Brave the whitewater on Río Pacuare

Río Pacuare Whitewater Rafting, Turrialba


Located along Costa Rica's Caribbean slope near Turrialba is a deep gorge considered one of the best river-rafting sites in the world. The Río Pacuare runs 67 miles (107 km) from the Talamanca Mountains to the Caribbean in the southwest of the country. Along the way, it passes through some of the most diverse topography in Costa Rica.

After a guided orientation, you'll embark on an adrenaline-pumping trip down the river, which features class II-IV rapids. Enjoy your first few quiet moments on the river because it's going to be an adrenaline-packed ride through the Pacuare's renowned surges!

You'll be amazed at how easy (yet thrilling) it is to tackle these rapids with the help of your experienced guide. But rest assured, it's not all whitewater and adrenaline. You'll also enjoy serene moments between the rapids where you can spot wildlife on the riverbanks, so keep an eye out for several species of tropical birds, as well as monkeys, ocelots, and (much less frequently) jaguars. 

One of the tour's highlights is passing through a stunning canyon complete with cascading waterfalls. Here, you can jump in for a swim or drift slowly through the calm waters as you take in the lush jungle scenery.

With the Río Pacuare, you have the option to enjoy a single day of rafting or to spend the night at a riverside eco-lodge.  If you decide to stay overnight, this excursion includes a scenic hike through the lodge's protected forests. You can explore idyllic waterfalls or simply relax and enjoy the nature and tranquility of this remote tropical dreamland.

Discover more active excursions in Costa Rica.

Itineraries with Río Pacuare Whitewater Rafting

Caribbean Coast Adventure Tour - 10 Days

Experience the best of Costa Rica's tropical flora and fauna on this 10-day trip. Spend a fun-filled week hiking in the rainforest, snorkeling in coral reefs, rafting the world-class rapids of Río Pacuare, and more. This itinerary is ideal for travelers heading to Costa Rica during the "green season" (May - November), as the Caribbean coast stays relatively dry during rainy months—and it's also the best time to see turtles nesting in Tortuguero National Park.

Explore the Jungles & Beaches of Costa Rica - 14 Days

This two-week itinerary is perfect for eco-minded travelers thirsting for a comprehensive Costa Rican adventure. Kick off the journey in metropolitan San José before braving the whitewater rapids of jungle rivers, hiking the base of Costa Rica's most famous volcano, exploring rare cloud-forest eco-systems, and learning to surf (or polish your skills) and Pacific beaches. Enjoy spotting many of Costa Rica's wildlife species along the way.

Costa Rica Adventure: Whitewater, Volcanoes & Surfing - 9 Days

This fun 9-day itinerary highlights Costa Rica's amazing natural scenery through a thrilling series of adventurous activities including whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, and more. Starting in the nation's capital, you'll make your way to rivers, jungles, waterfalls, and cone-shaped volcanoes, culminating on the Pacific coast with time to do some surfing in Tamarindo's famous beaches.

Costa Rica's Whitewater, Jungle and Beach Adventure - 14 Days

Experience Costa Rica's many ecosystems on this two-week trip. You'll visit San José, the towering Arenal Volcano, Monteverde's cloud forest, and the remote beaches of Gulf de Papagayo. There will be plenty of activities to choose from along the way: raft on the world-class rapids of Río Pacuare, sample locally produced chocolate, and take a surf lesson in the glittering Pacific.

Costa Rica's Wild South - 12 Days

If you prefer an active holiday in the great outdoors amid exotic wildlife, then this is the trip for you. Over 12 days of travel throughout Costa Rica, you'll indulge in almost every activity the country is famous for. This includes zip-line tours, canyoning, horseback rides, rafting trips, and kayak excursions. All in all, this itinerary packs 10 vacations worth of experiences into just 12 days.