5 activities in Costa Rica for outdoor enthusiasts:

With striking mountains, rainforests, volcanoes and waterfalls to its credit, Costa Rica is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. If you are a traveler, local or expat who wants to indulge in an outdoor activity but don’t know where to start, this article is for you!

How does engaging in outdoor activities help?

Outdoor recreation has enormous benefits for body and mind. Connecting with nature reduces stress and psychological disorders and improves cognitive abilities. Nature can heal your soul and the fresh air helps clear the mind. Getting outside also helps get some sun, which has become difficult in our sedentary lifestyle.

5 activities in Costa Rica for outdoor enthusiasts


Cycling is very popular in Costa Rica and is used by many as a mode of recreation. Some prefer cycling to observe nature and be in peace and quiet, while others like to go off the beaten track to get an adrenaline rush.

Some have integrated the bicycle into their way of life and even use it as a means of transport. Groups of cyclists are often seen in places like Miro Mountain or Carara National Park during the weekends here. You can join one in order to be motivated to cycle on weekends.

If you are traveling, you can rent a bike and cycle or you can search for bike tours to your destination. Many resorts and national parks in Costa Rica have well-maintained bike paths.


Another popular outdoor activity in Costa Rica is hiking. Many rainforests, waterfalls, national parks, volcanoes, and viewpoints in Costa Rica require a short or long hike. Some good places to hike are the Rio Celeste Waterfall hike in Tenorio Volcano National Park or the Arenal Hanging Bridges hike.

Some outdoor enthusiasts indulge in hiking during their travels, and some like to plan short weekend hikes. Hiking is believed to improve mental well-being and help you connect with nature.


Running is often part of the morning schedule for many people in Costa Rica. Here, the paths are well maintained and suitable for running. A few good running trails are the 1968 Arenal Volcano trail or closer to San Jose you have the Tres Cruces trail in Escazu.

Running has many benefits for the body and helps increase endurance. While some run every morning to keep in shape, some like to go for a run in the forests and beautiful nature trails.


There are many surf destinations in Costa Rica. Jaco, Tamarindo and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to name a few. Surfers from all over the world come here to test and perfect their surfing skills. Although a little off the beaten track, Pavones is a great place for more experienced surfers.

Surfing helps burn calories, builds muscle, and improves your balance and coordination.

Canoe Kayak

The difference between canoeing and kayaking is that canoeing involves paddling a canoe with a single-bladed paddle whereas kayaking involves the use of a two-bladed paddle. Almost any beach or body of water you frequent in Costa Rica offers ample opportunities for canoeing and kayaking, with Lake Arenal, Manuel Antonio, and Tortuguero being some of the most popular destinations. If you’re looking for a challenge, Curu’s sea kayaking in the Nicoya Peninsula is something you might want to consider.

Canoeing and kayaking help increase upper body and core strength and improve your endurance.

Final Thoughts

Stress at work and in our personal lives can be very overwhelming and engaging in outdoor activities is a good way to keep stress at bay. I hope the next time you plan a vacation you will include some of these activities in your itinerary.

Comments are closed.