Thanks to Rainforest Adventures, a collection of ecotourism parks and tours, located throughout the Central American and Caribbean regions, nature lovers and adrenaline seekers can find what they are looking for in one, sustainable adventure attraction and tour operator.
âWhat started as a vision to make the rainforest and natural assets of a destination accessible to everyone has grown to become one of the most popular destination activities for visitors, especially within the locations with growing cruise ship business,â says Annika Bratt, vice president of sales. âIn the countries where we operate, the rainforest is the richest and most diverse community within the region and by combining education with adventure, we purposely set out to provide a dynamic experience for guests of all ages.âOperating under strict conservation guidelines, Rainforest Adventures launched in 1994 when the first park (Costa Rica Atlantic) constructed the world's first rainforest aerial tram â without removing a single tree in the process. Today, Rainforest Adventures has expanded its parks (locations include: Costa Rica Pacific, Costa Rica Atlantic, St Lucia, Dominica and Jamaica),and tours (Panama), each offering guests thrilling, eye-opening and educational rainforest and destination activities that range from ziplines and bird watching tours to naturalist-led aerial tram rides and nature walks. âOur first priorities are safety and conservation,â said Bratt. âEach guest who passes through our parks or takes our tours learns the story of our rainforests: the millions of insects, plants and microorganisms who call these environments home; the amazing healing properties of our jungles, from tiny medicinal plants to the mammoth amounts of carbon dioxide that is emitted and absorbed each year; and the high price that all of us, plants, animals and humans, pay as a result of deforestation.â Rainforest Adventures' keen eco-consciousness has earned high marks from conservation groups and government bodies. Some of the company's achievements include earning Blue Ecological Flags and the highest rating under the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (Costa Rica Pacific and Atlantic); receiving a Tourism Service Excellence Award from the Ministry of Tourism (Jamaica); and being acknowledged by the Rotary Club of Gros Islet for Outstanding Contribution for Humanitarian Service (St Lucia). Each park and tour is unique, built around the natural history and culture of each country with its own special attractions. All shore excursions are carbon neutral and the company has been certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) for safety. Prices range from $10 to $100 USD per person, based on the level of experience, with group and individual packages available. Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica AtlanticLocated just 80 kms (50 miles) from the Costa Rica's capital city of San JosĂ©, Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica Atlantic was the company's first park, introduced in 1994 with the non-invasive construction of an aerial tram. Today, the park has grown to include guided tours (pick from nature hikes, bird-watching treks and family-friendly adventures) and attractions like the AdrenaLine â a 700-metre (2,297-foot) zipline that takes thrill-seekers flying 55 km/hr (34 mph) through the jungle. For softer adventure, guests can explore the butterfly and frog garden ( $10.00 USD, per person): a 200-square-metre (1,250-square-foot) open-air space where nature-lovers can immerse themselves in a world of bug-eyed bullfrogs and tiny tadpoles. And with bilingual naturalists overseeing the grounds, this garden is an eye-opening and educational experience for adventurers of all ages. Unique to Costa Rica Atlantic are the 10 modern bungalows, each with private baths and terraces available for overnight accommodation. Guests can explore their phobias at the Serpentarium at Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica PacificRainforest Adventures' Costa Rica Pacific park, located outside the beach town of JacĂł and about a two-hour drive from San JosĂ©, is home to a heart-leaping Serpentarium: a snake exhibition located deep in the jungle that showcases 20 of Costa Rica's finest slithering species. Admission to the Serpentarium is $10 USD per guest. Adventurers with kids in tow might consider springing for the Family Tour, a package for all ages that showcases the beauty and secrets of the rainforest with every turn. On this five-hour tour, families join expert naturalist guides for visits to the Serpentarium and the Medicinal Plant Garden, a painting workshop (where kids can colour a T-shirt with natural dyes or create a fossil) and a ride through the rainforest treetops on the aerial tram, complete with a nutritious Costa Rican meal. Cost for the Family Tour is $82.00 USD (children) and $78.00 USD (students and adults). Take a blind leap on the AdrenaLUNA zip line tour at Rainforest Adventures St LuciaGuests can up the zipline stakes and leap over to Rainforest Adventures' St Lucia Park, located the highland community of Chassin, Dauphin, for a little nighttime action. While not for the faint of heart (or for those afraid of the dark), the brand new AdrenaLUNA nighttime zipline tour starts with a dark walk through the rainforest and launch off a volcanic boulder, continuing with a zipline through the high jungle canopy (only a headlamp leads the way) and a swing on a Tarzan-like rope, and finishing with a rappel back down to Earth. Cost for the tour is $79.00 USD (adults). Jungle bobsledding at Rainforest Adventures JamaicaWith Rainforest Adventures Jamaica, on Mystic Mountain, bobsledding isn't just a wintertime sport for northerners. Guests who visit the park, located in the resort town of Ocho Rios, will discover a wild ride that's inspired by the famous Jamaican bobsled Olympians and ranked by TripAdvisor.com as one of the region's top attractions. Bobsledders are safely strapped into a sled and then sped, using only gravity, down a 1,000-metre (3,281-foot) mountainside track through the dense rainforest. (Going a bit too fast? Slow down using a handbrake). While the experience of bobsledding in a Jamaican jungle is priceless, guests do pay $62.00 USD per ride. To get back to earth, guests can drop by the butterfly garden (a spot designed to attract these insects in non-enclosed setting) and the hummingbird garden (a place for visitors to see and learn about Jamaica's national bird in a natural setting). Finally, guests may cool off after a long day of jungle adventures with an exhilarating ride down the 77-metre (253-foot) mystic waterslide, ending in an infinity-edged pool. Leap across a 107-metre (350-foot) cavernous drop at Rainforest Adventures Dominica Located at the edge of the lush Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Rainforest Adventures Dominica offers guests a range of activities, such as aerial tram tours, jungle hikes and, the most adrenaline inducing of all, the gorge zip challenge. Home to the highest zipline in the southern Caribbean region, Rainforest Adventures Dominica boasts three cable lines, culminating in 361 metres (1,185 feet) of heart-leaping fun. The grand finale of the park's zipline experience is a clammy-hand journey across the Breakfast River Gorge, a 107-metre (350-foot) cavern filled with plants and waterfalls. Cost is $50 USD (trail walk and zipline) or $99 USD (aerial tram ride and zipline). Exploring the depth, breadth of the Pearl of the Pacific â Rainforest Adventures Panama with Panama Excursions. www.panamaexcursions.com.pa To open visitors' eyes to the true heart and soul of Panama, Rainforest Adventures offers seven diverse tours, adventures and experiences: Shaping of Panama, Chagres River Adventure, Authentic Embera Indian Village, Miraflores Locks Observation Center, Eco Cruise on the Gatun Lake, Panama Canal Partial Transit and Panama Canal Railway. On the Authentic Embera Indian Tour, guests take a dugout canoe ride into Chagres National Park en route to a remote village. Once there, explorers will meet the chief, watch a series of traditional dances and take time to explore the village, meet the local people and purchase a crafted keepsake. With four exhibition halls, a visit to the Miraflores Locks Observation Center is an eye-opening and educational look at the shaping and importance of the Panama Canal and its locks. Nature-lovers wanting to be immersed in Panama's lush flora and fauna needn't look further than the Eco Cruise on the Gatun Lake tour, an experience that takes guests aboard a small boat for an exploration of back channels, islands and bays and to the Gatun Locks. Birds, monkeys, sloth, iguanas and crocodiles are just a few of the animals that can be spotted on this tour. About Rainforest AdventuresWith adrenaline-inducing parks and educational tours located in Costa Rica (both Pacific and Atlantic), Panama, Saint Lucia, Dominica and Jamaica, each Rainforest Adventures location serves as ecotourism attractions as well as wildlife and wilderness refuges. Since 1994, the company has been combining unique rainforest adventures (such as tram rides, bobsleds and zip lines), with exceptional, multi-lingual naturalist guides, and tour excursions giving each guest an educational, adventurous, sustainable and unforgettable rainforest and destination experience. For more information, visit www.rainforestadventure.com or call 1-866-759-8726. -30-Media Contacts: Deirdre Campbell, Tartan Group: 250-592-3838, 250-882-9199 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org Suzanne Girard Foote, Tartan Group: 917-370-7288 or email@example.com