hikes in Costa Rica

7 Incredible Hikes To Do In Costa Rica

Lush jungles, coral reefs, volcanoes and palm beaches means that the walking trails and hikes in Costa Rica are unforgettable. This Central American paradise is more than just a pretty face, though, it’s also got a lot of impressive stats. For example, over 25% of the country’s land is dedicated to National Parks or wildlife refuges, and they plan on becoming the first fossil-free country in the world.

As if the scenery wasn’t enough, it’s also home to a whopping 5% of the world’s biodiversity even though it takes up less than .03% of Earth’s landmass. As you can see, Costa Rica has a lot to offer for any nature lover. Here are the trails you can’t miss.

Incredible Hikes In Costa Rica

1. Mt. Chirripo

Standing tall at a whopping 3,820 m (12,530 ft), Mt. Chirripo is Costa Rica’s tallest mountain and a favourite among hikers. The trail starts in the Chirripo forest and gradually raises above the clouds offering stunning vistas. You will need two full days for this hike, but it is completely worth it. Be sure to rise early and catch a sunrise!

2. Monteverde Cloud Forest

Monteverde Cloud Forest is the ideal spot for day hiking in Costa Rica. Most of its routes are relatively flat and well-kept, and you’ll come across plenty of waterfalls, wildlife and suspension bridges.

3. Arenal Volcano National Park

This National Park offers hikes for any level and is known for being incredibly diverse. Some trails may lead you through a wet and tropical rainforest while others will take you through endless orchid fields. Regardless of which path you choose, you can’t miss the massive Arenal Volcano that will leave you feeling inspired.

4. La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall is one of the best-known hiking destinations for tourists. Following the La Fortuna hiking trail, you’ll wind up at one of Costa Rica’s most magical waterfalls. It falls over 70 meters (230 ft) and is tucked away in the jungle surrounded by birds and flowers of every kind. This hike is worth it…

Image: @kanookah_njcoolk/Instagram

5. Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve

Cabo Blanco is one of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets. Originally opened only for scientists and researchers, it’s not well known in the tourist community just yet. The Danes Trail is a must and very easy for beginners, the trail leads you to a crystal clear beach. We recommend starting early so you can spend the afternoon with your toes in the sand!

hikes in Costa Rica

6. Corcovado National Park

Animal enthusiasts, this is the place for you. At Corcovado you’ll find everything from jaguars, squirrel monkeys, scarlet macaws and harpy eagles. Spread across the Osa Peninsula, it also offers 13 different eco-systems to explore.

hikes in Costa Rica

7. Rio Celeste & Tenorio Volcano National Park

Aside from an abundance of tree roots, the trails throughout this park are straightforward to walk. Perfect for quick afternoon hikes or long day treks, there are plenty of options for you to choose from to fit your schedule. What makes this national park so special is the flowing river, Rio Celeste. Rio Celeste is a shade of aquamarine so vibrant it almost seems unreal.

Good news is, most of the trails follow the river in some capacity so you really can’t go wrong.

hikes in Costa Rica

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Melanie Hamilton
Melanie Hamilton

Melanie is an avid traveller with a passion for history and global foods. She is currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia where most of her time is occupied with qvevri wine and Soviet history. Having do-si-do'd her way across Europe and Latin America, she's enjoyed some of the world's most exciting places firsthand and can't wait to tell you about them.

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Do you have a ticket to Corcovado National Park? I have a plan to go to Corcovado National Park with my children next month.