Costa Rica Whitewater
Costa Rica offers some of the best whitewater boating on earth. Whether you are an experienced kayaker, or would rather trust a raft guide to get you down safely, there is a boating experience for everyone. Warm water, combined with a pristine jungle backdrop the and world-class rapids make Costa Rica a popular whitewater destination.
Lower Pacuare River
Much of the whitewater rafting and kayaking in Costa Rica is centered in the Central Highlands around Turrialba, east of San Jose. The Reventazon, Pacuare, and Sarapiqui* Rivers offer numerous sections of varying degrees of length and difficulty (ranging from class II-V). The Lower Pacuare is a classic, often considered to be one of the top five river sections in the world. This 16 mile plus section is often run as a two day trip, and several jungle camps provide lodging along the river. The Reventazon, unfortunately, has been dammed and one of the best sections drowned. Other sections are still runnable, but get there before it’s too late. Other smaller, less frequently run rivers in the area include the Pejibaye and Orosi, both popular with kayakers.
Jungle camp on Lower Pacuare River
*In January 2009, a landslide triggered by an earthquake in created a flood on the Sarapiqui River that drastically changed its character. It will recover in time but this may require many months or even years. Be sure to check on its current status is planning a trip to the Sarapiqui.
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Interactive map of Costa Rica