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An Adventure Travel Blogger Shares Her Guide To Costa Rica

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Dense rainforests, incredible wildlife, breathtaking views and cultural cuisine — Costa Rica is a natural playground for endless adventure. At least that’s what travel photographers, bloggersand content creators Jackie Krawiecki found on an epic road trip through one of the most biodiverse destinations on earth. And she’s an expert at making the most of every place she visits.

“I’m a millennial who has a full-time job, but I still find ways to travel frequently without breaking the bank because travel makes me feel most alive,” says the adventurer. “I help fellow travelers looking for ways to maximize their PTO by creating unique, adventurous itineraries so people can see a whole lot in a short amount of time.”

During their time in Costa RicaKrawiecki ventured into dense jungle landscapes, indulged in local delicacies, relaxed on pristine beaches and observed an abundance of exotic fauna. So we asked her to break down all the main highlights of her trip, from where to get a taste of local cuisine to what every first-time visitor should do. Read on for Krawiecki’s complete Costa Rica adventure guide.

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WHY COSTA RICA?

Costa Rica Travel Guide
Jacqueline Krawiecki

Costa Rica is a must because it has everything! Pristine beaches, rugged coastlines, vibrant culture, jungles, mountains, hot springs and plenty of wildlife. It appeals to all types of travelers, from adventure lovers and nature lovers to anyone looking to kick back and relax on the beach or soak in a natural hot spring.

What we What I loved most about Costa Rica was the outdoors – especially the biodiversity and the resources they invest to protect it. For example, over a quarter of the land in Costa Rica is protected by national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, sanctuaries and protected biological reserves. These protected areas are home to over half a million plant and animal species and unique ecosystems.

Two of the most spectacular and highly protected areas we visited were the Cloud Forest in Monteverde and Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula. Both places support an overwhelming amount of biodiversity. Not an inch of space was left unoccupied by the vast tropical vegetation, exotic wildlife and thick moss. There really is no place like them.

What should every first-time visitor see or do in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica Travel Guide
Jacqueline Krawiecki

Go zip lining! Costa Rica is the best place in the world to zipline because it offers the unique experience of flying through the jungle canopy.

Monteverde and the Arenal area outside of La Fortuna are the most popular spots for ziplining. Personally, I recommend Arenal for its spectacular views of the jungle, Arenal Volcano, and the surrounding Talamanca Mountains.

Other experiences on the Costa Rica bucket list include a surfing lesson in Nosara, a cloud forest walk in Monteverde, a soak in hot springs in La Fortuna, and a hike to Insta-Celebrity Rio Celeste Waterfall in Volcano Tenorio National Park.

Looking for something even more unique and adventurous? Visit Corcovado National Park and snorkel at Caño Island, two of the most spectacular, biodiverse and rugged spots in all of Costa Rica. You can visit both places from Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula.

The best tips for a road trip through Costa Rica?

Costa Rica Travel Guide
Jacqueline Krawiecki

My first tip: Book your car early! In high season or around the holidays, Costa Rica car rental prices skyrocket as the arrival date approaches. Sometimes they are even sold out. We booked our car Adobe rental car in October for our late December trip and managed to snag one of the last SUVs available for our travel dates.

My next tip is to plan in more than you think you need. In my opinion, Costa Rica is not exactly a budget-friendly destination. In fact, we’ve found that international food, automobiles, and lodging prices are comparable to prices in the United States. A great way to save money on your Costa Rica road trip is to check if you actually need a 4×4. Most people assume that you need a 4×4 for a road trip in Costa Rica, but in most cases you can get around just fine without one. Just make sure you have high clearance.

And my last important tip is to download Whatsapp. It’s used for everything from tour reservations to communicating with your hotel or Airbnb hosts.

Town or city in Costa Rica with the best food scene?

Costa Rica Travel Guide
Jacqueline Krawiecki

If you ask a local in Costa Rica where the best food is, they’ll send you straight to the nearest soda. Sodas are small local restaurants that serve generous portions of typical Costa Rican food like Casados ​​at very reasonable prices (around $5 per plate). You really can’t go wrong with lemonades and you can find them all over Costa Rica.

For something a little more eclectic, head to Tamarindo, a small town on the Pacific Coast. Here you will find the most diverse food scene in the country. We really enjoyed the Italian fare Ancient Flavorsthe local seafood Dragonfly Bar and Grilland the huevos rancheros at Cafe Tico.

If you’re down in Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula, don’t miss it Kalaluna Bistro. Located right on the ocean, it is the highest rated restaurant in Drake Bay and often requires a reservation at least 2 days in advance as it fills up! It’s worth the wait, though, as they serve the best Italian food you’ll find in all of Costa Rica, as well as local seafood and vegan options.

Best city or area for outdoor trips and adventure activities?

Costa Rica Travel Guide
Jacqueline Krawiecki

La Fortuna (Arenal area) is the best area for outdoor excursions as it is the adventure capital of Costa Rica! Any adventure you are looking for is only a few kilometers away from the city center. In fact, I’ve written an entire guide to the best adventures around La Fortuna! You can find it here.

You can spend your time relaxing in volcanically heated hot springs, hiking through lava fields, abseiling waterfalls, hiking above the jungle canopy, and exploring ancient underground cave systems.

Where do you get the absolute best views in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica Travel Guide
Jacqueline Krawiecki

That’s a tough question because there are so many different views in Costa Rica! It really depends on what kind of experience you want to have.

Hike the Arenal 1968 Trail near La Fortuna for stunning views of Arenal Volcano. Visit the Sky Walk in Monteverde for the best views of the famous cloud forest canopy. And for the most majestic views of the falls, head to Boca del Toro or Nauyaca Falls.

The coolest hotel or accommodation?

There are so many great hotels and places to stay in Costa Rica but the most unique place we stumbled upon was Topo tree house, in Limón on the lush Caribbean coast. Topos Treehouse is a multi-story jungle treehouse actually set inside a massive ancient strangler fig tree. The roots of the tree run through the entire tree house, creating a unique experience. It’s also just a short walk to the popular surfing beach of Playa Negra and Cahuita National Park.

Best time of year to visit?

Costa Rica Guide
Jacqueline Krawiecki

The best time of year to visit Costa Rica is the dry season, which falls between mid-December and April. The dry season is also the busiest and most expensive time of the year, so it’s especially important to book rental cars and accommodation well in advance!

The rainy season is from May to November. As in the rest of Central America, it rains LOTS in the rainy season. While the weather can be a little detrimental, the upside is that everything is cheaper and there are far fewer crowds.

Try to avoid traveling to Costa Rica in September and October as these are the wettest months and many tour operators close.

Would you like to add anything else about Costa Rica?

Costa Rica Guide
Jacqueline Krawiecki

So that’s a very unpopular opinion, but we actually didn’t bother with Manuel Antonio! For context, Manuel Antonio is one of the most popular places in Costa Rica. It is known for its pristine white sandy beaches and scenic coastline. However, we personally found the area to be extremely chaotic and even the lesser-known beaches were very crowded.

On the other hand, one of our favorite spots was the Nauyaca Falls! Located less than an hour south of Manuel Antonio, Nauyaca is the most magnificent waterfall in all of Costa Rica (and still a hidden gem). We loved that there was space to spread out, swim and take photos even in high season. Don’t feel like hiking? Just book a truck ride at the Nauyaca Waterfalls Office! All details and important tips can be found in my Guide to the Nauyaca Falls.





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Adventure Travel

Family Fun in Kildare: A Guide To A Memorable Family Holiday In Kildare Ireland

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Family Holiday In Kildare Ireland

family holiday

Planning a household getaway in Eire? You may need to get out of Dublin and spend time in County Kildare (Irish: Cill Dara, that means ‘church of the oak’). Kildare is a scenic, low-lying county located on the East Coast and Midlands and bordering Dublin. Resulting from its proximity to the bustling Irish capital, vacationers would usually simply go by means of the Kildare city on their method to the west and miss the chance to find the county’s scenic wonders. 

Kildare Ireland

What most vacationers do not know is that Kildare is greater than only a handy route. The county has a lot to supply particularly for households searching for a memorable vacation within the countryside. From magnificent gardens and biodiverse parks to heritage websites like castles and monastic settlements, Kildare is full of fascinating points of interest and actions your loved ones can take pleasure in. 

On this article, we’ll checklist down family-friendly points of interest and actions to find in Kildare Eire. 

1. Head to Naas and Kildare city for consuming, purchasing, and tradition journey

kildare town

One wonderful factor about Kildare is it’s an excellent mix of outdated and new. Whereas it’s house to a wide selection of picturesque pure wonders and heritage websites, it is usually an ideal place for meals, purchasing, lodging, festivals, and different thrilling up to date experiences for present-day travellers. 

The encircling cities and villages supply markets, pubs, spas, sports activities (like horse racing), and different out of doors actions. Naas and Kildare city, particularly, are excellent spots for reserving a hotel in Kildare since they’re buzzing with points of interest, eating and purchasing spots, nightlife districts, and different vacationer locations the county is thought for.

2. Journey again in time

Are you a historical past and/or structure buff? As talked about, Kildare has a wealth of historic landmarks and architectural wonders from a whole lot of years in the past. 

Listed below are a number of the top-rated points of interest and actions to take a look at: 

  • Go to the castles and ruins at Athy, Maynooth, Carbury, and Naas
  • Get to know Saint Brigid (the patroness saint of Eire) by visiting the Saint Brigid Cathedral, consecrated in 1230.
  • Try the Kildare Monastic Path, which mixes each one of the best of Eire’s pure wonders in addition to its distinctive historic historical past. 
  • Discover the Castletown Home, a grand Palladian mansion in Celbridge close to Maynooth that’s sitting in acres of forests and fields
  • Get round Kildare Heritage Heart (also called the Kildare Market Sq.), housed in a captivating refurbished Nineteenth-century market home. The heritage centre incorporates a multimedia exhibit on the historical past of Kildare city and its surrounding areas. 

3. Meet Eire’s majestic horses at Irish Nationwide Stud & Gardens

horse in irish national stud gardens

Irish Nationwide Stud & Gardens options picturesque gardens just like the Japanese Backyard and St. Fiachra’s Backyard (devoted to the patron saint of gardeners) — two of the prettiest gardens to be discovered wherever on the earth. Other than these must-visit gardens, the Irish Nationwide Stud & Gardens can be famed for its magnificent horses. 

The Nationwide Stud Farm is the beating coronary heart of Eire’s horse-racing trade. It’s house to a number of of Eire’s most interesting thoroughbreds, together with the winners of all 5 Classics. In 1942 Solar Chariot. Guests may also discover the horse racing museum. 

4. Or watch the horses race

Are you a horse-racing fan? It’s not sufficient that you simply expertise nationwide stud farm — a visit to the thoroughbred county isn’t full with out watching one among its world-famous horse-racing occasions in particular person. For those who’re in Curragh Kildare, you might attend a racing occasion, which hosts 19 worldwide horse racing matches from March to October. 

5. Mingle with Kildare’s pleasant livestock

alpaca

When had been the final time you and your youngsters had an up shut and private animal interplay? Kildare is among the finest locations to mingle with animals in a captivating, rural setting. Dotted throughout the county are working farms, scenic gardens, and different lush inexperienced areas that present a house to Eire’s native wildlife. 

Love animals? Be sure you embody these experiences in your Kildare itinerary: 

Kildare Farm Meals Open Farm & Store – a farm that homes camels, emu, pigs, goats, deer, sheep, and ostrich. Other than interacting with animals, households may also board the Indian Categorical Practice, go to the Teddy Bear Manufacturing unit, play golf, and eat native fares at Tractor Cafe. 

Clonfert Pet Farm – a spot for petting a number of the world’s most favorite animals: llamas and alpacas. Other than these two, you may additionally pet different livestock similar to cows, ponies, donkeys, goats, lambs, and a number of other chook species like owls and macaws. 

6. Benefit from the nice outside

outdoor family holiday

Ditch your automobile for now and let’s break some sweat to totally respect the gorgeous outside. Kildare has loads of scenic inexperienced areas and waterways which might be finest explored on foot, bike, and barges or boats. No must drive miles to see a patch of inexperienced — there’s a woodland path or nature stroll to be found each 5 kilometres. 

To get you began, you might take a look at the next locations to your Kildare out of doors adventures:  

  • Killinthomas Wooden
  • Donadea Forest Park
  • The Barrow Manner
  • The Royal Canal Manner
  • Kildare Monastic Path
  • Japanese Gardens at Irish Nationwide Stud Farm
  • Lullymore Heritage Park and Peatland Biodiversity Path
  • Bathroom of Allen
  • Pollardstown Fen
  • Curragh Plains
  • Arthurs Manner

Go for a lunch picnic adopted by a day stroll. Lease a motorbike and paddle your method round city. You can too join boat excursions that traverse Kildare’s scenic waterways, together with the River Barrow. 

For those who’re timing your journey this August 2022, you’ll see Eire in full bloom through the summer season season. You might also admire the fascinating autumnal hues and climate when “ber” months arrive and benefit from the shoulder season’s fewer crowds. 

Writer Bio: Carmina Natividad is a foodie and journey blogger who hates being locked up at house. Her fondness for journey, meals, and cultural appreciation makes it simple for her to put in writing inspiring items of content material about them. To know extra about inns and journey blogs, you might go to Osprey Hotel.

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Qatar-based adventure travel entity breaks Guinness World Record

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In a proud moment for Qatar, a 35-year-old Everest Marathon record was broken by Z Adventures, a Qatar-based adventure travel company that has successfully organized the highest trail running event on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
The Uhuru Peak Challenge, held on July 15, consisted of four events; the V1000, half, full and ultra marathon. A strong group of 30 runners representing 12 different nationalities landed in Arusha, the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro, on July 8th to take part in this grueling adventure race on the ‘Roof of Africa’.
At 5,895 m, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent and also the highest free-standing mountain in the world. The group consisted of some very experienced marathon runners from all over the world and also some beginners who signed up for this adventure.
After the obligatory trek briefing and equipment check, participants began their 5-day acclimatization trek to the summit – the Kilimanjaro trek involves trekking through 5 different climate zones to reach Uhuru Peak. The Bushland Zone is the first part of the climb, taking runners up to 1,800m. The next day, participants hike through the rainforest zone to camp at 2,800m. Day 3 of the hike takes runners through the moorland/heath zone while camping at 4,000m for the night. After that, the two toughest parts of the journey begin as they reach the Alpine Zone at 4,980m to prepare for the start of the races.
The first race was V1000, a 1,000m vertical climb through the arctic zone to Uhuru Peak. The V1000 course has been certified by the International Skyrunning Federation and is considered the highest skyrace in the world.
Over a 4.3km course, runners climbed 1,000m from 4,980m to 5,895m to reach the top of the mountain. This was no ordinary feat as the runners endured freezing temperatures, thin air and altitude sickness as they made their way to the top of the summit. Jack Haug from Switzerland won the men’s competition, while Tamina Vogel from Germany took first place in the women’s competition.
Once at the top, runners lined up for the usual summit pics at the top of the peak before starting the next race; the half, full or ultra marathon. Exhausted and cold, they slowly began the next stage to run down the mountain hoping to finish the distance and be part of the historic record event. Certified by the International Trial Running Association, the course was not for the faint of heart. The downhill race included rocky terrain, slippery slopes and sheer elevation changes as they ran through all 5 climate zones in one day to reach the bottom of the mountain to complete the race.
The youngest member of the group, 17-year-old Scottish runner and World Spartan Age Group Champion, Harvey Mitchell-Divers, won the men’s half marathon event in a time of 3:22:58 while Tamina Vogel finished as the winner 1. female. In the marathon and ultramarathon it was an all-Swiss win, with Jack Haug winning the ultramarathon and Alexander Scherz the full marathon. Cara Nelson of the USA won the women’s marathon race.
It was a life-changing experience for most runners, and even the most seasoned marathon runners found the race to be the toughest of their running careers. Guinness World Records has recognized the three races as the highest altitude half, full and ultra marathons, breaking the 35-year-old record of the Everest marathon.
Through the successful organization of the race in partnership with Kiliwarrior Expeditions, Z Adventures now holds six Guinness World Records for high altitude running events.
In 2019, they organized the world’s highest half, full and ultra road marathon at Khunjerab Pass, Pakistan at 4,693m. The company organizes marathons in more than 40 countries and on six continents. In Qatar they organize more than 30 events annually as part of the Qatar Running Series with regular events in various parks and trails.
The outstanding performance delighted Ziyad Rahim, the mastermind behind Z Adventures, to no end. He himself holds 10 Guinness World Records in long-distance running and is the first athlete in the world to run an ultramarathon, full marathon and half marathon on every continent.
Speaking to Gulf Times, Ziyad said, “The Uhuru Peak Challenge was a tough undertaking and it took me two years to plan and successfully complete the race. Being the world’s highest running event, a thorough risk assessment was required. I am so proud of all runners.”





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Conservation Auction: Bid Now on Outdoor Gear, Adventure Travel

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Hiker with a backpack jumps on a mountain pass.
(Photo/Ruslan Everst)

Support the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund by bidding on equipment packages, multi-day trips, lodging and more now through July 14th.

The Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF) is in the final days of a critical fundraising campaign. The Travel Conservation Auction, now in its third year, has provided important funds for the organization’s annual grants program. ATCF is on course to raise $30,000 at this year’s auction; Whether this goal is achieved depends entirely on the participation of the bidders.

Need to update your gear game? Are you longing for a break, but don’t know where to go? With more than 20 items ranging from merchandise to week-long safaris, the ATCF auction may have just what you’re looking for.

Travel Preservation Auction 2022

The 2022 Travel Conservation Fund auction features 29 items donated by a range of adventure travel and outdoor industry companies.
Donor to the 2022 Travel Conservation Fund Auction; (Image/ATCF)

This year’s auction consists of 15 Travel Packs and 14 Gear Packs. From backcountry ski touring to African safaris, fly rods to yoga mats — Each item on the list was donated by leading outdoor companies committed to preserving natural and cultural resources.

Since its inception, the fund has awarded more than $500,000 to conservation initiatives worldwide. But it’s worth noting that the ATCF relies entirely on the auction and membership dues to raise funds. So consider leaving a little scratch for the thing if you can.

Master is what is to be won.

travel packages

  • Luxury Safari in Kenya (3 Nights)
  • Visit Sacred Valley, Peru (5 Days)
  • Rafting Trip for Two in Idaho (5 Days)
  • Desert Safari in Namibia (3 days)
  • Glamping Trip in Baja, Mexico (3 days)
  • Visit the Virunga Mountain Gorillas in Uganda (3 nights)
  • San Juan Island Washington State Adventure (5 Days)
  • Red Mountain Retreat in Utah (4 days)
  • Jungle and Beach Retreat in Costa Rica (4 Days)
  • Join Adventure Elevate in Maine (1 ticket)
  • Backcountry Ski Adventure in Whistler, British Columbia (3 Days)
  • Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru (7 days)
  • Discover Panama (flight included; 4 days)
  • Stay at Westfir Lodge in Oregon (3 days)
  • Join a Walking Mentorship Retreat in Portugal (1 place)

Gear Packs

To start bidding and take a closer look at each lot, go to Travel Conservation Auction 2022 Side.

Interested in adding your outdoor business to the list of contributing ATCF members? Find out more and apply through the organization Member Portal.

long trail relay
Thru-Hike Relay: Outdoor gear store hikes long way as fundraiser
A Vermont gear company just completed a month-long hike to raise money for an organization that maintains the state’s hiking trails. Continue reading…

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Jilli grew up in the rural mountains of southern Colorado and later moved to Texas for college. After seven years in management consulting, she got into sport climbing – and life would never be the same again. She now works as a contributor, gear tester and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she settles down with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler George Michael.





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