A walk by yourself in the rainforest might be an experience that will change your life … Or maybe not. But either way it’ll be a memory that lasts forever. Here are some tips from Terranova Costa Rica on how you can enjoy the experience thoroughly:
1. Let someone know where you’re going
A walk in the rainforest is not like a walk in the park. There are possible dangers that you have to watch for and uncomfortable situations to avoid. So, the first step is to let someone at your hotel reception know where you are hiking and that you expect to be back at the hotel by X time.
2. Carry a map or trail booklet
Almost all Costa Rican hotels and parks with a rainforest trail offer a little pamphlet or at least a map of the local trails. Always take it along on the hike.
3. Proper clothing and gear
Clothing should be breathable, comfortable, flexible and fast drying. Hiking boots are a must, waterproof if possible. Also think about taking a light poncho (in case it rains) and a dry bag to store your electronic devices in case of a sudden downpour. And of course insect repellent.
4. Charge your phone and carry your hotel phone number
Most trails are probably beyond cell phone range. However, if you get lost, you’ll definitely want to climb to the higher places where a signal may be found.
5. Take whatever extras enhance the experience
Binoculars, memory cards, GoPro or regular camera, bird guide, etc. Once you’re on the trail, you don’t want to go back to your room.
6. Take your time
Try to have a morning or afternoon at your leisure in your vacation itinerary and think about making the hike as long as possible without becoming exhausted.
7. Take water. And candy
Whether a big bottle or two small ones, take as much water as you can carry. A rainforest, by definition, is humid and hot, and you will need hydration. And take candy in case your sugar level goes down.
8. Use the bathroom before your hike
There’s nothing worse than walking for a half hour into the jungle and suddenly feeling the urge to go. But the mosquitoes will have a blast! So, please, go before.
9. Forget the headphones
From a jungle thunderstorm to shrieking monkeys, you don’t want to be oblivious to the sounds of the rainforest.
10. Use all five senses
Experiences should include all five senses. Use them fully. Leave your phone in the backpack. Fight the temptation of taking pictures to post in the social network. This is your adventure. A gift to yourself. Live it fully. And use three essential verbs: Slow, alert and silent. Now, let’s go in the trail!