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River Rafting

Pacuare River 3 Day Adventure

Costa Rica

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The Pacuare River is rated one of the top rivers in the world for a host of reasons. You’ll get to

explore the intimate nature of the rainforest from the river perspective.

The warm water, cascading waterfalls, and opulently lush rainforest with its brilliantly colored plants, animals, and birds make this trip exquisite for your senses.

Add in the exciting Class III-IV whitewater rapids and you have a tropical adventure packed with rich experiences that last long after you’ve returned home.

Arrival location:

Costa Rica

Departure Location:

Costa Rica

Included in your experience:

Professional Bilingual Guides.

Ground transportation from all the major hotels in San Jose (Roundtrip).

ARRANGE IN ADVANCE! FOR FREE transportation available from Arenal and Puerto Viejo.

All the specialized gear needed for the activity (helmets, lifejackets, paddles).

Meals three days except dinner on the last day.

Breakfast pre-trip and hot lunch post-trip at our Rios Tropicales Operations Center.

Spacious, spotlessly clean changing rooms with showers.

Private room lodging at Rios Tropicales Lodge (See our Lodge section for rooming arrangements).

Canopy Tours on zip lines.

Guided Hikes.

Ground Transportation, English Speaking Guide, Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Required Equipment:

River Dificulty:

Moderate. Class III-IV Rapids

Class III rafting: Rapids with high irregular waves; narrow passages that often require complex maneuvering.

Class IV rafting: Long, difficult rapids with constricted passages that often require precise maneuvering in very turbulent waters.

Rafting Distance: 14 miles

River time: From 3-1/2 to 5 hours - depending on water level.

Who Can Go?

Anyone in normal healthy physical condition.

Swimming experience is required.

Some rafting experience is recommended.

Min. age: 14 years. Contact us directly for options for younger kids.

Recommended Gear:

This list represents what you will need on the river. Space on the raft is limited. Therefore, it is important not to bring any extra equipment - Rios Tropicales Lodge offers all the sleeping comfort you would need, private rooms, mattresses, sheets, pillows and blankets are provided.

River Wear Rubber soled shoes (tennis or similar).

Shorts and a T-Shirt or a Swimsuit Windbreaker (Optional).

Sunscreen Lotion (Optional).

Sun Hat or Bandana (Optional).

Personal Toothpaste and toothbrush.

Personal medications.

Long light pants Shoes (2 pairs, one to get wet and one dry).

Long sleeved shirt Sweater or Sweat shirt.


Extra pairs of socks.

Insect repellent (1).


1. For your extra gear: we provide lockers at our Operations Center our you can leave it at your hotel.

2. Please advise us if you have your own dry bags

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do we end at the same point where we started?

All rafting trips have a “Put In” and “Take Out” points. We provide transportation to where the rafting trip starts (Put In) and it will pick you up downstream where it ends (Take Out).

2. Do we have to paddle?

Indeed you do! Not really hard or too much, but with some rhythm and coordination.

3. How cold is the water, you get all wet?

Water in the tropics is at room temperature, but you will get totally wet. We go rafting in the rain forest on the Caribbean slopes of C.R., where humidity is high and weather usually warm, so water feels more than refreshing. Please check on our “What to Bring” list for details.

4. How many people fall out from the raft during your trips?

As a general rule if you are active when it’s time to paddle, the less chance to fall out of the raft. Some days we take down the river over 100 Guest and no one falls out. Next day we bring 5 people and all of them end in the water.

5. Why people fall?

People fall when they don’t follow the Guide’s commands, not paying attention, feeling apprehensive and stressed about paddling. Sometimes is just luck and few times because of the Guide’s decisions.

6. Is swimming or Rafting experience required?

Not at all, of course feeling fine in the water is recommended. Previous rafting experience is not required, just some teamwork, coordination and being able to follow your Guide’s commands.

7. What should I bring with me?

Comfortable clothing and quick drying fabrics are recommended. Strap on sandals or water shoes, straps for sun or prescription glasses, sun block, water bottle and waterproof camera. Bring an extra change of clothing and towel. Some cash for optional drinks, souvenirs and tips for your Staff.

8. How long in advanced should I book my trip?

When you feel that it’s time to take off from your routine everyday life, do it right then and there!

9. What if I have my own car?

You can drive on your own, to our Rios Operations Center at El Cairo de Siquirres, meeting time is at 8:00 a.m. Once there, breakfast will be provide, chance for last minute details, get ready for the trip and we will provide the transportation towards the river; leaving your car safe behind. When your rafting trip is over, we will bring you back to our OPS Center to enjoy a Typical tico lunch and spend some time with all your new friends!

10. Where is the Rios Tropicales Lodge?

Our Lodge is located in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica, within the Pacuare Protected zone, about 20 miles from the town of Siquirres, at an altitude of 770 ft. above sea level.

11. Can I get to the Rios Tropicales Lodge by car?

Our Lodge is located on a very remote area, partially accessible on a 4x4 transport. Add to that a 30 minutes hike down until you reach our suspension bridge that finally take you across to our Lodge. The most common way to get there and the best, is to paddle down on our rafts.

12. Will I have breakfast on the way to the river?

Yes, we will stop on our OPS Center and you will enjoy a typical Costa Rican breakfast, surrounded by beautiful gardens and following that get ready for your trip.

13. Do you offer ground transportation to the lodge?

Can be coordinated in advance or be combined with river – ground access if is require due to special needs.

14. What is the weather like?

All depends when you visit us, if is our dry or rainy season. Keep in mind that we are located on the rain- humid forest, you should be prepare for unpredictable weather changes. Usually mornings are sunny and afternoons can be raining , what we call liquid sunshine or serious rain as well. Temperature can remain from 50 f up to 90 f. Our dry season goes from December until April, being our rainy season May to November.

15. What should I pack?

We offer various adventure trips which differ in days and conditions, please check our website on “what to bring” details for each trip. If you have any questions we will gladly clear your doubts at

16. ¿What happens with our luggage can I bring it on the trip?

Yes, in our Operations Center we have some lockers available for our clients, over there you can keep all the extra luggage in a safe and dry place during the trip.

17. ¿Which is the minimum age to go on a trip? ¿What happens when somebody is under the minimum age?

The minimum age to paddle down the Pacuare River is 14 years old during the rainy season and 12 on the dry season. For this situations and when the difference in less than 1 or 2 years we have the option to check the height and weight of the person, if our Operations department says the person is able to run the trip no problem, otherwise they don’t have the option and we prefer not to expose our clients in any kind of risk. Please note the water levels and weather conditions are changing during all the year and we prefer to ensure all our clients security.

18. ¿What is the maximum age to run the trip?

We don´t have a maximum age for this kind of trips, the most important points to join our trips ,are reasonable health and physical conditions and very important not to have any injuries or recent surgeries. If you are in a good shape you are very welcome to enjoy the trip with us.

19. How does transportation work?

Rios Tropicales provide round trip transportation from the main San Jose and nearby hotels. If you are in some hotel or in some friends or family house we can pick you up from the nearest hotel.

    None Available for this package
  • Day1
    You’ll depart San Jose early in the morning, traveling east towards the Caribbean and crossing the amazing Braulio Carrillo National Park. You will arrive at our Rios Tropicales Operations Center for a hearty “Tico” traditional Costa Rican breakfast, and with time to change into clothing for rafting, and shop for any last minute needs in our handy outfitter’s store. You’ll then depart for our private rafting put-in on the Pacuare River in San Martin. There your professional river guides will load your gear into dry bags, prepare all the rafting equipment, give you complete safety and paddle instruction. The first day's Class III rapids welcome you to the Pacuare gorge's charm as you raft deep in the heart of primary rainforest. While your guides prepare a hearty picnic lunch on the riverbank, you'll enjoy a walk through the jungle to an enchanting waterfall and pool to swim. Before you know it, you'll arrive at our unique Rios Tropicales Lodge where you can spend the afternoon relaxing, hiking or soaking in our waterfalls and pools. Nestled in the jungle on our 2,000-acre Private Reserve, the Lodge offers you all the comforts you need in "Cabecar Indian" style bungalows. Private single and double rooms are spacious and completely provided with fresh linens and comfortable pillows and beds. Don’t worry about bathrooms - our Lodge enjoys modern, clean bathrooms and hot water showers, thanks to our self-sufficient mini-hydro-plant that generates all our electricity. We built our Lodge as a sustainable “Eco-Lodge”; including the building materials, waste management system, recycling practices, and the clean, renewable energy that powers the entire facility. You’ll get the chance to settle into your rooms, then come on down to enjoy the surroundings. As the sun dips behind the hills and the twilight fades, you will be treated to a delicious freshly prepared dinner with candlelight and wine. Ahh, this is adventure vacationing at it’s best!
    Day 1 - Class III Rafting to the Rios Tropicales Lodge: | Breakfast Included
  • Day2
    Rainforest canopy tours, hikes, relaxing and more! Don't worry about wake-up time. The beauty of the light through the forest, the sound of toucans and the smell of coffee will get you going. This day is designed to enjoy the Lodge and its natural surroundings. Always compromised to extraordinary service, we offer you a unique opportunity to experience the wonders of the rainforest canopy on our zip line course at no additional cost. It’s free as part of your adventure package. Our four distinctive platforms blend in seamlessly with the natural surroundings, giving you an amazing perspective of life in the roof of the jungle. In addition to our canopy tour, you can choose a variety of #hikes - a 4-5 hour hike high into the Pacuare Reserve; a 2-3 hour hike to nearby waterfalls and pools, or short walks near the Lodge. Our spacious property offers limitless places to get away from it all and just relax and enjoy nature. Just a short walk from our dining area, we have a sheltered hammock area that makes for the perfect spot to catch up on your reading or simply relax and take in the stunning beauty of this amazing retreat. The noises of the hustle and bustle of city life will soon be a distant memory, replaced with the soothing sounds of the tropical rainforest that surrounds you. An optional tour on this day could be a hike to the nearby Bajo Del Tigre community, with a chance to learn from local community members about their sustainable farming and environmental responsibility. Your bilingual river guide will accompany you and interpret along the tour. We are pleased to offer you access to this tour, which is completely managed by the Bajo Del Tigre Community. Their tour fee goes 100% to fund their community needs. Experience a side of the Pacuare few people know!
    Day 2 - Layover day at Rios Tropicales Lodge: | Breakfast Included
  • Day3
    Class IV Rafting on Lower Pacuare After yet another serving of Costa Rica's tastiest coffee and a hearty breakfast, we will pack up and load the rafts in preparation for paddling down the Pacuare gorge past gushing waterfalls, serene pools and pounding rapids. A snack stop by the riverside lets you explore more waterfalls and natural waterslides. An adrenaline-packed afternoon running rapids like Upper and Lower Huacas, Cimarron, Dos Montanas and many more, will have you cheering ecstatically. We will have transportation waiting for us at the take-out in the town of Siquirres, where we will whisk you away to our Operations Center just a few miles up the road. We will have a hearty hot lunch waiting on us upon arrival. Showers, changing rooms, cold and hot drinks, snacks, a bar, and souvenirs are all available. On the return drive to San Jose you'll enjoy remarkable views of Braulio Carrillo National Park and Irazu Volcano.
    Day 3 (Last Day)- Whitewater Action! | Breakfast Included
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River Rafting

Pacuare River 3 Day Adventure

Costa Rica

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