Tag Archives: family adventure vacation

Taking It Slow: In Search of Turtles in Costa Rica

Turtles are known for taking it slow and basking in the sun in Costa Rica. They love swimming in the coastal waters and are sometimes found on the beach, especially during nesting season. If you’re looking for turtles in Costa Rica, you’ll find three different types at Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica. Tortuguero is home to the Green Sea Turtle, Giant Leatherback and Hawksbill Turtles. It’s fascinating to watch the hatchlings crawl from their nests down to the water. It typically happens at night, when the sand is cooler.

Green Sea Turtles

The Green Sea Turtle is one of the oldest species on Earth, existing before even the dinosaurs. They have green skin and brown, black, yellow, gray, green or olive shells. They are an endangered species, also referred to as the Eastern Pacific Green Turtle, and are sometimes simply called green turtles. They are one of the few species that leave the sea and come onto land to sun themselves when they’re not nesting. They are the largest of the sea turtles. Adults commonly weigh in above 300 pounds and can be as much as five feet long. The females nest on the beaches from July to October.

 Giant Leatherback

Leatherback turtles often grow more than three feet long, weighing in at close to a ton. Their large front flippers can grow to be more than eight feet long, giving them a distinct advantage in the water. Leatherbacks are dark gray or black with white speckles and a much lighter underside. The females come ashore between February and June to dig nests and lay their eggs. When the turtles hatch, they all move down the beach, paddling through the surf and into the water. Most males will never return to land. The Giant Leatherback is the largest known living turtle species. It’s a deep diver that spends more than 99 percent of its day swimming. It doesn’t have a bony shell like most other types of turtles. There are ridges on Leatherbacks, but they have no claws in their flippers and no teeth in their mouths. They use spines in the throat and horny points on the upper lip to eat. They are an endangered one of several endangered species protected in Costa Rica

Hawksbill Turtles

The Hawksbill Turtle typical grows up to just under three feet long. They weigh in at a maximum of 200 pounds.  Hawskbills are named for their hawk-like beaks for mouths. They are among the most endangered turtle species, often hunted for their colorful shells. They eat mostly sea sponges, using their sharp beaks to catch them. Hawksbill Turtles are harder to spot around the beaches of Tortuguero, because they like to nest in seclusion about every two weeks beginning in July. They usually build a maximum of four nests per season, laying 150 to 200 eggs per nest.

If you love turtles, and sea turtles in particular, be sure to tell our staff when you’re booking your vacation with Costa Rica Rios. We’ll help you find the best turtle-watching spots to see these fascinating creatures. Contact Costa Rica Rios today to make plans and reservations.

 

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How Costa Rica Trips Broaden Cultural Horizons

Costa Rica trips have been lauded for years for displaying natural beauty. What doesn’t always come to mind, though, is the value of learning about a new culture. Nothing helps to expand human experience and bring people together like learning about a locale’s unique culture. Costa Rica is no exception.

The culture of Costa Rica is heavily influenced by settlers who arrived during Spain’s period of colonization throughout the world. Although the Spanish language and many Spanish customs still exist, don’t be fooled. This is not Spain. There is plenty of influence from indigenous tribes whose customs, food and languages still live on with the locals.

One of the most important aspects of Costa Rican culture is called “Pura Vida,” or “pure life.” Although that’s the direct translation, the phrase more accurately means “living well” or “This is living.” It can be used as a greeting, a farewell, or even a response to a question, and it portrays the Costa Rican culture well. Costa Ricans live for fun. Whether it’s good food, dancing or a holiday celebration, the Costa Rican love for food, games, and fun is contagious to just about anyone that visits.

This love of parties and fun, of course, means that Costa Rica is marked by a hospitable and friendly people. Our visitors are typcially welcomed with open arms, and it’s easy to find a place to eat, to shop or just watch the waves and feel welcome. The sand, the sun and the adventure aren’t the warmest part of Costa Rica. When you’re thinking of warmth, you should think of the people.

And who can forget the food? Probably the most important is coffee. It’s custom to drink coffee several times a day, even when it’s very hot outside, so you’ll always be able to find a fresh cup. Fresh fruits and vegetables also feature prominently in dishes like Casado, a mixed-variety plate that takes place as the most common dish served here in Costa Rica.

The Costa Rican culture is like nowhere else on earth. With influences from Spanish settlers and native peoples, as well as a culture that emphasizes fun and adventure, you won’t see this lifestyle anywhere else. The food and drink are unique, and the people are warm and inviting. When it comes to broadening cultural horizons, learning about Costa Rica firsthand is something that simply can’t be replaced.

Contact us to  plan a Costa Rica vacation where you can learn more about the culture and customs of our amazing and unique country.

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Costa Rica: Adventures In The Jewel Of The Rainforest

Across the globe, there are a few areas that scientists consider biological “hot spots.” These regions are unusually abundant in plants and wildlife that aren’t found anywhere else. It’s referred to as biodiversity.

Costa Rica is one of these ecological hot spots. According to the book “Ecotourism and Sustainable Development” by Dr. Martha M. Honey, Costa Rica has just .1 percent of the world’s landmass, but 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity.

While other ecologically sensitive areas, like Indonesia and the Amazon region of Brazil, are fast diminishing, this isn’t the case in Costa Rica. Government leaders here realized early on what a treasure our environment is and moved quickly to protect it. About 25 percent of Costa Rica is protected as a nature preserve of some sort, the highest ratio of any country on Earth. Worldwide, the average is around 13 percent.

Among these protected areas is the Monteverde Cloud Forest, which is home to an estimated 100 mammal species, 400 bird species and 2,000 plant species. Corcovado National Park is also internationally known. It’s one of the few spots where all four monkey species native to Costa Rica can be found, and it’s famous for being quite hospitable to jaguars.

Now, exploring all of the richness of Costa Rica can be a little overwhelming. There is so much to see and do that it’s hard to manage it all on your own. This is one reason why a guided Costa Rica adventure may be right for you. A hike through the rain forest or a jungle safari can reveal some of the beautiful and fascinating wildlife native to our country. To learn about the trips that Costa Rica Rios offers, feel free to contact us. Come play in our back yard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Useful Spanish Phrases for Your Costa Rica Adventure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Plan Your Own Costa Rica Adventure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Top 5 Reasons to Vacation with Costa Rica Rios

1. Adventure

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

2. Romance and Relaxation

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

3. Wildlife

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

4. Food

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

5. Culture

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

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

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Supporting the Environment with our Costa Rica Guided Tours

As you can tell from what we do, the environment is an integral part of the success of Costa Rica Rios. Without our magnificent local rivers, mountains, beaches and forest canopies, we could not offer our spectacular Costa Rica guided tours. Because of this, we have made a commitment to supporting the environment, including the unique and breathtaking natural scenery of our many adventures.

We practice what we call Sustainable Tourism in a variety of ways. Much of what we do involves education. For our employees, there is always ongoing learning about how we can best support and preserve this delicate and fascinating natural environment in which we live and work.  As a company, we seek to work in harmony with other local businesses, such as when we donate all organic waste to an organic cocoa bean farm.

For our guests, the education can work both ways. We know our environment, and we teach our tour participants about how best to preserve the breathtaking natural resource that we share with them. We also welcome guest suggestions about how to improve our sustainability practices and procedures, because we know that we all have much to learn about the latest and greatest efforts to support the environment.

We have also woven some commitments to sustainable tourism into the fabric of our company’s business processes. We are member participants in 1% for the Planet, a world-wide network of over one thousand businesses that commit to donate 1% of their sales to environmental nonprofit organizations. We are seeking certification from a handful of sustainable tourism associations, so stay tuned for further news on this as our applications to these associations are completed and reviewed.

Finally, and fundamentally, we recognize that each of us as individuals has a role to play in preserving our environment for the enjoyment of future generations. What we model and teach to our guests, we hope you will take home with you, along with your pictures and memories, and apply in the special environments that you find in and near your own home towns. To learn more, contact us or check out our Sustainable Tourism webpage.

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A Costa Rica honeymoon: Because memories last forever

Your honeymoon isn’t just another vacation. It’s the start of a new life together. The memories you make on this trip are as significant and long-lasting as the ones you share on your wedding day.

So why go to all the trouble of selecting the perfect ring, writing your own vows and picking the perfect cake, only to celebrate your nuptials with a boring, cookie-cutter vacation?

Instead, explore the spectacular, natural beauty and varied attractions that make a Costa Rica honeymoon unique and exciting.

“Costa Rica is a great spot for active couples. It’s well known for its zip line tours, which send visitors swinging through the forest’s treetop canopy via a cable and a harness – not to mention the great surfing.” – CNN Money

Imagine telling your friends, and someday, your children about the exciting way your marriage began. Zip lining through a tropical forest, learning to surf, jet skiing, snorkeling and kayaking. You will always remember memories that you make in Costa Rica.

And experts say that there is no better way to begin your new life together than through shared activity! A new study from the University of Denver shows that couples who play together, stay together. Howard Markman, a psychologist who co-directs the university’s Center for Marital and Family Studies tells USA Today,

“The more you invest in fun and friendship and being there for your partner, the happier the relationship will get over time.”

Your honeymoon is the start of your new life together. Let Costa Rica Rios make it an adventure you’ll always remember. Whatever you choose, we promise it will be one vacation you will never forget.  See some sample itineraries at Costaricarios.com.

To learn more about planning your dream vacation contact us today!

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High Octane Costa Rica Adventure Vacation

Not everyone understands the allure of an adventure vacation. It’s okay, we are fine with that; because those who get it, really get it.

Adventure travel is discovery, exhilaration, endurance, and beauty concentrated into one never-to-be-forgotten experience. Like any vacation, the combination of offerings has to be just right, but with adventure travel, the stakes are even higher. The area must offer pristine beauty, biodiversity, and endless high-octane outdoor adventure.

Those that know will tell you will tell you that few adventures can deliver on that experience more completely than a Costa Rica adventure vacation. Nestled between both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea on the Central American isthmus, its unique topography and geographic position makes Costa Rica a high value destination for adventure travel.

The stunning landscape is home to pristine beaches, mountains, volcanoes, and forests and packs in an amazing amount of natural wonder— and endless opportunity to experience it all first hand in a comprehensive, adrenaline pumping multi-sport tour.

Most that come to Costa Rica come for the beaches. Admittedly, the allure of 2,306 kilometers of pristine coastline is rather hard to resist, which is what makes it one of the most popular destinations in the world. Whether surfing or snorkeling the crisp blue waters, or soaking up some rays on the beach adventure travel enthusiasts know that the wonder of the region does not end at the shoreline.

Realizing the richness of the land and its ecosystems, much of the land is protected by the government and remains amazingly untouched and unaffected by human impact. Adventure seekers can explore and experience the thrill of discovery, much as its first inhabitants did. Whether biking a remote trail, whitewater rafting the Pacuare River or sailing above the lush canopy and varied landscape by zip line, visitors observe nature as it was intended—colorful, beautiful, thriving, and inspiring.

Sure, there will be those that believe that adventure travel is just about cliff diving, zip lining, and white water rafting, but they would be wrong. While those things are a wonderful part of Costa Rica adventure vacations, the whole experience broadens our perspective and colors our life. It is the possibility that each trip represents which drives our passion. It is the many facets of life that adds the true exhilaration.

Some things in life are so precious that they must be experienced to be fully understood. We welcome you to a world of wonder. Contact us today for more information.

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