Clean Air Adrenaline
Adventure Sports in Costa Rica
Costa Rica boasts the ideal natural setting in which to practice a grand variety of outdoor sports. These invigorating activities will fill your lungs with fresh air and turn your heart into a beating drum while adrenaline and curiosity invade your entire body. Let the experience guide you to rainforests, waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches and rivers as you raft, hike, rappel, canopy, horseback ride or bungee jump in Costa Rica.
Every adventurer and nature lover should seize the opportunity to brave the elements and fight the current while white water rafting. This feat involves the ability to keep a raft afloat, led by a guide, as the rest of the crew rows in synch with the rapids.
Depending on the difficulty of the river, each rafting experience can be classified as a class 1, characterized by “slow” rapids, class 2 (for beginners), class 3 (for intermediate rafters), class 4 (for advanced) and class 5 (for experts).
The Reventazón River is one of the most important in the country and, at 100 kilometers, one of the longest. In fact, it is the longest river on the Caribbean coast. The Sarapiquí River, on the other hand, is ideal for beginners, allowing rafters to observe the surrounding tropical rainforest habitat as they negotiate the rapids. However, according to Celia Quintana, director of Sales and Marketing for Hacienda Pozo Azul, the class 4 rafting experienced on the Sarapiquí River has so many obstacles that its 11 kilometers offer up to 12 different class 4 rapids. The Naranjo River is another interesting rafting location. Situated in
Manuel Antonio, Quepos, this river requires previous rafting experience before venturing down its waters due to the strong intensity of its currents. The company Ríos Tropicales of Costa Rica operates tours on this river from April to January. Meanwhile, the Savegre River is considered one of the cleanest rivers in Central America. Tours for this river depart from Manuel Antonio or Quepos.
Hiking may be practiced in practically any of Costa Rica’s national parks. The diverse scenery offered ranges from volcanic rims, such as those found near the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, to exuberant tropical rainforests habitats, such as those located inside Corcovado National Park. There are also hikes designed for adventurers—even for those who wish to walk in the clouds. The extensive hanging bridges located in the region around Arenal Volcano offer such an experience. These hikes, though, are
appropriate for all ages and are even handicap accessible.
Another location recognized as an excellent hiking experience is the climb up to the peak of Chirripo Volcano, which is the highest peak in the country, standing some 3,820 kilometers above sea level. On its summit, hikers may marvel at the sight of a splendid Caribbean sunrise.
Another ideal location for hiking is found at Hacienda Barú, situated in Costa Rica’s south Pacific. There, one may explore varied ecosystems, including primary and secondary rainforests, wetlands, pasturelands and mangroves.
The highest of high peaks or the most exuberant waterfall drop is no obstacle for those who love to rapel, a sport that involves descending from the heights while securely sustained by ropes. One location to practice this sport is Hacienda Pozo Azul, where one may descend a 30-meter high natural wall leading into the canyon of the Sarapiquí River. A panoramic vista of the river and its blue lagoon will accompany your descent. Furthermore, in the region of La Fortuna of San Carlos, it is possible to climb down 50-meter high waterfalls.
Canopy is a very popular activity in Costa Rica, ideal for the entire family to enjoy. It consists of zipping across the forest canopy over a series of cables at different speeds while enjoying vistas of varied habitats, including tropical dry forests, rainforests, cloud forests, river canyons and volcanoes, depending on your location. It is rated as one of the most fun and adrenaline-packed activities that you may experience in Costa Rica.
Located near Arenal Volcano, Sky Trek offers an unforgettable ride across cables ranging from 30 meters to 760 meters in length at altitudes ranging from 20 meters to 200 meters. It is an unrivaled experience and an amazing way to enjoy the panoramic views of Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal.
This amusing sport may also be experienced in the Atlantic region, where the company Teleféricos of Costa Rica has set up operations offering canopy rides that cross over rivers and islands.
Throughout Costa Rica, the opportunity to climb a top at horse’s back is readily available. This easygoing adventure will take you across pasturelands, rainforests or beaches, and allow you to enjoy unforgettable waterfalls and beautiful sunsets.
For those of you who tend toward the extreme, bungee jumping is second to none. We invite (or should we say dare?) you to fling yourself into the vast nothingness from bridges or towers while safely fastened to ropes strapped to your ankles. All you need is a brave heart and a desire to hug the profoundness of nature. In our country, a popular jumping spot is the Old Colorado Bridge. Its 80 meters make it one of highest in the world from which this sport may be practiced.
Arenal Bungee, located in the northern region of Costa Rica, will help you enjoy this thrill, but they take it to the extreme by adding a twist: the possibility of touching the water into which you’re jumping with your hand or head. They also have a catapult, which will shoot you toward the heavens, eventually reaching an altitude of 45 meters and speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour in under three seconds.
And if you crave even more adrenaline, you may try their Big Swing, an activity that will propel you 30 meters up in the air, swinging you like a pendulum.
In Costa Rica, you decide which way to experience nature. The truth is that whichever way you choose, you will feel more alive than ever before.
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