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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Some people would say they like doing rafting or zip-lining, other people would rather go hiking in the forest or swimming in the river. In my case, when I think of my favorite tour, the first thought that comes to my mind is always the same: travel.
Since I’m working in tourism, I realized something: every year thousands of tourists come from all around the world to Costa Rica looking for a great and unforgettable experience. It’s not a secret that our country has incredible and unique destinations, places that will take your breath away and make you feel like you’re in paradise. A great combination of volcanoes, beaches, national parks and a huge diversity of wildlife: that’s what Costa Rica offers to the world.
So, if these people travel for hours coming from the other side of the planet to see the beauty of our country, why don’t we do the same? It’s easy for us to just take a bus, travel for a couple of hours, and get to one of these amazing places.
I enjoy travelling through my country and visiting those places that make Costa Rica an amazing destination. However, I’m not the kind of traveler who arranges everything in advance. I’ve learned that when you plan a trip, things don’t always go the way you’re expecting, so that’s why I’d rather get to the place and then improvise. All that I need to bring with me is some money, my camera (so important), enough time, and the willingness to have a great adventure.
At the moment, I’m focused on discovering every hidden corner of the country—those places that some people don’t even know exist. Despite that fact that Costa Rica is a small country, I have a huge list of destinations that I have yet to visit, such as Chirripo, Corcovado, Puerto Viejo, Rincon de la Vieja, and Tortuguero, among others. Also, I have a really interesting trip in mind, but it will take a little longer to do because it requires enough time and money. When I think about travelling abroad, South America is the first destination on my list. Each country has something different to offer in terms of culture, customs, typical foods, and unique locations. However, I want to know these places like the locals do. Because of this, I’d go backpacking from country to country, eating local food, using public transportation, and staying in local lodgings. I consider that the best way to live a real experience. But with that said, before going on this trip I want to reach some personal goals first.
In conclusion, here’s a thought I’d like to share: “Some people go through life spending their time working very hard for the purpose of saving money, paying their children’s college tuition, buying a new car, and building their own house, but I am someone who believes that we all are born with a bigger purpose than just working, paying bills, and dying.” One day we will leave this world behind, so live a life you can remember. Life is a long list of opportunities and there is an enormous world full of wonders waiting out there for you, so go for it!
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By: Greg Reeser
My favorite tour is the Desafio Gravity Falls Extreme Combo because it includes three of the most fun activities there are to do in Costa Rica (canyoneering, mountain biking, and rafting).
What better way to start this combo tour off than with Gravity Falls? This gorgeous canyon in the middle of the rainforest reminds me of movie scenes from the past (take your pick of Jurassic Park, Romancing the Stone, or the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark) and besides it’s incredible beauty, the fact that you won’t see any other humans (except the others doing the tour with you, of course) make it a really special place. To get down into the canyon you need to do a 140 foot rappel next to a roaring waterfall, probably not your cup of tea if you have a fear of heights, but if you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience in the jungle, this is it. Then it’s time for a series of six jumps into the crystal-clear, bubbling waters of the Rio La Danta as you make your way down the canyon. Some of the guides like to do a mid-air flip when they jump and if you like, they’ll show you how to do it, too (don’t worry, the life jacket you’ll be wearing will help mitigate the sting if you end up landing on your belly). Half way down the canyon you’ll do an aided climb of about 30 meters up the canyon wall before rappelling back down to the riverbed. This is followed by a Tarzan swing and a few technical jumps before you reach the final, biggest, jump of 25 feet. If you’ve already got some cliff jumping experience this will be one of the highlights of the tour and if you’re more of a newbie, it’s better to jump as soon as you get to cliff’s edge (the longer you stand and look at the distance the more likely you will chicken out). Now it’s time to leave the canyon but before you get on the bikes you’ll have the chance to fuel up with some delicious tropical fruits.
There are few places as peaceful as the Costa Rican countryside and one of the most enjoyable aspects of the ride from Gravity Falls to the river is listening to the sounds of the birds as you ride. And who knows, you may pass a friendly campesino along the way (wave at her/him, I guarantee they’ll wave back).
Growing up in the Western United States, I’ve always associated a clear mountain river with ice cold, hand-numbing water, but (even though the Rio Balsa has some of the clearest, purest water you’ll see—and it comes straight from the mountains!) surprise surprise, it’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which means no need for wetsuits and no chattering teeth. One of the best aspects of the upper section of the Rio Balsa is that it is very continuous (i.e. the rapids are close together) so the action never stops. The lower section of the river is flatter and the rapids are further apart but it also gives you more of a chance to spot wildlife as you go (I’ll never forget the time I saw a Sunbittern, one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful birds nesting in a tree on the bank of the Rio Balsa).
Three tours in one day is pretty tough to beat, and if those three tours are canyoneering, mountain biking, and rafting in the Costa Rican rainforest, it’s a no-brainer. The Gravity Falls Extreme Combo is the best tour in Costa Rica, maybe even one of the best in the world.
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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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