Costa Rica Mountain Biking

How Much Fun Can You Squeeze in a Week? In Costa Rica…Endless!

White water rafing funWe like to pride ourselves in offering the most comprehensive week-long adventure vacation packages in all of Costa Rica. Because we believe that if you work hard you also like to play hard. We dig that! Although to be fair, we probably shouldn’t take all the credit for concocting adrenaline-pumping itineraries that blow the socks off our guests, time and again. After all, coming up with dozens of ways to totally enjoy the country’s dramatic landscapes, like kayaking, zip-lining, mountain biking, canyoning, whitewater rafting, snorkeling, surfing, and trekking, is child’s play. But offering up such phenomenal backdrops? That’s the real skill.

And Costa Rica does that with unabashed abandon.

The most exhilarating, varied and enticing country in Central America is a playground the likes of which you simply won’t see anywhere else. In any other region of the world, you’d have to travel thousands of miles, and rack up multiple passport stamps, in order to do all THAT, in a single vacation.

So fine, let’s call it a draw. Costa Rica provides the breathtaking wilderness, and we’ll pack the gear.

Now the only thing that’s missing is you.

Rafting, Kayaking, and Canoeing Fun

Kayaking funEnjoying the kaleidoscope of Costa Rica’s whitewater rivers is about as much fun as you can have in the water, without actually drowning. But don’t worry, there are rapids and waters to suit all skills and death-wishes, so if you have neither nor, you could always opt to explore a secluded mangrove or pristine seaside inlet instead.

No matter where you go, you’ll always be accompanied by pristine rain forests teeming with wildlife, although perhaps only on the more sedate outings will you have the steel nerves to actually take a pause, and spot the sloth. Seriously, this is the most enthralling adventure activity in the country, absolute bucket-loads of fun in a group, and arguably the main reason why we’d include three days in your week-long vacation to Costa Rica dedicated to these water-based extreme sports. And we were just kidding about the death wish! Believe it or not, we’ll have you conquering grade IV rapids even if you have absolutely no prior experience at all. Now doesn’t that sound like a tempting challenge?

Canyoning

Canyoning funIf you thought that rapids and waterfalls are scary enough to face on a raft, wait till we politely coerce you to jump off them! Canyoning is the term used to describe an insanely fun ‘hike’ through a canyon. Except the hiking is replaced by rappelling, scrambling over rocks, and jumping down waterfalls. And said canyon is filled with raging crystalline waters. But aside that, it’s really just a walk through a remote and remarkable canyon. Nothing more, nothing less. Wear water shoes and quick dry clothing and you’ll be totally fine. Promise. Who wouldn’t be, sliding headfirst down a vertiginous waterfall?

Zip-lining

Zip line funThink your pulse will stop racing once you’re out of the water? Think again! As soon as you’re dry and have caught your breath, we’ll tie you safe, hoist you up the tree tops and send you flying at breakneck speed through some of the world’s most ancient rain forest.

Your challenge will be to see how many toucans, hornbills, monkeys and sloths you can spot as you zoom above and beside them all. With a collection of zip-lines and suspension bridges, you can explore the Costa Rican wilderness from a totally different angle. This is the most famous zip-lining destination in the world, a place where you could almost fly from one side of the country to another, Spiderman-style, without ever touching the ground. With its impeccable safety record and outstanding scream-value (yes, you will scream like a 12yo girl at a Justin Bieber concert and it’s ok, everybody does) zip-lining is your ultimate adrenaline-packed adventure in paradise.

Mountain Biking

Costa Rica mountain bikingPerhaps you’ll feel more comfortable on two wheels. Then how about some mountain biking? That would be gravity-assisted downhill biking, on a speedy descent over 9,000 feet long, from the top of Irazu Volcano to the luscious depths of the cloud forest below.

Past verdant valleys teeming with gorgeous villages and outstanding scenery of wild-flower covered hills. This one doesn’t even hurt the legs (due to the lack of pedaling needed) so it can almost be considered a very relaxing pursuit. Almost.

Snorkeling & Surfin’

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water…

Snorkeling funEnding your adventure-filled week in Costa Rica and indulging in a few relaxing days on a simply perfect beach is heaven on earth. No, really. We won’t be feeding you to sharks or anything! Snorkeling and surfing are the favored pursuits for beach bums who can’t sit still. There is really no better way to work on the tan and enjoy the water than by picking up a new skill, whether that be to stand on a surf or paddle board, or gaining a deeper understanding of the endemic sea life that inhabits the country’s premier reefs. Stunning seaside resorts and eco-lodges allow you the luxury of indulging in incredible comforts while still feeling immensely close to nature.

From single adventurers to groups of friends, extended families, and honeymooners: our week-long adventure vacation packages can be tweaked to suit all tastes, ages and fitness levels. So if you think it’s impossible to fit in that much fun in a single week…we really do need to have a chat.

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Spotlight on Turrialba

active costa rica volcano

Turrialba is a small agricultural town in the heart of Costa Rica that has largely been left unaffected by the vast number of tourism flocking to other parts of the country. That is not to say it is uninteresting or has nothing to offer! On the contrary, this little town has many treasures to enthrall the discerning traveler. Nestled in a valley, surrounded by primary and secondary rainforest, one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica to the north, as well as the highest volcano in the country, and with the highest mountain on the horizon to the south, its beauty is unquestionable. Located just 1.5 hours form the capital city of San Jose, Turrialba is worlds away from the hustle and bustle.

If your idea of a Costa Rica adventure vacation includes meeting locals and getting a feel for the culture, then this is the destination for you. Its warm and welcoming community is friendly and fun, always rising to the occasion when there is something to celebrate. It seems nearly every second weekend there is something going on, from a mountain bike race to runs to cultural festivals and fairs. It’s also the hub for many indigenous people, who come in for their weekly market shopping and other necessities.

luxury boutique hotel in costa rica

There are no large chain hotels, but several smaller boutique lodges that cater to almost any budget. So if you want luxury on your family vacation or adventure honeymoon, you can still get it in Turrialba.

Turrialba is also the gateway to many adventures. With more than 22 canyons in and around the town, canyoning has become one of the most popular adventures in the area. The beautiful thing about the canyons here, is that the tours all run on a “leave no trace” policy, meaning that when you are rappelling down waterfalls there are no fixed points and all the ropes are set up at each drop by your expert guides

canyoning in the rainforest of costa rica

There are numerous mountain biking trails for enthusiasts, and you could fill your entire Costa Rica adventure vacation with a different trail every day. And the hiking is incredible. There are many private and public reserves to visit including a UNESCO Natural Heritage site just a 20-minute drive from downtown. Due to the low number of visitors to the national parks around here, there is a lot of wildlife. We have been lucky to see the shy and rare Tayra twice this year, as well as an abundance of sloths, toucans and many other exotic creatures. No Costa Rica vacation is complete without a little wildlife!

hiking costa rica's rainforest

The most important archaeological site is also located here and is a wonderful place full of mystery and intrigue. You’ll be able to learn about the pre-Colombus people and their way of life. Dotted all around the valley are relics from the past and many stone carvings and artefacts.

Turrialba is best known as the gateway to the Pacuare River, home of the best whitewater rafting in the country and some of the best whitewater in the world. National Geographic voted this river “one of the top 10 commercially rafted rivers in the world”. There are two ways to raft the Pacuare: A one-day trip that leaves early in the morning and has you off the river by mid-afternoon, or an overnight excursion where you will spend a night or two in a beautiful and remote jungle lodge. An overnight in one of the Pacuare River’s lodges is generally a highlight of any Costa Rica trip.

costa rica wildlife

An unusual fact about Turrialba is that it is home to the Rawlings baseball factory, and every baseball used in Major League Baseball in the USA is made here in this town. The factory produces 50,000 handmade baseballs every week to be shipped to the USA! Also hosted in the town is the world coffee bean bank. This means that if a crop of coffee, anywhere in the world, was to be wiped out due to plague or other phenomena, we have the original strain ready to start the replenishment. If you like your family adventure vacation to include a little education, this is a great place to start.

So if you are planning your honeymoon or your annual family adventure vacation, why not get away from the crowds and experience a little bit of the “real” Costa Rica? We would suggest at least a two-night stay in the Turrialba area before moving on to your next destination.

To see how Turrialba could fit into your next vacation plans, contact us for more information. You won’t be disappointed.

whitewater rafting past waterfalls on the Pacuare River

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5 Things to Pack for Your Costa Rica Adventure Tour

Whitewater Rafting on the Pacuare River

You’ve purchased your package and are counting down the days until the big trip to include hiking, zip lines, swimming, sea turtles and other exotic animals, surfing, and kayaking. But, are you really ready for your Costa Rica adventure tour? Here are a five quick tips for what to pack for your Costa Rica vacation.

  1. Head Lamp – This little gadget is a favorite among hikers, cyclists and kayakers for its hands-free function. A headlamp with LED lighting, adjustable elastic band and adjustable light direction is ideal. Many are quite lightweight and comfortable.
  2. Quick Dry Attire – Athletic apparel companies manufacture quick-drying attire for sports activities. These types of clothes are great for kayaking and rafting, but also for boat trips and stand-up paddle boarding. Made to wick away moisture, these shirts, shorts and other garments help prevent skin rash and cold body temperatures that can be caused by wet clothing.
  3. Small Package of Laundry Detergent – When you’re having lots of fun, it’s hard to stop for the boring shopping activities like buying laundry detergent. It’s easier to plan ahead and take along a travel-size package. With the warm and humid temperatures found in Costa Rica, it’s easy to quickly soil your clothes with sweat and dust. A simple wash in the hotel bath or sink can fix that.
  4. Waterproof Bags for Electronics – With all the water sports activities you likely have planned for your trip, it’s best to bring a few waterproof pouches to protect your electronic items. Digital cameras, film recorders, cell phones and computer devices can easily be damaged without proper care.
  5. Quick Dry Towel – Usually made of super-absorbent and finely woven micro-fiber or micro-terry, these towels are very handy in many kinds of adventure activities. Quickly towel off after a dip in the ocean, a splash from the raft or an unexpected jungle rain shower.

Contact us for more tips and travel advice when you book your Costa Rica adventure through Costa Rica Rios.

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Take a Costa Rica Biking Adventure

One of the more unusual ways to take in Costa Rica is by bike. Because some of the outlying areas have rough roads, a mountain bike is the best option. Seeing the gorgeous countryside at the slower pace of a bike will allow you to get an inexpensive and unique perspective of life in Costa Rica.

There are more than 80 different bike routes to choose from, including gentle hills and rugged mountains. Here are a few areas you don’t want to miss.

Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano:  This is one of the best areas in Costa Rica for biking. Trails take you through primary forests and waterfalls. There’s also a hot springs nearby where you can relax after a day’s ride. Some uphill routes take bikers on roads normally travelled only by local farmers and horses.

Ruta de los Conquistadores:  One of the world’s most challenging bike races takes place in Costa Rica from Thursday, Nov. 6 to Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Bikers cross Costa Rica from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coast, about 400 kilometers or 250 miles, over three days. Check out the official site for more information if you’d like to follow sections of the race routes.

Turrialba:  Bike routes in this area pass by archaeological sites and refreshing freshwater pools. There are more difficult single rider trails as well as remote backroads. The Pacuare and Reventazon Rivers of the region are some of the most famous in the world for whitewater rafting. There are also several volcanos to investigate.

Irazu:  One bike route takes you from the top of Irazú volcano passing coffee plantations and cattle farms. This is one of the best downhill rides in Costa Rica. The Irazu Volcano National Park has an unusual landscape that almost feels like the moon, with craters lined by scorched trees. There are also sparkling mineral pools fed by rain.

Nicoya Peninsula:  This is an area of Costa Rica that most visitors miss. Biking routes in this area include beaches and fishing villages, as well as coffee plantations. Stop en route to take in some water sports like surfing, fishing, snorkeling and diving. The Nicoya Peninsula is rich with natural assets including  turtle beaches, subterranean caves and excellent birding locations.

For your next Costa Rica adventure, consider a bike tour. What better way to take in the majestic nature of Costa Rica than by traveling in a green, sustainable way?  For more information about adventures awaiting you in Costa Rica, contact us today.

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