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Adventure honeymoon in Costa Rica

Hot Surfing Spots in Costa Rica

try surfing on your costa rica honeymoonIf you dream of surfing in Costa Rica, you’ve probably heard that there are at least 1,000 surf-able breaks and beautiful beaches here. The culture is very accepting of surfers, and you’ll find a number of shops near our busiest beaches. The best surfing spots in Costa Rica are legendary, but there’s a great mix of lesser known beach breaks that can give you an unforgettably great ride. While it was hard to pick out just a handful of favorite surfing destinations, we’ve highlighted a few hot spots located around Tamarindo, Puerto Viejo and Pavones that are well worth mentioning.

Tamarindo

One of the most appreciated surfing spots in Costa Rica is Tamarindo. Located on the northern end of the Pacific Coast, there are several breaks to surf in the area. If you want to experience as many surfing spots as you can find close together, Tamarindo could be the place to start your quest. Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point are among the favorites, and both are accessible only by boat. If you saw the movie “The Endless Summer II,” you already know about Ollie’s Point.

  • Witch’s Rock is a two-mile stretch that’s best at high tide. Be prepared for some steep waves. It’s considered one of Costa Rica’s best places to surf, so it gets crowded on occasion.
  • Ollie’s Point is a year-round surfing destination that is loaded with hollow waves. If you’re looking for a place to surf when the tide is going out and the swells are southwest, try this one.

Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is located on the southern Caribbean Coast. It’s not as busy as Tamarindo. There are a few surfing spots close to each other that give you a great experience, but it can be inconsistent, depending on the time of year you visit.costa rica honeymoons and family vacations are a great time to try surfing

  • The waves at Puerto Viejo, sometimes called Salsa Brava for its powerful big tubes, build from deep water and break on a shallow reef. Bring your A-game. An easterly swell produces the best surfing conditions.
  • Black Beach is a year-round surfing destination with best results from a southern or easterly swell. If you’re looking for something less crowded, put this one on your list – especially if you’re an early riser who likes good waves before breakfast.

Pavones

Pavones is among the legendary surfing destinations in Costa Rica. Located on the South Pacific Coast, this small town enjoys a big reputation. Pavones is a popular destination for the avid surfer. If it’s too crowded or not a great day for swells, consider nearby Punta Banco.

  • Pavones offers about three-quarters of a mile of left, and it’s considered one of the longest in the world. It has fast waves with good shape. It can be inconsistent and small at times, but when it’s on, it’s on.
  • Located about two-and-a-half miles south of Pavones, Punta Banco has a reef break and generally a smaller crowd. It’s a good choice at middle to high tide when there’s a western or southern swell. It can be a little hard to paddle into at times, which is why it’s less crowded than Pavones.

family surf lessons in costa rica If you love to surf, Costa Rica holds an adventure for you. There are many surfing hot spots with different types of breaks, from big waves to short and strong ones. When you’re ready to book a scenic surfing vacation in Costa Rica, contact Costa Rica Rios. We’ll help you build your own vacation, finding the best breaks for your skill level and plan some great accommodations for your stay.

 

 

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My Honeymoon: Costa Rica Guided Tours

My name is Janet. My husband Bobby and I spent two weeks on our honeymoon in Costa Rica in August, traveling over different parts of the beautiful country. We flew into San  Jose and were immediately welcomed by the warm air and friendly atmosphere, even at the busy, busy airport!

We spent the first day touring the city and really grasping parts of Costa Rica’s rich history and culture at the museums, which are well located and well managed.

We then packed our bags and traveled a few hours out of the city into the more tropical climate of the Arenal area. Reading about the rainforest and volcano just doesn’t do them justice. Vibrant colors and fascinating sounds filled our eyes and ears as we came to our next stop in Costa Rica’s rainforest. And the volcano is truly magnificent, rising up right next to the town –impressive! Bobby and I stayed in a cozy cabin that had windows that opened and a surrounding balcony with French doors so we could really feel like we were sleeping in the jungle. On the nights that were a bit warmer, we were able to leave the windows and doors open, turn on the fan and listen to the captivating sounds of the rainforest.

While in the Arenal area, we were able to go on a couple of guided tours and do a little ziplining and white water rafting. I was a little worried before we got there because I am not much for heights or water, but our guides for both activities fully explained the equipment and taught us the safety precautions, putting my mind at ease. My husband is an adrenaline junkie, so he wasn’t worried at all. Our raft did not flip once, and we were rafting on class four waters. I was thoroughly impressed! Our ziplining excursion provided beautiful views of the canopy and the spectacular forest as we traveled back to the forest floor. We didn’t have a single a scratch or bruise after our adventures.

The last leg of our trip we spent on the beach at Manuel Antonio, near the national park. After all the adventu

res we had in the rainforest, we decided to spend the rest of our time in Costa Rica relaxi

ng at the beach. We did meet a couple of sloths hanging out, and made friends with the

monkeys playing outside our balcony. Bobby and I loved hiking into the national park to the gorgeous beaches there and, on our last day a couple of monkeys sat in a tree above our heads and playfully tossed nuts at us while we ate our lunch. We found this quite harmless and very amusing. Bobby likes to tell that story. He says it must mean the monkeys didn’t want to see us go. We’re planning to spend many anniversaries in Costa Rica, and one day, if we decide to have children, we will bring them to experience Costa Rica with us. It’s such a wonderful place to visit. I am so glad we chose to spend our honeymoon there.

Beach art
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5 Things to Pack for Your Costa Rica Adventure Tour

Whitewater Rafting on the Pacuare River

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

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

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

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Have a Blast on Vacation at La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano

 La Fortuna is one of the most visited areas in Costa Rica, with visitors and locals flocking to the region to see one of the country’s most famous landmarks, the Arenal Volcano.

Scientists believe that, geologically, Arenal is still a relatively young volcano at less than 7,500 years old, and that it laid dormant for hundreds of years before exploding on July 29, 1968. The explosion lasted several days, burying an area of 15 square kilometers under ash, lava and rocks. 87 locals lost their lives in this explosion. The three local towns of Tabacon, Pueblo Nuevo and San Luis were destroyed It prompted the locals to change the name of their town of “El Borio” to “La Fortuna,” meaning The Fortunate, as it was untouched by the explosion.

Since October of 2010, the Arenal Volcano has slowly seen its activity decrease, with no explosions recorded between December of 2010 and the present day.

Of course, La Fortuna has reinvented itself. It’s not only as a place to visit to see a volcano, but one of the top adventure destinations in Costa Rica, if not the world. Any vacation to Costa Rica is incomplete without a few adventures in this part of the country. You’ll find travelers from all walks of life and from all over the world when visiting the region. The town is family-friendly, with various activities suitable for younger children. It’s also a romantic destination for honeymooners searching for their own private piece of paradise as newlyweds. There’s a wonderful variety of hotels surrounding the town, from low-budget places to extreme luxury accommodations. Many have volcano views from the rooms.

So, what can you expect from a tour of La Fortuna? Here are a few suggestions:

·      Whitewater Rafting

·      Ziplining

·      Hanging Bridges

·      Canyoning

·      Caving

·      Guided Rainforest Hikes

·      Mountain Biking

·      Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

·      Fishing

·      Tubing

After some adventure, you’ll need to relax. Try a visit to one of the natural hot springs in the area. There are several springs and pools open to visitors, offering therapeutic soaks. This is one of the best ways to top off your visit to La Fortuna before heading to the beach.

Plan your next Costa Rican vacation with La Fortuna as a stop-off point. Contact us today, and we can recommend how to fit this enchanting destination into your itinerary.

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Newlywed Interview – Honeymoon in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a popular honeymoon destination for those who want an adventure to remember. From sunny white or black sand beaches, to rainforest canopy ziplines, to rural villages and days spent at artisan markets, there are many activities and joys to be shared for the newlywed couple.

Here’s our interview with a recently married couple from North Carolina, Alan and Arlissa, who honeymooned in Costa Rica in December. We’ve asked them to share some of their thoughts and experiences.

Costa Rica Rios: Out of all of the destination you could have chosen for a honeymoon, what drew you to visit Costa Rica?

Arlissa:  I’ve always dreamed of visiting Costa Rica, mostly because I love nature. I wanted to see first-hand the exotic animals and plants found throughout the country. I wanted to visit the rainforest.

Alan: I was intrigued by the rainforest, sure, but I can’t lie. I really wanted to go there for the surfing. I’ve been surfing since I was a kid, and I wanted a totally new experience. Visiting the Pacific Coast and hitting the surf was really high on my list.

Costa Rica Rios: During your honeymoon in Costa Rica, what were some unexpected delights you encountered?

Arlissa: The very first morning after we arrived in Costa Rica, I got up early because I was just so excited to be there. Alan was still sleeping, so I decided to take a walk around the hotel’s gardens and was delighted to see a sloth in the tree right next to our bungalow! I took it to be a sign of a great honeymoon to come and the experience was breathtaking and priceless.

Alan: I’m not sure if you’d call this a delight exactly, but more of a funny and memorable experience. While visiting the Manuel Antonio National Park near Quepos, we went in for a swim. While in the water, we spotted a pesky monkey trying to sort through our bags on the beach. We rushed up to scurry him off, and discovered he had been smart enough to unzip my backpack and open a package of plastic wrapped crackers! It was one of many little things that made our trip memorable. It’s something we still joke about now and then, especially when there are raccoons in the discussion.

Costa Rica Rios: Do you have any advice for other couples planning a honeymoon in Costa Rica?

Arlissa: Take as long of a trip as you can. We were there for almost two weeks and still didn’t get to do everything we wanted. We had a wonderful time, and we plan to go back sometime – hopefully soon, maybe for a special anniversary trip.

Alan: Don’t let anyone spoil your honeymoon ideas. There were some well-meaning people who tried to talk me out of a honeymoon in Costa Rica or from surfing while on our trip, but Arlissa and I were so excited to go there, and I’m so glad we did. We have some awesome memories and great pictures that we took.  I really think it was great for our relationship to take an adventurous trip together like that.

Costa Rica Rios: Thank you both for your time in answering our questions about your honeymoon in Costa Rica. For our readers interested in planning a special newlywed getaway to our lush and exciting destination, contact us for suggested itineraries and travel advice.

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Take a Costa Rica Biking Adventure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Finding Some Peace On Your Costa Rica Adventure

From a zip-line jungle canopy tour to whitewater rafting, the adrenaline pumping options for your Costa Rica adventure are endless. But Costa Rica also promises world-class PEACE at the United Nations University for Peace, which is headquartered in Ciudad Colón, San Jose, Costa Rica.

The UPEACE system was created in 1980 with a mission “to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations”. The University for Peace offers master’s degree programs in Peace and Conflict Studies. It also conducts training programs, study abroad programs and undergraduate credit building programs, all aimed at building a community of people who want to further peace and reduce conflict throughout the world.

UPEACE’s main campus in San Jose boasts a Nature Reserve, Recreational Park and Monument to Disarmament. While visiting the campus, enjoy tours focusing on natural history and Central American history, as well as UPEACE’s history and ongoing work. With biking paths, walking trails and observation points in place, and a hummingbird garden coming soon, a stop at the Reserve is a wonderful addition to your Costa Rica trip.

The University for Peace offers several activities for students. They include the 1 Billion Rising movement held this past February, and coordinated dances held in 207 countries with 1 billion participants to draw attention to the problem of violence against women. More than 30 UPEACE students participated in flash mobs at two of the university’s Costa Rica campuses. Contact us at Costa Rica Rios to plan your custom Costa Rica adventure today.

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The History of Zip Lining

Now mostly enjoyed as an adventure thrill, zip lining was actually an invention of necessity. Using gravity as a power source, workers in remote geographic regions, like China, the Costa Rican rainforest and the Australian Outback, once strung cables between two points to primarily move people and supplies. Oftentimes, zip lines were installed over canyons or rivers where other means of travel were difficult or impossible. The principle is still the same today, although the materials and technology are stronger, safer and just plain better.

Currently, zip lining is also known in various parts of the world as the flying fox, foefie slide, zip wire, aerial runway or aerial rope slide. History shows zip lining referred to by other names, including the flying fox and Tyrolean Crossing.  The term “an inclined strong” was used to describe it in the 1897 H.G. Wells novel “The Invisible Man.” Zip lining is a booming area of adventure tourism activity, especially in Costa Rica, where zip lines have been used since the 1970s. Other destinations for great zip lining include Nicaragua, Jamaica, Alaska, British Columbia, South Africa, Thailand, Israel, Spain and the Czech Republic. More than 700 zip line courses are available around the world.

In terms of specifications and safety, zip lines are designed to bear great loads and are safe when used properly. Platforms on a zip line course can hold at least 40,000 pounds. The half-inch wide, galvanized cables used in zip lines have a break strength greater than 22,000 pounds. The pulleys used to connect riders to the line have a break strength that’s more than 14,000 pounds.

Zip line tours in Costa Rica include views of waterfalls, the Pacuare River and rain forest canopy, Arenal Volcano, the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and native wildlife. There are dozens of miles of zip line for adventurers to enjoy.

Contact us to learn more about the zip line options available in Costa Rica.

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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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28 Costa Rica Locations Listed Among the World’s Most “Irreplaceable” Places

A team of international scientists recently compiled a list of the world’s most “irreplaceable” natural environments. These 2,300 places were recognized for their “unique habitats” that support rare plant and animal life.

Not surprisingly, some beautiful places in Costa Rica featured prominently in this survey. All told, 28 locations — many of them national parks or other preserves — made the list. Among them are Los Quetzales and Guanacaste national parks, Cocos Island World Heritage Site and Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve. These areas are home to exquisite plants and animals, including , multitudes of frogs, parrots, orchids, tapirs, monkeys and other exotic creatures. Perhaps one of the most striking is the quetzal, a bird with beyond-belief plumage.

As Costa Rica residents and tour operators, this news doesn’t surprise us. We have long known that Costa Rica is recognized worldwide as an important country for biodiversity. The unique rainforest environment here attracts birds, plants and animals that are rare global treasures.

Costa Rica is unique because so much of our country is untouched by civilization and technology. Many visitors come to Costa Rica each year to explore these beautiful natural areas and witness sights they simply can’t find anywhere else. This makes Costa Rica one of the top-visited countries worldwide.

If you are interested in gathering more information about the Costa Rica trips we offer, feel free to explore our website or contact us. We can put together some private guided tours for your group that feature some of the 28 most irreplaceable places on earth. Don’t forget to bring your camera and pack your binoculars.

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