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The Best River For Rafting In Costa Rica

The Best River For Rafting In Costa Rica

NOTE: The content on this page was last updated on August 22nd, 2017.

Looking for Costa Rica white water rafting tour discounts? WE OFFER TRAVELLERS FREE ACCESS TO DISCOUNTS FOR WHITE WATER RAFTING TOURS when booking the day tour through Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated. Click here for more information and/or to obtain the rafting tour discount. Con mucho gusto (you’re welcome) and pura vida! 🙂

Looking for Costa Rica safari float tour discounts? WE OFFER TRAVELLERS FREE ACCESS TO DISCOUNTS FOR SAFARI FLOAT TOURS when booking the day tour through Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated. Click here for more information and/or to obtain the safari float tour discount. Con mucho gusto (you’re welcome) and pura vida! 🙂

best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Ricky (a.k.a., Ricky Bobby); Guiding on the Pacuare River
Have a question about white water rafting in Costa Rica?

We answer 20+ of the most popular Costa Rica rafting tour questions, plus offer our rafting tour tips and important information to know before you go. Don’t miss our related blog post:

Your Costa Rica Rafting Tour Questions Answered!

WHITE WATER RAFTING IN COSTA RICA

We love rafting. Point blank. Given that Ricky was a white water rafting guide and safety kayaker on Costa Rica’s Pacuare River for more than six years, you can imagine how much of a passion we have developed for the activity (don’t miss the photos of some of our most extreme white water rafting trips in Costa Rica provided in our related blog post White Water Rafting Costa Rica: Go Big Or Go Home, or our description of the Costa Rica rafting community we are proud to be a part of in our related blog post The Pacuare River Family). You can also imagine how impossible it would be for us to identify one Costa Rica river over others without imposing our own bias when we respond to questions such as “Which is the best river for rafting in Costa Rica?” However, personal bias aside, it is important to note that our love for the Pacuare River exceeds our personal experience. It is rooted in fact; specifically, the fact that the river’s rapids are some of the best in the country, the fact that the trip includes complimentary transportation between popular areas such as San Jose, La Fortuna/Arenal, and Puerto Viejo, and the fact that National Geographic once identified the river as one of the best in the world for river scenery (learn more about the Pacuare River experience in our related blog post The Pacuare River Rafting Tour). But, all accomplishments and accolades aside, here’s the truth: as appealing as the Pacuare River is, if a run down this particular river does not fit with your trip itinerary, your desired river/rapid level, your children’s ages, or your vacation budget, there are many other worthwhile river trips in Costa Rica to choose from.

In our blog post Where To Go In Costa Rica: Determining The Best Places To Visit During Your Trip we explain that the only person who can decide which Costa Rican destinations are the “best” to visit is the person doing the visiting. Similarly, in our posts When Is The Best Time Of Year To Travel To Costa Rica?The Best Zipline In Costa Rica: Comparing 6 Popular Canopy Tours in Arenal and Monteverde, The Best Hanging Bridges In Costa Rica: Comparing Four Popular Hanging Bridges In Arenal And Monteverde, The Best Costa Rica Volcanoes: What To Know About Arenal, Irazu, Poas, Rincon De La Vieja, And Turrialba, and The Best Arenal Hot Springs: Baldi, Ecotermales, Tabacon, Or The Springs Resort?, we argue that it is up to travellers to decide for themselves when they should travel to Costa Rica and which tours they would enjoy the most. In each case, although we aim to provide travellers with as many details as possible so they can make informed decisions regarding their trip, we are hesitant to pinpoint the “best” of anything, as doing so would only overshadow our clients’ unique interests, desires, and needs with our own opinions.

So, in true Costa Rica Travel Blog style, below is a list of some of the most popular rivers for rafting in Costa Rica that visitors can choose from. The list includes both rivers for white water rafting and flat rivers where safari float tours (slow-moving rafting tours) are run.

DETERMINING THE BEST RIVER FOR RAFTING IN COSTA RICA: WHITE WATER RAFTING TOURS

best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Pacuare River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Pacuare River (Lower Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting
Rapid class: III/IV
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 12+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal, San Jose, Sarapiqui, Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Guapiles, Siquirres, Turrialba
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, breakfast, and lunch
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? Yes
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes (click here for more information)
Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Pacuare River Rafting Tour discounts:

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (San Jose)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Puerto Viejo)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Cahuita)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Sarapiqui)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Guapiles)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Siquirres)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Turrialba)


best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Reventazon River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Reventazon River (El Carmen Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting
Rapid class: II/III
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 6+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal, San Jose, Sarapiqui, Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Guapiles, Siquirres, Turrialba
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, breakfast, and lunch
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes (click here for more information)
Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Reventazon River Rafting Tour discounts:

Reventazon River Rafting Tour (San Jose)


best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Toro River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Toro River?

Notice (2014): Tours are no longer operating on the Toro River

Tour type: white water rafting
Rapid class: III/IV
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 13+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal and San Jose
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No
Other: tour runs once daily


best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Balsa River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Balsa River (Lower Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting
Rapid class: II/III
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 10+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal and San Jose
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes (click here for more information)
Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Balsa River Rafting Tour discounts:

Balsa River Rafting Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Balsa River Rafting Tour (San Jose)


best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Sarapiqui River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Sarapiqui River (San Miguel Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting
Rapid class: III/IV
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 13+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal, Sarapiqui, and San Jose
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes (click here for more information)
Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Sarapiqui River Rafting Tour discounts:

Sarapiqui River Rafting Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Sarapiqui River Rafting Tour (San Jose)


best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Tenorio River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Tenorio River (Upper Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting
Rapid class: III/IV
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 13+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal, Monteverde, Samara, and the Guanacaste Beaches (Papagayo, Coco, Hermosa, Ocotal, Panama, Potrero, Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo, and Langosta)
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes (click here for more information)
Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Tenorio River Rafting Tour discounts:

Tenorio River Rafting Tour (Monteverde)

Tenorio River Rafting Tour (Samara)

Tenorio River Rafting Tour (Guanacaste)


best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Savegre River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Savegre River?

Tour type: white water rafting
Rapid class: II/III
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 6+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: Manuel Antonio
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? Yes
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No
Other: tour runs twice daily

Don’t miss our Savegre River Rafting Tour discounts:

Savegre River Rafting Tour (Manuel Antonio)

Express Savegre River Rafting Tour (Manuel Antonio)


best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Naranjo River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Naranjo River?

Tour type: white water rafting
Rapid class: III/IV
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 8+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: Manuel Antonio
Time of year tours are run: May to November
Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and snack (no lunch)
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No
Other: tour runs twice daily

Don’t miss our Naranjo River Rafting Tour discounts:

Naranjo River Rafting Tour (Manuel Antonio)


best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Naranjo River Chorro Section Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Naranjo River (Chorro Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting
Rapid class: IV
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 15+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: Manuel Antonio
Time of year tours are run: January to April
Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and snack (no lunch)
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No
Other: tour runs twice daily

Don’t miss our Naranjo River Chorro Section Rafting Tour discounts:

Naranjo River Chorro Section Rafting Tour (Manuel Antonio)


The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Colorado River?

Tour type: white water rafting
Rapid class: II/III
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 10+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: the Northern Guanacaste Beaches (Papagayo, Coco, Hermosa, Ocotal, Panama, Potrero, Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo, and Langosta)
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No
Other: tour runs once daily

DETERMINING THE BEST RIVER FOR RAFTING IN COSTA RICA: SAFARI RIVER FLOAT TOURS

best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Penas Blancas Safari River Float Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Penas Blancas River?

Tour type: safari river float
Rapid class: N/A
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 3+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal and San Jose
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, safari float tour, transportation, and snack (or lunch, depending on whether a tour option including lunch is chosen)
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes
Other: tour runs twice daily

Don’t miss our Penas Blancas River Safari Float Tour discounts:

Penas Blancas River Safari Float Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal) – by raft

Penas Blancas River Safari Float Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal) – by canoe

Penas Blancas River Safari Float Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal) – by kayak


best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Tenorio Safari River Float Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Tenorio River (Lower Section)?

Tour type: safari river float
Rapid class: N/A
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 10+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: Monteverde, Samara, and the Guanacaste Beaches (Papagayo, Coco, Hermosa, Ocotal, Panama, Potrero, Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo, and Langosta)
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, safari float tour, transportation, and lunch
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes
Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Tenorio River Safari Float Tour discounts:

Tenorio River Safari Float Tour (Monteverde)

Tenorio River Safari Float Tour (Samara)

Tenorio River Safari Float Tour (Guanacaste)


best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Corobici Safari River Float Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Corobici River?

Tour type: safari river float
Rapid class: N/A
Prior rafting experience required? No
Recommended for: travellers 6+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators)
Tours are run to/from: the Northern Guanacaste Beaches (Papagayo, Coco, Hermosa, Ocotal, Panama, Potrero, Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo, and Langosta)
Time of year tours are run: all year
Tours include: all equipment, guide, safari float tour, transportation, and lunch
2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No
City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No
Other: tour runs once daily

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been white water rafting in Costa Rica? Which river did you choose? How did you enjoy the trip?

Pura vida!

Nikki and Ricky

DIY Costa Rica

Costa Rica tour discounts



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