This whitewater rafting expedition, known worldwide, is one of the most sought-after tours by adventure junkies and adrenaline seekers. The Rio Pacuare is famous not only for the excellent rafting, but also for its unique and stunning landscapes. You’ll paddle downstream 18 kilometers and ride through approximately 52 Class lll and Class lV rapids!
The tour will begin when you are picked up from your hotel and driven to the private put-in at the edge of the Pacuare River. You will meet your river guides and safety kayaker who will give you the run-down on safety, paddling techniques and other important instructions.
They’ll hand out high-quality life jackets, paddles and helmets to get you ready for the adventure ahead. Next, everyone will hop into the raft and practice paddling before your guide launches you into the current to begin your downriver descent.
The Pacuare River seems to have been perfectly designed for rafting trips. Although it is a Class lll and lV river with many large and fierce rapids, it tends to give people a break for the first 40 minutes or so, providing fewer and smaller rapids for an overall calmer experience, allowing newbies a chance to learn the ropes and get their feet wet.
But then, it’s time to get serious. The more advanced, Class lV river characteristics rise to the surface and quickly provide larger and more intense rapids widely known as names that you can’t mistake the meaning: “Double Drop”, “Terciopelo Snake”, and “Pin Ball”. Need we say more?
Keep paddling and the gorge opens up into a widemouth river, spreading out the strength of the current and giving paddlers a chance to catch their breath. The more benign rapid names in this section - “The Play Hole” and “Magnetic Rock” - suggest that it’s a calmer stretch of water.
Here, you will have time to truly marvel at the stunning scenery surrounding you. The Pacuare River runs through the rainforest and down a river gorge. You will also come across the “Hucas Waterfall” a gorgeous 150 foot waterfall that flows over a rock face into the Pacuare River. In many places throughout your journey, you will notice that the river is bordered by steep rock faces.
Your rafting guide will assist you in identifying any birds you see flying overhead or any wildlife you may see on shore. There is so much to discover in Costa Rica amid the diverse landscapes and you will find your guide quite knowledgeable about the river and its inhabitants.
The rafting trip winds up at the private ”Exploration Center” where you can take a shower and change into your dry clothes. A delicious Costa Rican style lunch will be provided as you share the highlights of the day with the other members in your rafting group.
This tour includes bilingual rafting guides, high quality equipment, lunch, as well as transportation from Alajuela, Cahuita, Escazu, Puerto Viejo and San Jose. One way transportation from your hotel to the river can take between 1.5 and 2.5 hours depending on your pick-up location. The total time of whitewater rafting, lunch, and round trip transportation can take between 8 and 12 hours.
Please wear secured water shoes, bathing suit, clothes to get wet in, plus bring insect repellent and a dry change of clothes for after the tour. It is important to note that if the river conditions become unsafe for rafting, the tour operator may use an alternative river, or cancel the activity.
The Whitewater Rafting Rio Pacuare - Exploradores is available from Alajuela, Arenal, Cahuita, Escazu, Puerto Viejo, and San Jose
12 and up
Latitude: N 9° 59' 14.2"
Longitude: W 83° 32' 52.57"
Our guide on the raft was Rob and he was fantastic.
This was a memory of a lifetime. All the guides were great but, our guide Nelson was the best. Even though I understand more Spanish than I speak he took care of us and made sure we understood all the instructions. I'm happy to say not one person fell off the raft into the water. It was terrific.
We were here for the Whitewater Rafting tour, which was about two hours away. Pickup was punctual. However, we picked up several people who were on their way to Tortuguero as a means of transportation, making the bus very cramped. In general, the transportation on the mini buses is very cramped as a means of shared transportation especially when the bus is full.
Whitewater rafting was done with an experienced guide whose English was quite good. We enjoyed the river and our experience. Breakfast and lunch were good.
Our guide was fantastic and the river trip was truly a highlight of our trip!