MISTICO ARENAL – COSTA RICA’S WILDEST ADVENTURE

It seems the best things in life always manage to scare yet thrill you. They push you past your comfort zone, and force you to take a leap of faith. At Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, that leap just happens to be over a waterfall!

The Spider Monkey Canyon Tour features a series of rappels, zip lines, and dives, as you follow the canyon deep into the jungle. The park sits quietly in the shadows of Arenal Volcano. A conical volcano rising almost 2,700 ft. above the surrounding cloud forest.

As prominent as the volcano is, the gorge running through the park is equally impressive. The earth drops sharply down forming a deep and narrow fissure. Water twists, turns, and topples over every obstacle, forming large waterfalls and gaping ravines. If you book the Spider Monkey Canyon Tour, you’ll be lucky enough to take the same path.

While in Costa Rica, we had the opportunity to work with Mistico Arenal and try their Spider Monkey Canyon tour. This was a sponsored outing, but the sponsorship in no way affects our opinions or subsequent review of the tour.

Hey there! Don’t forget to pin our review of the Mistico Arenal Spider Monkey Canyon Tour for later 🙂

What is Mistico Arenal

Mistico Arenal is an eco-tourism and adventure park located near Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Owned and operated by descendants of the original land owners, Landelina Rodríguez Sánchez and Adrian Castillo, the park’s goal is to allow visitors to experience the wild beauty of Costa Rica comfortably and safely.

In the early 2000’s, the park opened its doors to accommodate guests of all dispositions. Its tours are broken into two categories: Adventure and Nature. While each one features plenty of the other, the Nature Tours are great for the faint of heart and the Adventure Tours are perfect for the nut jobs (like us!).

Nature Tours at Mistico

Mistico Arenal’s most impressive tour could very well be the Hanging Bridges. The Hanging Bridges are a series of 15 bridges, 6 of which are suspension bridges, meandering through the cloud forest. Along the 2-mile trail hikers can expect to be completely surrounded by the Costa Rican jungle and wildlife.

As the park has grown, they have consistently expanded their offerings. Guided nature tours now include the Hanging Bridges, Volcano Expedition, Nighttime Wildlife Walks, and Bird Spotting. While these undoubtedly all have their appeal, Mistico also has a wild side.

Adventure Tours at Mistico

Mistico Arenal offers two premiere adventure tours; Paco’s Horses and the Spider Monkey Canyon Tour. Each tour is perfect for adventurers looking to get off the beaten path and truly explore the park. If you don’t mind a little dirt, the Adventure Tours are the way to go.

Paco’s Horses

Paco’s Horses takes riders to the highest peaks and pastures within the park. Above the trees, riders have an unimpeded view of the volcano and Lake Arenal. Riding experience isn’t required so there’s no need to worry about being unprepared. As long as you can hang on you should be ok!

Spider Monkey Canyon Tour

An open-air rappel drops you quickly into the mouth of the canyon. Immediately, another rappel carries you down a waterfall and onto the riverbed below. From there, each and every turn leads to a new adventure. Rappels, zip lines, and leaps into the river are all fair game.

Eventually, you’ll look up to realize you are hundreds of feet below the jungle above and you have no clue as to when you could have descended so far. You’ve managed to scale your way down countless waterfalls, glided between the canyon walls on ziplines, and splashed into the river from the rocky outcroppings above.

For two hours you’ll follow your guides in and through Spider Monkey Canyon. Wild doesn’t even begin to describe the adventure; incredible and beautiful do. Mistico Arenal got it right, the Spider Monkey Canyon Tour is an adventurer’s dream!

Final Thoughts on Mistico Arenal

Our time at Mistico was a highlight of our trip. The guides, tour, and facilities were fantastic and we left thrilled to have visited. If you have the opportunity to visit Costa Rica you should make visiting the park a priority.

From the tranquil Hanging Bridges, to the action-packed Spider Monkey Canyon Tour, Mistico Arenal has an adventure for everyone. No matter the tour, be sure you’re ready for Costa Rica’s Wildest Adventure!

So please let us know in the comments below… Where are your favorite places to visit in Costa Rica? Have you ever tried canyoneering? Have you been to Mistico Arenal? Still have questions or comments, let us know! Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our Review of Mistico Arenal for later!

Mistico Arenal is absolutely WILD!! From zip lining to horseback riding, this place HAS IT ALL. Located in the hills surrounding Costa Rica's Arenal Volcano, Mistico Arenal is the perfect place to start your adventure! Read on to learn more about their famous Spider Monkey Canyon Tour... www.theagapecompany.com #AdventureTravel #CostaRica #TravelCostaRica

Bioluminescent Kayaking – Adventures in Costa Rica’s Glowing Waters

There are a few moments in everyone’s life where they can’t believe what they’re experiencing. Our first-time bioluminescent kayaking was one of those moments. Words simply can’t express the feeling of floating on the ocean watching the water and sky literally light up around you.

Bioluminescent kayaking is like paddling through an endless wave of stars. Blue and white swirls dance in the waters below, and the Milky Way shines down from above. It’s a once in a lifetime experience you can’t truly comprehend until you try.

Our biggest regret is not being able to share exactly what we saw during our trip. While the bioluminescence is bright, the light it produces is fleeting. Try as we might, we were unable to catch it on camera. It’s one of those things you just have to see to believe and we know the perfect place: Bahia Rica.

While in Costa Rica, we had the opportunity to work with Bahia Rica and try out their bioluminescent kayaking tour. This was a sponsored outing, but the sponsorship in no way affects our opinions or subsequent review of the tour.

Hey there! Don’t forget to pin our review of the Bahia Rica for later 🙂

What Causes Bioluminescence?

Strangely enough bioluminescent waters exist around the globe almost year-round. However, few places have the perfect mix of temperature, water depth, and concentration to visibly display the trait. Bahia Rica, located on the Gulf of Nicoya, happens to be one of those magical spots where everything comes together perfectly and the waters visibly glow.

Tiny plankton line the waters surrounding Bahia Rica. The microorganisms are excited by touch and movement, meaning every stroke of the paddle, crashing wave, and hand trailing in the water, lights up the plankton. The intensity of this light can vary but during our tour it was comparable to that of a glow stick.

While the bio water is present year-round, cloudy and moonless nights make for the best bioluminescent kayaking. Bahia Rica clearly organizes their reservations into two groups: Full Moon Kayaking and Bioluminescent Kayaking tours. These tours are dependent on the lunar cycle and how bright the bioluminescence will be.

Bioluminescent Water in Costa Rica

Some of the world’s most famous bioluminescent bays exist in Puerto Rico. Laguna Grande, Mosquito Bay, and La Parguera all call Puerto Rico home. These famed bio bays have created a “must see” attraction. Tourists flock to the bays and prices for a bioluminescent kayaking tour are consistently increasing.

Luckily, in the Gulf of Nicoya these bio bays remain unspoiled. The trip to Paquera, the epicenter of the bioluminescent waters in Costa Rica, is not for everyone. Coming from San José requiress a few hours of highway driving and a 70-minute ferry ride across the Gulf. The journey itself manages to scare off many of the would-be visitors.  As such, tour prices are lower, group sizes smaller, and the bioluminescence remains undisturbed longer.

Bioluminescent Kayaking at Bahia Rica

We were lucky enough to arrive at Bahia Rica a few hours before our bioluminescent kayaking tour started. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Thomas and Vicky, the owners, and a few rambunctious monkeys. They line the trees on the property and seem to be just as intrigued by our presence as us of theirs.

While we waited for the tour to begin, we sprawled out on the hammocks and watched the sun set over the mountains across the bay. Somehow with the fading light, Bahia Rica became even more magical, and we hadn’t even seen the bioluminescence yet!

Finally, after the sun had set and it was well and dark, we got into our kayaks and paddled out. We quickly rounded a bend along the coast and could begin to see faint sparks lighting up the water.

As we drifted from cove to cove the intensity of the bioluminescence would ebb and flow. From light blue sparks there and gone in an instant, to full blue tidal waves shimmering off into the depths. As the night continued, we reached more and more impressive blooms of bioluminescence. At some points it was so spectacularly bright we could physically hold the glowing water in our hands.

After about an hour we pointed our kayaks towards home. Little blue trails whispered behind us as we left Costa Rica’s bioluminescent waters behind. We were tired but thrilled!

Final Thoughts on Bahia Rica

Ultimately, we can’t express how incredible the bioluminescent kayaking was. It’s something we highly encourage everyone try at least once. If you’re in Costa Rica you’d be hard pressed to find a better experience than the time we spent with Bahia Rica.

They limit group sizes so you can have a personal experience, are incredibly affordable, and offer a true taste of Costa Rica. Bahia Rica also offers chartered fishing trips, paddleboard rentals, snorkeling tours, cabin rentals, and much more. No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for in Costa Rica, Bahia Rica needs to be on your bucket list.

So please let us know in the comments below… Where are your favorite places to visit in Costa Rica? Have you ever tried bioluminescent kayaking? Still have questions or comments, let us know! Please remember to like and share😊 God Bless, K+J!

Almost forgot? Remember to pin our Review of Bahia Rica for later!