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Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica Atlantic

Adventures in the Costa Rica Rainforest

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


The Zipline at Rainforest Adventures

The Zipline at Rainforest Adventures

Kirsten Hubard
The Costa Rican rainforest is a magical place, and Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica Atlantic is a great way to explore it. Located on a 1,200-acre private reserve just 45 minutes from San Jose (sharing a 10km border with Braulio Carrillo National Park), Rainforest Adventures offers ziplining, a rainforest tram, a butterfly and frog garde, a serpentarium, hiking, birdwatching and more. Those seeking an even more profound encounter with the Costa Rica rainforest's flora and fauna can book a night or two in Rainforest Adventures' onsite bungalows, the Rainforest Lodge.

The Adventure Part of Rainforest Adventures

Ziplining at Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica Atlantic is a fantastic experience. Adventurers soar down ten varying ziplines suspended far above the rainforest floor. If that's not enough, there's the super-fast, 700-meter AdrenaLine (get it?) cable: Rainforest Adventures' most celebrated thrill.

The Aerial Tram at Rainforest Adventures is decidedly less action-packed, but no less exhilarating. One of just a few forest trams in the world, it offers visitors of all ages and stamina levels the chance to glimpse the rainforest from unique, intimate angles. The tram is surprisingly quiet, and whispering through the rainforest in near-silence is an unforgettable experience.

Accommodations at the Rainforest Lodge

Accommodations at Rainforest Adventures

Accommodations at Rainforest Adventures

Kirsten Hubbard
Accommodations at Rainforest Adventures' Rainforest Lodge aren't luxury, but they're comfortable. I loved the look of the bungalows, painted mint green, with blue curtains and the silhouettes of flying birds on the windows. There are just ten bungalows total, so the lodge is never crowded. Electricity shuts off in the evening, and while the hotel will give you flashlights to borrow, it's best to bring a couple extras of your own.

Our Adventure

For us, the adventure part of Rainforest Adventures happened right away. We arrived at Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica Atlantic in the evening, after traveling all the way from Rivas, Nicaragua. We'd just finished dinner in the expansive outdoor dining area when we heard a crashing sound in the forest just beyond our scope of sight. Our guide thought it was one of his coworkers and went to check. Right away, he called us over. The surprise guest: a tapir! Tapirs are extremely rare creatures to catch sight of – I'd certainly never seen one before – and I'll never forget how close we got. (Not too close, of course; they can be dangerous, if surprised or provoked.)

After dinner, our guide invited us on a night hike. Though tired, we knew it was a great opportunity, and we're so glad we took advantage of it. Unlike hikes in the daytime, night hikes at Rainforest Adventures are all about taking it slow. Incredibly slow. Armed with flashlights, we crept down the well-maintained trail and peered under leaves and into thickets, finding frogs, spiders (huge ones!), and other tiny nocturnal creatures. It was a great experience, and I recommend it to visitors of all ages spending the night at Rainforest Adventures.

Traveling to Rainforest Adventures in Costa Rica

Riding the Aerial Tram at Rainforest Adventures (that's us!)

Riding the Aerial Tram at Rainforest Adventures (that's us!)

Kirsten Hubbard
Rainforest Adventures can be reached via cab (pricey -- we paid $70) or car from San Jose. It's right off Limon Highway, which runs between San Jose and the Caribbean. Many of Rainforest Adventures' visitors come from cruise ships or package tours, but independent travelers are welcome as well.

We did have one hiccup. Because Rainforest Adventures is located on the highway leading from San Jose to Limon – and it's called Rainforest Adventures Atlantic! – we thought heading to Limon following our stay wouldn't be a problem. However, buses to Limon won't pick up travelers along the way to Limon; we had to venture all the way back to San Jose's Gran Caribe Bus Terminal, book tickets, and journey past Rainforest Adventures again on our way to Limon. It's no problem if you're renting a car, but if you're traveling by bus, be aware.

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