Flying through trees attached to nothing but a cable, rushing down a roaring river, rappelling down majestic tropical waterfalls, catching a wave on pristine white sand beach, or windsurfing on the wide Lake Arenal with an active volcano in the background – if you thought Costa Rica was just for bird watchers, think again!
Costa Rica is a world renowned paradigm for adventure travel. The designation came about thanks to the country’s diverse landscapes, beautiful beaches, plentiful rivers and a very active core which gave way to seven active volcanoes.
The following are some of the top adventure activities available in Costa Rica:
1. Mt. Chirripó Hike: this “hike” is more of a 3-day trek up the highest mountain peak in Costa Rica. The hike is split into three days: one to reach the ranger camp a bit short of the peak, the next day to enjoy the sunrise and hike to the peak, and the third to climb back to the bottom. Many people train for this hike for months, and the actual trail takes you through a diverse variety of habitats and several microclimates. At the summit, temperatures can reach below freezing!
2. Surfing: Surfing is one of the top attractions in the little tropical country of Costa Rica. Thousands of miles of coastline on two coasts provides for a wide variety of waves, breaks and scenery. From the remote Santa Teresa and Nosara to the popular Jaco and Tamarindo, there is a place for surfers of all levels. Beginners are especially welcome as surf lessons are not hard to come by on the majority of the country’s beaches. [for more information see Costa Rica surfing]
3. White water rafting/kayaking: the entire country of Costa Rica is crisscrossed with a series of streams and rivers that have attracted extremists in search of white water for years. Those that came before you have tried out all the best routes and a handful of tour operators now offer white water trips of varying difficulty levels. The true adrenaline lovers will tell you that the Costa Rica rainy season is the best time to hit the rivers.
4. Windsurfing: Lake Arenal, La Fortuna in the Northern region of Costa Rica is a world renowned destination for wind surfing. Many ocean surfers like to make a trip inland to try out this unique sport for the first time. Lessons are available and can be organized online or in the town of La Fortuna. Be ready to use those muscles as wind speeds on the lake average 25 mph.
5. Rappelling: if you want to get up close and personal with a waterfall, there are several rappelling tours that take you straight down the face of some of the most beautiful water formations in the country. Rappelling tours are common in areas such as Rincon de la Vieja national park and the Arenal Volcano region.
6. Canopy Zip Line: last but not least, the poster child for Costa Rica adventure tours, the canopy zip line! Once designated to one tour operator, Costa Rica now has plenty of zip line options throughout the country at varying heights and speeds. Try the Sky Tram or Suspended bridges in Arenal for a low adrenaline experience, or for the true adventurer, try a Canopy Tour that has you suspended on a metal wire between trees high in the forest canopy. One of the most popular tours can be found in Monteverde, although there are plenty of other options, including the Urban Canopy tour that goes right through San Jose’s La Sabana park!
Filed under: Special Interest on May 30th, 2008