Things to Do in Costa Rica: Explore the Rain Forest

by Pam Niequist Wehbi

There are so many things to do in Costa Rica, but exploring the rain forest should be top on your to-do list. Caribbean cruises often pull into the Costa Rican port of Limon, and the lush, tropical Veragua Rain Forest is just a stone's throw away. When time in port is at a premium, knowing what to do in advance can improve your rain forest experience.

Veragua Rain Forest Aerial Tram

Board an open gondola cage that sweeps you across the canopy for panoramic views. You can see the primary rain forest towering to the sky, howler monkeys chatting in the treetops, and colorful tropical birds sweeping across the jungle canopy. It's also the best way to connect to the Victoria River Canyon and hiking trails.

Hiking Trails

Hiking through the Veragua Rain Forest is also quite popular among visitors. Regardless of your level of fitness, there's a trail to suit. The Trail of the Giants offers an easy walk through the towering forest cathedral. Be on the lookout for toucans and other tropical birds, as well as sloths and lizards hiding in the trees. If you're more adventurous, the Trail of the Brave can be quite rewarding. It's a pretty heavy duty experience, and involves ascending 700 feet to a height of 1,395 feet in less than one mile. It's daunting, but the views are worth the climb.

Puma Waterfall

A visit to the Puma Waterfall within the rain forest is worth a visit. Two levels of cascades flow into a tranquil pool of water where you may see birds dipping in for a drink. If you're lucky, you might spot monkeys in the trees above. This visit gives you a bonus workout, as there are many steps to walk up to reach the viewing platform.

Zipline Canopy Tour

A zipline canopy tour is akin to flying through the rain forest. This exhilarating ride is one of the most fun things to do in Costa Rica. It has you hooked up to cables and gliding through the rain forest canopy for a bird's eye view of the wildlife. Stop at several platforms along the way to enjoy still views of the surrounding rain forest.

Butterfly Garden

At the end of the canopy zipline, you're near the reception area of Veragua. So why not head over to the Butterfly Garden? Costa Rica is home to the blue morpho butterfly, and you can see these colorful creatures for yourself, along with approximately 10,000 other butterfly types. Be sure to check out the research lab, as well.

Cruises to the Caribbean offer a wonderful way to explore exciting ports of call. See which Princess cruise is right for you.

Travelers ride the aerial tram through the rain forest during a shore excursion on their Caribbean cruise.
Travelers board the aerial tram for a scenic ride across the treetops of Veragua Rain Forest near Limon, Costa Rica.