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15 Amazing Things To Do in Arenal

Alrighty –  you’ve booked your Costa Rica adventure tour, you KNOW there’s no way you’re missing the Arenal Volcano National Park and now it’s just a matter of figuring out what to actually DO once you get there.

We’ve got you covered, thrill-seeker!

Here are 15 of the most amazing things to do in Arenal!

  1. Walk Over Ancient Lava Fields

Walking trails in and around the Arenal Volcano National Park abound, with choices for leisurely strolls and hard-core hikes suiting various levels of fitness. Out of all of these, the La Coladas Walking Trail is undoubtedly the most iconic and comprehensive because it meanders through large sections of the pristine rain-forest and guides you over fascinating cooled lava fields. The trail is moderately easy and takes merely an hour or so but it does reward you with the most unobstructed views of Arenal Volcano. If you’d love a longer walk then take La Coladas and extend it to join Los Tucanes Walking Trail (2.5hrs), which takes you deeper into the rain-forest, all the way to the Arenal Observatory Lodge. This trail offers even more chances of spotting birds and other wildlife, especially if crowds (and noise) are minimal.

volcano

 

  1. Swim Under The Overwhelming Spray of La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall is one of Arenal’s most celebrated sights and heading here with a picnic brunch and your swimmers is a great way to start your day. This has got to be the very best swim you can have in Costa Rica, especially on a blisteringly hot day. We offer a wonderful horseback ride to these waterfalls which adds a whole other element to the excursion – more on that at the end of the article.

waterfall

 

  1. Soar Like a Bird Above The Forest Canopy

Zip-lining and canopy walking over hanging bridges is the bees’ knees of Arenal and the one activity that’s offered in several places. Zipping at what feels like a million-miles-an-hour is the enticement for the fastest courses whilst slightly more demure options, that can be even more enjoyable, will also suit adventurous children. If it’s your first array into the adventure Costa Rica adventure vacation scene, do note that zip-lining, scary though it may seem, isn’t nearly as (arguably) daunting as rafting Class IV rapids and even canyoning, so it’s a great way to wet your adrenaline-feet in Costa Rica.

zip-lining

 

  1. Visit a Turquoise River & Waterfall Right Nearby

The Rio Celeste Waterfall is the fervently protected jewel in the crown of the Tenorio Volcano National Park, right next door to Arenal. A 2/3-hr hike in the park dishes up superb nature-infused adventures and although you cannot swim here, like you can at La Fortuna, the visual spectacle alone is utterly worth your while. Do note that the ethereal colour of the Rio Celeste is due to a very unique mix of minerals which means if you visit during rainy season, it will not seem as bright, since the strong current and rainfall will disturb the sediment on the riverbed. The park is about an hour’s drive out of La Fortuna.

waterfall

 

  1. Take a Paddle to Lake Arenal and Enjoy Magnificent Volcano Views

On a crystal-clear day in Arenal, you simply can’t paddle past Lake Arenal, provider of startling volcano views. Take a kayak or a SUP board and spend as much time as you like frolicking about. The lake itself is expansive so you can be out here for hours on end yet given the sheer array of other phenomenal things to do, we usually find that a 2-hour outing is plenty for most people.

volcano

 

  1. Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

This place offers hands-down the best views of Arenal Volcano and boasts several hiking trails within its private reserve. The best part of the AOL is that although staying here is a bit of a dream, you don’t have to in order to hike here: just can pay the day-entry fee and off you go. The Observatory Lodge is revered for offering some of the best bird-watching trails in all of Arenal. This is also one of our favorite honeymoon sundowner spots in the country!

arena; observatory

 

  1. Soak In a Natural Thermal Pool

As you disembark your plane in Costa Rica and experience the at-times overwhelming heat and humidity, you’ll think everyone crazy for insisting you soak in a hot thermal pool in Arenal. But, trust everyone on this, it is one of the most exquisite experiences in the country. The volcanic region of Arenal boasts the best natural hot springs in Costa Rica in the country and, after a full-day out exploring, hiking, rafting and what-not, you will LOVE to soak your bones and muscles in the mineral-rich waters.  This is seriously the best way to end each and every day in Arenal. To this end, consider staying in one of Arenal’s best hot-spring hotels: having private pools all to yourself is an unforgettable treat!

pool

 

  1. Catch Your Heart In Your Throat on a Raging River

White-water rafting in Arenal dishes up gorgeous Class II rapids (perfect for families) as well as Class IV drops, the kind that’ll have your heart firmly in your throat the entire ride. We’re particularly fond of the Balsa River because it offers the best family-friendly rafting experience with relaxing-enough rapids that allow you to take it easy and really soak up the surrounding wilderness. Riverside wildlife spotting in remote areas is ideal because animals are a lot more prone to come out of the thick foliage when they’re away from roads and inhabited areas and that’s what makes a ‘slower and tamer’ rafting excursion all the more rewarding. Arenal and La Fortuna is only one of several world-class whitewater rafting destinations in Costa Rica.

rafting

 

  1. Boop Noses with Monkeys & Aid in Their Recovery

Very little compares to seeing monkeys, sloths, toucans and all other Costa Rican creatures in the wild (where they belong) yet the undeniable truth is that visiting one of Arenal’s wildlife refuges is a wonderful way to help local projects rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife. Proyecto Asis is one such oasis and a place where you can volunteer a few hours of your day to help prep and feed for the menageries of animals that are living their best convalescence. Not only will you get to feed and boop noses with at-risk monkeys (the kids go bananas over this) but you’ll also fill your heart, knowing your entry fee contribution has gone to helping this amazing place. Read about 3 Brilliant Wildlife Refuges in Costa Rica.

squirrel monkey

 

  1. Get Your Chocolate Fix

Just between us, the chocolate feasting to be had in Arenal is probably reason enough to book a Costa Rica adventure vacation. After all, every endurance athlete knows that chocolate is the best refueling snack of them all! Given the wonderful organic chocolate produced in the region, you should probably go a little beyond a simple feast here: take an interactive chocolate workshop and you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how chocolate is processed AND get to feast at the end. A win-win! Farm experiences are among the most eco-conscious activities you can partake in when visiting Costa Rica.

There are plenty of tours to choose from but we are kinda addicted to the Rainforest Chocolate Tour. Something about ‘eat all the chocolate you want’ suggestion at the end…

cacao

 

  1. Saddle Up, Cowboys and Girls!

Horseback riding is very much part of Tico culture so, rather than being a ‘tourist gimmick’ created specifically for foreigners, it can be considered an authentic cultural experience. Aside from simply swapping your motorized (or foot-drawn) transport for a 4-hoofed beast (like at La Fortuna Waterfall) you can also take sensational tours through remote trails. You can ride your steed to the Rio Celeste, you can combine a half-ride, half-whatever else you fancy (like zip-lining, whitewater rafting and hot-springs) or take a whole day out on a customized itinerary that is perfect for experienced riders. If you’re a particularly avid and experienced rider, you can also ask us about multi-day horse treks, among the most unique and exceptional activities to do in all of Costa Rica, not only Arenal.

horseback riding

 

  1. Take a Cooking Class

There’s no better way to eat like a local in Arenal than by learning to cook like one. Authentic cooking classes are very popular here and we’re finding more and more guests want to include a half-day immersive class to really get the comprehensive Tico experience here. There are a ton of hands-on culinary options here, including tortilla-making, chocolate workshops and everything from traditional appetizer to 3-course-meal creations. The great thing about Costa Rica cooking classes and that they showcase the most organic produce grown locally so you get an insight into the health-giving properties of the food, the culinary culture of the county and end up feasting your tastebuds like nothing else!

Check out these four totally unique cooking classes in Costa Rica.

ceviche

 

  1. Go Canyoneering For a Day…and DO.IT.ALL.

Can’t decide which of the amazing Arenal adventure activities you want to do? How about doing them ALL?! A full-day canyoneering excursion in Arenal will get your heart pumping like nothing else and, as long as you can manage to take your eyes off the stunning canyon, you’ll also soak up outstanding landscape views. The ultimate adrenaline-junkie fix, canyoning combines hiking, rappelling, cliff jumping and even some rock scrambling to create a 4-in-1 adventure sport that is out of this world. Much like the rafting choices, canyoning options are also numerous so you can all Rambo on extreme tours, or opt for a beginner’s course, depending on your skill levels and thrill-addiction.

canyoning

 

  1. Enjoy a Relaxing Swim and Rope-Jump, FREE OF CHARGE!

Sometimes, even an adventure-filled vacation needs to include a little down-time but rest assured that in a place like Costa Rica, that ALWAYS comes with some kind of action. Just a 15-min walk out of La Fortuna Town is where you’ll find Salto, a glorious section of river you can access free of charge. Locals head here to freshen up and rope-swing on a hot day and it makes for a beautiful way to pass a few relaxing hours. It Isn’t quite as magical an experience as swimming under the La Fortuna waterfall but hey, it’s convenient and free of charge so what’s not to love about that? Plus, you can go totally lazy-bum for the afternoon and take a taxi out here (all the drivers know it). Simply nominate a pick-up time (1.5hrs should be enough) and you don’t even have to walk. A great ‘last day in Arenal’ activity! Just a word of caution, though, as this stretch of river is set in a canyon: do not head here if it is or has been raining and, if it starts to rain, leave immediately, as the river level can rise incredibly fast. Just use common sense and enjoy.

tropical rainforest

 

  1. Take a 4X4 Tour to El Castillo (and stay the night)

El Castillo is one of the quaintest villages in the Arenal region but often gets overlooked because you need a 4WD to reach it. For those willing to go that extra mile, though, the experience is very rewarding and is a stunning way to get well off the tourist trail (and away from the crowds). A handful of beautiful eco-lodges means you can head up here (only 11 miles away from La Fortuna) for a couple of days if you wish, and explore this lesser-known area. A butterfly conservatory and ‘eco-zoo’, where you’ll find a great collection of amphibians and reptiles, provide plenty of distraction if you don’t want to tackle any of the (many) hikes on offer. The best reason to come to El Castillo, however, is that the charming town offers arguably the most jaw-dropping and unobstructed views of Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal.

volcano

 

Here at Costa Rica Rios, we offer an amazing array of adventure sin Arenal, all of which can be customized and tailor-made to suit your wishes. Check out the best Arenal Activities we have on offer and the wonderful Arenal Hotels we recommend staying in – various options means budget travelers, families and honeymooners will also find something to suit them.

Contact us to know more.

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Best Places for Your Costa Rica Destination Wedding Photo-Shoot

We won’t lie: enjoying a stunning photo-shoot is one of the best parts of a Costa Rica destination wedding. Many couples enjoy them so much that they actually plan several photo-shoots on their adventure honeymoon after their wedding, just so they can take advantage of an array of magnificent locations. Whilst you probably can’t get to a volcano, a beach, a waterfall and a rain-forest in the one single photo session, there’s nothing stopping you from getting dolled up a few times during your trip, just so you can have a wide variety of shots in your album.

Photogenic, dreamy, colorful and totally charming, the best places for your Costa Rica destination wedding photo-shoot will ensure your album be among the most treasured mementos you’ll have of your big, beautiful, all-important day.

Beaches

Choose a remote beach on the western Pacific coast and you will have the most magical sunset photos of all. Beaches are undoubtedly the #1 wedding photo-shoot location in Costa Rica, with the array of options making for personalized albums that are unique to every couple. Whilst sunsets are the prime attraction on the Pacific Coast, sunrises are on the Caribbean, the play of light in the early morning making for sensational shots. The most popular beaches are unarguably in Manuel Antonio National Park, where verdant forests tumble down to sandy shores, remote and wild beaches on the Osa Peninsula (home to a few stellar boutique resorts) and of course Tamarindo, a popular vacation spots that offers everything you need for a fabulous wedding vacation.

Given that Costa Rica destination weddings are so popular all over the country, it means you’ll find an excellent photographer no matter which beach you need to visit. More often than not, however, photographers will also travel to different locations for a shoot so if you have a specific expert in mind, it always pays to ask their availability at your chosen location. Whilst continuity in style can certainly be a lovely thing, it’s also wonderful to have different reels from different photographers, to have the widest range of looks. Just like every beach in Costa Rica is unique and enticing in its own way, no two wedding photographers are the same.

photo-shoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waterfalls

Nothing spells Costa Rica glamour weddings quite like a waterfall photo-shoot and although the country is absolutely chock-full of stunning drops, many are perhaps a little too inconvenient to reach, all dressed up to the nines. In this instance, we prefer waterfalls that are close to – and even within – some of the best resorts in the country. At the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, for example, you don’t even need to move an inch in your heels: you can have the ceremony, reception lunch and photo-shoot all in front of one of five gorgeous waterfalls. Only an hour away from Sa Jose, this stunning place is well-versed in all things wedding related so you can organize a shoot here even if not staying. An in-house butterfly garden also makes for a very unique setting, to add color and an ethereal setting to your photos.

photo-shoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luxury Hotels & Resorts

The easiest option is also one of the most glamorous, with Costa Rica’s array of wedding resorts putting on fabulous photo-shoot locations throughout their outstanding properties. You can choose your luxury resort location by a glorious private beach, immersed in pristine forests and even overlooking one of the country’s many awe-inspiring volcanoes. Resorts and hotels really do combine the best of it all, as far as convenience, setting and location are concerned. When choose a wedding venue, it pays to check out the property (albeit virtually) to see if the setting would make for great photography. The in-house wedding planner can also run through all the available options with you, both at the resort itself and nearby. Every Costa Rica photographer has their own ‘insider secret spot’ when it comes to wedding photo-shoots, so it helps to pick their brain.

Private Villas

A jaw-dropping backdrop, an infinity pool, your own private haven and a fantastical place to hold a breath-taking photo-shoot – private villa rentals in Costa Rica are just the gift that keep on giving. Luxury villas come in all shapes, sizes and budget with accommodation options ranging from family sized (4-5) to larger groups ideal for a wedding with sleeping arrangement for, say, two dozen people yet with enough entertainment space to fit double the number. If you have your wedding reception and accommodation already sorted and simply wish to book a villa for a few hours’ worth of posing glamorously, ask the venue, or your photographer, if they know of an available villa that would allow for that. There are many, like Villa Punto de Vista, that actually allow for this as the country is a very popular photography and TV Show shooting destination.

photo-shoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luxury Yachts & Catamarans

Add a touch of glamour and exclusivity to your wedding photo-shoot by heading out into the sapphire seas on a luxury yacht or catamaran cruise for a couple of hours. You’ll find a greater choice of boat and rental options on the Pacific coast and although quite a few insist on day-long rentals, many can be hired for just an hour or two which would make the wedding photo-shoot a lot more affordable too. If you don’t have the time nor the inclination to do your own research on this, it may be worthwhile to hire a wedding planner who will not only organize the actual ceremony for you but can coordinate with photographer and photo-shoot venue to fit within your budget and according to your wishes. Event planners really take all the stress out of destination wedding planning and Costa Rica boasts a wealth of expert and professional ones – just see here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rain-forests & Wilderness

Taken on the path to the La Fortuna waterfall, the below photo shows just how atmospheric Costa Rica’s rain-forests can be for wedding photography. Choose Monteverde and you could be on a hanging bridge suspended in the clouds, framed by verdant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volcanoes

The Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, right at the foothills of Arenal Volcano, is the prime location in the country if you’re dreaming of that distinctive WOWing photo-shoot setting. It really doesn’t get any better than this: a luscious resort set in prime wilderness, with its own private hot springs and insanely beautiful gardens. Choose to stay here and the resort will help co-ordinate your shoot, taking advantage of the many secluded spots that make for glorious pics. Yet Tabacon is not the only choice, by a long shot. There are many beautiful lodges here that not only boast their own unique views of Arenal but also know of prime spots just nearby which you can take advantage of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildlife Refuges

Hosting a wedding photo-shoot in a wildlife refuge may seem a little odd at first but once you realize that a ‘refuge’ in Costa Rica can mean more than one thing. Whilst some are bona fide wildlife rehab center (totally worth visit) other are simply fervently protected reserves where wildlife can thrive. Boutique lodges within the boundaries of wildlife refuges can make for exceptional photo-shoot locations, especially for animal-lovers. Imagine having the moment a cheeky monkey tries to steal your bouquet or a colony of coatis walks across your path, forever immortalized in your wedding pics? Pretty special! Parrots, monkeys, perhaps even a sloth – these are the kinds of wedding subjects with whom you could be sharing your treasured photographs.

And what could be more Costa Rican than that?

If you fancy a unique destination wedding photo-shoot in Costa Rica and looking for that one adventure vacation company that can bring your wedding and adventure honeymoon together, talk to Costa Rica Rios today.

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Come FLY the Pura Vida – Guide to Zip-lining in Costa Rica

Amongst the many exciting outdoor activities on offer in Costa Rica, zip-lining would have to be the most popular and, without a doubt, the most iconic. Flying like a bird along the canopy of a pristine forest is not just an exciting activity but also grants you a superb view of the country’s wilderness, one you’d otherwise never get to experience. Yet as popular as the sport is, in our neck of the woods, there are still many first-time visitors who don’t know what zip-lining in Costs Rica entails. Is zip-lining in Costa Rica safe? Age restricted? It is difficult and scary?

We thought we’d compile this guide to zip-lining in Costa Rica, so you can come and fly high, the Pura Vida way, and enjoy the absolute adventure vacation of a lifetime, in one of the world’s most welcoming countries.

zip-lining

 

 

 

 

 

What Exactly IS Zip-lining and How Did It Evolve?

Zip-lining or ‘flying fox’ as an adventure sport was first introduced in Costa Rica over four decades ago and, although now available all over the world, our humble little nation is still regarded the trailblazer of the trend. Historical records show that the use of a diagonal rope to transport goods and people across uneven terrain (across canyons or rivers) has been in use for well over 400 years in several continents (most especially in very mountainous regions) although the identity of the genius who first came up with the idea is still unknown. By the 1980’s, zip-lining was extensively used in Latin America by researchers studying dense tropical rain forests and their elusive wildlife so it’s no surprise to know that the first ‘recreational’ commercial course, aimed at the sheer fun of it all, was first opened in Costa Rica 1992.

Zip-lining involves completing a suspended-line course interspersed with platforms at strategic points. The aim is to use gravity as a force of movement, so you glide along the line rather than be driven along by some kind of mechanical apparatus, with the incline and your weight determining your speed.

The popularity of zip-lining in Costa Rica also reflects the eco-friendly benefit of this activity, when compared to so many others, given the low ecological impact it creates in a pristine wilderness environment. Zip-lining allows visitors access (and a bird’s eye view) to some of the most remote and unspoiled terrain of all, the only impact being the initial building of each platform and the occasional access to maintain it. But it still avoids the impact of having tens of thousands of people trample on the forest floor daily and that’s a huge plus for mother nature. This was the primary reason biologists first used the system in Costa Rica and its evolution into the tourism sector has been a very organic one, for obvious reasons.

zip-lining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can Anyone Do It?

You bet! Zip-lining in Costa Rica is popular with honeymooning couples, retirees on vacation, singles, families and everyone in between. Every course specifies difficulty rating and duration, so you can choose the one that suits you best. Many tours do involve a bit of walking between platform so, no matter your age, you should still be fit and agile enough to complete a course. This is the absolute quintessential adventure activity in Costa Rica, something every active traveler really should try when visiting.

Is It Dangerous?

When used correctly, incorporating the right galvanized cables, with loads and breaks at the right distance, zip-lining is exceptionally safe, each course able to load tens of thousands of pounds at any given time. As with any adrenaline sport using gear, it is imperative you always choose a professional and well-respected company, one that’s considered ‘the best in the biz’ with a proven track-record of unrivaled safety. There’s a wealth of dedicated gear involved in zip-lining in Costa Rica, including safety harnesses, sturdy pulleys, safety helmets and thick safety gloves. Given the nature of the activity, however, there is always some risk involved when zip-lining in Costa Rica, although it’s along the lines of every other activity on offer here, including horseback riding, mountain bike riding, kayaking and whitewater rafting. Anything that doesn’t involve simply ‘walking’ along a well-paved trail is going to involve an added risk but that’s simply the nature of adventure tourism, anywhere in the world.

All the zip-line courses we recommend in Costa Rica abide by the strictest safety regulations and every visit includes a thorough safety briefing before you’re allowed anywhere near a line.

Is Zip-lining In Costa Rica Scary?

Now here’s a totally different topic and a very subjective one. If you’re a thrill-seeking adventurer out for a great adrenaline-rush then zip-lining is tailor-made for you. If, however, you suffer vertigo or simply scare easily, then you may want to keep your feet on the ground. It’s worth noting that there’s a multitude of zip-lining courses in Costa Rica that are quite mellow – even suitable for children above a certain age – with short sections that never allow you to pick up any great speed. Yep, there are plenty of ‘trial runs’ you can do if you’re keen to try it out first and see if you like it – no need to go all gung-ho right off the bat if you’re hesitating.

Where in Costa Rica Can You Go Zip-lining?

Given the sheer concentration of wilderness in Costa Rica and the popularity of zip-lining, there’s almost ‘no corner’ of the country that isn’t home to a world-class zip-line course. You’ll find zip-line options in both the north and southern Caribbean coast, the Central Valley and all along the Pacific coast.

What Are The Best Zip-lining Courses In Costa Rica?

The most popular and best zip-lines are found in the country’s most revered highlights, namely Arenal Volcano, Monteverde (whose cloud forests offer a very unique experience), the Nicoya Peninsula and Manuel Antonio, which adds a fun Tarzan Swing and meaner through an amazing butterfly garden. The most famous though is Diamante Superman, the second-longest dual zip-line in South America, where you can your travel partner can fly side by side and enjoy the thrill of zip-lining together – this line is almost a mile long and offers the most spectacular ocean views you could ever dream. See our Zip-line Tours page for full details on each of the best zip-line courses we recommend.

zip-lining

 

 

 

 

 

The Tarzan Swing @ Diamante Superman

What Should You Wear When Zip-lining In Costa Rica?

If you’ve ever been abseiling, you’d immediately understand what’s needed for zip-lining: comfortable non-slip shoes, and versatile pants (preferably long or up to your knees as a minimum) and T-shirts that are neither too tight nor too lose. Stretchy fabrics that allow you a full range of motion are best. You also don’t want to go for thick fabrics – and you wouldn’t want to in Costa Rica anyway – so the harness, which goes around your legs and bottom, can be rightly adjusted. ‘When zip-lining in Costa Rica, ensure you have comfortable clothing and shoes on, pin an excited smile on your face and you can look forward to one of the best adrenaline rushes in the world!

Anything Else You Should Know About Zip-lining In Costa Rica?

Yes! Tie up your hair in a bun or better still braid it if it’s long, don’t pack your phone or any other valuables in your pockets (store them safely beforehand), make sure your camera (which you can bring along) has a wrist strap and attachment. Lastly, once you’ve made the decision to go for it then…do just that. No need to overthink the departure from the platform or anything else, just step off, sit back on your harness and enjoy the magnificent ride. We bet it’ll be one of the most fun things you’ll ever do!

 

At Costa Rica Rios, we plan bespoke and group adventure vacations that include zip-line excursions, also offering options if your travel companions aren’t keen on the flight of the eagles. See our range of fabulous adventure vacation tours in Costa Rica and contact us to know more.

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10 Reasons Costa Rica Does it Better

Closer, cheaper, safer, friendlier AND with so much more wildlife and fun to offer: there are countless reasons Costa Rica just DOES.IT.BETTER!

Offering more active pursuits than Hawaii and Tahiti, better beaches than Asia, easier to reach than Australia and more value for money than Europe and just about everywhere else, Costa Rica really is an unmatched travel destination. The undisputed queen of sensational active vacations, Costa Rica simply offers more, so much more, for your time, efforts and holiday funds.

And what’s not to love about that?

Here are just 10 reasons Costa Rica does it better!

  1. There’s more wildlife

Costa Rica wildlifeThe sheer concentration and diversity of wildlife makes it a superior animal-lover’s choice destination, anywhere on earth. Not only will you find unique species like sloths, jaguars, ocelots, turtles and an endless array of monkeys and birds, but you’ll find them all in close proximity to one another and immersed in the same pristine wilderness where your eco-lodge or resort is located.

Unlike Africa or elsewhere in Latin America, you need not head out on mammoth expeditions specifically in search of wildlife. Here, the wildlife finds you.

  1. The area is compact and traveling around is easy

Good infrastructure, well-connected airports and a wide array of accommodation options makes traveling around the country very easy. What’s more, Costa Rica simply isn’t all that big and the most popular and beloved attractions, from Arenal Volcano to the Manuel Antonio National Park and the startling Pacific coast beaches, are reached within just a couple of hours’ drive from the capital, San Jose, or merely minutes from the northern airport in Liberia.

  1. Costa Rica is close to home

Not everyone has a month’s vacation to spare OR days to waste dealing with jetlag and extensive trans-continental flights.

Travel here and you don’t have to deal with any of that, and that’s what makes this such a revered short-vacation destination. You can go from your front door to an idyllic tropical beach in just a matter of a few hours.

From home to paradise in a jiffy, from sitting at your work desk to rafting one of the world’s best rated rivers, in a matter of hours. Costa Rica offers you a superb value-for-time vacation even in just a single week away because you can fit a lot into each and every day.

Vacation perfection? We think so!

  1. Costa Rica is always a safe bet

Having dodged the kind of political, social and economic turmoil that has affected its neighbors on a regular basis over the last century, Costa Rica is a very safe and predictable holiday destination. Perfect for planning a trip months in advance and ideal if you wish to travel with your family and just don’t want to worry about safety or last-minute disruptions due to unforeseen domestic issues. Considered one of the safest countries in all of Central America and the Caribbean, Costa Rica is not only a very rewarding bet but a very safe one too.

  1. Boasts better beaches

Costa Rica beachA beach vacay in the heart of winter is what everyone dreams yet unless you want to share your ideal beach with a ton of rubbish or exceptional crowds, you’d do well to choose Costa Rica.

More dreamy than in Europe, cleaner than in Asia, more accessible than in Australia and infinitely cheaper than in Africa, the beaches in Costa Rica are better, any which way you look at it.

  1. In fact, water is EVERYWHERE

It’s not only in idyllic beaches that Costa Rica showcases best; the country also boasts more waterfalls than Hawaii and an incredible maze of crystal-clear rivers you can have a world of fun in. If you’re a water baby, or at least dream to be, Costa Rica is your endless wonderland. Snorkel, surf, dive, kayak, raft, swim and paddle your way through the country, whether you choose to stay on the coast or explore the wild interior. With hundreds of startling beaches to choose from and a head spinning number of riverside lodges, you’ll have the revitalizing and relaxing effects of flowing water no matter where you go. Plus, the water’s warmer here! Need we say more?

  1. There’s a natural landscape to suit you. Yes, all of you

There may be plenty of lovely tropical beach destinations in the world but, 99% of the time, the variety is what’s lacking; making family vacations more than a little restrictive. What if one loves the beach but another wants to climb mountains? Well, in Costa Rica, you can do both…and more! Costa Rica is the most biodiverse country in the world and offers a kaleidoscope of landscapes to suit every taste. Vertiginous volcanic peaks shrouded in clouds, several different types of forests alongside wildlife-brimming mangroves, luscious countryside and, of course, thousands of miles of pristine coastline. No matter what your eyes love feasting on, you’re bound to find it here. If variety really is the spice of life than Costa Rica offers the tastiest vacation for you and your loved ones. More than a dozen distinct ecosystems, all boasting a spectacular array of unique wildlife and landscapes: Costa Rica is like a dozen nature-filled countries all rolled into one.

  1. The people are friendlier in Costa Rica

Friendly, hospitable, fun and humble, Costa Ricans are a personification of their country. Recently rated by the Happy Planet Index as the happiest country in the world, Costa Rica is considered the most satisfying place to live and, as far as its inhabitants go, it certainly shows. Ticos love children and are sociable, laid-back, quick to smile and eager to help, making them some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Proud of their culture, culinary prowess and certainly proud of their nature, you’ll find locals to be among the most memorable treats of all. Families, in particular, are often overwhelmed by the friendliness of the locals, especially towards children, something that seems to be increasingly lacking back home. The smiles are genuine and warm here and make you feel welcomed and cherished from the first moment you set foot off the plane.

  1. The fun in Costa Rica is totally immersive

There’s nowhere else on earth that offers the kind of nature-filled adventures that Costa Rica offers, in every corner of the country. Yes, you can admire waterfalls elsewhere but you’re not allowed to swim at their base, you can hike through rain forests but you’re not allowed to zip line through them and although you may be able to enjoy a picnic on the shores of a crystalline river, you’re probably not allowed to white-water raft through it. But in Costa Rica, you can. You can do it all. There’s no other country that has invested so much effort and funds in creating a natural playground whilst still preserving the integrity of its unspoilt nature and that’s what makes Costa Rica revered among adventure travelers. The spellbinding nature here can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways so if you’re not happy merely admiring it but want to FEEL part of it, then you’ll never find a more worthy choice.

  1. Costa Rica offers the best value for money. Hands down

Could you possibly find a cheaper destination than Costa Rica, with this much stuff to do and so close to home? We think not. Authentic experiences and luxury accommodation in Costa Rica cost but a fraction of the price of what you’d get anywhere else, making ‘indulgences’ much more affordable. Overall, you get more – and can DO more – for the price of a mid-range vacation in comparative destinations and, for this reason alone, Costa Rica continues to top all the lists for the best honeymoon, family and adventure vacation destinations in the world. Costa Rica isn’t merely ‘cheap’ but is, hands-down, the best value-for-money destination you’ll ever find.

More adventure, more fun, more diversity, more beauty and more of everything, for much less.

Costa Rica doesn’t just do it better: Costa Rica does it best.

For a wide array of fantastic adventure vacations in Costa Rica, with the country’s foremost active vacation experts, click here and contact us today.

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Build Yourself The Custom Adventure Vacation Of A Lifetime

Vacation on the beachNo two families or groups are alike. That’s why a one-size-fits-all vacation package just won’t cut it. In addition to our great pre-set vacation packages at Costa Rica Rios, we also provide our clients the ability to custom build the vacation of a lifetime! To many people, a vacation like this is a major life event, and that’s something we don’t take lightly. The ability to pick and choose the components of your vacation is one of the best features we offer.
There are adventure options for all sized groups; including all ages and ranges of ability. In order to plan your perfect custom vacation, here are some things to keep in mind.

1.Your Group Members

Activities the children can enjoy

First, take stock of your group. How many people will there be? Take note of the ages, abilities and interests of each group member. This is a great time to include younger family members in on the vacation planning, have them fill in a chart with all of this information or have them help “interview” each group member. Costa Rica Adventure vacations are not only for families, they can be great for groups of friends, church or business groups or clubs.

2.Your Perfect Vacation Mix
Do you want an all-out full-throttle adventure extravaganza? Or will some members of your group also like to chill and relax a little? With a custom vacation you are in complete control of what activities you participate in. Our guided scenic tours are just as popular as the heart-pounding white river rafting! Our English-speaking guides all live and work in Costa Rica, making them expert companions for your trip! Throw in some horseback riding, zip lining and then a nice dinner and show for your perfect vacation mix.

3.Your Budget
Your custom vacation package can be all inclusive, including lodging, ground transportation around the area, equipment, activity fees, meals and more! If you prefer to be on your own for some of your meals or explorations you are welcome to do that as well! We have packages and custom components that can fit into any budget, so check out our custom tour page and start planning today!

It’s time to take charge of your vacation time! A custom adventure vacation in Costa Rica Rios awaits.

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Perfect Wedding Finale – The Grand Adventure Honeymoon!

Start your lifetime of memories as a family off on the right foot with a heart-thumping, awe-inspiring honeymoon that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives. Adventure vacations aren’t for everyone but if you’re full of spirit and love being active then you could be in for the thrill of a lifetime!

Couple whitewater kayaking in Costa Rica on an adventure vacation.

Adventure honeymoons can take you to exotic locations and help you explore many new opportunities. You and your partner can work hand in hand while kayaking, zip-lining, surfing, or whatever your heart desires!

First, sit down with your loved one and talk about your ideal honeymoon. Make sure you’re on the same page. An adventure honeymoon will allow you to cover a lot of ground in one trip, encompassing travel, beautiful sights and fun activities! There is sure to be something to please both of you and the elements of the vacation can be picked out and agreed upon ahead of time or you can fly by the seat of your pants if you’re more into spontaneity.

Couple jumping off a cliff in Costa Rica.

Make sure you plan ahead and have your passports ready. If you don’t have a passport you will want to apply for one in plenty of time before the wedding. Depending on your wedding day and reception plans, you will have to decide if you want to leave for your honeymoon right away or at a later date. Make sure to pack your adventure clothing including good shoes for walking and hiking. Bug spray and sunscreen are also good bets to bring along as these items can be pricey in tourist areas. And most importantly, try to leave the stress of wedding planning and working behind as you head off to the vacation of a lifetime with your spouse!

Many people dream of sandy beaches and exotic cocktails for their honeymoon and if you’re looking to combine amazing tropical scenery with awesome adventure then look no further than Costa Rica! Surround yourself with the culture and extreme landscapes that are packed with adventurous opportunity! Your honeymoon can be packaged into a romantic yet energetic vacation by the experts at Costa Rica Rios!

Hiking, swimming, surfing, zip-lining, snorkeling, white water rafting and more can be enjoyed by day while fabulous dining and relaxing poolside can be the perfect ending to your activities. Fill any downtime with sightseeing, shopping and relaxation. Your tours and hikes will be fully guided for your safety. Adventure honeymoons are growing in popularity and you’ll be amazed at how much fun can be had!