How to Spend Five Days in Costa Rica

How to Spend Five Days in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is home to beautiful beaches, a spectacular rainforest, and incredible wildlife. The list of things you could do in Costa Rica could keep you busy for an entire year if you wanted to stay that long; however, we are going to break down how you can spend your time there on a five-day time limit and budget to accomplish what we think would make for a memorable trip.

Are you looking for a list of what you could do in Costa Rica? Our Costa Rica blog provides information on what to do and reasons for visiting!

Where to Stay?

How you want to spend your trip is totally up to you. Do you want to stay near the beach? The beach is where you will have an abundance of water sports near you. You can go kayaking or snorkeling to relax at the beach or pool. Do you want to stay in the rainforest near the jungle and witness incredible wildlife? The tours I have listed below will pick you up directly from your hotel.

This 5-day itinerary is for if you stay near Conchal beach. That would mean purchasing a round-trip ticket to and from Liberia Costa Rica Airport.

Costa Rican Hotels

Day 1: Relax at the Beach

How to Spend Five Days in Costa Rica
Conchal Beach

Following this specific 5-day itinerary, spend this day at Conchal beach.

Costa Rica is home to world-class beaches and is known for waves that are great for surfing. The country also has calm, relaxing waters in some areas. I will list the best beaches to go surfing, snorkeling, or kayaking in Costa Rica.


If you are interested in spending the day surfing or taking a surf lesson, we recommend going to Tamarindo beach or Dominical beach.


If you love snorkeling and have purchased snorkel gear, then we recommend spending the day at Conchal Beach or Punta Uva.


If you want a laidback, turquoise-colored beach with calm, relaxed waters, go to Samara Beach or Manzanillo Beach.

Day 2: Half Day Tour (Water Tubing, Zip Lining, and Horseback Riding)

This tour picks you up at 7:20 am at Conchal beach!

If you are adventurous and love the adrenaline rush, this tour filled with outdoor activities is for you! This half-day tour on TripAdvisor has an average 5-star rating and will not only take you water tubing, but you will also be able to go zip lining, horseback riding, and to the Rio Negro Hot Springs!

Zip Lining:

 Zip-lining through the Costa Rican Rainforest will give you an experience of a lifetime, as you will get a bird’s eye view of the lively forest below. Once strapped in your harness, you will start the zip-lining course through the incredible canopy and canyons over a turbulent river! This specific course has eight zip-line cables, a rock-climbing wall, a hanging bridge, and a Tarzan swing! Now, if you do not want to go rock climbing, you do not have to. The guides are super accommodating.

Horseback Riding:

What better way to explore Costa Rica than on a horse? This 45-minute horseback ride through the forest is incredible as you will see the local flora and fauna of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.

Water Tubing:

How to Spend Five Days in Costa Rica

Water Tubing will be the time of your life, as you will bounce down Rio Negro’s speedy rapids in your tube.

Rio Negro Hot Springs:

How to Spend Five Days in Costa Rica
Rio Negro Hot Springs

After lunch, you will go to the Rio Negro Hot Springs. The Rio Negro Hot Spring, naturally heated by the largest volcano, is in the Guanacaste region. The hot springs feature ten pools surrounded by a tropical dry forest. The mineral-laden waters of the hot springs in Costa Rica have therapeutic benefits. The hot springs are known to cure aches and pains for over 200 years. The mystical healing is said to work. 

Mud Bath:

The volcanic mud “bath” is another activity to partake in at the Hot Springs, where you will spread volcanic clay mud all over yourself and then wash it off with a cool river water shower. The hot springs will feel great afterward!

Day 3: Rio Celeste Hike and Sloth Sanctuary

This tour picks you up at 7:20 am at CONCHAL beach!

Rio Celeste Hike and Sloth Sanctuary: Costa Rica is home to breathtaking waterfalls. Swimming in the bright blue natural pool is an experience you won’t ever forget. Rio Celeste is one of the most beautiful sites ever. This tour will take you to this waterfall and a sloth sanctuary.

Rainforest: On the 2-mile hike to the waterfall, you will see incredible wildlife in the rainforest. A rainforest is a tropical forest with tall trees and heavy year-round rainfall. The tall trees block out sunlight preventing overgrowth as is found in a jungle. Colorful flora and Guanacaste trees are present in the rainforest and are exquisite. There are over 10,000 species of plants.

Costa Rica the most biodiverse country in the world. You will be amazed by the amount of wildlife you will see when you visit. Costa Rica is home to more than 230 species of mammals. In the country, you will have animal encounters in the wild. There are sloths lounging around, monkeys swinging from branches, iguanas everywhere, brightly colored tree frogs, and more. Did you know? There are six toucan species in Costa Rica. Toucans eat fruit only. Spotting wild animals in Costa Rica is bound to happen for you.

sloth hanging on tree branch
Photo by Koen Swiers on

Sloth Sanctuary: The sloths are in their natural habitat. You won’t get to see them up close; however, you will see them at a distance. You will see brightly colored tree frogs.

Lunch: The restaurant for lunch overlooks two Volcanos. Costa Rica is home to 100 volcanoes. Seven volcanoes are active today. To be categorized as an active volcano means the volcano has erupted in the last 10,000 years. There are so many volcanoes in Costa Rica due to the northeast subduction of the Pacific tectonic plate underneath the Caribbean tectonic plate. The five must-see volcanoes to visit in Costa Rica are Arenal Volcano, Poas Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and Irazu Volcano.

Day 4: White Water Rafting

How to Spend Five Days in Costa Rica

This Whitewater Rafting Tour at the Corobici River will be an adventure of a lifetime, as you will experience 15 miles of intense, challenging, and wild rapids.

Day 5: Beach Day

You will find pristine beaches in Costa Rica, as I stated previously. It is your second day relaxing at Conchal beach!

We listed how to spend five days in Costa Rica. Are you looking to stay more than five days? I recommend visiting the Arenal area, as you will then get to go to the infamous Arenal volcano, hot springs, and the Fortuna waterfall.
Are you looking for a list of what to do in Costa Rica? Read: 5 Reasons to Travel to Costa Rica

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