It’s well known that some of the best places to visit in Costa Rica are the most difficult to get to. Boat tours help visitors access a score of such places by providing easy transportation up rivers, across oceans and through estuaries. During these trips, tour takers may snorkel, swim or sunbathe; they might search for birds or mammals, fish for rainbow bass, or hike along an island’s jungle trails. An ecologically savvy guide, who can help explain the relationships between the varying organisms, often accompanies these tours. Meals are frequently provided, and all guests are equipped with any necessary equipment.
27 Things to Do
Take an adventurous, all-inclusive tour of the gorgeous coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. Along the way, you’ll have ample opportunity for spotting wildlife as well as relaxing in the natural beauty of Tortuga Island. This is an all-day tour—your boat departs at 9 AM from Montezuma and returns at 4 PM.
7 hrsFrom $67
This tour leaves departs from Drake Bay at 7:00 AM and includes two dives off of Caño Island. Your guide will take you to some of the most popular dive sites in the area, where you can see a ton of pelagic fish as well as manta rays. Divers treasure this site because it’s so beautifully preserved – no one is allowed to fish or collect shells in a 3-mile radius surrounding the island.
6 hrsFrom $93
On this boating trip, you’ll depart from the Nicoya Peninsula to see Tortuga Island. Peer over the hulle of the boat for the chance to see marine wildlife swimming past. You’ll also have the chance to try snorkeling and explore the island on your own.
6 hrsFrom $67
To learn about how far Costa Rica has come, you need to understand the nation's history. The Palo Verde Boat Expedition and Cultural Tour will teach you about the country's cowboy and agrarian history, as well as how this tradition influenced the emphasis Costa Rica now places on sustainability.
Enjoy the fruits of the sustainability movement when you explore protected wetlands. See a variety of animals in their native habitat. Don't worry, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy refreshments before your tour and after.
6 hrsFrom $94
This tour of the Papagayo Gulf will take you along the coast of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region. Guanacaste is a tropical region with abundant fish near its coast. You can book this tour as either a half-day or a full-day tour.
5 hrsFrom $515
This tour is for intermediate surfers. Your surfing guide will take you on a boat ride to surf in the Guanacaste Conservation Area. A professional surfing instructor will join you in the water and help you to get the most out of your surfing experience. Besides great surfing, this area has beautiful beaches and waters that are frequented by dolphins and whales.
4 hrsFrom $386
The Damas Estuary Boat Trip takes you on a covered boat tour through the complex and beautiful estuaries and mangroves surrounding Damas Island. Damas Island got its name because it is said that the shape of the island resembles a woman.
3 hrsFrom $64
The Sarapiqui River flows along the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua and is home to some of the country's most gorgeous scenery. During this 2-hour river safari, you'll ride a comfortable boat down the Sarapiqui River and have ample opportunities to spot a range of wildlife.
2 hrsFrom $36
The Caño Negro is the most scenic part of the Río Frío, flowing through wetlands that teem with fascinating species. This tour takes place in a boat with an electromotor, which allows the boat to make its way down the river in silence, optimizing your chances of seeing lots of wildlife. Your guide will be happy to help you get as close as possible to the animals for the chance to take stunning pictures.
9 hrsFrom $91
This tour will introduce you to Palo Verde's wildlife as well as its indigenous culture. Have your camera handy as you search the riverbanks for monkeys, crocodiles, and a myriad of birds on this nature cruise through the Palo Verde National Park.
8 hrsFrom $108
This is a half-day surfing tour in Costa Rica’s Gulf of Papagayo. Ollie’s Point has world-class surfing and consistently excellent waves. For this tour you will take a ride out to the point in a comfortable motorboat that has plenty of room for passengers and surfing gear.
5 hrsFrom $386
- Elliot H.
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