10 Best Costa Rica Day Tours

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The best Costa Rica Day Tours are a combination of three things: nature, adventure, and fun. Book these ultimate Costa Rica tour packages and see the best of Costa Rica.

If you are planning on having a Costa Rican escapade, chances are you are a nature buff, an extreme sports enthusiast, or an adventurous traveller.

Whether you are coming here alone or travelling as a group, Costa Rica’s nature-packed provinces are sure to excite you.

Imagine this: In the first hour, you find yourself on a hanging bridge, floating amid the cloud forest. The next hour, you are at the foot of a majestic waterfall, ready to take a dip.

A few moments later, you are in the comfort of a Costa Rican kitchen, savoring the traditional delicacies made with local ingredients and cooked with passion.

A tour of Costa Rica is indeed energizing to the body, relaxing to the soul and rewarding to the spirit.

Best Costa Rica Day Tours

1. Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Hot Springs Tour

Go on a full day nature trip which includes the Arenal Volcano, the La Fortuna Waterfall and some of the best hot springs in Costa Rica.

Start with a forest walk that will take you through the La Fortuna jungle, bravely crossing suspension bridges and marvelling at the rich vegetation surrounding you.

Rest in the midst of the Maluku Indian village where stories rich and old will fill your ears – until you continue your journey to the Arenal Volcano.

After plenty of walking and exploration, take time to relax your senses and regain your energy with a dip at the hot springs and volcanic mud facial with a complimentary cocktail to boot.

Included:

  • Pick-up and drop off at your accommodation in La Fortuna
  • Local guide
  • National Park fees
  • Natural hot spring resort fee
  • Lunch and beverages

2. San José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

Arenal Volcano and Tabacon Hot Springs Costa Rica

All the best Costa Rica activities can be found in this full-day tour. Your itinerary involves multiple stops at many popular destinations that are frequented by San Jose tourists and locals alike. 

Learn more about the Costa Rican coffee culture as you take a trip to a coffee plantation, using all of your senses to have a deeper grasp of what goes in your daily cup. 

Wildlife watching is on your priority list, with an experienced guide who keeps the group well-informed about the animals that call the Fortuna jungles their home.

It is definitely not an ultimate San Jose tour if zip lining and swimming in hot springs aren’t involved. Relax and be one with nature through the many activities that you can do in La Fortuna.

Included:

  • Round-trip transportation from most of the hotels located in the San José area
  • Bilingual guide
  • Entrance fee for zip lining (including all equipment); or rainforest walk if not doing zip lining
  • Entrance fee to the hot springs
  • Visit to La Paz Waterfall, San Fernando Waterfall and iguanas & hummingbirds viewing points
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Mini coffee tour with coffee degustation

3. Costa Rica Day Tours – La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano, and Hanging Bridges Combo

Conquer your fear of heights as you trek towards the foot of Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Enjoy exploring the national park where birds and other wildlife happily reside.

Go from one hanging bridge to another as you traverse all fifteen of them in order to see the beauty surrounding the Arenal Hanging Bridges Park.

#The park has three trails to choose from, depending on the type of you wish to get along with your level of fitness: the main trail, the accessible trail, and the bird observation trail.

All inhibitions go out the window once you reach the La Fortuna Waterfall. This 70-meter wonder is a great spot to have your souvenir photos taken or have a quick snack by the natural pool.

Jump and swim in the refreshing waters as you relax after a full day of nature exploration.

Included:

  • Pick-up and drop off at hotels in the La Fortuna area only
  • English-speaking guide
  • Entrances fees
  • Water bottle
  • Lunch
  • Traditional food from Costa Rica

4. 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Tour from San Jose

How to get from San Jose to Tortuguero1

Take your time to explore the rich wildlife that thrives at the Tortuguero National Park. For three full days, the 21,000-hectare reserve is your natural playground, with different plant and animal species enlivening your time at the park.

The surroundings of the Tortuguero National Park is widely known to be an important nesting ground for leatherback sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtles and loggerhead sea turtles in Costa Rica.

Fun fact: Tortuguero in Spanish actually translates to Region of Turtles – a fitting name, indeed.

This ultimate tour from San Jose is inclusive of great accommodations set in the heart of the national park, allowing you to be one with nature and be at your most relaxed state. 

An expert guide will be with you as you explore the area from night till day, providing you valuable information about Tortuguero’s reputation of being one of the best ecotourism destinations in Costa Rica.

Included:

  • Shuttle guided ground and boat transfers
  • 2 nights at Laguna Lodge
  • Guided boat tour in the Tortuguero National Park
  • Tortuguero town tour

5. Poas Volcano, Doka Estate & La Paz Waterfall Combo Tour

From San Jose, go on a full-day tour exploring the beautiful Alajuela. There will be interesting stops on your way there, including  the Agriculture Monument, the Monument to Juan Santamaria, and the Mango Park. 

When you reach the Doka Estate Coffee Plantation, you will enjoy hours of learning about the coffee culture that Costa Rica is popular for. See how a coffee bean is planted, processed and poured into your cup. 

The Poas Volcano awaits as you go through the cool cloud forest. See evident volcanic activities all throughout your hike.

It is one of the five active volcanoes which can be found in Costa Rica and is considered as the biggest open volcano in the entire world.

A few hours before your itinerary comes to an end, take time to enjoy the natural park of La Paz Waterfall Gardens, reaching the majestic White Magic Waterfall further on.

Included:

  • Pick-up and drop off at central San Jose hotels
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Entrance fees

6. Full-Day Rio Celeste Tour from La Fortuna

A full day of exploration may not be enough to discover the vast beauty that makes up the Tenorio Volcano National Park, but it is definitely a day tour worth taking.

For four hours, you will go deep in the Costa Rican jungle and learn about the diverse flora and fauna residing in the area. 

Regarded as one of the youngest natural parks in Costa Rica, Tenorio Volcano National Park is visited primarily for the Tenorio Volcano. It is an active volcano with an almost perfectly symmetrical cone.

To reach its prime spots, you have to trek through the cloud forest that is home to ocelots, jaguars, and cougars, among others.

It is a tiring itinerary, honestly, but the continuous stunning views and worthwhile stops will definitely energize your bones.

Rio Celeste is a nature spot to look forward to; imagine seeing a blue river that looks as if it came straight out of a fairytale.

Included:

  • Entrance fees
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Professional guide
  • Pick-up and drop off at hotels in La Fortuna’s central area

7. Manuel Antonio National Park from San Jose

Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most famous natural reserves that you should visit when in Costa Rica. From San Jose, you can join this combination tour which transports you to Manuel Antonio from your hotel doorstep.

It will be quite a long drive, but the way to your destination is filled with great stops that are worth checking out. Have a hearty Costa Rican breakfast along the way before you venture out into the wilderness. 

Start your guided hike at the Manuel Antonio National Park and get to know the monkeys, sloths and birds that are staple residents of the province. Stunning beaches await, so better get pack your swimwear with you during this tour.

The adventure doesn’t stop once you leave the park. On your way back to your hotel, you will pass by Jaco Bay, Tarcoles Beach and the crocodile bridge.

Included:

  • Round-trip transportation from most of the hotels located in the San Jose area
  • Bilingual guide
  • Entrance fee for Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Visits to the Crocodile Bridge, scarlet macaws observation place, fruit stand, and the Jaco Beach lookout point
  • Breakfast and lunch

8. San José: Arenal Volcano, Waterfalls, Coffee and Hot Springs

The Arenal Volcano is right around the corner of your San Jose hotel. Take the time to explore this natural beauty that is a must-include to any Costa Rica itinerary.

Choose this whole-day combination tour which drives you through a scenic route, passing by a coffee plantation and allowing you to know more about one of the world’s well-loved brews.

La Paz and San Fernando Waterfalls are your next stops, home to many toucans and other wildlife finds.

Once you reach the base of the Arenal Volcano, take a much-needed lunch break and enjoy an authentic Costa Rican meal in one of the restaurants in the area. 

Paradise Hot Springs Resort will be your venue for relaxation and rejuvenation. As you head back to San Jose, indulge in a scrumptious dinner along the way.

Included:

  • Transport by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off from most San Jose area hotels
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Coffee tasting with local snacks
  • All entrance fees
  • Visits to La Paz Waterfall, San Fernando Waterfall, exotic bird gallery, coffee plantation, and iguana center

9. From San José: Monteverde Hanging Bridges Day Trip

What To Do In Monteverde

From San Jose, go north and let yourself be taken to the Monteverde Hanging Bridges where an extreme adventure awaits.

This tour gives you the opportunity to traverse the cloud forests of Monteverde, with a local experienced guide introducing you to the plant and animal species that thrive in the area.

Exploring the forest by walking through hanging bridges actually gives you the freedom and comfort that canopy rides and zip lines may not fully offer.

At your own pace, you get to see the natural surroundings that make Monteverde the tourist destination that it is today.

Some of the animals you should not miss are monkeys, emerald toucans and coatimundis. You also have a high chance of spotting the rare resplendent quetzal, a common sight when in Monteverde. 

Before calling it a day, drop by the  hummingbird gallery and observe these aerial creatures in their natural habitat.

Included:

  • Pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation in San José
  • Transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • Lunch
  • Entrance fees

10. San José: Arenal Volcano, Hot Springs, & Zip Lining w/ Meals

If you are travelling as a group, consider booking this full-day San Jose tour. It brings you to some of the most-visited natural tourist spots in Costa Rica. 

Know more about coffee and how it is handled from start to finish as you drop by a coffee plantation on your way to Arenal.

Further, into your itinerary, a trip to the La Paz and San Fernando Waterfalls are to be looked forward to. Pass by the popular iguana bridge, aptly named for the numerous iguanas lurking in the area.

Rest your bones at the Paradise Hot Springs and go for a well-deserved hot spring dip. Dinner will be provided before your trip back to your accommodation.

Included:

  • Round-trip transportation from most of the hotels located in the San José area
  • Bilingual guide
  • Entrance fee for zip lining (including all equipment); or rainforest walk if not doing zip lining
  • Entrance fee to the hot springs
  • Visit to La Paz Waterfall, San Fernando Waterfall and iguanas & hummingbirds viewing points
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Mini coffee tour with coffee degustation

Are you keeping up with my Costa Rica Series

I have lived and worked in Costa Rica for one year. While working for a local tour company in the capital city San José I travelled to all the BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN COSTA RICA.

To help you plan your trip to Costa Rica I put together a guide about HOW TO GET AROUND IN COSTA RICA and BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN COSTA RICA.

Costa Rica is well known for its beautiful beaches and hot springs. Find here THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES IN COSTA RICA and the BEST HOT SPRINGS IN COSTA RICA.

Do you prefer organised tours and all-inclusive resorts? I’ve put together a list of BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS IN COSTA RICA and COSTA RICA MULTI DAY TOUR PACKAGES.

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