Hiking in Costa Rica
The advantage of being in a country that protects 26% of its land, and holds 5% of the world's biodiversity, is the endless scenery you can admire while on a hike. There’s no need to worry – there are places suited to both beginners and experienced trekkers.
You can choose to walk through towns, beaches, dense forests, or stroll through national parks.
Prepare yourself for a variety of climates in each destination you visit. Costa Rica has 12 different climate zones, so you can experience several different environments within a short distance.
Since we’re a small country, you can travel from one area to another quickly. For example, you can take a 1-2 hour hike in the Manuel Antonio National Park in Puntarenas province, very close to the beach, or spend about 5 hours adventuring in the Cerro Dantas Wildlife Refuge amidst the old growth and secondary cloud forests of San Rafael de Heredia.
If you’re going to a destination alone, it is important to do your research beforehand, or enlist the help of a guide to take full advantage of your visit to the area. A good example of this is the Corcovado National Park, which conserves 2.5% of the world's biodiversity and is home to 140 species of mammals. Here, in addition to enjoying the forest and the coastline, you might have the opportunity to see tapirs on the beach or watch a herd of peccaries pass by. It is important to have a guide accompany you while hiking in this park so that you don’t miss out on these opportunities.
Take the appropriate safety measures to enjoy some of the best hikes in the country. Wear clothes suited for the climate and activity, and always bring a fresh change of clothes in case you get caught in the rain. Always take reports and information about a place into account, and do not explore restricted access trails. Don’t take night walks unless authorized by a guide to avoid any incidents with the local fauna.
When hiring a tour company, always check their permits to ensure that they have accident insurance and safety measures in place. The nearest tourist information office can provide you with more details about the companies that meet the basic requirements requested by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT).
Make your hike a unique way to experience Costa Rica.