Costa Rica’s national parks and wildlife refuges are home to some truly spectacular trails, enabling you to hike deep into verdant rainforest, past bubbling mud pools or along surf-lashed beaches. Below are a few of our favourites.
Cerro Chirripó A long, cold and sometimes wet slog up and across alpine-esque moorland rewards you with (on a clear day) superb views from Costa Rica’s highest point.
Estación Biológica Pocosol Arguably the most adventurous trek in the country, the two-day hike from Monteverde to this research station on the edge of the Bosque Eterno de los Niños traverses unmarked trails and is accompanied by armed rangers.
Sendero Laguna Meándrica Perhaps the finest birding trail of any national park (and that‘s saying something), this 4.3km round-trip in the western half of Parque Nacional Carara leads through transitionary terrain to a croc-filled lake that’s home to myriad birdlife.
Sendero Los Patos–Sirena Tough 20km trek through the dense rainforest cover of Parque Nacional Corcovado, offering experienced hikers the chance to spot some of Costa Rica’s more elusive large mammals, including tapirs and collared peccaries.
Sendero Las Pailas A terrific 6km circuit, taking in the best of Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja: sulphur pools, geothermal “stoves” and thermal mud pots, all within the shadow of a smoking volcano.