Surfing may be the main reason for visiting Dominical, but there is an abundance of other fun things to do outdoors. From zip-lining through the rainforest to stand up paddle boarding offshore or through the mangroves, this corner of Costa Rica is much less developed than the rest of the country, leaving you with views of rainforests, waterfalls, and maybe even monkeys or a sloth! I have done all of these excursions myself and many of the photos are from my previous trips.
Here is our list of our favorite adventure tours to do near Dominical. All of them are less than an hour’s drive from the town center and some are only five minutes away! To make a reservation for any of these tours, please CONTACT US and we will set it up for you, making your Costa Rica vacation stress-free. And if you decide to book directly through their website, please remember to mention CRsurf.
In the primary rainforest of Hacienda Baru, trees are over 250 years old and grow to a towering 90 meters and 5 meters wide. The adventure begins with a short hike up the into the jungle while the guide searches for sloths, monkeys, toucans, and other creatures while sharing the history of the nature reserve. Then you climb even higher into the canopy, where sturdy cables have you flying from tree to tree immersed in the forest.
This waterfall is one of the most beautiful in the country, and only recently was it promoted as a tourist destination so you can still enjoy it all to yourselves. The idea to showcase the falls began when Community Carbon Trees (ACCT) worked with the surrounding landowners to reforest their old cattle grazing land, which in turn improved the water quality and reduced soil erosion. With the help and support of ACCT they planted thousands of native trees, created a safe and easy to follow path to the falls, and created a sustainable business for the local community.
You can hike, go on horseback, or get a ride to the top of the steps that take you down into the valley where you hear the thunderous roar of the river dropping 100 feet onto elephant sized boulders. Then follow the trail down to the second set of 90 foot falls into a natural pool that is accessible for swimming. On the horseback tour, enjoy a light breakfast and stop on the way back for an authentic Tico lunch. This tour starts at 8 a.m. and ends around 1:30 p.m. By foot it takes about an hour to reach the falls and there is a parallel trail in some parts for the horses.
If you want to see wildlife, beauty, nature, and breathe in the fresh air, the tour offered by Pineapple Kayak Tours is for you. The Mangrove ecosystem is filled with life and riveting beauty. Immerse yourself into this amazing and different tropical environment. This mellow tour guides you slowly through the enchanting Matapalo Mangroves, where you can see and learn about the plants and animals that live there. The river is very calm, allowing an amateur paddler to enjoy the water, without getting tired or scared. Our knowledgeable guides will take you to explore lush estuaries and ever-changing rivers, taking you away from the hot sun and dusty roads. The birds and animals thrive in this sanctuary, so this tour is great for BIRD WATCHERS.
Located about 40 miles offshore from Dominical, the Caño Island Biological Reserve, is home to a breathtaking amount of marine organisms. The perfect place for a Snorkeling Tour. More than 70 species make their home surrounding the island. Set within a massive Pacific Ocean current, Caño Island attracts many species which pass by while migrating elsewhere, such as Humpback Whales, and multiple types of Sea Turtles.
This adventure tour covers gorgeous beach areas, the beautiful river road, and will give you a chance to kick it into high gear up an adventurous mountain road. Coconut water and fruits are also included. Explore parts of Dominical you didn’t even know existed!
Here you can be a real cowboy!Depending on the season that you visit, you will be able to ride with the cowboys, do cattle roping, and many other tasks that are carried out by our staff. Their horses are carefully trained for you to have a pleasant experience. On a separate tour you can go through the refuge amidst the forest, on the beach or in the river. You may visit Playa Hermosa, adjacent to Ballena Marine National Park, ride on the woods or toward the waterfall and take a dip, or enjoy an astonishing sunset.
Hop on an authentic tropical rafting adventure geared for the whole family (ages 5+) close to Costa Rica’s popular Manuel Antonio National Park. Enjoy relaxation and just a touch of white-water action on one of the cleanest rivers in Central America. The free-flowing Savegre River has Class II-III rapids for a gentle ride with some exciting rapids for thrills. This half-day tour shows you the beauty of Costa Rica from the best vantage point–right on the water.
Be transported into the jungle and dropped a short hike from the river and then you will proceed down river (which is an adventure in itself!), shooting through natural water chutes, past boulders as big as houses, through untouched Jurassic Park like areas very few people will ever see. They will then rappel alongside spectacular waterfalls for some of the most exciting descents in the country, floating through pristine jungle pools and steep canyons along the way. Upon exiting the river, you will be treated to a very welcome satisfying lunch.
Pineapple Kayak Tours guide your paddle out from the southern portion of the beach, passing the fishing boats as you head over to the beautiful Island La Parcela. Then they continue across the bay to the northern portion called Las Rocas de Amancio. After about 1 & 1/2 hour paddle, you head back to shore for a quick rest and some fruit and water. They then drive you over to the beautiful swimming hole waterfall called Pozo Azul, where you can jump off a rope swing or just chill with the water pounding on your back.
With Dolphin Tours you can see the humpback whales (best from July to September and January to April), spotted dolphins, bottle nose dolphins, turtles and sea birds combined with snorkeling at the Whale’s Tail where you can see different types of reef fish. December to March is the best time for snorkeling. Uvita Bahía Ballena is a privileged place for the best whale watching in Costa Rica for its warm and safe waters are chosen by these cetaceans.
Airborne Arts provides two hours of high flying, mind blowing, heart lifting, unforgettable adventure that will challenge you and your friends to the extreme fun that can only be experienced on a flying trapeze. Our team will show you how to accomplish more than you ever imagined possible jumping, swinging, back flipping and so much more. Great fun to watch. Even more fun to do, you’ll be hooked after your first jump. Gasping and cheering for your friends and gathering unbelievable highlights to share when you get home. Safety is our business so you can focus on accomplishing your dreams. Participants are secured in safety harnesses at all times.