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If you are a bouncer !!

Adventure Guide to Costa Rica

Adventures in the Air If you ever thought of being a bouncer, here’s your chance: Tropical Bungee (. 506/232-3956, www.bungee.co.cr) provides an inexpensive opportunity to bungee jump off the 90-meter/296- foot Río Colorado bridge into a deep gorge. The setting is close enough to San José that you’ll have time to do several jumps in a day. Cost runs about US $50 for the first jump, and $25 for subsequent jumps. The steel bridge was built in 1948 and now sees mostly tractors and farm equipment going to and from surrounding plantations. You go first; we’ll watch. After the jump you get to plunge into the Colorado for a swim.

A slightly less down-to-earth excursion is hot air ballooning with Serendipity Adventures (in US & Canada, . 877/635-2325, in CR . 506/ 556-2592, www.serendipityadventures.com). Lift-off is very early in the morning. They pick you up from your hotel and drive you out to the lift-off location. The pilot will show you how to guide the balloon for ascents and descents over the bucolic countryside. It’s a feeling of euphoria that is hard to beat. Around US $900 for up to five people, or a special of about US $500 for two. It’s a lot of money, but the trip of a lifetime. Serendipity also arrange tours.

The Aerial Tram (. 506/257-5971, www.rainforesttram.com) is a very popular day tour from San José. Located in a rainforest on the eastern edge of the Braulio Carrillo National Park (see page 314), the converted ski lift tram was developed and built in 1994 by Don Perry, a famous North American biologist who pioneered forest canopy research. It features a slow-moving, 90-minute trip in a cable car at various altitudes above the forest floor. A“naturalist” guide accompanies the group in each car. This tour was one of our most highly recommended and was extremely popular with tour groups, but Dr. Perry is no longer involved in its daily function and has expressed serious reservations to us about the staff’s emergency response training. Let’s hope that issue is resolved. The tram has opened an agreeable lodge for overnighters.

A common next stop with day tour groups is their affiliated Banana Tour of one of two Dole banana plantations in the Caribbean lowlands. Make arrangements for this intriguing educational trip with a local travel agent in your hotel or contact them directly (. 506/768-8683. www.rainforesttram.com).


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