Adventure and Adrenaline in Costa Rica

by Travelbag on 19 August 2015, 10:08AM

Although relatively small in size, Costa Rica is famed worldwide for having one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. With its stunning pristine beaches, active volcanoes, thick rainforests and incredible wildlife, there is much to whet the appetite of any visitor, and that might be why this destination has grown so much in popularity over the last few decades.

Much of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica cannot be found anywhere else in the world which adds to the exclusive nature of the country. But it’s the beaches, the tropical climate and the incredible landscapes and scenic views that draw most people to the country, transporting you to somewhere completely unique and completely brilliant.


But relaxation isn’t for everyone – and for those of you looking for a trip with a little more adventure, Costa Rica has much to offer, even if you are the most hardened adrenaline junkie. In the list below you’ll find some of the best adventure experiences to be had on this unique and exciting travel destination.

An Aqua Adventure Paradise

Costa Rica is world famous for its water based adventure offerings. It has everything from rivers perfect for some extreme kayaking, to serenely beautiful flatwater rivers for more subdued raft or canoe trips. No matter where the location, the waters are filled with a stunning array of wildlife, much of it exclusive to the country, making every paddle a true joy. The great thing about exploring the country this way is you can take it at your own pace – and there are a variety of tour groups (small and large) available to choose from.

Kayaking is a favourite activity for visitors and the country boasts over 802 miles of coastline, with innumerable rivers, lakes and estuaries. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner who’s never stepped foot in a boat, or an expert who wants to plough ahead of the group – there’s a tour for everyone here and tour groups operate at many different levels of experience.  For a truly adventurous tour kayaking could be combined with mountain biking, diving, or anything else on the way to really get the adrenaline pumping.


Some of the most highly recommended paddling locations are the coastline of Jaco, the beautiful Lake Arenal and Manuel Antonio's estuaries.

Zip-lining The Forest Canopies

A special way to experience the rainforests of Costa Rica is to whizz through it from above. The country has a number of so-called canopy tours, where you are quite literally touring the rainforest canopy from high above the ground. Tours of the rainforest canopy are achieved through the use of high altitude zip wires, trails and suspension bridges.

Ziplines are one of the hallmarks of the country with a number of companies offering tours in different locations. First starting in the 1970's, the activity has developed over the years, becoming more sophisticated and very popular, and (of course) very exciting. If you want a fun day out that promises thrills and incredible views – it’d be hard to find a better suited activity than this.


Why Not Try Some Waterfall Diving?

Based in the Osa area of Costa Rica, characterised by its rugged, wild landscape, are some waterfall diving experiences that are definitely not for the fainthearted. Waterfall tours are offered for intrepid visitors to see their natural beauty, swim in the pools at the base, or climb up and dive to the bottom. Sounds scary – but it promises an adrenaline rush like no other.

The various jump heights range from around 8 feet to 80 feet, offering something for all bravery levels. The tours are set up as all day excursions, mainly focused towards adrenaline seekers but still offering a good time to those a bit more cautious. And of course, there will be plenty of photo opportunities along the way.


Or Maybe Some Scuba?

For experienced or amateur scuba divers, Costa Rica has a great array of places to find that perfect diving experience. Still relatively new on the diving scene, much of the action is focused on two main hotspots: the Osa Peninsula and Flamingo Coco (situated in the Gulf of Papagayo).

The Osa Peninsula diving is based around Cano Island, which is approximately 20 km away from Drake Bay, a little bay in the north of the Osa Peninsula. Partly owing to the fact this is a government protected biological reserve, the Islands surrounding waters are absolutely teeming with aquatic life and once in the water, you won’t want to get out again. The crystal clear waters are a joy to behold and make for some well-remembered diving… If you can, rent a waterproof camera to capture photos and video of what you find.

Flamingo Coco, based in the Gulf of Papagayo, is filled with soft coral and interesting volcanic rock formations. This has upsides and downsides however, in that the visibility underwater can often be poor due to the high number of plankton. From here there is the option to travel a little further afield however, to the Bat and Catalina Islands, for more diving opportunities.


Exploring The Rainforest

No visit to Costa Rica would be complete without visiting the countries stunning rainforests. Corcovado National Park, located close to Drake Bay, is the last primary rainforest in Costa Rica. Once described by National Geographic as "the most biologically intense place on Earth", which gives an idea of what to expect here. The forests contain incredibly colourful and elaborate bird species including Toucans and Scarlet Macaws, interesting mammals such as Howler Monkeys and Spider Monkeys, and the infamous Coati, particular to the country. It’s a beautiful thing to see these animals in the wild world (and not within a zoo) and that alone is reason to head out exploring.


Click here to book your next Costa Rica adventure.

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