Volcano Jungle Beach of Costa Rica
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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By: Katherine C.
It all started on December the 25th. I was told by my boyfriend the day before to be ready at 8:15 a.m. He didn’t want to tell me anything; I asked many questions and there was no answer for any of them. I finally told him to tell me at least what I should wear because I had no idea how formal or informal I should dress. I got a few words out of him, which was my goal, but it wasn’t what I was expecting: he told me get ready for a tour! We have always liked to do different things as a couple but he’s afraid of heights. I told myself maybe it had something to do with zip-lining; after all, that was the tour that we had talked about that I wanted to do the most, but I was just speculating. Finally, the morning arrived and I was more than ready! I actually have never been ready on time until that day, and then it was me who had to wait for him because he felt sleepy, so we were in a big rush to get to the place on time. On our way to the place, I realized we were on our way to La Fortuna. Before long, we were right in front of Atica. I didn’t know that there was a small airport behind the place. I thought that he made a quick stop to get something for breakfast, but again we were running late, so I asked what he was doing and he said to me, “We’re here!” To be honest, I got a little aggravated because I thought he had just taken me out to eat. He laughed and said, “Just wait!” After a few steps, I saw the airplane in the back and at that moment I realized the surprise he had—or at least I thought I did. We got ready, they weighed us, asked for some information, gave us a few instructions, and then we started our flight. I thought it was pretty cool! As for my boyfriend, he was a bit scared but he really wanted to do it. There was a photographer with us, but the pilot told me that she was going to take photos of a few properties that were for sale. Then the photographer started taking pictures of us, too, but I thought she was just been nice to us. After a 30 min flight, they took us back to the airport and the pilot told me that he was going to fly above the building just to take a closer look at it, and I was okay with that. We passed above the building three times and my first thought was that the pilot was lying and that he didn’t know how to land the plane. I was getting a bit scared, but then he said to me, “Really, Katherine, you haven’t seen it?” I got worried and asked him what I was supposed to be looking for. He laughed and my boyfriend pointed out the big sign that read “Will you marry me?” in red letters. He took the ring out and of course my answer was a huge YES!
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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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On my days off I love going home. My last day off I went and did a few things I have never done before. My mother wanted me to go walk with her and dad around our family's property. I am not so into walking through orange, yuca, avocado, and papaya plants, especially because I don't like the mud nor the mosquito bites you get while you’re going through these plantations. But just to make my mother happy and spend some time with my biggest heroes, I ignored all that and joined them. It was quite funny because to start off with, I was wearing sandals as my footwear (the first thing mom told me was that they were going to get dirty and that I was most likely going to get stuck in some muddy part where it would be impossible to get out of—and she was right). So after losing my shoes in the mud, I had to keep walking barefoot through our land, I stepped on a frog which I am terribly afraid off. My mom couldn´t stop laughing at my bad luck that day. My dad, on the other hand, cut down a coconut, or ¨pipa¨ as we call it, so I could calm down from the panic I just experienced. On our way through our property, I got to eat oranges, mangos, sweet lemon, star fruit, and rambutan—a reward for having suffered through the frog and my sandal getting stuck. On our way back, dad was explaining to me how he inherited the land from my grandfather. I loved knowing how my grandfather worked so hard on the same property I was walking though (for the first time). As we passed through my grandma´s house, my mom told me to get the goat, who was named ¨Andy¨ by my baby sister, from under the tree where they kept him. I thought she was joking around so I didn´t pay much attention to her until she actually got serious and told me I had to get the goat. I had never in my life gotten close to a goat, so when I saw Andy with those big horns I panicked again. She did not tell me I had to hold on to the rope very tight or else the goat was pretty much going to drag me down, nor did she mention that the goat was going to stand up on two legs and kick me. When Andy did these things I pretty much wished with all my heart I was back in Desafio’s office working. I realized my mom and dad were laughing so hard at me because I had been defeated by a small goat with two HUGE horns. Somehow, I brought the goat to where mom wanted (actually I think the goat got me where mom wanted us to be). That night, my high school friends came over and they "taught" me how to drive a motorcycle. I am afraid of motorcycles, but after some encouragement from my crazy friends I decided to try it (afterall, it couldn´t be worse than a goat name Andy). I pretty much ended up on the floor with a few bruises, but thankfully, I was in a soccer field so the floor was pretty soft. It ended up being a huge challenge for me, especially the whole balancing part and my trouble reaching the floor because I am very short. Somehow I did manage to ride the motorcycle for a full 10 minutes without falling, which was enough for me after kissing the floor so much. The next day, I couldn´t help but laugh at everything that happened to me; of course I couldn´t laugh too hard because I was bruised from Andy´s kick and the motorcycle falls.
It was a very funny experience and one that I will never forget. This day proved to me how important it is to try new things, no matter how afraid you are of them. This, and many more reasons, is why I love going home on my days off, because it´s the place I will always run back to when I need love with some craziness mixed in.
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