Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica – Our Terraventuras Review

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There are many adventure tours in Costa Rica. That said, this Terraventuras review describes one of the best jungle adventure tours in Costa Rica. This Costa Rica adventure tour was in Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast. Love nature? Interested in rappelling and ziplining in Costa Rica? Then we have some Costa Rica adventures for you.

superman zipline. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

poison dart frog. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

Terraventuras Review: Great Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica

We love a thrill. Indeed, the kids and I are always looking for adrenaline-inducing activities when we travel. It’s trekking in Sumatra. Or whitewater rafting in Borneo. Or maybe rope swings in Mexican caves. There’s nothing like a dash of perceived danger to make memories. It could take the form of riding motorcycles in Vietnam or rappelling down a waterfall in Spain. What kind of Costa Rica adventures would we find? Trekking and ziplining in Costa Rica sounded good, so we looked into it.

Terraventuras offered many types of jungle adventure tours in Costa Rica. They have a good reputation, so I approached them about working together. I’m thrilled it worked out because we had a blast. They have several great Costa Rica adventures on offer. From snorkeling to horseback riding, Terraventuras can help. For example, they also have cooking classes, bird watching guides, and visits to a local indigenous tribe to see how they grow and process chocolate.

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This Terraventuras review is about their Costa Rica adventure tour. We’ve done similar excursions in Thailand, Spain, and Mexico, but we’d never been ziplining in Costa Rica. Jungle adventure tours in Costa Rica usually have ziplining. Yet the adventure tours in Costa Rica also added extra thrills. More on that below. The Terraventuras guides were friendly and professional. The tour was thrilling yet safe. And in a real bonus, the territory we covered was both beautiful and full of wildlife.

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Our Costa Rica Adventures Begin

pickup. ziplining tour. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

ziplining in costa rica map Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

ziplining gear Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

We finished breakfast at our (fantastic) ecohotel at 7 am. Just then, Aaron, the Terraventuras driver pulled up. We were the second group he picked up. We jumped in the van and headed out to get the rest of our group — four more to go. Within 10 minutes, we were at Terraventuras Headquarters transferring to a truck to take us on our Costa Rica adventure tour. Within a half hour of the pickup, we were at the course and suiting up for ziplining

Most adventure tours in Costa Rica involve hiking, ziplining, and rappelling, and this one is no different. After Terraventuras staff briefed us on the route, we met our guides, Andres, Pablo, and Randy. After introductions, they helped us into our harnesses and fitted us with helmets and thick gloves. Safety is crucial when ziplining in Costa Rica. Jungle adventure tours in Costa Rica should always use sturdy equipment and make sure everyone is fitted properly. That’s why I was happy to see Andres and his team double-checking everyone’s gear to make sure it was secure.

Pro Tip: Whether you’re doing jungle adventure tours in Costa Rica or anywhere else, make sure to go to the bathroom before you put on the climbing gear. Once you have on the rock climbing harness, it’s very problematic to take it off. The gear for ziplining in Costa Rica is tight around your thighs. And it should be — it keeps you attached to safety wires and makes adventure tours in Costa Rica go safely. That said, they make bathroom breaks difficult.

Safety First: Rappeling and Ziplining in Costa Rica

ziplining in costa rica. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

zipline portrait. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

Before we hit the trail, Andres gave us a quick safety lecture and demonstration. This isn’t our first zipline (or second, third, or fourth). Yet it’s always good to review all the procedures, whether you’re ziplining in Costa Rica or elsewhere. Adventure tours in Costa Rica are safe, but it helps to know what you’re doing. Using a small platform, Andres showed us how he would attach us to and remove us from a zipline. Then he demonstrated how to lean back and how to hold the ropes when rappeling down a ledge.

Then off we went, starting with a zipline over pristine rainforest canopy. This was our first jungle adventure tour in Costa Rica, and it was off to a great start. Andres zipped down the line first to wait at the other end while the rest of his team guided us through attachment of the wire and takeoff.

Educational Aspect to Adventure Tours in Costa Rica

ziplining in costa rica. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

After the first zipline, we hiked through the jungle, stopping every so often for Andres to show us something along the trail. He pointed out various plants that locals and indigenous people use in traditional medicine. For example, we saw a dormilona plant, whose leaves closed when we touched them. Apparently, a tea made from its roots can make you sleepy. We saw other interesting plants during our Costa Rica adventure tour. We saw a “walking tree,” smelled wild cilantro, and a plant whose leaves could change the color of your fingernails. Many adventure tours in Costa Rica and elsewhere focus solely on the thrill. But I liked these occasional stops to learn about something in the jungle.

Soon we arrived at a wobbly rope bridge. Like with all Costa Rica zip line tours, we are always attached to a secure wire that connects to our climbing harness. It seems scary at first, but even if you fainted and let go you’d still be attached and safe.

Variety: Swinging, Rappelling and Ziplining in Costa Rica

rappelling. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

swing. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

What I liked about our day as opposed to many jungle adventure tours in Costa Rica was the variety of daring acts involved. We had wobbly walkways and we had ziplines. We also had several rappeling points as well as a massive “Tarzan swing.” More on that below.

When it was time to test our rappelling skills my son and I did the polite thing and let everyone go in front of us. That might have been a mistake. It seems that our merry band attracted the attention of some of the local residents. One of these was a howler monkey who decided it was time to relieve himself…directly above us. That’s right: I’m talking about monkey poop.

monkey poop. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

We thought the first droppings were a fluke. Then it seemed like he was aiming. He got a few of us — including me. Not much, of course, and Andres told me it was “good luck” in Costa Rica. Not sure if I believe him, but we all got a good laugh. Once each new person rappeled down the hillside, they reached a refreshing waterfall for a dip. Pro tip: when you take a jungle adventure tour in Costa Rica, try to be near the front of the line.

After a short dip, we followed the riverbed, later cutting back into the jungle to reach more ziplines. The height of these varied. One was only a few meters above the forest floor, while another was high above the treeline. There were two more rappeling opportunities as well: one down a sheer cliff and another down a waterfall. At each place, there were Terraventuras guides at each stage of the drop to ensure we were ok.

Keep Your Gear Dry: Costa Rica Adventure Tour

Like with any jungle adventure tour in Costa Rica, there is a chance that you’ll get wet. It could rain or you could fall into the river. Or on this particular Costa Rica adventure tour, you’re rappelling down a waterfall. There is lots of fancy waterproof gear to bring on things like this. And on Costa Rica adventure tours like this, you’ll certainly use it. But if you don’t have it, just keep a plastic bag or two in your pocket. Nothing fancy. For example, I usually use a plastic bag from a supermarket or convenience store (I try to reuse them where I can anyway). Ziplock sandwich bags work, as well.

I have a decent waterproof iPhone cover, but I foolishly forgot to pack it. I’m glad I had some plastic bags though. My phone nor my gear got too wet, but it was nice to know it was safe and dry. Nearly everyone in our group was taking pictures with a phone, a GoPro or a point and shoot camera. I would not recommend larger cameras as they would get in your way. You often need both hands to climb, rappel or slow down the zip line. For the record, no one left with a wet camera, but there’s a chance it could happen, so prep accordingly.

Tarzan Swing and Superman Ziplining in Costa Rica

Tarzen swing. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

The last two challenges might have been my favorite of the entire Costa Rica adventure tour. First, we ziplined to a platform high in a massive tree. Then, instead of ziplining to the next station, Andres hooked us to a long, vine-like rope and we swung to the ground. It was amazing, but it was also the only time where my heart was in my stomach. The first jump was scary, but the endorphin run after was fantastic!

superman zipline 1 Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

superman zipline. Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

The final zipline of the tour was the “Superman” type. In other words, this time we flew over the jungle canopy head-first. The required an extra few steps to get in the harness but was totally worth it.

We were super hungry by this point, so we were thrilled to burritos waiting for us. It was a basic meal, but delicious. Tortillas were laid out along with refried beans, veggies, deli cuts, and cheese. We rolled these up and washed them down with water and soda.

Wildlife on Costa Rica Adventure Tours

baby bird sloth monkey spider Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

poison dart frog orange Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

One of the best parts of Costa Rica adventure tours is seeing wildlife. I wasn’t sure just how much we’d see, but I was pleasantly surprised. For example, in addition to the monkey mentioned earlier, we also saw iridescent butterflies and colorful toucans. Then we saw a three-toed sloth high in the trees. We also encountered a baby bird in a nest and several brightly-colored poison dart frogs.

Did I mention the fish-eating spider? You read that right. A large, hairy spider about the size of a child’s hand. It sat perfectly still just above the river, waiting for prey. My favorite was a close-up encounter with a hummingbird. As the final members of our group finished rappelling down the waterfall, I backed up to take a picture. I hear a low, loud drone so close to my head that I actually felt it. I wheeled around, terrified, Or maybe it was smaller, It flew away so fast that I couldn’t take a shot of it.

Another prominent creature we saw was the bullet ant. In fact, we saw more than a few of them. Why call them bullet ants? Because they cause a very painful bite, so make sure to stay clear of them. I wore study sandals on this trip, as did many others in our group. That said if you want to take extra precautions against bullet ants and the potential of scrapes and bruised toes, wear shoes.

What to Wear on Adventure Tours in Costa RicaJungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

So you’re going on a Costa Rica adventure tour — what should you wear? First and foremost, you’ll need either a swimsuit you can hike in or a pair of shorts that you don’t mind getting wet. Also important is your footwear. Many adventure tours in Costa Rica allow you to wear either shoes or sandals. Yet no Costa Rica adventure tour allows flip-flops. And for good reason! You’re walking through rivers. You’re scrambling up steep inclines. And you’re climbing up and down various rocky and slippery surfaces. It’s best to wear good travel shoes or sandals that are secured to your feet.

What to Bring on a Costa Rica Adventure Tour

Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

Aside from the shorts and footwear, what else is required on an adventure tour in Costa Rica? Aside from clothing, I’d make sure to bring something to keep your electronics dry. Like I mentioned earlier, adventure tours in Costa Rica often involve rain, rivers, and waterfalls. In other words, you’re probably going to get wet one way or another. Make sure your camera or phone stays dry.

Do you need sunscreen or bug repellant? We used both, but surprisingly, I don’t think we needed either. We saw very few mosquitos, and we were under the jungle canopy so much that I don’t think we would have sunburned even with our shirts off. Of course, different Costa Rica adventures have different amounts of time in the sun. That said, I think we were only exposed to direct sunlight less than a quarter of the time.

Conclusion: Terraventuras Review

We loved our jungle adventure tour with Terraventuras. If you’re traveling on your own or with kids and looking for a Costa Rica adventure tour, then check them out. Terraventuras staff was cautious, informative and entertaining. The area we ziplined through was clean and beautiful. The next time we’re looking for ziplining in Costa Rica or any other Costa Rica adventures, we will contact Terraventuras. In fact, we want to take many of the tours they offer.

Summary of Terraventuras Adventure Tours in Costa Rica

jungle portrait Jungle Adventure Tours in Costa Rica: Our Terraventuras Review

Interested in this Costa Rica adventure tour but just want to skim over the essentials? Here’s a summary of our Costa Rica adventure tour with Terraventuras.

  • The Terraventuras Website
  • We took the Jungle Adventure Tour, but they have many amazing tours available
  • Jungle adventure tours in Costa Rica require some strength and stamina. There are lots of hills and some stairs, as well as a ladder. And it’s hot. Consider your fitness and the fitness of your family if you’re considering it.
  • Unlike many Costa Rica tours, Terraventuras was on time. Maybe it was because we were the first to be picked up, but they said to be ready at 7 and they arrived at 7:02.
  • No flip-flops allowed. I wore sandals but might recommend shoes for most people.
  • Bring sunscreen and mosquito repellant, but you might not need it. Terraventuras will provide an environmentally-friendly type if you ask.
  • Go to the bathroom before you head out ziplining in Costa Rica — the climbing harness makes it difficult once strapped in.
  • Drink plenty of water before you leave.
  • If you bring a camera, a phone or any electronics, make sure you have something to protect it from rain and waterfalls. You’ll probably get wet, so be prepared.

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Disclosure: Our tour was sponsored by Terraventuras Puerto Viejo. That said, the views expressed in this Terraventuras Review are my own. As always. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help you find the best jungle adventure tours in Costa Rica for families. If you know of other great Costa Rica adventure tours or great zipline tours in Costa Rica please get in touch.

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