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Best Jungle Lodges for a WILD Costa Rica Adventure Vacation

The best jungle lodges in Costa Rica offer the unrivaled chance to immersive experiences in pristine wilderness and have an array of fantastic activities on offer. Ideal for honeymooning couples and families looking for adventure, the country’s best jungle lodges bring the WILD right to your front step. Eco jungle lodges are often deemed to be exorbitantly expensive but, in reality, there’s a wide array of budget-options in Costa Rica. That’s because the sheer idea of a jungle lodge was probably concocted right here, in a land where sustainable and immersive tourism reign supreme.

We have a Costa Rica jungle lodge to suit your desires (and budget) and, because this is adventure land supreme, you can be assured you won’t be missing out on any of the fun.

Here are just a few of our favorite Costa Rica jungle lodges:

Rafiki Safari Lodge – Puntarenas

The Costa Rican gem with the Swahili name is nestled deep in the Savegre Valley, due east from the Manuel Antonio National Park. This is an exceptionally sustainable paradise, with its imported luxury tents set on wooden platforms and its dedication to ensuring your WILD honeymoon adventures simply never end. The daily array of activities is extensive and includes whitewater rafting, hiking, horseback riding and wildlife watching among other fun excursions. For downtime relaxation, you’ll have a crazy water slide and jacuzzi in which to indulge as well as gourmet dining, SPA treatments and magnificent scenery to admire. This UNIQUE jungle ‘glamping’ experience is second to none and absolutely screams Costa Rica adventure honeymoon.

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Lapa Rios EcoLodge – Osa Peninsula

One of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, Lapa Rios is one of the eco-friendliest jungle lodges in Costa Rica and also happens to be one of its most astonishing. Set in the Osa, the least developed peninsula in the country (of Corcovado National Park fame), Lapa Rios comprises just a handful of amazing bungalows featuring outdoor rain showers, private terraces boasting jaw-dropping views and even hammocks thrown in for good measure. The lodge is set in a 1000-acre swath of private reserve, is self-sufficient and off the grid. This is the place you come to when you wish to be woken up by howler monkeys in the morning and not the beep of your mobile phone. You’ll have an array of outdoor adventures to enjoy, amazing local food and just an immersive wilderness experience that you’ll never forget.

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa – Alajuela

This stunning 5* property is nearby San Jose yet somehow feels like it’s a world away from the rest of the world. Surrounded by the magnificent Bajos del Toro reserve and its many stunning waterfalls, El Silencio, as the name implies, is a haven of pure tranquility. The cloud forests drench this place in an ethereal fog of a morning and the sound of the wilds are a constant companion. With two national parks on either side of the lodge and a wide array of fantastical adventure sports to be had, El Silencio is ideal for those who want peace and adventure in equal measure. You’ll have a wellness spa and farm to table dining experience here, as well as yoga classes, authentic cooking classes and plenty of waterfall chasing dreams to realize.

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Pachira Lodge – Tortuguero

One of Costa Rica’s remotest jungle lodges is only accessible by boat and if that’s not enough to entice you to visit then do please read on. Drenched in a bio-diverse haven of exotic flora and endemic wildlife, Pachira is right at the doorstep of the Tortuguero National Park, revered for its nesting turtles and for being one of the most isolated and pristine corners of the country. Your jungle experience can begin in earnest, with the property offering an abundance of animal spotting chances right from your front door. With communal tables, an intimate setting and rustic décor (you are, let us remind you, in a very isolated area here) Pachira suits those who want nature to take center stage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens – Tortuguero

A more upmarket option in Tortuguero, the Tortuga Lodge & Gardens is a glorious riverfront choice that offers daily outings to spot wildlife in the pristine rain-forest that envelopes the property. With a 3.5* rating, excellent meals, friendly service and a handful of gorgeous inclusions like a saltwater pool, riverfront viewing platforms and fantastic guided walks, Tortuga is among the best wild jungle lodge experiences you can have in Tortuguero. Rustic wilderness experiences have never looked so inviting!

 

 

 

 

 

Pacuare Eco Lodge, Limon

A stunning choice for rafting enthusiasts, the Pacuare EcoLodge is set on the shores of the most famous rafting river in Costa Rica. A dozen separate cabins make up the property, which blends seamlessly into the primary and secondary forests that frame the Pacuare. You can arrive here on a multi-stop whitewater rafting trip (imagine that!) and the whole place is set up for adventure lovers, primarily. Delicious communal dinners are served by candlelight and the guides will take you on walks around the lodge to spot more elusive wildlife and visit nearby waterfalls. This is one of the most untouched regions of Costa Rica and to have the chance to raft the Pacuare and enjoy the glorious setting of this totally wild lodge is out of this world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Choose A Jungle Lodge For Your WILD Costa Rica Adventure Vacation?

Costa Rica is revered for being the birthplace of the sustainable-tourism scene and jungle lodges are something the country does superbly well. Put simply: if you don’t stay in a jungle lodge here…then where? Jungle lodge stays are an iconic Costa Rican ecotourism experience and, although the country is seeing a rise in fancy all-inclusive resorts, eco-lodges remain the most sustainable way to promote tourism in this pristine, wilderness-infused nation.

The True Essence Of Sustainable Tourism

Moreover, the ‘eco lodge’ tag isn’t just a gimmick here. It’s not like you can install a solar panel for electricity and have the job done. Costa Rica’s most revered eco-lodges are testament to the amazing benefits of sustainable tourism – they endeavor to leave a minimal footprint, to use sustainable materials and to disturb the nature as little as possible. That’s why so many comprise various detached cabins – cabins are built where they can be built, not where trees have to be cut down and wildlife disturbed. The food served is locally sourced, the strain on the environment is kept at bay and all those extra luxuries so many take for granted (like air-conditioning or paved roads) are done away with, in order to keep energy consumption low and the immersive experience high.

Getting Back To Basics

A jungle lodge stay in Costa Rica is about reconnecting with nature, primarily, whilst having as little an impact as possible. Head here to admire and learn, to enjoy and soak up and your Costa Rica adventure vacation will be a truly unforgettable experience.

There’s A Jungle Lodge For Every Budget

Various levels of luxury also mean that you can enjoy a jungle lodge experience no matter your budget. Although eco-lodges are, by their very nature, simple and rustic, there are plenty of astounding options offering 5* luxuries as well, whilst still maintaining their eco-friendly integrity. We love these luxury lodges because they prove the point that sustainable tourism doesn’t have to be rough and ready. It can be sublimely comfortable, luxurious and totally opulent too.

The Wilderness and Wildlife Experiences Are Unsurpassed

It certainly figures that if you choose to stay in a rustic jungle lodge, as opposed to a gargantuan all-inclusive resort, your experiences in nature will be more intense. You’ll have toucans eyeing out your breakfast and monkeys laughing at dad’s corny jokes. You’ll have a host of adventure sports and excursions that start right from your front door and will feel like you’re actually living the jungle not merely admiring it from afar. Many of the lodges are adjacent to national parks but, fact is, just as many have enough attractions in-house to keep you entranced for the duration of your stay. Jungle lodges are also fantastic places for learning about the environment and the social impact of tourism on local communities. Immersive, interactive and educational: this is what sums up a jungle lodge stay best.

Ask us about including a stay in a jungle lodge on your next Costa Rica adventure vacation and you can look forward to the trip of a lifetime.

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Discover Turrialba: Costa Rica’s Prime Adventure Vacation Destination

One of Costa Rica’s most underrated travel destinations, Turrialba is a sensational spot for an adrenaline-filled adventure vacation destination. Nestled in the province of Cartago in the country’s central highlands and traversed by two spectacular rivers – the Reventazon and the Pacuare – Turrialba is the country’s #1 hub for white-water rafting expeditions. It is from here that we run some of our most sensational and popular adventure vacations in Costa Rica and we couldn’t think of a better and more rewarding destinations for unforgettable outdoor adventures.

Why Turrialba?

Although way off the common tourist trail and certainly not featured in most travel brochures, Turrialba is well-known among dedicated circles, its striking active volcano, pristine rainforests, gorgeous countryside and quaint villages attracting adventure-seekers who crave a unique journey in Costa Rica, one that isn’t overcrowded, over-commercialised and overdone. Once upon a time, Turrialba was a popular stop-over point for those seeking to reach the Caribbean Coast from the capital, San Jose, but since the opening of a more direct route, the charming town is now back to what it once was: a chilled out little place coveted for its amazing cheese and for its smorgasbord of exceptional outdoor adventures, including mountain biking, horseback riding, zip-lining and, of course, anything that can be done on raging rivers like kayaking and rappelling.

Thanks to its incredibly fertile soil, the region around Turrialba is heavily reliant on its agricultural roots and here you’ll find some of Costa Rica’s best artisan cheese, coffee, nuts and fresh produce, much of it which feeds the rest of the country. The rural landscapes are picturesque and the towns here are quaint, with impressive archaeological sights offering alternatives on ‘rest’ days. Even if you’re not an adrenalin-junkie, we bet you’ll love Turrialba and its abundance of soft adventure options like foodie tours, leisurely horseback rides in the countryside and gentle hikes.

There’s a lot to see and do in Turrialba, so why not get off the usual tourist trail and come see what this hidden corner of Costs Rica has to offer?

Cartago Town

Just 12 miles east of San Jose and a perfect first-stop on your way to Turrialba, the city of Cartago is the capital of the region and revered for being home to a sacred statue of the Madonna and for being the first truly successful city to be established in Costa Rica by the Spanish. Cartago carries over five centuries of history on its shoulders and was the country’s original capital before the seat of the government was moved to San Jose in 1823, a spot deemed to be safer – due to nearby volcanoes. Nowadays, Cartago attracts locals and tourists alike on Sundays as it hosts one of the most colourful markets in the region but the city really is a very rewarding place to explore at any time. The Basilica is a visual feast bar none and the city’s Botanic Gardens, home of Central America’s largest collection of orchids, is an absolutely gorgeous place to visit. Cartago is the springboard for visits to nearby national parks, including Irazu and Poas.

Orosi Valley

Heading east, you’ll come across the Orosi Valley, a place so beautiful you’ll want to plan for an overnight stay. The small town of Orosi boasts the oldest church in the country yet aside from the architectural delights, you’ll find the valley to be a spectacular visual feast. Plenty of viewpoints along the road offer 1001 reasons to stop and snap a photo. You’ll find quite a few hotels here to stretch your road trip an extra night.

Turrialba Town

Immensely charming and devoid of gargantuan resorts and hotels, Turrialba is one of the most laid-back towns in Costa Rica, one that has magically dodged the kind of over-development seen in the east. The town attracts adventure seekers thanks to its convenient location: nearby is where you’ll find almost two-dozen canyons that are a thrill-seeker’s ultimate playground. A handful of boutique hotels, some really cool cafés, fantastic restaurants and craft shops make for blissful stays and it is really no surprise that this precious spot is the heart and soul of our operation. There’s simply no other place we’d rather get totally drenched!

Turrialba Volcano National Park

One of the most captivating yet least-visited national parks in all of Costa Rica, Turrialba is an absolute gem of Mother Nature with an active volcano as its glistening crown jewel. The peak sits at just over 10,000ft, granting breath-taking views of Poas and Irazu peaks, as well as the Atlantic Coast, on a crystal-clear day. When the park is open (bar any threatening volcanic activity) you’ll find three craters to visit among almost 4000 acres of pristine forests. A series of hiking trails and plenty of wildlife make this a stunning destination for nature lovers. Do note that as one of the country’s most active volcanoes, Turrialba is often closed to the public for an extended period yet there are plenty of spots (and beautiful lodges) that offer awesome views and rewarding hikes nearby.

Guayabo Archaeological Site & National Park

Just a few miles out of Turrialba Town is where you’ll find the Guayabo National Monument, Costa Rica’s largest and most important ancient site. This fascinating indigenous citadel was built over a period of 2500 years (starting from 1000BC) and was as complete a city as any you’d see of the era, including aqueducts, private dwellings, religious buildings and walls, all intricately carved and once brimming with priceless artefacts. An engineering feat for its time and still an impressive place nowadays, Guayabo has been recognised for its prominence and advanced design and a walking tour of the site is a real journey back in time. Archaeological digging here is still ongoing and history lovers ought to check out the Museum of Jade and Gold in San Jose, before heading up here, where many of the treasures found at Guayabo are on display. The citadel is in the heart of a stunning national park and the whole landscape is evocative beyond words. Tae a guide to get the most out of your visit as the information boars are limited. There’s so much to learn about this place!

Costa Rica Rios – We love sharing our corner of Costa Rica paradise with discerning explorers who want to get off the well-trodden trail and have the adventure of a lifetime in one of the most magnificent places on earth. Fancy a week of exceptional adventures, including rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, horse-riding, rappelling and hiking? Then Turrialba is where you’ll want to be! Take a look at our Costa Rica Adventure Vacation packages, you’ll get a titillating taste of all the amazing adventures you can have here with us.

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How Much Time Do You Need for a Costa Rica Adventure Vacation?

Costa Rica adventure vacationCosta Rica’s breathtaking mountains, rainforests, stunning beaches and awesome volcanoes attract adventure seekers from every corner of the globe. They come here not only because the nature is impressive but, primarily, because this is one of the most interactive travel destinations on earth and the PERFECT adventure vacation.

There is a TON of fun and invigorating stuff to do among all this natural beauty! In Costa Rica, you won’t just sit back and admire the wilderness; you can dive right into it. You can whitewater raft and kayak down raging rivers, you can surf awesome waves, hike mountains and volcanoes and you can snorkel and scuba dive in turquoise waters brimming with colorful marine life. You can also fly on zip lines, walk on hanging bridges suspended in the clouds and, more than anything else, you can get away from it all and relax with your loved ones immersed in pristine nature.

And what’s not to love about that?

A Week of Adventures in Costa Rica

Generally speaking, we think Costa Rica is the perfect destination for a one-week adventure vacation, ideal for those who are big on dreams and short on time. You’d be surprised at just how much adventure, discovery, culture and wildlife encounters you can squeeze into even just a single week of travels to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica adventure vacationFrom the Pacific to the Caribbean coast and all through the central highlands, you can soak up an array of contrasting scenery and partake in plenty of exhilarating adventure sports. On our own 8-day adventure tours, we also love to include an overnight rafting trip as this gives you the chance not only to enjoy phenomenal rafting in III and IV-graded rapids but also to seamlessly change locations to boot. When a tour is perfectly organized, you could enjoy 3 base points in a week without hassle. Moreover, the mix of activities can be brilliant, and include not only adventure sports but also wildlife watching, coffee tours, cultural encounters and stays in tropical jungle lodges and resorts.

Plenty of choices make a week-long adventure tour ideal for those whose traveling partners have diverging interests. You need not do the same activity if you don’t want to, and can split up for the day and reunite for sun downers and a recap at day’s end.

Short & Sweet Adventure Tours

Sometimes, time is of the essence. But fear not, for a 5-day itinerary need not feel restrictive in any way. With just 5 days to enjoy the best in Costa Rica, you’ll still have the chance to soak up the splendors of Costa Rica and three full days of outings can see you canyon, raft and zipline with abandon in two iconic locations.

Adventure Honeymoons

The sheer variety of honeymoon experiences makes Costa Rica a very coveted destination for newlyweds, especially those who want more than a simple lay-on-a-beach type vacay. Unique and unforgettable, Costa Rica honeymoons can be thrill-filled, relaxing, romantic and exhilarating, depending on your specific wishes. Again, a week is the most popular time-frame for a rewarding honeymoon here, with the most revered itineraries being split evenly between adventure sports and relaxing days on idyllic beaches. Our Best of Costa Rica honeymoon tour, for example, covers the two most popular destinations (Arenal and Manuel Antonio) and offers hot spring soaks at the sublime Tabacon Spa Resort, canopy swinging, whitewater rafting and 3 days of fun and relaxation on the glistening Pacific Coast beaches. When you hone in on these most popular and well-developed areas, you can really fill your days to the brim because infrastructure and sheer volume of activities are simply excellent.

Lucky enough to have even more time for your Costa Rica honeymoon? Then an intrepid 18-day honeymoon tour is for you. In just over two weeks, you can expect to cover a lot more distance and indulge in many more adventures. With added day-long hikes, cave explorations and plenty of downtime, a two-week (or longer!) honeymoon can see you discover wonderful, remote and spectacular Corcovado as well as the more visited northern hubs.

natl'l parkCorcovado is home to 50% of the country’s wildlife species and is one of the most priceless natural reserves on the planet. Hidden in the far western reaches of the Pacific coastline, Corcovado is a magnificent nature wonderland of its own accord and the most biodiverse region of Costa Rica. It calls for a few extra days to explore well but if you have the time and you do make it there, your rewards will be infinite. Read our Corcovado National Park guide for even more inspiration.

Of course, a long weekend getaway to Costa Rica is nothing to be sneezed at, either, if that’s all the time you have. As we love to say: a weekend in Costa Rica is better adventure vacation than a weekend anywhere else!

With even more time, the world is your delectable oyster. Combining adventure trips in several destinations means you can return to Costa Rica time and again, year after year, exploring new and exciting horizons. And it also means you can plan a journey of weeks and even months, without ever needing to backtrack – unless you want to, naturally! With custom-made tours you can literally build your own vacation, based on your time and budget constraints, as well as your wish list for travel styles, activities and comfort level.

Whether in Costa Rica for a weekend, a week or a fortnight, you can always experience the best this country has to offer. And remember, whatever you can’t fit into your itinerary will make for a wonderful incentive to come back, time and again.

How much time do you need for a Costa Rica adventure vacation?

Whatever time you have!

Contact us for more itinerary ideas, planning help and to dream up YOUR ideal itinerary through one of the world’s most astonishing adventure destinations.

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Building Stronger Bonds With Adventure Travel

Pile of smartphonesYou spend months planning and daydreaming about the perfect vacation, imagining smiling children, and lots of hugs and tons of laughter; but how can you ensure that you actually end up with family bonding instead of bickering over cell phone use or hogging the bathroom? An adventure vacation in Costa Rica could be just the answer you’re looking for! Adventure vacations are not only exciting, but they have the ability to bring families together like never before.

Unplug For A Moment
It’ll be pretty difficult to work during an adventure vacation to Costa Rica Rios! You’re going to be having way too much fun in the great outdoors and besides, it’s hard to e-mail your boss while dangling from a zip line! When you plan a vacation with your family you are making a commitment to spend time with them. During your adventure vacation make sure you actually unplug and allow yourself to spend quality time together enjoying the activities and sharing the amazing scenery. Remind your teenagers that all the text messages they are missing will be there when they return, and bring along only digital devices you can use to document your amazing vacation!

Cooperation and Teamwork Abound
Zipline with your groupHiking, kayaking, white water rafting, zip lining and many more unique adventures await you in a Costa Rio Rios family adventure vacation package! Your family will spend a lot of time working together to achieve common goals. Family bonds are strengthened when everyone’s voices are heard, everyone’s work is appreciated and the end result is fulfilling and worthwhile. While you will also have plenty of time for relaxation and sight-seeing – the challenges that await you will really make this vacation memorable.

Healthy Competition and Physical Activity Builds Confidence
As an added bonus, you’ll enjoy seeing your family member’s confidence soar as they try new things, take on new challenges and conquer fears. Outdoor physical activity gets the blood flowing, increases endorphins (which make us happier) and reverses the effects of stress on the body. The memories you build together through these adventures will be thought about and talked about well into your children’s adulthood. At first glance some of the activities will be a bit outside your comfort zone, even if you are an athletic family, but once you’ve conquered each one the feeling of accomplishment will be overwhelmingly positive!

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Build Yourself The Custom Adventure Vacation Of A Lifetime

Vacation on the beachNo two families or groups are alike. That’s why a one-size-fits-all vacation package just won’t cut it. In addition to our great pre-set vacation packages at Costa Rica Rios, we also provide our clients the ability to custom build the vacation of a lifetime! To many people, a vacation like this is a major life event, and that’s something we don’t take lightly. The ability to pick and choose the components of your vacation is one of the best features we offer.
There are adventure options for all sized groups; including all ages and ranges of ability. In order to plan your perfect custom vacation, here are some things to keep in mind.

1.Your Group Members

Activities the children can enjoy

First, take stock of your group. How many people will there be? Take note of the ages, abilities and interests of each group member. This is a great time to include younger family members in on the vacation planning, have them fill in a chart with all of this information or have them help “interview” each group member. Costa Rica Adventure vacations are not only for families, they can be great for groups of friends, church or business groups or clubs.

2.Your Perfect Vacation Mix
Do you want an all-out full-throttle adventure extravaganza? Or will some members of your group also like to chill and relax a little? With a custom vacation you are in complete control of what activities you participate in. Our guided scenic tours are just as popular as the heart-pounding white river rafting! Our English-speaking guides all live and work in Costa Rica, making them expert companions for your trip! Throw in some horseback riding, zip lining and then a nice dinner and show for your perfect vacation mix.

3.Your Budget
Your custom vacation package can be all inclusive, including lodging, ground transportation around the area, equipment, activity fees, meals and more! If you prefer to be on your own for some of your meals or explorations you are welcome to do that as well! We have packages and custom components that can fit into any budget, so check out our custom tour page and start planning today!

It’s time to take charge of your vacation time! A custom adventure vacation in Costa Rica Rios awaits.