Updated: Apr 5
Day 2: Adventure Pass at Rincon de la Vieja
We were up early to travel approximately one hour to Hacienda Guachipelin located in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. The roads were easy to navigate, and we had no issues getting to our destination.
We highly recommend purchasing online the One Day Adventure Pass.
To gain entrance to the National Park, we first had to stop at a guard booth. We were required to give our names which were checked against a printed list. Of course, our names were not on that list, so I also recommend printing or saving a screen shot of the confirmation email. With our printed confirmation email in hand, we gained entry to the park.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park is home to two volcanos and covers 34,000 acres of land. It is wild and beautiful destination. Rincon de la Vieja is the largest and most active volcano in Guanacaste. Together with the Santa Maria Volcano, the two volcanos form the National Park which is part of the Guanacaste Conservation Area UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We wanted to see and experience as much as possible during our time in Rincon de la Vieja. Our One Day Adventure Pass allowed us to experience four unique adventures in just one day! For a very reasonable price per person, the pass includes:
o A canopy (zip line) tour and rappelling through the Rio Blanco Canyon,
o A tubing adventure on the Rio Negro River with class III rapids,
o A horseback riding Costa Rica adventure,
o Relaxing with volcano-heated thermal waters, steam, and mud bath;
o And a delicious meal at the Hacienda Guachipelin Restaurant.
While it sounds like this would be too busy. It actually felt just right and was really fun.
Our group agreed that the best part of the day was the tubing closely followed by ziplining. Each of us was given our own tube and a quick but thorough safety lesson before jumping into the water for approximately an hour of white-water adventure. There were guides stationed along the route to help as needed and or course the well-placed photographers too.
We had time and dressing areas to remove our wet swimsuits and change into athletic clothing before for our zipline adventure. We ziplined from 8 platforms through the canyon. The views were spectacular! The crew was fast and efficient. Although we were in a group of more than 50 guests, we didn’t have long waits on any platform and for the most part we were traveling with just our party of four throughout the experience.
As much as we loved the tubing and ziplining, we weren’t as thrilled with the horseback riding. All agreed the horseback riding was an okay way to get from the resort to the water, but I probably wouldn’t sign up to just horseback ride as it was very crowded, and we were literally horse head to horse butt the entire trail. Full disclosure, I am also just not a big fan of riding a trail horse. I have always found these experiences to be uncomfortable with the animals too close together to truly experience an actual ride. I would have preferred to hike the trails and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
We ended our day in Rincon de la Vieja at the thermal pools and mud bath. We were all in for the experience. The thermal baths have signs indicating the temperatures of each pool - 100 degrees to the hottest at 113 degrees. There is a changing room at the entrance of the thermal hot springs however there are no showers. A locker with key and a towel are provided at no cost from a booth at the entrance of the short hike to the pools. Parking was just past this entrance along the road. Important note – the mud does stain your skin, removed my self-tanner, and has a distinctive odor that does not quickly wash away.
As we returned to our vehicle, we noticed a sign to the Catarata Rio Negro or the waterfalls. It was a quick hike - relatively easy trail with several waterfall views. On our way out of the park we were lucky to see the most amazing double rainbow. It was breathtaking.
Back at the Airbnb, we enjoyed drinks around the pool and another incredible sunset. For dinner, we drove to Coco for tapas and cocktails at Numu Taproom.
Know Before You Go:
We purchased our One Day Adventure pass online. Be sure to bring a printed copy or screen shot with you.
We booked our dinner reservation while traveling back to the Airbnb. The reservation was easy to get but the restaurant was packed and I suspect without the reservation a table would not have been easy to get.
The vibe at the resort is Pura Vida! It was very relaxed and easy going.
The lunch buffet included salad, fresh fruit, several main dish options, as well as non-alcoholic drinks and desserts.
By purchasing your One Day Adventure Pass through this link you will have a dedicated guide. This person will expect a tip. However, he or she will have drinks, take photos & videos throughout your experience, and ensure your day is without issue.
In the end we did purchase the photo/video packaged offered by the resort. We were emailed a link which included over 100 photos of our day. Great action shots and videos of only our group were included.
Take full advantage of my love of travel and planning skills, connect with me here to book your travel and/or free quote for my planning services.
Items in our beach bag:
Waterproof Phone Protector
Water Shoes for her
Water Shoes for him
Swimsuit for her
Swim Cover-up for her
Swimsuit for him
Swimshirt for him
When to Go:
In our opinion, Guanacaste is best visited in the dry season, December through mid-May. Tourists during the rainy season can save dollars with discounted lodging but may loose half of their day to heavy rainfall.
Is Guanacaste Safe?
Yes. Guanacaste is considered safe for tourists.
We recommend using a rental car or car service. While most tourist destinations do not require 4WD vehicles, some Airbnb and vacation rentals have private roads or driveways that do recommend using 4WD. Be sure to check carefully if this type of vehicle is needed for your rental. We found the Waze app to be consistently easier to use to navigate from one destination to another.