This itinerary is one of the shortest, yet most action-packed options for travelers looking for a compact Costa Rica experience. Zip-line, rappel, and horseback ride your way throughout the Arenal region and enjoy some of the best volcano views the country has to offer.
Whitewater Rafting on the Balsa River
Embark on an adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting adventure down the Río Balsa. You'll transfer from La Fortuna to the put-in spot on the river, where you'll receive safety instructions and get outfitted with a helmet and life vest. Then push off into the current and start paddling through rolling Class II and III rapids with names like Morning Coffee and Rock around the Croc. Enjoy wildlife spotting along the way — you'll even have a chance to swim while passing through calmer stretches of the river.
- Whitewater raft down the Class II and III rapids of the Río Balsa
- Swim in the river along its calm stretches
- Spot tropical birds and monkeys along the journey
- Feast on Costa Rican food at the included lunch
Know before you go
10 years old & up
Lunch Included. In addition to lunch, a tropical fruit snack is included
What you'll do
Next, the adventure begins! Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you push off into the river's current. You'll quickly make your way to rolling rapids (Class II and III). On quieter stretches of the river, your guide will point out tropical birds, including toucans. You might also spot monkeys, sloths, and other wildlife along the riverbanks. You'll also have the option to swim in the river at different points. The rafting experience lasts about two hours.
The trip concludes with a Costa Rican lunch served al fresco on the river's edge. Dry off and enjoy the meal before heading back to La Fortuna.
- Safety equipment and gear
Itineraries with Whitewater Rafting on the Balsa River
This road trip itinerary is a truly off-the-beaten-path nature excursion. Head to the remote beaches and rainforest of the Osa Peninsula before a scenic drive up the Pacific coast. You'll experience white-sand beaches in Manuel Antonio National Park, along with the cloud forest ecosystem of Monteverde where you'll hike over the jungle canopy via suspension bridges. Finally, you'll pay a visit to Arenal, an active volcano and one of Costa Rica's most famous landmarks.
This self-guided road trip is ideal for those who love nature, beaches, and adventure activities. It covers all of Costa Rica's highlights, starting at the famous Arenal Volcano. From there, on to the Gulf of Papagayo on the northern Pacific coast. It's the perfect spot to snorkel and take a sunset sailing cruise. Then, you'll venture into the misty cloud forests of Monteverde—spot rare birds, partake in a zip-line canopy tour, and embark on a nocturnal wildlife excursion. End your trip with hiking and beach time in Manuel Antonio National Park.
This 10-day adventure allows you to experience Costa Rica from both coasts. Visit San José, check out Tortuguero National Park, marvel at Arenal Volcano, and lounge on the remote beaches of Guanacaste. Enjoy plenty of activities along the way: watch sea turtles hatch on a Caribbean beach, sample locally produced chocolate, or take a surf lesson in the Pacific.
Explore some of Costa Rica's most classic settings on this adventure trip, from active volcanoes to the rainforest to its gorgeous Pacific beaches. You'll see volcanic fumaroles in Rincon de la Vieja, visit hot springs and cross hanging bridges in Arenal, encounter tons of tropical wildlife in Monteverde, and unwind on the beaches of the Gulf of Papagayo. Get ready to go hiking, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, and more on this thrilling tour of Costa Rica's northwest.