Having fun in a ATV at Manuel Antonio
Having fun in a ATV at Manuel Antonio

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! If you want to explore Costa Rica with a twist, ATV's are an exhilarating way to see the country off the beaten path, plunging across rivers and up mountainsides. If you've never ridden one before, it's all right because there are instructions at the beginning of each course of the 4 x 4 experience. They can go a whole lot faster than I can leap! For all the places, drivers must be at least 16 years old. Here are the five best places to cruise on ATVs in the country:

Manuel Antonio ATV Adventure

Bring your teenagers on this heart-pounding tour, but only if you'll be able to stand them talking about it the whole flight home. Located less than 15 minutes north of Manuel Antonio National Park, the adventure will begin with a safety instruction of your Honda ATV by professional bilingual guides, and after you'll launch behind a guide through the best of the Costa Rica country side, weaving in and out of trees of the rainforest and into African Palm plantations. One of the highlights among riders is the pit stop at a stunning waterfall, so take a dip and cool yourself off after the exhilarating ride! You'll get to eat a tasty Tico-style meal before you cruise back beneath the gorgeous tropical canopy. The tour lasts about 4 hours, but ask your guide for an all-day tour. It departs at 7:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

ATV tours offered at the beach
ATV tours offered at the beach

Midworld ATV Tour

Have the luxury of the guides picking you up at your hotel while they explain what's in store for you at Manuel Antonio National Park. The destination is 20 minutes away from Quepos. After participating in the safety lesson, choose between a Polaris Trailblazer for single riders or Yamaha Grizzly for double riders. Once you feel comfortable on the vehicle, you'll set off through primary and secondary rainforest close to the Cañas River. Swimming in the river beside two waterfalls will leave you refreshed and recharged. Meals will be provided depending on how long the tour is, but either way, you'll get some lick-lipping homegrown fruit along the way. The tour lasts four hours, and departs at 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Xtreme Adventure Tour

On this tour in the beloved Guanacaste region, you and your family will speed across mountainsides, forests and beaches. Xtreme Adventure offers different packages, from a two-hour ATV Beach Tour that has a short stop on the sandy shoreline, a four-hour ATV Beach Tour highlighting an even spread of jungle and beach, and lastly, the ATV + Canopy Combo boasts both ATV's rides as well as zip-line tours. Whichever you decide on, know that they are dedicated to adventure tourism that won't disappoint.

ATV Adventure Tours Costa Rica

Located in Jaco Beach near Los Sueños, the trek will be come equipped with auto transmission ATV's. Discover remote villages, waterfalls and the rainforest trails while you take in the sights and sounds of native flora and fauna. The off-road thrill packs something for everyone - from beginners to experienced riders. Each trip will leave from Jaco Beach, situated only five minutes away from Los Sueños Resort. Pick between a two-hour Tour de la Gloria, three-hour Tour de la Paz or 4-hour de 7 Pueblos or full day Tour del Rey.

Adventure Motorsports

Spice up the journey a little more with an ATV ride on the island of Uvita. With an experienced guide, you'll explore coffee plantations, small villages, secret water falls and an array of wildlife. No matter the rugged terrain, this day will be loaded with fun. Although they have predetermined routes, Adventure Motorsports will cater to your every desire, whether it's chatting with the locals for a cultural experience or spending a bit more time diving in the waterfall.

Just talking about it gets my froggy heart pumping! What was your ATV experience like in Costa Rica? Did you see any of the country's most famous creatures?

Riding an ATV near La Fortuna / Arenal Volcano
Riding an ATV near La Fortuna / Arenal Volcano