Profile photo for Rafa Gallo

Rafa Gallo

Rios Tropicales is an eco-adventure company operating whitewater rafting, kayaking, sea kayaking, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, family adventures, cultural encounters and “volun-tourism” throughout Costa Rica. Our mission, to share the rivers, natural resources and culture of Costa Rica

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"kayak, rafting, hiking, canopy, biking, horsebackriding, walks, canoeing, family adventures, cultural encounters"

How did you get involved in travel?

"Rafael Gallo Palomo (the owner) is named after a character of Gabriel García Márquez. And it lives up to its name. He looks like a hero out of an adventure novel. He was born in the United States, of Salvadoran parents. He grew up in El Salvador. When the political situation of his country worsened, his parents sent him to study to the United States. One day a friend invited him for a walk. Thus it was first mounted on a raft over a river. Then it was part of an eighteen-day river adventure at The Grand Canyon. He then went with his friends on the rivers of Wyoming, Idaho, Washington State, in the United States, as well as many states in Canada.

A river bewitched him
They thought about two countries: New Zealand and Costa Rica. I had no money to go to New Zealand. Nor for Costa Rica, after a temp-job with that money he came to Costa Rica. Soon after, he met the Pacuare River, captivated by its warm waters and the exuberance of the landscape. Pacuare bewitched him. He knew he wanted to stay here forever.
Since then, “Don Rafa” as common known, has been working in the tourism industry with Rios Tropicales as well as advising for entrepreneurship adventure companies in Latin America, developing community projects, reforestation and worldwide rafting championships… It´s been 31 years since this that man took the adventure enthusiasm in his veins!

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Pacuare overnight trips: The Pacuare 3-Day Adventure & Ecolodge offers all the white water action of the famous Pacuare rafting adventure, with two nights and an extra day at the unique, remote Rios Tropicales Lodge, overlooking the river. From the ecolodge’s remote, riverside location, I can enjoy ziplining through the canopy (additional cost), rainforest hikes with naturalist guides, self-guided walks to waterfalls and pools, relaxing in a hammock overlooking the beautiful Pacuare River, and birdwatching. Dine in the open air with wine (or beer) and exceptional meals, more stars than you can imagine, and the vibrant sounds of the jungle"