Tropical rain forests. Sublime beaches. Soaring volcanoes. Incredible stargazing. Authentic towns. Phenomenal dining. Breathtaking hot springs. Luxury-drenched resorts. Shall we go on? Immersed in unspoiled nature, Costa Rica is picture-perfect honeymooning, seducing couples in the most effortless way. It’s one of the most eco-friendly places in the world, so you know all your romantic moments will not be ruined with black city smoke. In fact, Costa Rica is basically a natural, open-air museum. It’s why two million tourists visit every year, many of whom never leave (as evident in the solid ex-pat community). While there’s hundreds of exciting thing to do, these are the classic outdoor activities that initially put Costa Rica on the map and are essential for proper honeymooning.
Corcovado National ParkLos Patos Sirena Trail, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
In the Osa Peninsula, Corcovado National Park is the famous national park that sees a huge number of honeymooners. Here, you can hike amazing trails flanked by mountains and even some mangrove swamps. What makes it epically “Costa Rica” is the wealth of wildlife you’ll see, from three-toed sloths and white-faced capuchin to howler monkeys and toucans. You will never see these things outside a cereal box back home, so it’s definitely a must. The other option is Monteverde Cloud Forest. Cool name aside, it’s one of the world’s most biodiverse rain forests near Arenal and equally as iconic with the mother lode of wildlife.
So many beachesLimón Province, Punta Uva, Costa Rica
The beaches in Costa Rica are relatively quiet, rugged and remarkably beautiful. Many serve as backyards to resorts but there’s a handful of wild, pristine beaches along small stretches of coast. They’re a trek to get to, but obviously worth it (BYO towels, sunscreen, shades). None of the beaches are what you’d find in say Jamaica or Miami. There are no crowds at Costa Rica beaches, which make them a magnet to honeymooners looking for R&R (rest and relaxation, not rock and roll). Top beaches are Playa Chiquita, Punta Uva and, of course, Santa Teresa, known for its mind-blowing, unobstructed sunsets (link to most romantic activities story).
Hot springs at ArenalArenal Volcano, Alajuela Province, San Carlos, Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano, a natural landmark, is so stunning that it’s a major tourist attraction (insert top 4 regions story here). The volcano’s magma heats underground “rivers,” which ultimately fuels the ubiquitous, natural hot springs, the major draw in the area. You’ll find a number of luxury resorts that offer hot springs facilities, like Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. It’s basically the Disneyland of hot springs (which is why we recommend you stay at nearby Nayara instead (insert link to best resorts)), but it’s a must for a day trip with passes available. Tabacon is famous for its extensive circuit of thermal springs in a variety hot springs pools that average 98 degrees. Think of it as one big Jacuzzi, only these springs are mineral rich, good for blood circulation, health and detox. In the dense rain forest, there are spring-fed swimming pools, waterfall pools and tucked away, private pools, most of which are just carved out from the earth. There’s even a hot spring swim-up bar if you want a beer to cool off from the heat. We recommend going at night when it’s not so crowded and the entire area is lit up like a fairy tale.
Renting a car and just driving around
This is the best part of Costa Rica. The entire country is a nature museum loaded with rich ecosystems, so honeymooners are prone to rent a car at the airport and explore the country at their leisure. They’ll pass villages, farms, rain forests, verdant hillsides, waterfalls, rivers, beaches and never-ending, enormous landscapes. Roads are typically lined with palms or trees, and a drive along the coast is going to be your jam. Driving is the best way to get to some of the more hidden beaches, off-the-beaten-path restaurants, tucked-away hot springs, zero-crowd rainforests and plenty of other natural treasures. If you’re renting a car, you need to know these essential tips (insert link to master guide to costa rica honeymoons).
The reason why everyone identifies zip lining with Costa Rica is because it was invented here. The country is so dense with rainforests teeming with wildlife that some dude knew there must have been an exciting, thrilling and safe way to explore the rainforest canopy, passing monkeys and birds and sloths along the way. You are literally soaring high through the treetops here, surrounded by commanding, aerial views. Ziplining is pretty ubiquitous. You can do it almost in any region with a forest, like Arenal, Jaco, Manuel Antonio and Monteverde, which are the best spots. All of these hot spots will have observation decks. Monteverde is the most extreme with heights starting at 1,400 feet. Some ziplining tours, like Witches Rock Canopy Tour in Papagayo, have climbing trees and hanging bridges. Because all the zipline tours take place in various rain forests and offer different features, you can do it again and again and again.
SurfingPlaya Guiones, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
If you’re in the mood to learn surfing, Costa Rica is one of the best places, with about ten different beaches to take out a board. Costa Rica is notoriously perfect for beginners. If you’re a pro, you’ll want to hang ten with the best, as breaks are also damn good for experienced dudes. Surfers of all levels crowd around Guiones, known for consistent rolling waves. Tamarindo is one of the most famous surf spots, complete with surf schools, board shops and surf shacks. In Puerto Viejo, Salsa Brava has some of the country’s most kickass surf (huge, powerful waves, bro), basically built for show offs, if you want to go that route.