Perhaps the only thing better than a fun, relaxing vacation is one where you emerge a better person after the experience. One of the things I love about leading trips to Costa Rica is that this country helps me make it possible to provide this for our travelers.
Some of our guests arrived in Costa Rica scared of heights, some of water, and some of creepy crawlies. Still others simply came to this country needing to get away from it all to get in touch with what mattered. Costa Rica delivered.
Our zip line canopy tour took our guests high above the jungle, secured safely in harnesses to zip through the jungle on 14 different cable lines. On the first line, one could see the fear the faces if those scared of heights, but as we did more and more, fear turned to pure fun, and confidence replaced caution. We finished the day with several travelers having accomplished something they never thought they would, and even desiring more!
Then, it was on to whitewater rafting, and we had the perfect river for novices to get their feet wet, and for the experienced to play around and perform rafting tricks over the rapids. Our life vests were virtually unsinkable, and after our first dive into the water, it became clear that today would be the day for even the most water-weary to test their former limits and ride the waves.
As it turned out, the most difficult part of the day was trying to pay attention to the rules and instructions of our head guide, while other chiseled shirtless guides scurried around us, getting equipment ready and pumping up rafts, wearing nothing but board shorts that slipped just far enough down their behinds to leave us titillated. Clearly they knew their audience.
Now, since much of Costa Rica is preserved natural jungle, it has some of the best insect and wild animal viewing in the world. For many of our travelers, their experience with large insects and wild animals was limited to cockroaches and city rats. So of course they're grossed out. I have to say it all changes when an expert guide shows you the complexity if an ant colony, the natural defense mechanism of the owl faced butterfly, the hard shell of a centipede, and the brilliant green of a giant grasshopper. The freaky become fascinating. And the squirrel monkeys? They're so cute and funny, it's as if Costa Rica Tourism has them on payroll.