Stand Up Paddle Boarding at the base of the Arenal Volcano

SUP COSTA RICA!

By: Anjelica Veca

 

Knock knock

Who’s there?

SUP

What’s SUP?

Pura vida, man! What’s up with you?!

 

...crickets.

 

Yeah, I know; no one thought it was funny here, either. But you can’t knock a girl for trying!

 

To answer your question, SUP (pronounced “soup” by the locals here in Costa Rica) is just an acronym for Stand Up Paddle, a really fun and relaxing activity that I was lucky enough to try this week. It’s a little bit like surfing, in the sense that you’re out on the water standing on a large long-board, but you use a paddle to row and steer, and if you’re really lucky, you get to do it on a lake at the base of the Arenal volcano.

 

So cool.

 

We were transported to the lake in one of Desafio’s WiFi-equipped vans, and then taken out on it in a small boat, which stayed with us the whole time and took us back when we were finished. We put on our life jackets and listened attentively to the safety and how-to-operate-your-paddle-board speech, then jumped into the water and wiggled ourselves ever so gracefully up onto our boards. Once we had our sea legs under us, we were off.

 

 

It was slightly overcast that day, so we didn’t have the best view of the volcano and surrounding greenery, but we also didn’t get baked to a crisp, so I call it an even trade. (Guys, if you wear nothing else on this tour—hey, I’m not judging—please, please, PLEASE wear sunscreen!) Our guide, Ruben, was energetic and clearly loved what he was doing; before long, he had us all cracking up as we attempted various yoga poses on our paddle boards. I almost—almost!—managed crane pose, but alas, it was not to be.

 

We had some more laughs as we paddled to an island in the middle of the lake, where we stopped to have a drink and eat some fresh fruit. One of the guides on our trip managed to catch a fish with nothing but fishing line and some pineapple. I kid you not—this guy was, without a doubt, a fish whisperer.

 

 

It was an amazing day and a wonderful tour, not to mention a welcome change in pace after two weeks of whitewater rafting. I would recommend this tour to just about anyone looking for something to do in Costa Rica—it’s super fun and great for people of all ages. And if any of you do manage to stick crane pose out there… pics or it never happened!

 

Recommendations for this tour:

 

  • WEAR ALL OF THE SUNBLOCK.
  • Wear a hat and stay hydrated.
  • Bring a sense of humor and have fun!

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