Friday, November 30, 2007

Costa Rica Adventures

For some people, Costa Rica's beautiful forests & beaches offer a time to relax. For others, it's an andrenaline-junkies dream come true.
During of the first weeks, the whole group went white water rafting. We went with a well established company here in Costa Rica called Rios Tropicales, and they picked us up one Friday morning to go rafting on Rio Reventazon, with 2 - 3 level rapids (5 is the highest). Our group was divided onto 2 different rafts with bilingual guides. The rapids were semi-difficult, but good for beginners. At one point, they let us get out of the rafts and swim around, and some of us jumped off these rocks into a mini-waterfall! It was a lot of fun.
When my parents came, we went rafting again with a company called Exploradores Outdoors. I definitely preferred this trip. We went rafting on Rio Pacuare, which has level 3 - 4 rapids - the most dangerous in Costa Rica! At one point, our guide fell off the raft and it was TERRIFYING!! The scenery was absolutely breathtaking, and there were some calm moments where we could swim around or enjoy the views. Expoloradores makes a stop at this isolated valley for a picnic lunch, and then donates the leftover food (there's a lot!) to a local, poor indigenous family, which is a nice touch.
My parents and I also went zip-lining in Arenal. Because of the nature of the forests there, the ziplines aren't too high, but they're good for beginners. I definitely preferred the zip-lines in Monteverde, which were a lot higher. I was zipping across a canyon when I got stuck in a gust of wind and was blown all around! My heart was definitely pounding.
To top off the list of adventures, we decided to go bungee jumping! It's definitely not for the faint of heart. Craig, Cullen, Maggie, Amanda, and I went last Thursday. I was not expecting to be afraid, but I almost chickened out! A 275-foot long rubber band goes around your feet and connects the jumper to this old bridge over Rio Colorado. Essentially, you dive off this metal diving board into the air and fly for a few minutes before the cord yanks you back up for a second time. IT WAS AMAZING! You're absolutely weightless. The company that we went with is called Tropical Bungee, and has higher safety standards than most bungee companies in the United States, and has been used by companies like Levis, Smirnoff, and the X-Games for shooting commercials. Our guide has jumped nearly 800 times! I would highly reccomend the company to anyone interested in this experience.


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