Tag Archives: Adventure

Costa Rica’s Stunning Peninsulas – Which One Should You Visit?

Anyone planning an adventure vacation in Costa Rica will undoubtedly want to visit one of the country’s stunning peninsulas, all found on the western Pacific coast. Renowned for boasting pristine wilderness, bundles of wildlife and seemingly endless stretches of unspoiled beaches, Costa Rica’s peninsulas offer a less crowded and much less touristy escape, one drenched in nature and offering a host of adventure activities as well as glimpses of authentic Tico life. Although you could just about pick any of the amazing peninsulas here and be guaranteed a phenomenal time, they all do offer something unique. From the easily-accessible Nicoya to the remote but resplendent Osa and the luxurious Papagayo – there’s a stunning Costa Rica peninsula that’s just right for your next adventure vacation.

Eeny meeny miny moe, where in Costa Rica should you go?!

Read on to find out!

 

First Up: Why Are Costa Rica’s Peninsulas So Revered?

Being one of the most popular adventure vacation destinations on the planet, Costa Rica’s most visited areas tend to get a little crowded during high tourist season in the first five months of the year. Most visitors (especially first-timers) tend to stick to the most famous spots like Arenal, Manuel Antonio and Monteverde. These three hot-spots make for a great ‘loop trip’ from the capital, are easy to reach and offer every service and luxury one would ever want. This leaves the outermost areas, the peninsulas, uncrowded – even at the height of tourist season.

Moreover, Costa Rica’s stunning peninsulas are still the least developed regions of the country so although you’ll still find plenty of accommodation and fantastic places to feast on local cuisine, the lack of over-commercialization is palpable. Some areas are more built-up whilst others are positively unspoiled, perfect if you have an adventurous spirit and don’t mind giving up a few creature comforts to immerse yourself in the country’s most untarnished nature.

It takes just a little more time and effort to visit one of Costa Rica’s peninsulas but the rewards are well wroth your while.

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Nicoya Peninsula – The Easiest To Reach, Ideal For Short Adventure Vacations & Lots Of Choices

The largest of Costa Rica’s peninsulas is by far the most accessible and the easiest to explore. With a jaw-dropping coastline and beaches favored by avid surfers from all over the world, Nicoya boasts very good tourist infrastructure and is connected to Puntarenas, one of the most popular tourist hot-spots in the country. It’s an easy trip from the capital, San Jose, whether you choose a road trip to the north-west (a sensationally scenic route) or a drive and swift ferry ride across the Gulf of Nicoya from the town of Punta Arenas.

If you choose an adventure-filled vacation in Nicoya, then your best bet is to fly into the Liberia International Airport rather than San Jose, as you’ll already be at the peninsula’s doorstep.

The north of the Nicoya Peninsula is home to famous beach towns like Tamarindo and Playa Hermosa, where you’ll find a wide range of accommodation to suit your budget, whether you seek a luxury escape or a more rustic experience. A ‘wonderful array of choice’ is what best defines the Nicoya: here, you’ll find eco-lodges nestled in prime rain-forests in the heartland and breathtaking seaside hotels that’ll make you feel as if you’ve just won the Costa Rica travel-lottery. In the far south, you’ll find remote beaches and sleepy fishing villages. If you have time, you should seriously consider a round-trip along the solitary road that traverses Nicoya. For unique family vacations and honeymoon adventure trips, the Nicoya is pretty hard to beat. If you’re dreaming of a relaxing vacation, with plenty of time to soak up the rays and relaxing on beautiful beaches, then the Nicoya is the one for you.

As far as adventure sports are concerned, Nicoya lacks absolutely nothing! From zip-lining to surfing, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding and so much more: the Nicoya Peninsula simply has it all. Read more about the Nicoya Peninsula to see if this corner of Costa Rica paradise is just what you seek.

 

Osa Peninsula – The True Wild West Of Costa Rica (But You Need More Time)

The best choice for outstanding wilderness and wildlife adventures, the Osa Peninsula beckons the most adventurous travelers. Part of this has to do with the Osa’s remoteness – you need a bit more time to visit this unspoiled south-western peninsula, one that becomes all but disconnected from the rest of the country during the rainiest months. This is still an amazing time to visit, with many eco-lodges including a short round-trip flight from San Jose to get you in and out.  Flying is actually the fastest way to reach the Osa Peninsula, even though the capital is only 100 miles away, as the toucan flies.

Yet the Osa is proof that even 100 miles can make all the difference. It’s another world, out here, one where nature reigns supreme.

The unrivaled highlight of the Osa Peninsula is, without a doubt, the Corcovado National Park which is often dubbed ‘the most priceless natural haven’ in the entire country and a reserve that makes up the great majority of the peninsula. If you choose the Osa, you are effectively choosing Corcovado…and what a great choice that would be.

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If you’re a nature lover who dreams of total wilderness immersion then the Osa is just right for you. There’s a handful of luxury lodges as well as budget-friendly options that are definitely on the more ‘rustic’ side of travel. But it matters not. Soon enough, it’s the Osa’s exotic cache of birds, monkeys, tapirs, armadillos, giant anteaters and even elusive jaguars that become the real highlights.

The distinct lack of human influence doesn’t mean that your vacation need be subdued: the Osa still offers a great array of adventures, including boat trips for whale and dolphin watching, kayak trips through mangroves, fantastic snorkeling and diving off Drake Bay, a great array of guided hikes to spot native wildlife, horseback riding, canyoning and zip-lining,  among quite a few other active pursuits.

This is an incredibly bio-diverse corner of Costa Rica and as long as ‘unblemished nature’ is what you want to experience then you’ll feel right at home.

Check out our Osa Peninsula Guide and scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips on time-saving transfers from the mainland.

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Papagayo Peninsula – For Luxe Eco-Conscious Wilderness Experiences

Right at the top of the luxury travel scale, the Papagayo Peninsula is the smallest of the three promontories and found just north of Nicoya. Luxury resorts here are out of this world and, quite simply, travel destinations in their own right. It figures given the ease of access and pristine wilderness, with each of the main resorts designed to offer everything you could ever dream, from sunset cruises to rounds of golf in world-class clubs, private beach clubs, glorious rental villas and yacht marinas that’ll make you swoon. Most of the resorts are found along the north and west coasts of the Papagayo Peninsula although a few exquisite choices are also found on the south coast, on the northern fringe of Culebra Bay.

Do note that almost three-quarters of the Papagayo Peninsula is designated as protected reserve and, what was allowed to be developed, was designated as luxury resorts. Yes, the entire peninsula is basically a large swath of resplendent wilderness dotted with a few astonishing 5* resorts! What makes this place so very special is that in true Costa Rica-style, it trails way ahead of the pack when it comes to sustainable tourism. The Papagayo has been lauded for its efforts in combining environmental protection with luxury travel and you can read more about that in this inspiring Forbes article.

The proximity of Papagayo to major attractions in the Guanacaste Province, which include hiking trips, volcano climbing, white water rafting, horseback riding, zip-lining (and so much more) means you could base yourself on the peninsula and take day-trips out and about. However, the best course of action would be to simply include a few indulgent days here at the end of your Costa Rica adventure vacation as these resorts are idyllic ‘rest and recoup’ havens. A simply magical way to cap off your unforgettable adventure vacation in the land of Pura Vida!

 

Read to hit the jackpot? Check out our Costa Rica Adventure Vacations and ask us how we can help you plan an all-encompassing trip to include a stay in one of the country’s most stunning peninsulas.

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The Best National Parks to Visit in Costa Rica for Honeymoon, Family or Adventure Vacations

Costa Rica is a country that’s literally defined by its exceptional array of national parks. A system of wilderness protection that started almost five decades ago, Costa Rica’s best national parks encompass over a quarter of the entire country. Whether you’ve got your eye on a volcano you can climb, a river on which you can kayak and whitewater raft, a beach you can learn to surf on, a stretch of coast renowned for attracting nesting turtles or a high-altitude cloud forest brimming with exotic birds, it’s highly likely it’ll be part of a fervently protected national park.

Just about all of Costa Rica’s best adventures play out in one of the country’s many national parks and this overview guide will help you decide which one to include on your forthcoming adventure vacation. Planning a honeymoon, family vacation or multi-sport tour? We’ve got just the national park for you!

 

Best National Parks for Honeymoon Adventure Vacations

Manuel Antonio National Park is the unrivaled honeymoon queen of national parks, the stunning reserve home to dreamy honeymoon resorts, spectacular stretches of beach where the luscious wilderness just seems to tumble straight into the sapphire seas. Yep, MA is all that, and then some. Close to the capital and offering a little of everything that makes Costa Rica’s wilderness world-renowned, Manuel Antonio is the top-choice for short and sweet honeymoon vacations.

But it’s not the only one…

The Arenal Volcano National Park has a little bit of magic up its sleeve, because what could be more romantic than soaking in a hot thermal pool surrounded by a pristine tropical rain-forest? Jaw-dropping views of Arenal Volcano from the luxurious Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort (one of our favorite wedding photo shoot locations) offer that breathtaking extra everyone seeks on honeymoons.

Ready to head a little further?

Head due east to the Limon Province and you’ll be discovering one of the lesser-visited best honeymoon national parks of all: Tortuguero National Park. This remote and unspoiled corner of Costa Rica is revered for attracting an abundance of nesting turtles and is considered an off-beat destination that tugs at the heartstrings of nature lovers the world over. As such, it is not as built-up as some other parks and is mostly coveted for its ‘totally wild’ adventure settings. However, we think all of this spells ‘pure perfection’ for adventurous honeymooning couples, the kind who don’t mind foregoing the luxurious of a 5* all-inclusive resort to be immersed in the kind of untarnished tropical wilderness that’s hard to find nowadays. Besides, there are three amazing lodges here that actually do provide plenty of luxury and comfort – think jacuzzi soaks, couple massage and riverside cabins that just scream ‘romance’. Check out our choice of amazing resorts in Tortuguero.

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Best National Parks in Costa Rica for Family Adventure Vacations

Families heading to Costa Rica are usually looking for a wide array of activities, something that’ll please children and adults equally. Luckily, Costa Rica does this seamlessly which is the main reason the country is just so popular for family vacations. Although you can always choose a child-friendly resort that offers some kind of kid-club (just a little yawn-inducing) we think you and the kids deserve a little more. In the best national parks for families in Costa Rica, you can all have the time of your lives doing fun and exciting stuff, together, whether it be going on a night-time wildlife-spotting walk, zip-line run, family hike, bicycle tour, surf lesson and even horseback ride on the beach. If time together equals closeness, then what’s the point of having fun, separately??

Manuel Antonio is very family friendly and there are walking excursions that are ideal with little ones in tow. Over in Alajuela is where you can all explore the resplendent Rio Celeste on a thrilling hike through the Tenorio Volcano National Park (ideal if your kids are a little older) and if you have kids of varying ages, you can visit Arenal, where cable-car rides thrill the little ones and zip-line rides will delight thrill-seeking teenagers.

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If you do have toddlers or young kids, you’ll also love the La Paz Nature Park because it offers light walks even the tiniest tot can achieve (carried, if need be) yet offering an abundance of beautiful wilderness experiences that’ll titillate all their senses. Numerous waterfalls and close-up encounters with some of the country’s most iconic wildlife is what enthralls young and older alike here.

Many families also love visiting Los Quetzales National Park which is, much like uber-famous Monteverde, a stunning cloud forest destination. This is one of the country’s youngest national parks and one of the least-known, which makes it a great off-the-radar destination. It’s very close to San Jose and boasts an altitude range of between 4,000 and 10,000 feet, which is sublime on a summer visit. Home to about 200 distinct species of birds as well as deer, tapirs and even a few pumas which you’d have to be pretty lucky to spot as they’re terribly shy. This is a real bird-lover’s paradise and if you take a local guide, you’ll spot some amazing specimens, like the Resplendent Quetzal at the right season and different types of hummingbirds. If your kids are interested or studying birds, they’ll absolutely love this place. There’s pretty basic infrastructure here so far (which makes it feel super remote) yet it means that guided walks are advised, with a choice of options for short and longer trails, depending on the age of your kids.

Best National Parks for Multi-Sport Adventure Vacations

It really doesn’t matter if you’re heading over solo, on honeymoon, with friends or with your extended family: adventures abound in Costa Rica’s best national parks. For multi-sport adventure vacations, whereby you can fit in as many active pursuits every day (so requiring less in-between travel) you really can’t go past the entire region framing the Pacuare and Sarapiqui rivers, on the central-eastern half of the country.

 

 

 

 

 

Bordered by the Tortuguero, Cahuita, Braulio Carrillo and Barbilla National Parks, these rivers are considered the heart and soul of the country by bonafide adventure seekers. Here, you’ll find primary virgin rain-forest that showcases astonishing biodiversity, the wilderness home to elusive jaguars, anteaters, ocelots, sloths, an abundance of monkeys and an untold number of exotic tropical birds, including toucans and macaws. We love this region because it is untouched for the most part, bar a few eco-lodges that simply offer us the chance to explore the rivers by kayak and whitewater raft and its stellar wilderness on foot. Considered one of the world’s best rafting destinations of all (the Pacuare River, particularly) this region is ideal for multi-sport adventures, because there are enough lodges to allow for week long trips but not enough commercialization that means multi-day rafting or kayaking needs to be interrupted.

For adventurous souls, this whole area is unparalleled, with plenty of offerings for families and honeymooners too. Given the Pacuare’s three-section river runs, this is also a great place to learn rafting and kayaking and a handful of dreamy lodges means honeymoon suites on riverside lodges are also on offer.

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to the best national parks in Costa Rica, it’s worth noting that just because we mention a special reason to visit a particular national park, it doesn’t mean that reason won’t be found elsewhere. Except for the multi-sport option perhaps: the Pacuare really is the best rafting and kayaking river in the country, so even if you hike, bike ride or zipline elsewhere, you’ll still want to head here for the best river-based adventures.

Yet for all other aspects, you do have a wide array of choice. The northwest of the country, for example, is home to the best and largest range of honeymoon resorts but there are plenty scattered all over the country, some of which are exceptionally unique, remote and absolutely stunning.

Ask us about your very own personal desires, be they for your honeymoon, family or multi-sport adventure vacation and we can give you more specific suggestions of the very best places to visit.

You can contact us, right here

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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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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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How To Easily Document Your Amazing Adventure

Personal journal entryWhen you travel to Costa Rica for the adventure vacation of a lifetime, you’ll want to easily document every thrill seeking moment along the way!  With social media making it easier than ever to follow your family and friends’ adventures, you’ll be amazed at how many people will be eagerly awaiting your updates as well!

Since you’ll be doing a lot more physical activity than the normal vacationer, a simple digital camera won’t give you all the flexibility you need on your travels. Luckily, there are some great products on the market that will help you capture every moment and give you the ability to share your adventures in one or two clicks.

Journals, Pictures and Videos: Adventure Style
Simple things first; don’t forget to keep a detailed journal during your vacation. Each night or every morning write down everything that you did, what you saw and most importantly, how you felt doing it. Record as much detail as possible while it is fresh in your mind. You can write notes in a journal, type your notes into an electronic device or even dictate your stories using the record feature on your smart phone.

Using a GoPro during your adventuresTaking stunning photos of the beautiful scenery in Costa Ricas is easy with a GoPro camera. The GoPro Hero4 for example is a small, lightweight camera that can easily be mounted on your body or on your equipment to take amazing POV (point of view) shots and video. You can also try a Nikon CoolPix AW110 which is lightweight, waterproof and shockproof. Both also have WiFi capability to share direct to social media. There are several adventure cameras to choose from but these are two are industry favorites.

Easy Ways To Share Your Adventure Online

As for the social media side, you can document your entire Costa Rica Adventure vacation of a lifetime with an app called Trip Journal. Trip Journal makes it easy to share your location, routes, photos, videos and more. It even has Google Earth integration to really show off your exotic locations.

Furthermore, you can blog (WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr, etc) as you go or wait until you get home to create posts full of memories, pictures and video. To save space in your luggage, think about bringing and iPad Mini or other tablet device to quickly share your exciting adventure vacation with the world!

Sharing your once in a lifetime adventure is easy with our tips!

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More Than A Week Away From It All

In this down-sized economy, companies are running leaner and offering new employees less vacation benefits. In turn, as our work schedules get more demanding and e-tools make us more likely to be “plugged in” to work 24/7, our stress levels are through the roof!

Costa Rica Rios Adventure Vacation with Cliff Jumping.

We are living in a “time is money” generation and have lost sight of why we really need time away from the office. A vacation isn’t just a job perk, it is medicine for the body, mind and soul that cleanses us from stress and increases our productivity in the long run. Thinking that we have to much to do and are too needed at the office keeps us from the main event in our lives – living!

Think of it this way, your job is a means to an end. The goal of working should be to fund your perfect life. Life is all about experience and adventure, that’s why getting away from it all by taking a Costa Rica Adventure Vacation can help enhance your life in ways you never even thought of before. Did you know that when Forbes Magazine polled 400 of the richest business people in the US, that they weren’t really any happier than the average American? That’s because status and money doesn’t bring you life satisfaction. Experience, adventure and relationships with family do.

Stress and anxiety are bigger risk factors for heart attacks than hamburgers and genetics combined. Did you know that people who take an annual vacation of one week or more at a time are significantly less likely to have heart attacks? Not only can a vacation help your heart, but it can improve your sleep habits and help clear your mind so that you are super productive when you return!

Costa Rica Rios Adventure Vacation White Water Rafting in Costa Rico Rapids.

For families the benefits of a Costa Rica Adventure Vacation are double! Spending one to two weeks of quality time (that would be time uninterrupted with cell phone calls and e-mails) with your children helps them to become more resilient adults with higher self-esteem. Husbands and wives, parents and children and even siblings need that extra stress-free time to bond and build relationships. So this year, try to plan your work schedule around your vacation time and not the other way around!

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Perfect Wedding Finale – The Grand Adventure Honeymoon!

Start your lifetime of memories as a family off on the right foot with a heart-thumping, awe-inspiring honeymoon that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives. Adventure vacations aren’t for everyone but if you’re full of spirit and love being active then you could be in for the thrill of a lifetime!

Couple whitewater kayaking in Costa Rica on an adventure vacation.

Adventure honeymoons can take you to exotic locations and help you explore many new opportunities. You and your partner can work hand in hand while kayaking, zip-lining, surfing, or whatever your heart desires!

First, sit down with your loved one and talk about your ideal honeymoon. Make sure you’re on the same page. An adventure honeymoon will allow you to cover a lot of ground in one trip, encompassing travel, beautiful sights and fun activities! There is sure to be something to please both of you and the elements of the vacation can be picked out and agreed upon ahead of time or you can fly by the seat of your pants if you’re more into spontaneity.

Couple jumping off a cliff in Costa Rica.

Make sure you plan ahead and have your passports ready. If you don’t have a passport you will want to apply for one in plenty of time before the wedding. Depending on your wedding day and reception plans, you will have to decide if you want to leave for your honeymoon right away or at a later date. Make sure to pack your adventure clothing including good shoes for walking and hiking. Bug spray and sunscreen are also good bets to bring along as these items can be pricey in tourist areas. And most importantly, try to leave the stress of wedding planning and working behind as you head off to the vacation of a lifetime with your spouse!

Many people dream of sandy beaches and exotic cocktails for their honeymoon and if you’re looking to combine amazing tropical scenery with awesome adventure then look no further than Costa Rica! Surround yourself with the culture and extreme landscapes that are packed with adventurous opportunity! Your honeymoon can be packaged into a romantic yet energetic vacation by the experts at Costa Rica Rios!

Hiking, swimming, surfing, zip-lining, snorkeling, white water rafting and more can be enjoyed by day while fabulous dining and relaxing poolside can be the perfect ending to your activities. Fill any downtime with sightseeing, shopping and relaxation. Your tours and hikes will be fully guided for your safety. Adventure honeymoons are growing in popularity and you’ll be amazed at how much fun can be had!

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Lifelong Benefits Of An Adventure Vacation

Thinking of packing up the kids for yet another road trip to visit the world’s largest ball of string, or another exciting trip to a hotel Elvis once stayed at? Think again! Adventure vacations are quickly rising in popularity and can provide lifelong memories for all ages. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to please everyone!

Whitewater rafting adventure with Costa Rica Rios in Costa Rica.

Vacation days are a scarce commodity and should be planned wisely. Adventure vacations can take you around the world and provide extensive opportunity for physical activity, friendly competition and awe-inspiring sight-seeing. Children and adults of all ages can benefit from being immersed in a new and exciting culture. Think of all you could learn from being totally surrounded by another language, new foods and different ideas.

In order to plan your perfect family adventure vacation, seek out the plans and packages available to you and decide if you want all guided tours or would like to go your own way. It is advisable to take guided tours with children and teenagers for safety but both types of adventure packages are available.

Carefully research your destination. Printed books and guides are a great start but to really get down to the details check out online magazines and blogs. You can find locals and travel enthusiasts online who have first-hand experience visiting all the sites and activities you are planning. Also take note of the climate and weather. You wouldn’t want to plan your vacation in the middle of a typhoon! Your travel advisor should also be able to tell you when the best travel times are.

The more the merrier on an adventure vacation! More families means more fun, so gather up your extended relatives and friends and make a huge go of it! You can also be paired with other families through your travel advisor – some of whom could become lifelong friends and pen pals for you and your kids!

Make sure to heavily document your travels with high quality photos and video. If your vacation is tropical invest in a camera that can go underwater. If you’ll be doing a lot of high octane adventure there is an amazing little action camera called the “GoPro” you can attach anywhere to get a first person point of view of all the incredible action!

Once you get home from your vacation, have a viewing party to share your experiences with family and friends. Then you can make scrapbooks or digital photobooks with all of your amazing photos and footage. This is a vacation you won’t soon forget but dragging out the photos every few years sure helps! Your children can recount their adventures for generations to come!