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…
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!
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.
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.