With impressive mountains, rainforests, volcanoes and waterfalls, Costa Rica is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. If you’re a traveler, local or expat who’s always wanted to indulge in an outdoor activity but don’t know where to start, this article is for you! How Does Indulging in Outdoor Activities Help?
Outdoor recreation has tremendous benefits for both body and mind. The connection with nature reduces stress and mental disorders and improves cognitive abilities. Nature can heal your soul and the fresh air helps clear the mind. Getting outdoors also helps get some sunlight, which has become difficult in our sedentary lifestyles.
5 things to do in Costa Rica for outdoor enthusiasts
To go biking
Biking is very popular in Costa Rica and is used by many as a pastime. Some prefer to bike to observe nature and be at peace and quiet, while others prefer to hit the trails off-road for an adrenaline rush.
Some have integrated cycling into their lifestyle and even use it as a mode of transportation. Cycling groups are common here on weekends at places like Miro Mountain or Carara National Park. You can join one to be motivated to go cycling at the weekend.
If you are traveling, you can rent a bike and ride a bike or you can look for bike tours at your destination. Many resorts and national parks in Costa Rica have well-maintained bike trails.
Another popular outdoor activity in Costa Rica is hiking. Many rainforests, waterfalls, national parks, volcanoes, and viewpoints in Costa Rica require a short or long hike. A few good places to hike are the Rio Celeste Waterfall Hike in Tenorio Volcano National Park or the Arenal Hanging Bridges Hike.
Some outdoor enthusiasts devote themselves to hiking during their travels, while others like to plan short hikes on weekends. Hiking is believed to improve mental well-being and help you connect with nature.
Running is often part of the morning routine for many people in Costa Rica. The trails here are well maintained and suitable for walking. A couple of good running trails are the Arenal 1968 Volcano Trail or closer to San Jose the Tres Cruces Trail in Escazu.
Running has many benefits for the body and helps increase endurance. While some run every morning to keep fit, others enjoy running in forests and along beautiful trails in nature.
There are many surfing destinations in Costa Rica. Jaco, Tamarindo and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to name a few. Surfers from all over the world come here to test and improve their surfing skills. Although Pavones is a bit off the beaten path, it’s a great spot for experienced surfers.
Surfing helps burn calories, strengthen muscles, and improve your balance and coordination.
canoeing and kayaking
The difference between canoeing and kayaking is that canoeing involves paddling a canoe with a single-bladed paddle while kayaking uses a double-bladed paddle. Almost any beach or body of water you visit in Costa Rica has plenty of canoeing and kayaking opportunities, with Lake Arenal, Manuel Antonio, and Tortuguero being some of the most popular destinations. If you’re looking for a challenge, check out Curu Sea Kayaking on the Nicoya Peninsula.
Canoeing and kayaking help build upper body and core strength and improve endurance.
Stress at work and in our personal lives can be very overwhelming, and outdoor activities are a great way to keep stress at bay. I hope that you will add some of these activities to your itinerary when planning your next vacation.