Pacuare Rafting – The most beautiful river in Costa Rica?

After rafting my way around the country for the last few years I had saved the best till last!  The Pacuare is regarded as one of the top 5 rafting rivers in the world. It is beautiful in its biodiversity and remote location whilst offering some adrenaline-inducing class IV rapids!

An early meet in San Jose and an hour and a half spent sleeping on the bus we arrived at Rios Tropicales HQ.  After a great local breakfast and a few cups of coffee, we were ready to go!

Rafting on the Pacuare River, Costa Rica Places To Visit

Our river guide Roy was very entertaining, keeping us on our toes but at the same time keeping us safe and passing on his own personal knowledge of the sport and this business that has been in his family since he was a child.

Rafting on the Pacuare River, Costa Rica

We arrived at the Lodge where we would be exploring the area for a couple of hours and also canopy zip-lining over the river!  That was a first for me and a different experience to your average canopy tour!

Arriving at the Rios Tropicales Lodge on the Pacuare River Costa Rica


Canopy tours are run by the Rios Tropicales lodge
Rafting on the Pacuare River, Costa Rica
Rafting on the Pacuare River, Costa Rica

We hiked over the bridge where there was a beautiful waterfall you could relax in and watch the river flow past.

Rafting on the Pacuare River, Costa Rica


Rafting on the Pacuare River, Costa Rica

Lunch is served! Jungle chicken was cooked by the guides – a specialty of theirs that they have cooked for years and comes with my personal recommendation. The food is sourced from local indigenous communities and Rios Tropicales has a strong bond with these local villages supporting them in many ways. The temptation was there to have another plate however I wanted to retain some buoyancy as the harder class IV rapids were to follow!

Lunch served at Rios Tropicales Lodge

We spoke with Rafa Gallo, Co-Founder and President of Rio Tropicales who told us about the projects they have in the area that allow people to enjoy the river and surroundings without losing touch with their strong conservation values.  The Lodge itself embodies all they stand for with rustic designs that blend into the surrounding forests like it belongs there.  The rooms are very comfortable and the rustic simplicity and natural decorations give the rooms tonnes of charm.  Most importantly a very comfortable bed to rest on after a day rafting/hiking/ horse-riding /  canopy zip-lining / canyoning!

After some hammock time, it was back to the rafts and adventure ensued. Best rafting in the country? YES! The rapids that followed were testing and required a lot of technical paddling.  Roy had helped build our skill and confidence level throughout the day and with his help, we were able to navigate through some of the harder class IV rapids.
Rafting on the Pacuare River, Costa Rica

After the final stretch, we came to a slow part of the river with high canyon walls each side it was time to jump out the raft and lye back and appreciate the view – Pura Vida!

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