Costa Rica Family Friendly Adventure at Diamante
As a mom and a 15-year veteran of the tourism industry, it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to tourist-centric experiences. In Costa Rica, I’ve experienced every level of service, safety and attention to (or lack of) details. At Diamante Eco Adventure Park, I found that every expectation was met, and some exceeded. My family of four — each with our different personalities and preferences — agreed our Costa Rica family friendly adventure was one of the best places we have been in this country eager to show off and please.
So what makes the Diamante experience worth the hype? I think it comes down to one thing: attention to details. When Diamante opened in 2015, the park implemented one of the most intensively researched, all-encompassing destinations in Costa Rica. And you see this everywhere in the details — from the food and the care of the animals all the way through to the safety features of the ziplines.
“My son’s favorite part was
watching me try to walk
across a tightrope.”
The check-in process at the open-air Welcome Center, with expansive views of the Pacific Ocean, is quick and easy. Of the three packages to choose from, the best value is the Adventure Pass. This allows you access to all the areas of the park including five ziplines, the animal sanctuary, the new ropes course, the botanical gardens and cultural learning center, the beach, buffet lunch and much more.
The park’s layout makes it very easy to move between attractions, especially with the Adventure Pass. It all starts with the ziplines. I was a little concerned because my daughter had never ziplined before, but Diamante’s revolutionary self-braking carbon line system calmed my fears and made the experience her favorite of the whole day. The ziplines conclude with a freefall “Quick Jump” and my favorite: a hanging bridge walk over the crocodile habitat.
In the animal sanctuary, we were greeted by Mario. He told us that all the animals have been rescued and rehabilitated but are not able to return to the wild for different reasons. As an animal lover, I was impressed that the park works with a team of onsite and international specialists to ensure the greatest care for the animals. As any parent knows, kids have their bucket list of things they want to see and do. My daughter has been talking about jaguars for months now. When I told her we were going to see them in person, she couldn’t believe it until Nico and Sama came into view: beautiful three-year old jaguar brothers, up close through the glass-walled habitat.
My son and husband opted not to zipline and met us in the animal sanctuary. On the way there from the Welcome Center in the air-conditioned van, my son had seen the brand new Jungle Course. He couldn’t wait to try it out after visiting the animals. With a safety talk, very similar to the one my daughter and I had received before ziplining, he was able to climb, jump, swing, and everything in between on the shaded ropes course that had a climbing wall, swings and variety of obstacles. We all joined in and it was fun to see what elements the adults could do or couldn’t do. My son’s favorite part was watching me try to walk across a tightrope.
Our appreciation for Diamante’s attention to details continued as we realized how hungry we were. We returned to the Welcome Center for the buffet lunch, included in the Adventure Pass or otherwise available for an additional fee. It was by far one of the best buffet meals we’ve had in Costa Rica. The food quality and selection were exquisite, from the pizza and french fries for the kids to the fresh and full salad bar. There were plenty of typical Costa Rican offerings, finished off with some delicious arroz con leche. Everything was labeled, clean and most important, delicious. I’m still thinking about the ribs and creamy salad dressing.
We finished our Diamante visit with a cultural center tour. As someone who studied interpretive experiences, I was excited to see this area of the park. It was the first time traveling anywhere in Costa Rica that I have ever seen signs, in English and Spanish, identifying all the flora and fauna in our midst. Surrounding the casita, a replica of a Costa Rican farmhouse, was an herbal and medicinal garden as well as coffee plants, fruit trees and sugarcane. These plants were chosen to supplement the nutrition for the animals in the sanctuary. My husband’s highlight of the day was observing and learning about the different stages of chocolate processing and making his own hot chocolate.
We took a break and got a drink at Diamante’s new restaurant, Adventure Bar & Grill, before heading home. This provided a nice reprieve, with selections from a full bar and snack menu. It gave me time to again reflect on all the attention to details throughout the park. With a degree in tourism management and extensive experience in the hospitality sector, I hold high expectations wearing the tourist hat myself. Diamante exceeded my expectations on so many levels, from safety to the finer points of signage and supported by amazing hospitality.
My family of four – each with our different personalities and preferences – agreed our day at Diamante was one of the best Costa Rican family-friendly adventures we have experienced in the country.