Rafting Costa Rica’s Pacuare River

by on Friday, 7 March 2014

What ISV adventure activity in Costa Rica gets the highest ratings (5/5) tour after tour without fail? Whitewater rafting, that’s what!

An eco-adventure! Whitewater rafting the Pacuare River, Costa Rica

Whitewater rafting is possibly the most thrilling and adrenaline-filled water based adventure activity, and it doesn’t get any better than rafting in the remote tropical wilderness of Costa Rica.

The Pacuare River is one of the top rivers in the world to practice this sport. On the ISV Adventure Tour we’ll take you along the Pacuare for THREE WHOLE DAYS and TWO NIGHTS where we’ll stay in a secluded “Eco-Lodge”, tucked in the rainforest on the banks of the river.

Our selected company is Rios Tropicales and you won’t find a more reputable and experienced rafting operation anywhere. Their company ethics align with ISV’s principles on responsible tourism. Read more about Rios Tropicales and their own efforts in reforestation, environmental education and sustainable tourism here. The Rios Tropicales guides are very professional, super fun and very helpful, especially for first time rafters.

The whole Rafting trip is about 30 kilometers, including almost 90 rapids. Along the way you will see a lot of exotic birds, impressive geological formations and the beautiful rainforest along the Pacuare River.

Taking a refreshing dip in the river, famous for it’s beautiful warm waters

The journey’s first leg will be run on Day 1, traveling 10 kilometers downstream to our accommodation on the banks of the river. In this section, the rapids range from class II to class III: rapids with moderate, irregular waves which bring an intermediate level of challenge, plus plenty of adrenaline!

Upon arriving at Rios Tropicales Eco-Lodge, you’ll be delighted by the lush vegetation and wildlife surrounding the facilities. You could be thinking that you’re in a Speilberg movie; the forest is so inviting. Blue Morpho butterflies, sloths, toucans, monkeys and a variety of reptiles abound.

The lodge has electricity due to a hydro-powered generator system, and is a model of eco-tourism and sustainable business practices.

This isolated setting offers open air dining with exceptional meals, more stars than you can imagine, and the vibrant sounds of the jungle alongside the rushing river, day and night.

Rios Tropicales Eco Lodge, you won’t find a more secluded haven, perfectly tucked into the rainforest

During Day 2, the scenery invites you to explore the rainforest hiking with naturalist guides to quiet waterfalls, exciting water-slides and revitalizing pools. After a dip into the pristine waters of the river streams, you will return to the lodge either to sunbathe in the riverbanks or relax in a hammock overlooking the beautiful Pacuare River.  Get ready for another delicious dinner prepared by your guides who are also skilled chefs.

On Day 3, the best whitewater rafting of the trip awaits below the Rios Tropicales Lodge. This stretch of 20 kilometers has rapids ranging from class III to class IV: intense, powerful, but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. You’ll get to explore the intimate nature of the rainforest from the river’s perspective. The warm water, cascading waterfalls, and opulently lush rainforest with its brilliantly colored plants, animals, and birds make this trip exquisite for your senses.

Besides the fascinating natural landscape, you will pass by some astonishing places along the river such as old survey bridges, and a breathtaking river canyon. Here the guides will allow you to swim in the calmer portions of the river. The swim in the river canyon is awesome, with crystal clear waters not too hot or too cold.

Blue Morpho Butterfly, one of the many exciting species you will see on your trip!

When you cross under an old train bridge dating back to the XIX century, you’ll know that the end of the trip is near, soon you’ll be taken from the end point and back to the operations center only 10 minutes away. After a shower and a hearty lunch, get ready for the next spectacular destination of the ISV Adventure Tour.

Ana Patricia Quesada, ISV Costa Rica Country Coordinator

To learn more about ISV’s Volunteer and Adventure Programs please visit our website: www.isvolunteers.org

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