1. Costa Rica
  2. San José Province
  3. San Jose
  4. Day Trips

Pacuare River Full-Day Rafting Adventure from San José

Product ID: 35544
Get ready for adventure and adrenaline-pumping thrills on this rafting trip down the Pacuare River, rated as one of the world’s top rafting rivers. Experience class III-IV whitewater rapids and the spectacular beauty of Costa Rica’s primary rainforest.
About this activity
Duration: 1 day
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Spanish, English

Pickup included

Pick-up at all major San José hotels is provided.
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Select participants, date and language:



  • Raft for 18 miles down the Pacuare River, one of the best rafting rivers in the world
  • Experience the excitement of rapids including the Double Drop, Upper Huacas, Lower Huacas, Pinball, Cimarron, and Dos Montañas
  • Enjoy breakfast and lunch and all the facilities at the Rios Tropicales Operations Center
Full description
Located on Costa Rica's Caribbean slope, the Pacuare River borders the Talamanca mountain range, home to the native Cabecar people and an incredible variety of wildlife, including parrots, toucans, deer, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, butterflies, and more.

Add in the exciting class III and IV whitewater rapids and you have a full-day tropical adventure packed with memories that will last long after you return home.

The Pacuare is rated one of the top rivers in the world for rafting. Experience the intimate nature of the rainforest as raft down the river from San Martin to Siquirres for 18 miles on exciting class III-IV whitewater.

After an early morning pick-up at your hotel, you’ll travel by a private, comfortable bus to Rios Tropicales Operations Center for a delicious, typical Costa Rican breakfast. Change into your rafting gear, and head out on a drive to a private rafting put-in on the banks of the Pacuare River.

All necessary equipment will be adjusted for the proper fit, and you’ll receive a comprehensive rafting safety talk and instructions on paddling basics. Then it’s time to launch the raft for the course that takes you deep into the heart of one of Costa Rica's most impressive primary rainforests.

You'll pass through densely vegetated gorges, see cascading waterfalls, relax in serene pools and experience pounding rapids. Half-way down the course you’ll see the Rios Tropicales Lodge, the operator’s eco-lodge, where guests stay on 2, 3, and 4-day multi-sport adventure trips.

Experience an action-packed afternoon running the Pacuare's biggest rapids, including Upper and Lower Huacas, Cimarron, Dos Montañas, and more. From the take-out point, you’ll have short drive back to the Rios Tropicales Operations Center, where you’ll enjoy a hearty and delicious lunch with optional drinks. Showers and a handy souvenir shop are also available.

On your return drive to San José you'll enjoy views of Braulio Carrillo National Park, home to dense, primary tropical rainforest, and of the Irazu Volcano.
  • Professional bilingual guides
  • Round-trip transfers from all major San José hotels
  • All the specialized gear needed for the activity (helmets, lifejackets, paddles)
  • Breakfast and hot lunch at the Rios Tropicales Operations Center
  • Use of changing rooms and showers
Not suitable for
  • Children under 12 years
  • Pregnant women
  • People with back problems
  • People with heart problems
  • People over 264 lbs (120 kg)

Prepare for the activity

Important information
What to bring
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
Not allowed
  • Pets
Know before you go
• This tour is available from January 1 to June 30, 2020
• River rafting difficulty: moderate
• Class III rafting: rapids with high irregular waves; narrow passages that often require complex maneuvering
• Class IV rafting: long, difficult rapids with constricted passages that often require precise maneuvering in very turbulent waters
• Rafting distance: 18 miles
• River time: 3.5 to 5 hours, depending on water levels
• Anyone 14 years of age and older, in normal healthy physical condition, can participate. Ability to swim is desirable.

Recommended gear:
• Rubber-soled shoes that can get wet (Tevas, tennis shoes, booties, or similar)
• Swimsuit/swim trunks or t-shirt and shorts made of quick-drying material
• Waterproof sunscreen lotion (SPF 15 or higher)
• Sun hat or bandana
• Croakies or straps to secure glasses
• Clothing change (including shoes)
• Towel
Customer reviews
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Fun, but not Pacuare River

We booked a rafting excursion to Pacuare River but ended up in another river with less Rapids due to weather conditions the guide said; less class 3s and 4s. Wanted more time on the river but still fun.

December 18, 2014

Organized by

Rios Tropicales

Product ID: 35544