Costa Rica is blessed with gorgeous beaches on both its coastal sides — Atlantic and Pacific. From the white sugar-sand stretches near Manuel Antonio and Guanacaste to the volcano black beaches along the Nicoya Peninsula, there are many incredible spots to spend the day strolling, snorkeling, or simply sunning with a good book. If you choose to include a beach day during your Costa Rica break — and we recommend you do — be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and protective gear, including a floppy hat and perhaps even a rash guard. Costa Rica is quite close to the equator, so you’ll want to be prepared for the sun’s extremely direct and powerful rays. Also, keep in mind, most of the beaches here do not have lifeguards on duty. Keep this in mind should you choose to swim, and above all, don’t do it alone.
Costa Rica teems with opportunities for outdoor adventure, with something for everyone no matter your athletic ability. To start with, there are a whole host of water sports. Most resorts can set you up with everything you need to enjoy the water — be it snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, or even surfing!
Be sure to pack your boots: With its incredible, varied terrain, Costa Rica has many breathtaking hiking spots. The trek through Manuel Antonio keeps you on an easy path through the rainforest, and a good guide can help you see wildlife you might not have even noticed! And while you can’t hike to its summit, the numerous easy trails around Arenal Volcano National Park will take you to the main lookout, where you can view lava fields from past eruptions, along with the local flora and fauna that have returned to the volcano site.
If high-flying is more your style, consider a zip-lining adventure over the rainforest canopy or cloud forest. Dozens of outfits offer any number of options; your resort can make recommendations and even help you secure reservations.
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