Romantic day trips: 3 things to do in Costa Rica

By Sarah Gillespie, Jun 2020

Picturesque beach in Costa Rica

The mysterious cloud forests of Costa Rica host dramatic waterfalls, volcanic springs and some of the world's finest coffee. It's the perfect place for indulging in a little romance, with an army of expert guides and beauty therapists ready to cater to your every whim. We've rounded up the three best things to do in Costa Rica to make treasured memories that will last long after you've returned home.

1. Enjoy a sensory feast in a protected rainforest

On the northern slope of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano lies the Sensoria "Land of Senses," which comprises 100 hectares of family-owned primary rainforest. Only 1% of this is used for tours. The rest is home to a multitude of native fauna: tapirs, pumas, ocelots, armadillos and vibrant tropical birds.

If you're staying at the JW Marriott Guanacaste, Secrets Papagayo or RIU Palace, Swiss Travel will pick you up from your hotel for a full-day tour of Sensoria. Your guide will help you to identify wild orchids and ancient trees before leading you to a series of thermal pools where you can bathe under deep blue waterfalls. Immerse yourself in healing volcanic waters against a backdrop of cicadas, howler monkeys and birdsong. If you're looking for some sustenance, follow up with lunch, local coffee and sweets in the visitor hut.

The tour takes around 12 hours in total. Bring long pants, a bathing suit, hiking shoes or sneakers, insect repellent, a light jacket, rain gear, an extra change of clothes, a copy of your passport, cash and a camera. Towels are provided.

The Volcano Arenal in costa rica in front of palms and green leaves.

The luxurious Nayara Springs resort is located in the shadow of the beautiful Arenal Volcano.

2. Indulge in the ultimate natural spa treatment

Located deep in Arenal Volcano National Park, Nayara Hotel Spa & Gardens and its adults-only sister hotel, Nayara Springs, are two of Costa Rica's most luxurious resorts. Dark wood and marble interiors complement the surrounding rainforest, which is home to hummingbirds, geckos and sloths. The two hotels are most known for their nature-inspired spa treatments, which take place in private, open-air pavilions overlooking the rainforest. Nourish your skin with a mineral-rich volcanic mud facial or delight your senses with an indulgent cocoa massage. Want to leave feeling energized? Try the organic Costa Rican coffee scrub.

Couples' experiences are also available. The signature two-hour "Unforgettable Nayara" ritual combines a Swedish massage with a hydrating facial and finishes with a soak in a rose petal Jacuzzi. Fancy really getting back to nature? The "Nature Escape" couples' experience combines a sea-salt foot soak with a one-hour hot stone massage, using volcanic stones to release tight muscles and stimulate circulation.

Guests should arrive 20 minutes prior to their appointment time. Nayara requires 12 hours' notice for cancellations.

Coffee beans pouring out of a bag and onto a pile of more coffee beans

See how coffee beans transform into your favorite morning beverage.

3. Discover the secrets of Costa Rican coffee and chocolate

The volcanic soil, altitude and humidity of Monteverde's cloud forests are ideal for growing Costa Rica's nutty, citrus-tinged coffee. Family-owned operator Don Juan Tours will take you to a local farm where you will harvest the jewel-red coffee beans yourself. Afterward, witness the entire process, including drying, roasting and grinding, that results in an exquisite cup of fresh coffee.

The second part of the tour takes you to a chocolate farm, where you will taste the aromatic white flesh of the native cocoa fruit before seeing how the fruits are transformed into cocoa products. After you've had your fill on chocolate, the tour will finish with a short talk on sugar cane, where you'll learn about the crop's history and processing methods before making your own sugar cane juice.

The tour takes 3 hours. As all paths are made of cement, the tour will go ahead in any weather. It is fully accessible for those with disabilities.

Whatever your desires, there's no shortage of romantic things to do in Costa Rica. Grab your loved one and take them on a journey they'll never forget.

Ready for your romantic getaway? Browse Costa Rica vacation packages to begin preparing your trip.

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