Hiking is not just about getting out into nature, staying fit and healthy, and seeing lots of amazing sites off the beaten path — it’s about all of those things! And Guanacaste, Costa Rica is a fantastic place to enjoy the best parts of hiking: comfortable weather, loads of natural attractions, and different levels of difficulty to entice all members of the family. So if you’re thinking about getting deeper into nature and seeing some incredible sites that only your two feet can take you to, have a read of our list of some of the best hiking trails in the area, and everything that you can expect from hiking the trails in our spectacular region of Guanacaste, Costa Rica!
“Only the ones who wander find a new path.”
Visiting the most active volcano in Costa Rica is a privilege that we love to recommend to our clients who are looking for natural wonders, beauty, and adventure. There are more than six main trails around the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, each with its own unique views of picturesque waterfalls and volcanic activity. Three of these trails are moderate, ranging from less than a mile to almost 6 miles, with elevations of between 1,850 and 3,000 feet above sea level.
One of the most remarkable waterfalls to visit in the park is La Cangreja, which falls 130 feet in a thick, white torrent of mineral rich water that streaks blue through the verdant forests below. The waterfall’s pool is colored a remarkable sky blue, thanks to dissolved copper minerals from the volcano. Taking the guided 3-mile trek with Guanacaste Tours comes inclusive with a picnic lunch at the base of the waterfall.
A trip to this national park should also include a hike to Las Pailas. Meaning “the cauldrons” in Spanish, this spectacular show of steaming fumaroles, mini geysers, and bubbling mud pits is a delight for all members of the family. A fairly easy 2.5 mile loop will take you past these riveting sites and a diversity of mountain habitats that are home to amazing tropical wildlife like monkeys, peccaries, iguanas, and coatis. Finish the loop with a refreshing swim in the Oropendula Waterfall, which plunges and impressive 82 feet into a deep rock canyon, surrounded by luscious jungle.
Hacienda Guachipelin is a long-standing establishment that has been hosting tourists to the Rincon de la Vieja region of Guanacaste for almost a century. This 3000-acre reserve property is home to a number of different landscapes that are perfect for a one-day hike or many days of excursions. Rent a room on the property and find yourself located in one of the best adventure capitals of Guanacaste province in Costa Rica.
Try a hike to Las Chorreras Waterfall, which is easily accessible by a nearly flat hike that is perfect for those who are not as well-conditioned. Upon reaching the forest clearing, you will be greeted by the picturesque site of two sister waterfalls cascading into a celestial blue pool. A shallow canyon of volcanic rock rings the pool and creates an intimate location for an exhilarating swim next to the powerful roar of the falls.
Follow a hiking tour to the next waterfall, which has a dramatic descent of 115 feet. La Victoria Waterfall is fed by the force of the fast-flowing Rio Negro. This is the location of our Guanacaste Tours Canyoning Adventure, where climbers are rappelled down the falls and can swing from a platform through the powerful flow of the falls. A hike to this waterfall is also 2.5 miles from Hacienda Guachipelin’s adventure center. But in combination, these two hikes are a relaxing pace to take in a good portion of the majesty of this location. Immerse yourself in the wonders of Guanacaste’s dry tropical forest and the many wildlife sightings you are bound to have along the way.
All tours are arranged through Guachipelin’s adventure center, which is open daily between 8 am and 5 pm to hotel guests and visitors.
This is a tour that speaks its essence in its name, calling you to explore your senses. Four miles of moderate to difficult trails are cut through unique, mid-altitude tropical rainforest, inviting visitors to take in the many wonders along the way. Take a dip in natural thermal hot springs, feel minuscule next to the giant, ancient trees, and purify your spirit with refreshing swims in volcanic blue waterfalls.
Freshwater pools, curative hot springs, precious endemic wildlife, and the magnificent Buenos Aires waterfall that cuts through a breezy canyon are just some of the many invigorating experiences that await you. The crown jewel of this trek is Sensoria’s rainforest observatory platform, which has views of Lake Nicaragua on a clear day, and one of the best views of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.
Finish off with a special lunch at the stunning visitors center, included with the price of admission. Sensoria’s kitchen serves a delicious spread of fresh foods that suit all dietary preferences and continues with the aim of delighting the senses.
Bear in mind that this tour was created to be a special and romantic getaway destination for adults who are looking for a sensual, luxury hiking experience. It might be one to best leave your small children at home, for the price and the difficulty. No walk-ins allowed and all tours are by reservation only.
The diverse beauty of Guanacaste is easy to capture from the high-altitude vantage point of the Heliconia Hanging Bridges. This full-day tour begins with a swim at the magical Llanos del Cortez Waterfalls and then leads you through Botanic Gardens filled with remarkable local and exotic species of bushes and trees.
Enjoy an authentic Costa Rican lunch at a sublime location that overlooks the Miravalles Volcano. After this delicious and hearty traditional meal, your hike will head towards the Tenorio Volcano. This two-hour trail traverses the tropical rainforest canopy along four hanging bridges. Each of these bridges ranges in height, from 115 feet to 130 feet above the forest floor. From this perch, you can see an abundance of wildlife that you cannot see from ground level, including birds, butterflies, bromeliads, orchids, and much more.
Tours require a minimum of four participants and this is an exciting experience to bring children along. The park is only open mid-week, from Tuesday to Thursday, and the all-day trek appeals for a bit more preparation than some shorter hikes, including a change of clothes and ample sun protection.
For more information on these great hikes in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, or any other tours in the region, contact our helpful tourism desk at Guanacaste Tours. We are here to make your adventure experiences in the Rincon de la Vieja region a success and a delight! Contact us at [email protected]