Hiking in the dense rainforest of Costa Rica

On the trail of monkey, bird, sloth and co.

Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Costa Rica and a way to discover the jungle while unwinding and forgetting the stress of everyday life. Hiking is ideal for travelers of all ages whether hiking on your own through the national parks and reserves or on guided tours with local tour guides. The hiking trails are well marked and hikes can usually be extended or shortened depending on fitness and motivation.

Take your time and enjoy the smells and sounds, the colors and impressions of the Costa Rican jungle consciously. We recommend taking at least one or two guided tours at the beginning of your trip because the local guides explain interesting details about the most inconspicuous plants and find even the best camouflaged animals that we would have overlooked as amateurs. All national parks can be hiked on your own with the exception of Corcovado National Park which can only be entered with a certified guide. Hiking and trekking tours in Corcovado National Park should therefore be booked well in advance. Visits to the other parks are generally possible spontaneously without advance notice. 

In addition to hiking in Costa Rica’s national parks, there are a large number of hiking opportunities in various reserves or even on trekking routes. If you are interested in extended trekking tours over several days in Costa Rica, we are happy to advise you. The Ruta Sukia, a well known area which starts in the region of Dota, offers trekking tours over several days in the Corcovado National Park. A special highlight for hikers with good physical condition is the ascent of the Chirripó, the highest mountain of Costa Rica reaching over 3,800 meters.

Answers to common questions

You are quite flexible when hiking on your own. It is worth leaving early in the morning because then the chances of good weather are better even in the rainy season and many animals, especially birds, are particularly active in the early morning hours. Please note that most national parks close their entrances at 3:00pm as it gets dark at around 6:00pm all year round.

Hikes can be planned according to your mood. On average a hike in the national parks takes 3-4 hours. And of course there are also multi-day hikes to book with us.

Depending on the type of national park, the nature of the trails, and the altitude a normal to good level of fitness is required. We are happy to advise you on suitable hiking options as most of the tours we know from our own experience.

A hike is not dangerous if you follow the directions of the parks and your guides. Please never leave the marked trails, wear sturdy shoes and do not overestimate your fitness. Always take enough drinking water with you, wear good sun protection and ideally light, long clothing. Do not carelessly touch trees, branches and railings, as animals such as scorpions or biting ants can hide there.

When it comes to hiking, it’s not so much age that matters as the physical fitness required for each route.

  • Comfortable, light clothing
  • Good footwear
  • Headgear
  •  Sun and insect protection
  • Camera
  • Possibly binoculars
  •  Drinking water

Entrance fees may vary depending on the national park or reserve. On average these are around $15 per person. We also offer extended and multi-day hikes and are happy to advise you on them.

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