Photos by A Cruising Couple unless otherwise indicated
San Jose, the chaotic capital city of Costa Rica, can be an overwhelming mix of blaring horns, gridlock traffic and confusing one-way streets. But to escape the stress, all you have to do is head an hour outside of the city; here you’ll find pristine tropical rainforest and an abundance of exotic wildlife at the Braulio Carrillo National Park
The Braulio Carrillo National Park doesn’t get a ton of press, but this easily accessible national park is as good as it gets for hiking and bird watching. Home to over 500 species of birds, 150 mammals, and stunning waterfalls and colorful flora, this national park makes the perfect escape for outdoor enthusiasts.
While there are a handful of ways to explore the park, one of the best is via Rainforest Adventures Lodge. Boasting over 20 years of sustainable tourism, Rainforest Lodge is a unique place to lay your head while also enjoying adrenaline-pumping activities — and Costa Rica’s first rainforest aerial tram.
Here’s what you need to know to plan the ultimate trip to Rainforest Adventures Lodge:
There’s nothing better (or more challenging) than taking a few days to disconnect from technology. And at Rainforest Lodge, you’ll have no choice but to do just that. Here, there’s no cell reception, no Wi-Fi and electricity shuts off at 9 p.m. It’s the perfect place to bring those books you’ve been meaning to read and otherwise fully indulge in the forced digital detox.
The lodge itself is as cozy as can be, with ten comfortable bungalows equipped with private baths, hot water and lovely terraces that provide vistas of the rainforest. Meals are included with the stay; expect local Costa Rican dishes such as casados and gallo pinto.
The Aerial Tram
The highlight of any visit with Rainforest Adventures is the unique aerial tram that glides through the treetops for over a kilometer. Sit back and relax in the gondolas, but keep your eyes peeled for birds, monkeys and reptiles. Each gondola is accompanied by a trained naturalist to ensure you see the most during your tram tour.
The Zip Lining
Of course, no trip to Costa Rica is complete without at least one zip lining adventure. At Rainforest Adventures, fly through the rainforest on ten cables while enjoying the spectacular views of the surrounding rivers and canopy. It’s not uncommon to see monkeys playing in the trees along the way!
READ MORE: 9 Things To Know Before Visiting Costa Rica
The Nature Hikes
One of the top advantages of staying overnight at the Rainforest Adventures Lodge is the opportunity it provides to take a guided night hike. The jungle comes alive at night, offering the chance to spot animals that otherwise might be harder to see. For example, on my most recent trip, I was able to see a tapir, numerous colorful frogs, snakes, a tarantula and a variety of other insects unique to the area. It’s a perfect activity for travelers of all ages who want an up-close encounter with a variety of fascinating Costa Rican wildlife.
Explore the trails during the day for the chance to see numerous birds, monkeys and other larger animals. We even watched two anteaters fighting in a tree for the better part of an hour!
There’s also a butterfly, frog and hummingbird garden, offering even more opportunities for wildlife photography.
Photo via Flickr/Peter Nijenhuis
If you’re looking for a place to disconnect from constant email pings and notifications, then you can’t go wrong with an escape to Rainforest Adventures Lodge.
Where is your favorite place for a digital detox? Have you visited the Braulio Carrillo National Park?