For a variety of reasons the Pacuare River is one of the best choices for your adventure treks in Costa Rica. Another trip in the country does not exist that offers you a perfect blend of wilderness exposure and excitement, both in one day.
The Pacuare river is world famous for its sheer beauty. A true river gorge, it is flanked by steep, green walls. Here you enjoy the feeling of total isolation from urban life and the realness of being connected with nature. You see waterfalls cascade into the river from both sides as colorful, tropical birds fly right over your head. Amazing views of this virgin tropical rainforest area, appear before your eyes as you descend this true exploratory land.
Wildlife is abundant, with sloth, toucans, parrots, coatis, morpho butterflies and colorful frogs being common sights. Our guides are experts at finding them and you will be the benefactors of their knowledge and expertise. Other inhabitants of this jungle include monkeys, jaguars, peccaries and tapirs, but these animals generally stay more hidden.
The Pacuare River has white water that is equal to its natural beauty and abundant wildlife. It is not an overly challenging river, but it has a lot rapids, therefore giving you an adventure filled with lots of fun. The 18 mile one day run includes a total of 38 rapids. Few rivers in the world can offer you so many rapids in such a short stretch of river.
The day begins between 6:00am and 6:30am when we pick you up at your hotel in San Jos? or on the Caribbean Coast in Lim?n, Cahuita or Puerto Viejo.
The drive is very relaxing and scenic with picturesque little towns, colorful plantations and great mountain views. The guides make this time entertaining by delivering quality information about the area's geography, history, crops, flora and fauna. The drive time to the "put in" is approximately two hours, during which time we will stop for breakfast at the half way point.
Upon arrival to the river we will gear you up with a life jacket, helmet and paddle and then brief you with a full safety orientation talk. Finally, it is time to take off down the rapids!
The first 4 miles consist of fun class II-III rapids which is a perfect time to test your new river skills and gain confidence in your team. Here you can find pockets of secondary growth forest that is extremely beautiful. After about 40 minutes we will enter the famous Pacuare River Gorge, which is 5 miles of some of the best white water Costa Rica has to offer. The rapids here are "Terciopelo snake", "Double drop", "Upper and Lower Huacas", "Pin ball" to name a few. You will also see the Huacas watefall, a 150 foot dramatic drop into the river.
After the gorge the rivers opens up to a 5 mile stretch on the Valle del Pacuare, where the river has a different character. It is wide open, which gives you the opportunity to rest a bit and take the opportunity to do some wildlife spotting. The main rapids here are "Cimarrones", "The Play Hole", "El Indio" and "Magnetic Rock". The forest remains just as lush, and the rapids just as fun.
The final 3 miles are filled with great class III rapids which carry you all the way to the end.
We finish in Siquirres, at our own private Exploration Center, where you can take a shower, change and enjoy the gardens and terrace while having a beer or two and reflecting with your new friends about the great adventure you just shared.
It takes approximately one hour and 45 minutes to drive back to San Jose during which time you will appreciate the time to fully relax. We can also arrange transportation to the Arenal Volcano (3 hours) or the Caribbean Coast (Puerto Viejo 2 hours).
Full day, approximately 12 hours.
Departure times and location:
Between 6:00 am to 7:00 am from your hotel in San Jose.
Return time and location:
5:30 to San Jose.
Transportation to and from San Jose, breakfast and lunch, all safety equipment and professional guides.
All safety equipment, and professional guides. we can provide the transportation for $5.00 more per person.
What to bring
It is important to have water sandals with a back strap or tennis shoes, bathing suit, shorts and a synthetic shirt for quick dry, towel, change of clothes and plastic bag for your wet clothes. The weather is often changing so it is good to be prepared with a wind breaker and sun screen. Some people are more comfortable to wear a hat under their helmet and also the option is there to bring a disposible water camera. At the exploration center we have drinks and t-shirts for sale if you are interested in bringing some money.
Cancellations Policies: Any cancellation by a client must be made at least 24 hours before the day before trip departure. Please be on time at your specified pick up place or hotel, no refunds for no-shows. Tour Operator also reserves the right to cancel any trip due to unsafe conditions and will only run a tour according to established company policies. Full refund is given if (on rare occasion) no tour is run. For reasons beyond their control (climate, river levels, etc.), we may change to a more-suitable tour with an equal or similar difficulty rating and adventure-appeal.
Rafting, canyoneering and many of our other activities that involve some inherent risk and physical exertion, so clients must be in good physical condition without any recent surgery, heart condition, pregnancy or injury. If a client takes medication such as allergy pills and needs them with him/her or has other medical concerns, please have him/her inform the guide.
The natural environment of Costa Rica is filled with insects, snakes, crocodiles & other wildlife. In addition, landslides, falling rocks & sudden flash floods are possible. We may not be held responsible for an encounter with any of the above.
The maximum weight limit for whitewater rafting, canyoneering and horseback riding is 200 lbs. The tour operator may also cancel any client seen unfit to do a tour for their own safety and/or the safety of clients and guides. Clients must not be under the Influence of drugs or alcohol.
We recommend closed-toe shoes for hikes, horseback & canyoneering. Rafting: clients should know to swim.