Costa Rica

Everything You Need to Know about the Island Tours in Costa Rica 

May 02, 2024
Bex Smith Bex Smith
Everything You Need to Know about the Island Tours in Costa Rica 

Wandering what Islands in Costa Rica look like? Let us spill the beans. It is a world where lush greenery meets azure waters, where every view is a postcard, and every breeze carries a hint of adventure—welcome to the stunning islands of Costa Rica!  

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is a treasure trove of biodiversity, with its islands offering some of the most pristine and less traversed spots in the world. 

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking to dive into the rich marine life, a nature enthusiast eager to explore secluded tropical forests, or simply someone searching for tranquility on sun-soaked beaches, island tours in Costa Rica promise something magical for everyone.  

Journey with us to explore the top island destinations, uncover the types of tours available, and provide essential tips to make your island adventure unforgettable.  

Let’s dive into the beauty of Costa Rica’s islands—where each moment is a discovery, and every experience is unique! 

islands around costa rica

Types of Island Tours Available in Costa Rica 

Costa Rica islands offer a variety of tours tailored to different interests and adventure levels. From single-day escapes to immersive multi-day expeditions, here’s what you can expect when you include any of these tours in your Costa Rica travel itinerary for 10 days

Day Tours 

Perfect for travelers tight on time or looking for a quick escape, day tours typically include transportation, a guide, meals, and all necessary equipment. Spend your day snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, hiking through lush trails, or simply relaxing on pristine beaches. Day tours are designed to highlight the best each island offers, giving you a taste of paradise without the commitment of an overnight stay. 

Multi-day Excursions 

For those who wish to dive deeper, multi-day excursions offer a comprehensive experience. These tours often include camping or staying in eco-friendly resorts, allowing for early morning wildlife sightings and sunset views from remote beaches.  

Other activities that make a perfect addition to your itinerary include fishing, kayaking, or exploring extensive cave systems.  

Multi-day tours provide a fuller, more connected experience with the natural beauty and serene environment of islands around Costa Rica. 

Private Tours 

Ideal for families, couples, or anyone seeking a more personalized and luxurious family vacation in Costa Rica, private tours offer the ultimate in customization and privacy.  

Tailor your itinerary to suit your pace and preferences—whether spending more time snorkeling among colorful reefs or relaxing in solitude on a hidden beach.  

Private tours ensure that your Costa Rica island adventure is exactly as you envisioned it. 

Group Tours 

Group tours are an economical and social way to explore the islands of Costa Rica.  

These tours facilitate meeting new people and making friends as you journey together. Often covering multiple islands, group tours maximize the sights and experiences you can enjoy, often with a festive atmosphere that makes every stop more memorable. 

Adventure Tours 

For the thrill-seekers, adventure tours crank up the adrenaline with activities like diving, surfing, and paragliding. These tours are focused on high-energy activities that take advantage of the diverse landscapes and waterways.  

Prepare for heart-pounding fun and challenge yourself with new and exciting sports under the guidance of expert instructors.  

Check out our guide, which has the best things to do in Costa Rica to enrich your itinerary.  

Cultural Tours 

Cultural tours offer a deep dive into the history and heritage of Costa Rica islands. These excursions might include visits to local artisans, traditional meals prepared by native chefs, and tours through the historic and cultural sites of Costa Rica.  

You will get a chance to learn about the rich cultures that thrive on the islands and experience the warmth of Ticos hospitality. 

Wildlife and Nature Tours 

Dedicated to conservation and education, wildlife and nature tours emphasize eco-tourism. These tours are led by expert guides, allowing you to explore conservation areas and natural habitats and observe rare and endemic species in their natural environment.  

These tours not only educate but also inspire conservation efforts, making them perfect for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts. 

Popular Island Destinations in Costa Rica 

Name Location Unique Feature Best Time to Visit Activities to Do 
Isla del Coco Remote Pacific Ocean Pirate history and deep-sea treasures May to November Diving, adventure tours, and wildlife watching 
Tortuga Island Southern Nicoya Peninsula White sandy beaches and turquoise waters Dry season (Dec-Apr) Snorkeling, jet skiing, and banana boat rides 
Caño Island Off the Osa Peninsula Well-preserved coral reefs and rich marine life Dry season (Dec-Apr) Snorkeling and scuba diving 
Isla Chira Gulf of Nicoya Traditional fishing communities and sustainable tourism May to November Fishing, cultural visits, sustainable tours 
Isla San Lucas Gulf of Nicoya Historical site and former prison Dry season (Dec-Apr) Hiking, wildlife watching, and historical tours 
Isla de Cabuya Near Nicoya Peninsula Accessible by foot at low tide, famous cemetery May to November Walking and cultural exploration 
Isla Murciélago (Bat Island) North Pacific Coast Challenging scuba diving spots May to November (dry season preferred for visibility) Scuba diving and marine life observation 
Islands in Costa Rica

What to Bring on Your Island Tour? 

Preparing properly for your island tour in Costa Rica ensures a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here’s a list of essentials to pack: 

Sun Protection 

  • Sunscreen with high SPF. 
  • Sunglasses for UV protection. 
  • Wide-brimmed hat for face and neck coverage. 
  • Light long-sleeved clothing to stay cool and protected. 

Proper Footwear 

  • Water shoes for beach activities. 
  • Sturdy hiking shoes for exploring trails. 

Water and Snacks 

  • Reusable water bottle filled with water. 
  • Energy-boosting snacks like fruits or nuts. 

Swimming Gear 

  • Swimsuit and towel. 
  • Snorkel gear, if not provided on the tour. 

Other Essentials  

  • Waterproof case to protect your device.
  • Biodegradable sunscreen and reusable bags to minimize environmental impact. 
  • Basic first-aid items for minor injuries or ailments. 
  • Insect repellent for protection against bites in tropical areas. 

Tips for Booking Your Island Tour 

Booking the right tour is crucial to enjoying your tour to islands near Costa Rica to the fullest. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision: 

  1. Research the Provider: Check reviews to assess the operator’s service quality. Testimonials on their website can also be helpful. 
  1. Check for Credentials: Confirm that the operator has the necessary licenses and adheres to safety standards, particularly for adventure activities. 
  1. Understand the Package Details: Know what your tour package includes and any additional costs. This helps avoid surprises and manage your budget effectively. 
  1. Book in Advance: Reserve your tour early during peak seasons to ensure availability and get better rates. Understand any cancellation policies and deposit requirements. 
  1. Ask About Group Discounts: Inquire about discounts for large groups, which can make the tour more cost-effective. 
  1. Consider Insurance: Opt for travel insurance that covers cancellations, medical emergencies, and other unforeseen issues. 
  1. Communicate Special Needs: Inform your tour provider of any dietary restrictions or physical limitations to accommodate your needs better. 
Islands in Costa Rica

Elevate Your Island Adventure with a Villa Stay 

As our journey through the best island destinations in Costa Rica comes to an end, consider enhancing your experience by renting a Costa Rica Villa.  

Imagine returning from an adventurous day to the comfort and luxury of your own villa. A villa stay not only offers privacy and tranquility but also adds a touch of exclusivity to your island adventure.  

With personalized amenities and the freedom to set your own schedule, you can soak in the natural beauty and vibrant culture of Costa Rica at your own pace, making every moment of your island tour unforgettable. 

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