note – since a version of this article first appeared the management contacted us and modified their website and marketing materials to make it clearer that their “Canyon Adventure” is a zip-line tour where you don’t get wet and not typical canyoneering…we’ve modified accordingly.
The architecture is impressive, the locker rooms are the nicest in Costa Rica, the food is excellent, the staff is professional and the setting on a dry forest bluff above the confluence of the Río Blanco and Río Agua Caliente (“Río Perdido”) is stunning which should add up to a perfect review.
Almost. You know the feeling when the waiter says “Oh, I’m sorry monsieur but this morning we do not have the Blue Point Crab Benedict,” and you have to settle for scrambled eggs. Well imagine they sent you a brochure announcing their amazing new eggs Benedict and you got up at 5:00 am to travel two hours to get in line to try it…
A Fun and Unique Zip-Line Tour
We love canyoning (aka canyoneering – rappelling, climbing, and scrambling and even swimming or floating down a canyon) and were bit disappointed to find a zip-line course instead. Their original brochures and other marketing touted “aerial canyoning” with photos that made it look like someone is rappelling down a waterfall (doesn’t happen on the actual tour and the image has been removed from what we see now).
An employee told us that they intentionally designed their marketing efforts to imply there is canyoneering because it sounds better than “just another zip-line.” It is a zip-line tour but the setting in the canyon, a tarzan swing and some traverses make it a unique one.
Since we visited when they first opened they’ve also added a white water inner-tubing tour which would be the perfect way to get into the water to cool off after riding the cables above.
Río Agua Caliente “Río Perdido”
The hot river was beautiful and had a number of pools along almost a kilometer of trail – you have to “hike” to get to the natural hot spring water but there are also warm swimming pools around the main building if you don’t want to exert yourself.
Even though we arrived very early and had them to ourselves it was a typical 94° Guanacaste day and the steaming water lost its appeal after a few minutes. The short hike was beautiful an we saw a mot-mot and several other tropical dry forest birds.
They’ve also completed their bungalows since we visited and next time we’ll try staying overnight to enjoy an early morning mountain bike ride an the hot water river after it cools down in the evening. Río Perdido would be a perfect place to take a siesta in the heat of the day.
The Spa, Restaurant and Pools
The main building is a beautifully designed piece of architecture perched on a cliff above the confluence of the hot river and the white river. The restaurant serves buffet style at lunch and the food is exceptional (a rarity in Costa Rica). The views over the rivers and dry Guanacaste forests are so amazing they may distract you from your meal.
The next level down houses spa treatment and massage rooms with the same open feel and chlorine free swimming pools surrounded by loungers, canopies and swim up bars.
As noted above a number of things have been added to Río Perdido since they first opened and we’re getting excited to give it another try. It’s got everything you could want and it’s all exceptionally well done so we’ll probably like it even more when we aren’t disappointed by inaccurate expectations.