Exploring caves in Costa Rica

An experience in the dark

When you think of Costa Rica the species-rich jungles, volcanoes and dreamlike palm beaches normally come to mind but hardly anyone knows that the country also offers fascinating cave systems to explore. If you also want to discover the “interior” try an exciting cave tour in Costa Rica. A guided tour in the Cavernas de Venado (near the Arenal Volcano) or in the quite different Barra Honda National Park (on the Nicoya Peninsula in Guanacaste) is great fun. 

In Barra Honda you will hike through the national park and its fascinating dry forest before descending into the darkness. You will get a helmet as well as a climbing harness because you will begin on a steep ladder that leads 23 feet down into the cave. The descent is  impressive with stalactites, stalagmites and spectacular rock formations. 

Almost more adventurous is a guided tour in the caves of Venado. You’re guaranteed to get wet and dirty here, and that’s exactly why it’s so much fun. Armed with helmet and lamp, your guide will take you on a tour through the darkness. Sometimes sliding on your bottom, sometimes crawling on all fours through water, you work your way through the fascinating cave, which even offers waterfalls. Afterwards you will have the opportunity to refresh yourself in the swimming pool or have a drink at the bar as a reward.

Commonly asked questions

Tours are available several times a day. The opening hours of the “Cavernas de Venado” are from 8:00am to 3:00pm, the “Caves of Barra Honda” can be visited from 8:00am to 1:00pm.

The tour in Barra Honda National Park also includes a hike to the cave so plan 3-4 hours. The tour in the Cavernas de Venado lasts about 2 hours.

You should have a basic fitness because in the caves you have to slide on your bottom or crawl on all fours sometimes due to the low height.

If you follow the instructions of the guide and observe certain rules of conduct, a cave tour is not dangerous.

With appropriate physical fitness, there is no upper limit. The recommended minimum age for children is 12 years.

  • Clothing that may get wet and dirty
  • Swimwear
  • Towel (Cavernas de Venado)
  • Sturdy shoes with non-slip soles (in the Cavernas de Venado you will get rubber boots)

The cave tours are offered from $30 per person and we book the tour to and from La Fortuna for you. You will be picked up at the hotel. 

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