One of my all-time favorite quotes on adventure and travel is this, from the great Mark Twain:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
So when you are presented with a list of adventures like stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, exploring jungles, horseback riding down a tropical beach at sunset, zip-lining through a towering forest canopy, or snorkeling in turquoise seas off white sand beaches – I say “throw off those bowlines, sail out of the harbor and go for it!”
I admit, I haven’t tried Stand-Up Paddle Boarding, but it looks like a lot of fun! Hotel staff say it’s a “great all-body workout” and is enjoyable for anyone to try … skill level not required. Your paddle board guides will teach you everything you need to know while you’re still on “terra firma” and then it’s “anchors away” off into the wild blue water. You’ll paddle in relatively calm water, and they say it’s better to go first thing in the morning for that reason.
If following in the wake of pro surfers is what you want, take a surf lesson in the excellent rolling waves of Santa Teresa and Mal Pais. Or gallop (or walk) on a sturdy steed down the palm-fringed beach.
A favorite pastime of mine in Costa Rica is hiking through the country’s varied terrains. There is so much diversity – from thick steamy rainforest to high misty cloud forest to mountainous pasture land and tangled tropical dry forest. The latter is what you’ll explore at the Cabo Blanco National Park near Playa Santa Teresa. A naturalist guide will explain what plants and wildlife you’re seeing as you traverse the trails down to pristine white sand beaches at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula.
You definitely can’t miss the famed crystalline turquoise waters around nearby Tortuga Island. This little slice of paradise is renowned far and wide for its white sand beaches lined with tall skinny coconut palms, protected waters and world-class snorkeling. It’ll be that tropical paradise you’ll daydream about forever.
And what trip to Costa Rica can be complete without flinging yourself off wooden platforms hundreds of feet up in the tree canopy to hurtle down steel cables at adrenaline-inducing speeds and jaw-dropping heights. You can’t beat it, I say! The Waterfall Canopy Tour Montezuma even gives you stunning views of the coastline and the famous Montezuma waterfalls, with a bonus stop for a swim!
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things,” Henry Miller.