5 Best Rivers in Costa Rica for a Rafting Adventure
Flowing through lush jungles, down from the volcanic mountains, the rivers of Costa Rica hold a wide variety of whitewater experiences that range from Class II to Class V rapids. No matter whether you are a beginner, experienced, young, or old, whitewater rafting in Costa Rica is for you.
Choosing the river for a rafting adventure is a very personal decision and it entirely depends on what kind of experience you want. The following is a list of 5 of the best rivers in Costa Rica that you might want to consider:
1. Savegre River
Located in the central Pacific region, the Savegre River offers great rapids and it is easily accessible on half-day and full-day tours. Rafting trips depart year-round from the nearby towns of Manuel Antonio and Jacó. Rapids on this river are Class II and open to everyone, including beginners. Savegre River is great for a family rafting adventure as most tour operators accept children as young as 6.
2. Naranjo River
Naranjo River is another great option in the central Pacific region. As compared to Savegre River, this river has more powerful Class III and Class IV+ rapids. For the main sections of the rivers, trips here run May to November. For the more difficult Chorro section, trips run January to April. This section includes various technical narrows.
3. Pacuare River
San Jose and Central Valley regions are undoubtedly the hub of the action when it comes to whitewater rafting in Costa Rica. One of the most impressive rivers that flow through this area is the Pacuare River. There are several options for rafting tours on this river. Tours leave from many places, including Turrialba, San Jose, and La Fortuna. There are many reasons behind this river’s popularity for whitewater rafting. It is surrounded by amazing wildlife and biodiversity, filled with cascading waterfalls, and has lots of Class III and Class IV rapids.
4. Reventazón River
Reventazón River is one of the most challenging rivers in Costa Rica as it offers some of the hardest commercial runs. This river is divided into two sections: the Florida and Pascua sections. Both sections have mostly Class III rapids, however they also offer Class IV and Class V rapids as well. To experience more powerful rapids, it is recommended that you visit during the rainy season – around June to October.
5. Sarapiquí River
Sarapiquí River is one of the most scenic rivers to raft in Costa Rica. Multiple-day rafting trips are quite popular here and you can take advantage of them to not only explore this river but also the Río Puerto Viejo and others in the region. There are three sections of Sarapiquí River that are spread over 35 kilometers. These sections have Class III to Class V rapids.
With so many outstanding whitewater rafting options available in Costa Rica, it can be quite difficult to choose. Narrowing down your options in the list can be easier if you have younger children but if not, it’s all up to your personal preferences.