Rio Pacuare
Written by Cyril Brass

         Paddle hard!    Hold on!      Take a break. 

    Ah, the commands shouted by your friendly experienced river guides while aboard a wild rafting expedition on the Costa Rica's Rio Pacuare.  Nestled deep in the Costa Rican tropical rainforest, the Rio Pacuare is a white water enthusiast’s dream paddling down one of the most rugged rivers maneuvering through the turbulent waters deep in the heart of densely forested gorges, cascading waterfalls, narrow passages and pounding rapids. Rafting on the Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica

Profiling the more wild side of the country’s eco-adventures, the Rio Pacuare has been given the distinction as the first Wild and Scenic River by the Costa Rican government, the first waterway in Central America to hold that honor.

The river plunges through an unexplored jungle of primary and secondary rainforest. This protected region is still inhabited by the indigenous Cabecar Indians. In a wilderness of dense vegetation, the thick undergrowth also provides an isolated sanctuary for jaguars, monkeys, sloth and many other animals and birds.

The Pacuare has some of the world’s most challenging white water.  With the majority of the rapids recorded as Class III – IV (white water with irregular long difficult rapids), paddlers will enjoy stretches of white knuckle rapids interspersed with relaxing floats that allows them to catch their breath and to soak up the beauty all around them.  Free spirited adventurers will be rewarded with a thrilling action-packed ride of twists and turns, foaming water, huge waves and breathtaking scenery.

Far removed from civilization, the Rio Pacuare descends from the Talamanca Mountain Range pouring onto the lowland plains near the town of Siquierres, then curving its way eastward toward the Caribbean Sea. High annual rainfall generates great volumes of runoff creating more opportunities for white water rafting trips available year round.  However the best time to battle the rapids is during the rainy season – May to November.Rafting on the Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica

Even though in a remote part of the country, access to the Rio Pacuare from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is easy.  One-day or multi-day excursions are available and excellent value for money spent. Many rafting companies provide high quality, safety and personable service.  Costa Rica regulates its tourism industry making it reliable and trustworthy. Each company involved with tourism is held to strict standards and guidelines.

Each rafting excursion begins early in the morning being picked up at rafter’s hotels in San Jose.  Enjoy a scenic drive along the foothills of the Irazu and Turrialba volcanoes on the way to the river “put in”. Professional bilingual tour operators and guides will take care of you through the entire adventure. Safety and paddling instructions will be explained before hitting the water. Protective and safety gear is always worn while on the river. A safety kayak accompanies the rafts during the voyage down the raging river.

Rafting the Rio Pacuare is an excellent choice for an adventurous ride filled with stunning natural beauty and breathtaking rapids. Whether an expert or beginner, nature lover or thrill seeker, rafting the Rio Pacuare will be an action-packed unforgettable experience.


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