Activities

Pura Aventura’s Combo Tour

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Combo Tour With Pura Aventura

Mountain Bike Riding, Horseback Riding, & Canopy Tour

Pura Aventura is a great tour company with impeccable service. If you are looking for a way to spend an entire day with action packed adventure, I would absolutely recommend Pura Aventura. With a beautiful facility and acres of land, Pura Aventura offers a pleasant experience for families, couples, individuals, and groups alike. Their services include a canopy tour, mountain bike riding, and horseback riding. Individual tours are priced at $50, while the 3-tour combo is priced at $120. There is a 5-year-old age minimum to participate in canopy and horseback riding tours.  At the Ranch, you will find pleasant Café Luna Azul with a friendly staff. After each tour, there will be a platter of fresh, juicy, fruit waiting for you. You can also have your pick of smoothies with water or milk. The plate of the day was Paninis and fresh cheese that Nurys, the caretaker, makes daily.

Panini from Pura Aventura

Mountain Bike Riding

I started my day off with 2 hours of mountain bike riding through 13 km of forest and pastures of Santa Cruz.  There were 3 of us all together, including the tour guide. We affixed our helmets and checked our bikes at the Ranch. They provided us with green 2012 Trek 2700 front suspension mountain bikes, which proved to stand the test of time. In the beginning of the tour, I found myself cruising along a long smooth dirt road, admiring the herds of cows and galloping horses in the pastures. “I think I can handle this…” I thought to myself. But as we left the pasture behind, our terrain quickly changed. Soon the road was covered in large stones and puddles of mud. I found it difficult to navigate and worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the pack.  I hesitated in the beginning, not sure if I should continue on. Luckily, my guide was aware of my concern and he slowed his bike down and looked back frequently to check up on my progression. If it hadn’t been for his guidance, I don’t think I would have experienced the adventure that awaited me..

I reached a point in my mind where I realized this wasn’t going to be the quiet stroll along the beach as I had imagined. After navigating through a pile of rocks, up small mounds, and through rivers, I made a decision that I wouldn’t hold back-I was going to get dirty. After releasing myself to adventure, the entire trip changed. I asked my guide how to change gears, and I soon found myself speeding up mounds and cruising around boulders. We came across 3 or 4 rivers, sloshing, pushing, and riding our bike across; my shoes were soaking by the time we made it to the other side. Due to recent heavy rainfalls, our bikes got stuck in heaps of mud forcing us to get off and tromp through. I walked my bike up a few small rocky slopes as the boys challenged themselves to climb to the top without stopping for a second time. By the 30-minute mark, I was covered in sweat, breathing hard and looking forward to gliding through the next cool stream of water. There were moments where I was unsure if we were even on a man-made path, as we cut through grassy fields and made our way around rivers. Eventually, our guide pulled us off the road and we made our way through the bushes. We leaned our bikes against some trees and followed him down a hilly slope towards the sound of rushing water. And there it was: a small river flowing with about 3 small waterfalls. The boys rushed to jump in and bathed themselves in the waterfall, while I sat on top of a large boulder, watching and taking photos. We took the same road back and it seemed to be easier since I knew what to expect. Overall, ¾ of the trip was downhill and ¼ was uphill. Don’t let the numbers fool you, because that ¼ uphill was more work than I ever could have imagined, but I don’t think I’ve experienced more fun and adventure in Costa Rica. I would recommend this tour for any avid medium to advanced bike rider, athlete or adrenaline seeker. Alas, this tour isn’t for the faint at heart.

Pura Aventura-Mountain Bike Riding Tour

Pura Aventura Mountain Bike Tour

Horseback Riding

After completing my mountain bike riding adventure, I washed off my legs, arms, and mud packed shoes in a little basin at the Ranch. I took a few sips from my water bottle before giving the sign to Jose, my next tour guide that I was ready for my next 2-hour adventure. He affixed the saddle to my horse and helped me climb on top. As I waited for him to assemble himself, I patted the mane of my white horse. I marveled at how well groomed he was, with his short cut mane and polished coat. Both horses were properly cared for and well fed. As we began our slow trot down the familiar stretch of road, past the cows and horses, Jose and I engaged in a brief chat. He told me that my horse’s name was Chico and the name of his, Zorro. Zorro was his horse, while Chico belonged to the Ranch. Chico and Zorro are brothers! Only Chico was 7 years old with more experience than 2-year-old Zorro, who was still undergoing training. We trotted along the road, overstepping a small stream, before taking a different path up a small hill. Every so often, Chico would lean to the side and grab a leafy green snack before continuing his way along the path. I never needed to guide Chico as he seemed very knowledgeable and knew the course very well. Chico took me up pastures, through tall grass, over a few streams, in the forests, and up a hill. I wondered exactly how he would go about climbing down slippery steep slopes, but to my surprise, he managed quite calmly and strategically. Both horses were mellow and provided a leisure ride and at times, with a few kicks to the side, Chico set off on a gallop. My guide took a machete from his supply pack and began chopping overgrown brush from our pathway. Pretty soon, a horizon cleared and we came to a stop on top of a gorgeous hill. He outstretched his finger and pointed to a little house covered by a green roof. It was the Ranch! We had traveled so far, the Ranch looked like a tiny spec amongst this beautiful landscape. I could overlook the pastures and the herds of cows that we had passed. Turning around, I could see mountains covered in green lush. The view was absolutely breathtaking. On the way back, I asked Jose if he could take photos and videos of me using my DSLR camera. He was happy to help. He even stopped along the road so that I could take photos of the forest and wildlife on the way back.

Horseback Riding with Pura Aventura

Pura Aventura-Horseback Riding Tour

Canopy/Zip-Lining Tour

Last but not least, I prepared myself for the 2-hour canopy tour and boy was I looking forward to it. My butt was a little sore from the mountain bike riding and horseback riding, so zip-lining was sure to be a relieving experience. A well thought out sequence of tours, by Pura Aventura and their knowledgeable staff.

I clamored aboard the back of a truck, which had spacious seating for at least 20 people. All of the seats were full as we pulled away from the Ranch. Our guide, Diego, filled all of our ears with funny jokes. He asked us where we were each from and the entire group seemed to enjoy his commentary. It was nice to getting to know all of my adventure companions and Diego made it so much fun. A slight breeze hit us and everyone sat in silence, enjoying the pastures and green fields. It was an enjoyable 20-minute drive to the first canopy and we got to tour the beautiful Ranch along the way. As we neared our destination, Diego offered the front seat to leave all of our valuables and cameras, as there would be a photographer taking photos of us along the way. Additional tour guides began fastening us to our harnesses and adjusting our helmets and pretty soon, Diego began the rundown of safety, rules and procedures. Diego’s friendly attitude and sarcasm seemed to relieve many worried faces. We had two small children with us in our group, but the guides managed them in a safe and comfortable way. The parents seemed very pleased and happy that the children went on every zip-line together, with a guide. There were 11 cables in total, a swinging bridge and a rappel station. The first zip-line was the hardest, causing several of us to sweat and grow nervous as we waited our turn. As we zipped through the air on our two-wire cable, we let out a gleeful shriek and our nerves were quickly wiped away. We excitedly approached the next cables, while being entertained by our friendly and comical staff. They bounced along with us on the zip-lines; they were entertaining to watch as they hung upside down, doing turns and spins. Each cable had a different surprise awaiting us, whether it was the length, the speed, or just the amusement of our guides. The anticipation and entertainment made our trip a blast. My personal favorite was the bouncing cable, where our tour guides pulled the cable strings as you zipped along them, causing you to bounce up and down in the air. It was a freeing sensation as I viewed the forests beneath me, and a giant vulture circling up above. I felt like I was flying. I felt on top of the world.

We finished the day with a delicious lunch and watched a screen filled with the day’s adventures and our smiling faces in pictures and videos. The video was available for $20.

Horseback Riding Tour with Pura Aventura

Zip-Lining with Pura Aventura

Pura Aventura-The Ranch

The Ranch - Pura Aventura

Pura Aventura Combo Tour

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