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“Rainmaker is a fun experience for the well-prepared visitor”
Review of Rainmaker Park

Rainmaker Park
Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Parrita
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed February 24, 2014

My wife and I visited Rainmaker with our six-year-old son in early February, 2014. We took a taxi from Quepos, which we arranged the night before. The round-trip fare for the approximately 40-minute (one way) trip was $65.00 US, and the driver came back to meet us at a pre-arranged time. We arrived at about 10:00, and were one of the first groups to enter the park. Payment is made at the only building on-site, which is also the cafeteria and the location of the only washrooms that we saw. You can hire a guide, apparently, although we didn't see anyone offering this service when we arrived. We hadn't intended to get a guide anyway, so it didn't matter to us, but you might want to confirm availability by calling ahead.You can borrow a walking stick, which isn't a bad idea if you have any mobility issues. Trails are narrow and steep in some plavces, with uneven surfaces. You will not be given a paper copy of a trail map, so if you can download one before you visit that would be a good idea. otherwise you can photograph a trail map with your smartphone. There are numeric markers along the trails that will alow you to orient yourself. The park has three main attractions - the rainforest, the hanging bridges, and the river where you can swim in one of several pools. The rainforest is lush and spectacular, with periodic openings (including a lookout on one side loop of the trail) that afford stunning views towards the Gulf of Nicoya. The hanging bridges are impressive and in some cases, quite high indeed. The construction is not like similar bridges in other parts of Costa Rica. If you are familiar with the ones in Arenal, for example, the Rainmaker bridges might cause your heart to beat a bit faster. they are narrower and probably more "swing-y", but on the other hand they don't have those steel mesh "see thruogh" walking surfaces that freak a lot of people out. Instead they have boards laid on top of what look like extension ladder sections. Don't lay or drop small items on the walking surface, because they could roll off the bridge! The platforms where the bridges are attched to trees are a bit unsettling, as they have only a two-bar railing and no mesh. One platform that we stood on was missing part of the railing, and ropes had been attached instead. This is not a very reassuring situation if you have small kids. While common sense will see you through, you had better plan to exercise plenty of it. These platforms are HIGH. The river is a great cooling-off spot. It's obviously a "swim at your own risk" place, so once again use common sense. Our entry tickets paid for our lunch, which we ate when we finished walking the trails. Lunch was casado style - chicken and rice, beans, salad, and juice - quite tasty and satisfying. No one said we couldn't have as much as we wanted. The advertising indicates that Rainmaker runs a micro-brewery and that their beer is available, but when we went there there was no beer. So don't count on it. Again, ask ahead if that matters to you. We were able to do some birdwatching on the trails and around the gardens that surround the headquarters building. A guide might be advisable for this, as the forest is dense and having someone who knows where to find the birds in all that vegetation would certainly be a big benefit. Visitors should wear good footwear and carry a minimum of gear. Remember to print or photograph a trail map. Calling ahead to confirm details such as availability of guides, lunch, and IPA could make your visit more satisfying. Allow yourself at least three hours, which would include time for lunch, as well as the time to and from the park.

5  Thank WJP89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 10, 2014 via mobile

Having found out the Manuel Antonio national park is closed on Mondays we were extremely happy to discover this private park was open.

It's deffinitely worth the $15 entry fee just for the canaopy bridges and waterfalls alone.

It's an easy 30 minute drive out of manuel antiono.

My advice would be ditch the tours, if you have a car and a sense of adventure go alone, it will work out cheaper and less painful (getting stuck in a group of 10 people of different ages wanting to go at different paces, is not my idea of fun.) The lunch was an addition $5 and well worth it, they had it ready just as we exited the park and although we didn't drink it we heard the beer was great!

1  Thank Georgiewillco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Abridged review: A full week in the MA/Quepos area, and this was hands down my favorite excursion. It was dumb luck that we came here. I’d emailed the park for pricing and tour availability but never got a response (my only complaint). I was initially turned off, but we found up having a free day and decided to give it a shot anyway. After an underwhelming tour of MA park, Rainmaker delivered big time! If you find yourself weary of over-commercialized tours, Rainmaker will be a refreshing option. Plus there’s good beer at the end.

Expanded review: The drive there from our Quepos condo took no more than 25 minutes and was a breeze. (I’m not sure why people are so freaked out to drive in Costa Rica – we never felt that way. Maybe driving in snow 6 months a year prepares you for anything.) When we arrived around 11 am, we were surprised to find only one other car in the lot. We walked into the small but idyllic covered pavilion, paid $15 each for the tour (plus 2 lunches to split) and talked to the manager, who recommended walking sticks and showed us how to pick the right size. He was very funny and accommodated our zillion questions. Then we were on our way!

The trail begins with a fairly steep incline – no easing in. Although rustic and wild, the trail seemed well maintained. The suspension bridges were exhilarating! I don't know anything about safety regulations in Costa Rica, but I wondered if they were "up to code" as we say in the US. Ultimately I decided to enjoy the experience for what it was. At some point you can’t control the inevitable. Throughout the hike, we saw butterflies, birds, some beautiful orchids and other wildlife. We stopped to play around in the freshwater pools and waterfalls close to the trail's end. The water was cool but refreshing after the sweaty hike.

About halfway through we realized we were the ONLY people in the park. We felt exceedingly grateful to have such a peaceful, uninterrupted experience. Then we noticed a man in a Rainmaker shirt following us at a distance. He never said a word, and we realized he was there to make sure we made it out of the park like a guardian angel.

Like other reviewers have said, this is a serious hike. We’re 5 athletic girls in our 30s, all in very good shape. But I felt winded at times. Be prepared for a physically challenging, sweaty, yet manageable hike.

One of the biggest draws from my perspective is the awesome beer on tap from PerroVida Craft Brew. (We're from Wisconsin, where every experience is better when beer is involved...) When we first arrived, we asked if the beer would be available after the hike - priorities! The manager said it was out, but that he'd call the folks at PerroVida to see if they had another keg ready. We finished the hike and sat down to eat - just as Kaitlin and Kyle delivered a new keg. Delicious, refreshing IPA to accompany an awesome meal, which by the way, included star fruit lemonade that no one seems to mention but should because it was amazing.

Best day ever. Don’t miss this experience, don’t miss the beer.

2  Thank Libalaplage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

My husband and I are a young couple and, for the most part, we're not tour people. We really like the adventure of renting our own car and driving to destinations, hiking around and enjoying the beauty of nature. Rainmaker was the absolutely perfect fit for this type of traveler. We didnt go for wildlife, if you want to see monkeys go to MA park. We personally didnt like MA because (a) our tour guide kept spotting things that we didnt care about I.e. birds that look less than spectacular, (b) because you cannot get away from people very easily and (c) the trails are super wide and nearly paved, so you don't get a strong sense of "nature" hiking. Like I said, we're the type that wants to enjoy the beauty of nature and with that we like an element of tranquility. Rainmaker is totally tranquil. We passed 1 tour group of 5 people and 1 couple while on the trail, otherwise we didnt see or hear anyone while hiking. The trail was athletic, which we loved because we like a little morning workout. If you are young you'll have no problem, you'll just get winded on the front side of the hike as its a lot of stairs up, but no big deal. Most of the hike after the beginning is extremely easy, but if you have issues with stairs/knees or are overweight you will likely have trouble with the first 10 minutes of the hike. Not saying you cant do it, just know what u r getting into if you do.

The drive there is cool through the palm plantation, and only 30 minutes from MA so it's an easy morning activity before the heat of the day really kicks in. We left our hotel at 9am, started hiking by 9:40 and we were back to the start by 11am. Mind you we were not stopping to spot wildlife and we didn't swim much, just hiked a bit in the waterfalls/river (which are fantastic) and took photos of the beautiful scenery and hanging bridges. It was a wonderful and fun morning. We then had lunch that the locals prepared (tasty) and were on our way by 11:30 to our next adventure. To us, the rainmaker was a great self-guided excursion that exposed us to the natural beauty of Costa Rica without making us forfeit 6 hours of our vacation or endure the always awkward company of tour-mates. This place should be ranked way higher on the list if things to do in Costa Rica. The trip advisor list of attractions is a who's who of tour operators and there are simply far better ways to vacation than are evidenced by those rankings. Put rainmaker on your list of definites to do if in MA/Quepos.

2  Thank Tiffany E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014

Except for dinosaurs, of course. But it's so much quieter and more peaceful than Manuel San Antonio. I am afraid of heights so the bridges were a thrill, but I survived. Highlights were the swimming spots in the waterfalls coming right out of the jungle.

If you want to see wildlife, bring a guide. Otherwise you miss it all and just experience the forest. We did the guided tour in Manuel San Antonio the day before, so had our fill, and just wanted a nice hike. Not hard to find, and roads are good by Costa Rican standards.

Thank Wilma45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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