Costa Rica river rafting is one rush you don’t want to miss.
One of the things I love the most about visiting Costa Rica during green season is the chance to go river rafting on extra- exciting, full, rushing rivers. Winding down, and around, through lush tropical jungles, speeding over whitewater rapids, and thrilling at the successes of teamwork on the raft, this is one experience that every vacation in Costa Rica must include.
All across Costa Rica, rivers born from tumultuous torrential rains cascade from mountains and around rocks, creating spectacular waterfalls, and prime places for whitewater rafting, enticing rafting enthusiasts from around the world. You don’t have to be an expert to raft in Costa Rica; there are options for those of any age and ability, and some of the easiest rapids will take you through some of the country’s most breathtaking landscape.
If you’re a beginner, or you’re looking for a rafting trip perfect for families, you’ll want to stick to class I or II rapids. The Pejibaye River, a tributary of the Reventazon River, is a great place for anyone looking for a smooth and easy river trip. Located about two hours from San Jose in the Turrialba Valley, this river only has class I and II rapids, and folks of ages 5 and up are welcome to join the adventure.
Those with a bit of experience, or those beginners looking for a little bit of a thrill, may want to opt for rafting on the Lower Balsa River in northern Costa Rica. This river offers class II and III rapids, and is just a short distance from two popular tourist destinations: La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano.
Globally rated one of the best in the world, Pacuare River offers up Class II, III & IV white water rapids. You can pick your poison by choosing the route you wish to take. As you rush down the river, through the lush tropical rainforest, you’ll experience cascading waterfalls, and brilliantly colored plants, animals, and birds.
Those more seasoned rafters will enjoy speeding down the Naranjo River, through its exciting class III and IV rapids. Meanwhile, the Tenorio River (which is unfortunately only navigable in the dry season), the Sarapiqui River, and its neighbor, the Toro River offer highly experienced novices, and experts, a thrilling and wonderfully scenic ride on class III and IV rapids.
Truly intrepid rafting experts can’t beat the famed El Chorro River. Named for its forceful streaming waters, El Chorro offers those brave enough to weather Class IV (and higher) rapids a thrilling ride over steep falls, around winding bends, and through narrow canyons, while taking in some of the country’s most spectacular scenery.
To keep your whitewater adventure safe, stay away from rapids that are far above your level of experience, age, or physical condition, and always follow all safety instructions.
No matter which distinctive hotel your travels take you to while on vacation in Costa Rica, you can get in a day (or even 2 or 3!) of river rafting. Just reach out to your concierge and you’ll be on your way. All major river rafting companies in the country will pick you up at your hotel’s front door, and whisk you off for a day of adventure, adrenalin, and magical memories made on white water rapids.