Explore the highlights of Costa Rica, from volcanos and jungles to beach and surfing in one self-drive vacation. Arrive in Liberia and head to Tenorio National Park, where you'll hike along the electric blue waters of the Río Celeste. Next up is Arenal Volcano National Park, a hotbed of adventure activities. After a waterfall trek and whitewater rafting excursion, drive to Monteverde for a zip-line tour of the cloud forest canopy and a guided wildlife night hike. Finally, it's off to the beaches of Sámara and Tamarindo on the Nicoya Peninsula for surfing and relaxation.
Lake Arenal is Costa Rica's largest inland body of water, and the best way to explore it is on a standup paddleboarding (SUP) adventure! The lake's calm waters and beautiful scenery make it perfect for SUP beginners and experienced boarders alike. So, whether it's your first time on a paddleboard or the fiftieth, you're sure to get the hang of it and enjoy the experience.
As you start paddling, the views around the lake mostly feature mountains, stunning in their different shades of green. However, the highlight comes as you make your way to a specific point in the lake and get a full view of Arenal Volcano! From this vantage point, you may feel small passing in front of the monstrosity, but you'll be able to view the detailed textures of the volcano's rock formations.
After a short boat ride to the center of the lake, you'll receive thorough safety instructions. Then, after a bit of practice for the newcomers, you can enjoy a leisurely paddling session around the lake. Besides the amazing volcano views, you can paddle to one of the islands and marvel at the waterbirds, like herons and anhingas, that call the area home.
Discover more active experiences in Arenal/La Fortuna.
Itineraries with Standup Paddleboarding on Lake Arenal
This fun weeklong itinerary highlights Costa Rica's amazing natural scenery through a thrilling series of adventurous activities including whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, and more. Starting in the nation's capital, you'll make your way to rivers, jungles, waterfalls, and cone-shaped volcanoes, culminating on the Pacific coast with time to relax on Manuel Antonio's four white-sand beaches—each one accessed by hiking trail.
Explore some of Costa Rica's most classic settings on this adventure trip, from active volcanoes to the rainforest to its gorgeous Pacific beaches. You'll see volcanic fumaroles in Rincon de la Vieja, visit hot springs and cross hanging bridges in Arenal, encounter tons of tropical wildlife in Monteverde, and unwind on the beaches of the Gulf of Papagayo. Get ready to go hiking, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, and more on this thrilling tour of Costa Rica's northwest.
This two-week itinerary is perfect for eco-minded travelers thirsting for a comprehensive Costa Rican adventure. Kick off the journey in metropolitan San José before braving the whitewater rapids of jungle rivers, hiking the base of Costa Rica's most famous volcano, exploring rare cloud-forest eco-systems, and learning to surf (or polish your skills) and Pacific beaches. Enjoy spotting many of Costa Rica's wildlife species along the way.
This 10-day itinerary showcases three of Costa Rica's most popular destinations: Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. In Arenal, you'll paddleboard past the volcano on the lake, traverse tropical forests on suspension bridges, and soak in the region's hot springs. Monteverde offers the chance to spot monkeys, birds, and more of the country's wildlife as you zip-line through the Cloud Forest Reserve, while Manuel Antonio provides downtime at the beach, where days end with spectacular Pacific Coast sunsets.