Top 3 - Off the Beaten Path Bucket List and Activities To Do in Costa Rica

Costa Rican Frog (Image by    Apetitu   )

Costa Rican Frog (Image by Apetitu)

Costa Rica is one of the world’s ultimate travel destinations. It has world-class scenery and nature, excellent weather, a rich culture, and some of the friendliest people imaginable.

Millions of tourists a year visit to experience these things for themselves, meaning some of the most popular areas can get very crowded in high season.

To help you get away from the crowds, here are 3 of the top ways to experience Costa Rica off the beaten track.


Volunteer in Costa Rica

Volunteer in Costa Rica

As with many Central American countries, Costa Rica has its share of socioeconomic and environmental issues. Many of these issues are addressed mostly by the action of generous volunteers, who are willing to give up there time and energy towards helping a good cause.

The good news is, becoming a volunteer in Costa Rica is an incredibly rewarding experience for anybody willing to put in a bit of effort and try something different.

It may sound like hard work, but being a volunteer can genuinely enrich your travels massively, and people often feel it’s the best and most memorable part of their travels.

In Costa Rica, budding volunteers are lucky enough to have a huge range of options to choose from. You might want to work in animal conservation, for example assisting endangered sea turtles to breed, or you may want to focus more on social issues, by volunteering to teach English to children.

Regardless of what you choose, you are sure to have an amazing experience in an amazing setting. How could you not in such a beautiful country filled with such friendly people.

You will be able to live and work with local people, getting to know their culture, language, and customs. You will also have ample opportunity to explore the country, whether you choose to spend it on one of Costa Rica’s thousands of stunning beaches, or seeing the sights.

Surfs Up

Surf Costa Rica  (Photo by    José Pablo Orozco Marín   )

Surf Costa Rica (Photo by José Pablo Orozco Marín)

Costa Rica is one of the world’s top surfing destinations. With a name that literally translates as ‘Rich Coast’, and endless miles of pristine beaches, it probably comes as no surprise that surfers from far and wide flock to the country for epic and consistent swells.

But surfing is by no means the only sport available here that will get your adrenaline pumping, and giving them a try can be a good way to get away from the crowded beaches and towns and into nature.

The powerful rapids found all over the country’s rivers are a huge draw for fans of white water rafting. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an old pro, there are varying grades to suit all abilities.

With dozens of volcanoes dominating the landscapes of Costa Rica (don’t worry - most of them are no longer active…), as well as many mountains, all sports relating to being really high up are available here. For example, there is world-renowned rock climbing, mountain biking, and hang-gliding on offer, along with many other vertigo-inducing activities.

In short, if you’re adventurous in your choice of sports, then Costa Rica is perfect for you.


Hike Costa Rica  (photo by   )

Hike Costa Rica (photo by

Another great example of an activity you can pursue in Costa Rica is trekking. Fortunately, it’s a bit tamer than the extreme sports on offer, but it can still offer some breathtaking experiences.

The volcanoes and mountains again provide the perfect platform for any trekkers looking for mindblowing panoramic views.

Further to this, over 25% of Costa Rica’s landmass is designated as protected national parks. This is exceptionally high by international standards and illustrates just how magnificent the natural world is here.

Rainforest makes up most of this space, and the range of exotic flora and fauna inhabiting it is simply unrivaled anywhere on earth. Walking through these areas can be an ethereal experience and is highly recommended to anybody.


Costa Rica has lots to offer. This small Central American nation punches well above its weight in terms of sights and activities for travelers.

There is far more on offer here than it would be possible to fit into any vacation.

If you like the sound of Costa Rica, you should definitely consider visiting one of its geographical and cultural cousins - Cuba - to experience one of the most exciting periods of economic and cultural development of any country in the world.


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Nicoleta Radoi

Nicoleta is the resident content blogger for uVolunteer. Nicoleta is an avid linguist, speaks fluent English, Chinese, French, Spanish and native Romanian. She spent a decade working in China in the education sector and working with major international development institutions and currently lives in Vancouver, Canada. She is passionate about volunteering, sustainable travel and has a soft spot for ethnic food.

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