When I'm out and about, traveling through Costa Rica's rainforests with my brothers and sisters, there are few areas we like to explore as much as the Caribbean Coast, and we often see tourists making their way through the jungle on their own adventures. This area is one of the most biologically diverse in the whole country, thanks to its miles of sandy beaches, tropical forests and mangrove swamps. Come with me to discover the best places to go hiking on the Caribbean Coast!
Located in the southeastern corner of Costa Rica, Cahuita National Park is one of my favorite places to go exploring. Cahuita is home to some fascinating creatures such as howler monkeys, sloths and dozens of species of bird, and offers adventurous visitors the chance to explore the dense jungle while enjoying breathtaking views of the Caribbean Ocean.
Cahuita's Rainforest Trail begins at Kelly Creek Ranger Station and winds along the coast for almost six miles before ending in Puerto Vargas. The terrain is easy to navigate, making it an ideal place for inexperienced hikers to start their adventures! The path is quite narrow, but the inclines are gradual and most visitors should be able to finish the trail in about two hours. Because the route is so close the coast, however, it can flood during the low season, so be sure to ask the rangers about trail conditions before you set off.
Tortuguero National Park is another must for hikers visiting Costa Rica. Located in the northeast of the country, the scenery of this national park is truly spectacular.
Although most visitors come to Tortuguero to see the turtles that make their home on the beaches of the park, there is a great hiking trail that snakes through the lush jungle of the park. Known as the Gavilan Trail, the path is a little shorter than some other routes at just under a mile and a half long, but the views are well worth checking out.
Beginning at the Cuatro Esquinas ranger station, the trail winds through the rainforest right near the coast, offering tourists the chance to see exotic birds such as kingfishers, parrots, toucans and more. Visitors can walk the trail from the ranger station right to the beach, which can be a perfect way to enjoy both the dense jungle and pristine beaches of the park.
Some of Costa Rica's best hiking is in the Osa Peninsula
Take a surf trip along Costa Rica's southern Pacific Coast
Hiking trails in southern inland Costa Rica