Discovering Volcanoes, Jungle and Exotic Beaches

Activity Map for Arenal and Manuel Antonio
You won’t have a hard time finding things to do in Arenal and Manuel Antonio!

If you’re planning your first trip to Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano and Manuel Antonio are likely on your radar, if not at the top of your list.  And why not?  These are the most famous attractions in Costa Rica after all!  The idea behind the Discovering Volcanoes, Jungle and Exotic Beaches itinerary (hey, we have to call it something 😉 ) is to provide you with an outline itinerary so you can discover these popular and really cool places.

Spend a Few Days in Arenal for Adventure & Hot Springs

Arenal Volcano is one of Costa Rica’s most iconic attractions, not only for its impressive geological features, but also for the famous hot springs, nature, and plethora of adventure tours.  Vistors to the area can partake in adventure activities such as whitewater rafting, canyoning, ATV riding, or ziplining.  Nature lovers can go on guided hikes to the Arenal Hanging Bridges, hike through the national park, or visit Cano Negro in a riverboat.  After a day of adventure, you can stop by the hot springs to wash the day away.

Arenal Volcano
Tourists pose in front of Arenal Volcano from the top of the extinct volcano, Cerro Chato.

Unwind For a Few Days of Beach & Nature at Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is home to some of the prettiest beaches on the Pacific coast and so much wildlife that it’s hard to believe the animals are actually wild! Visitors can spend their days exploring the jungle, adventuring, or just relaxing at the beach.  Many choose a combination of both, exploring in the morning and soaking up the rays in the evening before the sun puts on a final show as it sets on the Pacific.

Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio is one of the most interesting beach destinations in Costa Rica.





Ideas For Your Vacation

Ten Great Hotels in Arenal in No Particular Order

  • Arenal Nayara – Luxury, Romance
  • Arenal Springs Resort – Mid-range, Family, Hot Springs
  • Arenal Paraiso Resort – Budget/Mid-range, Hot Springs
  • The Springs Resort – Luxury, Hot Springs, Family
  • Mountain Paradise – Mid-range
  • Arenal Oasis Ecolodge – Budget, Ecolodge
  • Tabacon Resort – Luxury, Hot Springs
  • Los Lagos Resort – Family, Hot Springs
  • Hotel La Fortuna – Budget, Town Center
  • Silencio del Campo – Mid-range, Hot Springs

Top Ten Activities in Arenal

  • Hot Springs – Romance, Relaxation
  • Whitewater Rafting – Adventure
  • Arenal National Park – Rainforest, Wildlife Observation
  • Venado Caves – Adventure, Cave Exploration
  • Canyoning – Adventure
  • Arenal Hanging Bridges – Rainforest, Canopy Exploration, Wildlife Observation
  • Canopy Zipline – Adventure
  • Cano Negro – Wildlife Observation
  • Night Hike – Nocturnal Wildlife Observation
  • Tubing Rio Arenal – Adventure

When to go: The best weather is from January – July, but the best rates are from May – November.

Know before you go: Arenal stopped erupting in 2010, but the hot springs are still hot and the area still attracts the country’s top tour operators.


Ten Great Manuel Antonio Hotels

  • Gaia Resort – Luxury, Adults Only
  • The Falls Resort – Midrange, Eco-friendly
  • Cabinas Espadilla – Budget, Walking Distance to the Beach
  • Los Altos Resort – Luxury, Condos, Family
  • Si Como No – Midrange, Eco-resort
  • Plaza Yara – Budget, Family
  • Arenas del Mar – Luxury, Beach Front
  • Hotel Parador – Midrange, Family
  • Hotel Costa Verde – Midrange, Couples
  • Hotel Mandarina – Budget, Family

Top Ten Activities in Manuel Antonio

  • Manuel Antonio Park – Wildlife Observation
  • Canopy Zipline – Adventure
  • Surfing – Adventure
  • Catamaran Cruise – Romance, Snorkeling
  • Damas Island Estuary – Wildlife Observation
  • Horseback Riding – Adventure
  • ATV Riding – Adventure
  • Whitewater Rafting – Adventure
  • Para-sailing – Adventure
  • Canyoning – Adventure

When to go: December – April provides the best weather, but you’ll enjoy the best prices from May – November.

Know before you go: Though Manuel Antonio is a beach destination, the majority of hotels are on the forested hillside.


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