The best hikes in Costa Rica

Rio Celeste, photo by Bruce Thompson

It’s highly unlikely that anyone who visits Costa Rica would not love to spend time outdoors – after all, no other Central American country is better suited to be a paradise for outdoorsy people than Costa Rica. A huge number of national parks all with their peculiarities, rich flora and fauna, lovely beaches and impressive volcanoes are enough to make even the worst couch-potato go outside. If you have a taste for adventure and you’d rather spend the day walking and hiking than holed up at a resort, then Costa Rica has many ways to entertain you. When it comes to hiking, Costa Rica is a dream come true – and here are the best hikes in Costa Rica to convince you of that.

Rio Celeste, Tenorio Volcano National Park

Arenal, photo by Ardyiii on Flickr

A hike doesn’t necessarily have to be physically challenging in order to ensure that you’ll not forget it soon. Rio Celeste’s charm lies in its extraordinary beauty, which somehow managed to remain off the beaten track so far. Waterfalls are pretty common in Costa Rica, especially in the larger and more popular national parks, but a hike along Rio Celeste reveals what might as well be the prettiest one in the country. The light blue waters of the river (resulting from a chemical reaction) and the lush vegetation make this hike truly amazing.

Cerro Dantas Wildlife Refuge, Heredia Province

The Central Volcanic Wildlife Area in Costa Rica has four national parks and a number of wildlife refuges, and even among all this touristic potential Cerro Dantas Wildlife Refuge easily has some of the best hikes around. The refuge has primary and secondary cloud forests that are home to interesting plant species, and a vast array of cliffs, hills, and hiking trails carving a way through the landscape.

Cahuita National Park, Limon Province

photo by benet2006 on Flickr

The hiking trails in Cahuita National Park are a piece of cake for experienced hikers, but they are so pretty and peaceful that the lack of physical challenge doesn’t matter at all. The trails are pretty flat and they follow the coast, so you will always be at most one kilometer from the beach. When you tire of the shade and vegetation, just switch to the beach or the other way around.

Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal is arguably the most popular destination for nature lovers in Costa Rica, and visited by thousands of tourists every year. There are many hiking trails in Arenal Volcano National Park, and the beauty of of hiking in the area is that you get to see a variety of ecosystems over the course of one hike. The cloud forests and obviously impressive, but the old lava flows definitely take the cake.

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