The Eco Trip
Why Go: "In 1978, there was no adventure travel in Costa Rica," says Michael Kaye, Costa Rica Expeditions founder and white-water rafting pioneer. "I remember trying to convince the government that tourists would come to raft the rivers, hike the jungles, and watch wildlife. They thought I was crazy." Nearly 30 years later, Kaye is still designing itineraries, including a comprehensive, multisport tour that begins with two days of biking across open countryside to the flanks of active Volcán Arenal. Next you'll paddle in Tortuguero National Park, a preferred stomping ground for three-toed sloths and river otters. The trip climaxes on the Pacuare River, where more than 20 Class III-IV rapids churn between hundred-foot-tall (30-meter-tall) canyon walls. Kaye remains committed to sustainable tourism in Costa Rica: He funnels part of his profits to development projects, including a football field-length bridge that connects the village with Tortuguero park headquarters, strengthening park-community relations.
Need to Know: When picking travel dates, consider what's known as the "secret season," the two-week period right after the New Year, when the holiday crowds are gone, the rains have stopped, and the jungles are yours alone.
Outfitter: Costa Rica Expeditions www.costaricaexpeditions.com
Cost: $1,798 per person
Photograph courtesy of Costa Rica Expeditions
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