and endangered tropical dry forest. River gorges, active volcanoes, and world-famous surf. And all the Costa Rica tours to take you there.

We know you’re here for all of Costa Rica’s many outdoor attractions. And oh, they are many. So, we thought we’d share a few of our top choices: the perennial favorites and bestsellers that both thrill and relax, explore and satisfy. Welcome to your new shortlist. 

Costa Rica Tours for Outdoor Adventures: 

All-Day Adventure Combo Tour (Rincon de la Vieja Volcano)

Rincon de la Vieja adventure tours

Swap the beach for the landscapes around an active volcano: Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, home to Costa Rican legend and lore – and some of our region’s most incredible natural wonders. 

Spend the entire day outdoors, doing everything your heart desires. We offer two separate options – one a little more high-adrenaline, the other an adventure for young families and kids a heart – with a few things in common. Namely, canopy ziplines, horseback riding, and volcanic wellness, in the form of natural hot springs and mud baths. What differs is how your day begins: Are you more the white-water kind of traveler or have you always dreamed of long waterslides through rainforest landscapes?

Here’s our promise, though: You’re going to love it. Because this all-day adventure is one of our top Costa Rica tours for people who believe in having it all. Because today, for once, you really can.

What You’ll Love: The thrill of white-water rafting/tubing OR jungle watersliding, plus the freedom of canopy ziplines, the joys of horseback riding, and the total relaxation afforded by natural hot springs and volcanic mud baths

What to Bring: Bathing suit or clothes you can get wet, sunblock, sneakers, and a camera.

>> Book This Tour <<

Catamaran Tour

Catamaran tours from Tamarindo and Flamingo

The wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and the Pacific at your feet. This is the life aboard a catamaran, and that catamaran is yours for the afternoon!

We’ll set sail in the early afternoon, heading out to a secluded bay the captain knows well. Here, you can take your pick of snorkeling gear, kayaks, or your own two feet, to explore beneath the water’s surface or a nearly deserted beach.

On the way back, snacks and drinks are served aboard, as you troll the waters in search of sea turtles and playful dolphins, flying fish and breaching whales. And then, the dénouement: a Gold Coast sunset – one of the most spectacular in Costa Rica, if not anywhere in the world – from your front-row seat on the Pacific. There’s nothing else like it!

What You’ll Love: Snorkeling crystal-clear waters, wildlife sightings, and an open bar + delicious snacks

What to Bring: Bathing suit or clothes you can get wet, sunblock, and a camera with an underwater casing, if possible.

>> Book This Tour <<

ATV Off-Roading

ATV rides and Costa Rica tours outdoors

There’s nothing like the great outdoors (and our favorite Costa Rica tours) to bring out your inner adrenaline enthusiast. Case in point: Our ATV adventure, which sends you rip-roaring up dirt roads and down beautiful beaches, surrounded by nothing but howler monkeys, birds, and the wonders of Mother Nature. 

(Want to speed and soar? Check out our ATV + Zip-Lining tour!)

Of course, while ATV tours are a lot about the adrenaline rush, the real reason you’re here (probably…) is where they’ll take you: onto white-sand beaches and deserted backroads, rugged trails and small villages. The real Costa Rica, bathed in tropical sunlight and kissed by sparkling sea, as viewed from above – from a scenic lookout with spectacular views.

What You’ll Love: Riding through Costa Rica’s backcountry, ascending to lookout points, wildlife watching, and seeing the side of Costa Rica that tourists rarely see

What to Bring: Your driver’s license (age 17+) and passport, sunblock, insect repellent, and a camera

>> Book Your Tour <<

River Safari at Palo Verde National Park

birdwatching at Palo Verde National Park

Have you ever felt the rush of finally, finally checking a long-awaited, must-see item off your wish list? Birding – and wildlife watching, generally – is just like that. More than a tranquil, sit-back-and-relax kind of activity, this is one of our best-kept secrets: a dark horse adrenaline rush and one of our favorite Costa Rica tours.

It all starts on the Tempisque River and at Palo Verde National Park, a natural paradise of tropical dry forest, marshland, wetland, and secondary forest – a ripe ecosystem and one of Costa Rica’s most magnificent bird sanctuaries 

Get out your list because, depending on the season, your day’s sightings could include roseate spoonbills and stick-legged wood storks, Northern jacanas and bare-throated tiger herons, turquoise-browed motmots and collared aracaris. Additionally, you may also spot white-faced capuchin monkeys and sleeping bats, sunning crocodiles and green iguanas

Be sure to tack on a visit to Guaitil, a Chorotega indigenous village with a long tradition of exceptional pottery work. Great for souvenirs!

What You’ll Love: Incredibly concentrated resident and migratory bird populations, an easygoing boat ride, wildlife watching, and souvenir shopping at an indigenous village

What to Bring: Sunblock, insect repellent, a camera, and your birdwatching wish list! 

>> Book Your Tour <<

Surfing

Tamarindo epic surf

Did you know that the Tamarindo area is a world-famous surfing destination? The kind of place that surfers visit for no reason other than the waves? A destination so great, Hollywood came knocking (for the surf classic, Endless Summer 2)? 

And yet, Tamarindo is more than a must-visit for the world’s most expert surfers: While you will find hollow barrels and point breaks, Tamarindo also hosts mellow waves and sandy bottoms – and the conditions just right for beginners

And so, when we say that surfing tops our list of must-book Costa Rica tours, we hope you won’t underestimate just how much you’re going to enjoy this one. Because, whether you’re a brand-new beginner or a seasoned surfer, our surf pros will introduce you to just the right kind of wave, with just the right conditions, for just the right surf experience.  

What You’ll Love: Private or group classes, including gear and supplies, flexible schedules, and classes for every experience level

What to Bring: Sunblock (and more sunblock!) and a bathing suit

>> Book Your Tour << 

Deep-Sea Fishing

Costa Rica tours for deep sea fishing

Have you ever chased the rush of that next record fish or that perfect just-caught photo op? If so, then we don’t need to sell you on the thrill of deep-sea fishing, one of our top Costa Rica tours.

Costa Rica and, specifically, the northwestern coast – aka Tamarindo – is famous for our sportfishing. In part, that’s because our seas are productive 12 months of the year: sailfish and yellowfin, dorado and wahoo, snapper and roosterfish, grouper and marlin (blue, black, and striped. And our captains know just where to find them. 

What’s more, our highly experienced crews man well-equipped, 31’ licensed boats to ensure a safe and enjoyable deep-sea fishing adventure. Traveling with a few of your nearest and dearest anglers? We also have 38’ and 50’ boats. Departure from Tamarindo or Flamingo.

What You’ll Love: 31’, 38’ and 50’ boats, very experienced crews, including drinks, snacks, and meals

What to Bring: Sunblock, warm-weather clothing, and a camera

>> Book Your Tour <<

Tell Us About Your Bucket-List Outdoor Adventure

At Blue Water Adventure Tours, we’ve built a reputation for 5-star service – from our incredible guides and off-the-beaten-path adventures, to our great communication and helpful concierge services– and we make it our mission to re-earn that reputation, with every adventure we take you on. 

So, please get in touch. We’re sticklers for responding within 24 hours. Yes, even if you’re reading this post into the wee hours; we’ll respond within the day! And we look forward to it!