7 Unusual Things To Do In Costa Rica – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Costa Rica is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers, offering a plethora of unique experiences beyond the typical tourist attractions. If you are looking for unusual things to do in Costa Rica, you are in for a treat. From exploring hidden waterfalls and mystical caves to encountering exotic wildlife in off-the-beaten-path locations, this Central American gem has something extraordinary to offer every traveler. Get ready to step off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems that make Costa Rica a truly unforgettable destination.

Zip lining through the cloud forests

Essential Information

– Address: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
– Opening hours: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
– Fee: $50 per person
– Visit duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Adventure seekers, nature lovers

Why is it so unusual

Costa Rica’s cloud forests are renowned for their lush greenery and diverse wildlife, but what truly sets them apart is the exhilarating experience of zip lining through the treetops. This activity offers a unique perspective of the forest canopy, allowing visitors to soar through the misty clouds and witness the ecosystem from a bird’s eye view.

Unlike traditional zip lining courses, the cloud forest setting adds an extra layer of thrill and mystery to the adventure. As you glide through the mist-shrouded trees, you may encounter rare species of birds, monkeys, and other wildlife that call this unique habitat home. The combination of adrenaline-pumping zip lines and the serene beauty of the cloud forest creates an unforgettable experience that is unlike any other.

In addition to the standard zip lining experience, some tours in the cloud forests of Costa Rica offer night zip lining adventures, where visitors can soar through the darkness illuminated only by the moon and stars. This surreal experience allows for a different perspective of the forest at night and the chance to witness nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat.

For those seeking a truly unusual adventure, zip lining through the cloud forests of Costa Rica offers a perfect blend of adrenaline, nature, and awe-inspiring beauty. It’s an experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Nighttime wildlife spotting in Tortuguero National Park

Essential Information

– Address: Tortuguero National Park, Limón Province, Costa Rica
– Opening hours: Nighttime tours usually start around 7 pm
– Fee: Prices vary depending on the tour operator, typically around $50-$100 per person
– Visit duration: Nighttime wildlife spotting tours usually last around 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, adventure seekers

Why is it so unusual

When most visitors to Tortuguero National Park think of wildlife spotting, they envision daytime excursions through lush rainforests and along winding waterways. However, the park’s nocturnal inhabitants offer a whole new perspective on the rich biodiversity of this Costa Rican gem.

One of the most unusual activities in Tortuguero National Park is embarking on a nighttime wildlife spotting tour. As the sun sets and darkness envelops the park, a different cast of characters emerges. With the aid of flashlights and expert guides, visitors have the opportunity to witness elusive creatures that are rarely seen during the day.

Imagine the thrill of spotting a red-eyed tree frog perched on a leaf, its vibrant colors illuminated by the beam of a flashlight. Or the eerie call of howler monkeys echoing through the night as they move through the treetops. Nighttime tours also offer the chance to encounter nocturnal mammals such as kinkajous, sloths, and even the elusive jaguarundi.

For bird enthusiasts, the nighttime tours provide a unique opportunity to observe owls, nightjars, and other feathered creatures that are active after dark. The symphony of sounds that fills the air as the nocturnal creatures awaken is a truly unforgettable experience.

In conclusion, venturing into Tortuguero National Park after dark offers a rare glimpse into the hidden world of its nighttime inhabitants. For those seeking a truly unique and off-the-beaten-path adventure, a nighttime wildlife spotting tour is a must-do activity in this biodiverse paradise.

Visiting the abandoned Sanatorio Durán

Essential Information

– Address: Sanatorio Durán, Cartago Province, Costa Rica
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday to Sunday
– Fee: $10 per person
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, urban explorers, paranormal enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The abandoned Sanatorio Durán in Costa Rica stands as a haunting reminder of its past. Once a tuberculosis sanatorium, this eerie site now attracts visitors seeking a glimpse into its dark history. The crumbling walls and decaying corridors offer a unique setting for urban exploration and photography. Brave souls can wander through the empty rooms, where echoes of the past seem to linger in the air.

One of the most unusual activities at Sanatorio Durán is exploring the underground tunnels that connect various buildings on the property. These dimly lit passageways add an extra layer of mystery to the already eerie atmosphere. Visitors can also venture into the old operating rooms, where rusted medical equipment serves as a chilling reminder of the sanatorium’s medical practices.

For those with a taste for the supernatural, Sanatorio Durán is rumored to be haunted by the spirits of former patients. Paranormal enthusiasts often visit in hopes of capturing ghostly encounters on camera or EVP recordings. The combination of the abandoned setting and the rumored paranormal activity makes this site a magnet for thrill-seekers and ghost hunters alike.

In conclusion, a visit to the abandoned Sanatorio Durán offers a truly unusual experience for those willing to step into its shadowy past. Whether you’re intrigued by history, urban exploration, or the supernatural, this haunting site is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who dare to explore its mysterious corridors.

Exploring the underwater sculpture garden in Isla del Caño

Essential Information

– Address: Isla del Caño, Costa Rica
– Opening hours: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
– Fee: $25 per person
– Visit duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Adventure seekers, snorkeling enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

When it comes to exploring the underwater world, the underwater sculpture garden in Isla del Caño offers a unique and unconventional experience. Unlike traditional snorkeling spots, this underwater garden is home to a collection of captivating sculptures that have been carefully placed on the ocean floor.

As you dive beneath the surface, you’ll encounter an array of intriguing sculptures, each with its own story to tell. From mystical creatures to abstract art pieces, the underwater garden is a feast for the eyes and a playground for the imagination.

Swimming among these sculptures provides a surreal and almost otherworldly experience, allowing you to feel like you’ve stepped into a hidden realm beneath the waves. The combination of art and nature creates a mesmerizing underwater landscape that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Exploring the underwater sculpture garden in Isla del Caño is not just about admiring the art; it’s also about immersing yourself in a world where creativity meets the ocean. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a first-time snorkeler, this unusual attraction offers a one-of-a-kind adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Taking a chocolate-making workshop in Puerto Viejo

Essential Information

– Address: Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
– Opening hours: Varies, check with workshop provider
– Fee: Typically around $50 per person
– Visit duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Chocolate lovers and those interested in learning about the chocolate-making process

Why is it so unusual

When visiting Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica, one of the most unusual yet delightful activities you can partake in is taking a chocolate-making workshop. This experience allows you to delve into the world of chocolate in a hands-on and immersive way, unlike any other typical tourist attraction.

During the workshop, you will have the opportunity to witness the entire chocolate-making process from start to finish. From roasting and grinding the cacao beans to molding and decorating your own chocolate creations, every step is a unique and engaging experience.

What sets this workshop apart is the chance to work with locally sourced cacao beans, which are known for their rich flavor and quality. You will learn about the history of chocolate in Costa Rica and the traditional methods used by indigenous communities to produce this beloved treat.

Moreover, the workshop provides insight into the sustainable practices employed in the cacao industry, highlighting the importance of ethical sourcing and environmental conservation. By participating in this activity, you not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also gain a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into creating artisanal chocolate.

Overall, taking a chocolate-making workshop in Puerto Viejo offers a unique blend of education, entertainment, and indulgence, making it a truly unusual and memorable experience for travelers seeking something beyond the ordinary tourist attractions.

Horseback riding to hidden waterfalls in Monteverde

Essential Information

– Address: Monteverde, Costa Rica
– Opening hours: Varies, usually from morning to late afternoon
– Fee: Prices range from $50 to $100 per person
– Visit duration: Approximately 3 to 4 hours
– Ideal for: Adventure seekers and nature lovers

Why is it so unusual

When it comes to exploring the lush landscapes of Monteverde, horseback riding to hidden waterfalls offers a unique and thrilling experience. Unlike traditional hiking trails, this activity allows visitors to traverse rugged terrains and dense forests on horseback, adding an element of excitement to the journey.

As you embark on this adventure, you’ll navigate through winding paths and rocky trails, guided by experienced local riders who know the area like the back of their hand. The rhythmic sound of hooves against the ground creates a sense of harmony with nature, making the journey both exhilarating and serene.

One of the most unusual aspects of horseback riding to hidden waterfalls is the opportunity to witness the breathtaking beauty of secluded cascades that are tucked away from the main tourist routes. These hidden gems offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling crowds, allowing you to connect with nature in a more intimate setting.

As you approach the cascading waters, the sound of rushing streams grows louder, signaling your arrival at the hidden waterfall. The sight of the pristine water plunging into crystal-clear pools is a sight to behold, offering a refreshing escape from the heat of the day.

For those seeking a unique way to explore Monteverde’s natural wonders, horseback riding to hidden waterfalls provides an unforgettable experience that combines adventure, tranquility, and the thrill of discovery. So saddle up, embark on this off-the-beaten-path adventure, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Costa Rica’s hidden treasures.

Volcano boarding down Cerro Negro

Essential Information

– Address: Cerro Negro Volcano, Costa Rica
– Opening hours: Daily, weather permitting
– Fee: Approximately $30 per person
– Visit duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

Volcano boarding down Cerro Negro is a truly unique and adrenaline-pumping experience that sets it apart from traditional tourist activities. Unlike typical beach vacations or sightseeing tours, this activity offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to slide down the steep slopes of an active volcano on a wooden board.

The thrill of racing down the black volcanic ash at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour is a major draw for adventure seekers looking for an unconventional way to get their adrenaline fix. The sheer novelty of boarding down a volcano, combined with the rugged terrain and stunning views of the surrounding landscape, makes this activity a must-try for those seeking an unforgettable experience.

In addition to the exhilarating descent, visitors can also explore the unique geological features of Cerro Negro, including its young age and constantly changing landscape. The opportunity to witness firsthand the raw power of nature and the forces that shape our planet adds an educational element to the adventure, making it a truly enriching experience for those with a thirst for knowledge.

Overall, volcano boarding down Cerro Negro offers a perfect blend of excitement, natural beauty, and educational value, making it a standout attraction for travelers looking to step outside their comfort zone and embark on a truly extraordinary adventure.

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