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Published on November 4th, 2014 | by admin

Pure Excitement: 8 Top Adventure Travel Experiences in Costa Rica

Adventure travel is trending like never before, as vacationers look to add more excitement to their travels. And one of the hottest places in Latin America for adventure travel is Costa Rica. Indeed, Costa Rica’s diverse natural beauty sets the stage for action-packed adventure, from coast to coast.

“Costa Rica is an adventure playground,” said Rafael Gallo Palomo, former president of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. “We have a mountain chain in the middle of the country. We have rivers that go out to the Atlantic side and the Pacific side. With the topography and geography of Costa Rica, you can do any adventure, except snow sports.”

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Thanks to its compact size and extensive transportation infrastructure, Costa Rica makes it easy for visitors to pack in more activities and excitement in a shorter amount of time. “You can get from one coast of Costa Rica to another in less than 4 hours,” said Victor Gallo Palomo, chair of the Canopy and Zip Lining Committee for the Association for Challenge Course Technology, who also serves on the Association of Adventure Operators. “Costa Rica is small; it’s diverse. It’s easily navigational road system and history of peace allows you to travel without worry.”

With over 30 years of experience, some of the world’s greatest athletes gather in Costa Rica to compete in world championships. In the past six years, Costa Rica has been host to the Billabong ISA World Surf Games (2009), the World Rafting Championships (2011) and the Adventure Race World Series (2013).

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Among the top adventure travel activities in Costa Rica:

1. Cycling and mountain biking: Costa Rica has miles of paths and trails that are perfect for all kinds of two-wheeled fun. Whether biking around Irazú and the Poás volcanoes or exploring the soaring mountains of Talamanca, the Central Mountain Range, or the valleys and plains along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, cyclists and bikers will find breathtaking scenery.

2. Zip lining: Gliding through the sky is an exhilarating way to appreciate Costa Rica’s spectacular natural beauty. With over 120 canopies and the most zip line tours per square foot than any other nation, Costa Rica is the perfect place to experience this thrilling rush while providing lots of amazing photo opportunities.

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3. Hiking and Trekking: With mountainous terrain and 40 percent of the world’s biodiversity, hiking and trekking through the Costa Rica rainforests is a one-of-a-kind experience. Many of Costa Rica’s national parks have guided tours for everyone from beginners to advanced trekkers.

4. Kayaking: With the pristine Atlantic Ocean to the east and the lively Pacific Ocean to the west, it is impossible to visit Costa Rica without enjoying watersports. Tortuguero National Park is among the areas in Costa Rica that’s especially great for kayak excursions. Visitors can also kayak down one of Costa Rica’s flowing rivers giving them an opportunity to see lots of wildlife, including manatees, caimans and crocodiles, as well as an array of birds.

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5. Swimming: Costa Rica’s shimmering coastlines include the best of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Choose from unspoiled beaches at the well-known Pacific coast resort area of Guanacaste, peaceful stretches of sand along the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo, and the welcoming waters of Manuel Antonio National Park.

6. Paragliding and parasailing: Parasailing provides a bird’s-eye view of Costa Rica’s picturesque landscape as well as the chance to spot dolphins, whales and other marine life. Manuel Antonio, Papagayo, Turrialba and the Nicoya Peninsula are among the most popular spots for this sport. Paragliding tandem flights and tours, which are available on the Pacific coast and across the country, are yet another exciting way to take to the skies.

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7. Rafting: With three slopes coming from the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the San Juan River of Nicaragua to the north, Costa Rica offers some of the hemisphere’s best whitewater rafting. Visitors can float lazily or get a rapid rush in over 30 Class I to Class V courses in any of the country’s 20 rivers. One of the best regions to raft is along the Pacuare River, which has challenging yet enjoyable Class III and IV rapids that pass through stunning natural scenery.

8. Soft Adventure: Visitors looking for a more relaxing adventure can also look to Costa Rica’s beautiful landscapes and waters. Among some of the most popular soft adventure activities in Costa Rica are nature walks through the country’s diverse forests, snorkeling in the warm Atlantic waters or learning about the country’s rich culture at an art walk.

More info about Costa Rica travel:

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