Eco Tours Costa Rica
Time to get your hiking shoes on, grab a raincoat and a can of mosquito spray, because we’re going on a Costa Rican eco tour. This will be an active participation event, so make sure you’ve had your breakfast. You might also want to bring along your animal, bird and reptilian guide sheets, as you’re bound to see many things that will literally jump out and bite you. Bromeliads and orchids will line your path as you step through small puddles left from the light morning rain. Don’t be startled by the jarring sound of the howler monkeys, they’re just saying hello. Get ready for the journey you’ve always wanted.
Hot Spots for Costa Rica Eco Tours
Almost every inch of Costa Rica could be called a hot spot. Even downtown San Jose has its iguanas and parrots. Luckily though, Costa Rica has set aside virgin rainforests and vacant beaches just for you. With its twenty-four national parks, Costa Rica is miles ahead of the rest of Central America when it comes to eco tours. That’s not to say that Mexico, Guatemala and the other fellow neighbors aren’t attractive, it’s just an honest statement about the dedication that Costa Rica has to providing its residents and tourists with the widest array of authentic and undisturbed immersions into nature.
Different Types of Costa Rica Eco Tours
With all the choices, where does one start? To make sure we don’t miss anything, we’ll start in the cloud forest of Monte Verde. One of the longest and highest zip-line cables in the world is only part of the excitement on this tour. To get to the zip-lines, you’ll have to walk over suspended bridges that sway above the treetops and low-lying clouds. Zip-lines (canopy) are a great eco tour attraction because you’re able to see the beauty from an entirely unique perspective. Most zip-line tours also are led by highly knowledgeable guides that teach you about the forest and its creatures as you walk though it.
Jungle walks are very popular for tourists and most of them are great for travelers of all ages. From Caribbean to Pacific, Panama border to Nicaragua border, you’re bound to find many forest and jungle walking tours. The great thing is that because of the country’s vast diversity, you’re never going to see the same thing on any of the tours.
Horse back riding through the hills or jungles is a must. Many of the horse tours end at a waterfall or take you through some of the most spectacular landscape you will ever see. You always have the option to horseback along the beach… maybe even on a sunset ride.
Mangrove tours offer rides through canopy-covered waterways usually in an open-air boat, but you can also choose to paddle a kayak if you’re feeling adventurous. Mangroves are full of plant life found only in certain areas of the world. Costa Rica is blessed to contain one of the largest mangroves left in the entirety of Central America. Water snakes, caimans and crocodiles, monkeys and tiger crabs are just a few of the sites you’ll see on this kind of tour.
Dormant and active volcanoes rise up along the continental divide of Costa Rica. Each of these has its own interesting history, but Arenal is certainly the most visited. On clear nights spectacular shows of flying fireballs and flowing lava can been seen. Day trips to the hot springs are a must for the romantic couple or the entire family.
Surf lessons are not only for the young, but also for the young at heart. Boasting some of the world’s best waves on any given day, Costa Rica is the place to learn to surf. How eco can you get, paddling, tumbling or riding crested waves along the blue ocean.
Other tours that you should consider are scuba diving and snorkeling, sailing trips, sport fishing, waterfall tours, coffee and banana plantation tours, turtle rehabilitation tours and many other specialty tours.
How to Prepare for Eco Tours in Costa Rica
It’s best to go into your tours having a clue of what you’ll find. Research a little before you go, and you’re sure to be ready for anything that will arise. If you know what a poisonous frog looks like, you’ll be giddy when you actually see it. Having an idea where and how the three-toed sloth lives and sleeps will help you to spot it better. Finding out what lies ahead of you creates anticipation and rewards you with a feeling of fulfillment once you actually experience what you’ve hoped for.
Getting the Best From Costa Rica Eco Tours
Find the best company. There are, sadly enough, a few guides and companies that are not offering the most ethical experience. Make sure your touring company is awarded or recognized. Gearing up for a horse ride only to find your horses are ill-treated is a big disappointment. If you choose to make your own arrangements for tours in order to save money, that’s fine, but do so intelligently. If you use a tour operating service, make sure to get all the charges up front, and that they are not adding too much extra on top of the price. Most pertinent information can be found online, or by asking your hotel concierge.
Lasting Memories of Your Costa Rica Eco Tours
By all means, don’t forget your camera!
Take time to sit and enjoy. Most vacations flash by and are over before you feel you’ve even started. Costa Rica should be drunk in like a fine wine. Savor it and take the necessary time to really see what is going on around you. Meet some of the local Ticos. Eat the favorite local dishes. Ask questions if there’s something you really want to know. Buy small arts and crafts from local eco-minded lodges and shops. Support the local community by taking an interest. You’re coming to Costa Rica to have an experience, make sure you take as much of it home with you as you can.