ADVENTURE & ECOTOURISM
The majority of the people who visits Costa Rica do it for the adventure and ecotourism. Thousands of nature lovers travel to Costa Rica to enjoy the flora and fauna, and lovers of adventure tourism visit the country for the abundance of thrills and adrenaline it offers. Some of the most popular adventure activities include water rafting, kayaking, bird watching, hiking, canopying, sport fishing, snorkeling, surfing, and sun bathing. There are also dozens of beaches that offer year-round open air activities thanks to the beautiful tropical forests and pleasant temperatures throughout the country.
Costa Rica offers many great places for water adventures. There are many rivers where you can do rafting or kayaking. While rafting or kayaking on a river you can enjoy natural wonders, beautiful landscapes, admiring wildlife, and captivating forests. Kayaking can also be practiced at sea, and canoe trip can be taken at the rivers, canals, lakes and wetlands.
Surfing can be practiced at all the beaches, but some of them, such as Esterillos, Jaco, Hermosa, Boca Barranca and near the Marino Ballena National Park are very popular for surfing fans for its waves.
Diving and snorkeling are also two very attractive activities for tourists visiting Costa Rica. You will get in touch with the underwater world, and you will observe many different species, including the spectacular whale shark, white-finned sharks, devilfish, eels, lobsters, the beauty of coral reefs and so much more.
Hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding are some of the many land activities you can do in Costa Rica. While doing any of these activities you will discover beautiful trails in the mountains, scenic beauty, challenging paths and lots of fun. Horseback riding tours are guided by a tour and can be taken in the forest or at the beach.
Other adventures include bungee jumping, going on hanging bridges (it allows you to view the beauty of the rivers), zip lining (consists of gliding at different speeds, holding unto cables suspended between platforms located on the canopy of the highest trees), and rapel (an exercise that makes you descend from the highest top of trees, waterfalls, cliffs or rocky formations, to the ground).
Exploring some of the country's volcanoes is another great experience for adventure seekers. Costa Rica is home to six active volcanoes (Arenal volcano, Poas volcano, Rincón de la Vieja volcano, Irazú Volcano, Tenorio Volcano, and Turrialba Volcano) and 61 dormant or extinct ones. Arenal is the most active volcano and the Poas Volcano is one of the most visited volcano for its breathtaking views.
According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is the "greenest" country in the world, plus the Costa Rican government is working towards making Costa Rica the first carbon-neutral country by 2021.
Costa Rica's abundant biodiversity makes the country an attractive destination for ecotourism. Ecotourism makes a big contribution to the economy of Costa Rica, bringing an estimated $1.92 billion dollars in revenue every year. About 40% of tourists cite nature as their primary reason for visiting the country. The profitable industry of ecotourism entices businesses to capitalize on natural resources by protecting and preserving them rather than consuming them.