River Kayaking on the Rio Ora is a fun outdoor educational way to explore three different ecosystems featured in this area of Costa Rica. On this tour you will kayak through dense rainforest, thick mangroves and eventually reach the mouth of the river that flows into the Pacific Ocean. Along the way your bilingual guide will share interesting facts about these habitats and point out any available wildlife.
You will be picked up from your hotel in Samara, Punta Islita or Nosara and driven to the Rio Ora. At the river your guides will provide lifejackets and paddles while assisting you as you settle into a two seated kayak in preparation for your leisurely descent down the river. It is a pleasure to paddle in this protected river where there are no strong head winds or challenging river currents. Riding in a double kayak produces an easy stride with more control as you enjoy navigating through the changing landscapes.
You will paddle 3 kilometers down the Rio Ora River winding through the ecosystems as your bilingual guide points out the natural features of each area including any animal life that may be visible that day. Howler and White Faced Monkeys are often seen and heard in the lush rainforest environment as well as an assortment of tropical birds and their unusual calls.
The huge intertwining root systems of the Mangrove trees provide protection for spawning fish and create safe nurseries for the young. Their dense network of branches also provide protective roosting areas for large water birds such as Roseate Spoonbills, Anhingas and Wood Storks that often build their nests here. Mangroves are unique in that they thrive on the mix of salt and fresh water that would kill many other plant species.
Due to the dense foliage and river access, Rio Ora is not generally populated by locals and it is possible that you may be the only ones in sight. There is nothing more peaceful than paddling in a quiet body of water, hearing your paddle dipping in and out of the river, with a backdrop of exotic jungle sounds.
Eventually you will reach Playa Camaronal, a small deserted beach. You’ll pull your kayaks up onto the black volcanic sandbar as your guide prepares a snack of fresh tropical fruit. This is the time to enjoy taking a break from kayaking and stretching your legs, maybe going for a walk down the beach.
During certain times of year, sea turtles come up on shore to lay their eggs. You may spot remnants of the turtles’ nesting areas or have the rare experience of seeing a sea turtle. Over snack and bottled water your guide will share information about the sea turtles and the conservation efforts in place to preserve these endangered species. After you have rested and refueled it will be time to paddle back down the Rio Ora to where your adventure began.
This tour includes round-trip transportation from Samara, Punta Islita and Nosara as well as kayaks, safety equipment, bilingual guide, fruit snack and water. One way transportation can take from 10 to 45 minutes depending upon your pick up location. The combined time of the tour and transportation together can range from 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on the distance from your hotel. It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing, sun protection, hat and insect repellent for this leisurely river exploration. You will likely want to have your camera and binoculars along too!