Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries in Central America. Filled with so many places to explore in Costa Rica, you'll never be bored exploring the country.
With its turquoise ocean water, white-sanded beaches, and extensive wildlife and biodiversity, you'll be overwhelmed by everything you can see! What's more is all the things you can do, including exciting water sports, delicious eats, and partaking in the nightlife in Costa Rica.
Planning a trip on your own is definitely a fun way of visiting the country. But what if you're not sure where to go and how to get around? In that case, you should check out some of the tours Costa Rica has to offer.
Traveling with a group of like-minded individuals can be an excellent way to meet new people, save some money, and explore cool parts of the country.
I've compelled a list of the 6 best Costa Rica tours for you to embark on in 2023. This list will introduce you to some of the best tours and tour operators globally, selling fantastic vacation packages to this Central American paradise.
Learn more from the rest of our Costa Rica series…
- Navigate Costa Rican airports like a local
- Find the best areas to stay
- Stay at a Costa Rica hostels that won’t disappoint
- Don’t miss out on these local spots—the best places to go in Costa Rica
- Add these exciting things to do to your trip plan
- Spend the night out enjoying Costa Rica’s nightlife
- Want to simplify your planning? Follow this 5-day itinerary or 7-day trip plan
- Get our tips on budget travel in Costa Rica
- Discover the best advice for backpackers going to Costa Rica
- Find more helpful information if you’re a solo traveler
- Remember, camping in Costa Rica is also a great option!
- Dive into our snorkeling guide—essential tips and advice before you go
6 best hidden-gem tours to consider in Costa Rica!
Let's kick things off. These are the 6 best-hidden gems I've discovered that you can join in Costa Rica.
Be mindful that the prices and trip descriptions may fluctuate at the tour operator's discretion!
Aside from the ones I've recommend here, these operators have an extensive portfolio of tours you can pick from, varying in length, price, activity level, and travel preference. Don't worry if you can't find a tour that fits your itinerary here. You'll definitely be able to find the best Costa Rican tour that fits their needs, goals, budget, and desire.
1. Costa Rica Natural Paradise
Hosted by: Caravan Tours
Length: 9 days
Caravan Tours is one of the most popular tour operators out there, and the one people search the most when trying to find a suitable package deal for a vacation. They are known for having reasonably affordable prices, guided tours, great hotels, and almost every meal for the duration of the trip.
However, they only offer a single travel package to Costa Rica. In contrast, the other alternatives offer different package deals for various lengths and prices. The Costa Rica National Paradise tour is a 9-day vacation that takes you to some of the most popular destinations in the country.
Where will you go on this tour?
It is a tight schedule, where each day is spent in a different town – for those who want to see the most of Costa Rica in a short amount of time, this is ideal!
You'll start the tour in San Jose, then move to Sarchi to visit an amazing coffee plantation. After the plantation, you'll visit the Wildlife Rescue Center in Fortuna and embark to Caño Negro for a day on a cruise.
You'll also see the hanging bridges from Guanacaste and venture on another bird-watching cruise in Manuel Antonio. In Manuel Antonio, you'll be able to explore the city for a day and then head back to San Jose.
A more detailed description of the itinerary can be found on the Caravan website, along with available dates and prices!
2. Wellness Costa Rica
Hosted by: G-Adventures
Length: 8 days
Wellness Costa Rica is the perfect tour for those who enjoy connecting their inner self to their surroundings.
With this 8-day tour, you will visit the Mi Cafecito Community Coffee Plantation and learn about the life of farmers. Then, some yoga, hiking, and meditation sessions right by the Arenal Volcano. Therapeutic mud baths and relaxing hot springs are all part of the deal as well.
G Adventures are the leaders of small-group travel, with usually 10-12 individuals per group. They offer flexible itineraries and guarantee your safety with local, expert guides that will stay with you during the whole vacation.
This tour operator is ideal for solo travelers who want to explore a new place and meet like-minded individuals. People usually get paired up with someone from the same gender in rooms, or you can opt to have a room for yourself. As long as you're willing to pay a bit more!
What other tours does G-Adventure offer in Costa Rica?
Aside from the Wellness Costa Rica, G Adventures have an extensive portfolio of Costa Rican tours for you to pick from. You can filter their tours based on budget, the date you wish to travel, the type of travel style you enjoy, and length of stay, which can vary from 3 to 32 days.
Based on the different itineraries of their tours, there's a wide variety of adventures you can focus on!
For example, you can follow the Volcano Trail, which will take you to the best surfing spots in the country. If you'd like to see Costa Rica's wildlife, hop on the Costa Rica Active Adventure, which will have you hiking the woods and exploring the wilderness.
3. Costa Rica Experience
Hosted by: Intrepid
Length: 9 days
The Costa Rica Experience will take you on a balanced vacation, where you'll get to learn about the local culture, hike in the jungle, and enjoy some beach time as well. By staying in the countryside of Santa Rosa de Pocosol, relaxing in the rustic beach town of Quepos, and exploring the cloud-covered forest of Monteverde, you'll experience it all!
Intrepid is another small-group tour operating company covering every corner of this planet. They also have many different tour options in Costa Rica, and their prices are similar to those from G Adventures.
You can opt to travel only in Costa Rica or choose a longer itinerary that will take you around other countries in Central America. Depending on your time, you'll be able to experience a complete adventure around the entire region!
What are Intrepid tours like in Costa Rica?
Their tours are all guided by expert guides that will stay with you or the entirety of your vacation. They can also vary in style, going from more family-friendly vacations to adventurous, low-budget trips for younger adults.
On their destination page, you can also find extra information about the must-see places in Costa Rica, along with details about their culture, currency, food, and weather. This information is tailored to help you choose the tour that best matches your expectations.
4. Volcanoes, Nature and Caribbean
Hosted by: Destination Services Costa Rica
Length: 9 days
Volcanoes, Nature, and the Caribbean tour will take you to San Jose, around the Arenal Volcano National Park area, and to the east coast beaches, on the Caribbean side of the country. Here you will get to explore the afro-Caribbean heritage of the country and do a snorkeling tour on some of the most beautiful coral reefs in Central America!
Why Destination Services Costa Rica?
Destination Services Costa Rica is a receptive tourism company. They originated in the country and now take outside travelers on their adventures. They have highly experienced employees in the tourism industry and know Costa Rica better than anyone else.
If you're looking for an authentic insider experience of the country, they might be the best option for you. While Destination Services Costa Rica does offer "mainstream" tours that take you to all of the main hotspots in the country, most of their tours are specific to a single region and activity.
Don't worry about being rushed! They'll definitely make sure you get to explore Costa Rica attractions in detail and at your own pace.
They have small group itineraries and some with larger groups as well. The prices are not so different from the other options presented already. The types of adventures offered vary according to your preferences.
5. Costa Rica Adventure
Hosted by: TruTravels
Length: 10 days
Costa Rica Adventure will take you to the country's highlights with a group of young and adventurous travelers. It will take you off-the-beaten path to rural areas that are not so famous among tourists and where you'll be able to embark on authentic adventures. Zip lining and night safaris are a preview of the trip!
But don't worry, they'll take you to the essential Costa Rican spots as well.
Why go with TruTravels to Costa Rica?
TruTravels statement is that they don't offer "good" tours. Instead, they provide you with exceptional and breathtaking experiences you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Specializing in tourism from a different perspective, TruTravels will take you to those off-the-beaten-path destinations around any country they operate in.
TruTravels have four levels of traveling style:
- The classic travelers.
- The fitventurers (a mix of fitness and adventure).
- The flashpackers (those on a lower budget).
- The sailventurers (who take the island hopping to a whole new level).
For Costa Rica alone, they only offer this 10-day long trip, taking you to the country's highlights with a twist of uniqueness. You can also embark on one of their multi-country vacation packages, taking you to Costa Rica and other countries in Central America.
6. Luxury & Adventure in Costa Rica
Hosted by: Green World Adventures
Length: 11 days
Luxury & Adventure in Costa Rica is the perfect tour for those who love comfortable accommodations and the discomfort of adventure! Staying in luxury boutique hotels while actively exploring the jungles and beaches of the country, this tour takes you to some of the essential parts of Costa Rica.
What are Green World Adventures tours like?
Green World Adventures is another Costa Rica-based tour operating company specialized in taking foreign travelers to some of the most beautiful spots in the country, all with a nature-loving perspective.
Their tours and experiences are divided into different travel styles, from family vacations to budget, cultural immersion, and adventure trips. They also give you the option to create a tailor-made holiday just for you, something exclusive to their company! They also work with volunteer work, educational trips, and luxury vacations.
Their packaged vacations vary from 5 to 15 days, offering different takes and experiences to try around Costa Rica. Their portfolio is shorter than some of the other companies on this list. Still, their vacations are more exclusive and luxurious.
Plan your trip to Costa Rica with Pilot!
Visiting Costa Rica can be a fantastic experience when you choose to unite with other like-minded individuals and explore the country under the guidance of those who know it best!
Whether you choose the fantastic tours offered above, or if you decide to travel solo, you'll need a great travel plan. Why not give Pilot a try?