Adventure travel in Costa Ricaby Bike tour guru
I have to admit it was interesting going from 'Old World' Spain to 'New World' Costa Rica in less than 2 weeks, as I continued my life of adventure travel - talk about two different worlds! The only thing they had in common was the language, and, really, that was about it.
You won't be seeing any medieval castles or ancient monasteries here, but it's not like you find too many rain forests in Spain. Nor dry forests, transitional forests or the unique flora and fauna that exist within these micro-climates, not to mention several active volcanoes! (well, unless we're talking the Canary Islands) So, if it's adventure and wildlife viewing that you are looking for, his is the place to go.
Welcome to the jungle, fun and far from tame - Costa Rica's got every adventure you want; too many to count the names, you can bike, hike, raft, zip line, snorkel, surf, kayak, etc., actually, I think it might be illegal to be idle in this country!
And if you're like I am [not one for sitting still] and always looking for your next adventure, you'll want to check this out.
Why just bike when you can raft class IV rapids on the Pacuare River, zip line through the rainforest with sound of a thundering volcano in the background, hike on a trail of lava rock from the still active Arenal Volcano, surf the famous beaches of Guanacaste, kayak around rock islands to a private beach, and then snorkel the reefs? Hey, you can still bike too, while listening to the sounds of the forest - howler monkeys, toucans, cicadas, you name it, your own personal 'sounds of the forest' CD, live and in concert! At times, it's almost surreal.
I recall standing atop one of the zip line platforms, high above the forest, preparing for my turn to careen down through the treetops when I heard the most intense, thunderous rumble and felt the platform shake beneath me. Upset that we may not be able to continue, I quickly asked our guide if we were going to have to stop due to the inclement weather, and he just looked at me with a giant grin, and laughingly said, "that's not thunder, that's the volcano!", at which point we all broke out into uproarious laughter! Whether it was the sound of the erupting volcano or our laughter that incited the howler monkeys to chime in with their tell-tale barking whoops, I can't say, but the combination of sounds certainly made for a unique and resounding chorus.
Oh, that's another thing I should probably mention, if you are interested in heading to Costa Rica, you might want to start boning up on your wildlife knowledge, too. From birds, to mammals, to lizards, (and we're talking species and subspecies) - you'll definitely find a variety to observe (as it seemed every five seconds my guide was either pointing at something or pulling out a telescope for a closer inspection). You'll also want to bust out that flower chart, too, as Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of animals and plants. Interestingly enough, while the country itself has only about .25% of the world's landmass, it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity. Talk about packing a punch!
And even though at times it may seem as if you are walking on the set of Jurassic Park, completely removed from the modern world, one step into one of the amazing hotels will remind you that 'new-world luxury' is not an oxymoron. Paradise is not lost, but you don't have to rough it to experience it, either!