Experience the best of Costa Rica with this 8-Day/7-Night Volcano-Jungle-Beach vacation in Costa Rica! Spend time in the three most sought-after areas of this diverse country! Get your adrenaline pumping at the Arenal Volcano with rafting and canyoning. Then, see the Monteverde cloud forest and finish off your vacation with a fun visit to the beach at Playa Samara having plenty of time to try ocean activities like stand up paddling and snorkeling!
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Costa Rica Weekend Warrior in Arenal
San Jose - Arenal Volcano
Starting at $599
Do the best adventures in Costa Rica every waking moment of these 4 days and 3 nights in Costa Rica on the Weekend Warrior Escape! Explore the wilderness of Arenal Costa Rica on this unforgettable all-inclusive Costa Rica vacation package! Spend your days white water rafting, rappelling down tropical waterfalls, hiking, kayaking and soaking in relaxing hot springs heated by the volcano! The perfect vacation for couples, groups of friends - and even adventurous families!
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Costa Rica Pure Adrenaline Tour
Arenal - Monteverde - Playa Samara
Starting at $975
Get your adrenaline pumping in tropical paradise! Costa Rica is a natural playground because of its rushing rivers, vast coastlines, lush rainforest, tropical waterfalls and fascinating volcanoes. Rappel down waterfalls and mountain bike through rough & tough terrain at the Arenal Volcano. Head to the Monteverde Cloud Forest by boat to experience a zipline adventure of a lifetime! Finish off this exciting vacation with a few days at the beach with opportunities to try stand up paddling or ocean kayaking!
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Doing what you love in Costa Rica - Getting to know Nature Guide Milton Muñoz
by Christine Krishnan
Every day I try to learn something new about someone on our Team Desafio. Chats around the coffee maker or lunch time reveal fascinating tidbits about the lives of the people in our company who are more like family to us.
I love to hear news about Hector's new baby, Karina's engagement, Socorro's niece, Danny's biking adventures in Cartago, Tauherth's discovery of a new guide book with excellent details on Costa Rican history that he looks forward to sharing with clients. There's always something to catch up on.
Today I got to know Milton Muñoz a little better. Milton hails from the the small border town of Golfito in the Osa Peninsula -- considered the last frontier of Costa Rica. He now lives nearly 500 kilometers from home on the completely other side of Costa Rica in La Fortuna, San Carlos near the Arenal Volcano.
We are traveling to some rugged parts of Guanacaste to mark some running routes for a group of ultra-marathon runners who want us to show them the best places to run in Costa Rica. Milton is a professional nature guide who happens to be an avid runner with a bunch of adventure race medals and trophies under his belt.
I start with a pretty banal question as I turn on the radio and start driving: "So, Milton, want kind of music do you like?" Turns out we have something in common. Ska music. Mexican Ska music. El Gran Silencio is his choice, especially for when he goes running. Mine is Kung Fu Monkeys. I make a note to self to download more ska music -- like local Costa Rican ska band Percance because I had forgotten how much I like ska.
I then ask Milton to tell me about how he became a nature and adventure guide, how he found his way all the way to rural San Carlos and what it's like being a top athlete in our little farming and touristic community.
"Well, one day, a friend invited me to go rafting on the Pacuare River and I heard the bus guide tell us about Costa Rica, the volcanoes, the history, nature," Milton recalled in nearly-perfectly-spoken English. "It was then I realized I wanted to be a nature and adventure guide, so I moved closer to San Jose, studied hard, got some good training and now five years later, here I am doing what I love to do."
I glanced over and noticed the big smile on Milton's face. I could tell he is doing what he loves because the rest of the drive I had with him revolved around stories of the trips he has done with Desafio showing clients around Costa Rica -- taking our clients hiking, biking, kayaking and more.
By the time we arrived to the hilly, mountainous area of Tierras Morenas in Guanacaste to scout the running route, I certainly felt I learned something new about Milton. I already knew he was a great runner, but it was fulfilling for me to see him in his element, doing something he loves to do, and even humming his favorite ska music along the way.
Learn more about our Costa Rica Running Vacations and other Costa Rica Health and Wellness itineraries and events.
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The First Adventure Alone as a New Parent! by Tui Frye, Events Planner
I have a soon-to-be three year old daughter and I also have a confession to make. We have never really left her with anyone. There have been a few occasions that we have left her with friends or family for very brief bits of time, but other than that she has always either been with me, her Dad or both of us. And it was time. Most kids her age are in regular day care and/or accustomed to being away from their parents for at least a few hours at a time. I think about all those mom things – like she needs to learn to follow instructions, take turns and be independent. Honestly we never made the opportunity. That is until a few weeks ago…
Hubby and I were given the chance to go white water rafting. Together! Yes, we thought. It had been a long time since we had been together. At least without a toddler along. Oh, but wait… the toddler. She probably couldn't go? What would we do with her? As it turns out Desafio offers a free art class on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for kids of employees. It is taught by another Desafio employee, Selina who studied art and is artist herself. Seriously? We didn't have an excuse or reason not to go? And she would be in a class setting, expanding her horizons? And she would come home with an art project? No more convincing was necessary. We were in.
On the morning of our tour, I was admittedly getting pretty nervous. We went to the Desafio headquarters in downtown La Fortuna and we were picked up with our fellow rafters to travel to the Rio Balsa. We had a 10 am tour time and by 10:04 we were on the road. It was about a 45 minute drive through some really quaint little Costa Rican towns and acres of farmlands, plantations and jungle. All of it still takes my breath away!
We reached the launch point and found a few other vans had arrived before us and people already geared up in life jackets and helmets and ready to go. There were actually bathrooms (thank goodness!) and I changed into my bathing suit. Then we got into our life jackets and joined the group as they were starting the safety talk and instructions. I must say, I felt much better after the talk as they gave us very clear and concise instructions. I figured I would be able to remember all of it. We were then grouped off by who we came with into groups of 4-5 people and each assigned a guide.
We were paired with a really cool couple from California. They had rafting experience so I was very happy to have them along in our boat. We were first into the boat and our guide gave us a few minutes to get used to the raft and our paddles and how to move together. He was fun and that immediately calmed me down a bit. We all seemed to get the hang of paddling together and we were off.
I was impressed with the fact that they also had several safety kayakers along. That made me feel better too. I surprised myself as I was actually amazingly confident as we started paddling down the river and quickly met our first set of rapids. It was such a blast!! It was more adrenaline than I had experienced in a long time - and I loved it!
What I really liked about the river is that we got breaks in between the rapids to really look around and take in the amazing surroundings. Along the river we saw sloths, birds, grazing cows, swimming families and pure, unadulterated rain forest.
After a bit we stopped at a rocky beach and the guides cut up fresh pineapple and watermelon. It was just the break we needed, at just the right time and totally delicious! We climbed back in the boats and headed back down the river. After a few more excellent rapids, we made our way to another rocky beach and all climbed out of out rafts. We showered and dried off (I loved that they provided towels!) and all loaded back up into our vans. We then drove about 30 minutes back toward the town of La Fortuna to a little treasure called La Casona for lunch.
The day was already great, but this portion of the tour, we were not expecting and turned out to be a highlight for us! It is the country estate of a former Costa Rican president and is a totally authentic Costa Rican experience. We were greeted with little shots of home-made moonshine with fresh tropical fruit that was yummy. Hola! We then headed over to a full buffet of totally traditional home-cooked Costa Rican food (on wood burning stoves I might add). I didn't realize how hungry I was but I devoured every bite on my plate. While we ate we sat on a large deck that overlooked another amazing river and grazing horses and watched dozens of colorful tropical birds coming to eat from the feeders nearby. We also really enjoyed getting to know our fellow rafters. It was all just magical.
After lunch we were treated to little pieces of cajeta (which I liken to Costa Rican fudge) and fresh made coffee and more little shots of home-made coffee liquor. It was so fulfilling after the rafting. The icing on the cake was after that we got to go and see how sugar cane was pressed and taste fresh cane juice. It was really authentic from beginning to end and we thoroughly enjoyed the last part of the tour!
Now, I would be lying if I told you that I wasn't beginning to desperately miss the little one at this point in the day. The whole day was very busy and kept my mind off the fact that we had left her. But I wasn't sure what we would find when we got home and if she would ever forgive us... We were pleasantly surprised when we walked in and she barely looked up from what she was doing. Once she realized we were there, she proudly presented us with a beautiful bottle she had made. I would say the day was a total success as we all went home happy and exhausted. Thanks Desafio!
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Imaginative Recycling Projects and other fun activities with School Children in Costa Rica
by Maichal Ledgster, Desafio Adventure Specialist
The Desert Garden Montessori school from the United States asked us to help them with a fun recycling project when they came to La Fortuna. The goal was to make a difference and use the unique, creative talents of the children by creating garbage bins using one-liter plastic bottles! Desafio Adventure Company and our Adventure Partners were the proud hosts of this project!
The mission of the school as to create an environment for children in which they are encouraged to explore, create, learn, socialize, and celebrate their unique talents. The school is committed to developing within each child a sense of responsibility and interdependence with their community and the world.
This group used around 200 bottles and took three hours to create something that can plant a seed in the minds of all the locals to show that creating using recycling materials is a wonderful way to create useful things for the community.
The project was a great success - the students had a lot a fun here in the Arenal Volcano area - the Epicenter of Adventure!
Volunteering and recycling in Costa Rica is an excellent way to learn or practice skills, change people's minds, or make a statement to help spread awareness about current social issues such as waste reduction. It is great to do more of these small projects as they impact our lives and those who visit us.
Come and enjoy a unique experience with the rural people of La Fortuna and of course, have an adventure with Desafio Adventure Company.
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