Surrounded by the stunning Guanacaste Mountain Range, Rincon de la Vieja and its National Park is home to dormant volcanoes, spluttering mud baths, hot springs and a unique cowboy culture.
Traveling off the very beaten path to Rincon de la Vieja will give travelers an exclusive experience in Costa Rica filled with adventures, stunning scenery and vibrant nature.
With diverse environments, forested volcanic slopes and an incredible display of wildlife on show, discover our 5 unmissable adventures in Rincon de la Vieja to encounter the individuality and exclusivity of this destination.
♦ Exploring the Canyon Canopy
Visiting Costa Rica is not complete without having your fair share of thrill-seeking adventures. One of the most unique is exploring the canyon canopy of Rincon de la Vieja.
Entering a steep canyon with a turbulent river flowing below you will zip-line, rappel and rock climb your way through this magical canyon created by the erosion of the Rio Blanco over millions of years.
On top of crossing hanging bridges and riding Tarzan swings, you’ll be able to enjoy the ever-present flora and fauna that wraps around the canyon adding to the excitement and adventure found in Rincon de la Vieja.
♦ Canyoning at La Victoria Waterfall
Standing at the top of the 115ft La Victoria Waterfall those who dare can look down over the edge at its plunge pool and the Rio Negro below. With a spectacular canyon the picturesque pool at the base of the waterfall provides the perfect way to cool off from the Costa Rica sun.
Looking at the glistening and inviting water below, you’ll be strapped into your canyoning gear in no time.
Ready to start your thrilling rappel alongside the cascading and refreshing water you’ll work your way down the face of the canyon until you make a welcoming splash into the plunge pool below. This tropical oasis in Rincon de la Vieja is a heart-pounding and adrenaline-pumping adventure that is waiting to be enjoyed.
♦ Horseback Riding & Your Cowboy Experience
Ever had the dream of riding a horse under the infinite sheet of the blue sky above into the expansive wilderness around you? Now your cowboy or cowgirl experience can become a reality! Saddle up and begin exploring the spectacular Rincon de la Vieja landscape on your calm and friendly ranch horse in the company of a real ‘Sabañero Guanacasteco’ (Guanacaste cowboy).
Taking magical forest trails your delve deeper and deeper into Rincon de la Vieja’s natural surroundings which will occasionally give way to sparking pools at the bottom of the many thundering waterfalls in the area.
One of the most beautiful is the Oropéndola Waterfall which at 82ft. spills into the turquoise pool of the Rio Blanco below, creating a refreshing paradisiacal oasis in the middle of the verdant forest. You can also try your hand at herding some of the cattle or horses in the area, fulfilling your every cowboy or cowgirl adventure wish.
♦ Hiking through the National Park
The Las Pailas Trail is a 2.5 mile loop trail which offers mind-blowing views of volcanoes as well as showing off its great range of wildlife. Home to white-nosed coatis, Central American agoutis, 3 species of monkeys and exotic birds the sounds and movements in the vegetation around you will impress you no matter where you look.
Las Pailas translates to ‘The Cauldrons’ and there’s good reason for this with the impressive volcanic activity on display within the National Park.
The Park gets its name from the volcanic mud that froths and explodes in the area as well as the steam and sulphur that spurts out of natural fumaroles. Within the National Park of Rincon de la Vieja you’ll also come across enchanting tranquil rivers and streams as well as small waterfalls while just a few steps further on you’ll pass coffee-colored pools bubbling and boiling with hot volcanic water.
♦ Soaking in Mud Baths & Hot Springs
The indigenous Chorotega tradition of Rincon de la Vieja believe that the natural hot-springs and mud baths have magical healing powers. The story tells a tale of a young exiled tribal girl whose lover was thrown into the volcano by her disapproving father with her resulting heartbreak pouring into the volcanic hot springs.
Whether you choose to believe the local legend or not, what is certain is that they have definite relaxing powers as the tranquil natural spas in the forests of Rincon de la Vieja sooth you.
The optimum spa experience can be had by soaking in the natural sauna before applying the pure mineral clay mud all over your body. As you share laughs over your now dry-mud covered partner, friends or family you’ll wash it off in a refreshing shower before relaxing in one of the thermal water pools. A quick cold shower to end the natural spa treatment and you’ll be sure to feel fresh and rejuvenated and ready to continue enjoying the many other adventures in Rincon de la Vieja.
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