Costa Rica Adventures – Safety guide

When we talk about adventure, everything seems to be thrilling. A wave of excitement passes through our body when words like rafting, rappel or ziplining come to mind.

However, adventures are serious business. So we take them seriously in Terranova.

If you are traveling with Terranova, this is not a problem, as we are very strict on our supplier’s quality control by continuous inspections and we require all documents before any tour operation.

However, sometimes it happens that you decide to go on your own to one of the multiple experiences offered throughout the country and even though we discourage all our passengers from doing so, here are some tips -coming from our experienced tour guides- that we must give to minimize as much as possible the high risks that nature adventures imply.

Safety Tips for Ziplining

Equipment:

Make sure the equipment is well maintained, including helmets, harnesses, ropes, gloves, carabiners. Have in mind the following:

  • Bring a ponytail holder or bandana if you have long hair.
  • Use closed-toe shoes only.
  • Leave belongings safely stored, including cell-phone, sunglasses.
  • Use bug repellent and solar protector.

Awareness:

Verify the operator is legit, make sure it has demonstrated licensed professional background. Ask questions about the course, make sure the platforms and lines look steady and sturdy. Have in mind the following:

  • Verify lines weight limit with the guides.
  • Pay attention to the safety instructions provided before the tour and make sure you understood everything. If you cannot understand the English spoken by the tour guide of the operator, please let our guide know and look for someone who can explain everything to you.
  • Make sure you’re permanently strapped onto a safety line, two if possible.
  • Watch your step in the course, try not to get in the way of the guides.

Safety Tips for Rappelling

Equipment:

Make sure the gear is well maintained, including helmets, harnesses, ropes, gloves, carabiners.  Have in mind the following:

  • Bring ponytail holder or bandana if you have long hair.
  • Use closed-toe shoes only, avoid flip-flops.
  • Leave belongings safely stored, including cell-phone, sunglasses.
  • Use bug repellent and solar protector.
  • Bring a dry bag if possible (for waterfall rappelling).

Awareness:

Verify the operator is legit, make sure it has demonstrated licensed professional background. Ask questions about the climb.

Rappel ropes are threaded through metal anchor material carabiners, and steel rings instead of nylon slings, which can melt, break or fail if it gets in direct contact with a rope.

Have in mind the following:

  • Verify rope weight limit with the guides.
  • Pay attention to the safety instructions provided before the tour and make sure you understood everything. If you cannot understand the English spoken by the tour guide of the operator, please let our guide know and look for someone who can explain everything to you.
  • Make sure you’re permanently strapped onto a safety line, two if possible.
  • Watch your step in the course, try not to get in the way of the guides.
  • Maintain a steady, controlled pace while rappelling down.
  • Turn your head occasionally to watch for obstructions.
  • Climbing accidents may occur, taking the time to learn how to do it right is essential. Until you master it under the close watch of an expert, don’t rappel on your own.

Safety Tips for Rafting

Equipment:

Make sure the equipment is well maintained, including helmets, like a jacket.  Have in mind the following:

  • Bring a ponytail holder or bandana if you have long hair.
  • Use closed-toe shoes only.
  • Leave belongings safely stored, including cell-phone, sunglasses.
  • Use bug repellent and solar protector.
  • Bring a dry bag if possible.
  • Always wear a life jacket (All buckles must be clipped).
  • Always have your professional guide fit your jacket, this ensures a perfect fit.
  •  Make sure you have the appropriate outerwear for the day (Consider wearing wetsuits, paddle jackets, and river boots).
  • Most of these tours are handicapped accessible.
  • Make sure your tour personnel has radio communication gear.

Awareness:

Verify the operator is legit, make sure it has demonstrated licensed professional background. Ask questions about the training of their guides, make sure they count with CPR knowledge and first aid. Have in mind the following:

  • Pay attention to the safety instructions provided before the tour and make sure you understood everything. If you cannot understand the English spoken by the tour guide of the operator, please let our guide know and look for someone who can explain everything to you.
  • Make sure you understand your tour guide commands.
  • Stay in the raft as much as you can (You may find yourself swimming next to the raft if something happens. If so, lay on your back toes up and float until the guides lift you back into the raft).
  • Know the appropriate swimming techniques.
  • Follow the commands (Clear communication with the guide and group is essential).
  • Hold the paddle properly (One hand should be at the base of the paddle on the shaft, the other on the shaft over the “T” grip.)
  •  Always turn your head to watch for obstructions.

Safety Tips for Horseback Riding

Equipment:

Make sure the equipment is well maintained, including helmets, stirrups, ropes, carabiners. Have in mind the following:

  • Bring a ponytail holder or bandana if you have long hair.
  • Use comfortable light and flexible cotton clothing
  • Use closed-toe shoes only.
  • Leave belongings safely stored, including cell-phone, sunglasses.
  • Use bug repellent and solar protector.
  • Wear an ASTM approved riding helmet.
  • Make sure your tour personnel has radio communication gear.

Awareness:

Verify the operator is legit, make sure it has demonstrated licensed professional background. Ride a suitable horse for your riding experience level. (Beginners should ride a well-mannered horse). Have in mind the following:

  • Don’t race.
  • Pay attention to the safety instructions provided before the tour and make sure you understood everything. If you cannot understand the English spoken by the tour guide of the operator, please let our guide know and look for someone who can explain everything to you.
  • Make sure you understand your tour guide commands (Clear communication with the guide and group is essential).
  • Do not leave small child’s unattended on or around horses.
  • The safest measure is to ride next to an experienced riding instructor or coach.
  • Watch your step in the course, try not to get in the way of the guides.
  • If you ride in a group, keep one horse length between horses.
  • Learn to do an emergency dismount.
  • Learn to do an emergency one rein stop.
  • Learn how to fall. (You may want to learn how to avoid injury by rolling away from the horse).
  • Avoid roadsides. (Vehicles may spook your horse).

In Conclusion

Adventures in nature are fun and fantastic; however, they are not a game, and you should not play with your safety.

Please call us and talk to one of our travel consultants and we will guide you into the adventures that you will enjoy the most and with the best and safest tour operators in the country

 

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