Rivers tumbling down from the central mountains down to the coast afford good Costa Rica whitewater rafting possibilities, and several tour operators provide rafts, paddles, life jackets, helmets, and guides for these adventures. One-day trips usually include roundtrip bus transportation from San Jose and lunch for these adventures. Multiday trips can also be arranged. Most Costa Rica whitewater rafting companies also offer kayak rental or information on it. Thousands of tourists enjoy whitewater rafting each year, and the vast majority have a memorable and enjoyable adventure.

Choose your guide carefully when whitewater rafting in Costa Rica

However, whitewater rafting companies are not regulated in Costa Rica, so for your own safety, go with an outfitter with experienced guides. Some companies in Costa Rica use whitewater rafting guides with no rescue or emergency medical training and relatively little experience. The more ethical guides and quality outfitters are pushing for Internationally accepted minimum standards and training for all white water rafting Costa Rica guides.

The best Costa Rica whitewater rafting rivers

The best know rivers for whitewater rafting in Costa Rica are the Reventazon and Rio Pacuare. These rivers can be run all year round. And have rapids of Classes II to V, depending on the section and the time of the year. June through October are considered the wildest and wettest months, but you’ll get wet whatever time of the year you go. Runs are available for all levels of experience. Whitewater rafters need to put on plenty of sun block and bring a spare change of clothes. Going barefoot is not recommended because the rubber floored boats sometimes hit rocks fairly hard, so sneakers or river sandals (like Tevas) are suggested.

Whitewater rafting in Costa Rica for the family

North of San Jose, the Rio Sarapiqui has one-day runs May through October. This is a narrower and more technical river than the Reventazon and Rio Pacuare and less frequently run. On the Pacific slope, the Rio Chirripo is a big volume river that tumbles down from Costa Rica’s highest mountain and is runnable from mid-June to mid-December. Trips here usually last three or four days. The gentlest river is the Rio Corobici, near Canas, which is basically a float trip but with good chances of spotting many birds, especially parrots and monkeys. You will also be surrounded by lush tropical foliage and flowers and if you are really lucky, you might spot a rare leopard. This is a good trip for the whole family and can be done year round.

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