Costa Rica has diverse tourism, a mixture of wildlife, rainforest, mountain ranges, and the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean and the Pacific. Undoubtedly, tourists will find a combo of leisure and adventure in this wonder. Costa Rica has so much to offer solo and group travelers, and some are only known by the locals. As a guide, the following are the best must-do activities in Costa Rica that only locals know.

10 Try Costa Rican Dessert

Costa Rica boasts its beach desserts, the Copa and Churchills, the perfect local treats to beat Costa Rica’s heat. These beach desserts are shaved ices with powdered milk, kola syrup, and condensed milk. The Churchills are special as they have ice cream and fresh fruits as toppings. These desserts are available on almost all of the beaches within the cities, but the best place to try the Churchills is on Puntarenas.

RELATED: Best Must-Do Activities In Arizona Only Know By Locals

9 Enjoy The Festivals and Parties

Costa Rican festivals and parties are on another level, which will surely give a memorable moment to the tourists. Local parties host different activities such as games, rides, different events to enjoy like fire dancing, and music events as well. If tourists are adventurous enough, it costs $10-$15 to participate in traditional bull riding. In this activity, participants will be chased by the bull together with the locals. Numerous festivals are held in Costa Rica all throughout the year, so tourists can really enjoy this any time of the year.

8 Take A Cooking Class

Another way to explore and learn more about Costa Rican tradition and culture is through their food. Costa Rica serves different cooking classes, but La Fortuna has a more interesting cooking workshop. Tourists will get to learn the Costa Rican method of cooking, their delicacies, and will also experience getting ingredients on the farm. The tour is a package of cooking classes and farm tours, this is also known as one of the best cooking classes in the country.

7 Learn About Costa Rican Coffee And Chocolate Tour

Costa Rica serves as a haven to coffee enthusiasts out there as the country produces one of the best coffee in the world. There are a lot of coffee farms in Costa Rica and one of the best includes Doka Coffee Estate, Finca Rosa Blanca, and Starbucks’ coffee plantation, the Hacienda Alsacia. The best time to have a coffee farm tour is during harvest season, from October to March. The country is also rich when it comes to growing Cacaos. Take a rainforest chocolate tour in Sarapiqui and Puerto Viejo.

RELATED: Best Must-Do Activities In New Orleans Only Known By Locals

6 Visit Traditional Restaurants

Traditional restaurants in Costa Rica are called “soda”, which are mostly open-air restaurants. The perfect time to visit a soda is during breakfast and try the Costa Rican traditional breakfast called “Gallo pinto”, a combination of rice and beans and normally paired with eggs. Gallo pinto is also served with a Costa Rican sauce called “Salsa Lizano”, a perfect sauce for pinto. These are also served at an affordable price, which is why it is recommended especially for budget-backpackers.

5 Soak In Hot Springs

Costa Rica has regions that are geothermally active, which is why plenty of hot springs and natural pools can be found here. One of the towns that has the best hot springs is the La Fortuna, wherein its natural hot water came from the Tabacon River. Popular hot springs in Arenal include Baldi, Springs, Tabacon, and Ecotermales. While other hot springs are sometimes privately located in hotels, locals have free access to some hot springs.

4 Get Mesmerized By The Local Wildlife

As mentioned, Costa Rica is rich in wildlife, it is popular for housing sloths and different species in certain regions of the country. Sloths are mostly located in Tortuguero, Manuel Antonio National Park, and some in Puerto Viejo. Meanwhile, crocodiles are best seen in Rio Tarcoles while there are also some in Tortuguero. Costa Rica has a diverse geography and ecosystem, which is why plenty of endangered birds can be found here. Some include quetzal, jewel-toned tanagers, scarlet macaw, and warbling cuckoos.

RELATED: Best Must-Do Activities In Los Angeles Only Known By Locals

3 Visit Barra Honda National Park’s Caves

One of the most unique and adventurous things to explore in Costa Rica is visiting the caves in Barra Honda National Park in the Peninsula of Nicoya. Tourists need local guides to be able to explore this wonder, there are over 42 caves in this park but only 19 have been found by the locals. The insides of the caves consist of ancient artifacts and even the remains of humans. Tourists can learn a lot about history by visiting these caves.

2 Night Visit In National Parks

To add spice to a national park tour, visit during the night for other species that are nocturnal. Nighttime is a great time to view jaguars, frogs, and snakes. Most national parks that offer night walks include Manuel Antonio National Park, Osa Peninsula, and Tortuguero National Park. This is a guided tour so tourists must not worry about their safety. The tour also takes up to 2 hours which includes a boat ride and is about a 2.5 kilometers trek.

1 Volunteer In Sanctuaries

The most unique thing to do in Costa Rica is being a sanctuary volunteer, wherein tourists will get a first-hand experience of having contact with the animals. Plenty of rescue centers and sanctuaries operate in Costa Rican looking for volunteers, and sometimes these are tourists! This is a great opportunity to take care of our animals such as sloths, dogs, and native monkeys, wildcats, etc. popular sanctuaries that allow volunteers are Jaguar Rescue Center and Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary.

NEXT: Must-Do Activities In Chicago (Known Only By Locals)