By Susie Reese
The leaves are golden brown, but to you, cider, smider. You don’t want a relaxing getaway on the beach, and please, you won’t even entertain the idea of a “pillow menu.” No, my friend, you crave an adrenaline adventure. If your heart isn’t pounding and the world isn’t a few hundred feet below your sneakers, then you won’t come home from the trip refreshed. You need that high-energy fix like a Red Bull-drinking intern, and what better place to get your natural high than Costa Rica?
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah at Arenal
At Arenal Volcano National Park, you’ll find an adventure lover’s paradise. From 1968 to 2010, the Arenal Volcano coughed smoke and ash from its top crater, but it recently fell into a slumber. While you might not get a glimpse of the proverbial orange glow of magma, there is still a wide range of activities in which to indulge at this natural attraction, such as the zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and rappelling.
If you have the urge for flight, then sign up for a once-in-a-lifetime ride on the Arenal Sky Trek. This amazing ride starts in the Sky Tram, an enclosed car that lifts you up the southern side of the mountain. Once the tram reaches the observation deck, the enchanting Lake Arenal and the vibrant, tropical rainforest will captivate you with its natural beauty. To return to the launch point, you can either take the tram down or strap on some gear. If you dare, grab onto your carabiner, lift up your legs, and zoom down the mountain on this fast-paced ride, soaring over canopies and whizzing down the mountainside. This unique adventure allows you to see the dramatic mountain and dense forest from a completely different yet enjoyable perspective. If you seek more heart-stopping views, then ride the zip-lines in Monteverde and Manuel Antonio.
Watch as GOGO’s Alex Kekovski conquers Arenal’s zipline here.
Adrenaline Junkie’s Itinerary
Costa Rica is known for its action sports. Enjoy world-class whitewater rafting, and we’re not talking your mother’s rapids. The harsh Central American weather carved unique canyons and valleys in Costa Rica, and three distinct rivers—Reventazón, Pacuare, and Corobicí—provide a thrilling ride through the thick rainforest with class II, class III, and even class IV rapids. Afterwards, trek to the Sarapiquí and Pozo Azul rivers to rappel down a dry stone face or for a little more adventure, rappel down and through waterfalls. Take a jungle safari in Tortuguero with black-water canals and numerous species like jaguars, tapirs, and Caribbean sea turtles. Perhaps you’re more of an ocean-lover. If so, ditch the jungle for Tamarindo and throw out a line on a deep sea fishing tour. Hunt for blue marlin, black marlin, mahi mahi, stripped marlin, wahoo, and sailfish on a well-equipped boat with professional fishermen.
If you’re traveling with a loved one who might need a moment to exhale and unwind (the nerve of them), then visit one of Costa Rica’s luxurious hot springs. The steaming waters flow from the volcano and loosen those stiff muscles after a long day of exertion, and you’ll be surrounded by a paradise of lavish gardens and incredible amenities like a swim-up bar or zipping waterslides. And hey, if you happen to indulge in one of the springs’ body massages or volcanic mud wraps, who’s to know?