Local St. Augustine, FL Man to Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro to Raise Money for Charity

Christopher Della Rocco, of St. Augustine, FL, To Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro on New Year’s Day 2016 with adventure travel tour operator Adventures Within Reach

Sun Valley, ID, May 8, 2015:   Christopher Della Rocco, will be forgoing the traditional holiday season to join a trek that will summit Mt. Kilimanjaro on New Year’s Day.  On January 1, 2016, Rocco plans to stand on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft.), which is the tallest mountain in Africa, and the highest freestanding mountain in the world.  Rocco will be trekking up to the summit using the Machame Route with adventure travel outfitter Adventures within Reach.

Christopher Rocco

Christopher Della Rocco

Rocco will be climbing to support the Tim Tebow Foundation, and its mission to bring Faith, Hope, and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need (http://www.timtebowfoundation.org/).  Rocco is a bartender at Murray Bros. Caddyshack and a real estate agent with Davidson Realty, both located in St. Augustine, FL.  Although Rocco had been thinking about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for several years, he finally decided to make the move this year.  As Rocco told AWR, “I am a father to two great children, Casandra and Blake,” and “[a]s parents we’re always telling our kids that they can do anything if they put their minds to it. Sometimes you have to get off the couch and show them.”  Rocco hopes to raise $5,000 for the Tim Tebow Foundation (http://www.classy.org/roccokilimanjaro).

 

The Machame Route, also known as the Whiskey Route, is the most popular route on the mountain. The trek is not a technical climb, but summit day is long, strenuous, and at an incredibly high elevation.  Nonetheless, “Kilimanjaro is our most popular trek,” says Robin Paschall, owner of Adventures Within Reach.  “Of the famous ‘Seven Summits,’ this is the easiest to get to and to climb.  It requires no technical climbing experience, and a moderately fit person can summit the mountain with training and perseverance.  Some of our clients, like Rocco, devote their once-in-a-lifetime experience climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to various charitable causes.”  See  http://adventureswithinreach.com/tanzania/kilimanjaro/charity.php for more information about Mt. Kilimanjaro charity climbs.

About Adventures Within Reach

Adventures Within Reach offers treks and cultural tours to Tanzania, Peru, Galapagos, and the Himalayas.  AWR sends thousands of people each year on their dream adventure to Tanzania.  For more information about specific packages and prices, contact Adventures Within Reach at 303-500-5047, or visit http://www.AdventuresWithinReach.com.

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UNI-VISA – One Visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH THE KAZA UNI-VISA

Starting from December 1, 2014, a new uni-visa system will be implemented at Zambian/Zimbabwean borders and will mean that visitors to both countries will require only one visa.

  • Cost: US$50/person
  • Validity: 30 day as long as you remain in Zimbabwe and Zambia

HOW THE UNI-VISA BENEFITS TRAVELERS:

If you are staying in Zimbabwe but going to Zambia for a day activity, the Uni-Visa is cheaper.

It also covers those who visit Botswana for day trips through the Kazangula Borders – it will not be valid if staying in Botswana overnight, in this case you would need to purchase a new Visa.

NOTE: If you are staying entirely in one country, it is better to just get the visa for that country.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Eligible Countries whose nationals are granted a Uni-Visa at port of entry on payment of US$50:

Argentina
Austria
Australia
Belgium
Brazil
Britain (UK)
Brunei
Burundi
Canada
Cook Islands
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Monaco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Russia
Rwanda
Slovakia Republic
Slovenia Republic
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
UAE
Uruguay
USA

UNI-VISA AVAILABLE ONLY AT THESE PORTS OF ENTRY:

ZIMBABWE ZAMBIA
Victoria Falls Airport Harry Mwaanga Airport (Livingstone)
Victoria Falls land Border Victoria Falls land Border
Kazangula land Border (Border with Botswana) Kazangula land Border (Border with Botswana)
Harare Airport Kenneth Kaunda Airport (Lusaka)

More Kaza Visa Info >>

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Why you REALLY want to do the Fly-Cruise to Antarctica

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As the fantastic 2014-2015 Antarctica season wraps up, all thoughts are now on next year’s exciting new season, likely to be one of the busiest on record.  While all of our Antarctica options are excellent, the 8-day Fly-Cruise expeditions are truly unique. Instead of sailing the Drake’s Passage, which can be rough, travelers fly comfortably between the Chilean mainland and Antarctica, saving time and helping you avoid rocky seas.  We have a number of updates and insights to help our travelers considering this exclusive option.

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The Ocean Nova will have a partner in Antarctica in 2015-2016, the all-suite Sea Explorer

In addition to the classic, comfortable 68-passenger Ocean Nova, the 2015-2016 season, a number of voyages will be on a 71-passenger all-suite ship, the luxurious Sea Explorer. Limited to just 71 travelers, the ship uniquely offers 2 categories of cabins with private outside balconies.  In addition, you can expect to al fresco dining in the outside cafe on fine days. Imagine sailing between 3-story icebergs while comfortably sitting down, enjoying your morning latte!

Everyone knows Antarctica is the world’s greatest wilderness outpost and operating ships and aircraft in this region – the windiest, coldest, and most remote region in the world – is surely challenging. An impressive footnote of the expedition’s last 100 flights to and from isolate Frei Station on King George’s Island are that a full 82 operated on the scheduled day, while 13 operated with only a one day delay, 4 with a two day delay and just 1 with a 3 day delay. In fact, in 12 years of operating the Fly-Cruise expedition, with hundreds of expeditions launching successfully, the boats have seen only one trip cancelled. This level of reliability is simply amazing!

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Rugged planes deliver travelers safely to Antarctica

Among the many bonuses of the Antarctica Fly-Cruise is that because the number of passengers is limited to the size of the specialized charter aircraft (a BAE 146, with 90 seats) used by the boats, the number of guests is a perfect fit for the zodiacs. Everyone boards the zodiacs and lands together, there are no waits for landings (only 100 people or less are allowed at any given landing site).

A wonderful safety advantage of the Ocean Nova is that the ship’s sloping zodiac access on the main deck is flush with sea level, meaning there are no potentially dangerous descents or ascents up gangways in rough seas. It’s as simple and easy as it gets to board your zodiac!

A special treat on every Fly-Cruise expedition is the complimentary wine pairing service you’ll enjoy during dinners aboard the Ocean Nova and Sea Explorer. Both boats feature world-class wine selections.

One of reasons to book your Fly-Cruise expedition with Adventures Within Reach is there no credit card processing fees with us. Other companies may assess up to 3.5% of the cost of the expedition but with us, you won’t have to. Past travelers of ours may also receive a returning traveler discount.

The 2015-2016 season is already booked at 65% capacity. If you’d like to join one of the expeditions, now is a great time to do so.  8-day cruises start with a December 2-9 trip, while the last voyage of the season runs February 13-20, 2016. Spaces start at US$9,995/person on the Ocean Nova. Deposits are 20%, with final payments due 120 days prior to departure.

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Sea kayaking is phenomenal in Antarctica!

Sea kayaking is optional and highly recommended, with the additional cost being US$895/person. Snowshoeing is also an option. This is an excellent choice for travelers wanting to get some longer walks on the peninsula under your belt. The extra cost for this activity is US$195/person.

Please be sure to contact us if you have any questions or requests regarding your Antarctica cruise options. Antarctica is deserving to be on every nature enthusiast’s and adventure traveler’s radar. If not this season, then hopefully the next. We look forward to helping whenever you are ready!

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Scuba Diving in Thailand Trip – January 16-23, 2016

thailand-scuba-banner8 Day Scuba Trip in Thailand (North Andaman Sea)

$3290/person

January 16-23, 2016

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(CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE)

AWR is offering a special live-aboard scuba diving trip off the coast of Thailand based out of Phuket.  The itinerary will follow the North Andaman Sea route (see the yellow line on the map).

The trip will be aboard the Thailand Aggressor, a spacious 115’ yacht, built and powered for comfort, safety and stability. Comfortable accommodations for 16 guests include 8 spacious staterooms each independently air-conditioned, a private head and shower, picture window or porthole view, hair dryer, 22-inch flat screen TV with a selection of movies.  The Thailand Aggressor has a beautiful spacious salon, large sun deck, Jacuzzi hot tub, deck chairs, bar, grill, and a complete photo/video center.

More Info >>This video is great guide (turn your sound down):

Breakfast (cooked to order), buffet lunch, and an elegant chef-prepared meal at dinner with table-side service are served in addition to fresh mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. Beverages (soft beverages, local beer and wine) are complimentary while on-board. Filled tanks, weights, and weight belts are included.  Other dive equipment and Nitrox are available at an extra cost.

More Info >>Extend your trip:

Diving Environment:

  • Whale sharks, Mantas, Leopard Sharks, Silvertip Reef Sharks, Walls and Reefs with over 500 species of hard and soft corals and abundant marine life
  • Up to 5 dives per day (4 day dives + 1 night dive), weather permitting
  • All dives from skiff
  • Water temperature: 79 – 84F, 26 – 29C

More Info >>

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FLASH SALE! 5-Day Safaris $1495 for May-June 2015

FLASH SALE!  Safari $1495 / Book by April 30For 7 special departures in May and June, 2015, our 5-Day Group Tanzania Safari is on sale — a savings of $300/person!

$1495/person

FLASH SALE - Get more info!

NOTES: Must book by April 30, 2015 / minimum of 2 people / $200 single supplement

DEPARTURES:

  • May 24
  • May 28
  • June 1
  • June 5
  • June 9
  • June 13
  • June 17

ITINERARY:

DAY 1: Drive to Tarangire National Park for game drive, overnight at Kudu Lodge or Endoro Lodge (LD)

DAY 2: Drive to Serengeti, afternoon game drive, overnight Serengeti Halisi Tented Camp (BLD)

DAY 3: Serengeti, full day game drive, overnight Serengeti Halisi Tented Camp (BLD)

DAY 4: Drive to Ngorongoro via optional Olduvai Gorge and Maasai village, overnight Rhino Lodge or Kudu Lodge or Endoro Lodge (BLD)

DAY 5: Ngorongoro, half day game drive, drive to Arusha/Moshi/Kilimanjaro Airport, depart (BL)

See also:

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2016 Group Kilimanjaro Treks

climb kilimanjaro 7-day Machame groupClimb Kilimanjaro in a group for 2016!  There are multiple departures each month except for low season (April, May, and November). One departure a month will summit on the full moon.  Two departures correspond with the Kilimanjaro Marathon on February 28, 2016.  One departure in December will summit on New Years.  The group Kili treks also correspond with a 5-day group safari or a 7-day group safari.

7 Day Group Kilimanjaro Trek — $2195/person

  • DAY 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Machame Gate, Hike to Machame Camp
  • DAY 2: Hike Machame Camp to Shira Camp
  • DAY 3: Hike Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
  • DAY 4: Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
  • DAY 5: Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
  • DAY 6: Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp
  • DAY 7: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi

climb kilimanjaro 7-day Machame group

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AWR’s Dean Paschall to Thru-Hike the PCT

Dean on Mt. Meru, Tanzania (Kilimanjaro in background)

Dean on Mt. Meru, Tanzania (Kilimanjaro in background)

Dean Paschall will be thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada starting April 15, 2015. He will attempt to complete the hike in a single season, walking an average of 20 miles a day, hopefully finishing in 5 months.

The Pacific Crest Trail is 2650 miles long starting in Campo, California on the Mexico border and ending in Manning Park, Canada. About half the people who start the hike as a thru-hiker actually complete the trail. More people have stood on the summit of Mt. Everest than have completed the entire Pacific Crest Trail.

Dean Paschall is 63 years old and has been an avid adventurer and outdoorsman for his entire adult life. Dean has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Rainier, has hiked on Mt. Everest and Mt. McKinley, achieved the first hang glider flight off of Half Dome, and also loves to mountain bike, road bike, ski, and rock climb. He was a park ranger at Yosemite National Park, CA for 10 years; created and ran the outdoor program at the Community School in Sun Valley, ID for 10 years; was a Division Manager with the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks for 13 years; and is a principal at Adventures Within Reach.

“We are so proud to have Dean tackle this amazing challenge,” Robin Paschall of Adventures Within Reach said. “While this hike is not ‘within reach’ for most people, it is inspirational to anyone who loves adventure and travel.”

The hike will recorded on a regular basis on Dean’s PCT blog: http://www.dean9r.com/ . The blog will be a record of the gear he used, his schedule, and ongoing photographs and journal.

“I grew up in the Sierras, my first backpacking trip was in the Sierras, and my lifetime hero is John Muir. Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is a way to follow his footsteps in a trek through the ‘Range of Light,’” Dean Paschall explained.

Dean’s hike is being sponsored by a number of local Denver-Boulder companies including Ultimate Direction, Sea to Summit, Solar Panel, and Adventures Within Reach.

Ultimate Direction Fastpack 30

Ultimate Direction Fastpack 30

“We are really happy Dean has chosen our Fastback 30 for this amazing adventure”, said Buzz Burrell, Brand Manager of Ultimate Direction.  “It’s very lightweight and comfortable, while providing plenty of on-the-go accessibility so Dean can easily reach everything he needs, which is important on such a long hike.”

Dean has been preparing for the hike for over two years including researching the right equipment to use and training for the physical challenge of such a long hike with great elevation gains.

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2016 Group Safaris in Tanzania

5 Day Group Safari in TanzaniaAWR has just posted the schedule for group safaris in Tanzania for 2016.  There are multiple departures each month except for low season (April, May, and November).  We offering a 5-day and 7-day itineraries in standard safari lodges and tented camps. Some safari departures correspond with our 7-day Machame Group Kilimanjaro Trek.

5 Day Group Safari in Tanzania — $1795/person

  • DAY 1: Drive to Lake Manyara or Tarangire, afternoon game drive, overnight Endoro Lodge (LD)
  • DAY 2: Drive to Serengeti, afternoon game drive, overnight Serengeti Halisi Tented Camp (BLD)
  • DAY 3: Serengeti, full day game drive, overnight Serengeti Halisi Tented Camp (BLD)
  • DAY 4: Drive to Ngorongoro via optional Olduvai Gorge and Maasai village, overnight Rhino Lodge (BLD)
  • DAY 5: Ngorongoro, half day game drive, drive to Arusha/Moshi/Kilimanjaro Airport (BL)

7 Day Group Safari in Tanzania — $2445/person

  • DAY 1: Drive to Lake Manyara, afternoon game drive, overnight Migunga Forest Camp (LD)
  • DAY 2: Drive to Lake Natron, Maasai walk at Engaruka Village, overnight Natron Halisi Tented Camp (BLD)
  • DAY 3: Lake Natron, morning game drive, afternoon waterfalls hike, overnight Natron Halisi Tented Camp (BLD)
  • DAY 4: Drive to Serengeti, afternoon game drive, overnight Serengeti Halisi Tented Camp (BLD)
  • DAY 5: Serengeti, full day game drive, overnight Serengeti Halisi Tented Camp (BLD)
  • DAY 6: Serengeti, morning game drive, drive to Ngorongoro via optional Olduvai Gorge and Maasai village, overnight Rhino Lodge (BLD)
  • DAY 7: Ngorongoro, half day game drive, drive to Arusha/Moshi/Kilimanjaro Airport (BL)

7 Day Group Safari in Tanzania

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Top 9 Questions for Planning your Trip to Peru

Travel to Machu Picchu PeruIf you are ready to start planning your Machu Picchu trip, we have all the answers!  Read on for the top 9 questions on traveling to Peru!

  1. How many DAYS does a trip to Machu Picchu take?
  2. What if I want to HIKE to Machu Picchu?
  3. What if I DON’T want to hike to Machu Picchu?
  4. What ELSE is there to do in Peru?
  5. How about fun, ACTIVE things to do?
  6. How much does it COST?
  7. Can I visit the GALAPAGOS as well as Machu Picchu?
  8. Isn’t Machu Picchu very HIGH in altitude?
  9. When is the BEST TIME to visit Peru?

See Peru Tours >>

#1) How many days does a trip to Machu Picchu take?

Cusco is great city in Peru

Cusco is great city in Peru

How many days do you have to travel? For a basic trip, you will want plan on a 7-day Peru trip to Machu Picchu.  This would include

  • Starting and ending in Lima
  • A few days in Cusco to acclimatize and see the great Inca and Colonial sites
  • A day in the Sacred Valley to see Inca ruins, culture, and local markets
  • Train to Machu Picchu with overnight in Aguas Calientes

There is plenty to see and do if you have more time.  If you cut this trip short, you may have some issues with altitude, you may only see Machu Picchu when it is very crowded, and you will miss experiencing the culture and beauty of this great country.

#2) What if I want to hike to Machu Picchu?

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Great idea!  The most popular way to hike to Machu Picchu is the Inca Trail Trek in 10 days.  This includes 5 days in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Lima plus 5 days of hiking and seeing Machu Picchu.

You can actually hike the Inca Trail in 4 days or 5 days, or you can just hike the last day on the 2-day Inca Trail Express.

For a spectacular hiking experience, we recommend the 7-day Luxury Lodge to Lodge Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.  This is one of the best hiking experiences anywhere!

#3) What if I DON’T want to hike to Machu Picchu?

See Machu Picchu without all the crowds

See Machu Picchu without all the crowds

No problem!  The train goes from Cusco to Ollantaytambo (in the Sacred Valley) and then to Aguas Calientes near Machu Picchu.  Most visitors to Peru take the train up and back to Machu Picchu in one day.  This means Machu Picchu is extremely crowded from 10am to 2pm.  We recommend spending one night in Aguas Calientes so that you have the opportunity to tour the site early in the morning without all the crowds.  This also gives you the opportunity to climb Wayna Picchu.

TRAIN OPTIONS:

  • Vistadome Train: The most popular, best value for experience
  • Hiram Bingham Train: Ultimate luxury train experience
  • Peru Rail Presidential: Another upscale train option, starts/ends in Ollantaytambo only
  • Backpacker Train: Cheapest option, still clean and safe, and it’s fun to chat with all the backpackers

#4) What ELSE is there to do in Peru?

Where to begin!?  If you have a more time to dedicate to your Peru trip, here are the most popular extensions:

Amazon Rainforest

The closest rainforest experience starts in Puerto Maldonado.  There are a number of lodges to choose from.  Alternatively, Iquitos offers a great Amazon experience by boat or in a lodge, but it is further away.  This can be done in a minimum of 3 days, but we recommend 4 or more.

Lake Titicaca and the Floating Islands

Lake Titicaca and the Floating Islands

Lake Titicaca and the Floating Islands

Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest inland lake.  But it is the boat ride out to the floating islands of Taquile, Uros and Amantani that makes it an amazing cultural experience.  This can be done in a minimum of 3 days.

Colca Canyon

The Colca Canyon is the world’s second deepest canyon and home for the impressive condors.  This can be done in a minimum of 3 days.

Nazca Lines

Overfly the mysterious Nazca Lines by small airplane. This is a day trip from Lima or 3 days to see the Ballestas Islands and Paracas Reserve.

Extra days in Cusco and/or Sacred Valley

There is so much to do here!  Add as many days as you want!

  • Maras salt mines and Moray agricultural terraces
  • Cooking class
  • Peruvian Paso horse show
  • White water rafting
  • Ziplining
  • Horseback riding

Lima

Lima is known world-wide for its amazing art, historic museums, and great food.  Spend a few days exploring

  • Pachacamac and Caral Archeological Sites
  • Palomino boat tour to snorkel with sea lions
  • Peruvian Paso horse show
  • Cooking class

#5) How about fun, ACTIVE things to do?

Zip Line in the Sacred Valley

Zip Line in the Sacred Valley

Peru has it!  How about

  • Ziplining in the Sacred Valley
  • White water rafting on the Urubamba River
  • Sea kayaking on Lake Titicaca
  • Horseback riding in Arequipa
  • Mountain biking from Chinchero to Maras near Cusco

#6) How much does it COST?

Shopping at the Pisac Market in the Sacred Valley

Shopping at the Pisac Market in the Sacred Valley

Good question!  The starting land-only price for the 7-day Peru Machu Picchu Tour by Train is $1030/person.  This is based on a group of 4 people traveling, group day tours (instead of a private guide), and budget accommodations double occupancy.

For a 10-day Peru with Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the price starts at $1690/person.

REMEMBER: Our prices and itineraries can be customized to meet your interests, time frame, and budget!

#7) Can I visit the GALAPAGOS as well as Machu Picchu?

Visit Peru and the Galapagos in one trip!

Visit Peru and the Galapagos in one trip!

Absolutely!  However, I must first say that there is plenty to do in each country to fill two separate vacations.  That said, if you are only going to this part of the world once in your life, you might as well do both.

If you just have 2 weeks for your vacation, your best option will be the 7-day Peru + 5-day Galapagos cruise.  If you have more time, you can do a full 8-day Galapagos cruise and/or add on some nice excursions.

#8) Isn’t Machu Picchu very HIGH in altitude?

Condors in the Colca Canyon get very high!

Condors in the Colca Canyon get very high!

Yes and no.  Some travelers report getting altitude sickness at Machu Picchu.  It is actually Cusco that affects people the most.  When you are met at the Cusco Airport, you are given Coca tea, water, and given time to rest and acclimatize.

Here are some altitudes of note:

  • Machu Picchu: 8000 feet
  • Sacred Valley: 9700 feet
  • Cusco: 11,000 feet
  • Lake Titicaca: 12,000 feet
  • Highest pass on Inca Trail: 13,500 feet (Dead Woman’s Pass)

#9) When is the BEST TIME to visit Peru?

Weavers in the Sacred Valley

Weavers in the Sacred Valley

Right now!  Seriously though, the best season to visit Peru is between May and October when it is dry.  December to March is the rainiest season, but Christmas and New Years are still extremely busy.

NOTE: The Inca Trail is CLOSED for the month of February every year

See Peru Tours >>

Posted in Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Peru, Travel Advice | Leave a comment

Top 8 Things To Do in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Most of the travelers we send to Manuel Antonio only have two nights available to enjoy the area. Which is really all you need, since the numero uno (#1) highlight, by far, is the national park.  But what if you want to explore a little more or add a night or two? Here are a number of fun things that I enjoyed on my last trip to Manuel Antonio.

For trips that include Manuel Antonio, see

#1) Hiking & Beaches in Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio has some of the best beaches in Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio has some of the best beaches in Costa Rica

We arrange a morning guided walk to focus on the park’s amazing and approachable wildlife, which includes sloths, monkeys, iguanas, scarlet macaws, and more. Your guide will help you get oriented to the beaches since we recommend you make a full day of it.  Bring a picnic lunch, a towel, a swimsuit, insect repellent, sunscreen, bottled water, some snacks, an umbrella for shade if you have one, and you’ll be set!  The walk lasts only 3 hours, then the rest of the day is yours to enjoy the beautiful playa (beach).

#2) Sunset at El Avion

Sunset dinner at El Avion in Manuel Antonio

Sunset dinner at El Avion in Manuel Antonio

Perched on the ridge above the playas (beaches), this C-123 cargo plane, a relic of the 80’s Nicaraguan civil war, was transformed into an open-air restaurant.

It has amazing views of sunset, decent seafood, delicious cocktails and unforgettable atmosphere.

#3) Catamaran Sailing Tour

Catamaran sailboat tour in Manuel Antonio

Catamaran sailboat tour in Manuel Antonio

You can do this by day, when the sun is strongest and a BBQ lunch is served on board, or in the evening, as the sun winds down and dinner is served on deck instead. The real highlight though is getting out on the ocean and seeing the beautiful rugged coast in the fresh, breezy sea air.  The catamaran we prefer also includes a fun water slide and an opportunity for snorkeling, especially fun for families with younger kids. A bonus is dolphins. You never know if you’ll encounter them but they play in these seas year-round. Humpback whales are found in the area August-September and again in December-March. This is a half day tour, so if you are not a “beach person” the afternoon cruise makes a nice complement to the morning wildlife walk.

#4) Nighttime Wildlife Hike

Nighttime wildlife hike in Manuel Antonio

Nighttime wildlife hike in Manuel Antonio

It’s arguably not the “best” night walk in Costa Rica, but the small Fincas Naturales Wildlife Refuge is very accessible and interesting, especially if you don’t have a chance to do a night walk elsewhere, try it here, it’s something you’ll definitely remember! Highlights are night frogs and fascinating night insects like spiders. During the day, it’s open for kids to see crocodiles and colorful butterflies. If you go on the night walk, bring a flash light!

#5) Sport Fishing

Sport fishing in Manuel Antonio

Sport fishing in Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is an excellent place to plan an extra day to get out on the water. Inshore trips are generally half-day and off-shore more like full days.

The charter prices made my eyes go half-dollar size but you have to pay to play! Fish here include marlin, sailfish, roosterfish, and snapper.

#6) Waterfalls and Horseback Riding

Nauyaca Waterfalls in Manuel Antonio

Nauyaca Waterfalls in Manuel Antonio

While this is definitely further afield, just outside Dominical, the Nauyaca Waterfall, the largest in the central Pacific region, makes an intriguing choice for a day trip from Manuel Antonio.

It’s a huge 215 foot waterfall with a great swimming pool below it. Best of all, you get there via a horseback ride.

#7) Whitewater Rafting

A full day adventure and an activity that we usually schedule elsewhere (like on the Sarapiqui or the Pacuare), but if you love whitewater, you can often find groups to join on rafting trips to nearby Rio Savegre or the Rio Naranjo, the more exciting of the two.

#8) Adventures at MidWorld

A fun private reserve just south of Quepos, not far from Manuel Antonio, this converted ranch features fun ATV rides (suitable for beginners) along rugged dirt tracks to gorgeous waterfalls and host’s possibly the world’s longest superman zipline. The staff are fun and helpful bunch, and the lunches are yummy.

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