What would be a better way of experiencing the Costa Rican jungle than from within the heart of it?
As mentioned in previous posts, Ricky and I are part of the river family here in Costa Rica (specifically the Pacuare River family). White water – both rafting and kayaking – is a passion of ours. While Ricky loves just about everything river-related, runs 30 km of river daily as a guide and safety kayaker, and spends the rest of his time developing his knowledge of flora and fauna found near the river, I spend my days answering travellers’ questions about rafting and kayaking tours in Costa Rica, offering discounts to our clients for the activities, and assisting them with river tour reservations. From the moment you think you might be interested in rafting or kayaking in Costa Rica to the moment you return to your hotel after the trip, you can rely on us to make the experience one you will never forget.
The trip begins with a pick-up at your hotel in San Jose, La Fortuna, or Puerto Viejo (Cahuita, if desired). After travelling to the river (driving distances depend on where you were picked up, however it is anywhere from a 2-3 hour drive to the river) you will arrive at the Exploration Center in Siquirres – a site where you can change your clothes for the river and eat breakfast (breakfast is included with the tour). After breakfast you will put any luggage you have with you into large lockers which are locked upon departure for the rafting tour. You can keep with you any items you will need during the day, such as sunscreen, a camera (if desired), and/or any medications you will need over the few hours you will be on the river – all other items will be stored in the lockers during the rafting trip. After departing from the Exploration Center you will make your way to the “put-in” – the site where you will begin your rafting tour. Along the way you will watch a safety demonstration explaining the various rafting commands and rescue techniques. Once at the river, you will be given your rafting equipment (life jackets, helmets, and paddles), and will embark on what will likely be the highlight of your vacation!
In the hours that follow, you will raft in the heart of the Costa Rican jungle, through two breathtaking canyons, past an indigenous reserve, beside stunning waterfalls, and over 52 rapids over the 30 km run. Your guide will also be able to point out interesting flora and fauna along the way in and amongst educating you about the river and its rapids. Don’t forget to smile at the camera as you raft – a paparazzi photographer follows the rafting group down the river to capture the best photos as you encounter the biggest rapids. Lunch (included with the tour) is served at the side of the river (weather permitting), about 2/3 of the way through your rafting tour, and is prepared entirely by your rafting guides.
Upon completion of the rafting tour, you arrive back at the Exploration Center where the lockers are opened so you can access your personal items. Showers (if desired) are present on-site, as are change rooms and bathrooms so you can get out of your wet clothes (plastic bags are also available for you to use to store your wet clothes in). Once changed, the bar is open for you to purchase a soft drink or beer (if desired), as is the souvenir store where you can buy momentos of your day on the river. A tv in the corner presents a slideshow of the day’s photos, and a photo CD (which offers hundreds of photos from the day’s trip including photos from each raft/rafting guide as well as photos from the river, scenery, and surrounding wildlife accumulated over years of running the river) is available for purchase. Photo CD’s from the day’s events are copied immediately and on-site so you can take the CD with you after the tour. Once everyone is changed and ready for departure, you will board one of three tour vans – San Jose, La Fortuna, or Puerto Viejo (depending on your drop-off location) – and you will dropped off at your hotel in the appropriate city. As an additional great option with the Pacuare River rafting tour, travellers can opt to be picked up in one city in the morning and dropped off at another city after the rafting tour at no extra charge. This is an excellent way to make use of transportation between San Jose, La Fortuna, and Puerto Viejo, as the Pacuare River rafting tour offers complimentary transportation to/from two of these three locations (in addition to the rafting tour experience, breakfast, and lunch already included with the tour).
Since Ricky worked on the Pacuare River for years, we are familiar with the river, rafting tours, and river outfitters well. I cannot recommend this tour enough, and only hope that travellers are able to experience all that Pacuare has to offer when visiting Costa Rica. If you are already planning a visit and have specific questions about the tour feel free to send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are looking for rafting tour discounts please see the links provided below.
*Discounts for rafting and kayaking tours are available through Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated at: http://www.puravidaeh.ca/
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Where else in the world have you been rafting/kayaking? Share your experience(s)!