Guanacaste National parks

Our most recommended Guanacaste National parks

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.

Boat Transfer between Monteverde and La Fortuna

2. Boat Transfer between Monteverde and La Fortuna

Add a little adventure to your transportation needs between Monteverde and La Fortuna and avail of a transfer that includes an informative boat tour across Lake Arenal. Get spectacular views of Arenal Volcano and the cloud forests of Monteverde as you travel by van and boat. Choose from a morning or afternoon departure in either direction to suit your schedule, and relax in the knowledge that your luggage will be taken care of on every step of the journey. Depart La Fortuna and travel to Lake Arenal by van. Then, take a 30-minute boat ride to the town of Río Chiquito before continuing to Monteverde by van. For departures from Monteverde, travel to Lake Arenal by van. Cross Lake Arenal on an enlightening 30-minute boat ride to the earthen dam, and then continue to La Fortuna by van for drop off at your hotel.

Guanacaste: Palo Verde National Park Jungle River Cruise

3. Guanacaste: Palo Verde National Park Jungle River Cruise

Palo Verde National Park encompasses one of the most important wetlands of Central America. You’ll have the opportunity to explore its varied habitats on this half-day jungle river cruise. Throughout the year resident and migrant water birds sharing the mangroves and marshlands with white- tailed deer, coyote, white-nosed coatimundi, howlers, white-faced monkeys, iguanas, and crocodiles. Wildlife is plentiful here, from tiny hummingbirds feeding at heliconia flowers, to the huge and flamboyant Roseate Spoonbills. Enjoy the countryside as it changes from savannah to plantations and small villages as you make your way to the pontoon boat, which is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to explore Palo Verde. You’ll travel by boat along the Tempisque River, which borders the National Park. You’ll pass through a wide variety of habitats, including pastureland and mangroves. Observe huge crocodiles resting in the sunshine and monkeys moving rapidly through the trees. You’ll see diverse bird species such as the Anhinga, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, the rare and endangered Jabiru, Blue Heron, White Ibis, and more.

Lake Arenal: Kayaking & Hanging Bridges

4. Lake Arenal: Kayaking & Hanging Bridges

Kayak on the lake Arenal while you enjoy stunning views of the Arenal Volcano and the Cerro Chato. Lake Arenal is a lake which is situated in the northern highlands of Costa Rica. It is currently the largest lake in Costa Rica at 85-square-kilometre. Its depth varies between 30 and 60 meters seasonally. Admire the Arenal Volcano while paddling through the lake. Afterward, hike the slopes of the Arenal Volcano which is surrounded by beautiful gardens, where you can observe, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, lots of birds, and various species of trees. Explore the forest's stunning vegetation, 2 viewing points, and labyrinth. Enjoy the rainforest while walking through Mistico Park, with 16 bridges (6 hanging and 10 stable). This experience allows you to hike in the heart of the rainforest.

Rio Celeste: Tubing Tour with Snacks and Drinks

5. Rio Celeste: Tubing Tour with Snacks and Drinks

Expereince the rush of spilling over the rapids of the turquoise Celeste River on this tubing tour in Katira. Spot colorful birds, monkeys, and frogs as you float safely along with the provided safety helmet and life vest. Refuel with some delicious fruit and drinks that are included in the tour.  Meet your guide and get set up with your well-maintained tubing gear. Set off down the river through dense jungle over the blue water. Keep an eye out for local birds like toucans, bear-necked umbrella birds, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds.  Awaken your inner adrenaline junkie as you glide over rapids on this family-friendly adventure. Relax and get some incredible photos of this area that is just outside the Tenorio National Park. 

Tamarindo: Boat Safari at Las Baulas National Park

6. Tamarindo: Boat Safari at Las Baulas National Park

Embark on an adventure and experience the mangrove swamps and bays protected by Marino Las Baulas National Parl. Spend your afternoon exploring on a boat trip.  See frigate birds, brown footed boobies, pelicans, and other waterbirds that are the main attraction. Witness also monkeys, but as conservation takes hold, it is becoming easier to spot ocelots, crocodiles, and anteaters. Find big iguanas and different species of wading birds, amidst the mangroves, orchids, and trees lining the river. Experience Las Baulas that includes in its habitats beach, coral reef, and mangrove, with wildlife from green marine iguanas, bottle-nosed and common dolphins, leatherback sea turtles, sponges, anemones, lobsters, trunkfish, frigate birds, brown footed boobies, to pelicans.  Sail up the waters of Las Baulas National Park, in a 2-hour tour, where you'll be able to watch crocodiles sunning on the banks or swimming alongside the boat while green parrots call from the above and howler monkeys play among the treetops.

From La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano & Hotsprings Afternoon Tour

7. From La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano & Hotsprings Afternoon Tour

On this nature adventure, you will see all the stunning beauty of the Arenal area. Right at the foot of the Arenal volcano, make your way into a beautiful park. Enjoy the most impressive primary rainforest where you can admire the huge trees and complex ecosystem that surrounds them. Leaving the forest, get to the lava fields. Here, follow a trail through the enormous black lava rocks that were deposited there by the massive 1968 eruption. The reward is definitely worth the effort. With the impressive Arenal looming over you, you really get an idea of the immensity of this now silent giant and the violent force with which it erupted. All along the way, your bilingual guide will tell you about the history, the ecosystem, and the wildlife you may encounter. After a coffee break, go on the way to get some well-deserved relaxation. End the tour at a small hot spring resort, here you can soak in the soothing hot water while enjoying a complimentary cocktail.

Lake Arenal: Kayaking and Biking Combo Tour

8. Lake Arenal: Kayaking and Biking Combo Tour

Explore and discover Costa Rica by water and land with this combo tour of Lake Arenal. Enjoy the unique experience of mountain biking through lush forest and gliding across the mystic waters of the Arenal lake all while reveling in the extraordinary beauty of the Arenal Volcano.    First, enjoy a 2-hour kayak across Lake Arenal and its surrounding islands. Keep an eye out for local birds such as ospreys, kingfishers, and neotropic cormorants. You will also have the opportunity to spot wildlife such as howler monkeys, spider monkeys, white-nosed coatis and sloths. Once you are finished kayaking, relax lakeside and enjoy a light fruit and power bar picnic before setting out on your mountain biking adventure through natural paths, traditional Costa Rican neighborhoods and small rivers.

Arenal Forest: Bird Observation & Photography Tour

9. Arenal Forest: Bird Observation & Photography Tour

If you are a lover of birdsong and enjoy the beautiful colors of these feathered creatures, this tour and outing amongst nature is for you. Enjoy a gentle walk through the forest with the purposes of observing and photographing these incredible animals. The areas around the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal are fantastic for bird watchers. An expert bilingual naturalist and birdwatcher guide will help you find a wide variety of species such as toucans, parrots, orioles, colorful tanagers, parakeets and many more. Birds are most active early in the morning and in the late afternoon as the day cools into evening. For more experienced birdwatchers, you can focus on seeing Royal Flycatchers, White-Fronted Nun birds, Cinnamon Woodpeckers and other less commonly seen species.

From La Fortuna/La Palma: Private Transfer to Tamarindo

10. From La Fortuna/La Palma: Private Transfer to Tamarindo

Enjoy a hassle-free ride from La Fortuna with this private transfer to Tamarindo Beach. Sit back in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle and marvel at the views from your car as you drive to your hotel. Meet your driver at your La Palma or La Fortuna accommodation's reception and begin your drive. Following a jungle road next to Arenal Lake, drive through a beautiful rainforest at the base of Arenal Volcano. Continue through the jungle before reaching the Pacific coast. As you drive, watch the landscape morph from a mysterious jungle to a relaxed beach vibe. At the halfway point, get out of the car to stretch your legs, purchase a snack, or use the bathroom. Jump back in the car and continue your journey, taking in the mesmerizing of the famous Arenal Volcano. Finish your trip at your hotel in Tamarindo.

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What people are saying about Guanacaste

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 15 reviews

Spent an exhilarating day with Calypso Adventures! From the immediate response to my last-minute booking, the pick up service, organized tour, detailed amenities, and all-around fun conversation; I felt like I spent the day with a friend. The day felt personalized, no detail was left to chance - healthy snacks (but also beer!), towel, bug spray, sunscreen, water; we didn’t need a single thing all day. Being able to support a woman-owned, Afro Caribbean-owned business was icing on the cake. The day ended with an authentic Costa Rican dinner and now I’m off to bed exhausted and happy.

We had a wonderful tour! We met them at the entry to the park, per our choice. They were very flexible with our group. They did not have infant sized life vests but did have children’s size but the whole ride felt very safe. The tour guides were all so friendly and knowledgeable! We were able to see iguanas, beautiful birds, crocodiles, and even walked in the mangroves to see some monkeys! It was wonderful!

We felt so comfortable on this tour. The drivers and guides are so friendly! We saw all kinds of birds, the white faced capuchin monkey, iguanas, and crocodiles!

The guide (Beth) was super. She put together a great trip.

Lovely way to travel. On time and professional service.