All posts by costaricarios

Costa Rica Adventure Vacations: Monthly Highlights Guide for 2019

Tourist season is in full swing in Costa Rica right now, the dry season attracting visitors from every corner of the globe. Those in the know rest easy, knowing there’s an adventure in Costa Rica for every month of the year and that no matter when one visits, there’s a corner of the country at its absolute prime.

Wondering how to plan your Costa Rica adventure vacation to soak up the very best experiences of all?

Read on to find out!

Mid-December – April – High Tourist Season

Tourist season starts in earnest with the New Year vacation, the next few months seeing a surge in visitor numbers. North Americans and Europeans wishing to escape the winter cold head here to soak up the endless sunshine, especially on the western half of the country, which receives little rain during this period. It’s worth noting that ‘little’ doesn’t equate to ‘no rain at all’. Costa Rica is a tropical luscious country, its prime rain forests, cloud forests and jungles thriving with plenty of downpours, all year long.

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Temperatures soar during these months and you’ll find the Pacific coast thriving with life, small villages swelling with tourists and a host of amazing boat trips and adventure excursions offering everything under the sun. The pros of visiting now is that everything is open (accommodation wise), flights abound and getting around the country is made infinitely easier as roads (and hiking trails) are dry and passable. The downside is that crowds can get considerable in the most visited spots (Arenal and Manuel Antonio being the top two) although there are so many options for off-the-beaten-path travels that getting away from it all is dead easy.

Beach vacations along the Pacific Coast – Clear skies and calm seas make this the best period for beach vacations along the west coast of Costa Rica. These are your picture-perfect Instagram days here, with the idyllic conditions making snorkeling, sea kayaking and SCUBA diving absolutely ideal. Head to Guanacaste and Puntarenas and discover the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever see anywhere.

Laid-back relaxation – The Nicoya Peninsula can’t be beaten this time of year, especially if you’re after a secluded gem of a place where you can soak up the rays and enjoy a well-deserved stint of R&R. There are some gorgeous eco-lodges strewn about the peninsula and they offer unique, nature-filled adventures.

Snorkeling and diving on the Pacific – The first few months of the year are perfect for sea-based sports along the Pacific Coast, the idyllic climate ensuring clear visibility and calm waters. If snorkeling and SCUBA are a top priority, plan your trip between January and April.

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Spring-break adventure vacations – Families head to Costa Rica in earnest from mid-March onwards, to take advantage of Spring-break vacations.

Corcovado adventures – If you want to visit Costa Rica during high-season, there’s an array of options, like Corcovado, where you can get away from the crowds and still enjoy the best climate of all. Remote and wonderful Corcovado is a wilderness and wildlife paradise, a hard place to reach but an incredibly rewarding one and undoubtedly one of the best wildlife-watching destinations in Costa Rica.

May – Mid-September – Green Season

Green Season – the name given to the wettest period of the year – is still a wonderful time to visit Costa Rica. Crowds dwindle, the wilderness is washed anew and there’s still plenty of adventure to be found all over, even more so if you’re into whitewater river fun. July and August have become increasingly more popular in recent years, with European summer vacationers catching on this stellar travel period yet, generally speaking, this is still a quiet time of year.

River-based adventures – The best rafting and wild kayaking trips kick off now, a time when the ensuing rains guarantee great water levels and oodles of fun. From now until the end of the year, adventure vacations in a few prime spots are full-on, with only a few destinations offering the best conditions of all.

Guanacaste delights – The northern Guanacaste province is renowned for having most of its daily downpours in the late afternoon and into the evening, which makes for great daytime explorations. Just know that unpaved roads can become inaccessible during high-water levels and plan where to stay accordingly.

Whale-spotting on the Golfo Dulce – This revered warm-water haven attracts humpback whales in July and August

Turtle nesting season – Costa Rica’s sea turtles head to various beaches to nest from June, culminating in mass nesting events (called arribadas) in October.

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Mid-September – Early December

The Pacific Coast enjoys its rainiest months now, offering very quiet and great value-for-money experiences for those who don’t mind heavy remain restricting extensive. The Caribbean Coast, on the other hand, enjoys its driest period in September and October so if you’re travelling to Costa Rica now and wish to have a host of activities on offer, head to east instead.

December is particularly great, especially the first two weeks: rains recede dramatically, temps are cooler yet the Christmas crowds (and higher prices) have yet to materialize. This, along with early September and the last two weeks of May, are superb shoulder-season finds.

Whale Festival in Bahia Ballena – Uvita’s whale festival takes place in the first two weeks in September, highlighting the fact that this is prime whale-watching month along these shores. Head to the Marino Ballena National Park and enjoy a fantastic boat trip to spot humpback and pilot whales, dolphins, turtles and over 80 species of marine species.

Arribadas – Mass nesting events, some of the most mesmerizing natural phenomena in the world, occur in October and November. Read our guide to turtle nesting in Costa Rica to know where to go and what to expect. Las Baulas National Park is a particularly good spot to see leatherback turtles in great numbers in October. Witnessing the magical arribadas of Olive Ridley turtles is a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience in Costa Rica.

Caribbean adventures – Head to the east-coast this time of year and you can enjoy plenty of hiking, wildlife watching and snorkelling in sublime conditions – find out Highlights of the Caribbean Coast when planning your trip at this time of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

Tortuguero National Park – Costa Rica’s turtle sanctuary, the aptly-named Tortuguero National Park, is an unspoilt corner of remote wilderness, the perfect place to spot nesting turtles in September and October.

The Busiest Times Of The Year In Costa Rica

Aside from foreign tourists, Costa Rica also enjoys a healthy national and regional tourism scene, one that absolutely explodes during the weeks of Christmas and Easter. These can actually be wonderful times of year to visit, with many cultural events taking place which add a whole new dimension to your trip. As long as you pre-plan and pre-book your trip way ahead of time, you’ll certainly enjoy this amazing time of year in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Rios Adventure Vacations – How We Plan Our Adventures

We run our tours in various locations of Costa Rica, taking advantage of the amazing diversity of the country to offer adrenaline-pumping tours, no matter what time of year you visit. Our Costa Rica Rios group tours kick off on certain dates yet we also plan bespoke itineraries form private groups who just want to enjoy some togetherness. We know this country like the back of our hands and know precisely what to deliver depending on your interests, ages, desires and budget.

If you’ve just landed on our website, we’ll introduce you to our top Adventure Vacations – all of which can be personalized to suit your specific needs. Carefully crafted and thoughtfully planned, our tours offer something for every kind of adventure-seeker:

Honeymoons & Romance – Whether you’ve just tied the knot or wish to rekindle your romance, these superb itineraries offer a wonderful balance of downtime and adventure, so you can have the best of both worlds

Off the beaten path & Nature – For nature-lovers craving for an unplugged (and unforgettable) adventure in paradise, our remote wilderness adventures await

Family Vacations – Because a family that plays together, stays together. We offer a host of options and can advise you on the best itineraries to suit your and your child’s interests

Kayak Adventures – For avid kayakers who just can’t get enough of Costa Rica’s crazy rivers – this one’s for you! This 8-day bonanza is unreal and we offer plenty of options for your non-kayaking travel companions – so no-one needs to compromise

Week of Adventures – Undoubtedly the most popular tour on our collection, our week of adventure serves up a little of EVERYTHING: from kayaking to surfing, whitewater rafting, canopy swinging, mountain biking and everything in-between

Ready for the travel adventure of your life? Come discover Costa Rica with us in 2019!

Plan Your Trip

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Guide to Turtle Spotting in Costa Rica

Wildlife watching is undoubtedly one of the very best things you can do in Costa Rica, the country home to a mind-boggling array of unique and endemic creatures. Yet above all animals, including monkeys, birds, sloths, whales, crocodiles and dolphins, turtles hold by far the biggest appeal. Turtle spotting in Costa Rica is among the most ‘time & place sensitive’ endeavors, requiring you to be on specific beaches, at specific times of year, to admire their nesting and/or hatching rituals. Widely considered one of our planet’s most mesmerizing natural phenomenon, the mass nesting events for which Costa Rica is so renowned are certainly reason enough to visit the country, let alone the fact you’ll find a wide array of adventure activities to enjoy once here.

Following is your guide to turtle spotting Costa Rica: the where, when and how to admire some of our planet’s oldest and most precious residents.

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What kind of turtles can you spot in Costa Rica?

Home to four out of seven sea turtle species on our planet, Costa Rica attracts a host of biologists, researchers and wildlife-watching visitors every year. To your average turtle-watcher, sea turtles appear very similar but they are in fact quite distinct and, as such, boast different nesting seasons. The main turtle species calling Costa Rica home are:

  • Olive Ridley (with its heart-shaped shell, triangular head and relatively small size, the Olive Ridley is easily recognized. This species hosts the largest mass-nesting events of all, the magical arribadas)
  • Leatherback (the most distinctive due to a lack of hard shell, the leatherback is the 4th-largest reptile in the world – and the largest sea turtle – with adults weighing 1,000 pounds on average and boasting 6-feet long front flippers)
  • Hawksbill (can be easily confused with the green sea turtle, except for its protruding beak, which resembles that of a hawk!)
  • Green (beautifully colored and lacking the ability to stretch its neck out of its shell, the green sea turtle appears to be somewhat stuck in its home when, in fact, it isn’t)

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When is the best time to spot turtles in Costa Rica?

Although you’re likely to see some turtles in all the hot-spots, at any time of year, it helps to know the specific nesting season of each type so you have the highest chance of spotting the largest colonies.

Olive Ridley – They may boast the most numerous arribadas of all yet the mass nesting events of Olive Ridleys are still as unpredictable as ever. The season is nearly year-round, although the largest nesting events tend to occur in September and October and, some years, as late as November. Arribadas are closely linked to full-moon nights and, usually, the beaches get a ‘warning’ of a few hundred nesting turtles for a few consecutive nights, before the nesting culminates in the arrival of thousands. Although we couldn’t possibly advise which week of the two months you should plan your Costa Rica adventure vacation, you should simply aim to be here in September or October to increase your chances of timing it just right and, once here, keep abreast of the latest local news, ready to plan a last-minute trip to their favored nesting sites.

Leatherback – Leatherback turtles take to nesting on the eastern coast in the first half of the year, mostly between February and June with peak events happening in March and April. On the western coastline, however, they nest between October and February, so you have multiple chances to spot these elusive creatures.

Hawksbill – Highly endangered and boasting declining numbers, the hawksbill is the hardest sea turtle to spot in Costa Rica. What doesn’t help your spotting chances is the fact that, unlike the other species, the hawksbill nests alone, mostly in September and October, so you’d have to be especially lucky to see one (let alone more) on your visit to Costa Rica.

Green Sea Turtles – The peak nesting months of the green sea turtles are August and September although nesting season runs from July to the end of October.

Where should you go to spot turtles in Costa Rica?

Start researching turtle-watching guides to Costa Rica and you’ll no doubt find references to which side of the country’s two coastlines attract which species. Knowing specific spots, however, will help you better plan your visit.

Tortuguero National Park – This incredibly wild reserve on the northern Caribbean coast isn’t called ‘turtle heaven’ for no reason. Tortuguero attracts all the four Costa Rica turtle species in nesting season and is the best place to specifically spot the endangered green sea turtle. A stunning maze of canals, jungle forests and glorious beaches, Tortuguero is remote and hard to reach, which makes a visit all the more unforgettable.

Nicoya Peninsula – Ostional Beach regularly makes worldwide news every year, when it hosts Olive Ridley arribadas that number in the hundreds of thousands. This is one of only a handful of beaches in the world that see this kind of turtle spectacle and is, as such, avidly protected. Being so popular, however, means that regular guided night-time tours are on offer, to give visitors (and locals) the chance to see these mesmerizing events, whilst maintaining the site safe for the turtles.

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Las Baula National Park – Named after the forem

ost sea turtle species it hosts, Guanacaste’s Las Baula attracts the highly endangered leatherback. The park’s Grande Beach is the 2nd-largest nesting spot for these majestic beasts in the world and although tours are organised during nesting events, they are only organised a few days in advance. For obvious reasons, given the leatherback’s endangered status, all visits during nesting season are strictly regulated.

Santa Rosa National Park – The second-largest arribada beach for Olive Ridley turtles, Guanacaste’s Santa Rosa is one of the country’s smallest and least-known yet most pristine reserves. The beaches here – Nancite in particular – are quite remote and necessitate some real commitment (in the hiking sense) but at least you’ll be in the company of far fewer visitors if you make the effort to go.

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge – Located on the southern Caribbean coast, this remote and lesser-visited refuge is a prime turtle nesting hub, not only for attracting all four species but for attracting the most numerous leatherback colonies of all. Visit between March and July and you’ll likely have the chance to witness a nesting event of at least one species, if not more. Just south of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in the Limon Province, Gandoca-Manzanillo is an off-the-beaten-path destination nestled in one of the most jaw-dropping corners of Costa Rica, home to a flurry of exceptional wildlife.

The Osa Peninsula – The southern coast of the Osa Peninsula plays hosts to nesting turtles almost all year long. The sheer concentration of turtles here means that if you miss a nesting event, you will likely be able to admire a hatching event instead. Generally speaking, the months with the least number of turtles are January and February so head here at any other time of year and you’ll be at the ‘prime’ nesting time for at least one turtle species.

How to visit turtle-nesting sites in Costa Rica

Turtle nesting beaches in Costa Rica are fervently protected and you can only visit through authorized entry points, following very strict protection guidelines. The main emphasis is on people being mere observers, neither getting in the turtles’ way nor ‘helping them’ in any manner. Plan your visit with a local guide, follow the rules and enjoy being a spectator to a truly magnificent natural event and you can be sure your Costa Rica vacation be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

At Costa Rica Rios, we plan outstanding adventure vacations for families, honeymooning couples and solo travelers alike. If you love adventure, nature and wildlife, and wish to spot amazing sea turtles in the wild environment, let us help you plan the adventure of a lifetime.

Contact us, right here, to know more.

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Costa Rica Wedding Guide for 2019

Costa Rica may be the world’s best adventure honeymoon destination but many don’t realise the country is just as coveted as a destination-wedding hub. The stellar eco-tourism scene, which attracts adventure-seekers looking for the ultimate thrill in pristine wilderness, does a fabulous job of also catering to couples who wish to marry in the country. What’s the benefit of a Costa Rica destination wedding, you ask?

Where to even start?!

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Costa Rica Destination Weddings – Why Are They So Popular?

The draws of destination weddings, in general, are pretty obvious: you can skip the ubiquitous stress-filled event back home (where you may feel obliged to invite a large number of people) and you can enjoy a much more intimate, relaxing and unforgettable event abroad instead. Add Costa Rica to the mix and you’ll be in wedding-heaven.

By their very nature, Costa Rica destination weddings offer an incredible value-for-money: you can celebrate your wedding in an exclusive boutique eco-lodge with all the 5* trimmings you dream and pay just a fraction of a comparative event back home. Popular wedding venues cater to this need, offering everything from small-group accommodation to wedding planner, flowers, celebrant (and legalities), wedding meal and all the incidentals needed, like rehearsal dinners and entertainment. You can pay to have all the hassle taken out and, at the day of the day, it still won’t cost you a fortune.

Moreover, the most desired draw is the intimacy of a Costa Rica wedding. Your guest-list will naturally be limited as you won’t just be inviting people to your ‘wedding’ but you’ll be asking them to plan and pay for an overseas trip to attend. This can be a big ask which means that, usually, you’ll end up with a small, close-knit group of your closest friends and family; the people in your life who know each other well.

Quality time with your loved one in a spellbinding destination to celebrate one of the most important events in your life – what could be dreamier than a Costa Rica destination wedding?

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The Logistics of a Costa Rica Wedding– Let’s Get Down To Business!

It may be difficult to know where to even start planning your Costa Rica wedding but, luckily, we’ve compiled a list of guides to help you along.

Time it Right – The first point of business should be to pick a date or, at the very least, a month that will work for you both. The most popular wedding months of all in Costa Rica are the first five months of the year as most of the country enjoys its drier (weather) spell which means your chance of a soaked wedding day is infinitely reduced. Easter week is a particularly busy period in Costa Rica, and Central America in general, so if you can avoid this period, do so. Read more about how to time your Costa Rica wedding.

Finding the right venue for your big day – Depending on how involved you’d like to be in the planning of the day, you can choose a venue that’ll simply hold the reception or, alternatively, one which offers a totally comprehensive wedding package. The choice for the latter is extensive and, just to give you an idea, here are four stunning resorts that are super popular right now and a few sublime ideas for very unique wedding venues, like waterfalls-side, luxury villas and catamarans. You can also peruse an array of wedding resorts on TripAdvisor to see what couples think of each and every one. If you prefer, you could engage a local wedding planner instead, who can actually scout potential venues for you and help you every step of the way. It’s important that you find a wedding planner with whom you can communicate well and who seems to just ‘get you’ and your vision for the big day. Here’s a guide to finding your best wedding planner in Costa Rica and a few tips on choosing someone who’s right for you.

Get the wedding etiquette just right – You may be wondering who pays for what when it comes to destination weddings and how much notice you should be giving your dear guests. We tackle the most pivotal etiquette issues, right here. Generally speaking, you’ll need to pay for the whole ‘wedding’ event although that can mean something altogether different than what you may envisage. Costa Rica destination weddings are usually held during a long weekend so although guests should be expected to pay for their flights and accommodation, you may wish to include a few extras, like a horseback riding outing, a wildlife-watching tour or a thrilling zip-line ride for the whole wedding party to be enjoyed during the weekend. Unlike weddings back home, destination events are all-encompassing events and, given that guests will be travelling to Costa Rica, they will surely want to experience a few of the stellar activities for which this country is world-renowned.

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Costa Rica wedding adventure vacations – Planning your wedding ceremony to be the centerpiece of a small-group adventure vacation in Costa Rica is certainly an exceptional experience. The country offers something for everyone which means everyone you invite, be it nieces, nephews or grandparents, can enjoy an active vacation in our wonderfully wild paradise. An organised vacation takes the stress out of planning a group tour, with optional activities included to cater to everyone of every fitness level and age.  This means your ‘wedding’ can become a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not only for you but for everyone involved! Multi-day packages will see you hit some rapids on whitewater rafting expeditions, taking stunning hikes in unspoiled wilderness, enjoying sun-soaked beach days with surfing and snorkeling included and, of course, plenty of chances for up-close and personal wildlife encounters.

 

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica adventure honeymoons – If you’re not sure whether your entire group of loved ones would enjoy a very active wedding vacation, you always have the option of soaking up the splendorous of your wedding and then heading off, alone, for the Costa Rica adventure honeymoon of your dreams. This is, perhaps, the most popular option of all and something with which we have the most experience.

Here are just a few of the most popular honeymoon vacation itineraries that’ll give you an idea of everything that’s possible in Costa Rica:

Total Adventure – After taking the proverbial plunge, thrill-seekers dive head-first into Costa Rica’s most unmissable adrenaline-rushes, spending a week canyoning, rafting, rappelling, zip-lining jet skiing and surfing in four sensational destinations. This itinerary is designed for adventurous spirits who are fit, active and in need of ‘the ultimate thrill’, over and over again.

Exotic Adventure Honeymoon – This slightly more subdued adventure suits those who crave relaxation and adventure at the same time. Only two destinations in a week, less extreme yet equally thrilling activities, mixed in with plenty of glorious R&R in truly superb settings. Eco-lodges immersed in nature, wondrous pristine beaches and just enough thrills to revitalize the soul. For a more chilled-out itinerary with a slower pace, exotic adventure is perfect for honeymooners on a first-time visit to Costa Rica.

 

Pure Luxury Adventure Honeymoon – Our Pure Luxury honeymoon is perfect for couples who wish to splurge a little after their Costa Rica wedding. Top-notch lodges and resorts, the best the county has to offer and jaunts in some of the most exclusive corners of the country, like the Corcovado National Park and resplendent Caño Island.

Tailor-made Costa Rica adventure honeymoon – There’s no doubt that the best itinerary is the one you design with your most fervent wishes in mind. Perhaps you’d love to choose a mix of all three: plenty of action yet with enough free time for R&R and, perhaps, a night or two in an exclusive luxury eco-resort. Everything is possible in Costa Rica and that’s why we give you the option to build your own adventure honeymoon. You tell us what you dream and how much you can budget for your trip and we’ll design an adventure that’s just right for the two of you.

How Much Should You Budget For Your Costa Rica Wedding and Honeymoon?

Costa Rica destination weddings obviously come in a myriad of budgets yet, by and large, many choose to spend about $5,000 for an all-inclusive wedding weekend. Adventure honeymoons come much cheaper than that, of course, with a week of adventures costing barely $2,000 per person, with activities, meals, excursions and culinary delights all included in the price. Luxury options can cost double that, of course, yet you can expect the quality/price ratio to be very impressive. Costa Rica is a marvelous vacation destination and one of the main reasons is because the whole country simply offers a tremendous bang for your holiday-buck and that’s what entices so many couples to come back here, time and again.

Ready to embark on the real adventure of a lifetime? Then why not see our extensive collection of Costa Rica adventure vacations and contact us to know more.

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Come FLY the Pura Vida – Guide to Zip-lining in Costa Rica

Amongst the many exciting outdoor activities on offer in Costa Rica, zip-lining would have to be the most popular and, without a doubt, the most iconic. Flying like a bird along the canopy of a pristine forest is not just an exciting activity but also grants you a superb view of the country’s wilderness, one you’d otherwise never get to experience. Yet as popular as the sport is, in our neck of the woods, there are still many first-time visitors who don’t know what zip-lining in Costs Rica entails. Is zip-lining in Costa Rica safe? Age restricted? It is difficult and scary?

We thought we’d compile this guide to zip-lining in Costa Rica, so you can come and fly high, the Pura Vida way, and enjoy the absolute adventure vacation of a lifetime, in one of the world’s most welcoming countries.

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What Exactly IS Zip-lining and How Did It Evolve?

Zip-lining or ‘flying fox’ as an adventure sport was first introduced in Costa Rica over four decades ago and, although now available all over the world, our humble little nation is still regarded the trailblazer of the trend. Historical records show that the use of a diagonal rope to transport goods and people across uneven terrain (across canyons or rivers) has been in use for well over 400 years in several continents (most especially in very mountainous regions) although the identity of the genius who first came up with the idea is still unknown. By the 1980’s, zip-lining was extensively used in Latin America by researchers studying dense tropical rain forests and their elusive wildlife so it’s no surprise to know that the first ‘recreational’ commercial course, aimed at the sheer fun of it all, was first opened in Costa Rica 1992.

Zip-lining involves completing a suspended-line course interspersed with platforms at strategic points. The aim is to use gravity as a force of movement, so you glide along the line rather than be driven along by some kind of mechanical apparatus, with the incline and your weight determining your speed.

The popularity of zip-lining in Costa Rica also reflects the eco-friendly benefit of this activity, when compared to so many others, given the low ecological impact it creates in a pristine wilderness environment. Zip-lining allows visitors access (and a bird’s eye view) to some of the most remote and unspoiled terrain of all, the only impact being the initial building of each platform and the occasional access to maintain it. But it still avoids the impact of having tens of thousands of people trample on the forest floor daily and that’s a huge plus for mother nature. This was the primary reason biologists first used the system in Costa Rica and its evolution into the tourism sector has been a very organic one, for obvious reasons.

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Can Anyone Do It?

You bet! Zip-lining in Costa Rica is popular with honeymooning couples, retirees on vacation, singles, families and everyone in between. Every course specifies difficulty rating and duration, so you can choose the one that suits you best. Many tours do involve a bit of walking between platform so, no matter your age, you should still be fit and agile enough to complete a course. This is the absolute quintessential adventure activity in Costa Rica, something every active traveler really should try when visiting.

Is It Dangerous?

When used correctly, incorporating the right galvanized cables, with loads and breaks at the right distance, zip-lining is exceptionally safe, each course able to load tens of thousands of pounds at any given time. As with any adrenaline sport using gear, it is imperative you always choose a professional and well-respected company, one that’s considered ‘the best in the biz’ with a proven track-record of unrivaled safety. There’s a wealth of dedicated gear involved in zip-lining in Costa Rica, including safety harnesses, sturdy pulleys, safety helmets and thick safety gloves. Given the nature of the activity, however, there is always some risk involved when zip-lining in Costa Rica, although it’s along the lines of every other activity on offer here, including horseback riding, mountain bike riding, kayaking and whitewater rafting. Anything that doesn’t involve simply ‘walking’ along a well-paved trail is going to involve an added risk but that’s simply the nature of adventure tourism, anywhere in the world.

All the zip-line courses we recommend in Costa Rica abide by the strictest safety regulations and every visit includes a thorough safety briefing before you’re allowed anywhere near a line.

Is Zip-lining In Costa Rica Scary?

Now here’s a totally different topic and a very subjective one. If you’re a thrill-seeking adventurer out for a great adrenaline-rush then zip-lining is tailor-made for you. If, however, you suffer vertigo or simply scare easily, then you may want to keep your feet on the ground. It’s worth noting that there’s a multitude of zip-lining courses in Costa Rica that are quite mellow – even suitable for children above a certain age – with short sections that never allow you to pick up any great speed. Yep, there are plenty of ‘trial runs’ you can do if you’re keen to try it out first and see if you like it – no need to go all gung-ho right off the bat if you’re hesitating.

Where in Costa Rica Can You Go Zip-lining?

Given the sheer concentration of wilderness in Costa Rica and the popularity of zip-lining, there’s almost ‘no corner’ of the country that isn’t home to a world-class zip-line course. You’ll find zip-line options in both the north and southern Caribbean coast, the Central Valley and all along the Pacific coast.

What Are The Best Zip-lining Courses In Costa Rica?

The most popular and best zip-lines are found in the country’s most revered highlights, namely Arenal Volcano, Monteverde (whose cloud forests offer a very unique experience), the Nicoya Peninsula and Manuel Antonio, which adds a fun Tarzan Swing and meaner through an amazing butterfly garden. The most famous though is Diamante Superman, the second-longest dual zip-line in South America, where you can your travel partner can fly side by side and enjoy the thrill of zip-lining together – this line is almost a mile long and offers the most spectacular ocean views you could ever dream. See our Zip-line Tours page for full details on each of the best zip-line courses we recommend.

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The Tarzan Swing @ Diamante Superman

What Should You Wear When Zip-lining In Costa Rica?

If you’ve ever been abseiling, you’d immediately understand what’s needed for zip-lining: comfortable non-slip shoes, and versatile pants (preferably long or up to your knees as a minimum) and T-shirts that are neither too tight nor too lose. Stretchy fabrics that allow you a full range of motion are best. You also don’t want to go for thick fabrics – and you wouldn’t want to in Costa Rica anyway – so the harness, which goes around your legs and bottom, can be rightly adjusted. ‘When zip-lining in Costa Rica, ensure you have comfortable clothing and shoes on, pin an excited smile on your face and you can look forward to one of the best adrenaline rushes in the world!

Anything Else You Should Know About Zip-lining In Costa Rica?

Yes! Tie up your hair in a bun or better still braid it if it’s long, don’t pack your phone or any other valuables in your pockets (store them safely beforehand), make sure your camera (which you can bring along) has a wrist strap and attachment. Lastly, once you’ve made the decision to go for it then…do just that. No need to overthink the departure from the platform or anything else, just step off, sit back on your harness and enjoy the magnificent ride. We bet it’ll be one of the most fun things you’ll ever do!

 

At Costa Rica Rios, we plan bespoke and group adventure vacations that include zip-line excursions, also offering options if your travel companions aren’t keen on the flight of the eagles. See our range of fabulous adventure vacation tours in Costa Rica and contact us to know more.

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A Foodie’s Guide to Costa Rica

Whilst Costa Rica wasn’t always renowned for being a foodie’s paradise, the last decade has seen the country undergo a culinary revolution of sorts. The luscious forests that have attracted adventure-seekers for decades have become hot-spots for exceptional, unique, indigenous ingredients, helping spawn a new wave of gastronomic experiences that are seriously out of this world. True to its essence, Costa Rica’s food scene is immensely eclectic yet no matter where you go – be it cheap & cheerful local sodas, 5* haute-cuisine restaurants or small vegan joints, you’ll discover there’s one aspect that seems to run through the veins of them all: food in Costa Rica is organic, uncomplicated, healthy and very, very delicious. The national dish, gallo pinto, remains as it’s always been: a local’s absolute favorite. People still feast on exotic fruits and down fresh shakes and smoothies like there’s no tomorrow. If you’re a lover of great food, amazing wilderness and crazy adventures, travel to Costa Rica and you’ll discover a country that ticks all your favorite boxes.

Here’s your ultimate Foodie’s Guide to Costa Rica.

Overview of Costa Rican cuisine – One of the world’s healthiest

Costa Rican cuisine is one of the main reasons the country is rated as one of the healthiest on earth. Terms like ‘nutrient-rich and super foods’ seem to be thrown about all over the place but, right here, they’ve always have been a part of daily life. Local cuisine abounds with nutritious fruits and vegetables, with pure cacao, delicious coconuts, fresh fish, pulses and – the biggest benefit of all – only a moderate consumption of meat and animal products like dairy and butter. The staple Costa Rica diet is uncomplicated and chock-full of super-healthy proteins like beans, eggs, chicken and fish. Rice and plantain (a cooking banana that’s rich in Vitamin B6, C, Magnesium and Potassium) are the main starches used in local meals and even though dishes may seem to be carb-heavy, the lack of animal fats makes them satisfying, filling yet easily digestible, just the ticket when spending a day whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip-lining or mountain biking.

Costa Rican cuisine is also perfect if you’re travelling with children as they really enjoy the simplicity of the food and lack of spiciness usually found in other Central American countries.

Savory dishes to try – Every adventure vacation in Costa Rica is bound to become a foodie adventure to boot, local regional specialties ensuring your diet is eclectic and delicious. The main national culinary specialties you should try are the gallo pinto ‘breakfast of kings’ (rice fried up with beans, veggies and egg), sensational ceviche along the coast (raw fish marinated in lime juice until cooked) the rather addictive chicarrones (fried pieces of pork – the fast food of choice!) and an abundance of seafood chowders stewed in rich coconut milk. Read more about these dishes and more on Costa Rica Culinary Delights.

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Sweet treats to discover – With the abundance of fresh exotic fruits in Costa Rica – not to mention local’s love of condensed milk – it’s fair to say Ticos have a most definite sweet tooth. Join the club (resistance is futile!) and treat your taste buds to Costa Rica’s best desserts like pastel de tres leches, home-made ice cream and, of course, a stunning array of chocolaty goodness. We’ve actually collected a few of our favorite dessert places you should try, so go on and pin a few gems on your map before you arrive.

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Foodies take note – the best Costa Rica culinary experiences of all

Now that you know the kind of foodie delights that await you in Costa Rica, it’s time to share out tips for ensuring your adventure vacation is filled to the brim with exceptional culinary experiences.

Here are a few tips you (and your taste buds) will surely appreciate.

The Best Farmers Markets

From the largest city to the smallest village, every single inhabited spot in Costa Rica hosts a fabulous farmers’ market every week (called ‘feria’) where locally-grown goodies are sold at incredibly low prices. Farmers markets in Costa Rica are undoubtedly some of the best highlights for visiting foodies, amazing places where they can learn all about the exotic produce grown in a specific region and taste a few traditional specialties. We recommend everyone find at least one local fresh market to visit during their trip, no matter where they go. We’ve listed a few of the best known and most rewarding, right here.

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The Costa Rica ‘Soda’ Experience

If it’s your first time delving into the Costa Rica foodie scene, you may not know that a soda, in our neck of the woods, is the name of a traditional food joint which is locally-owned and run, laid-back and inexpensive. Many of us think that sodas offer the most authentic foodie experiences of all in Costa Rica, ones not influenced by imported trends and tourist wishes. Sodas are for Ticos, first and foremost, so here you’ll be served an array of regional fare you normally won’t find in more upmarket restaurants. Read our Costa Rica guide to a typical soda experience to know more about this very unique gastronomic delight, what you should be looking for and discover a few of the best sodas in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetarians and Vegans…rejoice!

We’ve had an increasing number of vegetarian and vegan dietary requests on our adventure vacation tours in the last couple of years and we continue to welcome them wholeheartedly. Costa Rica has been a vegan and vegetarian paradise longer than the health-conscious trend has been around, given its cuisine is just so heavy on plant-based ingredients. Much like the Mediterranean diet, the Costa Rican diet is – in reality – mostly vegetarian, with the consumption of dairy and meat being only minimal for most locals. Nevertheless, and considering vegans need a few more pointers, the vegan and vegetarian scene in Costa Rica is huge and growing by the day – local restaurateurs understanding the need to specifically identify their dishes. For more on this subject, read our guide written specifically for vegetarians and vegans visiting Costa Rica.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organised Food Tours (more food + less time= win/win!)

Now here’s a growing trend we can all get behind: food tours! Dedicated food tours are absolutely booming in Costa Rica and for very good reasons. Walk and feast with a knowledgeable local and you’ll get to savor some of the best meals prepared with some of the freshest ingredients in the world.  From cheese-making to chocolate-gorging, farm-to-table tours and even hands-on gourmand cooking classes, Costa Rica’s best food tours offer something for every visiting foodie, bar none. Check out this tried-and-tested food tours selection we sussed out just last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where You Can Enjoy Excellent Culinary Discoveries

San Jose – Costa Rica’s capital is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the epicenter of the new-wave food scene in the country. International chefs hail from every corner of the globe, competing with one another to offer unique dishes using local, once-forgotten ingredients. Fusion cuisine is all the rage here and, aside from these fancy joints, you’ll also find a host of fantastic food experiences. Read more about the Best Dining Experiences in San Jose.

Tamarindo – The most popular seaside destination on the Pacific, Tamarindo, is home to perhaps the most eclectic foodie scene in the country. Locals and expats alike converge here to offer – and feast on – the most diverse food in the country. It’s not shocking to know that Tamarindo offers the most comprehensive culinary experiences of all. Although the choice is gargantuan and can be overwhelming, we’ve listed a few of the best restaurants in Tamarindo for you to try.

Manuel Antonio – Without a doubt the most popular tourist destination in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio offers foodies a crazy array of options. From budget-friendly sodas to 5* gems and all that is in-between, the culinary options here are absolutely huge. Here’s a list of our top 10 Manuel Antonio foodie faves, including that gorgeous ‘plane’ restaurant that’s all the Instagram rage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taste the real Costa Rica

Exploring a foreign cuisine is surely one of the very best benefits of travel and we think it’s one of Costa Rica’s most underrated highlights. Here, you can feast like a local no matter where you go, discover amazing new food and understand the basis of one of the world’s healthiest cultures. Fresh air, unspoiled nature, loads of outdoor active fun, wholesome food, family and friends: these are the key ingredients for a truly happy and healthy life.

Want to have a taste?

Then come join us! We run some of the country’s most popular adventure vacations and rated one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth by National Geographic. Your safety and rewarding enjoyment are our absolute priorities, coupled with our commitment to showing you the very best Costa Rica has to offer. See our full collection of Costa Rica Adventure Vacation Packages and contact us to know more.

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7 AWESOME Wilderness Experiences in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the world’s best destinations for nature-filled adventure vacations, the small yet action-packed nation seamlessly blending unspoiled wilderness with adrenaline-pumping activities. in many ways, Costa Rica is the birthplace of such vacations, being the poster-child for eco-tourism on our planet. Whilst you could head here to sit on a gorgeous beach and soak up some rays, the treasures of Costa Rica are best experienced at great speeds – whether on a kayak, white water raft, a horse saddle, mountain bike or – most fun of all – on a suspended zip-line set across the canopy of exceptionally luscious rain forests.

Tailor-made for those who love to explore further on their travels, include active tours in their itineraries or simply those who just can’t sit still, this country is all about superlative fun in exceptional nature.

Because, sometimes, just looking at a rain forest, volcano, waterfall and beach isn’t enough!

Here are just a few of the top wilderness experiences in Costa Rica:

  1. Climb the steaming Rincon de la Vieja volcano

Even though there are literally 101 exceptionally fun things to do in Costa Rica, there are a few activities for which the country is world-renowned. One of them is volcano climbing. The most popular crater rim to reach is undoubtedly Rincon de la Vieja, mostly because it’s a challenging hike (a full-day excursion), showcases amazing fauna variety and landscapes and (perhaps more importantly) is intermittently semi-active. The fumaroles from the top are impossible for adrenaline-junkies to ignore! The trail is often closed due to safety reason and if it happens during your vacation, do not panic: Costa Rica boasts nearly 70 volcanic peaks, only half a dozen of which are active. When locals tell you ‘there’s a volcano nearby you can climb’, trust them that they mean it – there’s an option here in every province. Uber-famous Arenal is the most active in the country (and arguably the world) and the resulting fertility of the soil is what makes hiking here so rewarding. Even if you can’t (or don’t wish to) reach the peak, it almost doesn’t matter – go volcano climbing in Costa Rica and you’ll be spending your hours meandering through some of the lushest, wildlife-enriched national parks on the planet. And you’ll always enjoy stunning views of the peak.

Check out the Top 3 Voted Volcano Hikes in Costa Rica

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  1. Float through the clouds in the Monteverde Cloud Forest

A magical playground for young and old alike, Monteverde is one of the most distinctive pockets of wilderness in Costa Rica. You can explore it at length on foot, by following the trail traversing the park, which includes half a dozen dreamy floating bridges, the longest of which spans just a few steps shy of 1000 feet. Getting lost in the cloud-drenched forests here is a truly magical experience, with aerial trams aiding families with very young kids. There are also ‘reserves within the reserve’ to visit, a particularly rewarding one being CuriChanca because it has a great density of wildlife but usually sees far fewer tourists. Most visitors just head up to this high-set forest for a single day but if you can squeeze in a longer visit, you’ll absolutely love exploring off the beaten trail. Monteverde has had a very interesting history and boasts a few clusters of lovely lodges and great restaurants, as well as an ethereal Butterfly Forrest, a Bat Jungle, Frog Pond and – most impressive of all – night walks to spot nocturnal wildlife. If you’d love to be totally immersed in wilderness for a few days then Monteverde is absolutely ideal – it has everything you need without the mega malls and mega resorts you might not.

Simply Costa Rica nature at its absolute finest.

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  1. Enjoy wildlife-watching galore in Corcovado National Park

Let’s get one thing straight: any adventure vacation in Costa Rica is bound to include some form of wildlife-watching event, simply because this is one of the most biodiverse nations on earth. So what would happen if you visited THE most bio-diverse corner of THE most bio-diverse country? You get a wildlife bonanza! Corcovado, the crown jewel of the Osa Peninsula, is remote, wild, spellbinding and, thanks to a convenient regional airport, also easy to visit in just a one-week vacay. The most commonly spotted animals in Corcovado are gloriously colorful macaws, capuchin monkeys, anteaters and tapirs although the park’s most revered residents – large cats like pumas and jaguars – are what everyone comes to see. Harder to spot though they may be, there’ll certainly be plenty of wild creatures here to get you totally hooked. Established almost 45 years ago as a protected reserve, Corcovado is home to nearly 150 species of mammals, over 400 species of birds and thousands of plants, most of which are endemic to the region. The Osa itself is a wilderness lover’s paradise and Corcovado, on its own accord, is absolutely unmissable.

Read more about Corcovado National Park and the Osa Peninsula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Snorkel and SCUBA dive amidst world-class reefs and hammerhead sharks at Cocos Island

Cocos Island is one of Costa Rica’s most precious UNESCO-listed treasures and considered one of the world’s best diving destinations. Floating a few hundred miles offshore in the Puntarenas Province, Cocos attracts avid divers from all over the world, many of whom merely use San Jose as a springboard to their diving trip. Fervently protected by the government and home to an insane concentration of marine life around its shores, Cocos is astonishingly beautiful. Its nutrient-rich waters attract schooling hammerhead sharks, migrating whales, orcas, an abundance of exotic fish and sensational pinnacles. There are 20 sites to explore underwater and the only way to soak up the splendors is on a live-aboard journey. Given this reason, the remoteness, and challenging currents, Cocos is considered ideal for experienced divers and snorkelers. Plan your visit during the driest season (between December and May) to ensure great visibility and calmer seas.

Check out  some of the other impressive Snorkeling Spots in Costa Rica

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Chase waterfalls ALL over Costa Rica

Determining how many shades of blue waterfalls can come in is unarguably one of the best things to do in Costa Rica. A country boasting so many rivers and mountains is bound to hide a cache of superb waterfalls so it may not surprise you to know that, in total, the country boasts hundreds of amazing cascades. Some are world-famous and highly-coveted, mostly because they are not only jaw-dropping but also super convenient to reach, many just a short distance away from a major road. Have more time up your sleeve and an adventurous spirit? Then do check out the glistening falls at La Fortuna, La Paz and Rio Celeste (You will NOT believe the iridescent shade of blue!) and then dive right off the trail, pinning Bajor del Toro, the multi-tiered Nauyaca and the otherworldly Llanos de Cortez. Find out more details about each of these in our Most Picturesque Waterfalls in Costa Rica guide and enjoy a truly unrivaled waterfall-hopping adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Zip-line the heart-stopping Diamante course in Guanacaste

Along with volcano climbing zip-lining is king in Costa Rica: one of the activities which propelled the country into the eco-tourism superstardom. Zip-lining is a fantastic experience, which can be as adrenaline-pumping (or not) as you’d like. The great thing about zipping along the canopy of pristine forests is that this allows you the chance to explore its heart, see its wildlife and soak up its essence, whilst leaving a minimal impact on the environment. This is eco-friendly a wilderness adventure as you could ever have, anywhere in the world. The most popular zip-line adventures are set up in the most tourist-ed regions, so you’ll find options in Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio. Yet there are plenty of zip-line adventures to be had in more remote areas, like the crazy runs in Jaco in the Nicoya Peninsula (an absolute thrill-seeker’s delight!) and Playa Matapalo (Diamante) the latter being the longest dual course in Central America. Yes, you and your traveling buddy can fly, side by side, enjoying the heart-stopping thrills for over 4,400 feet. If you manage to keep your eyes open (a challenge, let us assure you) you can soak up the most magnificent ocean views of all.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. White-water raft down the Pacuare, one of the world’s wildest rivers

Among the international white-water rafting scene, Costa Rica is renowned for boasting some of the world’s best runs, the National Geographic naming our Pacuare River one of the best adrenaline-rushing destinations on earth. We couldn’t agree more! This river trumps all others, as far as we’re concerned, because the best rapids are accessed from one of the remotest and least-crowded regions in Costa Rica, so by chasing sensational drops here, you’re effectively keeping well away from the usual touristy crowds of the west. Wand where there’s white water, you know they’ll be kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and wildlife-watching – the Pacuare traverses some of the most pristine wilderness in the country and on a white-water rafting vacation here, you’ll have the very best of the country right at the tip of your paddle. Discover more about the Pacuare River and why it’s considered Costa Rica’s best adrenaline rush.

Prefer to kayak? You’ll have a field day here! Read more about the Most Scenic Rivers in Costa Rica, where you’ll discover options for experienced paddlers and novices alike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to dive right in and enjoy the best wilderness experiences in Costa Rica? Then head on over to our Costa Rica Adventure Vacations page and see just how much action, fun, wilderness and wildlife we can squeeze into your unforgettable visit.

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Top 10 Secret Wonders of Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Top 10 Attractions rightly deserve to be on the spotlight yet alongside world-renowned highlights like the spectacular Arenal Volcano, verdant Manuel Antonio National Park and the ethereal cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica hides innumerable hidden secrets. From unknown paradise islands to lesser-visited national parks, uncrowded natural thermal pools and sensational whitewater rivers that pack a huge adrenalin punch but no tourist crowds, the Seven Secret Wonders of Costa Rica open up a whole new, off-the-beaten-path world for those who make the effort to explore further.

  1. Piscinas de los Pobres, La Fortuna

We love that these natural, uncrowded pools are right next door to the country’s most famous spring spa resort. It just goes to show that you needn’t travel that far to find Costa Rica’s many hidden secrets. The Pools of the Poor are a challenge to reach (which is unarguably what keeps the crowds at bay) but the short but steep trek is certainly worth the effort. Known for its challenging currents, these pools are not just outrageously beautiful but also very thrilling.

  1. Isla Cabuya, Montezuma

A gorgeous little island only accessible from Montezuma at low tide, Isla Cabuya – known locally as Cemetery Island – is a snorkeling haven, its rocky shores inhabited by a wealth of colorful exotic fish. According to local lore, this burial island is haunted by ghosts and, if you’re lucky enough to visit on an evening when a funeral is being held, it’ll certainly feel spooky. Cabuya is actually well-known in the area but given its remote location – off the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula – it simply doesn’t see the crowds found elsewhere. Plan to spend a whole day, bring snorkel gear and a backpack full of snacks and explore this fascinating isle and its crystalline waters. Read more about Isla Cabuya.

  1. Punta Uva Beach, Puerto Viejo

The Caribbean Coast is undoubtedly the lesser-visited in Costa Rica and, even among this long stretch of amazing beaches, there’s a secret little wonder that’ll get you away from it all. Punta Uva is revered locally for being the release point of the endangered green macaw, once native to the area and now reintroduced to the wild after a successful breeding program. This place is heaven – not just for the macaws – but for anyone who makes the trek to reach it. We’re talking long stretches of glistening sand, turquoise waters, coral reefs close to shore and about as postcard-perfect a setting as you could ever find, anywhere on earth.

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  1. Bahia de los Piratas, Guanacaste

If pirates found this bay to be the ideal hiding spot, it’s no wonder those who stumble upon it rate it so highly. If it were anywhere else, Pirate Bay would be swarming with tourists but given its out-of-the-way location in the north of Guanacaste’s coast, it remains a secret wonder discovered by just a handful of visitors. Boasting a very long stretch of pink-sand beach, this glorious spot is ideal if you’re looking for a quiet spot to laze about for the day. There’s loads you can do here if you’re feeling energetic though, with paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling and even horseback riding excursions on offer from nearby Playa Conchal – which is exceptionally beautiful but also very crowded. So head to Bahia de los Pirates to get away from the crowds!

  1. Isla Chiras, Puntarenas

Easily accessible and endlessly idyllic, Chira Island is not the most secret spot in Costa Rica but considering that much of the island is wild, brimming with incredible wildlife and unexplored, it certainly feels like a hidden secret when you’re actually there. Three small villages are all you’ll find here with just a handful of family-run lodges and great eateries that’ll make you feel like you’re a world away from the mainland. This is one of the best eco-tourism spots in the Gulf of Nicoya and locals are committed to leaving this place as natural as can be. Most visitors just head over for a day trip from Puntarenas so if you really want to enjoy it thoroughly, stay a few nights and spend your days exploring Chira on foot and by mountain bike discovering slat pans, mangroves and stunning forests. We know you’ll absolutely love it.

  1. Savegre Rainforest, Puntarenas

Savegre is one of our very fave spots and our trusted recommendations for guests looking for Costa Rica honeymoons off the beaten path. It may be in one of the most visited provinces at all but Savegre and its sensational river and jungle are blissfully remote. The rain forest is home to tapirs and jaguars, vibrantly-colored parrots, ospreys and egrets, and the Savegre River, to cap it off, is considered one of the best adventure vacation spots in Costa Rica, offering rapids class II and III among its endless acres of pristine wilderness. This is the kind of place you’ll want to get totally immersed in for a few days to really soak up the wild delight of the country.

  1. The Amazing Treehouse and Nature Observatory of Manzanillo, Limon

Crazy name and an even crazier spot, this tree-house lodge is absolutely unreal and by far one of the best secret wonders of Costa Rica. Eco-friendly and immensely enticing, this Manzanillo gem immerses you in the heart of its wilderness and as long as you’re not a sleepwalker (gasp!) you’ll absolutely cherish your overnight stay. This unique place markets itself as a 3-in-1 experience, where you can hike in its prime rain forest full of exotic creatures, hoist yourself up to the wildlife observatory (actually easier than it sounds) and, finally, spend a night amidst the treetops. An exhilarating experience and a secret spot that’s not to be missed.

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  1. Bajos del Toro, Alajuela

Nestled between extinct volcanoes and nearby some of the most spectacular waterfalls in all of Costa Rica, Bajos del Toro is one of the most surprising secret wonders of all. How on earth this place doesn’t feature in all the top-10-must-see-guides we’ll never know. The town itself is laid-back and lovely, with chances for hiking and waterfall chasing keeping the few visitors totally captive for days on end. The Cataratas del Toro rates as one of Costa Rica’s most magnificent, plunging powerfully down a sheer rocky cliff into an emerald pool. Take a heart-pumping hike around the pool and explore the surrounding forests, looking for wildlife. Only an hour and a half’s drive from San Jose, Bajos is a true wonder of Costa Rica’s wilderness.

  1. Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Just next door to Arenal but overlooked by so many, Rincon de la Vieja is where we head to get away from the crowds and enjoy some truly sensational hiking. The volcanic peaks, mud springs, sulfur hot springs and array of challenging and easier hiking trail offer a wealth of options for those who love this rea (or are staying close by) but want to hike in peace and quiet. Still a hidden spot, after all these years, Rincon is a real gem not to be missed.

  1. Barra Honda National Park, Nicoya Peninsula

Avid cavers head to Barra Honda from all over the world to explore its complex cave system yet outside this dedicated circle, the place receives little air-time. Great news for you! Head here with a dedicated guide and you could be plunging 700 ft into the Nicoya’s underground, exploring the limestone caverns dotted with otherworldly rock formations. This maze of caverns is said to consist of more than 40 separate caves yet in order to keep the area pristine, only 209 have been explored and only one is open to the public. If you’re into caving, you’ll enjoy reading our guide to Costa Rica’s Hidden Caves.

BONUS #11 – The Pacuare River

The National Geographic named the Pacuare one of the world’s best whitewater rafting and kayaking rivers and here at Costa Rica Rios, we couldn’t possibly disagree. This is our playground, our corner of paradise and our favorite spot to frolic with paddles. Despite its illustrious tag, the Pacuare and its surrounding jungles remain uncrowded, given the remote location and the fact this river offers multi-day adventure tour options but your average Costa Rica tourist only wants to get wet n’ wild for a single day. So most tourists stay on the west, leaving this incredible paradise uncrowded for the active explorers and adventurous spirits, those who want to get totally lost in the wilderness on the adventure vacation of a lifetime. Our own secret wonder of Costa Rica really is the country’s best adrenaline rush!

Costa Rica Rios – your adventure travel specialists and lover of all things hidden and secret. Check out our stellar ADVENTURE VACATIONS and contact us to book your next vacation to the most exhilarating country on earth!

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Costa Rica Honeymoon Guide for 2019

One of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations, Costa Rica seamlessly blends adventure and romance to offer unique experiences that are far removed from the cookie-cutter mold. Yes, you can still soak up the rays along a stretch of an impossibly idyllic beach, but intrepid couples heading to Costa Rica choose to do so after a n active day out spent whitewater rafting, kayaking, canyoning, zip-lining or mountain biking. That’s really what sets Costa Rica apart from all other ‘tropical honeymoon destinations’ the world over: just as dreamy and swoon-worthy yet with the added bonus of a wicked, fun and adventurous side.

Do you get easily bored lunging on a beach chair sipping cocktails for days on end? Then Costa Rica is the honeymoon destinations for you! Every corner of the country offers its own cache of delights and adventures, offering an eclectic array for bespoke Costa Rica honeymoons.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive Costa Rica Honeymoon Guide for 2019 – the best places to go, the highlights you shouldn’t miss and a few insider tips to ensure your ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip to our shores is as memorable as can be.

Here’s to the adventure you’ll be telling the grand kids about!

Costa Rica Honeymoons in 2019 – The Best Hot Spots for Loved-up Couples

Let’s be honest: you’d be hard pressed to find a single corner of Costa Rica without redeeming honeymoon offerings but it is true that some areas are simply better suited to honeymooning couples. A few luxurious indulgences wouldn’t go amiss (in between all the crazy excursions) and given the fact most couples take only a week off to explore, many tend to home in on well-established destinations. Have more time? We’ll guide you to more remote destinations too!

One-week Costa Rica Honeymoon – Manuel Antonio and Arenal Volcano National Parks are the country’s prime hot-spots for Costa Rica honeymoons in 2019. Combine these two parks and you’ll have it all: pristine rain forests, peaky volcanoes, stunning beaches lined with coral reefs, natural thermal pools and a sensational array of activities that let you immerse yourself in the outstanding wilderness. Rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, zip-lining, wildlife-spotting and, naturally, plenty of steamy togetherness in hot springs and beaches. All in one compact and easily accessible region, all in just a single week!

Two-week Costa Rica Honeymoon – Add an extra week to your itinerary and you can spread your wings a little further afield. The Nicoya and Osa Peninsulas are our top pick for longer honeymoon adventures in Costa Rica, these two wild corners of the country offering the kind of remoteness you simply won’t find anywhere else. They both require more time to reach, however, and the added bonus of lesser development means you’ll find them blissfully uncrowded and wonderfully unplugged. Both regions are home to an astonishing array of wildlife and offer unique adventures. Read more about Nicoya and Osa and see which one tickles your travel-buds most.

Guide to the Nicoya Peninsula

Guide to the Osa Peninsula

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Exclusive & Luxurious Costa Rica Honeymoons – When only the best will do, you really can’t sail past the Gulf of Papagayo in the Guanacaste Province, home to some of the most exclusive 5* resorts in the entire country. For world-class sustainable tourism with oodles of class – something for which Costa Rica is world-renowned – the Gulf of Papagayo is the bees’ knees. We’re talking golf courses, luxury marinas and incredible lodges, all immersed in unspoiled Costa Rica wilderness. Check out our latest guide to the Stellar Highlights of the Gulf of Papagayo to drool some more. You’ll soon see why so many honeymooning couples head here for a few days during their trip.

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The Best Costa Rica Honeymoon Resorts for 2019

Gorgeous resorts and eco-lodges catering specifically to adventurous couples are all the rage in Costa Rica and it’s hardly surprising. Just as the country is beloved by families (and boasts plenty of family-friendly resorts) there’s a whole tourism scene that’s solely dedicated to adults-only vacations, where romantic candle-lit dinners, couple spa treatments, yoga classes and adventure-filled excursions are on the daily menu. The great thing about Costa Rica honeymoon resorts is that they are scattered about the country and come in all shapes, sizes and prices, so every couple will find their own little corner of paradise.

Here are just three of our long-standing favourites, to give you an idea of what you can expect to find in Costa Rica:

Nayara Springs Resort (Arenal Volcano) – The Nayara is an Arenal institution, winning a cult-like following thanks to its two equally sensational resorts. This adult-only delight boasts amazing villas equipped with their own private thermal pools and feels as removed from the Arenal mayhem as can be. Forbes Magazine rated this one of Costa Rica’s best picks and, in all seriousness, who’d argue with that?

 

 

 

 

Occidental Grand (Gulf of Papagayo) – Choosing the best value honeymoon resort in the Gulf of Papagayo is hard work – but someone had to do it! Cradled between two outstanding beaches (Playa Buena and Bonita) the Occidental is a luxury spa resort that offers fantastic value for money in a region of the country that can be a little pricey. The incredible location is reason enough to stay here yet what impresses most is the way the Occidental manages to offer superb luxuries among its pocket of pristine wilderness. The best parts? Their all-inclusive program and the fact that this is a small and compact resort, so it feels romantic and uncrowded. It’s not 5* by any means but it certainly feels like it and, for its price, it just can’t be beaten. Read this Telegraph Review to see if it fits your bill. Add a couple of nights here at the end of your Costa Rica honeymoon and you’ll go home totally transformed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pacuare Lodge (Limon) – The Pacuare Lodge is one of the most distinctive eco-lodges in Costa Rica, revered for its commitment to sustainability as much as for its magnificent setting and luxury. Rated as one of the best extreme-adventure lodges in the world by National Geographic, the Pacuare isn’t a specific adults-only resort yet it still rates as one of the most ideal, unplugged, romantic and mesmerizing places for honeymooners to stay. Its organic spa treatments, farm-to-table dining, international wine-cellar offerings and extensive array of amazing villas seduces couples like nothing else, and that’s without even mentioning the wildlife-enriched wilderness that surrounds it. Built right on the shores of the famed Pacuare River – the best whitewater rafting destination in Costa Rica – The Pacuare Lodge is an adventure-seeker’s dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Months for Costa Rica Honeymoons

Costa Rica is currently in the throes of its prime honeymoon season, the months between January and May – the driest of the year in the western half of the country- attracting more couples than at any other time. Now is a great time to plan your 2020 honeymoon if you’d love to visit during this peak time, with the best honeymoon resorts booking out months in advance.

If you’re looking to honeymoon in Costa Rica in 2019, however, note that all is not lost! We actually love the last month of the dry season – May – as you can still enjoy an idyllic climate BUT the crowds will have dissipated so last-minute bookings are still possible. Green Season honeymoons (June to December) can also be immensely rewarding, the sporadic rains helping to nourish the landscape and offering a vividly colourful backdrop to all those adrenalin-filled adventures.  Honeymooning during Green Season also offers unrivalled value, as most top-end resorts and lodges offer discounts. You can still enjoy plenty of romantic beachside dinners, but you’ll just need to be on the lookout for the forecast and change plans accordingly. Generally speaking, the wettest months of all in Costa Rica’s Pacific region are September, October and November: choose to honeymoon outside of these months and your sunny time will surely be enhanced. Costa Rica boasts an eclectic climate given its varied regions – read more about regional differences in our Planning Your Costa Rica Wedding guide.

Honeymoon Insider Tips from the Experts

At Costa Rica Rios, we’ve helped plan countless honeymoons for adventurous couples and like to think we’ve accrued a fair bit of expertise on the subject. Here are just a few of the most important considerations when planning your Costa Rica honeymoon:

Budgeting is important – Budgeting is a very pivotal factor for many honeymooning couples and, although Costa Rica is an affordable holiday destination compared to many others, the cost of a trip can quickly add up. Speak to us about your budget first and foremost and we’ll help you plan your honeymoon from there. Read our recent guide Budgeting Tips for Costa Rica Honeymoons where we detail a few nifty trips to help you along.

Fight the urge to cram too much in your itinerary – Our beloved country is wild and most of the tourist infrastructure (ie. perfectly tarred roads) are concentrated in just a few areas. It takes time to get around, longer than you may imagine and that’s why we advise no more than two destinations in a week of travel. The fabulous thing about Costa Rica is that its most famous highlights are not only in one area: there are volcanoes and mountains all over, hot springs too, an endless array of beaches, wildlife parks in every corner and there’s rafting, kayaking, surfing and zip-lining to be had in almost every province. Choose what activities you wish to indulge in your Costa Rica honeymoon and we can advise you which province you should be visiting to make the most of your time here. We know all the most strategically placed honeymoon bases that offer a multitude of experiences nearby, cutting out your travel times and maximizing the fun ones.

That goes for activities, too! Sometimes, it’s not just about cramming different destinations in just a single week of travel but also about planning every single hour, of every single day. You’re coming a long way for your honeymoon, we get that, but we also know you’ll be craving some time for R&R and that’s why we plan our honeymoon itineraries to include some downtime, whether to chill out in your resort, take a leisurely walk or just lie in a hammock and read a book.

Don’t forget the cultural aspects of a Costa Rica honeymoon – Costa Rica is an enticing, welcoming and exotic country, where regional culinary specialties, history and indigenous culture combine to offer truly unique experiences. We know that the adventure-seekers will be out to conquer the forests, the rivers and the volcanoes but there’s so much to this country that should also be experienced. When visiting, make time to seek out local eateries, visit local plantations, perhaps a few museums and take time to know the local culture – this is one of the most rewarding aspects of any visit here and we know your experience will be all the more enriched because of it.

Found this Costa Rica honeymoon guide for 2019 helpful? Check out our Costa Rica Rios Blog Archive for more invaluable travel advice and inspiration and see all the amazing Honeymoon & Romance Itineraries we have on offer. Contact us at any time for more info and to book your unforgettable Costa Rica honeymoon in 2019.

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Best Sustainable Costa Rica Farm Experiences

Eco-conscious adventure tours may be what we do best here at Costa Rica Rios, but we know travelers love a comprehensive experience when on vacation so we’ve tracked the best sustainable Costa Rica farm experiences to boot. In such a varied country brimming with sensational nature, sustainable tourism takes every shape and form imaginable and indulging on an all-encompassing adventure is about the best way to soak up all the country’s highlights.

A Little About Costa Rica Farm Experiences

Farm experiences in Costa Rica can vary between staying in a farm-lodge or resort, enjoying the activities on offer and feasting on organic farm-to-table meals to simply spending a day touring a sustainable coffee or cocoa farm and even taking the kids along for a meet and greet with local farm animals and getting a behind-the-scenes look at traditional farming life. Whatever farm experiences tickle your fancy, rest assured you’ll find plenty of options, no matter where you go. Aside from tourism, agriculture plays a huge role in Costa Rica’s economy and farming, in general, is still the everyday life for many Ticos.

Want to add a little spice to your next journey abroad? Then add some of the best sustainable Costa Rica farm experiences to your adventure itinerary.

Terra Viva Private Reserve, Monteverde – Farm stay, cheese making, wildlife watching, hiking, horseback riding, farm animals

Terra Viva is a wonderful place, boasting its own private wildlife reserve in its expansive 300-acre property. It’s set in a quiet valley, away from the bustling crowds of Monteverde’s most tourist-ed spots, leaving guests to enjoy the peacefulness of a sustainable Costa Rica farm experience. The rustic lodging is in tune with the surrounding nature and split up between gorgeous self-contained casitas (which sleep 5 and include a kitchen, terrace and dining room) and rooms within the main house, designed to sleep two people. Once you check in we recommend you take a half-day off just to settle in and unwind, before diving into the main farm experiences on offer. At Terra Viva, there are over 4 miles of private trails you can follow through pristine cloud forests, keeping your eyes peeled for the Resplendent Quetzal, one of Costa Rica’s most precious and elusive birds. Take on a glorious horseback ride through the private reserve (ideal for first timers as they won’t need to contend with crowds) or enjoy a private cheese-making workshop with the in-house master cheese makers. The lodge also offers a sensational night hiking experience that delivers a wealth of animal spotting at a time of day when they are most active and we’re quite sure the kids will absolutely love getting to know all the farm animals.

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La Iguana Chocolate Workshop, San Jose Province – Organic chocolate-making workshops

La Iguana is one of the country’s best organic chocolate brands, revered for being one of only a few places in Costa Rica where chocolate is made directly from beans harvested on their property. These guys are so passionate about the art of making chocolate that they offer intensive workshops aimed at training and educating those who wish to go into the trade, professionally. This doesn’t mean, however, that the experience isn’t rewarding if you’re not planning to open your own chocolate haven. On the contrary, the detailed and comprehensive workshops are fascinating, hands-on and very rewarding. Nevertheless, you need not be a master chocolatier-wannabe to enjoy a La Iguana experience – the farm also offers tours, half-day chocolate-making classes and fantastic home-stays on the property. This small, family-run business is a treat in every way.

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El Toledo Organic Coffee Plantation, Alajuela Province – Coffee Farm Tour

Despite its diminutive size, El Toledo consistently ranks among the top sustainable farm tours in all of Costa Rica and that’s not just due to the ridiculously low price of $20pp. The El Toledo family lives and breathes coffee, is committed to sustainable farming practices and endeavors to educate and inform all those who are lucky enough to find them. In just a few hours here, you’ll get an insight into the permaculture farming practice that keeps this place thriving and get to feast on all the luscious tropical fruits grown on the property. You’ll see how the beans are processed, packed and shipped off to suppliers or sold in local markets. The tour is rewarding and the region just stunning, so make a point to include this on your tour of the country.

 

 

 

 

 

Hacienda AltaGracia, San Jose Province  – A 5* sustainable farm stay ? You bet!

Just to prove the point that the best sustainable Costa Rica farm experiences can come in all shapes and sizes, we introduce you this exceptional and totally luxurious resort. Part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, AltaGracia is super lush: a 5* luxury ranch that’s set in one of the most magnificent corners of the country. Having impressively earned a Level 4 Certification for Sustainable Tourism, AltaGracia is guilt-free indulge at its very best. Between the jacuzzi and spa, the equestrian excursions, gourmet dining, stunning accommodation and overall drop-dead-gorgeous design and setting, it’s no wonder this place earned the #1 badge for best hotel in Central America from Conde Nast in 2017. Wowzie! Stay here and you can enjoy a microlight sightseeing flight, cultural village visit, horseback riding, mountain biking, wildlife watching, coffee and fresh produce farm tours and plenty of workshops making cheese and learning the best insider secrets of Tico cuisine. All this comes at a respectably steep cost, of course, but if you’re after that one sustainable farm experience splurge, dare we say you just found it…

At Costa Rica Rios, we can plan your bespoke and group adventure tour to include as many distinct Tico experiences as you desire. We’ll guide you through the best the country has to offer and send you home with some of the most unforgettable travel memories you’ll ever have.

Contact us to know more.

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Stellar Highlights of Costa Rica’s Gulf of Papagayo

Gulf of PapagayoCosta Rica’s Gulf of Papagayo has enjoyed a swift rise in popularity in the last few years and is now considered the poster-child not only for luxury wilderness travel, but for sustainable tourism of the highest order. This wonderful hybrid of travel experiences is something for which the country is renowned and given the sheer wilderness of this special region, it certainly makes for an unrivaled combination. A major highlight of the Gulf is its namesake Papagayo Peninsula, home to just a handful of 5* resorts, world-class courses, stunning holiday villas, beach clubs and luxury yacht marinas.

Whether you wish for an indulgent stay in the peninsula resorts or prefer seeking more rustic accommodation in laid-back beach towns nearby, the Gulf of Papagayo’s stellar highlights will be right at your fingertips. This incredible corner of Costa Rica has always been ideal for adventure vacations, a place where nature reigns supreme and adventure is offered at every turn.

Where is the Gulf of Papagayo?

The Gulf of Papagayo lies on the north-westernmost Pacific coastline of Costa Rica, stretching from the Santa Teresa National Park in the north to just past Coco Beach in the south.

Merely an hour’s drive from the International Airport of Liberia, the Gulf of Papagayo is super easy to reach (you can get off your plane and be soaking up the rays on a long stretch of sparkling beach in no time!) and its ongoing but subtle development means that you’ll find everything you need for a rewarding, varied and adventure-filled Costa Rica vacation.

The Best Highlights of the Gulf of Papagayo

Papagayo Peninsula – Developed as a 5* luxury destination, the Papagayo Peninsula is home to just a few exquisite resorts that offer outstanding stays totally entrenched in pristine nature.

The peninsula juts out like a finger at the half-way mark of the namesake gulf and, at its tip, is where you’ll find the Four Seasons, one of Costa Rica’s most luxurious resorts. There’s an abundance of sea-based activities on offer in the peninsula, including snorkeling and diving, sport fishing, sailing, paddle boarding and surfing as well as resort-based golfing and tennis. Every resort offers active excursions to nearby national parks and, because the peninsula is protected (at least 70% must remain undeveloped) it really does offer the best in luxury and remoteness.

Beach Resort Towns – South of the Papagayo Peninsula – which boasts quite a few stunning beaches of its own accord – you’ll find several idyllic beach towns to while away a few days. Panama, Hermosa and Coco Beach are the three main resort towns, stretching from north to south. You’ll find plenty of accommodation and fabulous foodie options here, as well as a multitude of beach and seaside activities. Travel to the Gulf of Papagayo during high season (December to April) and you won’t just see tourists descending on this startling gulf: this is prime whale-watching season with northern humpbacks visiting during this time. Southern humpbacks don’t usually arrive here until July and tend to linger until the end of the year, which actually means that January-Aril is the only period where the Gulf doesn’t offer much in terms of whale-watching. Do note that there are MANY beaches all along the gulf, it’s just that services are limited so places like dreamy Playa Naranjo in the Santa Rosa National Park, are usually only visited on day-trips. Just north of Naranjo is Nancite, one of the most prolific turtle-nesting beaches in this region, which can receive upwards of 70,000 turtles during the nesting season, between July and November.

National Parks – There are several excellent national parks you can visit when you base yourself in the Gulf of Papagayo, the best being Santa Rosa (for outstanding hiking) Rincon de la Vieja (for exceptional volcano climbing) and Guanacaste National Park, one of the very best national parks in all of Costa Rica.

About the Guanacaste Province

The Gulf of Papagayo is only one of the many delights served up by the Guanacaste Province, one of the most varied in the country. On the east, the province is framed by a necklace of stunning mountains and volcanoes and, on the west, the magnificent sapphire waters of the Pacific. Endemic wildlife abounds in its national parks, as does marine life in its crystalline waters. The drmmatic and varied wilderness is a prime base for a myriad of adventure sports – from ADV riding to ziplining, white-water rafting, kayaking, horseback riding and so much more. There’s literally a ton of fun stuff to do here, which makes this province quite ideal for anyone, be it families, honeymooning couples and even solo travellers looking to join group activities. For more on this sensational province, go ahead and read our Guanacaste Guide.

Best time to visit the Gulf of Papagayo

High-tourist season in Papagayo is between mid-December and April, a period that coincides with winter in North America and the dry season in this region. Beaches, towns and resorts can get quite crowded during these months so if you’re making plans for next year, try to come just before the high-season starts (November is ideal) when the wilderness is at its most luscious, rain sporadic and highlights blissfully uncrowded.

There’s no denying that the Gulf of Papagayo is one of the most rewarding and unspoiled destinations in Costa Rica, coveted for its soft sandy shores and rugged hinterland landscapes. Given the sheer variety of adventures on offer and its proximity to Liberia airport, this makes for a stellar option if you’ve been to Costa Rica before and already visited the southern highlights or if you simply wish for an off-the-beaten-path travel experience.

Contact us, right here, if you’d love to include a stint of exceptional fun in the Gulf of Papagayo, on your next adventure vacation in Costa Rica.

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