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When it comes to choosing a honeymoon destination or a vacation spot for a romantic trip with your loved one, you’re spoiled for choice, with amazing countries all around the world to choose from.

However, it’s well worth putting Costa Rica at the top of your list, since this nation has everything: beautiful beaches and sunsets, top dining spots, a friendly culture, excellent outdoor activities, wildlife spotting, pampering, high-end resorts and much more.

Read on for some things to put on your itinerary if you head to Costa Rica for a romantic trip of a lifetime.

3 Things to Do on a Romantic Trip to Costa Rica

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Enjoy the Hot Springs in Arenal

Located in the northern part of Costa Rica, Arenal is most famous for one of the country’s most popular attractions, the Arenal Volcano.

Rising up to just under 5,500 feet high, the volcano used to be one of the most active on the planet, but today its eruptive cycled has passed for now, and it is in a resting phase. However, because of the geothermal activity occurring beneath the volcano, Arenal also happens to be one of the top spots in Costa Rica to find hot springs.

You’ll find a wide variety of hot spring facilities here, each with slightly different offerings. Some have both hot and cool pools to relax, rejuvenate and snuggle in, while others have additional features such as swim-up bars, waterslides, restaurants, spas, souvenir shops, and fitness centers to lure in visitors.

If you want to spend more time in Arenal than just a few hours or a day, you’ll also find plenty of beautiful, romantic accommodation to choose from. In addition, if you’d like to be active before you head to the hot springs so that your muscles can really appreciate their soothing qualities, you’ll find many outdoor options nearby.

For example, have fun on the Sky Trek zipline tour, or go white-water rafting, hiking, or canyoneering, to name just a few pursuits.

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Baldi Hot Springs

Go Scuba Diving or Snorkeling

For many couples heading off to a tropical destination for a romantic holiday, snorkeling and/or scuba diving is a must. In Costa Rica, you don’t have to look far to find white, sandy beaches and clear, warm waters full of marine life to admire.

One of the top picks is Drake Bay (or “Bahia Drake” in Spanish), in the northern part of the Osa Peninsular. This is one of the most remote regions in Costa Rica, and was named after Sir Francis Drake who discovered it during his voyage around the world in the 16th century.

Cano Island

While in this area, for the best look at fish, coral, reef sharks, turtles, sting rays, eels, and more, head to nearby Cano Island, which sits just off the coast of Drake Bay (around 13 miles away).

It is quiet and uncrowded, and has a protected marine park, which means the area is teeming with sea creatures. Fishing is actually prohibited for three miles around Cano Island, and it is illegal to harvest marine life or shells here, too.

This part of the country has some of the best diving because seasonal rains in the region don’t affect visibility as they do elsewhere. Plus, because of the lack of development, you won’t be surrounded by other tourists and, what’s more, when diving you will also find a wide variety of stunning tunnels and archways to swim through.

Snorkeling

Corcovado National Park

If you’re looking for other things to do while staying in the Drake Bay area, you’ll be spoiled for choice. For instance, the nearby Corcovado National Park is the perfect place to go hiking and birdwatching (not to mention spotting other native wildlife).

Plus, the region is the perfect spot to go kayaking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. You can also take mangrove tours or spend time at the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary.

Watch the Sunset

Costa Rica romantic vacations aren’t complete until you take in some of the beautiful sunsets the country has to offer. Whether the sun falls behind the rainforest canopy or you enjoy an ocean sunset, there are places all around the nation where you can see spectacular “artworks” in the sky.

For example, head to Santa Teresa, a small, laid-back town in Puntarenas Province (approximately 93 miles west of the capital city, San Jose), to watch the sun set over the waters of the Pacific coast.

You can park yourself on the beach to watch the display, or head to one of the bars or resorts in the area and sip on a cocktail as the sun sets. You’ll see the white sand turn rosy pink as the sun dips down over this stretch of the Nicoya Peninsula.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Arenal Volcano by hherbzilla. Baldi hot springs by John Menard. Snorkelling by Markolf Zimmer.

    22 Comments

  1. Those Tico sunsets are something else Meg. We enjoyed a few, from places like Quepos, Atenas, Monteverde, Bribri and Playa Potrero. Love the place and all the fun things to do in Cosa Rica.

    Ryan

    • Glad you had a fab time in Costa Rica Ryan – those sunsets are definitely some of the most memorable!

  2. We stayed last year in the Arenal Volcano area at Tabacon Hot Springs Resort. And we can tell you it was VERY romantic. You have to be prepared for rain – it’s in the rainforest! But how romantic to be soaking in the beautiful hot springs, with steam rising all around as soft rain falls! There were several honeymooning couples staying there; the resort puts a big wedding bow on the front door of your room :-).

    • Sounds like an incredible vacation – so glad you had the opportunity to spend some quality time together in this region – definitely one of the most romantic settings, probably in the world!!

      Love that the resort puts a wedding bow on your room – I didn’t know that! Love those extra touches that make you feel special!

  3. I’m afraid of scuba diving, so the hot springs and sunsets are definitely for me. Growing up in Japan, I’ve been to several hot springs, but the one in Arenal sounds so cool! I went to Costa Rica this year and had no idea that they had a hot spring area. I’ll have to revisit for sure!

    • I’ll be in Japan next week and really looking forward to visiting a couple of different hot springs. But yes, the hot springs throughout Costa Rica are incredible. And Arenal is the cream of the crop.

      Great reason to revisit for you!

  4. You got me at hot springs! Anywhere I go, I do enjoy visiting hot springs. It is the perfect way to relax after a full day of traveling!

    • Totally agree – there’s really nothing better than a steamy hotsprings in the middle of an exotic rainforest!

  5. I heard so much praise from other travellers about Costa Rica and looks like its destinations that has everything for everyone. Volcano and sunsets would be my pick when I visit.

    • Really is a destination with a little bit of everything – I’ve traveled twice now, and it’s a rare spot I would happily return to time and time again.

      Hope you do have the chance to travel soon!

  6. Costa Rica is indeed a place that figures in our surreal dreams. We would love to visit the place and get lost in its stupefying natural beauty. A hike in the mountains, catching a hypnotic sunset, and diving to get a glimpse of the fascinating underwater world is something we would really enjoy. Definitely
    a very fitting and romantic honeymoon destination.

    • I hope you do have the chance to travel to Costa Rica :) It’s one of those rare destinations which meets the high expectations it sets!

  7. these shots are gorgeous Megan!! Costa Rica has long been on my list of places to visit. Book marking this for later <3

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Nicki – hope you have the chance to travel soon!

  8. It’s hot springs and sunsets for me please :) I am not into scuba or snorkeling for that matter, though the water does look alluring. Is it possible to get to the top of the volcano?

    • No, you can’t hike to the top of the volcano. Hiking in Arenal National Park will get you the closest (legal) view of Arenal volcano, but hiking is only permitted on marked trails. Because it’s an active volcano, you can’t hike near the crater at the top.

      Hot springs and sunsets are definitely reason enough to visit though!

  9. Are all the hot springs in Arenal owned by companies, or are there some natural ones that are free for a dip? I like that there’s a mixture of hot and cold pools to spice it up. Cano Island sounds divine. The lack of tourists and clear water would make it a paradise for any snorkelling enthusiast.

    • My understanding is that all of the hot springs in the area have been commercialized. I’ll circle back to update the post though if I manage to find info on any free hot springs :)

      Can highly recommend Cano Island – you’ll have a fab time!

  10. Costa Rica is a destination I’ve been really hesitant about since I’m super scared of wildlife and it’s like, a premiere wildlife destination. But if anyone could convince me to visit, its you Megan! I’m a huge fan of hot springs so you know where I’ll be! Seriously, never thought of Costa Rica as a honeymoon destination but I’m rethinking it!

    • No need to be scared of the wildlife in Costa Rica – because tourism is such a huge part of the country’s economy, the wildlife are very used to people. Birds keep to themselves, monkey’s might approach you, but you’re very, very safe. We loved our time :)

      One of my favorite country’s in the world – can highly recommend a trip. Feel free to reach out if I can help with anything :)

  11. Would love to spend a few days in Corcovado National Park and explore the marine life there all the while enjoying the spectacular views.
    Although Renal hot springs are right up there but seems like it has become too congested over the last few seasons (as advised by friends).

    • Arenal is definitely a popular tourist hot spot, so yes there are usually a lot of people using the hot springs. Can highly recommend Corcovado National Park and Cano Island though if you want to avoid the crowds :)

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