Adventure Tours in Manuel Antonio

Written by Kent on March 13, 2015. Posted in Uncategorized

Manuel Antonio has no shortage of tours.  There is something for everyone: mountain tours and ocean tours, educational tours and adrenaline tours, tours for kids and tours for the elderly.  No matter what your interests, there is something here for you.  Yet–Costa Rica is also known for adventure and exoticism, and for visitors looking for a little excitement, there are a few adventure tours which stand out above the rest:


The ADR Adventure Park (Full-day, $130 / pp)

The ADR Adventure ParkAmigos del Rio offers a special tour that is geared towards those people who want to maximize their excitement and adventure.  It is a 10-in-one adventure tour: Waterfall Rappelling,  a Via Ferrata, Canyon Rappelling, Canopy Zip Lining, Canopy Rappelling, Zip Lining into a Waterfall, a
Waterfall Tarzan Swing, a Free fall into River Pool, a Caving Ladder, a Zip Line Guided Rappel and 4×4 Safari Transportation.  It begins with an ascent into the rainforested mountains via a monster of a Hummer.  A short walk takes you to the Waterfall Tarzan Swing, where you pendulum out over a waterfall.  The Via Ferrata takes you down to a pool in the river, where you’ll zip line through a waterfall into a cave, and then free-fall into the pool below.  A series of rappels brings you down to a massive waterfall, where you’ll zip line across its roaring face.  From there, a long zip line takes you over the lip of another waterfall, and through the canopy to a high platform in a giant tree.  Then the last–rappelling down in free descent to the river and forest below.  Warning–this tour is not for the easily-shaken!


Scuba Diving at Isla del Cano (Full Day, $165 / pp for 2 dives)

Scuba Diving at Isla del CanoWhile Costa Rica isn’t as well-known for scuba diving as the Mexican riviera–there are a couple of sites that are off-the-beaten-path Meccas.  Off the coast of the Osa Peninsula is Isla del Cano–a national park and heritage site where only registered visitors may go.  There, away from the sedimentary turbidity of the rainforested coast, the water is clear, and the fish abound.  It’s an all-day affair: You must drive or take a van to Uvita (1 hour), where you’ll board the boat in Marino Ballena national park.  From there it is a 1.5 hour boat ride to the island.  The only human-made structure on the entire island is the ranger station, where you’ll sign in and stretch your legs.  Then hop back on the boat to go to any of the numerous, great dive sites (favorites include Bajo del Diablo, El Ancla, and El Barco Hundido).  Common marine fauna include: white-tip reef sharks, turtles, sting rays, barracuda, parrot fish, puffer fish, green moray eels, dolphins, snapper, and humpback whales (in season).  There is also an option for snorkelers, in case you’re not ready to go deep!


Paddle Boarding in the Mangroves (3 hours, $70 / pp)

Paddle Boarding in the MangrovesTake two non-traditional tours, put them together, and you have a special adventure tour!  Paddle boarding is rapidly becoming more mainstream, and any visit to Manuel Antonio should include a mangrove tour.  The mangroves are literal safe havens for all sorts of wildlife–from colorful crabs, to herons, egrets, kingfishers, monkeys, snakes, anteaters, crocodiles, and also the rare silky anteater.  It is an exotic environment we rarely get to experience, and yet one that is fundamental to life in the oceans and coasts.  Note:  While no one is going to get eaten by crocs by falling in the water, you should have some experience paddle-boarding before you do this tour–if only because the mangrove waters are a bit murky!


Rafting on the Upper Rio Naranjo (“El Chorro” – Class IV) (Half-day, $85 / pp)

White Water Rafting on the El ChorroFor people in good shape and with some experience with rafting, the most exciting tour in the area is the “El Chorro” section of the Rio Naranjo.  It is a steep, non-stop technical river with several small drops, and tight canyons.  The surrounding scenery is gorgeous, and because it is less-frequented than the lower Naranjo or Savegre rivers, it has a more isolated, wild feel.  Also–while the typical white-water rafting season is May – December, the Chorro is only run from January – May, when the water level is safer.  A must-do for any rafting enthusiast!


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