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The Gap Year Blog

5 Things To Do In Costa Rica

5 May 2016 00:00 AM
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With all the hard work you put in to your volunteering project it’s important to make sure you have some time to enjoy yourself. Frontier runs a range of conservation and community projects you can get involved in in Costa Rica, so we thought to look at 5 things you could do in your free time.

Visit the Arenal Volcano National Park

Pixabay

The Arenal volcano is an active volcano in north western Costa Rica, around 90km from San José. It is at least 1,633 metres high with a crater spanning 140 metres. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and while this might not have you tempted to go and visit it just yet, the national park that the volcano sits in the middle of is a central part of the country and forms the Arenal Tilaran Conservation Park. From a distance you can hear the occasional small eruption, while visiting this beautiful park that helps conserve many species of flora and fauna. In the expanse of stunning park, there are several resorts build around hot springs and offer activities such as whitewater rafting, wildlife viewing, hiking, caving and horseback riding.

Go to San José

Flickr / Artullo Sotillo

When in Costa Rica, you must make sure you visit the city of San José. It is the capital of Costa Rica, and is the nation’s largest city. It has a mild climate despite being situation in a tropical rainforest, and the temperature ranges between 17 and 30 degrees. The culture and architecture of San José is heavily influenced by European settlers, and as such, when in the city you should try to visit The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum for amazing treasures and artefacts, and The National Theatre of Costa Rica for both the architecture of the building and the many drama and dance performances that are put on throughout the year.

Tropical Bungee

Flickr / Don Graham

If you love adventure sports and are willing to give anything a go, then head to the Old Colorado Bridge and leap off it with a bungee cord attached to your ankles as you freefall for 265 feet! Tropical Bungee is one of the highest bungee bridges in America, and offers round trip transportation from San José every day. There is no age limit, the youngest jumper was 4 years old and the oldest was 80 – why not join them!

Eat Traditional Food

Flickr / katiebordner

While in Costa Rica, have the traditional meal that locals have for lunch. Called a casado, this meal consists of rice and beans served side by side instead of mixed. Usually there is also some meat to accompany the dish such as fish, a pork chop or chicken as well as a salad. And of course, you can’t travel into Costa Rica without having some coffee, which is a main part of the agricultural exports of the country. Costa Rica produces some exceptional rum, and the national liquor ‘guaro’ which is made from sugar cane is the traditional drink, and definitely worth a try.

See the Wildlife


Costa Rica is a treasure trove of wild and plant life. It is home to more than 500,000 species, which represents nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide, making Costa Rica one of the 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world. While in Costa Rica you may come across beautiful butterflies and moths, and a few of the estimated 483,000 invertebrates that inhabit the country. You are likely to come across one or two species of frog and reptiles that dwell in the forest. Mammals such as monkeys, bats, tapir and anteaters are part of Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity, and if you are extremely lucky you may see a big cat (although most are nocturnal or are very good at remaining unseen). If you schedule your visit at the right time, you may even be fortunate enough to witness the hundreds of sea turtles that arrive on specific Costa Rican beaches to lay their eggs - and even luckier if you manage to see the baby hatchlings making their way to the ocean.

Travel to Costa Rica and witness some of the fantastic wildlife and culture mentioned above. Check out our volunteering opportunities in Costa Rica here.

Our Big Cats, Primates and Turtles Project is a very special project enabling you to experience and work with a whole host of species.

Frontier runs terrestrial marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

See more from our volunteers #Frontiervolunteer