Adventure Weekend: Rafting, Hiking and Canyoning

February 22, 2009

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la_fortuna_costa_ricaRafting day! After a quick breakfast, our rafting van arrived. We drove out to the Rio Toros, which is a class III / IV river and divided into groups.  I was a little nervous, as my last rafting experience was with a less than professional company in Panama.  After a brief intro and explanation on what we need to do, we hopped in the rafts and practiced a few commands and then we were off! I was a little nervous about being in the front, but after we hit our first huge rapid and our guide yelled, “get in, get in” I was glad I had a bigger area to hide as the big guy behind me went sailing over me and out of the raft.  We got him back in the boat and off we went. Overall, it was amazingly fun and the day went by surprisingly quick. I think we were all glad that we’d picked the full day, class 3/4 white water rafting on the Rio Toro, instead of the half day 2/3.  After rafting, we grabbed a late lunch and then headed back to La Fortuna, where we met the rest of our group and headed up to Arenal Volcano for a short hike and then waited in the rain, hoping to see the elusive lava glowing from the volcano.  Side note for if you ever go rafting:  Put sunscreen on your knees! My legs were already fairly tan so I didn’t, and ouch, they’re a little pink now.

Canyoning day! I had first heard of canyoning when I was in New Zealand.  I wanted to try it, but it seemed too expensive, so I’m glad I waited for Costa Rica.  The Defasio van picked us up around lunchtime and we headed up to the canyon area they use. After getting outfitted with harnesses and gloves, we walked down to the demo area, where they showed us how to hold the rope to self-belay. I kind of felt like I didn’t have enough information and that maybe I’d missed something since it seemed too simple! But after the first mini-waterfall, I was like, “What? That’s it?”  So by the time we arrived at the first big waterfall that had a huge drop, I went flying down! Overall, it was great fun to be tramping through the water, but I would have enjoyed a few more adrenaline rushes. I guess I thought it would be more exciting.  It’s a classic case of the Eiffel Tower/Mona Lisa effect.  Anyway, I still had a great time, but if you could just choose just one activity in Arenal, I would suggest the rafting!