When visiting northern Guanacaste, adventure tours are one of the best things to do, especially at Rincon de la Vieja National Park. If you’re yearning to unleash your inner adventurer, sign up for a combo tour at the park as they are one of the best adventure tours in the province.
One of our favorites is the Guachipelin Combo Tour, which consists of a zipline, horseback riding, white water tubing, hot springs and mud baths. Enjoy the national park in one day!
Guachipelin Combo Tour
First, it was the canopy tour like normal. And like usual, we went to the tour guides to get us all suited up for ziplining: belt, harness, and gloves. But I noticed that they attached a second harness to my torso.
Apparently their canopy tour consisted of a full tour of the canopy which means rappelling down a canyon, rock climbing your way back up, and tarzan swinging over rivers.
Ziplining was a piece of cake and then came the extras: rock climbing, swinging and rappelling.
Even though I’m not very good at rock climbing and have only done it once, I knew that I couldn’t pass this up. I wanted to experience everything, even if I was scared. After I walked onto the bridge, I changed my mind.
Rock climbing was going to be the easy part! Rappel down a canyon upside down? No thanks! I watched the others go before me and almost walked away but Yeison marched me right ahead: everyone else made it safe and sound, why shouldn’t I?
OK so it actually wasn’t that far of a drop and our guy lowered me down slowly. All this was done over a river running in between the canyons so it was very pretty cool to be doing all this right in the middle of nature.
It wasn’t that high to climb… but there were two sides of the wall you could go on. Luckily, you are harnessed and attached to a line so the guide at the top can help pull you up if you are tired or get stuck.
Horseback Riding and River Tubing
About a thirty minutes horseback ride later, we reached the river where we were going to engage in a little river tubing.
This river, a class 1-2 (not very strong) runs through Rincon de la Vieja at a grand total of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) and the tubing lasted for one hour. Wheee!
There are lazy pools after every few falls where you can float around and take it all in: the delicious refreshing water, the sun, the gorgeous sky, the trees and the wildlife.
At first I thought an hour would be plenty of time for the tubing but at the end I was so bummed it was over already! By the time we finished, it was 2pm and I was ready for some delicious buffet lunch.
Lunch and Waterfall
They served typical food plus some extras such as a salad bar, spaghetti, watermelon, cake, coffee and dessert. After lunch, the tour is over for those who didn’t sign up for the hot springs or mud baths. If you did sign up for this part, you’ll have to drive on your own to the hot springs since they don’t offer transportation.
We ended up talking to another family from Costa Rica and they invited us to come with them to the waterfall, about a 5 minute drive away. It was a short hike to reach a small but thundering waterfall with huge rocks on the side that the guide said you can jump off of.
Mud Baths and Hot Springs
Another five minute drive to the hot springs and it was time for mud baths and hot springs. It still felt oh so good after we washed off all the mud. There were only two pools for the hot springs but they are right over a river so you are surrounded by nature still. The pools close at 7pm so you could stay there past sunset.
This was an adventure unlike any one I have done before. Costa Rica has so many amazing things to do and see and this has been my favorite so far.
The Guachipelin tour is run by Hacienda Guachipelin, a hotel in the national park. If you want to do this tour and need transportation, please contact us for tour company recommendations. Please include the date of tour, how many adults and children and pick up location.
If you already have transportation, contact the hacienda to reserve your spots.
Check out our video of our fun day of the Guachipelin combo tour!
Tips for Guachipelin Combo Tour
- Hiking sandals are the best shoes to wear for this tour. You can go from water to land easily, your feet can breathe and it won’t be uncomfortable if they get wet compared to wearing socks. You can’t wear flip flops horseback riding and you have to wear closed toed shoes during the white water tubing
- You can bring a camera but the GoPro is the best and safest option. Just make sure to bring the mount to attach it to the helmet
- There are bathrooms and changing facilities at the main area
- The rappel/tarzan swing part is optional
- Eat a good breakfast! You won’t have lunch until about 1 or 2 PM
- You will need your own transportation to the hot springs
- Don’t lose the towels at the hot springs, they will charge you
Want to read about other activities in Guanacaste? Here you go!
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