Tag Archives: Costa Rica Adventure Tour Companies

Whale and Dolphin Watching On Your Costa Rica Adventure

Nestled between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America, Costa Rica has dual coastlines that offer whale and dolphin enthusiasts many opportunities to observe these beloved creatures. The warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, which form the eastern border of Costa Rica, and the Pacific Ocean, which forms the western border, are a favorite of up to 25 different species of whales and dolphins. Some travel up to 5,000 miles to breed and give birth in these waters.

Whale Watching

Costa Rica has the longest humpback whale watching season in the world. These graceful giants come to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica from North and South America and Antarctica. From August to November and December to March, humpbacks can often be spotted in the areas of Drake Bay, Cano Island and Corcovado. Ballena National Marine Park, along the central Pacific Costa Rican Coast, was established in 1990 to protect the whales for which it was named. Ballena means whale in Spanish. Killer whales and sperm whales are also frequently spotted. Two popular places to see sperm whales are Drake Bay and Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife refuge. They are visible from the beaches. If you want a closer look, it’s wise to take a whale-watching tour.

Dolphins Galore

Several dolphin species inhabit the waters of Costa Rica year-round. On the Caribbean side of the nation, bottlenose and spotted dolphins can be found near Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Manzanillo. Bottlenose and spotted dolphins are also commonly found all along the Pacific Coast. From December to March, the spinner and common dolphin species flock to the area as well. The common dolphin species is known for its high-flying antics and is a favorite of dolphin watchers.

Many organized dolphin-sighting tours are available in the northern, central and southern areas of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. You don’t have to take a tour to see these friendly marine mammals, however. Dolphins are often seen from the beach or while snorkeling, fishing, sailing and on other adventure excursions. Don’t expect to find a “swim with the dolphin” encounter, though, as this practice was stopped in 2006 to protect the species.

The choice of adventures in Costa Rica is vast. Costa Rica Rios has been voted one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies in the world by National Geographic Adventure. We specialize in all-inclusive adventure vacations. Contact us to help you plan your Costa Rica adventure.

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How the World Cup will Enhance Your Cost Rica Adventure

The World Cup Draw for soccer in Brazil 2014 is officially over, and Costa Rica finds itself in the dangerous Group D with European powerhouses Italy and England, and South American juggernaut Uruguay. Though Group G (where the US was placed) is widely considered the ‘Group of Death’, the Ticos certainly won’t feel lucky to be grouped with such stiff competition. It will, however, make for an incredible summer adventure in Costa Rica.

Traveling to a soccer-crazed nation like Costa Rica during a World Cup summer is an experience like no other. National pride is at an all-time high. Towns and cities bloom into vibrant communities, and entire nations gasp, rejoice and cry as one at the mercy of “the beautiful game.” Whether you watch La Sele play on TV in a breezy beachside bar, in a packed plaza that projects the game on a big screen, or in the home of a friendly Tico, you can be sure that the whole country will be watching alongside you.

Costa Rica failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and now it takes great pride in the fact that their in-form national team made it through to Brazil 2014 in dominating fashion. One of only two Central American teams to qualify, as Honduras is also competing, Los Ticos will be the proud ambassadors of their continent and culture on a global stage. It will undoubtedly be an amazing summer to join in the adventure.

Contact us to find the Costa Rica adventure that’s best for you.

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Costa Rica Rios: Our story.

My name is Fraser Tyrrell, and I’m one of the owners of Costa Rica Rios. The year 2000 was when it all started for us. We were both living in the British Virgin Islands, working on yachts, when Jane literally sailed into my life. Almost 14 years later, we are still going strong and things just seem to be getting better and better.

When we met each other, it was clear from the outset that we came from similar backgrounds and that we were destined to do great things together. Before meeting around the Millennium we spent quite a bit of time traveling the world, and between us we have visited more than 100 countries. When I first met Jane, she was working as a yacht skipper, one of only two female skippers in the Caribbean at the time. We immediately realized that we shared a passion for travel, and with backgrounds in tourism, we thought it was time to make our mark.

Our first foray into the world of business started in Queenstown, New Zealand, where we bought our first house and turned it into a high-end bed and breakfast. It was an incredible experience turning a house into a business, and we had four years of fun doing it. We learned some valuable lessons during this time that have helped us get to where we are today. We realized quite quickly that Queenstown was never going to be a long-term home for us, and we were desperate to get back to the tropics and to a climate that we both love.

The decision was made, and it was time to start searching for our new venture. We had two criteria that were non-negotiable when deciding on what we wanted to do: Our new business had to be in tourism, and it had to be in the tropics. Our attitude was that we could live anywhere and do anything, and when we found the right business we would know it. Our search lasted over a year, and every time we found a potential “goer,” something put us off until we found Costa Rica Rios.

We discovered that the company was for sale by three American guys who had been running it for four years after having bought it from the founder, who started it all in 1995. This was our chance and we knew it! We saw massive untapped potential in Costa Rica Rios, and with a combined 35 years of experience working in the tourism industry, we thought we had the ability to realize that potential.

Of course, we had to ask ourselves some serious questions. Can we live in Costa Rica? We didn’t know the country at all! Jane had very little Spanish, I had none. Will it be an easy language to learn? Will it be easy, as foreigners, to work, employ, do business and be accepted by the local community? Luckily, after visiting the country and the company, we decided the answer was yes to all of these questions.

Now, almost seven years in, we believe we have made the best decision of our lives. We love where we live, we love what we do, we have two young boys who were both born in Costa Rica (both fully bilingual, which still blows us away!) and we have expanded our company from a small local business into a Costa Rican wide one.

We are now the largest kayaking company in Costa Rica, taking more paddlers down more rivers than anyone else. We have quickly established ourselves as one of the premier honeymoon providers in the country. After having spent the last six-and-a- half years discovering the country and what it can offer, we believe we can give any newlyweds a honeymoon they will never forget, whether it be a romantic relaxing beach honeymoon to a more adventurous one, with anything from ziplining to whitewater rafting to even staying a night in a remote cave, right in the heart of the rainforest set behind twin waterfalls. We have expanded into family adventure vacations, and we guarantee you will never have a family bonding trip like you will in Costa Rica.

Our guides are a huge part of what makes us what we are. They are some of the best adventure guides in the country, with two of them having represented Costa Rica at the world kayaking championships, two at the world rafting championships and one of them is one of the top triathletes in the country.

Jane and I are still very hands-on and any guest that chooses an itinerary that comes through our town will meet us, so if you are planning your next vacation and Costa Rica is on your radar, drop us an email or give us a call and hopefully we will get to meet you at some point in the future.

Adventure tour operators in Costa Rica
Living the dream
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Costa Rica Adventure: Natural Perfection Inspires Video Game Designers

“We want to recreate the most amazing nature that you see in any video games,” says Andreas Öberg of Avalanche Studios, creators of the best-selling Just Cause video game series. That’s why he and a team of designers, artists, photographers and sound engineers traveled to Costa Rica in 2013 to gather inspiration for games in development. They knew they would find the perfect backdrop in a Costa Rica adventure.

The crew spent time in and around the Braulio Carrillo National Park, also known as Parque Nacional Braulio Carillo, recording every aspect of their surroundings. They captured the complexity of the vegetation, the precise curve of the toes of a three-toed sloth, even the sounds of the jungle — monkeys, birds and all. With time-lapse photography, they captured the changing patterns of the clouds in the sky and the colors of the sunset over the sea. They used super-slow motion to record the rolling surf and every subtle movement of the water droplets clinging to the rainforest plants, because depicting water realistically is one of the more difficult challenges for video game artists.

As imaginative as these game creators are, they know that nothing beats working with original material. And Costa Rica, with its pristine natural environments, provided them with all of the inspiration they could have hoped for to make an amazing game.

Even though it’s just minutes from San José and accessible via a major highway, Braulio Carillo National Park is one of the most carefully preserved natural places on earth, and one of the most ecologically diverse. It spans more than 100,000 acres with altitudes that range from the beach at sea level to more than 9,500 feet above sea level, encompassing micro-climates from sultry rainforest to misty cloud forest as well as several volcanoes. There are miles and miles of walking trails for visitors to follow and an aerial tram that will carry you if you prefer to see the view from above. Either way, you won’t need a full camera crew to appreciate this spectacular natural beauty!

For a closer look at Costa Rica’s wildlife, the crew also visited the Toucan Rescue Ranch, a licensed rainforest wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. All creatures are welcome and cared for here — toucans, of course, but also sloths, kinkajous, otters, and even rare and endangered animals like the oncilla, a beautiful spotted wildcat that’s native to Central America.

To experience some of Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity during your adventure vacation or honeymoon, contact us today!

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Plan Now to Escape Winter with Costa Rica Adventure Tours

In the northern hemisphere, fall has arrived. The kids are back in school, the weather is beginning to cool off, and it won’t be too long before there’s snow on the ground in a lot of areas. We think this is a great time to plan for a midwinter getaway. When you make your reservations now for one of our Costa Rica adventure tours, you have something to look forward to after all the hectic hype of the holidays.

If you’re looking to spend time outdoors without having to bundle into 3 layers of clothing, register now for one of our popular Week of Adventures. There are lots of chances to get wet in Costa Rica without ever getting cold. We’ll take you snorkeling and surfing, whitewater rafting and kayaking, and we might—if you want to relax a bit—also give you some “flat on your back at the beach” time as well! We’ll also take you into the mountains to glide along the canopy on the zip lines, and give you a chance to try canyoning (which means rappelling down waterfalls and scrambling up rocks) or mountain biking as well. In the evening there are theme nights, such as Reggae, salsa lessons and early morning hiking opportunities for those who don’t stay up too late the night before!

We also have less strenuous adventures for those who would prefer to explore other facets of what Costa Rica has to offer. When you custom design your own adventure vacation, you can spend as much time on the beach as you want. You can also visit a marine park, ride a horse to a waterfall, hike to visit an indigenous village, check out a coffee plantation, or learn more about Costa Rica by visiting one or more of our fascinating national parks.

So are you ready to plan for a summer break in the midst of winter? Contact us today to arrange for your Costa Rica adventure tour.

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A Costa Rica adventure, custom-made just for your family!

When you think of having a vacation with your family, have you considered a Costa Rica adventure? Costa Rica Rios has a package for your adventurous spirit! From surfing the waves to zip lining above the trees; whitewater rafting or kayaking, to mountain biking; lying on the beach or a thrilling canopy tour… Just think, we can put a custom package together for the vacation of a lifetime…Depending on your budget and your ability level, add in your desire for adventure or relaxing, and all you have to do is be there and enjoy it.

So, say your family is made up of Mom and Dad; your oldest is a teen girl; next is a ten-year-old all boy; then there is your three-year-old (surprise!) girl. Oh, and everyone has agreed to bring Grandma, because she’s never been out of the country. OK, Mom and Dad are definitely looking forward to SOME relaxation, and maybe even some romance. Maybe some beach time, and at least one dinner for two? Miss Teen seems bored with almost everything, but her eyes light up at the mention of horseback riding. And maybe some surfing lessons? (Probably a cute instructor.) Now, Mr. All-Boy wants to do everything active…twice! Grandma has heard about the unique shopping opportunities, but has always secretly wanted to learn scuba diving. Hey, she’s not too old! And Miss Surprise? She won’t be able to do some of the activities, but she will enjoy being with her family, doing what three-year-olds do best: being cute!

There are several packages to choose from, like the Week of Adventures, the Week of Rivers Kayak, and the Week of Rivers Canoe, but the best bet for your family of various desires is the Custom and Family Tour.

When you are ready to customize your family vacation at Costa Rica Rios, our knowledgeable and friendly staff would love to hear from you. They will help you figure out what to bring, which additional costs you will be responsible for, and they will help bring the variety of your family’s wishes together. Start here to begin your adventure!

If you have questions, please contact us… We would love to help!

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Why Same-Sex Couples Should Spend Their Honeymoons in Costa Rica

The U.S. Supreme Court recently made two historic decisions regarding marriage. It overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, allowing federal benefits for married same-sex couples. And it ruled that traditional marriage activists had no standing to defend Proposition 8 in California, allowing gay marriage to resume in that state.

Maybe those were enough reasons for you and many others to tie the knot with their same-sex loves.

At nearly the same time as those decisions, a funny thing happened in the Costa Rican legislature. The staunchly conservative body accidentally approved a bill with marriage language approving “the right to recognition without discrimination contrary to human dignity.”

Hello, same-sex unions.

So other than Costa Rica having two beautiful coastlines, verdant jungles, picturesque volcanic cones, and well-developed tourism, why should the country and its political snafus even figure into your same-sex honeymoon plans?

Money. Specifically, dollars that Americans bring in when they vacation in the country. When you book your vacation plans in Costa Rica, tell its tour operators, hotel proprietors, travel companies, and restaurant owners who you and your spouse are, and that you’re honeymooning in their wonderful country because of its supportive marriage laws.

If enough same-sex couples do this, the legislature will see the economic benefit of their “accidental” law and let it stand. And some day, when same-sex marriages performed in any country become legal and binding in the United States, gay couples will both get married and spend their honeymoons in Costa Rica.

Both your honeymoon and same-sex marriage in Costa Rica are worthwhile dreams. Get closer to them by contacting us.

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Plan a trip to Costa Rica for your romantic getaway

A tropical destination has been the dream of many couples all over the world for years. While there are many beautiful destinations to choose from, one of the most beautiful and exotic locations to highly consider is Costa Rica. Lush scenery, warm friendly locals, gorgeous resorts and some of the most incredible beaches with the some of the clearest water in the world are in Costa Rica.

Spending your honeymoon in Costa Rica would definitely be a memorable and romantic experience. Located in Central America, Costa Rica sits between Nicaragua and Panama, both countries contributing to the diversity and rich culture of the area. Costa Rica lies in jeweled waters, and whether you’re looking for a luxurious beach resort, or an active and adventurous honeymoon, get ready to love it!

This lovely country presents many other options for any type of honeymoon experience you might be looking for. Whether you want an introverted or extroverted experience, Costa Rica is  the place. So cuddle up on the beach or canoe down a river, under the tropical sun or the moonlight. Don’t stop there, embrace your relaxation by spending time in a spa with your significant other; receiving couples massages and pedicures. Costa Rica is the perfect choice for anyone!  For years this attractive country has been a popular choice for vacations and honeymoons, and it is an awesome place to spend your first days as as  married couple. The numerous venues countrywide allow for many choices to suit your budget, accommodation needs, and activity level desires.

For more information, contact us.

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Useful Spanish Phrases for Your Costa Rica Adventure

While there’s no language requirement on Costa Rica Rios trips, it’s always fun to use a bit of the local dialect, right? Here are a few phrases to get you started; the locals might even mistake you for a Tico/Tica.

Más rápido, maeFaster, dude; may be useful with your whitewater rafting guide if you want to pick it up a notch (loco = crazy, by the way).

¡Pero tengo miedo!But I’m scared! This phrase is often followed by delighted screaming and laughing; say this right before you zip-line across a canopy.

¡Otra vez!Again! You loved that flight through the trees, didn’t you?

Te amoI love you. Surprise your new husband or wife with this phrase on your honeymoon as you gaze off into the Caribbean horizon.

¿Cuánto cuesta?How much does it cost? This will be useful in between adventures if you choose to snatch up a Costa Rican souvenir or two, like a bag of local coffee or artisan pottery.

¡Qué ola tan grande!What a big wave! While surfing, this may mean you either rush out to sea or rush back to shore, depending on your skill level. Or maybe you’re on the beach and want to warn your friends to pick up their towels.

¿Cómo se llama (pointing at something)? – What is that called? When you spot unknown exotic wildlife while snorkeling or hiking, use this phrase to learn their names, or ask about that volcano up ahead or the bright blue butterfly that landed on your bike.

Me duelen las piernasMy legs hurt. Speaking of bikes, your quads or hamstrings might burn a bit from that mountain biking portion of the trip; use this excuse to take a breather and a snap a few pics of the scenery.

¡Qué lindo/bonito!How beautiful! Use while pointing to that view, that flower, that sunset, that bird, etc. You’ll probably be using this one at least every five minutes if you’re not busy catching your breath or laughing.

¡Qué rico! How delicious! Compliment your chef or server, or just rave to your trip companions about the fresh fish on your plate or the fruit smoothie you’re slurping down.

¡Pura vida! – this ubiquitous Costa Rican phrase has a dozen meanings, which makes it applicable in most situations. Literally, it means “pure life” and often refers to the relaxed attitudes of Ticos (Costa Ricans). But it also can be a greeting, an exclamation of approval, a descriptor of how you’re feeling, a synonym for excellent, or just something you scream as you kayak down a rushing river.

For all your other language needs, our staff and guides have got you covered. Find the trip that’s right for you and contact us for more information. ¡Pura vida!

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Plan Your Own Costa Rica Adventure

What would your perfect vacation be? Do you think about riding around on a hot, sweaty tour bus? Or wandering around in a large group of people listening to a tour guide describe a long history of some building? Or are you looking for a wild ride down some whitewater rapids? How about a bike tour of a volcano? A zipline ride across rainforest treetops? What about all of them? Creating your own Costa Rica adventure means that you don’t have to choose just one. You can plan all the excitement you want into one big adventure.

Costa Rica offers all the adventure your family or group can handle. With a tropical climate and a variety of terrain, you can pick from the many activities that appeal to your outdoor spirit. Instead of being stuck in a pre-planned selection of a package deal, you can decide how short or long you want to go for, and what activities you do, creating your own vacation package.

If water is what you are dreaming of, you can choose to kayak, raft, or canoe on the Pacuare River where you can experience the beauty of the surrounding rainforest, with many chances to stop and swim, rest, and take in the views. Rather swim than paddle? You can take advantage of scuba diving or snorkeling in the waters off the Manuel Antonio National Park. If surfing is your thing, try catching a wave in Puerto Viejo. Or include a day to relax at one of the stunning beaches the country has to offer.

Waves and water not your thing? Try taking on mountain biking. You can choose to bike through the cloud forest as you journey to the shoulder of the Turrialba Volcano, with small villages along the way. Or choose to bike through the Orosi Valley. Pedaling too tiring? Try a saddle instead with horseback riding. You can mount up and travel up to the La Fortuna Waterfall or ride to the observatory of the famous Arenal Volcano.

Looking for a ride of a different kind? Zip line rides will have you flying above the jungle. Rise above the treetops to experience the adventure of a lifetime. Experience the rainforest like never before with a canopy tour that takes you across suspension bridges, rappelling down trees and even offers adrenaline pumping zip line rides over the trees.

With these and many more activities to choose from, you can find the perfectly balanced adventure. Take the worry and stress out of planning with all meals, lodging, entrance fees and permits taken care of. No need to have your own equipment or search for guides.  We can take care of everything.  Contact us and start planning your perfect Costa Rica adventure today.

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