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Canopy tours: Is Arenal as great as Monteverde? (Costa Rica)

Canopy tours: Is Arenal as great as Monteverde? (Costa Rica)

Old Apr 29th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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Canopy tours: Is Arenal as great as Monteverde? (Costa Rica)

First family trip to Costa Rica coming up in June. (Wow!)I was planning on sending my adventurous family on an exciting and thrilling canopy tour in Monteverde.(Yikes!) I will be keeping my own 2 feet on the ground, thank you.

But now, due to the airline's cancelling a flight I have to change our trip around. My 23-year-old son will have to miss 1 of our 3 destinations: Arenal, Manuel Antonio, or Monteverde.

If he misses Manuel Antonio, he misses the liveliest destination, from a young adults' perspective. If he misses Monteverde, he misses the canopy tour. Unless...I substitute a canopy tour in Arenal. So, is the canopy tour in Arenal exciting, thrilling, memorable, something they will always remember? Or not?

Basically, the whole family will visit ARenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. But my 23-year-old son will only get to visit 2 of these 3 places. It's either ARenal and Monteverde, or else Arenal and Manuel Antonio.

Advice, please? Thanks so much, experienced travellers!

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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Melissa,

I haven't done the canopy tour at Monteverde, but I have at the Arenal Paraiso, and it was thrilling. My kids are younger than yours, but there were teens and young adults on the tour who were thoroughly enjoying it. The Skytrek tour at Arenal has also been recommended on this board.

If you decide on the tour at the AP, be sure to spring for the picture CD of your tour. The photographer does a fantastic job.

I think I read that you may be staying at La Finca que Ama. If so, check out Turu-ba-ri park (www.turubari.com). The wonderful Neta can get you discounts. Here, they have the "Superman" zip line, where you are suspended with your hands free and you "zip" one kilometer over a canyon. Definitely thrilling & memorable. They also have regular zip lines there.

Have a great trip!
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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I don't know what's wrong. I posted and came back, and nothing happened. I then hit post my reply several times. Sorry for the repetition!
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 02:34 PM
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There are canopy tours all over the place in Costa Rica. You can probably catch one in both Arenal and Manuel Antonio. And they are as thrilling as you think. The one unique aspect of the Monteverde canopy tour is climbing inside the trunk of a tree to get to the first platform!

I traveled for the second time to Costa Rica two years ago and the itinery included Arenal, Monteverde, and San Jose. If you can fit it in, do the horseback ride to the waterfall at Arenal. The scenery is beautiful and the ride thrilling. The horses are playful and take off in gallop just to compete with one another. Once at the waterfall park, you decend a multitude of hand-hewn steps to reach the base of the waterfall. The water is chilly, but after that decent, it will be refreshing. But don't play too hard, you need to save your stamina for going back up!

Have a great time. It is a trip you will always remember.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for the advice! It sounds like there are a lot of thrilling choices.

I'm a bit confused...Is Skytrek in Arenal the one that takes you up on a tram, and then you descend on a zip-line, suspended from a cable? Or am I confusing 2 different tours? My family wants the zip-line type where you are "flying".

I wanted to be sure that, if my son has to miss Monteverde, he wouldn't be disappointed in the zip-line tour at Arenal.

I will also look into Turu-ba-ri.

rofromtx, Hard question...Which destination did you prefer overall, Arenal or Monteverde, and why?

Thanks everyone. Anyone else have advice?

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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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Your son would not be disappointed if you did the Arenal Sky Tram/Sky Trek sip line. Yes, you do go up in a tram and down on the cables. It is very high up and you do not go from tree to tree you fly from mountain to mountain. We loved it even though it was cool and overcast. Their website is www.vallemonteverde.com.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 07:55 PM
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The skytrek zipline in Arenal was a once in a lifetime experience!! Really fun and exhilerating. Some of the cables were very very long and you go really fast.Your son would love it."Funnest thing ever!" from 13 year old daughter. Did a canopy tour through the trees out of Los Lagos which was also fun to do but not as thrilling.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 11:24 PM
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Stillriver and jentom98, thanks for the tips!

Stillriver, thanks for clarifying how the Arenal sky tram/sky trek zip line works. It sounds like the kind of thrilling experience my family will enjoy and remember. (And I will wait safely in the pool at the hotel to hear all about it.)

jentom98, a once-in-a-lifetime experience sounds like great family bonding time, and a good way to lure young adults back on family vacations!

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Old May 20th, 2005, 05:59 AM
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DO NOT STAY AT THE HOTEL.

We just got back with a group of 8, 4 adults 40ish, 2 boys 13, 2 girls 15. All sorts of squeemish emotions at first were followed by Tarzan yells in just a few minutes. We were joined by two girls in their 20s and their MOTHER who was 60ish. Everyone had an amazing time. You will be a bit scared and apprehensive at first but you will love it.
And your son will be proud of his mom.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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Queue, I love the Tarzan yells! Thanks for the encouragement.

It is really because of helpful comments like yours that my family will get to enjoy these adventurous activites. Since I'm the planner, it's my job to find out how to make the trip fun for the whole family. They loved how our trip to Italy came together last summer and are really looking forward to this one.

If it weren't for the great trip reports on fodors and elsewhere, it would be a lot harder to plan a good trip.

Muchas gracias to everyone who has been encouraging!









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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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Re: Post on 5/20 by queue..."Do not stay at this hotel"...to which hotel are you referring?
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Old May 27th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Read it once more.
It does not say "this" it says "the".
He means to get out and enjoy CR, not to remain at the hotel while the others in her party are on the zip lines.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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Well, hey, TSD, what brought you out of hiding? I've been a little concerned. . .
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Old May 28th, 2005, 02:58 AM
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Hey Shillmac! A friend of mine emailed me from SoCal the other day and asked for tips on CR, as he is soon flying out.

Have to say that when I read the non-descript thread titles and the repetitive questions that indicate the author did zero research on even the simplest of issues...Well, you know.

We've since been to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and to Vegas. Meanwhile, I bought another house. Been busy. This site can be addictive, and I can be strong.

How are things with you, Shillmac?
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Old May 28th, 2005, 02:35 PM
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Answer is on "Donde esta" thread!
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Old May 29th, 2005, 12:55 AM
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TripleSecDelay, I plan to "get out and enjoy Costa Rica", as you say. There is more than one way to enjoy Costa Rica. There are nature walks, quiet observation time of nature...have you ever sat and watched a lizard doing "push-ups?". Watched a hawk spy a tasty bird right in your garden, and then sat very still watching out the window to see how the drama will unfold? (The hawk waited patiently, then, while we were contemplating whether we should "save" the bird, the hawk swooped suddenly and snatched the bird away into the air!)

I no longer enjoy the same things that I might have found thrilling when I was younger...such as, I no longer enjoy thrill rides or anything that speeds. On the other hand, I find my "thrills" in moments that might bore someone else!

I love finding quiet moments to be alone and record poetry or descriptions or impressions in my journal. This greatly enhances my enjoyment and appreciation of new places when travelling. When travelling with an active family, you have to miss some activities in order to find this alone time.

I also enjoy meeting new people and learning new languages. People and languages are fascinating.

I don't "need" to do the zip-line tour to enjoy Costa Rica. But I have plans of my own.

Sure, I could brave my "fears" and go on the zip-line tour. I have braved a lot worse fears than that! But it's not worth it in this case, because I have some neck and shoulder problems and don't want to aggravate them and then have to be in pain on the trip.

Fodorites should try to tolerate differences, and try to resist the temptation to judge someone whose interests differ from yours. I don't mean you, TripleSecDelay. I just get irritated with some others on other threads who descend to attack as soon as you don't love the same things that they love.

Well, thanks, Fodors, for letting me have my say!
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