Costa RicaCosta Rica

       extremos at the bottom of bungee 
  - Costa Rica

Extreme Activities

Extreme Activities

Costa Rica’s list of extreme activities reads like an adventure challenge lineup. Test the limits of your bravery while throwing yourself headlong off bridges, tunneling through underground caves, or going face-to-face with sharks – Costa Rica is as extreme as you make it.

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Bungee Jumping

Fearless adrenaline junkies will love bungee jumping, which combines beautiful scenery with serious heights.

Go Extreme

Dive head-first off a Grecia-area bridge and hurtle down toward the rocky river before springing back, yo-yo style, through a lush, tropical canyon. If that’s not your cup of tea, take a turn on Jaco’s Extreme Machine, a safety-certified bungee tower, the only one in the Americas. Test out the big swing, rocket launcher, or bungee jump with water touchdown, all of which enjoy a great view of the Pacific Ocean.

Take it down a notch

If you can’t get up the nerve for bungee jumping, take a canopy tour that includes a Tarzan swing. After zipping through the forest canopy at speeds up to 55 mph, jump off a ledge and freefall for 30+ feet until the safety line catches and launches you into a wide pendulum swing.

Cave Spelunking

Costa Rica is home to some of the best caving in Central America. Hidden caves weave underground, promising miles of compelling caverns to explore.

Go Extreme

Take a two-hour hike through Barra Honda National Park to reach the Santa Ana cave, where a professional guide lowers you 790 feet into the cavernous abyss. Barra Honda is not developed for tourism, so only nature awaits you at the bottom – together with your guide, wind your way through delicate stalactite and stalagmite formations, untouched terrain, and exhilarating cave climbs.

Take it down a notch

Explore the Venado Caverns, located just a short drive from Arenal Volcano. A short, five-minute walk delivers you to the cave entrance, which you can enter on foot without pulleys or other equipment. Wade through a small creek while you observe the animals – bats and stingless scorpions – and other natural offerings around you.


Hiking may not sound like an extreme sport, but Costa Rica’s rugged terrain, mountainous topography, and varying altitudes can present quite a challenge.

Go Extreme

Experienced hikers should make the two-day trek up Mount Chirripo, Costa Rica’s tallest mountain (12,533 feet). Hike through high-altitude microclimates, including the paramo – a high, Andean-type woodland consisting of wind-stunted shrubs, grasslands and perennial herbaceous plants – and cloud forest. The peak is above cloud level and offers one of the world’s most breathtaking sunrises.

Take it down a notch

There are few activities more extreme than hiking to a volcano summit. Barva Volcano is relatively untouristed and has quiet, rugged trails and a challenging hike that will last the better part of a day.

Scuba Diving

Costa Rica is home to an incredible 3.5% of the planet’s total marine life and nearly 7,000 ocean species inhabit its warm Pacific and Atlantic waters. Scuba diving is the only way to explore these underwater treasures and, as a result, is one of Costa Rica’s most popular activities.

Go Extreme

Providing the spectacular backdrop to Jurassic Park’s dinosaur park, Costa Rica’s Cocos Island is the world’s largest uninhabited island and one of the planet’s best scuba locales. In one dive, expect to see hammerheads, white tip reef sharks, 100+ pound brown and blue-spotted jacks, mobula rays, Galapagos sharks, bull sharks and many other marine species.

Take it down a notch

Earn your PADI open water certification in Playa del Coco or Cahuita, where great visibility and calm currents greet divers. Playa del Coco is famous for its gentle, clear waters and diverse sea life such as puffer fish, eels, stingrays and dolphins. Cahuita’s Caribbean coast hosts one of Costa Rica’s two live coral reefs, where divers encounter more than 35 types of coral and other underwater creatures.


With over 800 miles of shoreline, two coasts, and a lively surf culture, Costa Rica boasts year-round surfing on beginner and advanced waves.

Go Extreme

Hit the tiny surf town of Pavones and test your board skills on the longest left-point break in the world. The break has been recorded to last up to three minutes on a slow swell – how long will you stay up?

Take it down a notch

Travel down to the southern Caribbean, where consistent tides produce great waves for both beginner and advanced surfers. Start out at Puerto Viejo’s Cocles Beach, known for steady but gentle surf, or head up to Cahuita, where smaller waves are great for boogie boarding breaks between surf lessons.

Waterfall Rappelling

Waterfall rappelling (also known as canyoning) is one of Costa Rica’s premier adventure sports that combines hiking, rock climbing and rappelling hundreds of feet down tropical waterfalls, some towering more than 200 feet.

Go Extreme

Take a trip to Arenal’s lost canyon, where expert guides will walk you through each step of the process. Begin on “test” waterfalls, each one a mini challenge, and build your confidence and canyoning skills. When you’re ready, take the plunge from the 200-foot big daddy and enjoy the thrill of waterfall spray on your face as you descend into an emerald canyon.

Take it down a notch

Visit Turrialba’s best canyoning tour, known for its safety and beginner-friendly cascades. You’ll combine waterfall rappelling with four zipline canopy cables and a 132-foot hanging bridge; together they equal the adrenaline adventure you’ve been waiting for.

Whitewater Rafting

Costa Rica’s whitewater rivers offer Class II-V rapids and runs of varying length and difficulty. Rivers cut through green canyons and wide, open expanses that promise incredible beauty, wildlife watching, and hours of enjoyment.

Go Extreme

Book a two-day whitewater rafting adventure on the Reventazon and Pacuare Rivers. The 33-mile run has 80 Class III-V foaming rapids and many exhilarating moments including the Pascua section of the Reventazon, Costa Rica’s hardest commercial run. You’ll soon see why rapids like “Indigestion” and “The Abyss” are so aptly named. Overnight at a secluded mountain lodge mid-trip and enjoy having the jungle all to yourself. 

Take it down a notch

Grab a seat on a half-day Balsa River trip and prepare for a wild adventure. You’ll paddle through exciting Class II-III rapids, drift through picturesque scenery, and may even see sloths, monkeys, iguanas and other wildlife along the river shores.

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