Cyclist in San Jose's Parque la Sabana. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Recreational Tours in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has scores of tour operators offering a complete range of options. Here are recommended general tour operators as well as specific recommended tours from horseback-riding and hiking to bird-watching and cruises and nearly everything between.

View of the Futaleufú river winding through the mountains.

Futaleufú: White-Water Rafting and More

With its reputation for world-class white-water rafting, Futaleufú draws outdoor recreationists like a magnet. Get more information on how to get there, outfitters, and other essentials to plan your trip.

Plan a Visit to El Bolsón, Argentina

El Bolsón, Argentine Patagonia’s counterculture capital, may be the place to replace your faded tie-dyes. It’s also a beauty spot in a fertile valley between stunning longitudinal mountain ranges ideal for hiking. Here are highlights for travelers, along with information to help plan your visit from getting there to what to see and do.

New Mexico's Pedernal Peak, seen from Ghost Ranch.

Visiting Ghost Ranch in New Mexico

Despite the name, Ghost Ranch has very little to do with hauntings. Instead on the retreat’s grounds you’ll find ample opportunity to explore, from museums of anthropology and paleontology to a handful of hikes that lead to beautiful panoramic views.

La‘ie Point State Wayside. Photo © Robert Lindsell, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Sightseeing Kualoa to La‘ie, O‘ahu

Sightseeing Kualoa to La‘ie is incredibly varied, from exploring out-of-the-way areas to all kinds of informative tours and outdoor adventures—you won’t find any tourist traps here.

A rider's-eye-view of a horseback riding trail in Maui.

Maui Horseback Riding Tours

Seeing Maui from horseback is an enjoyable, at times thrilling experience. Often there are views of Maui unreachable any other way, and if you’re interested in more than reading about Hawaii’s paniolo heritage, visiting a ranch and striking out on horseback is the way to do it. Though there are plenty of guided horseback tours available, each one differs fairly significantly in the type of terrain, riding, and overall experience offered.

A Hawaiian cowboy (paniolo) astride a horse throwing a rope.

Paniolo: Hawaiian Cowboys

Learn the fascinating story of Hawaiian cowboys, the paniolo, from the origin of their name, their Mexican roots, to how the tradition continues today. At various ranches across Hawaii, visitors can take part in rides, events, and festivities.

Stretching over a mile, Waipi‘o Beach is the longest black-sand beach on the Big Island.

Getting to the Bottom of Waipi‘o Valley

Getting to the bottom of Waipi‘o Valley is a challenge. There are several modes of transportation, with the most unique being a mule-drawn wagon, but you can go by foot or horseback as well. There are several organized tours available, including one aboard a van for those who can’t make the journey otherwise.