Costa Rica Multi Sport Eco Adventure Vacation

A 8 day trip to Costa Rica 
4.95 out of 5 stars
193 reviews

The best way to experience Costa Rica vacation is by taking to the trails of volcanic terrain or by floating in the glassy Pacific Ocean watching the parrotfish swim below. Explore and discover through eco-friendly, sporty adventures, like riding class IV rapids or learning to surf the breaking waves. Relax in the naturally heated waters of thermal springs, and then rappel down a rugged cliff surrounded by lush rainforest. Kayak through the mangrove forest and watch for iguanas and crocodiles, sloths and toucans. Rare fauna, enriching flora, ultimate thrills and refreshing leisure, you’ll find them all and more as you journey through this beautiful country.  For even more ideas as you handcraft your own adventure, consider browsing our other Costa Rica vacations and itineraries.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

San Jose, Arenal, Manuel Antonio National Park 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departure.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Arenal - Arrive in San Jose and Transfer to Arenal to Enjoy Thermal Baths

The city of San Jose bustles with life around the historic city center filled with neoclassical architecture. The National Theater features marvelous mosaics and marble statues representing the prestige of the aristocracy in the late 19th century. The mansions featuring art deco and Victorian architectural styles in the Amon neighborhood represents the sophisticated aesthetic of plantation owners at the turn of the 20th century. Galeria Namu features elegant arts and crafts, including ceramic works and hand-carved Huetar masks, made by the indigenous people of Costa Rica. Upon arrival, your private guide greets you at Juan Santamaria International Airport and leads you out of the active city.

Dangling bushels of bananas frame the open markets you pass. Your driver points to the upper ridges around the Central Valley where the coffee plants stop growing, forming a slight blue haze around the city. The road winds around the verdant hills and above steep slopes before offering a view to the staggering, perfect cone of active Arenal Volcano. After the excitement from of your journey from the capital, you will settle into the comforts of the luxurious Royal Corin Hotel and relax in the marvelous thermal springs connected to the property. The volcanic activity naturally heats the pools and thousands of gallons of mineral water rushing through the five main springs. The sound of cascading waterfalls offers a soothing soundtrack that welcomes you to the splendor of your resort and the grandeur of Costa Rica.  For more ideas on what to expect, consider reading reviews of our Costa Rica travel agency partners from our other travelers.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Arenal – Revel in Adventure with your Choice of Personalized Activity

The familiar, soothing sounds of waterfalls trickling into a waiting pool accentuates the ambiance at breakfast. The scent of sweet pineapple accompanies the decadent aroma of freshly brewed coffee. The day is yours to indulge in your first adventure in Costa Rica with a plethora of thrills from which to choose. Trek the trails of Arenal Volcano National Park or soar through the jungle canopy on a zip line tour. For a fascinating excursion highlighting the natural beauty of Costa Rica, you mount a horse and follow your guide to the entrance of Fortuna Falls.

Coatis rustle the underbrush in search of food as you pass, their rusty-orange fur resembling the soil on the trail. Toucans call to one another through the branches and your guide points to a keel-billed toucan watching you as you pass below. Their colorful bill can grow to nearly six inches around with a length nearly one-third of the bird’s overall length. The green hues of the bird’s feathers are bordered by scarlet, orange, and blue streaks. You dismount the horse at the entrance to the falls and follow the trail leading to the lookout. La Fortuna Waterfalls spills over the cliff at nearly 250 feet above the waiting pool.

The powerful, thunderous sound echoes through the trees. You feel like a treasure hunter scouring the rainforest as you cross a 65-foot long suspension bridge leading you down to the riverbanks. Dip your toes into the refreshing river and let the water pass over your skin, a welcome contrast to the tropical heat. In the afternoon, you will continue to a private sanctuary where the forest is regenerating after years of cattle grazing. Your guide introduces you to the owner of the property who helps lead you around the landscape in search of the nocturnal wildlife. You walk less than 20 feet before finding a fascinating red-eyed tree frog, which looks like so many photos you have seen in National Geographic.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Arenal – Bask in the Thrill of Whitewater Rafting or a Canyoning Expedition

The day is yours to experience the excitement of Costa Rica and the Arenal region at your preferred pace, taking in the thrills of a canyoning expedition or the exhilaration of a whitewater rafting excursion. Your guide greets you in the hotel lobby and escorts you to the rugged terrain near the base of the Arenal Volcano. The majesty of the rainforest surrounds you with a gentle puff of steam drifting out of the volcanic peak above. Your pulse quickens with the unique adventure of the canyoning journey as you begin rappelling down the cliff. You crouch over the edge of the precipice, gripping tight to your rope, and lean back taking small steps until you are perpendicular to the wall.

Your heart pounds from the thrill before you take a moment to notice your surroundings. The forest floor sits below, and you are nearly eye level with the treetops. A small waterfall rushes 150 feet down to the river. At more than halfway down, you can release the rope, enjoying the rush of the air against your cheeks before splashing into the deep, natural pool. Once in the canyon, your guide leads you along the riverbed. Motmots call to one another in the trees, their twitters moving above the sound of the rushing water. The river is cool and refreshing beneath the hot sun, and you climb boulders, using their smooth surfaces like waterslides along the trail leading to last waterfall and the final leg of the rappelling journey.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Manuel Antonio – Travel to Manuel Antonio for a Crocodile and Bird Safari

At breakfast, you recount the unfettered excitement of your day canyoning near Arenal Volcano, and your heart beats faster with the memory. You indulge in the refreshing flavor of fresh coffee, rejuvenating your mind and body before departing Arenal. Your private transfer escorts you west to the Pacific Ocean, stopping along the banks of the Tárcoles River to search for wild crocodiles. The waterway travels across the country, covering 1,200 miles before emptying into the central Pacific Ocean. You board a private boat and set out into the water known for the world’s highest population of American crocodiles.

The river averages ten crocodiles per square mile. Egrets shimmer with pristine white foliage along the marshy banks as they dig into the wet soil in search of food. Iguanas scamper along the edges of the water, and your guide points to a crocodile bathing in the sun. While on land you can appreciate the dramatic size of the ancient reptile, which grows to an average of 13 feet long. Their stocky legs and scaly skin promote the power of their jaws and tail.

Your heart begins to race once more, this time due to the proximity of the boat to the massive crocodile as it opens its mouth to help warm its body after having been in the water for too long. You continue to float down the river and find a scarlet macaw perching high in the trees. Its vibrant red plumage stands out against the emerald leaves of the rainforest. It watches as you drift past the collection of crocodiles hiding like driftwood in the river.    

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Manuel Antonio – Explore the Mangrove Forest on a Private Kayak Tour

Wake up to the comforts of your luxury resor, overlooking the indigo waters of the Pacific Ocean. Your private balcony provides a perfect view of the lush, dry forest that lines the pristine gold-sand beaches and overtakes the rugged shores. The scent of the sea mixes with the decadent aroma of coffee at breakfast. You can hear the quiet waves crashing along the coast, and the breeze carries the slightly sweet aroma of the ocean accentuated by the perfume of fresh pineapple. Step into a kayak after breakfast and follow your guide through the mangrove trees on a private tour in search of wildlife and the pristine ecosystem blending fresh and saltwater.

The paddle drips the cool water onto your forearms, and you listen to the soft plunk the oar makes as it plunges into the canal. The large, thick roots of the mangrove trees protrude from the soil and water. The roots have evolved over the years to process the salt and to retain the water in order to survive, while also helping to keep the soil from eroding. White-headed capuchin monkeys ramble through the trees. They ignore you gliding past below as they graze on nuts and berries in the treetops, their prehensile tails helping with feeding and providing extra support while foraging on lower branches. You keep a sharp eye out for the endangered squirrel monkey, hoping to catch sight of one of only 1,000 left in the wilds of Costa Rica.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Manuel Antonio – Enjoy a Surf Lesson and Hike in the National Park

In the morning, you wake in a tropical paradise and enjoy the view from your private balcony to the Pacific Ocean. The sunlight washes over the white sand and indigo waters. You meet you instructor on the beach to begin your private surf lesson. The sand begins to warm in the tropical heat, and you get comfortable on the board by practicing first on the shore. You lie on the board face down and pop up to the standing position in the middle of the surfboard. Once on the water, you paddle through the whitewater, and your guide holds the board to help you balance. The water averages 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and it splashes against your skin with a refreshing warmth.

A small wave rolls along the water. You paddle swiftly, catching the break, and pop up on the board, allowing you to ride the wave back to shore. After a morning of surfing, you meet you guide at the hotel and follow him beneath the canopy for a walking safari in search of the captivating wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park. You continue your quest to find the squirrel monkey, hoping to catch sight of its 16-inch long tail and two-tone face. Toucans chirp in the trees and parakeets flutter their wings in groups as they fly overhead twittering along the way. You woke up to the waves, and now you search the trees for scarlet macaws and rare species of monkeys, the day allowing you to experience the many varied splendors of Costa Rica.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Manuel Antonio – Sail and Snorkel along Manuel Antonio National Park

The crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean provide the perfect mixture of leisure and activity. Sports fishers set out onto the water on yachts in search of grand marlin. Scuba divers venture deep into the water in search of the manta rays and tropical fish swimming along the coral reefs. In the afternoon, you board a boat bound for the open water. You look back at the serene setting of the tropical forest pouring over the coastline. The sails rise into the air and catch the subtle breeze. When you reach the coral reef and the boat drops anchor, and you notice that the water is cool here farther from the shoreline.

You dip into the water, and tropical reds, yellows, and oranges capture your attention. Triggerfish circle the branches of stag coral, and parrotfish nibble on the edges of the reef. Their vibrant colors shine against a backdrop of coral. You return to the boat and begin sailing back to shore. A pod of spinner dolphins appears and arcs out of the water. They are known for their playful personalities and lively acrobats, their silver sheen glinting in the sunlight as they leap from the ocean. The scent of grilled chicken and fish dressed in fresh-squeezed lemon emanates from the galley. You delight in the refreshing, juicy sweetness of a sliced pineapple. The sun begins to set and fills the sky with stunning orange and pink hues, mirroring the colors of the coral.   

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, dinner

Day 8: Manuel Antonio – Depart for Home

In the morning, the beauty of the water and the rainforest returns. Parakeets zip past your window, and black spiny-tailed iguanas sunbathe in the returning light. Surfers take to the water once more to enjoy the waves breaking away from the bay. You can take another moment on the water before breakfast, relishing the small and larger breaks and capitalizing on your surf lesson days earlier. At breakfast, you enjoy the refreshingly sweet and sour flavor of fresh passionfruit juice. When you are ready, your private transfer greets you at the hotel and escorts you to Juan Santamaria International Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast 


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.