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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Adventure Tours

Today was a day for adventures.  We had booked at Hacienda Guachipelin Adventure Tours for a full day's activities.   We've learned that you cannot book tours through anyone other than the tour operator or you pay up to double.  Example: We paid $85 USD for this whole day adventure because we showed up at Guachipelin in our rental car and bought the tour from the tour operator.  Other people paid up to twice that much just to be brought up to the tour in a van from their hotel.  At the hanging bridges we paid $36 each for a guided tour a couple of days ago.  Other people paid as much as $100 to get the van ride there and for a tour guide that wasn't employed by the hanging bridges company themselves.  Not clear the other guides were any better - just from other companies who charged more.  So if you want to tour Costa Rica for less money - rent a car and drive yourselves to the tour!!

You can see that they are ready for any injury that might occur:

The day started with a horse back ride through the jungle. 

Next was inner tubing down a river.  We saw tons of butterflies and baby frogs - some with their tails still attached.  They would never let you do this in the US.  But it was a blast. Disney couldn't have designed a better ride.  It was like this little river was just made for tubing.  There were places where it was calm and the guides would have to push us along.  And other places where the rapids would twist and turn you as you bounced through them.  Occasionally people would get stuck on a rock, or there would be a "log jam" of tubes and the guides would have to get us loose again.

Then we paused for some lunch.  Maybe shouldn't have had the two beers as we had no idea what was to come next.  We've been on a lot of zip lines.  So we didn't realize this one would involve climbing across a sheer rock wall.  If you look at the bottom of this picture you can see the river at the bottom of the canyon 100 feet below.

And in this video you can see Mike and Dave (Holly and Melissa opted out of this part) dropping down to the bottom of the canyon and then they had to climb up a sheer cliff wall back to the platform:

The scenery in the zip line was great and the guides were quite competent.  And the equipment appeared well maintained.  However, the tour was WAY overloaded.  The guides were forced to take care of multiple people at the same time creating potentially dangerous situations. For instance a single guide on a platform was hooking up one person to an outgoing line while at the same time another person was already on their way to the platform on an inbound line. Since the guides are responsible for breaking at the end, a small distraction with the outbound person will someday result in them not making back in time to put on the breaks for the inbound person. And the inbound person is going to slam into the people waiting on the platform knocking them off. Yes, they are all on safety lines so no one is going to fall 100 feet to their death. But people are going to be super unhappy and potentially hurt in this process. We saw this situation occur at multiple stations along the route. Melissa put up a fairly scathing TripAdvisor review in the hopes of getting someone's attention in management to address this.

Then it was off to another hot springs to relax!

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