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Guanacaste

Day trips

Our most recommended Guanacaste Day Trips

La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

1. La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

Escape into the nature of the La Fortuna on a guided hike. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Have a delicious lunch at a Maluku Indian village and trek through forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort with a drink. Be collected at your accommodation and be driven to the beginning of the forest walk. Trek on the easy track along the crystal clear La Fortuna river. En route, hop on a tractor cart uphill to a panoramic viewpoint. Spot the next location from a distance then begin the return walk down a jungle staircase. Halfway down is a high suspension bridge to cross. The trail leads further down the huge canyon, which was shaped by a volcanic mega-eruption. Encounter the spectacular La Fortuna waterfall. Be amazed by the lush vegetation on its 70-meter high walls, the huge volcanic rocks at its foot, and the water splashing down in its massive pool. Bask in its beauty or even take a refreshing dip. Return to the viewpoint then walk down to the little village of the Maluku Indians. Seated in their Palenke (main house), enjoy a rest while listening to an interesting story about their culture, art, and history.  After being active for a few hours, the time has come to relax and enjoy a typical hot lunch. Next to the restaurant is a butterfly garden and frog pond that you can explore until your food is served.  Reenergized, take a 15-minute ride to the park at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Being the trek through the primary forest where you can see huge trees with giant roots. Besides a variety of birds, the forest is host to monkeys, sloths, and coati. Leave the forest and each the highest viewpoint that exists around the volcano and absorb the most spectacular panoramic views of Lake Arenal, the jungle, the valley, the lava fields, and most of all the Arenal that towers over you.  Conclude your tour at the natural hot spring resort. Relax in its soothing warm water for about an hour and enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail. Afterward, you will be taken back to your accommodation.

Playas del Coco: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

2. Playas del Coco: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

Sail along Costa Rica’s Gold Coast on a 4.5-hour sunset cruise, passing Guanacaste’s exotic bays, white sand beaches and tropical jungles. Gaze off the bow with a cold tropical drink in your hand as you scan the seas for dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish or even a breaching whale. Stop in a tranquil bay, drop anchor and enjoy a swim. Snorkel in the bay or take a walk down a deserted white sand beach. While you’re enjoying the sun, sand and sea, the crew will prepare a lunch of chicken or pasta salad, fruit, chips, pico de gallo, guacamole and homemade chocolate chip cookies. As the sun sets, you’ll see the ever-changing colors of the sky, while enjoying your favorite drink from the boat’s open bar. Capture the moment to show your family and friends the wonders of a Costa Rican sunset.

Tamarindo: Dream Chaser Catamaran Sunset Cruise

3. Tamarindo: Dream Chaser Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Discover picturesque secluded beaches on a 5-hour catamaran cruise. Benefit from relaxing lounge areas, an open bar, lunch buffet, snorkeling equipment, and paddleboards. Board the 40-foot Dream Chaser catamaran and cruise along the north coast and, depending on weather conditions of the day, anchor in the secluded beaches of Playa Minas, Playa Huevo, or Piratas Bay.  Jump into the refreshing waters and tryout water activities like snorkeling, paddle boarding, and playing with the floaties (noodles). Feast on a delicious home-style buffet and enjoy an open bar where you can get unlimited refreshments, liquor, and mixed drinks.  Lounge on the spacious upper deck while listening to a modern sound system. Cool off in the shaded main cabin, relax in comfortable leather seats, and make use of the free Wi-Fi.  As you head back to Playa Tamarindo, be treated to unforgettable views of the Costa Rican sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Guanacaste: Rainforest Canopy Zipline Tour

4. Guanacaste: Rainforest Canopy Zipline Tour

Enjoy a thrilling half-day adventure with a rainforest canopy zipline tour in Guanacaste. Depart from your hotel, and after a short drive, arrive in the tropical dry forest where you will be surrounded by high trees and pristine nature. Once there, take a short hike to the first platform, where your tour guide will get you ready for the ride of your life. Then get ready to start zipping through the trees and flying down the suspended cables. During the tour you will also come across a walking bridge between 2 platforms. If you are lucky, even the howler monkeys will be your company during a part of these canopy travels.

Tamarindo: Celeste River and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

5. Tamarindo: Celeste River and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

Embark on an adventure and discover sloths, beautiful waterfalls, and a true bluewater river. Start off with a hike through Tenorio Volcano National Park and discover the rainforest in a 2 hour easy to moderate hike.  Marvel at the Celeste River, one of the most popular rivers in Costa Rica, well known around the world by its particular natural color from light blue to turquoise.  In addition to the stunning beauty of the water, the river also has several thermal hot springs and boiling mud pots. Plumes of volcanic gases are expelled and in some places give the appearance of boiling water. Visit a 98-foot waterfall and take in the stunning atmosphere.  After your swim, a small hike leads you to the place where sloths are at a very low height in their natural environment, as well as toucans and red-eyed leaf frogs.  Enjoy a country-style Costa Rican lunch with salad, rice, beans, and options for meat, chicken, or fish. On your way to one of Costa Rica's most beautiful waterfalls, the Llanos de Cortez waterfalls with a 65-foot height and 49-foot width drop into a tranquil pond with a white sandy beach, that's perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

From Tamarindo: Zip-Line and Rafting Full Day Adventure Tour

6. From Tamarindo: Zip-Line and Rafting Full Day Adventure Tour

Kick-start your full day of outdoor thrills bright and early led by your private guide. This small-group tour will give you the opportunity to try your hand at rock climbing, horse riding, water tubing or river rafting, as well as enjoying a canopy tour. Begin your journey either water tubing or rafting down the peaceful waters of the Colorado River, meandering your way through its verdant canyon surrounded by steep sides. Next, enjoy the thrill of zip-lining over the canyon through the course of eight zip-lines that zig and zag across it. If you're feeling up for more, you have the choice to rappel down into the canyon and rock climb back up. Savor traditional local flavors over lunch, taking the opportunity to snap some pictures of the impressive backdrop. Get back on the adventure track, and horse ride along the mighty foothills of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, making your way to its hot springs. Here, relax in a natural mud bath and ease into the end of your day before being dropped off at your accommodation.

La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Hike

7. La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Hike

After being collected from your accommodation in La Fortuna, you will make your way to Rio Celeste. Rio Celeste is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Costa Rica, and on a clear day, it is possible to receive spectacular views. Upon arrival to the park you will set off on a 7-kilometer hike, which passes by the River Celeste Waterfall, the Tenorio Lookout, the Blue Lagoon (a great place for taking pictures), and Borbollones (little geisers), before you finally arrive to Teñideros.  In this area, mother nature magically mixes the water of two crystal clear streams, changing the water's color to a beautiful bright, light blue (hence the name Rio Celeste, or "Light-Blue River"). After visiting the most beautiful places of this park there is a tough hike back to the park entrance, where you will have a delicious, well-deserved lunch waiting for you.

Palo Verde & Guatil: Jungle Boat Tour, Pottery & Lunch

8. Palo Verde & Guatil: Jungle Boat Tour, Pottery & Lunch

Discover the birds and biodiversity of Palo Verde National Park on this boat tour with lunch. Complete your tour with a stop in Guaitil, known for its pottery, for an authentic Costa Rican experience. Start with an early morning pickup at a location provided by you. The natural hydrologic system of the Tempisque River creates the perfect conditions for exotic wildlife to thrive. As a result, Palo Verde is a refuge for hundreds of resident birds and a wide variety of migratory species. Board a river boat for a leisurely cruise along the Tempisque. Admire the park’s beauty while a naturalist guide tells you about its unique ecosystem. This cruise is perfect for bird watchers. Nature lovers can also get a close look at howler and capuchin monkeys. Spot crocodiles on the riverside. After a cruise down the Tempisque River, give yourself a well-earned break. Feast on a delicious traditional lunch. Continue to your next stop, the artisan village of Guaitil. Learn about the history of Chorotegan Indians of Guaitil. Watch local artists as they make pottery, a heritage of their Pre-Columbian ancestors. Step back into a thousand years of tradition with a visit to this indigenous village. Relax on the ride back to your hotel, once the 5-hour tour concludes in the afternoon.

Tamarindo: Catamaran Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

9. Tamarindo: Catamaran Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

After meeting your group at the meeting point, sail aboard the 38-foot Sea Shell catamaran with a capacity for 25 people. After setting off, bruschetta will be served as an appetizer.  You’ll head to a private beach, observing the lush Pacific coast of Guanacaste. After reaching the private beach, you will be able to enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and many other activities. Alternatively, just enjoy the views of the ocean and relax by the beach. After the water activities, lunch will be served. It consists of typical local cuisine like chicken rice, ground beans, sautéed vegetables and salad. Enjoy some fresh fruit on the journey back to Tamarindo. If you have chosen the afternoon tour, you will witness a beautiful sunset on your return. The open bar will be available throughout the trip with alcoholic beverages as well as non-alcoholic beverages such as soda, fresh juices, and bottled water.

Magic of Nature at Arenal Volcano from Guanacaste

10. Magic of Nature at Arenal Volcano from Guanacaste

Leave Guanacaste for an unforgettable experience. You will be passing through different kind of forest. Dry forest at the beginning; transition forest and rain forest would be seen on the way to the volcano. Bordering de Arenal Lake will be easier to see monkeys, birds, sloths, but also you will enjoy the beautiful sightseeing and landscapes. A short walk through the hanging bridges will introduce you on the interactions of the rain forest, then after lunch you will continue to the hot springs where you will enjoy the curative water and the amazing view of the Arenal volcano, which is now inactive. It is, scientists assure us, still alive; it’s just sleeping.

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Frequently asked questions about Guanacaste Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in Guanacaste?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Guanacaste

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What people are saying about Guanacaste

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 14 reviews

We loved our tour with red lava tours. Mauricio was the perfect guide. We felt a bit indecisive with what to do, because of all the great things to see in La Fortuna, but this tour had it all! With humour and big knowledge about the nature, we learned a lot from him and had the best day! Thank you for that:) We truly recommend this tour. Love from Denmark from Rebecca and Sofie

I had the most amazing day on this tour! Our guide Eric was incredible and went above and beyond to point out interesting plants/animals and highlight historical/scientific facts along the way. It’s a long day but 100% worth it - the waterfall, views of volcano, and hot springs were all immaculate. Highly recommend for solo travelers!

Great tour from start to finish, both tour guides were very informative and spoke great English and Spanish so everyone was included. Highly recommend this tour and Was great value for money.

Awesome trip Mauricio tour guide was amazing I highly recommend this tour and Mauricio!

Great tour, well packed! Our guide Aizek is excelent tour guide!