I intended to stay home this winter and save my money, but the weather in Toronto has been unbearable. The December ice storm followed by record snowfalls in January forced me to look south for a quick escape. So I decided to travel to Costa Rica.
I’d never been there before, but it was a short flight (5 1/2 hours direct from Toronto), and G Adventures (my favourite tour company) had a good price on their 10-day Costa Rica Quest (CRQ) tour. I signed up, and within 3 weeks found myself on a Air Canada flight to San Jose.
Once in my hotel, and with the help from our Tour Leader Danny, I poured over the menu of optional activities and started to plan my fun. A few of us decided to ease into our adrenaline-filled Costa Rica travels with some nice relaxing river tubing, so we signed up for a half-day with:
First of all, let me say, this was anything but relaxing! We all wondered what we were in for when we looked at the class one rapids and giant looming rocks.
Our guide handed us helmets, and we looked at each other with some concern, but we soldiered on.
I kept falling out of my tube, so it was a bit frustrating for me at first. Eventually though, I got the hang of it and enjoyed the ride. Our two amazing guides led and followed us and made sure the trip was safe.
We took a break at the half-way mark, and enjoyed a warm shower under the cascading hot springs. This was truly a paradise!
We were treated to some fresh pineapple and watermelon at the end of our tour. The guides then packed up the jeep, and brought us back to our hotel.
I felt a bit beat up the next morning, and realized I had signed up for the…
2. Canyoneering/Rappelling adventure. I really didn’t want to go, but as my German room mate put it “You signed up for the Adrenaline Package, not the Pussy Package”. I had an understanding of what rappelling was, but was unsure of the term “canyoneering”. For reference:
- 1.the sport of exploring a canyon by engaging in such activities as rappelling, rafting, and waterfall jumping.BRING IT ON!After our safety instructions. we suited up, and proceeded down several amazing drops.After the rappels, it was time to hike back up the canyon. This was going to be intense! And very wet.At one point, we noticed one of the guides laying his body across a stream. He blocked the water from travelling along, but we weren’t sure why. He smiled, and encouraged us down the canyon crevice. Once at the bottom, we were told to sit bobsled style. The “dam-guide” then got up, releasing the built up water.
WOO-HOO!!! Our bob-sled ride in the canyon was hilarious!
Exhausted and water-logged, our leader Danny advised us that we were booked for dinner at
I tagged along with the group, leaving my camera behind at the hotel. What I found there is best described as a water park for adults (although there were a few children playing nearby). The pools, fed by thermal hot springs, were bath-tub warm. This place was the perfect ending to our day, complete with swim-up bar and intense water slides. There were also cold pools for those wanting to cool off.
After a couple hours splashing around and getting tipsy at the bar, we headed to the restaurant for a full cafeteria style dinner complete with dessert and coffee.
It was now time to leave beautiful La Fortuna and head to Monteverde. What can you do in Monteverde, Costa Rica?
4. ZIP LINING! 100% Aventura Adventure Park has several zip lines, including one that is 1,590 meters long (the longest zip line in Costa Rica). Seriously, why travel to Costa Rica unless you plan to zip line?
We started with the “regular” zip line to whet our appetites for what was to come.
What followed, were 2 Superman zip lines (laying, face down, attached by cables on our back). The day ended with the Tarzan Swing – the most terrifying/exhilerating/hilarious moment of my life! Imagine a bungee jump, but in a seated position, with no elastic bounce, but rather a pendulum swing. (see my video below).
It was time to head to a much hotter climate on the Pacific coast: Manuel Antonio. We arrived there just in time to experience…
5. A Sunset Sail. Our group left in the late afternoon and enjoyed some rum cocktails and a seafood dinner on the boat. We waited to see some dolphins, or maybe a whale? Well, we saw some dolphins off in the distance, but no whales that day.
Our trip was almost over, so we spent our final day enjoying …
6. The Beach in Manuel Antonio. Some of our group took surf lessons, but I was just happy to relax (which is usually hard for me to do!). I rented a chair and a beach umbrella for the entire day, for just $5. We flagged down the bartender on occasion, or waited for the sno-cone man to walk by. We ran into the ocean like kids and body surfed the waves, whenever the sun felt too hot.
My travel to Costa Rica was the perfect escape from a blustery, snowy Toronto. Thank you G Adventures, this was my 6th tour with G and you came through once again!
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