Tag Archives: costa rica adventure vacations

Birdwatching on Your Costa Rica Adventure

Costa Rica is well known as one of the top birding destinations in the world. More than 840 species of land and sea birds call Costa Rica home, far more than inhabit North America. A Costa Rica adventure should include some bird watching to really understand Costa Rica and its diverse habitats. It can be fun for amateurs and experienced birders alike.

The amazing diversity of birds that can be found in Costa Rica stems from some fortuitous circumstances. Millions of years ago, the continents were adrift and not in the same positions they are now. As they slowly floated about the oceans, the continents drifted together. With help from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the bridge of Central America slowly formed. The various species from North and South America met in the middle, and the mild climate allowed many of them to thrive and multiply. Migrants from both South and North America also visit Costa Rica during their respective winter seasons.

The current climate and terrain of Costa Rica provide excellent habitats for birds. There is an abundance of trees and bushes with fruit that birds feast on year round. The birds, in turn, pollinate the fruit and spread the seeds after feeding. A wide array of habitats, including mangrove swamps, wet Caribbean coastal plains, dry northern highlands, pacific lowlands and mountain ranges, provide a home for the various species.

When you visit Costa Rica, some of the bird species you may wish to find include the quetzal, the toucan and the frigate. The beautiful quetzal can be hard to spot, but with its long tail and glorious coloration it’s a favorite. Males have emerald green bodies with red breasts, and a long tail which grows during mating season. You may spot a quetzal in the cloud forests or mountainous areas in northern Costa Rica.

The jungles are full of toucans, easy to spot because of their large, distinctive yellow bill. While the bill seems too large for the body, they are actually hollow and very lightweight. Toucans eat mostly fruit. As the seeds pass through their bodies and are deposited in various places, trees are planted in other locations where they don’t have to compete for light with more mature trees.

Along the ocean, you can see frigate birds swooping and performing acrobatics. They often harass gulls or other sea birds into dropping their fish so they can fly in and steal them. There will always be more than one, and their formations while flying can be very entertaining.

When you’re in Costa Rica, make time to find and observe the amazing bird life. Whether it’s part of a hike, a river kayaking tour, a visit to a volcano or a formal garden, you’ll discover that birdwatching adds an exciting dimension to your Costa Rican adventure. Contact us to learn more about the best birdwatching spots in the country for your next trip. tucancillo verde could be seen on your costa rica honeymoon

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Explore The Amazing Cuisine During Your Costa Rica Honeymoon

A costa rica honeymoon is full of exploration, the glowing sun, gorgeous natural sights and the embrace of the beach. Because of all this, perhaps food isn’t the first thing that jumps to mind when you consider this unique country. However, Costa Rica is home to a unique, widely varied and ubiquitously delicious cuisine. Whether you prefer mingling with locals in small, scrumptiously authentic eateries or dining on the succulent and original delicacies of five star restaurants, your taste buds will have a blast in Costa Rica.

So what’s the food like exactly?

Gallo Pinto, the country’s national dish, is a simple and satisfying combination of flavorful black beans and pure white rice mixed with onions, bell peppers, and a wide variety of other possibilities–whatever tickles your fancy. Lunch often includes fresh corn tortillas, fresh white Costa Rican cheese, meat or fish, eggs, and Salsa Lizano–a flavorful sauce with just enough heat and sweetness to make your eyes roll back in bliss.

Although these staples can be found in nearly every household in the country, it is far from the limit of Costa Rican cuisine. With fresh vegetables as the main ingredient, the food is remarkably healthy and tends to be well seasoned without too much chili, as some other Latin American cuisine often is (though ask for Chileros–fresh salsa made with Habanero peppers if you are a fan of spicy food). Arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), delicious salads, savory plantains that are fried, mashed, or cut into soups are a few of many mouth-watering dishes.

Corn is utilized well in Costa Rica. From tortillas to pancakes, soups to dessert breads, this staple can be found in a huge variety of dishes. Try the tamales–puréed corn steamed in a banana leaf and mixed with whatever cheeses, vegetables, meats, and chilies you desire.

For desert try plantains baked in a sugar based sauce. Tres leches (three milk sponge cake), pudina (bread pudding), and pan de elote (sweet cornbread) are also unbelievably tasty, and not overly sweet.

Ready to take your taste buds on an adventure? Just contact us and let us know what we can do for you. We’re happy to answer questions, give advice, or create a tour for you. Hope to see you soon!

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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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Useful Spanish Phrases for Your Costa Rica Adventure: Round Two

Did you catch our first roundup of Spanish phrases to use on your Costa Rica Rios adventure? It’s time for your second mini course; practice these one-liners while you’re waiting in line at the airport.

Podría quedarme aquí por siempre. – I could stay here forever. Likely to be uttered with a blissful sigh while lying in a hammock at the Jungle Lodge, or when taking in the view as you mountain bike down Volcan Irazú.

¿Me enseña a bailar? – Will you teach me to dance? During our Week of Adventures tour, you’ll have an evening on the Caribbean coast where you might want to pop into a beachside dance club before resting up for the next day’s surfing and snorkeling. No prior knowledge of merengue or salsa required.

¿Es un tiburón? – Is that a shark? No, no, it’s (probably) not. But if you’re worried, this phrase will help you achieve some peace of mind before/during/after your bodyboarding or surfing expedition.

Tu eres el amor de mi vida. – You are the love of my life. Most likely to be appropriate on your Costa Rica Rios honeymoon, but we don’t doubt that sparks might fly between you and that new person you sat next to on the 16 mile paddle down the Lower Pacuare River.

¡El agua es tan clara! – The water is so clear! Often heard on Day 2 of the Week of Rivers Kayak tour, when adventurers start out on the calm jungle river of Rio Pejibaye. Or Day 3 when you arrive at the Sarapiquí River, known as the “Jewel of Costa Rica.”

¡Amo mi vida! – I love my life! Typically screamed at the top of one’s lungs at Cimarrones, where kayakers meet the steep and technical class IV drop on the Lower Pacuare River. Don’t worry, there are several kilometers of warm-up rapids to work up your nerve before the plunge.

¡Uuuy, que chiva! – Oooh, how cool! Said with amazement on Day 5 of your costa rica adventure vacation, when you’ll zipline through a jungle canopy, rappel down waterfalls, and walk across a hanging bridge.

Jefe, necesito unos días… – Boss, I need a few days… Okay, okay, we’ll let you decide on your own how to tell your boss you want some more time in paradise.

Contact us for help planning your adventure, and nos vemos pronto (we’ll see you soon).

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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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Top 5 Reasons to Vacation with Costa Rica Rios

1. Adventure

Conquer the Costa Rican rapids while whitewater rafting, paddle through twists and turns in a kayak, take a surf ride on a Caribbean wave. Bike down a volcano, zipline through trees, snorkel along tropical reefs. That enough adventure for you? Then you’re made for our high-adrenaline multi-sport adventure vacation package. Or, if one sport is plenty for you, try a week of canoeing or kayaking through Costa Rica’s pristine whitewater rivers.

2. Romance and Relaxation

Honeymooners rave about our tours, which, in addition to the aforementioned adventure activities, can be paired with plenty of quieter newlywed moments. Stay in a deluxe eco-lodge, enjoy a more low-key tour like the Rain Forest Ridge Walk. Go horseback riding near the Savegre River. Search for exotic critters in Manuel Antonio’s National Park. Simply relax on the beach or soak in hot springs with your amor.

3. Wildlife

Hear that hooting and hollering? That’s a howler monkey in the distance. What about the chirping that greets you in the morning? Could be a White Collared Manakin. Don’t miss the sloths; these funny-looking cuties can be seen at the sloth sanctuary or, if you’re lucky, in the trees during one of your other adventures. While canyoning in the rainforest, you may glimpse the transparent Costa Rican Glass Frog (are those its internal organs!?). Of course you’ll find fascinating fish on your snorkel dive, and you might catch sight of Green Sea, Giant Leatherback or Hawksbill turtles nesting at a marine national park.

4. Food

Pineapples, bananas, mangos, guanabanas. Fresh fish and meat paired with slow-cooked black beans and rice. You won’t go hungry in Costa Rica. Our personal chef prepares your meals daily with locally grown goods. Soon you’ll know the beauty of gallo pinto, frescos naturales, and sweet platano maduro.

5. Culture

From tour guides, to lodging staff, to vendors, and passersby, you’ll meet lots of friendly Ticos (Costa Ricans) willing to share their stories and culture with you. Of course our guides will be especially well-versed in the many facets of Costa Rican life and will be eager to share their knowledge of the country.

Browse the rest of our website, contact us with your questions, then tell your boss you’re going to need some time off.

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