Our experts taking you on a unique journey across costa rica

Calling all thrill seekers to Costa Rica! With so many different things to see and do, you won’t know where to begin. This page will introduce you to our Costa Rican experts, where you will discover why Costa Rica is the best country for an adventure of a lifetime. Through their years of experience and knowledge in their respected fields, they’ll sure provide you with the best tips and off the beaten path tracks to suit your visit to Costa Rica. Get ready to start your adventure and find what gets your adrenaline going with our experts and guides below. Simply click on an experience below and find out why our experts have fallen in love with Costa Rica and how you can start your own adventure today!

JENNIFER DALTON

Internation Champion

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What makes them an expert?

Through spending most of her childhood life with her grandfather, James A. Dalton, a famous rodeo champion, Jennifer has gained more than 20 years’ experience horseback riding. She specialises in jumping, riding, training and has had several students with recognition in national and international competitions. Currently, Jennifer is teaching classes in their equestrian centre ‘Haras del Mar’, ‘Tierras Nativas’ and ‘La Montana Equestrian Club’ in Playa del Coco.

What do you love about horse-riding in Costa Rica?

Horse-riding in Costa Rica is an excellent way to relax and see the best of what the destination has to offer. The country is blessed with a tremendous variety of ecosystems from the Caribbean and the Pacific and an unprecedentedly high percentage of it is given over to national parks. In a short time, you can change from a gallop on the beach to walking along a trail through the tropical forest with its lush jungle life. This is home to a variety of wildlife including monkeys, tree frogs, lizards and countless other fascinating flora and fauna.

Top 3 favourite Locations

Playa Cabuyal in the Papagyo - this location is the best place for horse riding. It has all the great aspects of Costa Rica including farmland, mountain ranges, estuaries and a variety of beaches
Cien Fuegos - here you can ride on rural roads through the countryside, down a dramatic river canyon, volcanic sand beaches and more. As you ride, you will be in close contact with one of nature’s finest panoramic displays
Arenal Volcano and surrounding waterfalls - this location feels like you’ve entered into the ‘Land of Oz’. Some of the trails here takes you across rolling hills, rain forests, fording clear rivers, villages and more. The views from the hilltops are breathtaking!

Top 3 tips

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Clothes and accessories - comfort is one of the most important things to keep in mind. Wear loose fitted pants so that you can move your legs and enjoy your horseback experience
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Create bonds with your horse - horses are sensitive animals so avoid making sudden movements as this can be upsetting for the horse
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Positive attitude - horseback riding across Costa Rican trails is beneficial in a way, as you’ll be breathing in pure, clean air
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Sky Adventure

Adventure Park

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What makes them an expert?

They are two brothers and one sister, originating from Monteverde Costa Rica. In 1997, they opened the first park in Monteverde, offering a tour of suspension bridges called “Sky Walk”. The success led them to venture into a new tourist activity called “Sky Trek” that consisted of a system of zip line cables hanging from platform to platform above the forest canopy. In 2004, the company expanded into the tourist area of "La Fortuna de San Carlos" in Costa Rica, where their services of Sky Walk and Sky Trek is offered, as well as a new service called "Sky Tram", based on a cable car system.

What do you love about horse-riding in Costa Rica?

The adrenaline, the adventures, the people and because it is an extraordinary spectacular experience! Our guests can get the best experiences in our park. The combination of the cable car and circuit of zip lines is one of the most thrilling, ultimate adventures. Guests will feel like they're flying from mountain to mountain above the canopy without walking across platforms.

Top 3 favourite Locations

Monteverde - this is where they found their first park and is world famous for its cloud forest. A reserve has also been established there to protect the flora and fauna
Sky Adventure Arenal - this attraction is located at the heart of the rainforest of Arenal, where rainfall is constant and abundant, which means vegetation grows abundantly throughout the year
Sky Walk - this attraction is a spectacular combination of suspension bridges and trails with heights that exceed the treetops. This will give visitors the opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the wildlife of the area

Top 3 tips

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Dress code - dress comfortably and something that is not tight and not loose
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Tidy hair - if your hair is longer than chin length, put it up or braid it
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Beginners - if you are nervous or new to the activity, the hardest part is usually gathering up the courage to step off the platform for the first time. You don’t need to run or jump, just step off the platform and sit in your harness. Gravity and the zip-line will do the rest.
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El Refugio Guanacaste

Tour Operator

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What makes them an expert?

We are a local tour company that have been offering tours and excursions to clients visiting the destination since 2005. Our main interest and goal is to make each client experience the nature of the region, whether it is during a snorkelling tour, scuba diving trip or while enjoy the half day morning sailing trip, the afternoon sunset tour or the full day charter. We pride ourselves in providing less hustle and crowds, more nature and quality trips to our Costa Rican visitors.

What do you love about horse-riding in Costa Rica?

Diving is a wonderful activity and a must do when in Costa Rica, due to its enormous marine wealth, the warmth of its waters and the level of environmental commitment that allows visitors to enjoy the ocean waters. Costa Rica is also the best place for diving due to its’ pristine coasts, crystal clear waters where diving is favourable whether you are a beginner or an expert.

Top 3 favourite Locations

Murcielago Islands - this location is an underwater haven and habitat for endangered species. We would recommend a 2 day adventure dive safari with onboard living.
Catalina Islands - this group of islands and islets have an abundant of rocky pinnacles, healthy population of colourful fish and coral creatives. The islands are easily accessible and only 30.
Playas del Coco - The archipelago of Islas Murciélago is a paradise that few know, because due to its remoteness, it is a pleasure that only lucky eyes can enjoy. It leaves mainly of Playas del Coco.

Top 3 tips

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Best season for diving - visit Costa Rica between May and November where you can get in a full array of diving the Bats, Cats and some local diving.
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Diving conditions - some dive sites are sheltered, however, most are in open water off the coast of the island. Water temperatures are usually between 24 – 30 degrees.
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Dive sites - majority of the dive sites in Costa Rica with the best visibility are between 60 – 100 feet deep, roughly 18 – 30 metres.
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Daniel Arguedas

National Rafting Champion

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What makes them an expert?

Daniel is a National Rafting Competitor and has represented his country across the globe in Japan, Dubai, Czech Republic and Ecuador. As a Professional Elite-level Sportsman for more than 23 years, Daniel has achieved first places and podium finishes on more than 60 occasions competing in rafting, adventure and cycling. As an Expert Guide, Daniel owns and operates his own adventure company ‘Agency Trocha Expeditions Costa Rica’, and offers amazing tours and experiences throughout the country.

What do you love about horse-riding in Costa Rica?

For hundreds of years, torrential weather has shaped Costa Rica’s valleys and canyons, creating a landscape whose twists, dips, and bumps are ripe for rafting opportunities. Some of the country’s most well-known rivers for rafting – Pacuare and Sarapiqui – carve through dense forests and pass by inspiring waterfalls. Rafting options exist for all ages and abilities, and can range from manoeuvring through technical rapids to gliding along smooth stretches that are ideal for nature watching.

Top 3 favourite Locations

The Rio Pacuare - this location fills all expectations in terms of scenic beauty and excellent water quality. The river is surrounded by marvellous rainforests, home to exotic animal species such as jaguars, monkeys, ocelots and a very large number of bird species
The Rio Sarapiqui - has a length of 85 km and stands out due to its beautiful landscape, richness in flora and fauna and its’ importance as a fluvial transport route from pre-Hispanic times to the present

Top 3 tips

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Clothing - when you book a tour to go rafting, ensure that you wear waterproof clothes. It’s important that you keep yourself dry at the end of the day to ensure that you don’t get sick
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Valuable items - leave these at home and don’t bring anything that’s not waterproof – otherwise you increase the risk of losing them overboard
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Be sun smart - use lots of water-resistant sunblock
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Ronald Bottger

Co-Founder of Explornatura

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What makes them an expert?

Ronald was born in Peru but moved to Costa Rica in the early 90’s where he found and fell in love with one of the best places in the world to practice climbing and rappelling. In 1999, he helped fund ‘Explornatura’ where he developed his skills the field and now he specialises in creating customised itineraries for travellers looking for adventure in Costa Rica. Explornatura is one of the top adventure and nature tour companies in Costa Rica.

What do you love about horse-riding in Costa Rica?

Climbing is unique in Costa Rica due to the destination’s abundance in rainwater that ends up in creeks and rivers that make up the canyon. In addition, Costa Rica is surrounded by tropical forests and incomparable diversity of plants and wildlife that no other destination in the world has.

Top 3 favourite Locations

The Puente Vigas canyon - this canyon is the perfect nature playground in Costa Rica. Here you can rappel down four waterfalls for an unforgettable adrenaline rush
Pacuare River - this is one of the top five rivers of the world for commercial white water rafting, many people raft the river but just few know about the incredible side canyons. You can do an overnight trip, rafting and stopping on the way to explore the canyons, where you will find amazing waterfalls and river pools to jump from the rocks.
Guanacaste - the beautiful province of Guanacaste got its name from one of the largest mimosa trees in the world, The Guanacaste Tree. It is home to countless gorgeous beaches and holds one of the largest tracks of Tropical Dry Forest in Mesoamerica

Top 3 tips

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Best time to go - you can go rappelling all year round in Costa Rica
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Clothing - always wear lightweight or quick-drying clothing and your most water resistant shoes
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Video cameras - to capture the best parts of your adventure in Costa Rica, ensure you have a water-resistant camera ready with you at all times
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Suresh Krishnan

Founder of desafio adventure

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What makes them an expert?

Suresh Krishnan started Desafio Adventure Company over 20 years ago after falling in love with the Arenal region's many rivers. He was the one of the first to explore the rivers of the Northern zone and has been a pioneer of adventure, exploring rivers and canyons in Costa Rica ever since.

What do you love about horse-riding in Costa Rica?

His favourite part about rafting in Costa Rica is being able to be constantly surrounded by nature. Costa Rica’s rugged, mountainous terrain is ideal for climbing and rappelling. Most climbing activities takes place in dry canyons and locations, however, in Costa Rica, visitors are able to rappel down warm, tropical waterfalls and rivers through humid rainforest canyons, which makes rafting in Costa Rica so different to any other destination.

Top 3 favourite Locations

Gravity Falls - this location is near Arenal Volcano and is where visitors can rappel down a 50m waterfall, then jump off a series of smaller waterfalls from various heights into crystalline, blue pools
Osa Peninsula - tackle the Remanso Canyon, home to four waterfalls, each growing ever taller and more challenging
Central Pacific - just outside Manuel Antoni, the ever-popular Indian Falls plunge 90 feet down a picturesque, mossy cliff face

Top 3 tips

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Beginners - before you take on a high peak, practice on smaller climbs or risk-free climbs
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Safety - keep your eyes and mind on the rappel down. Allow yourself a minute to take in the view, but dot get too distracted
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Enjoy the experience - be safe but also make sure you enjoy the experience. Rappelling magnificent waterfalls and down deep canyons to the lush and verdant forest floor
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Roman Urbina

Founder of La Ruta

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What makes them an expert?

Roman is a Costa Rican expert living in San Jose, the capital. He has been a cycling professional for more than 30 years. He started the world famous mountain bike race ‘LA RUTA DE LOS CONQUISTADORES’ and considered as one of the oldest mountain biking routes and toughest endurance events in the world.

What do you love about horse-riding in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is full of great cycling trails, routes and nature parks. Their routes range from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea. There are a number of different trails and roads to cycle on along the way. Cycling is unique in Costa Rica not only due to its amazing landscapes, but also because of its variety in terrain, making it the perfect destination for hard-core cyclists or leisure riders.

Top 3 favourite Locations

Arenal Volcano - here you can cruise along rugged single-track trails that wind through the tropical rain forest and open countryside surrounding the base of the active Arenal crater
Rincón de la Vieja Volcano - here you can advance up the mountainside through dense rainforests and enjoy amazing panoramic views of the green valley
Las Catalinas - for cyclists more advanced, go take a ride on the 33km single track trail across Las Cantalinas

Top 3 tips

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Enjoy the nature - Costa Rica is abundant with greenery as 25% of the country are national parks. The different microclimates between the Pacific and Caribbean sea gives Costa Rica its remarkable flora and fauna so go ride a bike and enjoy the
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Travel light - A few waterproof panniers, and as les luggage as possible will do
3
Start early - Start your bike ride before 7am so you are out of the heat at midday and may enjoy the day not only on the bike
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El Tubo Surfing

Local surf school

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What makes them an expert?

Justin, founder of El Tubo Surfing, is a Californian that has lived and surfed in the waters of Costa Rica for over 14 years. He has always had a love for surfing in the waters of Costa Rica, so he decided to share his passion by starting up his own surfing school in Dominical in 2005. From Dominical surf camp and surf tour to surf lessons, they specialize in everything that will let visitors soak in the pure charm of Costa Rica.

What do you love about horse-riding in Costa Rica?

One of the factors that attracts Justin to surf in Costa Rica is the warm waters and breath-taking waves. The best experience surfing in Costa Rica is during the tropical seasons (December through to April). This is when visitors are able to find the best waves at the best time. Costa Rica also has two coastlines, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which both produce great waves and have quality surf spots.

Top 3 favourite Locations

Cabo Matapalo - this location is in the OSA Peninsula and is my favourite place to get away relax and surf. There are three amazing right point breaks with the clearest water. There is also an array of different wildlife for nature and animal lovers
Pavones - Known as a surfer's haven, Pavones is a small community located along the southern Pacific Coast. Pavones isn't just another Costa Rica surfer town - this region is home to some of the best, longest waves in the world
Playa Hermosa - Hermosa, which means "beautiful" in Spanish, is an aptly named gray-sand beach that perches between two mountains and is an ideal location for surf, unwind and relax

Top 3 tips

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Surfing season - the best waves occur in the rainy season (Northern Hemisphere ‘summer’) on the Pacific side, and in the hot dry season (‘winter’) on the Caribbean – so you’ll always be able to find a great break
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Stay safe - some of the best beaches known to be the safest to go surfing are Playa del Coco, Playas Rajada and Playa Hermosa
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Break points - most of the break points in Costa Rica have sand bottoms but some have pesky sea floor rocks so make sure you wear a wet suit
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Julio Cesar Rivera Hernandez

Local Expert

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What makes them an expert?

Since 2000, Julio has lived in the town of La Fortuna de San Carlos, at the foot of the Arenal Volcano, surrounded by primary and secondary forests. He started in 1987 as a volunteer in the National Parks of Costa Rica and two years later he started working as a park ranger where he managed to travel through all the National Parks of Costa Rica, working both in the protection of natural resources and as an instructor. He has been in the tourism industry for more than 30 years, hiking and connecting with nature as well as showing visitors the beauty of Costa Rica

What do you love about horse-riding in Costa Rica?

Hiking is the best way to know nature. It is a change in routine for people, where they can connect and enjoy the charms of the forest, surrounding plants, animals and beautiful views. During walks we can take you to discover magical places where civilization has not managed to reach. Due to the great variety of microclimates, mountainous areas, flora and fauna that we find in Costa Rica, the country has become one of the best places to hike.

Top 3 favourite Locations

Monteverde Cloud Forest Hiking Trail - The high altitude of Monteverde brings moisture, making it a rich source of biodiversity and allowing it to be called a Cloud Forest. The illustrious quetzal is among one of over 400 bird species in the area, along with tens of thousands of insect species, more than 2,500 plant
Rio Celeste Waterfall & Tenorio Volcano Hike - The reserve holds one of the last remaining wild scarlet macaw populations. From mangroves to rainforests, there are a variety of ecosystems within the park to explore. Be on the lookout for monkeys, sloths, and a variety of bird species.
Santa Rosa National Park Hike - this park is the oldest national park in Costa Rica. Visitors can hike through the dry forest in an area renowned for its wildlife. It also has the world’s only fully protected beach for nesting olive ridley sea turtles and has the largest concentrations of baby sea turtles

Top 3 tips

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Warm clothing - some of Costa Rica’s most amazing destinations are located at elevations above 8,000 ft. Even in the tropics, this means cool temperatures. Pack at least one sweater, fleece or warm jacket.
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Don't be afraid to get dirty - Costa Rica is a country without walls, meaning that it is wild, rugged and dirty but there is something inexplicably healing about itareas (Caribbean
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Mosquitoes - pick up all natural repelling oil, ‘Please Don’t Bite Me’ skin patches and drink lots of local fresh coconut water
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Pura Vida Tours

Tour Company

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What makes them an expert?

Jimmy, founder of ‘Pura Vida Tours’, has lived at the base of an active volcano all his life, exploring and enjoying the many beautiful rainforest trails, waterfalls, caves and mountains of Arenal Volcano. He started his own tour company ‘Pura Vida Tours’, guiding mainly his family and friends to some of Costa Rica’s secret locations. Since then, he has been helping visitors to create their very own experiences in Costa Rica.

What do you love about horse-riding in Costa Rica?

The reason why hiking is his favourite activity is because of its very close contact with nature. The feeling of freedom, the outstanding views and the history behind each place that he visits. With 30% of the land area protected by national parks, wildlife refuges, and preserves, Costa Rica hiking reveals a variety of well-marked trails for the adventurer.

Top 3 favourite Locations

Arenal Volcano National Park - the park is over 7,114 acres with gorgeous views of Arenal Volcano. Visitors can hike for about 40 minutes over old lava flows and through the primary rainforest on a guided hike to see frequently missed nature and wildlife
Rio Celeste Waterfall & Tenorio Volcano Hike - is a river so blue that in pictures it’s often mistaken for being photo-shopped. The colour of the water truly needs to be seen by the naked eye to be believed
Manuel Antonio National Park - this park has been named one of the best parks in the world. With monkeys playing in the forest canopy, visitors can take leisurely hikes through the rainforest. There are several trails in Manuel Antonio National Park, where the main trail is accessible from the park entrance and is great for all ages!

Top 3 tips

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Clothing - Costa Rica’s weather patterns are usually predictable, but you’ll definitely want a good rain jack, even during the dry season. Don’t forget to wear sturdy shoes.
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Insect Repellent - as being one of the greenest places on the planet, you’re sure to find plenty of annoying mosquitoes. Make sure you wear strong repellent with visiting mosquito-prone
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Mesh bag - these weigh practically nothing and is great for temporarily storing swimsuits and wet clothes
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Julio César Rivera Hernández - Costa Rica Vacationing

Since 2000, Julio has lived in the town of La Fortuna de San Carlos, at the foot of the Arenal Volcano, surrounded by primary and secondary forests. He started in 1987 as a volunteer in the National Parks of Costa Ric and two years later he started working as a park ranger where he managed to travel through all the National Parks of Costa Rica, working both in the protection of natural resources and as an instructor. He has been in the tourism industry for more than 30 years, hiking and being in contact with nature as well as showing their visitors the beauty of Costa Rica

What do you love about hiking?

Hiking is the best way to know nature. It is a change in routine for people, where they can connect and enjoy the charms of the forest, surrounding plants, animals and beautiful views. During walks we can take you to discover magical places where civilization has not managed to reach.

Favourite Location(s)

Discover the surroundings of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and learn about the mysteries of an active volcano, edemas of a walk through wooded areas and enjoy two pristine waterfalls.

Explore places like Los Teñideros, which is a hidden place in the forest. Continue your adventure by walking through the Hanging Bridges of the Heliconias Reserve, where these bridges are located along a walk in the rainforest.

Top 3 Must Dos:

1. Chirripo National Park

2. Tenorio Volcano National Park

3. Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park

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