Tours & Activities

Costa Rica is famous for its flora, fauna and wildlife and Arenas Del Mar is the perfect base from which to explore Costa Rica’s natural treasures. Our hotel is nestled in eleven acres of rain forest and is a short trip to Manuel Antonio National Park. Many first-time visitors to Costa Rica plan their vacation around seeing the park, and that visit does not disappoint: the views from the hills overlooking Manuel Antonio are spectacular, the beaches are idyllic, and its jungles are inhabited by howler, white-faced, and squirrel monkeys, two and three toed sloths, tropical birds and other forms of exotic wildlife (download our animal & plant guide here).

 

That’s just the beginning. There are countless ways to experience the great outdoors in the Manuel Antonio area: horseback riding, kayaking, white water rafting, surfing, sailing, and ziplining – all available in this community.

 

And don’t miss the opportunities right in our own backyard. Arenas Del Mar is nestled in a rainforest with wildlife aplenty, including a vibrant bird population for birders. To ensure you get the most out of your tours, our hotel has two resident naturalist guides available at all times to answer your questions and take you out into nature to make sure you get the most out of your experience. If you want to get in touch just ask at the front desk, they will be more than happy to answer all your questions.

OFF-PROPERTY TOURS WITH ARENAS DEL MAR TOUR GUIDE

MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK GROUP TOUR

Manuel Antonio National Park Group TourThough the highlights of this park are its two white sand beaches Espadilla Sur and Manuel Antonio, it also protects coastal rain forest, a mangrove swamp, coral formations and 12 islands that serve as seabird sanctuaries. Our guide will teach you about the park’s distinctive plant life and point out some of the resident fauna, which include 109 mammal species, among these 3 species of monkeys, agouti, three-toed sloth and more than 300 species of birds.

Departure time: 7:45 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. (park closed on Mondays)
Length of tour: 3-4 hours
Difficulty Level: low

MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK PRIVATE TOUR

Manuel Antonio National Park Private TourA private tour of Manuel Antonio allows you to set your own pace and gives you the opportunity to interact with our specialized local tour guides. This hike takes you deep into the jungle and alongside beautiful white sand beaches, as your guide points out the wildlife that lives in the area, including monkeys, sloths and agoutis, as well as over 300 bird species that live in the Park. Best of all, you get to have full control of how you spend your time!

Departure time: 7:45 a.m. & 1:00 p.m or requested (park closed on Mondays)
Length of tour: 3-4 hours
Difficulty Level: low

HANGING BRIDGES & WATERFALLS TOUR

Hanging Bridges & Waterfalls TourFor those who love nature and hiking, the Rainmaker Reserve is just the right tour. Hand rails and easy to follow footpaths connected by a breathtaking canopy bridge system connected with observation platforms in the treetops, allow you to observe waterfalls, discover the area’s rich biodiversity and explore the majesty of the forest from a bird’s eye view. The Rainmaker is a 1,500-acre reserve mainly consisting of primary rainforest and home to thousands of unique plant species, many varieties of birds, morpho butterflies, and the colorful poison dart frog. The Canopy Bridge system consists of suspension bridges of ten sections total, spanning from platforms attached to massive hardwood trees to create the most impressive canopy walk in Costa Rica. At the end of the walk, there are several beautiful waterfalls where you can take a refreshing dip.

Departure time: 7:45 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
Length of tour: 3-4 hours
Difficulty Level: low-Medium

NATURE RESERVE NIGHT WALK TOUR

Night Walk Nature ReserveAt night, many animals go to sleep but others come out to explore the dark such as frogs, snakes, spiders, opossums and owls. This is your opportunity to see, hear and experience the thrill of the wild nocturnal life at a nearby nature reserve. Our night tour is one of the more popular activities where you’ll see the jungle come to life.

What to bring: Rain gear, hiking shoes, insect repellent, long pants, camera and plastic bags for your camera

Departure time: 5:15 p.m.
Length of tour: 2 and a half hours
Difficulty Level: low

ON-PROPERTY TOURS WITH ARENAS DEL MAR GUIDE

BIRD WATCHING

Bird WatchingIn Arenas Del Mar, the trees, bushes and flowers planted just outside your room were chosen because they attract different species of tanager, euphonias, flycatchers, robins, woodpeckers and over 180 different species of birds. During this morning hike, monkeys, sloths and agoutis are usually present. Join us for this great way to begin your day!

Departure time: 6:00 a.m.
Length of tour: 1.5 hours
Difficulty Level: low

RAIN FOREST HAWK TRAIL

Rain Forest Hawk TrailThis tour is designed for families with children of all ages. Our wildlife exploration happens right on our hotel grounds, ending at Playitas beach and may be shortened or extended according to the families’ interest and energy level. You will be surprised how much there is to see, hear, touch and smell right inside Arenas del Mar.

Departure time: upon request
Length of tour: 1 hour
Difficulty Level: low

Making Tortillas (Included)

Making TortillasJoin our onsite guides for an authentic Costa Rican experience. This walking tour takes you around our property and behind the scenes to Petatillo, home to many of our staff. You will learn about Costa Rican customs and discover the meaning behind our national symbols. We will show you how tortillas are made the old fashion way, and if so inclined you will make your own tortilla and savor it with a good cup of coffee or a cup of agua dulce (“sweet water”), just like our grandparents used to do.

Departure time: 2:30 p.m.
Length of tour: 1 and a half hours
Difficulty Level: low

Easy Being Green Tour (Included)

Easy Being GreenLearn about history, nature and green practices all in one. We will take you behind the scenes and show you how being green can be easy! You will see our native plant nursery and hydroponic vegetable gardens, and in the vermiculutre and compost area we’ll show you what we do with our organic wastes. In our recycling center we’ll share our philosophy for reducing waste and saving energy. This unique experience will show you how your stay at Arenas Del Mar, while relaxing and fun, is also having a positive impact on our environment.

Departure time: On request
Length of tour: 1.5 hours
Difficulty Level: low

TOURS OFFERED BY THE COMMUNITY

MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE TOUR

Mountain Adventure TourExperience a unique piece of Costa Rican rural heritage on a country drive just an hour away from Quepos. This guided nature, conservation and cultural expedition takes you along the Fila Chonta Mountain Range. Explore a 3 kilometer nature trail where the guide will share its knowledge on this pristine mountain sanctuary. Different activities are offered while the tour takes place: swimming in the waterfall natural pools, organic tilapia fishing, horseback riding or a visit to a typical sugar cane mill. Submerge yourself in the real meaning of ‘pura vida’!

Departure time: 7:30 a.m.
Length of tour: 8 hours
Difficulty Level: Medium

SURF LESSONS

Surf LessonsSurfing is one of the healthiest sports. It gets you in shape, gives you a nice tan, and most of all is FUN! From kids to grandpas, pros to novices, we have you covered. Playa Espadilla has wonderful right and left breaks on its different points, “El Frente ” is great for beginners with perfect breaking 2 to 5 feet waves! Before you get into the water, our bilingual instructors will give you a safety talk, some theory and demonstrate the first steps of surfing and after that you are ready to try out your first waves.

Departure time: Upon Request
Length of tour: 3 hours
Difficulty Level: Low

WHITE WATER RAFTING – SAVEGRE

White Water Rafting - SavegreThis tour is designed for families with children of all ages. Our wildlife exploration happens right on our hotel grounds, ending at Playitas beach and may be shortened or extended according to the families’ interest and energy level. You will be surprised how much there is to see, hear, touch and smell right inside Arenas del Mar.

Class: II-III
Departure time: 8:00 a.m.
Length of tour: Full day
Difficulty Level: Medium

HORSEBACK RIDING

Horseback RidingExperience a picturesque ride through the jungles and hills to nearby waterfalls and explore exuberant natural world of tropical plants and wildlife in a non-intrusive manner. Discover the secrets of the forest; learn about medicinal and curative plants. Find toucans in our exotic primary forest. Time for a swim! Enjoy a relaxing stay at waterfalls and natural pristine pools.

Departure time: 8:00 a.m.
Length of tour: Half day
Difficulty Level: Low

WHITE WATER RAFTING – NARANJO

White Water Rafting - NaranjoFor those looking for more action and higher adrenaline, it’s only 30- minutes away! The Naranjo River drops steeply from the coastal mountain range above Quepos through a beautiful jungle gorge, and takes you on a wild ride to sea level, passing nearby farmlands and palm plantations, along 8 miles of whitewater rapids. The river banks are overgrown with jungle and the canyon walls meet the water at 90 degree angles.

Class: III – IV
Departure time: 7:00 a.m.
Length of tour: Half day
Difficulty Level: Difficult (not suitable for young children)

BUTTERFLIES BOTANICAL GARDEN & AMPHIBIANS AQUATIC GARDEN

Butterflies Botanical Garden & Amphibians Aquatic GardenVisit the first butterfly garden and private nature reserve tour in Manuel Antonio and find more than 20 species (including the famous Monarch butterfly and the Blue Morpho) inside a uniquely designed 1,000 sq. foot atrium garden. You will also learn about Tropical Aquatic Gardens where a variety of species of frogs and toads live; including the red-eyed tree frog, the glass tree frog and the wet forest toad, all endemic species of Costa Rica. The tour also offers the opportunity to see the reptile exhibition. This experience may also be enjoyed at nighttime!

Departure time: 8:30 a.m.
Length of tour: 1 to 3 hours
Difficulty Level: Low

DAMAS ISLAND MANGROVE BY KAYAK

Damas Island Mangrove by KayakKayaking through this unique and protected inland waterway lets you combine adventure with education, as you learn about one of the most important ecosystems in the world, the Mangrove Forest. This primordial mangrove estuary is inhabited by wildlife such as the whiteface capuchin monkey and a vast array of birds.
You will paddle on a sit-on-top kayak, under the shade of the tall mangroves, along wild jungle waterways you would otherwise be unable to reach; if you prefer, you may also travel by motor boat instead.

Departure time: Depending on tides schedule
Length of tour: Half day
Difficulty Level: Low

CANOPY TOUR

Canopy TourSail high above the rainforest canopy and experience the jungle from its richest perspective. Drive for approximately one hour to the ranch house, snugly set beside a freshwater stream at the base of a mountain, where you’ll be served a delicious typical breakfast or lunch (depending on tour time). Then you will have the adventure of your life, flying from platform to platform at the very top of the rainforest canopy. Featuring: 21 Platforms, 9 zip lines, 2 repel lines, one suspension bridge, and one “Tarzan Swing.”

Departure time: 6:50 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.
Length of tour: Half day
Difficulty Level: Low

SPICES, GARDEN & FLAVORS TOUR

Spices, Garden & Flavors TourVilla Vanilla is located 10 miles east on the foothills overlooking Manuel Antonio National Park. The certified organic/biodynamic farm consists of 27 acres of tropical agriculture production surrounded by 125 acres of primary and secondary rainforest. This tour offers you the opportunity to experience the sights, tastes and aromas of tropical spices, essential oil plants, sustainable farming practices, spice drying and packaging.

Departure time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Length of tour: 3 hours
Difficulty Level: Low

WHALE WATCHING TOUR

Whale Watching TourOn this tour we travel to Marino Ballena National Park, one of the most beautiful spots along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, to observe Humpback and Pilot Whales. If water conditions permit, you might be able to jump in the water for a swim, where you may even be able to hear the whale sounds or see dolphins swimming close by. Whale season normally goes from November to March and from July to September. Dolphins are seen all year around.

Departure time: Available upon request.
Length of tour: Full day
Difficulty Level: Low