Costa Rica, home of environmentally friendly Ticos and adrenaline fuelled adventure, really is the perfect country for the Eco conscious traveller. Whether it’s exploring the lush cloud forests in Monte Verde or the secluded beaches of Tortuguero national park, nature and wildlife are at the top of everyone’s must see list. But there are other adventures to be had here as well guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping.
1.Get some white water – with some of the toughest rapids in the world Costa Rica is well known for its rafting. Strap on a helmet and life jacket, grab an oar and jump in to some of the choppiest waters around at Rio Balsa. But hold on tight or like me you will end up a lot wetter than you bargained for! Head to the Arenal region and the town of La Fortuna to find a reputable operator (I can recommend Desafio tours). Hotel Arenal Montechiari has amazing views of the Arenal Volcano and is a great base only a short walk from town.
2. Traverse waterfalls in a rainforest canyon – Canyoneering put simply is getting from one end of a canyon to the other, abseiling down steep waterfalls, negotiating slippery rocks and plummeting into deep pools. Surrounded by lush rainforest you may even spot a sloth as you take your life in your hands and step off the top of a waterfall. Be prepared to get a little too close to nature as the guides covertly check the edges of pools for snakes and other hazardous critters, but under the expert supervision of the guys at ‘Lost Canyon Adventures’ near La Fortuna all this will feel like a walk in the park (or jungle)!
3. Explore Monte Verde under the cover of darkness – A myriad of species usually hidden during daylight hours come to life at night. Expect to see orange kneed tarantulas, tiny frogs, sloths and maybe the odd sleeping toucan. Feel your senses heighten as you stumble around in the mud in the pitch black, totally immersing yourself in the sounds of the jungle. Join a guided hike to explore by torchlight, just watch what you put your hands on… “is that branch moving?”!
4. Zipline above the treetops – Suspend yourself high above the cloud forest canopy for the best treetop views; opt for a zip lining tour in Monte Verde and propel yourself headfirst (superman like) through the sky while gazing at the dense jungle below. For the brave there is the Tarzan swing, step out on to a platform where you are tied to a rope and “gently” encouraged to jump off the edge swinging back and forth like the jungle dweller himself! Combine this with the hanging bridges and butterfly gardens for an pretty epic day out.
5. Finally I can’t go without mentioning one wildlife hotspot! Get close to nature in Manuel Antonio National Park – Wildlife is everywhere in Costa Rica but not always that easy to spot, here however the monkeys, sloths and birds don’t bat an eyelid as tourists goggle at them. Watch your bags though as the monkeys know a free lunch when they see it! Go early morning to get the place to yourself then spend the afternoon getting your kicks with a spot of surfing (lessons are available) or relax on the beach in nearby Quepos.
I’d love to hear about your experiences in the land of Pura Vida, or if you have any questions for an upcoming trip drop me a line below. Happy travels!