Exploring Costa Rica’s Forests with Arenal Mundo Aventura

by isvolunteers on Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Flying high at incredible speeds above a lush forest canopy is one of the most exhilarating eco-adventure activities the world has to offer – and on ISV’s Costa Rica Adventure Tour, you’ll have the opportunity to zip-line across 12 spectacular cables and rappel down a 90 ft waterfall! 


The spectacular view across the lush forest canopy of Arenal Mundo Adventura and the largest of 12 zip-line cables that stretches half a mile! (c) ISV

Arenal Mundo Adventura is an ecotourism adventure activity operator located by the picturesque Arenal Volcano. ISV volunteers who are lucky enough to join ISV’s Adventure Tour in Costa Rica will experience this tropical ecological adventure park as part of the ISV Optional Activity Package. Not only are zip-lining and rappelling amazing thrill rides, the activity provides a unique and immersive experience inside a spectacular primary rainforest. Additionally, ISV is proud to be supporting an operator with an inspiring vision for sustainability and ecotourism practices that align with our mission statement.

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An ISV participant holding tight as they fly across Arenal Mundo’s stunning primary rainforest. (c) ISV

The adventure begins with a detailed safety briefing from Arenal Mundo’s friendly guides, who work to ensure this experience is as fun and informative as possible. After a short bus ride to an observation deck overlooking a waterfall, you’ll strap on your harness, helmet and other safety equipment and start flying across the first of 12 cables above the forest canopy. Each cable offers a different sensation and perspective – you’ll cross canyons, waterfalls, tree-tops and depart from a 60 ft tower. The longest cable stretches half a mile (800m)!


Free rapelling down the Pino Blanco waterfall. (c) ISV

The adventure continues! About half way through your flight, you’ll land on an abseiling (rappelling) platform positioned on the edge of a cliff. After another safety briefing, you’ll descend 262 ft alongside the Pino Blanco waterfall! For the first 100 ft, you’ll abseil free of rock support and then descend down a rock face the rest of the way down. Once you reach the bottom, you’ll climb back up the wall using metal ladders and enjoy some fresh fruit and water waiting for you at the top! After a short hike to the next platform, you’ll jump onto the park’s longest cable, crossing a spectacular canyon!  

The adventure concludes with a visit to one of Costa Rica’s most culturally significant villages, inhabited by an Indigenous tribe called the Malekus. Built alongside a river in front of the Arenal Volcano, the locals of this village will take you on an inspiring  journey of song and dance that teaches you about their traditions and values. At the end of the presentation you can talk to the members of the Maleku tribe, and even buy some of their arts and crafts. Proceeds directly support Indigenous artists.


Villagers from the Indigenous Maleku culture. (c) Arenal Mundo Adventura


An ISV volunteer experiencing the adrenaline rush of rapelling 262 ft to the base of the Pino Blanco waterfall! (c) ISV

One of the greatest aspects of your day in Arenal Mundo is the park’s commitment to ecotourism practices! Here are just some of ways Arenal Mundo operates sustainably:

  • All zip line platforms are on the ground in order to avoid causing harm to the trees.
  • Arenal Mundo protects more than 560 hectares of primary rainforest.
  • The park established an Indigenous Cultural Rescue Program (benefiting  25 local families) of one of the smallest ethnic groups in Costa Rica and the entire Central America region.
  • The use of electricity is avoided in most of the activities offered.
  • The park protects 15 water sources within the property.
  • Arenal Mundo Aventura was included in the Eco-Index and named a “Company Making a Difference”, received the Blue Flag Award as a company dedicated to sustainable tourism and the protection of water, and in 2007 it was the first park in Costa Rica to receive the Sustainable Tourism Certification Program operated by the Costa Rican Board of Tourism (ICT). Impressive for a park that first opened its doors in 2005!
  • Internally, the park has a sustainability policy that ensures all equipment is reusable, all cleaning products are certified to be environmentally friendly, and the use of paper in internal and external communications has been reduced by 95%!

We think Arenal Mundo Aventura are pretty great and wish more operators were like them in terms of their commitment to sustainable practices. We’re really pleased to partner with them for our adventure tour and are thankful for the opportunity to bring ISV volunteers to their park! 

To learn more about ISV, our responsible travel principles and the adventure tour please visit our website at www.isvolunteers.org.  


The view from the bottom of Pino Blanco waterfall. (c) ISV


The 5,437 ft tall Arenal Volcano that the park is positioned alongside. (c) ISV

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