Costa rica rafting

Costa rica rafting

Last updated on July 19th, 2021 at 03:33 pm EST

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click on a photo in the gallery above for discount and tour information

Ricky (a.k.a., Ricky Bobby); Guiding on the Pacuare River
Have a question about white water rafting in Costa Rica?

We answer 20+ of the most popular Costa Rica rafting tour questions, plus offer our rafting tour tips and important information to know before you go. Don’t miss our related blog post:

Your Costa Rica Rafting Tour Questions Answered!

White-water rafting in Costa Rica

We love rafting. Point blank. Given that Ricky was a white water rafting guide and safety kayaker on Costa Rica’s Pacuare River for more than six years, you can imagine how much of a passion we have developed for the activity (don’t miss the photos of some of our most extreme white water rafting trips in Costa Rica provided in our related blog post White Water Rafting Costa Rica: Go Big Or Go Home, or our description of the Costa Rica rafting community we are proud to be a part of in our related blog post The Pacuare River Family). You can also imagine how impossible it would be for us to identify one Costa Rica river over others without imposing our own bias when we respond to questions such as “Which is the best river for rafting in Costa Rica?” However, personal bias aside, it is important to note that our love for the Pacuare River exceeds our personal experience. It is rooted in fact; specifically, the fact that the river’s rapids are some of the best in the country, the fact that the trip includes complimentary transportation between popular areas such as San Jose, La Fortuna/Arenal, and Puerto Viejo, and the fact that National Geographic once identified the river as one of the best in the world for river scenery (learn more about the Pacuare River experience in our related blog post The Pacuare River Rafting Tour). But, all accomplishments and accolades aside, here’s the truth: as appealing as the Pacuare River is, if a run down this particular river does not fit with your trip itinerary, your desired river/rapid level, your children’s ages, or your vacation budget, there are many other worthwhile river trips in Costa Rica to choose from.

In our blog post Where To Go In Costa Rica: Determining The Best Places To Visit During Your Trip we explain that the only person who can decide which Costa Rican destinations are the “best” to visit is the person doing the visiting. Similarly, in our posts When Is The Best Time Of Year To Travel To Costa Rica?, Best Ziplines In Costa Rica: Comparing 6 In Arenal And Monteverde, Best Hanging Bridges In Costa Rica: Comparing 4 In Arenal And Monteverde, The Best Costa Rica Volcanoes: What To Know About Arenal, Irazu, Poas, Rincon De La Vieja, And Turrialba, and Best Hot Springs In Arenal: We Compare All 12 La Fortuna Hot Springs, we argue that it is up to travellers to decide for themselves when they should travel to Costa Rica and which tours they would enjoy the most. In each case, although we aim to provide travellers with as many details as possible so they can make informed decisions regarding their trip, we are hesitant to pinpoint the “best” of anything, as doing so would only overshadow our clients’ unique interests, desires, and needs with our own opinions.

So, in true Costa Rica Travel Blog style, below is a list of some of the most popular rivers for rafting in Costa Rica that visitors can choose from. The list includes both rivers for white water rafting and flat rivers where safari float tours (slow-moving rafting tours) are run.

The Pacuare River (lower section)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Pacuare River (Lower Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting Rapid class: III/IV Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 12+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal, San Jose, Sarapiqui, Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Guapiles, Siquirres, Turrialba Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, breakfast, and lunch 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? Yes City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes (click here for more information) Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Pacuare River Rafting Tour discounts:

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (San Jose)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Puerto Viejo)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Cahuita)

Read more: Best white water rafting in north carolina

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Sarapiqui)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Guapiles)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Siquirres)

Pacuare River Rafting Tour (Turrialba)

Map of the Pacuare River in Costa Rica

The Reventazon River (El Carmen section)

Reventazon River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Reventazon River (El Carmen Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting Rapid class: II/III Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 6+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal, San Jose, Sarapiqui, Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Guapiles, Siquirres, Turrialba Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, breakfast, and lunch 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes (click here for more information) Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Reventazon River Rafting Tour discounts:

Reventazon River Rafting Tour (San Jose)

Map of the Reventazon River in Costa Rica

The Toro River

Toro River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Toro River?

Notice (2014): Tours are no longer operating on the Toro River

Tour type: white water rafting Rapid class: III/IV Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 13+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal and San Jose Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No Other: tour runs once daily

The Balsa River (lower section)

Balsa River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Balsa River (Lower Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting Rapid class: II/III Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 10+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal and San Jose Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes (click here for more information) Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Balsa River Rafting Tour discounts:

Balsa River Rafting Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Balsa River Rafting Tour (San Jose)

The Sarapiqui River (San Miguel section)

best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Sarapiqui River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Sarapiqui River (San Miguel Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting Rapid class: III/IV Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 13+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal, Sarapiqui, and San Jose Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes (click here for more information) Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Sarapiqui River Rafting Tour discounts:

Sarapiqui River Rafting Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal)

Read more: White water rafting gatlinburg tn reviews

Sarapiqui River Rafting Tour (San Jose)

Map of the Sarapiqui River in Costa Rica

The Tenorio River (upper section)

best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Tenorio River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Tenorio River (Upper Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting Rapid class: III/IV Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 13+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal, Monteverde, Samara, and the Guanacaste Beaches (Papagayo, Coco, Hermosa, Ocotal, Panama, Potrero, Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo, and Langosta) Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes (click here for more information) Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Tenorio River Rafting Tour discounts:

Tenorio River Rafting Tour (Monteverde)

Tenorio River Rafting Tour (Samara)

Tenorio River Rafting Tour (Guanacaste)

Map of the Tenorio River in Costa Rica

The Savegre River

Savegre River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Savegre River?

Tour type: white water rafting Rapid class: II/III Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 6+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: Manuel Antonio Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? Yes City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No Other: tour runs twice daily

Don’t miss our Savegre River Rafting Tour discounts:

Savegre River Rafting Tour (Manuel Antonio)

Express Savegre River Rafting Tour (Manuel Antonio)

Map of the Savegre River in Costa Rica

The Naranjo River

Naranjo River Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Naranjo River?

Tour type: white water rafting Rapid class: III/IV Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 8+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: Manuel Antonio Time of year tours are run: May to November Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and snack (no lunch) 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No Other: tour runs twice daily

Don’t miss our Naranjo River Rafting Tour discounts:

Naranjo River Rafting Tour (Manuel Antonio)

The Naranjo River (El Chorro section)

Naranjo River Chorro Section Rafting Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Naranjo River (Chorro Section)?

Tour type: white water rafting Rapid class: IV Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 15+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: Manuel Antonio Time of year tours are run: January to April Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and snack (no lunch) 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No Other: tour runs twice daily

Don’t miss our Naranjo River Chorro Section Rafting Tour discounts:

Naranjo River Chorro Section Rafting Tour (Manuel Antonio)

The Colorado River

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Colorado River?

Read more: Huck finn raft

Tour type: white water rafting Rapid class: II/III Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 10+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: the Northern Guanacaste Beaches (Papagayo, Coco, Hermosa, Ocotal, Panama, Potrero, Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo, and Langosta) Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, rafting tour, transportation, and lunch 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No Other: tour runs once daily

The Penas Blancas River

best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Penas Blancas Safari River Float Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Penas Blancas River?

Tour type: safari river float Rapid class: N/A Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 3+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: La Fortuna/Arenal and San Jose Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, safari float tour, transportation, and snack (or lunch, depending on whether a tour option including lunch is chosen) 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes Other: tour runs twice daily

Don’t miss our Penas Blancas River Safari Float Tour discounts:

Penas Blancas River Safari Float Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal) – by raft

Penas Blancas River Safari Float Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal) – by canoe

Penas Blancas River Safari Float Tour (La Fortuna/Arenal) – by kayak

Map of the Penas Blancas River in Costa Rica

The Tenorio River (lower section)

best river for rafting in Costa Rica
Tenorio Safari River Float Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Tenorio River (Lower Section)?

Tour type: safari river float Rapid class: N/A Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 10+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: Monteverde, Samara, and the Guanacaste Beaches (Papagayo, Coco, Hermosa, Ocotal, Panama, Potrero, Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo, and Langosta) Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, safari float tour, transportation, and lunch 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? Yes Other: tour runs once daily

Don’t miss our Tenorio River Safari Float Tour discounts:

Tenorio River Safari Float Tour (Monteverde)

Tenorio River Safari Float Tour (Samara)

Tenorio River Safari Float Tour (Guanacaste)

Map of the Tenorio River Costa Rica

The Corobici River

Corobici Safari River Float Tour

The best river for rafting in Costa Rica, is it the Corobici River?

Tour type: safari river float Rapid class: N/A Prior rafting experience required? No Recommended for: travellers 6+ years (minimum age limit may vary across tour operators) Tours are run to/from: the Northern Guanacaste Beaches (Papagayo, Coco, Hermosa, Ocotal, Panama, Potrero, Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo, and Langosta) Time of year tours are run: all year Tours include: all equipment, guide, safari float tour, transportation, and lunch 2-Day/Overnight rafting tour option? No City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour option? No Other: tour runs once daily

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been white water rafting in Costa Rica? Which river did you choose? How did you enjoy the trip?

Pura vida!

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