White Water Rafint in Costa Rica was awesome. I've never done it before so I can't compare, but from I got, it was a great experience. It was definitely a really good workout but it was really fun and you kind of feel a sense of accomplishment when you are done.
Equipment: Guys: nothing you wouldn't already have with you, Swim Trunks and Teva'ish sandals
Girls: Bikini bottoms wont do, you need board shorts or swim trunks, unless you want to be au natural after the first rapid....
I read this article in the LA Times travel section about zip lines and they listed some well known ones in the US and only one not in the US. The one in Selvatura Park is rather inexpensive with 15 platforms and 18 lines. The only zip line in Costa Rica entirely in a cloud forest. Doesn't that just spell e-x-c-i-t-i-n-g! So, if we go to Costa Rica, I hope we can make it to this park. The park also offers other activities so you can make a day of it.
If you spend few days at the beach, you may want to take some surfing lessons. The lessons are fun and cheap! I am not sure if you will be a good surfer at the end of the lessons, but at least you can get the basics you need from them :)
Los Suenos Costa Rica is the Sport Fishing Capital of Costa Rica. The most big game fish are caught in this region year round than any other part of Costa Rica. It is definately the place to travel for anyone that has trophy fishing in their sights.
December through April are the peak months for cacthing huge Pacific Sailfish in big numbers, with 10-15 releases per trip daily per boat being commonplace. You will also find Marlin, Ginat Mahi-mahi- Wahoo and Yellow fin Tuna being caught in great numbers.
There are a variety of charter boats available in all size and price ranges, however one needs to be careful on who they fish with, as not all charter boats offer the same quality of trips. Looking for the cheapest boat instead of the best performing boat will usually result in dissapointment and disaster.
We have found that the folks at Hooked On Costa Rica (www.hookedoncostarica.com) , seem to be the most knowledgable and professional fishing operation in the region, and offer the better producing and quality boats. We have used them to fish several of our guests, as well as have heard a lot of great reports from others we have met that fished through them, and hear nothing less than rave reviews.
While every charter boat practices a Cacth & Release policy for all Billfish Species, you can expect to cacth a tasty Mahi- mahi, Yellow Fin Tuna, or Wahoo that you can have cooked for you at several local restaurants, with all of the trimmings. It´s a delicious experience.
Equipment: None. You will find all Los Suenos charter boats to be rigged with top shelf gear and tackle. They have akll of the lures, teasers and techniques that work best in that region. You can bring your own gear if you wish, but it´s really not worth the hassle.
Tourist companies also give you the option to book an ATV tour. We did not do this, but we saw few people riding them. Hotel La Pradera del Arenal has ATVs on site and you can rent them if you want to.
Zip-lining over the rain forest canopy is a unique experience and although it can be considered a "touristy thing" to do, I would recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure.
It is hard to describe my feelings as I left for the top of the mountain. I knew that I would have to go first, otherwise I was afraid I might lose my nerve about the descent through the trees. The safety briefing was good but I was still a little nervous.
NOTE: I am so sorry I can't recall the name of the tour company.
Equipment: While in downtown La Fortuna, I booked a horseback trip up the slopes of Arenal volcano that included a zip-line adventure. The tour company picked me up at my hotel.
THE TRAVEL SLUT TIP: For the zip-line canopy tour and horseback ride you will want to come prepared wearing loose-fitting clothes including a t-shirt,long-sleeved shirt and long pants and insect repellent.
many spot for surfing in tamarindo - size of waves depend by the swell but almost you caqn surf every day.
langosta: right hander
playa grande: tipical beach break - 15 minues by car from tamarindo
playa negra: reef break - 40 minutes from tamarindo rigth hander
playa aveillana: beach breack - 40 minutes from tamarindo - left and right hander
Equipment: surf board every size
Surf is one of the reasons to visit Costa Rica, although its worth to go there even if you don't surf, like myself!
In theory all the Pacific Coast is good for surfing, at least is more reliable. In the Caribbean side you have Puerto Viejo.
I think all you need to know is in this website: www.rovercam.com
Before my trip, I had heard great things about the incredible beauty of the Rio Pacuare. Although I had never been rafting before, I sought the advice of a work colleague, asking whether a novice like myself should raft on the Revantazon or Pacuare. His advice was: "Don't waste your time on the Revantazon--it's basically a float trip (i.e., not very challenging)...You MUST raft on the Pacuare! It is incredible!" When I mentioned I had never been rafting before, he laughed and said, "Well, you MUST raft on the Pacuare!"
I'm so glad I took his advice. The Rio Pacuare was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in my life. The rafting experience was incredible--a good mix of floating/scenery with good doses of whitewater challenges that definitely gets the adrenaline pumping!
Rios Tropicales is the outfitter we used, and they have a good reputation. They offer one day trips (about $95 USD pp), and 2-3 trips as well. They will pick you from your San Jose area hotel, feed you really good, hearty breakfast and lunch, provide you with shower facilities, and take really incredible digital photos if you'd like to purchase the photo CD (it was well worth it for my first time rafting.)
The guides were all very nice and friendly, and the experience top-notch.
Equipment: If you go on the one day raft trip (you spend about 3.5 -4.5 hours on the river), do not bring much. They will secure your totebag/backpack with change of clothes, etc. on the bus, but when you are rafting, bring nothing but the clothes on your back (bathing suit/trunks; wear a t-shirt if you want to avoid sunburn) and rubber-soled strapped sandals or sea socks.
One major tip: DO NOT FORGET TO PUT SUNSCREEN ON YOUR THIGHS. Everyone always forgets, and doesn't realize until the next day that this is the part of your body that gets the most sunburn, as you are sitting in the raft, with water splashing on your thighs, and the sun burning down directly upon then.
The other major tip: PADDLE HARD! during the rapids, it is important to paddle hard, even if you are scared out of your pants. If you do not paddle, your raft will spin, causing you and your raftmates a harrowing experience. LISTEN and FOLLOW your guides.
HAVE FUN! PURA VIDA!
Costa Rica is a good country to practise all kinds of sports which have to be with nature.
So, the Pacific beaches are a good place for surfers (specially northwest, in Nicoya region) and to dive. You can do rafting in some rivers (Reventazon,...), and the famous canopy. Although you can find canopy (a rope above the forest where you descend faster and faster) all over the country, i recommend practise it in Monteverde.
Equipment: Horseriding in Costarica´s forests is a unique experience. I recommend to do it in Beuna Vista Lodge, near Liberia and the Rincon la Vieja Natural Park.
In Costa Rica, every village has a soccer field.... and you can tell they're all soccer fans, since on Sunday, every place we walked into was watching the European League.
Mind you - if you are a soccer fan, by going to Costa Rica you'll be able to follow it all.
What a thrill to zip along countless lines through a rainforest!! There are many throughout the country - we did the one at Arenal Paraiso in La Fortuna, which had excellent views. Expect to pay $35-45 per person at most locations.
Equipment: Safety equipment and instruction provided.
Sailfish are not to be missed by any fisherman! The experience is incredible and remains one of my best memories in Costa Rica (even thought I came for the birds!!).
These big and muscular fishes will give you the fight of your life, as they rush away and jumped many time on your line. They are amazing and beautiful to see, purple, dark brown and gray ballet dancers on the ocean!
Best place we found was on the Pacific side, in the world renoun city of Quepos. We went in the beggining of February, during the best time. Many charters there, we choose Aventura Poseidon for their good prices, info, recommendations and equipment. We weren't let down! We paid 495$ each day, plus the fishing licenses (15$) and tips. It included one of the smaller boat, the Wahoo, 22-24' with outboard engine (very powerfull, we topped every other boat!) and t-top, lunch and drink (a lot of drink, don't worry!), two guides and all the fishing equipment and baits. They take us out on the ocean, about 32 miles (1 hour) at sunrise, we troll for sail fish and if opportunity arise other wonderfull fishes (mahi-mahi, rooster fish, yellow tuna, wahoo, red snapper...) and they bring us back to shore just before sunset.
The promoter was very efficient. We called him the night before and he arrange for a taxi to pick us up at our hotel and bring us to the docks. Always on the radio, he immediately called our boat and work as a translator with the taxi driver. At night, he offered to call a taxi to take us back to the hotel.
A nice point we found: these fisherman are not only very good, experience and proud of their fishes, but also very conscientious. They use circa hooks not to hurt the fish. And once the fishes are by the boat, the only take them out of the water for a few seconds (for the picture of a lifetime).
More pictures of boat, staff and (most of all) sailfishs in the travelogues of my Quepos page.
Equipment: Everything should be included in your deal. You only need maybe sunscreen, hat, shades and camera. We were recommended to take remedy against sea sickness but since it causes drowsiness we didn't took right away... and never needed it later. When we were there the sea was calm and even in our small boat we never came close to being sick.
PS We went back a year later, hired the same team since we were so happy with what we had the first time. Same great experience! See the second year's pictures in my Quepos traveogues.
If you are into surfing, you don't need this tip, but if you are a regular tourist to CR, you may notice as you are on your way to Manuel Antonio, a plethora of surfing shops. This coast is very popular with the surfers. It's a combo of waves and way of life. Plus, I guess, the ability to drive to the other coast if the waves are better in the same day can't hurt! :-)
Equipment: rent a surfboard and get some lessons. Be prepared to find out that it isn't as easy as balancing on a log.
Costa Rica Rios runs full or half day rafting trips on the Pacuare River out of Turrialba. The group is owned by young Americans, one of which accompanied us on our full-day trip. All the staff were extremely friendly and energetic, and all spoke at least some English. The van ride to the start point was long, but enjoyable, as the owner answered questions and pointed out sights along the way. Once in the water, the scenery was breathtaking. There were plenty of opportunities to swim along the rafts during lazy portions of the river--depth around 4ft most of the time (suppose this changes depending on rainfall). We stopped at a small stream cascading over a rocky embankment and hiked up to a larger pool at the end of which was a large waterfall. We all tried, unsuccessfully, to swim up to the waterfall, but the flow was too strong to allow it. The rapids are a blast. No rafts flipped, but we did fall out occasionally. The guides are very professional and get you back into the raft in a jiffy. There is a safety kayaker following behind if you get separated from the raft. Costa Rica Rios keeps the number of rafts at a minimum to enhance safety. We did run into several other groups at different points with larger groups of rafts. I was happy to be with the smaller, more familiar group. Lunch was served on an upside-down raft and consisted of various freshly-cut fruits, sandwiches, guacamole (prepared on-the-spot) and chips, and homemade cookies for dessert. It was delicious. Pineapple has never tasted so good. The rest of the river yielded plenty of action and plenty of scenery. More waterfalls, indiginous villages, etc to be found. I've done a fair amount of rafting in Colorado on different stretches of the Arkansas, and it does not compare at all. If you're into rafting, this is a must-do!
Fleece (or something that stays warm when wet)
Change of clothes
Waterproof Camera (buy in the states)
San Pablo De Turrubares, Costa Rica (Formerly La Finca Que Ama Hotel)
Good for: Business
I don’t know how many of you have stayed in an all inclusive hotel before... but this resort was so...more
Very friendly an to other d helpful staff. The newer rooms are excellent. good value relative...more