Costa Rica is known for its glorious coastlines, romantic beauty spots, sloths and much more but it is also a fabulous place to visit for the adrenalin junkies out there who want non-stop, heart-racing adventure from a holiday, with a selfie to prove it. Here are some suggestions for living on the edge when coming to the Rich Coast.
Heart-stopping rafting on the glorious Paquara River
Try the 2-day trip with Exploradores Adventuras and it will truly be the highlight of your Costa Rica adventure. There is such beauty that you can only see from the river of the lush tropical canyon and the quality and quantity of rapids is pretty epic. Exploradores is a first rate outfit and their guides – Roy and Angel – are highly skilled and totally bent on keeping their adventurists safe and having a good time. You will be glad that chose the overnight trip rather than the one-day as you get to spend the afternoon, night, and then the next morning at their beautiful and comfortable camp facilities. Very basic and simple, no frills but lovely. This is far more rewarding and relaxing than spending 3 hours to get to the river, zoom through the rapids, then spend another maybe 3 hours being driven to your next location. It you are looking for more frills and somewhere to stay that really matches this action packed adventure then stay at the sensational Pacuare Lodge.
Gentle rapids can be found in January when the water level have dropped significantly due to it being dry season. If you want bigger water, go in the rainy season – October through December.
Fly along the longest zip wire in Costa Rica
Sky Adventures did not disappoint! Zip-lining in Costa Rica should be on your bucket list and this team is a really professional outfit all the way from the guides to the gear and the lines. Built 18 years ago on a private reserve, the lines are long and high. There are 8 altogether. The first one isn’t very long, sort of a warm-up, then you take a very nice tram up, up to access the rest of the lines. Often it is cloudy and rainy up there, but when we went we must have lucked out and had a perfect day – hardly any wind and sunshine, so could see forever. Before zipping, we did the Sky Walk, which is also a nature walk. The guide, George, was very knowledgeable. He identified all sorts of plants and birds I never would have known about. This walk is a series of high bridges and trails. It’s a good little hike.
Jump out of a plane… yes, skydiving
This is a heart-stopper for sure but Tropical Skydiving Costa Rica are pretty amazing at making you feel calm. Everyone on their team are extremely professional, friendly and reassuring. They show videos of previous jumps while you wait and you also get to see a couple of tandem jumps and solo jumps before your own.
Adrenalin will be running high as you go up in the plane. The whole way up you will be reassured and given great explanation as to what to do. You will be given a running commentary on the view which is spectacular from the plane, but nothing compared to when you have to jump.
The jump is incredible, especially the free fall part. Once the parachute opens you are given the option to steer the parachute for yourself. You get to practise landing positions in the air and the landing is then executed brilliantly. And you get photos and a video too.
Volcano sandboarding in Nicaragua
No, I know this is not in Costa Rica but its so much fun that I wanted to include it. Yes, you got it. Sandboard down a volcano side in Nicaragua like snowboarding in the Alpes. The hike is not really difficult, and the drive there is through beautiful “campo.” The views from the top are great as well. Equipment is a large, orange, prison-like jumpsuit with science lab goggles, like the kind from high school.
The board is homemade and has Formica on the bottom to go faster. Don’t hold yourself back on the speed, you’ll regret it. There are several operators to choose from to do this tour. Quetzaltrekkers is a charitable non-profit, which boasts that they let you go down twice on the board. I have heard horror stories from some friends who got stuck lying alone on Cerro Negro for almost 2 hours due to heavy winds, and did not get to slide down, so be sure to check the weather.
Dahlia Nahome is the General Manager of Rancho Cielo.