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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Osvaldo Conquers His Fears on the MAMBO COMBO by Osvaldo VegaThe first tour I went on with Desafio was about a year and a half ago and it was the Mambo Combo. The two tours that our company is most famous for, rafting and canyoneering – combined into one day! I went with two other co-workers Veronica and Rocio. We were quite the trio, with me being afraid of heights and they were both afraid of water. It was the first time I had ever done anything like that before and I was really nervous to face my fear of heights. As soon as we started the tour, the girls laughed at me because I was shaking so badly. But we had an excellent guide, Hernan, with us and he showed me what to do. The Lost Canyon was really great because it starts with the smallest rappel first to let you learn what you are doing. I slowly began to get more comfortable as we went on and then we got to the big 60 meter waterfall and my heart was beating out of my chest. I started little by little going down and then the guides yelled at me to let go. I did let go (literally) and it was amazing! I knew that I had conquered my fear. We then walked up a trail and had a really delicious lunch.After only about a half hour we headed out for the rafting trip on Rio Balsa. This part I was really excited about because I absolutely love the water! I grew up in Puntarenas and playing on beaches and in rivers and was excited about combining the water and adrenaline together. This time it was the girls who were shaking because they were nervous! The two other women with us wanted to ride in the back so one of my co-workers had to ride up front with me. Within 10 minutes of being in the boat, my co-workers were having a great time and not afraid anymore. They were both really brave and even jumped in when we came to a calm spot in the river. Everyone enjoyed the refreshing water splashing all over us. We even got to "ride the bull" where we got to ride on the front of the raft. It was so much fun.The tour really changed my impression of the company. As an IT guy, we don't get out from behind the computers very much. After that, I really understood the essence of the company and what it was that we were doing. It was a really cool experience and I was happy to discover what the company was all about and the adventure and happiness we bring to people. I never would have understood my part of the overall team and puzzle if had not left my desk. I have done other tours since then, but I will never forget that first one – the Mambo Combo!
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Canyoning in Costa Rica: The Perspective of a Professional Canyoneerby Eliomar Durán Vargas, Canyon Leader for Desafío Adventure CompanyLost Canyon Adventures Canyoning: A Multi-Sport Tour with Rappelling, Guided Zip Line Rappels, Down Climbing, Jumping and Hiking -- The Lost Canyon has it all!The other day, Christine and Suresh, the owners of Desafio, asked me to write a super-detailed description of our Costa Rica Canyoning tour at our Lost Canyon - they said "please give us your perspective of the Lost Canyon Canyoning near Arenal Costa Rica that explains every single step... everything you enjoy about the canyon and about doing canyoning in Costa Rica... everything you know clients have fun doing in the Lost Canyon... don't miss a beat!"I am the Canyon Leader for Desafío Adventure Company and I am pretty sure I could do the Lost Canyon with my eyes closed because I have been guiding the canyon for more than 5 years. I knew it would be easy for me to write about my canyoning experience especially because my team and I have invented a lot of fun, new things for clients to do while they are with us canyoning near the Arenal Volcano.For me, any canyoning trip in Costa Rica is considered an #EnviableExperience. But let me tell you about the Lost Canyon.This Costa Rica canyoning trip starts off by having one of the entertaining bus guides from my team picking up clients at their hotels. Along the way, he explains the dynamics of the tour and answering client questions. Sometimes our clients are a little nervous and pretty excited about the tour, and ask questions about canyoning in Costa Rica:Q: How long is the Lost Canyon canyoning tour in Arenal Costa Rica?A: About 4 hours including transport, gearing up, time in the canyon and lunch.Q: How long does it take to get to the Lost Canyon Base Camp from La Fortuna?A: About 30 minutes. We travel up the side of the mountain in our cool "Jungle Limos!"Q: How high are the canyoning waterfall rappels?A: We have the highest rappels of any commercial canyoning site in Costa Rica. Two of our Costa Rica waterfalls in the Lost Canyon are over 50-meters or 150 ft high each.Q: What are the general logistics of the Lost Canyon Canyoning tour?A: After we pick you up at your hotel and then change from the minivan to our famous Desafío "Jungle Limos" for a fun 15 minute ride up the side of the mountain. Then we get our gear at our Lost Canyon Ops Center (we call it our Canyon House) and head into the Lost Canyon. The tour takes about 2 hours and then after the tour, we end up hiking back up to the Lost Canyon Ops Center that has showers and changing rooms.Q: Where will we eat and what kind of food is served? What if I have special dietary needs?A: You'll have a delicious homecooked meal called the "Warrior's Buffet" back at the Lost Canyon Ops Center. It's home-made, fresh, all-you-can-eat, traditional Costa Rican food - perfect for Vegetarians and those looking for Gluten Free options!So... Once customers get to the Lost Canyon Ops Center, the guide directs tourists to the locker room area where clients can leave personal belongings, get to know the rest of the guide team and use the restrooms. We then proceed to get clients geared up in high-quality equipment: helmets, carabiners, harnesses, and Figure 8s. When the group is ready, we jump back on the Jungle Limos again to reach the top of the mountain, where the tour begins. Once on top of the mountain, your instructor will discuss Deafio's two most important rules: 1) Be Safe! and 2) Have Serious Fun!Our canyoning team has added another rule: 3) GET WET!They will explain step-by-step, the how-to of canyoning and take a photo of you and your canyon crew getting psyched up for your adventure.Here is how your Costa Rica canyoning trip will unfold: we start with our smallest rappel of about 25 feet - you will be assisted by two guides - one at the top to help you ease your way down the rappel and one at the bottom doing the belay (holding the "brake" rope.)This first rappel called "The Baby" gives you the opportunity to get a feel for your equipment and learn how to slow and stop and proper foot positioning, etcYou'll feel a bit of an adrenaline rush once you finish that first easy rappel and then we walk about 5 minutes to finally arrive at the second rappel we call "The Big Boy" waterfall in the Lost Canyon.This second rappel is about 150-feet high and is combined with a technique called a guided or assisted abseil (a diagonal rappel that zips you down 30-50 meters away from the base of the waterfall.)This waterfall rappel is divided into 2 sections: First, rappel half-way down the waterfall wall and then let go of the ropes and zip down to the bottom of the canyon. People love this exhilarating drop.This Arenal canyoning tour is not just rappelling down waterfalls, it is a full-body workout. You will need to use your whole body to climb your way through the canyon.After each rappel we get to walk through this jungle obstacle course and use our entire body to help us through. There are large rocks, small waterfalls, and pools of water, all surrounded by pristine rainforest.One of the best parts is the trail is called "The Matrix," a two meter drop into a pool of fresh crystalline water. If you are not wet already...prepare to get wet here! We then reach Surprise #2: our famous "Tsunami!" I won't go into too much detail - you'll have to experience this fun water feature for yourself!Get ready for another 3 minute-walk or so to reach the third rappel which is about 22 feet high called the "Big Mama" waterfall.After finishing the third rappel, we walk again through the canyon for a few more minutes taking in the incredible natural surroundings before finally arriving at fourth and final rappel called the "Big Daddy."This is the highest waterfall of about 220 feet in height. This rappel will also combine rappelling the rock wall in the waterfall for about 20 feet and then finish off with the guided-rappel zipline -- tourists will be zipping through the air for most of the descent and have the opportunity to have a panoramic view of the canyon and the waterfall.You've made it!Once we finish the last rappel, we will walk about 25 minutes to make our way out of the canyon. Don't rush during your hike back up; relax and enjoy the challenge of this pretty steep hike and take in the beauty of the surrounding jungle.When we reach our Canyon House, we will give you a towel, a plastic bag to put your wet clothes in and opportunity to use the rustic outdoor showers and change your clothes.Once you've freshened up, you've probably worked up quite an appetite. You'll appreciate our Warrior Buffet, an all-you-can-eat natural, home-cooked meal! During your meal, the Canyon Paparrazzi team will show you the photos they took of you during your tour and you'll have a chance to purchase photos to show everyone back home.Finally when you are done eating, and you're ready to go back to your hotel, be sure to grab all of your belongings and a guide will drop you off. This is where you say "good-bye" to the rest of the guides! You descend down the side of the mountain on our Jungle Limos and then change to our minivan with FREE WiFi so you can immediately share your #EnviableExperience with your friends and family back home on your favorite social media (don't forget to #DesafioCR!!)And speaking of more Desafío Adventures... after you've done the Lost Canyon, next time you will have to try our new Gravity Falls Waterfall Jumping Canyoning Tour in the Arenal area - Gravity Falls is Costa Rica's MOST Extreme tour!I look forward to being your guide!Eliomar rappelling in the Lost Canyon.
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