Tours and Recreation
- The Best of Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Top Spots for WIldlife
- Costa Rica’s Most Beautiful Beaches
- Costa Rica’s Best Beaches for Wildlife
- Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Unique Retreats & Resorts
- Surf’s Up in Costa Rica
- Off-The-Beaten-Path Eco-Adventures
- Costa Rica Family-Friendly Adventures
- Adrenaline Rush
More than a dozen tour agencies in La Fortuna offer a similar menu that includes fishing at Lake Arenal; trips to Arenal Volcano and Tabacón (check that the entrance fee is included in the tour price), Catarata La Fortuna, Caño Negro, and Venado Caverns; mountain biking; horseback trips; a safari float on the Río Peñas Blancas; and white-water trips.
You may be approached on the street by so-called guides. The local chamber of commerce warns tourists “not to take tours or information off the street.”
The best all-around company is Desafío Adventure Company (tel. 506/2479-9464, www.desafiocostarica.com), a one-stop shop for all kinds of adventures. It is particularly recommended for horseback rides, as is Don Tobias Cabalgata (tel. 506/2479-1212, www.cabalgatadontobias.com) at Hotel Arenal Springs Resort. Pure Trek Canyoning (tel. 506/2479-1315, www.puretrekcostarica.com) specializes in waterfall rappelling.
The following tour operators are also recommended: Aventuras Arenal (tel. 506/2479-9133, www.arenaladventures.com); Jacamar Naturalist Tours (tel. 506/2479-9767, www.arenaltours.com); and Pura Vida Tours (tel. 506/2479-9045, www.puravidatrips.com), which offers a full range of local activities, plus excursions far and wide.
Serendipity Adventures (tel. 506/2558-1000 or 888/226-5050, www.serendipityadventures.com, $345 pp) offers hot-air-balloon rides at dawn from Tilajari Resort Hotel. Feeling flush? For a bird’s-eye view of the area, take to the sky in a helicopter with Montaña Tours (tel. 506/8876-6902, www.montanatourscr.com, from $75 pp for 10 minutes, from $185 pp for 25 minutes).
You can rents ATVs and take ATV tours with ATV Arenal Tours (tel. 506/2479-9597, www.lapraderadelarenal.com) and Fourtrax ATV Tours (tel. 506/2479-8444, www.fourtraxadventure.com). Both offer three-hour tours at 7:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2:30 p.m.
For canopy tours, you’re spoiled for choice! The Arenal Canopy Tour (tel. 506/2479-9769, www.canopy.co.cr, $45) offers a package that begins with a 40-minute horseback ride; you’ll then whiz between 13 tree platforms using rappelling equipment. It takes two hours to traverse the circuit in harness. Trips are offered at 8 a.m., 10:20 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. daily.
Arenal Paraíso Canopy Tour (tel. 506/2460-5333, www.arenalparaiso.com, $45), at the Arenal Paraíso Hotel, has two-hour tours at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. The Los Lagos Hotel (tel. 506/2479-1000, www.hotelloslagos.com, $25) hosts the Canopy Tour Los Cañones.
Ecoglide Tarzan Swing (tel. 506/2479-7120, www.arenalecoglide.com, $45 adults, $35 students and children) also has a 15-cable, 18-platform zip line, plus a Tarzan swing. Tours are at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition