Rio Pacuare River Rafting | The Best White Water Rafting in Costa Rica

Pacuare river rafting in Costa Rica

When you think of white water rafting, images of white water flowing over rapids and down walls quickly come to mind. However, you can also find white water in other places. For many travelers, whitewater rafting is one of the best ways to explore the world’s most beautiful and challenging rivers. The best part is, you don’t have to pack your bags and leave for an adventure filled with danger and possibility. With a little practice, you can make the best of any river run by yourself, no matter how much expertise you have. Here are some tips on how to make the best of Pacuare river rafting in Costa Rica.

Where is the Rio Pacuare Rafting?

Pacuare River rafting is located in Talamanca, Costa Rica, and runs for over 80 miles to the Caribbean Ocean. The Pacuare River is one of the most important rivers in Costa Rica because it supplies water to its major cities, including San José, Liberia, and San Carlos. The Pacuare also forms part of the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

If you didn’t have reason enough already, Costa Rica has the most amazing wildlife, an incredible history, breathtaking mountains, and miles of rivers that are perfect for rafting. The scenery coupled with the intensity of the rapids (class III to IV) means that the Rio Pacuare has the best white water rafting in Costa Rica.

How to go white water rafting on the Pacuare River

If you’re looking to get to the Pacuare river rafting, there are a few different ways to do so.

  1. You can take a bus from San Jose to the town of Turrialba, and then take a taxi or horseback ride to the river.
  2. Another option is to fly into San Jose and rent a car; from there, it’s an easy drive to the river.
  3. The easiest way though is to pre-book a rafting tour from San Jose or other nearby areas as these will include your round-trip transportation. Check out some of the tour companies below:

No matter how you choose to get there, white water rafting on the Pacuare river needs to be added to your adrenaline-junkie bucket list!

The Best Time To go Pacuare River Rafting

The best time for Rio Pacuare rafting is in early January. The months of July and August are the best for rafting at this time of year. There are usually times when the river is so calm that the rapids are almost invisible, not exactly what you want for an adrenaline experience! The wet season is often the best time to raft in this location because the water temperature is not too high, the wind is not too strong and the rainfall makes the rapids all the more exhilirating.

What to expect from white water rafting the Rio Pacuare river

Pacuare river rafting in Costa Rica with waterfalls

There’s something special about white water rafting on a river that’s full of fast-moving water. The experience is exhilarating, and the scenery is amazing. You’ll be paddling through class III and IV rapids, with exciting drops and turns along the way. This river also has beautiful waterfalls that you can pass through and there are calmer sections of river where you can even get out and swim or take a moment to recoup some energy before your next big challenge.

There are many ways to enjoy white water rafting the Rio Pacuare river. One of the most common is to take a half day rafting tour which will give you 4 hours of adrenaline fuelled fun on the river rapids. These tours usually start early in the morning, and you will be finished by lunch time.

Additionally, you can also extend your adventure experience with a stay at the Rio Pacuare River Lodge. This rainforest lodge offers travelers the opportunity to explore the Pacuare River through whitewater rafting, nature trails, and hiking. Not only that but the lodge boasts an unparalleled view of our river and is completely immersed in nature. 

What to take white water rafting on the Rio Pacuare

You should bring ample water with you when you raft because they will help you to stay hydrated while you are on the river. Ensure you have water shoes or securely fitted sandals and rapid drying clothing for your rafting experience. A good quality action camera is also a must, although professional photographs are taken at different points on the river and available to purchase.

Pacuare river rafting in Costa Rica big splash

Don’t Forget About The guides

The experienced rafting guides you will come across are excellent in their field. However, the best ones will be those who have a passion for the profession and are interested in helping others fall in love with river rafting as well. Not only will they teach you the basics of rafting, they will also be the people steering the raft and ensuring that the experience is both safe and enjoyable. You will be given your oar and safety equipment (lifejacket and helmet) before you get started and they will brief you on what to expect Rio Pacuare rafting.

Pacuare River Rafting In Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best river rafting in Costa Ria then the Rio Pacuare is an amazing way to explore the world’s most stunning waterways. The best part is, you don’t have to pack your bags and leave for an adventure filled with danger and possibility. With a little practice, you can make the best of any river run by yourself, no matter how much expertise you have. An adrenaline fuelled adventure down one of the best white water rafting spots in the world should definitely be on your bucket list!

Why stop at Pacuare river rafting? If you’d like to make white water rafting a feature of your trip to Costa Rica, also consider the following rafting experiences.

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Welcome to Adrenaline Junkiez. We're Kerry & Jason, just two people who like to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and travel the world in search of adventure. Discover ideas for the ultimate thrill seekers bucket list and get your adrenaline pumping.

10 thoughts on “Rio Pacuare River Rafting | The Best White Water Rafting in Costa Rica

  1. River Rafting is perhaps one of the most adventurous activity that I have done till now. Here in India the states of Uttarakhand & Himachal provided me with the opportunity. Seeing the waves and the waterfalls in the background does excite me as well again. I certainly wouldn’t miss the opportunity to do Whitev Water Rafting in Rio Pacuare if I ever happen to be in Costa Rica.

  2. Wow! This sounds really fun. I haven’t really tried river rafting so it’s nice to know that there are guides available who can assist and teach us the basics. We would love to visit Rio Pacuare in the future.

  3. Rafting on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica must have been an amazing adventure. I have heard so many good things about the rafting possibilities in Costa Rica. Last summer I went rafting in Austria and all the guides were actually trained in Costa Rica!

  4. We have done a lot of water excursions but sadly we have not yet tried river rafting. It looks like a Pacuare River rafting experience would be a fun spot to start. I would certainly want to visit when the rapids were running fast. And I love the suggestion to stay at the Pacuare River Lodge. Definitely something to plan on a visit to this area.

  5. Whitewater rafting has always been on my wish list! Now I know where the finest place to do it is: Rio Pacuare. I’d also like to explore other things, such as hiking and nature trails, to get myself a better appreciation of the area.

  6. I would love to visit Costa Rico and this is something I hadn’t heard of before but sounds amazing. That water looks super powerful, I think I would be better off going in the summer when it is calmer. I can’t get over how gorgeous it is, rafting past the waterfalls would be a dream

  7. I have only done rafting once and I remember how much fun it can be. A 4 hours on the water tour sounds like a great amount to enjoy the splash of the water and the adrenaline rush. Also, I like that you can get to the departing point by horseriding, that must be quite a special experience.

  8. I have done some basic white water rafting. Unfortunately the river didn’t have many rapids the day I went. Good to know that the region here has amazing wildlife, incredible history and mountains too. It can an excellent nature & adventure filled itinerary with it all. The easiest, as you say, is to book a tour which includes round trip transport. Nice that they themselves take photos at different points of the river for us to purchase, so I don’t have bother about clicking pics!

  9. Jennifer Prince says:

    I love rafting, and Rio Pacuare looks like the perfect place to do so. I used to be really fearful of it, so I tried it in Arizona first to get over my fear, and then I went to WV to go again. I’d love to do it internationally, though. What a fun ride!!

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