Whitewater Rafting in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s mountainous topography and copious rainfall are together responsible for one of the best white water river selections in the world. About half a dozen rambunctious rivers are regularly run by experienced rafting outfitters, and those river trips not only provide plenty of excitement, they also pass some gorgeous scenery. Not only do white water enthusiasts flock Costa Rica, including several Olympic kayaking teams, but every year tens of thousands of visitors experience the thrill of rafting for the first time there.

Costa Rica is the perfect place for a first white water rafting experience, since it has several rivers that offer a combination of reasonable rapids and beautiful floats. There are even rivers that are great for family excursions and bird watching, since they lack big rapids and flow through forests full of birds and other animals. In fact almost all river trips offer chances to see a bit of the country’s wildlife, such as iguanas, blue morpho butterflies, parrots, otters, king fishers and herons.

A wide selection of outfitters run trips down the country’s most accessible rivers using trained river guides and modern equipment; life vests and helmets are provided for all rafters, ensuring safe but exciting excursions. One-day river trips include transportation to and from the river, breakfast and a picnic lunch on the riverbank. Overnight trips often include lodging in riverside cabins and all meals.

Rafting rivers in Costa Rica:

  • Reventazon &mdash The Tucurrique Section (Class III)
  • Reventazon — Pascua Section (Class IV-V)
  • Pacuare (Class III-IV)
  • Sarapiquí (Class II-III)
  • Saavegre (Class II-III)
  • Naranjo (Class III-IV)
  • El General (class III-IV)
  • Corobici (Class I-II)
Rio Pacuare

Trip length: Approximately 18 miles
Difficulty: Class III-IV, moderate-difficult

The Pacuare river is an officially declared Wild and Scenic River, offering some of the finest white water in Latin America. You will wind deep inside of one of Costa Rica’s most impressive primordial rainforests through 18 miles of wilderness and dense vegetation covering the sides of steep gorges that rise above the riverbanks.

Rio Sarapiquí

Trip length: Approximately 9 miles
Difficulty: Class III, easy-moderate

The Sarapiquí river has a length of 85 km and offers some of Costa Rica’s most lush and vibrant scenery as it snakes its way through the region of the “Eternal Spring.” Its source begins in the clear mountain streams that tumble down through dense rainforest.