Tag Archives: Costa Rica

Crocodile Bridge – Costa Rica’s Most Bizarre Tourist Attraction

A boat ride on a crocodile-infested river may sound like the ultimate nightmare to some but, for others, it can be an exhilarating highlight when visiting Costa Rica!

Crocodile Bridge crosses the brackish Tarcoles River in the Puntarenas Province of Costa Rica (just over half-way between San Jose and the Pacific seaside hub of Jaco) and is one of the country’s most bizarre tourist attractions. On any given day, dozens of crocodiles and dozens of tourists converge on this very spot, the ensuing popularity giving rise to an entire crocodile-themed tourism scene complete with cheesy souvenir stalls selling stuffed crocodiles and T-shirts and even a safari company offering up-close boat trips for the more adventurous visitor.

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Up until recently, Crocodile Bridge had remained a bizarre hidden secret in Puntarenas, known only to locals and intrepid explorers. Yet the rise of social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram has shattered the bridge’s anonymity and, in turn, has forced the government to step in and intervene.

For the safekeeping of visitors and protection of the crocodiles, The Ministry for Public Works and Transport is undertaking a project in March 2020, that will see the bridge widened and the additions of a 4-foot sidewalk, metal railing to prevent accidental falls and a concrete barrier to protect walkers from passing traffic.

Although a visit to this crocodile hot-spot isn’t as death-defying as it once was (when the bridge had nothing more than a flimsy railing) we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief for this latest turn of events. Dare-devils filming themselves feeding and getting dangerously close to the crocodiles in recent years have placed both themselves and the crocodiles at great risk and it’s a relief to know that the attraction – itself an incredible pit-stop on the way to the country’s most popular beaches – is being made much safer for both visitor and animal.

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Where is the Crocodile Bridge?

Just north of the town of Tarcoles and on the western edge of the Carara National Park, Crocodile Bridge is an unmissable stop for anyone travelling down the Carretera Pacifica 34 Road that heads south from the Alajuela Province and hugs the coast from Jaco all the way down past Manuel Antonio National Park, Uvita and the Corcovado National Park in the Osa Peninsula.

Right here.

 

About the Tarcoles River & Its Fearsome Crocs

Considered one of the most crocodile-infested rivers in the world (75 crocodiles per square mile) the Rio Grande de Tarcoles is formed at the convergence of the San Ramon and Virilla Rivers on the southern slopes of the Cordillera Central, and runs for about 70 miles west to the Pacific Ocean. Despite the unfortunate pollution in the river, the region is still home to an impressive array of birds, amphibians and reptiles.

The American crocodiles that live here are tamer than their Australian counterparts yet are still apex predators by all accounts. Safety, when visiting, is of the utmost importance. The Tarcoles crocs number in their thousands, the largest can weigh over 1,400 pounds and the oldest is believed to be around 70 years of age.

Seeing one of the largest congregations of crocodiles in the world at Crocodile Bridge is an exhilarating experience, let alone taking (very safe) boat trips along the river for even closer looks.

No matter where in Puntarenas you are headed, make sure you take some time out to visit Costa Rica’s most bizarre tourist attraction.

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Nearby Attractions – North of Crocodile Bridge

Punta Arenas Town – The seaside town of Punta Arenas is the capital of the province and easily reached from Crocodile Bridge along Route 27. Home to the largest concentration of tourist infrastructure, hotels, resorts and restaurants, the stretch north of Tarcoles is the most visited in Costa Rica and also the closest to the capital, San Jose, so it sees a huge influx of locals on weekends and all public holidays. From here, you can head off on a live-aboard diving adventure to world-famous Coco Island, feast on what is widely considered the best seafood in the whole country, soak up the rays on one of the many nearby beaches and shop, dine and party to your heart’s content. Here’s a Beginner’s Guide to Puntarenas to whet your appetite!

Monteverde Cloud Forest – The magical cloud forests of Monteverde are set apart from the country’s more tropical reserves and make for an ethereal travel experience. Soak up the splendor of the cloud-drenched forests on suspended bridge walks, take night-time guided walks to spot the more elusive wildlife and enjoy a thrilling array of adventure sports. Discover more about Monteverde and come see all the thrilling Activity Options we have in store for you.

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Nicoya Peninsula – The most visited of Costa Rica’s three exquisite peninsulas, Nicoya is easy to reach which means you can get lost in its wilderness even if you only have a long weekend in Costa Rica. Oodles of accommodation and adventure choices, a superb array of surfing beaches, prime wilderness brimming with exotic creatures and a thrilling choice of exceptional adventure sports is what awaits you here. Read this comparison on Costa Rica’s Stunning Peninsulas to see if the Nicoya is just right for your next Costa Rica vacation.

 

Nearby Attractions south of Crocodile Bridge

Carara National Park – The Tarcoles River forms the natural northern border of the Carara National Park, one of Costa Rica’s best birding destinations and the largest known Costa Rican habitat for scarlet macaws. Unusually bio-diverse and boasting both dry and tropical rain-forests, attracting a huge array of insects and, in turn, huge numbers of exotic birds. Known as a transition zone given its differing flora, Carara is one of the most unique and lesser-visited national parks in the country. Our favorite lodge for visits to Carara is the aptly-named Macaw Lodge, a stunning off-grid eco-resort that doubles as a conservation centre.

Jaco & nearby beaches – A hub of watersports and a town centre that offers a vibrant nightlife and everything you need for an enjoyable and active beach vacation in Costa Rica, Jaco is one of the most popular seaside stops in Puntarenas. Just north of Playa Hermosa and a great springboard for visiting the family-friendly beaches of Manuel Antonio, this whole stretch is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in Costa Rica.

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Manuel Antonio National Park – One of the top 2 most visited national parks of all, Manuel Antonio is revered for its luscious rain forest that tumbles straight into the sapphire seas of the Pacific, for its drop-dead-gorgeous beaches, high concentration of wildlife, arresting volcanoes and amazing array of active adventures like canopy tours, zip-lining, boat trips, hiking, mountain biking, snorkeling, white water rafting and more. Learn more about Manuel Antonio – Costa Rica’s Crown Jewel, see our extensive Day-trip Activity Options and you’ll soon realize why this is Costa Rica’s must-visit reserve.

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Uvita – Just an hour and a half’s drive south of Crocodile Bridge will see you reach Uvita, one of the best-placed springboards for visits to the Osa Peninsula if you don’t have enough time for a multi-day adventure there. The hub of the Marino Ballena National Park, one of the country’s best whale-watching destinations, Uvita offers an impressive array of adventure choices. From here, you can head off on an unforgettable day of snorkeling or scuba diving Caño Island (a mecca for whales and dolphins), tackling a day-long hike in Corcovado National Park or Marino Ballena or staying close to the shore and enjoying a fantastic day of surfing. These are our most popular Uvita Activity Options and our favorite Uvita Hotels.

The Osa Peninsula & Corcovado National Park – If you have a little more time up your sleeve, then you can also include a few days’ explorations of what is unarguably one of the country’s remotest and most isolated destinations. Corcovado National Park, which covers over two-thirds of the Osa Peninsula, boasts 50% of the total flora and fauna of Costa Rica and is widely considered one of the world’s most bio-diverse regions. Visits here usually require more time and effort, given the isolation, although you’d be hard-pressed to choose a more rewarding destination. If you’re a love of pristine wilderness, this place is simply unparalleled. Your Guide to Corcovado details the highlights and logistics of a visit and an in=depth overview of the Osa Peninsula’s best offerings.

A stop-over at Crocodile Bridge is easily done, whether you’re planning to include the northern or southern Pacific coastlines on your next adventure vacation in Costa Rica. At Costa Rica Rios, we offer fully-guided and bespoke adventure tours through this magnificent country.

Want to know more?

Here’s where you’ll find us

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US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485

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Visit La Sabana Stadium – Costa Rica’s Loving Ode to Football

The first truly world-class arena built in Central America, La Sabana is one of the most iconic buildings in all of Costa Rica. In a country where football is so much more than just sport, a football stadium of this calibre likewise represents more than mere entertainment. La Sabana’s prominence is a huge source of pride for Ticos and a visit, to either tour the impressive park or attend a soccer match or concert, is an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Offering a glimpse into a side of the local culture most tourists never get to see, a visit to La Sabana, Costa Rica’s loving ode to football, is one of the most rewarding things you can do in San Jose.

La Sabana Stadium

 

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Out With The Old And In With The State-Of-The-Art New – The Building Of La Sabana Stadium

Costa Rica’s old national football stadium, on the same site as the current one, was built back in the 1920s and accommodated about 25,000 soccer-mad spectators. The idea for a much-improved replacement first emerged in 2007, when then-President Sanchez, inspired by China’s recent constructions for their upcoming Olympic Games, set up bilateral relations with the Asian country to secure some experienced help in the building of a futuristic stadium.

With China’s invaluable help and complete funding (to the tune of an estimated USD 100 million) the first foundations for the astonishing La Sabana Football Stadium were laid in 2009. Construction took less than two years and the stadium was inaugurated, with a friendly between Costa Rica and China, on March 26th, 2011. The celebrations carried on in the Costa Rican capital for almost two consecutive weeks.

The building and gifting of La Sabana Stadium by China to Costa Rica is said to have been of tremendous benefit to the two country’s relations, with Costa Rica making the Asian nation its second-biggest free trading partner soon after. Here’s an interesting Business Insider piece on what these strengthened diplomatic relations have meant for the two countries.

La Sabana Stadium

 

La Sabana Metropolitan Park & The Jewel of the Prairie

To locals, Costa Rica’s national football stadium is known as the “Jewel of the Prairie” in reference to the expansive metropolitan park where it resides. The stadium, in fact, is the crown jewel of La Sabana, an impressive sport and entertainment quarter in downtown San Jose that offers sport, recreation and relaxation.

Up until the 1950s, La Sabana Metropolitan Park hosted the country’s international airport. Once the new one was built elsewhere, the whole area was declared a heritage site and reverted to a haven of nature-filled recreation. In the park, adjacent to La Sabana Stadium, you’ll find jogging and walking trails, a gorgeous lake, the city’s municipal swimming pool and national skating rink, the offices of the National Cycling Federation, a shooting range and, perhaps more importantly for tourists, the Costa Rica National Art Museum (which used to be the old airport’s main building).

Dubbed ‘The Lungs of San Jose”, La Sabana Metropolitan Park is a wonderful place in which to spend an entire day.

La Sabana Stadium

 

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La Sabana Football Stadium Today

The new football stadium is located in the north-western corner of La Sabana Metropolitan Park and is the official home of the country’s national football team. Aside from national and international football matches, the stadium holds all major sporting and entertainment events, including music concerts attracting international stars from all over the globe.

Although the size of the stadium couldn’t be enlarged very much and had to stay in line with the space of the old stadium, the designers still managed to include 10,000 more seats and La Sabana now accommodates 35,000 spectators on a three-tiered seating area. With two over-sized high-tech screens and amazing lighting, catching a match (or concert) here is a truly incredible experience.

Considered a true architectural masterpiece, La Sabana Football Stadium hosts a small but interesting sports’ history museum, various office buildings and an events hall. Today, La Sabana is the biggest and most technologically-advanced arena built, not only in Costa Rica but in the entire Central American region. San Jose’s most iconic and revered building, with a roof designed to resemble a Costa Rican coffee bean and a seating design that means everyone gets exceptional views no matter where they are, this is an event arena you shouldn’t miss visiting when in town.

La Sabana Stadium

 

Upcoming events @ La Sabana Football Stadium

The English-language Estadio Nacional Website keeps an updated list of all upcoming events so you can see if there’s an event happening during your tour of Costa Rica. You’ll find the stadium in the Sabana neighborhood, about 2 miles northwest of the city center. The best way to reach the stadium during an event is with public transport as, funnily enough, the architects forgot to include sufficient parking spaces in the stadium grounds!

The Metropolitan Park of La Sabana is, in itself, a beautiful place to visit and is a favored Sunday spot with locals and visitors alike. On weekends, expect to see groups of locals playing friendly matches of football and volleyball, enjoying picnics and gentle strolls. This is an especially wonderful spot to visit if you love a morning job – stay nearby to have the park at your doorstep and we bet it’ll leave you with a great impression of San Jose.

In 2020, the local council is undertaking a massive regeneration program to replace the once-imported Australian gum trees with native Costa Rican species, which local birds prefer. Despite this minor disruption (which is actually a very impressive task) the park is still immensely enjoyable to visit.

 

Nearby attractions

San Jose has always been regarded as a mere springboard for adventures in Costa Rica and we find many guests have the impression they need to spend as little time as possible in the big and bustling capital. Granted, the country’s National Parks, Cloud Forests, Peninsulas and Top Wilderness Experiences are certainly the main highlights yet you need not shy away from spending a few days in the capital.

San Jose’s bustling dining scene is reason enough to visit although the capital, being the most prominent city in the whole country, also offers an array of awesome attractions, including The Museum of Per-Colombian Gold, The National Museum and National Theatre of Costa Rica as well as outdoor markets, family-friendly amusement parks, craft breweries and plenty of shopping opportunities. You’ll also find an array of hotels directly bordering La Sabana Park, in case you’d love to stay nearby.

From here, those who are short on time can also tackle memorable road trips to popular spots like Arenal, Monteverde and the beaches of Tamarindo.

 

The Best Adventure Vacations in Costa Rica

At Costa Rica Rios, we run award-winning adventure tours in this magnificent country, taking active and thrill-seeking explorers both on and way off the beaten path. We cater to adventure-seeking families, couples and singles alike and offer both fully and partly guided tours. What’s more, we create bespoke itineraries that allow you to Build Your Own Tour, to include only those activities and destinations you love most.

Contact us when you’re ready to plan your unforgettable adventure in Costa Rica!

US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485

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Can You Take a One-way Cruise to Costa Rica?

Taking a one-way cruise to Costa Rica to enjoy an extended adventure vacation with a difference is an option that’s becoming increasingly popular. Not only does cruising offer an extra adventure in its own right but it also offers a stellar travel option for those who simply don’t wish to fly. Having said that, it may surprise you to know that whilst roundtrip cruises abound, one-way cruises to Costa Rica are much harder to find.

Below, we detail all your Costa Rica cruising options so you can best decide which one is right for you.

 

Roundtrip Cruises to Costa Rica – A Rewarding (Yet Fleeting) Adventure

Being so close to the Panama Canal means Costa Rica is a very popular cruising destination in Central America, with several major cruise lines (the most popular being Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Princess) offering itineraries that either ply the eastern Caribbean or western Pacific coastlines and, in a few special cases, both.  Cruises mostly depart from Miami or Fort Lauderdale in the US and can run from anywhere between 7 and 21 days.

Where do cruises stop in Costa Rica? The main cruising port along Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline is Puerto Caldera near Punta Arenas whilst, over on the eastern coast, in the small town of Limon. These are the country’s two major ports, with marinas big enough to accommodate mega cruise liners. Choose a smaller ship, however, and your itinerary could include other (smaller) ports as well.

Which coastline is better to cruise in Costa Rica? The Pacific is the most famous, serviced and popular coastline in Costa Rica so you’ll find the majority of cruise itineraries head to the western side of the country. With an array of phenomenal destinations that are easy to reach from Punta Arenas, the Pacific coast offers the greatest array of day-trip excursions as well. Over on the Caribbean, you’ll discover a much wilder coastline, where port services are limited yet nature-based adventures phenomenal.

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How much time off do you get to explore? When you choose a round-trip cruise to Costa Rica, you won’t have much time to explore, this being the main bone of contention for prospective travelers. Usually, one full day off at each port of call is all you have at your disposal when choosing these types of cruises, so although all the major lines offer an impressive array of day-trip options at every stop – everything from volcano climbing to whitewater rafting, zip-lining, kayaking, horseback riding, snorkeling and hiking to stunning waterfalls (amongst many more) – you simply won’t have the time to enjoy them all.

The benefits of round-trip cruises to Costa Rica – If you’re short on time and want to visit several destinations in Central America in the one trip, then round-trip cruises that include a couple of stops in Costa Rica could be a good option. This is especially true if you’ve never traveled to less-developed countries before and are a little hesitant about an extended vacation there. If you just want a taste of Costa Rica and want to see what it’s like (to ascertain whether you’d love to come back on an extended trip) a round-trip Caribbean or Central American cruise could suit you well.

The downside of round-trip cruises to Costa Rica – This type of extended whirlwind cruises can certainly be a lot of fun (and showcase a host of exceptional places) yet, by their very nature, they can’t deliver a very comprehensive experience in any one given place. Cruises are mostly about fleeting visits to many places rather than in-depth adventures in  a few chosen spots.

If your aim is to enjoy a comprehensive adventure vacation in Costa Rica and want to include a cruising experience along the way, a better option would be to take a one-way cruise instead.

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One-Way Cruises To/From Costa Rica – The Best of Both Worlds

If you wish to explore Costa Rica more thoroughly yet still enjoy a cruise experience, the one-way cruising option is definitely the better choice. Travel to our shores in style and have the freedom to stay as long as you wish once you arrive. For the return journey, you could either take another cruise back or (the most popular option) fly back.

A cruise down/fly up will arguably offer you the best of both worlds.

Where do one-way cruises depart/arrive? At time of writing, only a select number of specialist cruise companies offer one-way cruises to Costa Rica although, given the increase in demand for this service, we suspect many more will be offered in the near future. The most popular options are Windstar and Variety cruises, the latter offering journeys on the stunning M/S Panorama, an exquisite three-mast motor sailor. One-way itineraries ply the route between Puerto Caldera (Costa Rica) and Colon (Panama) and last between 7 and 11 days. Windstar also offers a 10-day itinerary that departs from Miami (FL).

The benefits of one-way cruises to Costa Rica – Aside from the obvious benefit of having freedom and independence once in Costa Rica, Windstar and Variety also offer the stellar bonus of daytime sailing across the famed and historic Panama Canal. These are spectacular travel adventures on their own right!

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Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

The downside of one-way cruises – The lack of extensive choice of one-way cruises means you will likely have to take the same cruise twice if you wish to cruise there and back and this is something that will not appeal to everyone. Moreover, there are only a handful of cruises on offer on any given year (usually only in December and January).

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What Adventures Can You Enjoy in Costa Rica Once You Arrive?

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At Costa Rica Rios, we can help you plan a week of exhilarating adventures in Costa Rica, whether you reach us by boat or plane. For ease of reference, we’ve divided up our most popular tours by travel style:

Honeymoon & Romance: Given that Costa Rica is such a popular wedding and honeymoon destination, it won’t surprise you to know that romantic adventures are among our most popular offerings. Because we know that no two couples are alike, however, our array of active honeymoon itineraries is extensive and includes super luxe, adult-only resorts, barefoot romance immersed in wilderness and weeklong itineraries that perfectly balance rest, relaxation and romance with oodles of outdoor activities for adrenaline junkies as well.

Family Vacations: With a culture that literally embraces children and a country that is tailor-made for family fun, Costa Rica is undoubtedly one of the best family-friendly destinations on the planet. On our family adventure vacations, we love to showcase the greatness of this nation and its wonderful people, planning itineraries that are unique, fun and budget-friendly, whilst focusing on activities and adventures that are suitable for everyone. For quality time together in nature, enjoying each other’s company and our wonderful country, our Costa Rica Rios family vacations are unparalleled.

Week of Rivers: Adrenalin junkies and whitewater sports addicts will have an unforgettable time on our kayaking and canoeing adventures. Not only can you experience some of the most coveted river-based adventures in Costa Rica but you can also take advantage of our non-paddling activity options to bring family and friends along for the exhilarating ride. We offer adventures on Class II to IV rapids on the world-renowned Pacuare, Sarapiqui and Pejibaye rivers, all three rated among the best whitewater sports destinations on earth.

Week of Adventures: For that adventure seeker who simply wants to do it all in a week, our adventure packages are unbeatable. From kayaking to rafting, snorkeling, wildlife-spotting, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and so much more – this is the one 8-day itinerary that packs all the best adventures Costa Rica has to offer.

Off the Beaten Path & Nature: For those who have a fervent desire to explore the remotest corners of Costa Rica, we offer exceptional adventure-packed itineraries to some of the most isolated corners of the country, including Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast and the spellbinding Osa Peninsula.

Build Your Own Vacation: Aside from our very popular group tours, we also offer bespoke adventure tours that are planned with your desires (and budget) in mind. Simply tell us where in Costa Rica you’d like to go, and what activities you’d like to try, and we’ll advise you on the best options available.

Whether you wish to simply avoid air travel or are looking for a way to combine an adventure vacation in Costa Rica with a relaxing cruise, you’ll hopefully find a cruising option to suit your needs. For more info on Costa Rica adventure packages, simply contact us to know more.

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US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485

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Horseback Riding in Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja is not amongst the most visited national parks in Costa Rica which is the reason discerning adventurers head here to enjoy horseback riding adventures away from the crowds. Although the park (and whole Guanacaste region) are becoming more popular thanks to the extension of the Liberia International Airport, this is still a side of the country not everyone gets to experience.

If you’re after a quieter and more immersive wilderness experience on your next adventure vacation in Costa Rica, and simply wish to share your spoils with fewer people on horseback, consider Rincon De la Vieja an exceptional choice.

 

Overview of Rincon de la Vieja – Best Way to Visit

This stunning park is merely 16 miles north-east of the town of Liberia and its airport, taking as little as an hour’s drive to reach with no traffic. That means you can enjoy a horseback riding tour here even if you’re simply passing through and transiting to other Costa Rican provinces – a day off either before or after your flight is all you need to at least get a taste of this beautiful Guanacaste highlight.

Rincon de la Vieja comprises 35,000 acres of sensational wilderness, comprising the arresting Rincon de la Vieja Volcano (one of only two active volcanoes in the country) as well as the slightly taller Santa Maria Volcano, and a bevy of natural hot springs and mud baths, gorgeous waterfalls and unspoiled jungles and forests, all inhabited by a wide array of exotic wildlife.

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The park is easy to explore on foot given the well-maintained trails but there’s no denying you can see and do more when you visit on a horseback riding tour, especially on a hot summer’s day.

Given the remoteness and relative isolation of the park, visits are difficult to organize independently – everyone stays in a lodge or resort nearby and most will simply organize their transfers and excursions directly through their accommodation. Even if you have a rental car or can book out a taxi for an entire day, it’s unarguably easier and more enjoyable to visit on an organised tour. With a local guide to show you around and private transport at your beck and call, everything is infinitely more enjoyable.

Which is probably why our horseback riding tours to Rincon de la Vieja are so very popular!

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The park is open 8am to 3pm, six days a week (closed on Mondays) and boasts two entrances: one at Santa Maria and one at Las Pailas. Entry fee is USD $15 at time of writing.

The two entrances offer quite distinct experiences, with Las Pailas (on the Pacific side) home to hot springs and mud pools and being much drier, and the Caribbean entrance (Santa Maria) showcasing much more luscious wilderness and, usually, a higher chance of rain.

Please note that although Rincon de la Vieja Volcano has not erupted for thousands of years, small signs of (smokey) life were visible in 2011 and, as a precaution, hikes to the rim have not been allowed since. Expect warm temps all year (ranging between 80 and 90 F) with much drier and hotter conditions on the Las Pailas side and more rain yet slightly cooler temps on the Santa Maria side.

 

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Wildlife & wilderness of Rincon de la Vieja

The dense and pristine forests of Rincon hide a stunning array of creatures, among them three distinct species of monkeys (howler, white-faced and spider), three species of wild cats (jaguars, ocelots and pumas), as well as armadillos, tapirs, an impressive array of tropical snakes and other reptiles and nearly 300 species of exotic birds, among them owls, falcons and plenty of beautifully colorful parrots.

The wilderness here is quite unique and varied, part of the reason the park was nationalised and protected in the early 1970s. The rich fertile volcanic soil nourishes both dry and rain forests, with rare flora in abundance.

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Overview of Rincon de la Vieja tours

Horseback riding in Rincon de la Vieja is one of the most popular inclusions in our adventure tours of Guanacaste. Not only is horseback riding perfect if you want to explore the luscious national park without the need to hike, but it’s an activity that’s at the very heart of local culture – stepping into the shoes of a Tico cowboy or girl is a fantastic way to enjoy a cultural experience and a superlative excursion in nature to boot.

Plus, Rincon boasts sublime waterfalls you can actually swim in so what better way to hit an adventure trifecta than by horseback riding, wildlife-spotting and waterfall swimming all on the same excursion?!

Horseback ride to Oropendola Waterfall – This lesser-visited waterfall would have to rate as one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful secret gems and most standard horseback riding tours will take you here. Oropendola is a gorgeous 82-foot cascade that creates a turquoise pool at its base, in which you can swim. On a leisurely, hour-long ride, you’ll meander through the tropical dry forests of the Las Pailas side of the park, reaching the canyon and the very top of the falls. A quick hike down will see you reach the base and that marvelous natural pool. You’ll have plenty of time to frolic in the refreshing waters of the Rio Bianco – expect the excursion to take between 2.5 and 3 hours.

What to pack – Make sure you’re wearing closed shoes and long pants for the ride (you’ll be given a safety riding helmet), don’t forget sunscreen and do pack some bug spray as well. If you fancy a swim, bring a towel and wear your swimming costume underneath your clothes, as there won’t be anywhere for you to change once you reach the top of the canyon.

If all this is starting to sound a little too tame for you, adventurous thrill-seeker you, then we have an even better and more exhilarating option: a FULL-ON adventure day in the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano park!

 

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Our Extreme Adventure Full-day Excursion in Rincon De La Vieja

There’s more than one reason National Geographic named us one of the best adventure travel companies on earth – we certainly don’t do things by half-measures. For the thrill-seeker and adventure-lover, we serve up an intense, thrill-filled day in Rincon de la Vieja that includes horseback riding – one we rate among the best we offer.

Want some serious fun? Then how about rappelling down a canyon wall and then rock-climbing back up, flying along no fewer than eight exceptional zip-lines, tackling a horseback ride to the wilder Colorado River, where you’ll jump into inflatable kayaks for a stint of heart-stopping whitewater rafting, before finally relaxing and unwinding in one of the park’s many natural mud pools.

We offer this superb adventure day out complete with private transfers and, of course, our best and most experienced bilingual guides. If it’s an especially adventurous day out in Rincon that you’re after, and a unique horseback ride, this will certainly hit the spot.

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Our Rincon de la Vieja Adventure day with horseback ride in Rincon de la Vieja is one of several Tamarindo Activity Options we have on offer. On all our tours, we include private transfers from wherever you happen to be staying, bilingual guides as well as a delectable lunch on our full-day excursions. Travelling to Costa Rica with kids? Just let us know and we can plan a day out the whole family will love.

Here’s some more adventure inspiration for your upcoming visit:

Private surf lesson – Spend a couple of hours on Tamarindo’s world-renowned waves, guided by a professional surfing instructor, and you and go home with a brand-new skill under your belt. We can organize lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers and can plan alternative activities if you’re travelling with friends or family members who don’t wish to surf.

Beach paddle boarding – Easier and undoubtedly more relaxing than surfing, stand-up paddle boarding is one of the most enjoyable activities to be had on Costa Rica’s beaches, lakes, rivers and estuaries. In Tamarindo, you can enjoy the thrills of ocean boarding!

Sport fishing – This is one of Costa Rica’s quietest achievers, an activity that attracts avid anglers from all over the world. Head off into open water with your master fisher-guide, on the lookout for saltfish and marlin (which we’ll release back into the sea) or tuna and mahi-mahi (which we can clean and fillet for you to take back to your lodge).

Tamarindo estuary kayak & walking tour – This 2-hour adventure will see you explore the Tamarindo estuary, home to crocodiles, iguanas, sea birds, howler monkeys and a host of other tropical wildlife, both by boat and on foot.

Sunset cruise – Spend an entire afternoon sailing along the Pacific coastline of Guanacaste and you’ll be in for an exquisite experience. Be on the lookout for sea turtles, dolphins and whales whilst enjoying a delicious cocktail and a wonderful lunch. Next, snorkel and relax as you wait for the most amazing spectacle of all: a Guanacaste sunset!

Turtle nesting tour – Head to Guanacaste between October and March and you can join a night-time turtle nesting tour. The beaches of Tamarindo are among the world’s most important sea turtle nesting sites, attracting hundreds of leatherback turtles during the nesting season. Casting your eyes on this magical spectacle is a truly priceless Costa Rica experience.

At Costa Rica Rios, we don’t just run some of the best-organised adventure tours in the world, we also plan bespoke itineraries and private tours that are designed with your specific interests and needs in mind. No matter where or when you wish to enjoy a horseback ride, be it in Guanacaste, Rincon de la Vieja or any of our other preferred destinations, just let us know and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Contact us below and let us help you plan the Costa Rica adventure of a lifetime!

Here are a few more guides you may find useful:

US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485

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(Infographic) Guide to Turtle Nesting on Costa Rica Adventure Vacations

Costa Rica is one of the world’s best turtle nesting sites and its beaches are protective ground for six distinct species, namely the Olive Ridley, Atlantic Green, Pacific Green, Leatherback, Hawksbill and Loggerhead. Watching the spectacle of colonies of sea turtles nesting on a beach, or little ones hatching and rushing into the surf, is one of the most coveted ‘must-do’ experiences on adventure vacations in Costa Rica.

Interestingly enough, given the fact that both the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines of the country are prime spots for nesting, and also considering that different species nest at different times, there is actually a nesting and hatching event happening somewhere in Costa Rica, at any time of year you visit. However, whilst some sites are easily accessible and reliable enough to be considered ‘prime turtle nesting watching spots’, others are remote and, at times, completely inaccessible. To increase your chances of witnessing this incredible event, you’ll want to set your sights on the most prominent spots.

Check out the infographic below, which highlights where each species of turtle is likely to be found.

https://www.costaricarios.com/costa-ricas-magical-arribada-olive-ridley-turtles/

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A quick glance of the above map highlights the three most prominent turtle-watching destinations in Costa Rica: Tortuguero National Park on the north-eastern Caribbean coast, and the north-western Pacific Coast, and the western coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, most especially on Ostional Beach – where current arribadas (mass nesting events) over the last week have been absolutely astonishing.

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When it comes to arribadas, it’s always worth mentioning that although nesting events are timely and dependable, they are still dictated by Mother Nature so there’s never a way to actually guarantee a sighting. You can read more about the magical arribadas of Olive Ridley Turtles seen nesting above on Ostional Beach, where you’ll learn that nesting instincts are still mysterious to scientists and that, although turtles nest in their favourite spot all year long, there are periods when they turn up, over a matter of a few days, in their thousands.

Here’s a quick overview of the prime nesting (large turtle icon) and hatching (small turtle icons) in Costa Rica:

https://costa-rica-guide.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Turtle-Nesting-Hatching-Calendar-Locations.png

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You can easily combine the info on the two graphics to ascertain when the best time of year is to see nesting of various turtle species. Considering that most visitors will probably not be too focused on a specific species – but rather the greatest chance of seeing mass nesting events of any turtle – the very best time to visit on Costa Rica adventure vacations is:

  • between August and November to see nesting on the Pacific side, for Olive Ridley Turtles, renowned for having the largest arribadas of all

 

  • in March and April (Leatherback) and again August and September (Green) in Tortuguero on the Caribbean side. Tortuguero boasts the largest nesting site for Green turtles in the western hemisphere

 

Adding a Turtle Nesting Visit On Your Adventure Vacation in Costa Rica

At Costa Rica Rios, we are experts at including incredible turtle nesting events to our itineraries, depending on the time of year you visit (and where) as well as up-to-date information we get on the ground. Although it is impossible to pre-plan a visit solely for the purpose of seeing an arribada (you could try but you’d want to stay in one spot for a few weeks!) we are constantly updated on current events, as they unfold, nearby our prime spots.

Witnessing turtle nesting events in Costa Rica is (and should be) a highly regulated affair, as overcrowding on beaches (by visitors) can have detrimental effects on the wildlife. Always visit a nesting beach with a guide and always follow their instructions. This way, you’ll have the best and most rewarding experience of all: you’ll witness one of nature’s greatest spectacles and know your visit will not have any negative impact.

For this and everything else you’d like to know about adventure vacations in Costa Rica, contact us today.

 

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Snorkeling in Costa Rica – ALL You Need to Know

With more than 800 miles of spectacular coastline consisting of coral reefs, volcanic beaches and pristine forests that tumble into the ocean, Costa Rica is unsurprisingly rated one of the best diving and snorkeling countries on earth. Framed on the west by the cool Pacific and the east by the balmy Caribbean, the tropical country also offers quite distinct underwater experiences. Where you go snorkeling will determine the kind of treasures you’ll get to see, and the time of year you visit will determine just how good the underwater visibility will be.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions in regards to snorkeling adventure vacations in Costa Rica.

Can You Go Snorkeling Anywhere in Costa Rica?

Not quite. The country’s coast may be long and inviting yet not all of it is accessible to snorkelers. The eastern (Caribbean) side is notoriously remote, which is gorgeous in one way but also means that, essentially, there are only a few choice spots for exceptional snorkeling. Mind you, these few select spots serve up exceptional sights, with a multitude of tropical fish, reef sharks and even eagle rays making regular appearances for (very delighted) snorkelers.

When you get to see THIS, do you really need to go anywhere else?

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Over on the Pacific side, the sea isn’t as calm – in fact, this side is revered for its surfing waves – and the movement of sediment means that sometimes visibility can be a bit hit and miss. Luckily, however, the Pacific coast also boasts a few spectacular islands offering sublime snorkeling galore. When the coastal waters seem a little murky, just hop on a boat trip to one of the islands, you’ll likely find much better visibility away from the coast.

 

Where to Find the Best Snorkeling Spots in Costa Rica

Generally speaking, the best snorkeling spots in the country offer world-class rewards although to really see the best, you will need to join a boat excursion. Free-shore snorkeling, whilst still very good and genially convenient, still doesn’t offer the kind of amazing sights you’ll get when you explore uninhabited areas that have never been built up.

For all these reasons, few people head to Costa Rica solely to snorkel. That’s the primary reason multi-adventure vacations are so popular here. On a week long adventure, you can snorkel a couple of exceptional places PLUS enjoy zip-lining, whitewater rafting and kayaking, canyoning, horseback riding and so much more.

This is, after all, what Costa Rica does best.

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What Can You See Snorkeling in Costa Rica?

From sea turtles to rays, starfish, reef sharks, dolphins, whales and thousands of colorful tropical fish, the seas lapping Costa Rica host an abundance of marine life. Pick the right place at the right time of year, and snorkeling in Costa Rica really is unparalleled.

 

Best Time to Visit Costa Rica for Snorkeling

Underwater visibility is hampered by rain so it reasons that you’ll want to head to Costa Rica during the driest months (the first four of the year) when seas are calm and the sky crystal clear. This bodes well for snorkeling excursions on the Pacific side (December to April) whilst, on the Caribbean side (renowned for receiving a lot more rain, all year long) the driest months are usually September and October. All that gorgeous tropical rain forest is nourished by copious rain so you should actually expect some rain at any time during your adventure vacation in Costa Rica. Chances of it being a downpour, however, are very low during these drier months.

Sea temperatures are consistently warm although consider renting a wet suit if you’re heading out for a long time or to an island lapped by colder seas.

 

Can Anyone Go Snorkeling?

Generally speaking, yes. Snorkeling doesn’t require any special skill set although whether you’ll feel immediately comfortable floating face down with a mask on your face and a snorkel in your mouth is a subjective matter. It’s fair to say that snorkeling just feels ‘weird’ for everyone at first but, after a bit of trail and error, 90% of people get used to the feeling of it very quickly. Being able to see outstanding underwater life is a wonderful incentive!

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Costa Rica is perfect to master the art of snorkeling – If you’re not a confident swimmer and have never even tried snorkeling, you may want to give it a go somewhere with exceptionally calm seas or even take a private class with an instructor. Sometimes, it helps to not be taught by your travel partner and, instead, take a time-out with a professional. Taking that pressure off your shoulders by spending an hour or so with an instructor will likely make you relax in the water a lot more and that’s what will help you get the hang of snorkeling. When heading out into the sea on a snorkeling excursion, it is always imperative to let your guide know if you’re new to snorkeling, this way they’ll keep a special eye out on you, tell you about the best places to practice and bring a floatie vest along.

There’s an ideal snorkel spot for everyone here – In our list of favorite snorkeling spots in Costa Rica detailed below, we offer an array of destinations suitable for all sorts of skill-set and highlight a few very special places you can reach right off the beach. Whilst it’s true that some of the most special snorkeling spots in the country are remote and only accessible on a boat trip, there are still plenty of ‘local’ secret spots that cost no money to reach at all. You know, aside the rental car and gear rental fee! Moreover, given that it’s highly unlikely you will visit Costa Rica only to snorkel, we’ve divided our list by region (Pacific, Caribbean and island-based) to make it even easier for you to home in on the closest best snorkeling spot depending on where you intend to vacation.

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Best Snorkeling on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast

Manuel Antonio National Park – It’s crazy to think that the most-visited national park in Costa Rica is also its smallest yet if there’s a wilderness haven that proves size isn’t everything, it would have to be Manuel Antonio. Ultra-rich in biodiversity, the park cascades into the sea – this is the kind of place where you might spot a sloth or monkey just hanging on a tree overlooking the beach. That very beach, called Playa Manuel Antonio, boasts marine-enriched rocks on its southern end and is particularly revered for its large schools of fish. The only downside is that the seabed is prone to sediment movement after rains so, unless the sky has been bone-dry for days on end, you may not be able to see much. If you’re visiting the park and staying around the Central Pacific region, this really is your best free-shore snorkeling bet.

Marino Ballena National Park – Home to the largest coral rock reef on the Pacific coast, this spectacular southern belle attracts sea turtles, rays and fish galore. Although it’s not possible to snorkel right of the beach here, you can join a boat trip to the closest island that’s part of this marine reserve, and snorkel from there. This is the most spectacular snorkeling destination in the southern Pacific coast and about the best place to see whales in migration – fantastic visibility usually lasts from December all the way to July but the earlier in the dry season you go, the better.

Bahía Junquillal National Wildlife Refuge – Mostly renowned as a birdwatcher’s paradise, Junquillal is actually an off-beat snorkeler’s dream. Lesser-visited, peppered with coastal mangroves and bursting with sea (and land) life, the reserve is a gorgeous place in which to spend a whole day drenched in nature. Just an hour’s drive from the Liberia Airport, the refuge boasts virgin wilderness, a tranquil vibe and a stunning 1.5-mile long sandy beach where you can swim and free-snorkel at leisure.

Calzon del Pobre Beach – This secluded, white sandy beach is on the southwestern end of the Bahia Hermosa, and its turquoise waters are a haven for angelfish, damselfish, butterflyfish and porcupine fish. The water is consistently translucent during dry season and the fact this section of the bay is totally wild (so pack a picnic lunch and everything you’ll need for the day) just adds to the appeal. Occasionally, you’ll have visitors on snorkeling boat trips popping in for a visit, but head here in the morning, snorkel right off the beach and enjoy having this paradise all to yourself.

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Best Snorkeling on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast

Cahuita National Park – The largest coral reef on the eastern coast of the country is a vibrant canvas of colors, home to a startling number of fish, rays, reef sharks and amazing coral, as well as calm waters that suit novices to a tee. Remember to head here in September or October for the best visibility of all and enjoy spending an entire day exploring this incredible 3.5-mile-long treasure-trove of underwater wilderness.

Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge – A gorgeous maze of walking trails leas visitors to sublime remote beaches, from where you can snorkel to your heart’s delight. The idyllic waters attract turtles, fish and dolphins and is one of three places in Costa Rica that is a sanctuary for the endangered West Indian manatee, the gentlest elephant of the sea. Just note that if you can hear any kind of motorized boat, you will probably not see a manatee anywhere near it, so keep an eye out if the park is particularly quiet during your visit.

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Best Snorkeling on Costa Rica Islands

Avid snorkelers and SCUBA divers who want to be blown right out of the water (pun intended) ought to plan a boat trip to one (or several) of Costa Rica’s islands.

It is right here that the underwater magic happens.

Cocos Island National Park – UNESCO-listed Cocos is what put Costa Rica on the snorkeling and diving world-map and if you’re looking for that ‘ultimate’ snorkeling destination, then you can stop looking, right now. Over 300 miles off the Pacific Coast of the country, Isla de los Coco is rated the best dive and snorkel site in Central America and attracts explorers from all over the world. The downside is that you can only visit Cocos on week long live-aboard boat trip since the island is not developed. The upside is that the island is not developed (ha!) and it is, essentially, a paradise for the wildlife both in and out of the water. We’re taking way over 1,000 species of marine life and jaw-dropping coral. Revered for attracting scalloped hammerhead sharks, Cocos is a bucket-list snorkel spot that’s only suitable for experienced snorkelers.

Islas Santa Catalina – This cluster of islands off the Pacific Coast attracts all marine life great and small, including whales, dolphins, turtles, reef sharks, octopus and at least half a dozen species of rays. These spectacular rocky islets are world-known, attracting international experienced divers and snorkelers to Guanacaste every year who find it an astonishing alternative to the Cocos, mentioned above. These islands are easy to reach from Tamarindo.

Islas Murciélagos – The Bat Islands of Guanacaste are nearby Santa Catalina and offer equally rewarding snorkeling. Given the strong currents, snorkeling in both archipelagos is really only advised for experienced divers and snorkelers.

Caño Island Biological Reserve – The prime snorkel spot in the wild Osa Peninsula is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gem just a few miles off the coast. Brightly colored coral frames the shores, teeming with a cacophony of fish. This is the spot where beginners can also have a field day as waters are calm and inviting.

Isla Tortuga – If you’re after a family-friendly snorkeling spot in Costa Rica, then consider Turtle Island your ideal escape. Hop on a boat from Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsula and explore the calm waters here, brimming with a wealth of tropical fish. Take a whole-day boat excursion and you can soak up whale and dolphin watching on your way there, plus plenty of swimming and time on the glorious beaches.

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Snorkeling is just one of an amazing array of water sports on offer in Costa Rica. Combined with plenty of land-based adventures, your Costa Rica Honeymoon, Family or Adventure Vacation will be like nothing else you’ve ever experiences. Ask us how to help you plan the absolute trio of a lifetime.

 

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Costa Rica Hanging Bridges – Which One is Best?

Costa Rica’s hanging bridges are among the most coveted of the country’s many highlights. Although you may well want to visit them all whilst here (who wouldn’t?!) it’s safe to surmise you’d want to home in on one, primarily, so you have enough time, energy and funds to also try out everything else on offer in this adventure-packed country, activities like kayaking, whitewater rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, horseback riding and SO much more.

First up, if you have absolutely NO idea what we’re talking about…

What is a Hanging Bridge in Costa Rica?

Arenal Hanging Bridges park of Costa RicaWind back the history-clock a few decades and you’d see a bunch of curious scientists studying unique flora and fauna in the remotest nooks of Costa Rica’s virgin jungles. They concocted these ‘hanging bridges’ in order to reach the highest points of the luscious canopy and, back then, they were nothing more than haphazardly tied-together ropes, swung between trees and interspersed with wooden planks. The death-defying ‘heavenly highways’ certainly did their job, and the tradition of using suspension walking bridges to enjoy superlative wilderness experiences has now become an unmissable part of all adventure vacations in Costa Rica.

 

What is so Magical about Hanging Bridges?

Hike in Costa RicaHanging bridges get you up close and personal with what is, essentially, impenetrable wilderness. When you leave the walking trails behind (or rather, below), you enter a whole different kind of natural kingdom, one that you wouldn’t otherwise ever get to see. Hanging bridges often stretch across deep valleys and gorges, places you’d need hours of hard hiking to even reach, if at all possible. It is up in this startling remoteness that monkeys swing and toucans rest, where sloths hang out and where the essence of the jungle is intensified, ten-fold. Moreover, this is where the views really get out of this world, where the horizon is not blocked by an impermeable layer of thick forest foliage. Hanging bridges offer vistas that span across the jungle, something you simply won’t ever get to see, any other way.

Oh, and don’t worry: modern-day hanging bridges in Costa Rica are some of the best, safest and most famous in the world.

Here, you can swing to your heart’s delight with peace of mind.

 

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Are All Hanging Bridges Tours Created Equal?

Canopy tours with hanging bridges in Costa Rica can vary quite a bit, mainly in length and agility-requirement which means some are better for families with smaller children, for example, whilst others offer exhilarating extras like zip-lining, ideal for adrenaline seekers. Some also include a fair bit of walking in between the bridges; however, they are still considered the least strenuous way to immerse yourself in pristine wilderness here. If you’re on a family adventure vacation in Costa Rica, for example, and want to bring your elderly parents along for the amazing ride, they can enjoy a stunning day on a hanging bridge trail whilst you battle out on a whitewater river. Alternatively, they simply make for amazing family excursions you can all enjoy together.

Each of Costa Rica’s best hanging bridges is located in a very special forest, be it a wilderness and wildlife reserve, rain forest or cloud forest. Entrance fees allow varying organisations to continue to maintain and protect all these incredible corners of paradise so whilst you’re up there having the time of your life, you’re also contributing to precious and very necessary causes.

It’s also worth remembering that some hanging bridges offer night-time wildlife-spotting tours and these are some of the most rewarding animal-watching tours you can take. This offers a totally distinct experience so, if you have time, you should consider doing one daytime and one night-time visit.

Knowing a little about every option will help you decide which hanging bridge course is right for your next adventure vacation in Costa Rica.

Where are Costa Rica’s Best Hanging Bridges?

hikingEvery single one of Costa Rica’s best hanging bridges offers something unique and, for many, the choice simply comes down to convenience. Where you choose to base yourself, or travel to, will likely have a big impact on your ultimate choice. Having said that, some people specifically seek the longest trail or the one with the most bridges or, in the case of two options below, the one with the most ‘extras’ like zip-line, hummingbird garden and so forth.

Here’s a quick lowdown of the options – we’ll include one ‘point of note’ for each that makes it stand out from the rest. Please note that each one offers refreshments (café/restaurants) and the option of a private tour as well.

Sky Adventures Park, Arenal

About half an hour’s drive from downtown La Fortuna, the Arenal Sky Adventures Park offers a spectacular walking trail that crosses eight bridges (four of which are suspended) as well as two observation decks and two gorgeous waterfalls. This is a leisurely 3-hour excursion but can also be combined with an aerial tram and canopy tour. There’s a lovely café that serves food (YES!) and although you have the option of taking a guide along and going self-guided. This Sky Adventure Park doesn’t offer night-time tours, unfortunately, but is perfectly suitable for all ages.

NB – This option offers some of the most magnificent canopy views of all plus you pass two waterfalls

 

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Mistico Hanging Bridges Park, Arenal

Right by Lake Arenal is where you’ll find Mistico, a trail that offers night-time tours and very early morning bird-spotting tours as well. This trail should take about two hours to complete, is suitable for all ages and will guide you over 16 bridges (six of which are suspended) as well as a lovely waterfall. Both guided and self-guided options are available here too, as well as a great little restaurant so you can really take your time.

NB – This is the park with the most bridges (16 in total) and offers outstanding canopy views. Moreover, there is an ‘easily accessible’ trail that’s perfect for those with limited mobility and although it does skip a chunk of the whole trail, it at least offers the experience to absolutely everyone

Sky Adventures Park, Monteverde

Over in the ethereal cloud forests of Monteverde is the Sky Adventures Park, a multi-adventure center that combines hanging bridges with canopy tours, aerial trams and even a herpetarium that showcases some of Costa Rica’s most unique reptiles and amphibians and a splendid hummingbird garden. A two-hour visit will see you walk over five suspension bridges amongst breathtaking clouds. SAP Monteverde offers guides, self-guided and night-time tours and is open to all ages.

NB – This is the park with the longest suspension bridge – 774 feet!

Selvatura Park, Monteverde

Not to be outdone, Selvatura also offers a myriad of experiences, combining its hanging-bridge-trail with a thrilling zip-lining course, as well as a butterfly, hummingbird and herpetarium enclosure. It should take you about 2.5 hrs for a visit and you should expect to cross eight stunning hanging bridges. Self-guided and guided tours are available and open to all ages although, unfortunately, there are no night-time visits offered here.

NB – There’s something magical about the cloud forest views here and, what’s more, an entry ticket included round-trip transport, which is handy. If that; snot enough, you also have the option to add a zip-line tour!

100% Aventuras, Monteverde

This remarkable nature reserve offers half-day guided visits that combine both ground-level trails with eight hanging bridges, for a very comprehensive forest experience. The trail is about 2-mile long and although it does require moderate fitness, it isn’t too demanding. You also have the option of a 10-line zip-line tour, as well as ATV, rappelling and rope swings.

NB – You can go nuts with all the adrenaline-packed adventures here OR simply take a leisurely walk along the hanging bridge trail, which is suitable for all ages. The choice is yours!

Montezuma Waterfall Canopy Tour Trail, Nicoya Peninsula

monkey on bridgeHead west to Nicoya and you can take a walking trail to Montezuma’s beautiful waterfalls on a short but rewarding excursion. The three-tiered falls are just lovely, immersed in wilderness whilst also offering a great chance for a swim. This is a local hang-out and totally off the commercialized-trail. There are two ways to reach the falls: one along a riverside trail and the other (the one you’ll want) is on a canopy trail that’s easily accessible. The Sun Trails canopy tour isn’t just a super easy way to reach the top falls (so you don’t need to tackle the steep climb up from the riverside trail) but it also guides you over a couple of outstanding hanging bridges. A thrilling zip-line tour is also available if you want to add an adrenaline-rush to your visit. This no-bling option is perfect for nature-lovers who prefer a more rustic hanging bridge experience and, obviously, those who are planning an adventure vacation over on the Nicoya Peninsula.

NB – This is probably the cheapest way to experience hanging bridges because you can access the canopy trail for just a few dollars. Take a guide with you, however, and you’re likely to spot a lot more wildlife than you otherwise would, on your own.

 

Costa Rica’s Best Hanging Bridges – Summary

Although we’ve detailed the most famous and popular hanging bridges in Costa Rica, do note that suspension trails are actually found all over the country, and in almost all provinces. Some have even been constructed within the boundaries of private eco-lodges and these lesser-known options can be among the most rewarding.

At Costa Rica Rios, we incorporate hanging bridges tours in many of our adventure vacation packages and, besides our very popular group tours, we also organize bespoke private tours if you want to have dedicated itinerary and expert guides for you and your loved ones alone. In Costa Rica (and with Costa Rica Rios) everything is possible!

Contact us to know more.

 

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7 Best Things to Do in Tortuguero

boatTortuguero is the most famous and popular destination on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, in the province of Limon, and is the name of both the spectacular turtle reserve (the Tortuguero National Park) and its namesake base town (Tortuguero village). Although only 60-odd miles from the capital, San Jose, Tortuguero is still considered one of the country’s hidden treasures given it’s nestled in the heart of untarnished wilderness and getting there is a little time consuming than would normally be. Yet what makes reaching Tortuguero slightly more hassle is the primary reason it is such an exceptional place: lacking all the major mod-cons of more visited (and easier to reach) hubs like Manuel Antonio and Arenal, makes this a true nature lover’s paradise, clichéd as that may sound. There may not be much in terms of glitz and glamour here but, in return, you get unparalleled biodiversity, exquisite wildlife watching and a nature-enriched experience that you simply won’t find anywhere else.

 

entrance signTortuguero’s most revered asset is its wilderness, made up of fertile wetlands, dense forests and wild beaches that attract nesting sea turtles. ‘The Place of Turtles’, as the name translates, is turtle watching haven and considered one of the world’s foremost nesting site for four distinct species, namely Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill and the endangered Green Sea turtles, for which Tortuguero represents the largest nesting site on the planet. Learn more about Turtle Spotting in Costa Rica if that’s your primary reason for visiting Tortuguero.

If all this bounty isn’t enough, there’s also the nifty bonus of Tortuguero enjoying its driest season when the rest of the country is deluged by rain. This is considered the best destination in all of Costa Rica during rain season.

 

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Ready to get to know Tortuguero better? Here are the top things to do there!

  1. Take an early morning canoe trip through the canals

birdWant the highest chances of spotting wildlife in Tortuguero? Better be an early sloth! Enjoy an early morning guided canoe or kayak trip through the glorious canals and you’ll magically feel the stresses of life just slide right off your back. Spot (and hear) howler and spider monkeys, a cacophony of birds including colorful toucans, macaws, woodpeckers and owls, as well as caimans, river otters, turtles and tapirs and, if you’re exceptionally lucky, even Jesus Christ lizards (yes, the ones that walk on water), jaguars and manatees. The three main priorities here are to paddle yourself (motorized vessels scare off the wildlife), go with an experienced local guide (these guys can spot elusive animals where we see only foliage) and make sure you’re out there by sunrise, when most animals are at their most active. Being Tortuguero village lies a complex maze of canals through the lush wetlands. Tours last about three hours.

 

  1. Hike up to Cerro Tortuguero

The highest point in Tortuguero is 1,280 feet high and is the collapsed caldera of a now-dormant volcano, the one that has given the area its incredible biodiversity. It may seem like a ‘short stroll’ and in many ways it is, however, the hike can be steep and adrenaline-pumping nonetheless. The reward? All-encompassing and astonishing views across the wetlands and canals. The trail is called Sendero Cerro Tortuguero and is just a 10-minute canoe-ride from town center. It is well marked and you can expect to see plenty of birds and even larger wildlife. As always, you’ll get the most of your visit (and wildlife spotting) by taking a guide with you although it’s not strictly necessary. If you’re happy to enjoy some ‘me’ time and ‘see what you see’ then, by all means, go for it. Boat services are plentiful here as it’s the main mode of transport.

  1. Enjoy walking through the National Park

alligatorWalking isn’t really the best way to soak up the wonders of Tortuguero but the national park boasts some lovely trails if you’d love to stretch your legs nonetheless. All trails start from the Visitor Center, range in length and also water levels. Sometimes, you’ll have to wade through water that’s ankle or calf-deep so ask beforehand, especially if travelling with children. Do note that walking alone through this kind of rain-forest is not recommended, so if you don’t want to take a guide then buddy up with other visitors, perhaps from your lodge.

 

  1. Visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy Visitor Center

turtleThis amazing interpretation center is part of the Sea Turtle Conservation Program which studies and protects Tortuguero’s #1 guests. The passionate staff offers great information about the work that’s carried out here, as well as everything related to the nesting habits of the turtles. If visiting during nesting season, best to head here first and foremost. Entrance is just a few dollars and includes a small but information-packed museum and a really fascinating video.

 

  1. Go for a night-time guided walk to spot Green Turtles and other wildlife

Red-Eyed Tree FrogBetween the end of June and the first week of October, you’ll have the highest chances of spotting turtles nesting in Tortuguero, one of the most awe-inspiring experiences you can have in all of Costa Rica. Visitors aren’t allowed on the nesting beach past 6 pm during season so you’ll need (and will want) to go with a guide. Another very special spectacle is watching hatchlings zooming down the beach to reach the sea, which happens between seven and 10 weeks after nesting. Given that different species nest at different times, there are some occasions where nesting and hatching overlap. Nocturnal tours are very rewarding even outside nesting season, when you’ll see a multitude of snakes, frogs and other reptiles, as well as sloths and opossums.

 

  1. Hike in the Tortuguero National Park by day

A gorgeous activity reserved for the driest months, guided walks through Tortuguero are absolutely amazing and offer a different (and much slower) perspective on the local flora and fauna. What makes walking through the park special is the fact that it’s not something you can do all year long – the landscape is quite flat and prone to flooding after rains so it’s very much a dry-season highlight.

  1. Go Zip-lining in Tortuguero!

One of our four recommended lodges in Tortuguero, Aninga Lodge, boasts a super fun 1 km-long canopy trail that includes half a dozen cables, 11 platforms, several suspension bridges and one exhilarating Tarzan swing. It may not be as hard-core as some of the more famous zip-line sin the west but it is unique in the area and offers a wonderful 1.5 hr-long thrill

Plan Your Trip

How to Get There

Follow our Airport Guide to Costa Rica to see the best entry into the country, whether you’re visiting Tortuguero first or last on your adventure vacation itinerary. No matter where you come from, however, you will need to take a combination of road and boat transport to reach the town and the national park. Getting here is definitely half the adventure!

Who is Best Suited to an Adventurous Tortuguero Experience? Things to Keep in Mind!

Tortuguero BeachTortuguero isn’t for everyone, as is the case with every destination, all over the world. Some people just don’t enjoy their adventure vacation without at least some glitzy comforts (which is totally understandable) and others automatically envisage idyllic beaches whenever they see any pin mapped on a stretch of Tico coast. But Tortuguero, in all its immense splendorous, doesn’t offer that kind of seaside experience. This ain’t THAT kind of beach. Due to strong tides, this is the least suitable stretch of coast for swimming so although the beach and coastline are magical to admire and photograph, don’t head here expecting an array of water-based sports, because there just aren’t any at all.

 

To better appreciate and enjoy your journey to Tortuguero, it helps to really understand the uniqueness of this place. If you’re an adventure seeker who doesn’t mind foregoing some creature comforts in order to really immerse yourself in pristine nature (something which isn’t a given everywhere, nowadays) then Tortuguero is for you. If you know that the Limon coast is volcanic and doesn’t boast the ‘dreamy blinding white sands’ of the Pacific, then you will also not be disappointed. Tortuguero isn’t for beach bumming, it’s for those looking for a truly immersive wilderness experience. If you’re a lover of raw wilderness and the excitement of never really knowing what wildlife you’ll see; if you love bird-watching and just want to get away from it all (modernity included) then Tortuguero will definitely tick all your boxes. Want to experience Costa Rican eco-tourism at its very best? Then Tortuguero it is!

Now, having said all that, don’t go imagining a torturous experience! There may not be many gorgeous eco-lodges in Tortuguero, but there are certainly enough to find the one that suits you best. We’ve homed in on the four best Tortuguero hotels that we think suit our clientele best and if you’re dreaming of an unforgettable adventure vacation in Costa Rica, be it for your honeymoon, family or solo trip, we know you’ll find your personal gem among these four excellent options.

 

Pack accordingly for Tortuguero

Boat travel to and through Tortuguero will greatly limit your luggage capacity so if you’re planning on this being a side trip in Costa Rica, you’ll have to organize luggage storage somewhere else, with the most convenient place being the capital given that’s probably where you’ll be arriving.

At Costa Rica Rios, we can help you plan a unique and memorable adventure vacation in Tortuguero and all over Costa Rica. We run award-winning multi-adventure tours for honeymooners, families and solo travelers. This is our home and our favorite playground and after decades om the business, we’ve perfected the art of planning tailor-made and group tours that soak up the very best this magnificent country has to offer.

So why not come discover Costa Rica with us? See our most popular adventure vacation packages and contact us to know more.

 

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Amazing Hot-Spring Hotels in La Fortuna & Arenal

La Fortuna is Costa Rica’s famous hot-spring region, its incredible natural bounty owing to Arenal, the most active volcano in the country. La Fortuna’s eco-tourism scene thrives not only on the many adventure sports on offer but also the multitude of hotels boasting their own, in-house hot-springs. Can you imagine anything better than spending a whole day whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, mountain biking and hiking, and then retreating to your own hot-spring hotel in La Fortuna for a late afternoon and evening of complete relaxation? We think not!

Here are the most amazing hot-spring hotels in La Fortuna & Arenal:

Nayara Springs This adults-only luxurious option is downright divine and about the best splurge if you’re planning an adventure honeymoon in Costa Rica. What’s not to love? The property is designed so that each villa has complete privacy and it seriously feels like you’re the only guests there. The service is impeccable and the exclusivity of the place means the hot-springs are never crowded. Plus, there’s an abundance of luxurious amenities to enjoy here, including a well-equipped gym, jacuzzi, gift shop and private plunge pool directly outside your villa’s door. Outstanding food, dreamy surroundings and a contemplative atmosphere make this an exceptional choice for romantic escapes. The only real downside of such a jaw-dropping hot-spring hotel in La Fortuna? It is almost impossible to tear yourself away for a full-day of explorations!

 

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort This Arenal institution was the first hot-spring hotel built in La Fortuna and is revered for offering 100% natural hot springs (as opposed to most other hotels which use pumps to circulate and heat the waters). Even after all these years, Tabacon is considered the most reliable hot-spring hotel choice, given it offers an Arenal hot-spring experience for everyone: families, honeymooners and even solo travellers. With so many pools and accommodation options, Tabacon is a great all-rounder, with acres of walking trails, wonderfully maintained forest trails and awesome services like multiple restaurants, bars, and an excellent beauty spa. Due to its sheer size and the array of services offered, Tabacon doesn’t feel as ‘intimate and exclusive’ as Nayara Springs but it also comes at about half the cost so makes for a wonderful compromise.

waterfall

Los Lagos Hotel Hugely popular with local Costa Rican families, Los Lagos is an affordable choice that ticks SO many boxes. Not only does it boast its own hot-springs but also its own private lakes, water park, horse-stables, swimming pools, walking trails, health spa and an abundance of wildlife. With its stunning volcano views, warm hospitality and an abundance of kid-friendly activities, this is an excellent option for active families who want a couple of days of R&R in a hot-spring hotel in La Fortuna. At Los Lagos, you all have the option to be as active as you like.

women near waterfall

Paradise Hot Springs Thermal Resort – One of the best value-for-money choices in La Fortuna, Paradise is affordable despite it offering 5* services and amenities. With almost a dozen pools of differing temperatures, gorgeous spa treatments, great food, outstanding landscaped gardens and staff who go out of their way to cater to your every wish, Paradise is, as the name suggests, a heavenly choice as well as a surprisingly affordable one.

Arenal Springs Resort This modern resort is set on the foothills of Arenal and gifts breath-taking views from every corner. This is a very popular choice for families and couples alike as it offers a nature-infused experience yet with all the mod-cons you’d expect of a stellar resort. The hot-springs are undeniably enticing and the gardens, bursting with birdlife, is a nature-lover’s dream. The property is expansive and accommodates guests with mobility issues so if it’s a comprehensive family-friendly resort you’re after, with options for everyone, Arenal Springs is a top choice.

Ariel view of resort

The Royal Corin Hotel Much like Arenal Springs, the Royal Corin offers the classic ‘resort’ experience in La Fortuna, although it takes the luxury stakes up a notch. The natural spring pools are wonderful (the swim-up bar is great!) as are the volcanic sauna, thermal jacuzzis, waterfalls and holistic health spa. Kiddie pool attracts plenty of families. All rooms at the Royal Corin are impressively spacious and feature a private terrace or balcony but the suites are out of this world. Want to soak in your own private jacuzzi, overlooking Arenal? Then this is your place!

pool

The Springs Resort and Spa – This world-class hot-spring hotel in La Fortuna will blow you away multiple times; first with its mountaintop location affording extraordinary Arenal and rain-forest views and THEN with all the sensational amenities it offers. It’s no coincidence this is rated one of very best resorts in the whole country! The Springs offers almost 30 hot-spring pools, its own wildlife refuge, a fully-equipped fitness center, amazing beauty spa and private access to the Arenal River where thrilling tubing is on offer. One of the most unforgettable places to stay in Costa Rica!

pool

Volcano Lodge & Springs Hotel The Volcano Lodge is immensely popular with budget-conscious families and couples and proves the wonderful point that when it comes to amazing hot-spring hotels in La Fortuna, you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy them. Costa Rica’s most adored natural assets are here for all to enjoy. Everything about this hot-spring resort is simply lovely, from the comfortable rooms to the gorgeous pools, the glorious views, service, food, spa treatments and the many child-friendly services. Every room boasts Arenal views and, with less than 70 of them, all up, you get the homely Tico hospitality for which Costa Rica is so renowned. If you’d love a more ‘intimate’ La Fortuna hot-spring hotel experience at a really good price, the Volcano Lodge is arguably the best choice.

pool with mountain view

FAQ About Hot Spring Vacations in Costa Rica

If you’re heading to Costa Rica to enjoy a hot-spring hotel experience, we hope to have given you enough inspiration, thus far! Do note we combine our adventure tours with an array of different accommodation options, including eco-lodges that swap ultra-luxurious experiences for immersive nature-infused ones instead. See our range of recommended Arenal Hotels and chat to us when planning your adventure vacation itinerary – we can help you plan a bespoke journey that incorporates your favorite activities with the hot-spring hotel of your choice.

To help you better plan your Costa Rica trip, we thought we’d answer some of the most frequently-asked questions about the Arenal hot-springs.

  • What is there to do in Arenal aside from the hot-springs?

There’s an abundance of exceptional fun to be had in and around the Arenal Volcano National Park. Activities include hiking over ancient lava fields, wildlife spotting (day and night tours) in verdant rain-forests, hiking to glorious waterfalls, zip-lining, whitewater rafting and kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking and SO much more. See our favorite 15 Amazing Things to Do in Arenal.

  • Do you have to stay in a hot-spring hotel in Costa Rica to enjoy a soak?

No, there are plenty of hot-springs in La Fortuna that are open to the public and even a few hotels that sell day-passes to visitors. This is an important aspect of a hot-spring hotel stay, as many people prefer to not share their hotel pools with the general public but only with fellow hotel guests. This is a great way to keep the numbers limited and avoid overcrowding during the high season. The most famous ‘day-pass’ hotel is Tabacon Grand Spa whilst the most famous ‘private’ pools are at the Arenal Springs.

  • Is Arenal the only area in Costa Rica with natural hot springs?

Absolutely not! Given the volcanic nature of Costa Rica, there are several hot-spring sources in the country spread out around the central and western regions, namely in the Puntarenas and Guanacaste provinces, as well as Alajuela, which is where you find La Fortuna and Arenal. It’s just that La Fortuna is the most established hot-spring destination so here is where you’ll find the widest range of pools and accommodation choice.

  • Are all the hot-spring hotels in La Fortuna expensive?

Not at all, some hot-spring hotels offer rooms at just USD 100 a night, which is cheaper than many other hotels that don’t offer hot-spring pools. Not only is there a hot-spring hotel to suit just about every budget but you can even nab a luxury choice at a reduced price if you choose to travel outside the most popular months (December to April). Travel to La Fortuna during our wet season and you can have the best of both worlds: rains don’t usually start until the early afternoon (the ideal siesta time) so you’ll still enjoy clear mornings for all your activities and can indulge at a heavily-reduced rate in some of the most luxurious lodges. This is one of the tips of on our Budgeting Tips for Costa Rica Adventure Honeymoons

  • When is the best time to enjoy a hot-spring vacation in Costa Rica?

Given that you’ll likely be doing a lot more than just hot-spring soaking in Costa Rica, it’ll help to know what is considered the ‘ideal’ time to visit, according to your personal preferences. See our Seasonal Travel Guide to Costa Rica to learn about the differences in regions and experiences, at different times of year – and trust that soaking in a Costa Rica hot-spring is PERFECT at ANY time of year!

Isn’t it time you started planning your own adventure vacation to Costa Rica? What are you waiting for?! At Costa Rica Rios, we organise fully-guided adventure tours (check out the ladies-only week in April, 2020), family adventure vacations and, of course, adventure honeymoons too. We can help you plan your own tailor-made itinerary and find the right hots-spring hotel in La Fortuna and Arenal if you’d love to cap off your thrilling adventure in grand style.

Contact us to know more.

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Guide to Costa Rica’s Best Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking

From relaxing family adventures to hard-core, multi-day journeys, Costa Rica’s best rivers for whitewater rafting and kayaking offer thrilling experiences for experts and beginners alike. What’s more, river-based excursions in Costa Rica aren’t only about adrenaline – spending a whole day (or week!) immersed in the heart of one of the country’s pristine reserves is also an exceptional way to spot wildlife, enjoy the magnificent wilderness and enjoy cultural encounters in remote villages. This is particularly rewarding in regions that don’t see too many tourists and are a little off the usually-trodden path. That’s why multi-sport adventure vacations are so popular here: you get to have bucket-loads of fun in unspoiled nature, all the while experiencing the incredible biodiversity and hospitality for which Costa Rica is so revered.

If you’re new to the whitewater sport scene, we’ll give you a brief introduction before offering an overview of the best destinations for rafting and kayaking in Costa Rica, and the kind of options available.

 

What Is Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking?

Fast-moving river water – which literally creates ‘whitewater’ – is the main propelling force for both rafting (multi-person inflatable raft helmed by a professional guide) and kayaking (single person canoe). Both are exceptionally fun water sports with the main difference being rafting is a group activity whilst kayaking is a solo activity, although one is usually in the company of other kayakers – and even rafters, when out on the river. Many whitewater excursions in Costa Rica head downriver in a group, with rafters and kayakers along for the ride.

whitewater rafting

 

Which One Is More Exhilarating: Rafting or Kayaking?

Being on the whitewater for the very first time is a thrilling experience no matter which activity you choose. Having said that, kayaking is a tad more challenging and that makes it more thrilling. This means that kayaking gives you the option to up the ante on gentler river runs. If you have experience on whitewater but are travelling with friends or family members who don’t, you can still all enjoy a day out together on the same river. They’ll have a lovely ride on the raft, with a guide, and you can go all adrenaline-junkie-nuts on a kayak.

Perfect!

whitewater kayaking

Whitewater rivers are graded by level of difficulty and, in Costa Rica, you’ll see rapids classified from I to V, with I being the easiest and best for beginners and V reserved for experienced rafters and kayakers. Water flow is the determining class factor, obviously, so the same stretch of river can be classified differently depending on the time of year you visit.

 

Is There an Ideal Time to Go Whitewater Rafting and Kayaking in Costa Rica?

Yes and no: the ideal time for extensive whitewater adventures for experienced rafters and kayakers, is just after the rains, when rivers are at their fullest. In this case, the period between September and February is quite ideal. Having said that, many of Costa Rica’s rivers are regulated by dams and even more offer beginner and intermediate trips can be enjoyed all year long. Considering that different areas of Costa Rica receive varying degrees of rainfall during the Green Season, moreover, it also reasons that whitewater suitability will highly depend on which region you wish to explore.

 

The Best Rivers for Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking in Costa Rica

Not only is Costa Rica one of the world’s best whitewater rafting and kayaking destination but it is also one of the safest. Part of this is due to river classifications dictating age requirements, so although there are plenty of stretches that are ideal for families with children, they will usually be age-restricted (to 8 or 12 years old as a minimum, for example) and plenty more advanced stretches where children will not be allowed to raft or kayak.

Luckily, the options are truly impressive. There are more than a dozen established kayaking and rafting runs in Costa Rica and new stretches are added to the maze, almost every year. We’ll detail the top 5 options, starting with the best of the lot.

 

  1. Rio Pacuare – Class II, III and IV– Year-round

The #1 choice in the country and reputed second-best rafting and kayaking river on earth (after the Colorado River), the Rio Pacuare manages to tick all the boxes. First of all, it boasts a mindboggling 52 rapids, which range from beginner Class II to experienced Class IV (so it is, quite literally, suitable for everyone) and runs through an astonishing section of remote Turrialba wilderness, affording great chances for wildlife spotting. Rafters and kayakers will likely see monkeys, toucans, sloths and so much more flora and fauna than they could ever imagine. If that’s not enough, the Pacuare boasts 16 miles of accessible river runs so you can choose between day-long excursions and multi-day trips. A handful of genially-located eco-lodges along the route offer immersive and rather unforgettable jungle experiences. The Pacuare River is, without a doubt, Costa Rica’s best adrenaline rush.

Whitewater Rafting In Costa Rica

If you've ever wanted to raft under a waterfall…. here's your chance!Learn More -> https://www.costaricarios.com/whitewater-rafting.html

Posted by Costa Rica Rios on Wednesday, October 30, 2019

 

  1. Rio Balsa – Class II and III – Year-round

Located close to La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano, the Balsa River is a very popular choice for two main reasons. Firstly, it’s the closest whitewater river to Costa Rica’s most coveted highlight and, secondly, it offers beginner-level rapids. The water-level of the Balsa is regulated by a damn which makes it also about the most reliable river in the region – if you’re at all apprehensive about trying out rafting and kayaking in Costa Rica, or are travelling with someone who is, trust the Balsa to offer an exciting yet not overwhelming experience.  Overall, this river is the best options if you wish to try whitewater rafting or kayaking for the first time on a day-trip only. The moment you’re ready for a longer run and more exciting adventure, then upgrade to the Pacuare.

 

  1. Rio Savegre – Class II and III – May to January

This relaxing whitewater river is another excellent option for families, with day-trips being varied and not too challenging. Alongside gentle rapids, you can also head off for walks to explore waterfalls and stop in enchanting swimming pools along the way.  This free-flowing river is considered one of the clearest in all of Central America – if you’d love a relaxing river trip that’s just sprinkled with a few adrenaline-rushes, then the Savegre is perfect for you. This is one of the closest whitewater rivers to Manuel Antonio National Park.

 

  1. Rio Tenorio – Class III and IV

Boasting some of the most thrilling Class IV rapids in the country, the Tenorio River is perfect for moderate and experienced rafters and kayakers. This is the biggest whitewater river in the northern Guanacaste region, originating from the mountains around the Tenorio Volcano. The deeply-carved canyon is breathtaking and, between the thrilling rapids, you’ll have plenty of chances to soak up the startling scenery.

rafting

 

  1. Rio Sarapiqui – Class III and IV rapids – Year-round

Starting from the Cordillera Central, the Sarapiqui River runs from central highlands of Costa Rica, all the way to the border with Honduras. The river’s edges and crystalline waters are especially replete with exotic wild and marine life, making the gentler rapids (ideal for families and beginners) particularly rewarding. When you raft and kayak at a slower pace, you’ll have more time (and chances) to admire the surrounding landscapes. The Sarapiqui is in the lesser-visited, eastern side of Costa Rica, and the transfer time needed to reach it is immensely worthwhile.

As a country renowned for its eco-friendly adventures, Costa Rica is one of the world’s most rewarding adventure vacation destination. Whitewater rafting and kayaking are just the tip of the active-tour-iceberg! See all our Adventure Vacation Itineraries and see how seamlessly we combine a multitude of incredible experiences into the one, unforgettable trip. As always, simply contact us for tailor-made adventures.

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