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Whitewater Rafting the Pacuare River in Costa Rica

Whitewater Rafting the Pacuare River in Costa Rica

Having never rafted before, why not jump into class 4 rapids in the middle of the jungle in Costa Rica?


In our 18-mile voyage down the river, we encountered over 70 sets of rapids. The Pacuare River is world renowned for the amount of whitewater in such a short length of the river. Each set of rapids was not more than a few hundred meters and capped on either side by more tranquil pools. This makes it an ideal spot to give rafting a try, you get the excitement of a lot of rapids, but the breaks between giving you a chance to recover if you would happen to bounce out. I am happy to report that, no for the record, Hannah did not fall out. I am not going to lie, I kinda thought she might.

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Amazing surroundings

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There was no shortage of amazing things to look at between sets of rapids. High walls of green jungle slope down into the fast moving water of the Pacuare River. The scenery looks like something out of Jurassic Park, with massive trees, vines, and monstrous rocks plunked in the river. Exotic birds, like the toucan, soar from one side of the river to the other. The excitement of rafting in the middle of this setting made for one of my favorite days in Costa Rica.

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There are some amazing waterfalls in Costa Rica that deserve a spot on your Costa Rica itinerary.

Don’t waste a day traveling

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There is no shortage of things to do in Costa Rica, and if you only have a short vacation don’t just travel between destinations, do something between them. We were on our way to Puerto Viejo from San Jose, and instead of busing there, we rafted! Adventure life set us up with a nice custom tour option that took us to from the city and to the river, then a transfer to the Caribbean coast. From the river, you could transfer to about anywhere in the country. You can’t beat a travel day that is actually fun!

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We are already looking for other places in the world to get our paddles wet again.

Costa Rica Rafting Pacuare River