Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park

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Last updated Aug 25, 2023

Rincon de la Vieja National Park is home to the largest volcano in the Guanacaste region in Costa Rica with the same name. The park is divided into two sections, Las Pailas (where the active volcano Ricon de la Vieja is located) and Santa Maria. There is a wide variety of things to do here, several hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls, hot springs and mud baths.

UPDATE: The volcano has erupted without any significant damage as recently as May of 2023.

Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica. You can pick and choose what kind of activities to do, but the regular day adventure includes horseback riding, water tubing, zip-lining through a beautiful canyon and hot springs.

Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Rincon de la Vieja Map | Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park

The Legend of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

Rincon de la Vieja means ‘Corner of the Old Women.’ It is believed that the daughter of the tribe chief fell in love with the son of the enemy tribe chief. Her father ended her lover’s life by throwing him into the live volcano crater. Overcome with sadness the daughter became a recluse and ended up living the rest of her life on the volcano’s slopes.

In her isolated life, she studied natural medicine and developed healing power. People seeking medical attention were sent to ‘the corner of the old woman’ by the volcano and that is where its name came from.

Location of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja National Park is located in the Guanacaste region and is only 15 miles northeast of the closest airport in Liberia.

The park covers close to 25,000 acres and houses a few different lodges and haciendas: Hacienda Guachipelin and Canyon de la Vieja in the Las Pailas sector and Buena Vista Lodge and Hotel Borinquen in the Santa Maria sector.

We stayed in Tamarindo and took a day trip to the National Park. It is approximately 2-hr. drive from Tamarindo. You can either drive yourself or request a shuttle pick-up.

Cost of the Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park

We booked all of our tickets through the Hotel Hacienda Guachipeline website.

The One-Day Adventure Pass is $109 per adult, $105 per student, and $100 for ages 4-12.

The National Park entrance fee is 8000 colones ($15) per person.

Guachipeline Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja

Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja is one of the most popular and fun day adventures in Guanacaste!

The adventure day consists of horseback riding, ziplining, tubing, mud bath and hot springs with lunch included. The order in which the activities are done is random and depends on what group you get assigned to.

When you arrive, you will need to check in at the tour information desk and will have an opportunity to change in the dressing room and leave your stuff in the locker.

We started with the horseback ride after getting geared up for the ride. The ride was less than an hour and we are not horseback riders but managed to do it without any issues. However, some other people had more energetic and reactive horses.

Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Horseback Riding | Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park

After the horseback riding, we loaded a bus for the next adventure, river tubing. Once at the location, you will have a short safety/instruction briefing, receive the life jacket and your tube, and have one more opportunity to use the facilities if needed. The tour guides will offer you a bag to store the stuff you may have forgotten to leave in your locker.

This is not your leisurely tubing down the river, you will be tubing down the Class III rapids with the high probability of flipping over at some point. Anything that you don’t want to get wet or don’t want to lose should be left in this bag.

Right from the start, the rapids are very intense, the guides are usually lined up in the most turbulent areas ready to help if needed. Every so often they will rope off the area, and get the entire group together to wait until the guides set up for the next location. Some rapids were pretty intense.

Rincon de la Vieja Adventure Day
River Tubing | Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park

The entire tubing tour is 5 kilometers and lasts about an hour and a half. And at the end towels are provided to dry off.

We did this in November after a few days of intense rain, so the river was a little faster, a little colder and the rapids more intense.

After the tubing, we hopped back on the bus and drove back to the parking area where the zip-lining started. Zip-lining included everything from conventional zip lining to upside-down ziplining, optional rappelling and rock climbing and then unavoidable Tarzan swing over the river. That was a little scary but short and bearable. Part of the zip-lining goes through a beautiful canyon with stunning views.

Rincon de la Vieja Adventure Day
Rock Climbing | Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja
Zip-lining | Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park

This was our last activity before lunch.

The lunch was served at the Hacienda’s restaurant buffet style and is included in the price of the tour. Adult beverages are an additional cost.

Since we drove ourselves, we had the time after lunch left up to us to decide what we wanted to do. To get to the hot springs it is about a 10-minute drive from the tour information desk. We parked in parking area 2 and did Rio Negro Waterfalls first, then went back across the bridge and enjoyed hot springs and mud baths.

Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Hot Springs | Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park

See the map below for the location reference.

Park Map | Adventure Day in Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Tips for the Best Experience

Wear quick-drying clothes. Not everyone is comfortable doing all these activities in a bathing suit, so wearing a quick-drying pair of shorts and a t-shirt is a great combo.

Make sure you wear water shoes or sandals. I love my Teva sandals for hiking in Costa Rica and they worked great for the adventure day too.

Do not bring anything with you that is loose or cannot get wet. As part of the tour, they have someone taking pictures of you while you are enjoying different adventures and you can buy that package later therefore you don’t need to bring your own camera, which can get lost or wet.

The lockers are provided as you check in to leave your valuables in and depending on the activities you do; you may stop there between activities. If you need to bring stuff with you, a waterproof waist pack may be the best option.

Apply sunscreen and bug spray.

Bring a change of clothes for when you are done with all the activities. You can bring your own towel but they are provided to you after tubing and at the hot springs.

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