If you want to add some adventure to your Costa Rica vacation, whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River is definitely something you cannot miss.
According to renowned American journalist and travel expert, Peter Greenberg, the Pacuare River is in second place among the top five rivers in the world for rafting class II to IV.
Greenberg states that “A ride along the Lower Pacuare starts with a few miles of easy, fun rapids and then becomes a wet and wild adventure in the Huacas River Gorge.”
The Pacuare river travels unrestricted from its origin in the Talamanca mountain range 108 km to the Caribbean and it is located in one of the most important protected zones of the country.
It is considered a quintessential tropical river and it spans some of the country’s most diverse terrain, passing through dense vegetation such as rain forest, lowland tropical forest and towering waterfalls, which shelter jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, sloths and several species of birds.
The Pacuare River has been recognized by National Geographic as one of the world’s top 10 river trips, not just due to its challenging rapids, but also because of the stunning scenery that lines its shores.
The Pacuare River is divided into about sixteen different sections, although the three sections most commonly run are known as The Upper Upper, The Upper and The Lower.
In the Upper Upper Section the run is approximately 16 miles (26 km) long and contains numerous class II and III rapids.
The Upper Section, which is a more technical section, consists of approximately ten miles of whitewater including multiple class IV and V rapids as well as waterfalls.
The Lower Section consists of class III and IV whitewater that the Pacuare River is most famous for. Running approximately 23 miles (and dropping approximately 1200 feet), this section of the Pacuare River can be done in a single day trip or as long as a three day trip. The highlights of this section include the whitewater rapids and the waterfalls that flow into the river in the Huacas River Gorge.
Thousands of rafters come to Costa Rica every year to enjoy the clean water, fun rapids and magnificent scenery the Pacuare River offers.
The Costa Rica News
San Jose Costa Rica
Since Pacuare River has several sections, raging from easy to difficult, you don’t necessarily need to be a paddle expert to live this amazing and exciting adventure.
If you decide to experience the white waters of the Pacuare, you may choose options from the different tour operators in Turrialba or San Jose Costa Rica.
In his website, Greenberg recommends Rios Tropicales, an operator that includes overnight stays in its rainforest eco-lodge, which is located on their 2000 acre private reserve at the mouth of the Pacuare Gorge, inside the Pacuare Protected Zone.
River Difficulty Classification
Class 1: Very small rough areas, requires no maneuvering. (Skill Level: None)
Class 2: Some rough water, maybe some rocks, small drops, might require maneuvering. (Skill Level: Basic Paddling Skill)
Class 3: Whitewater, medium waves, maybe a 3–5 ft drop, but not much considerable danger. May require significant maneuvering. (Skill Level: Experienced paddling skills)
Class 4: Whitewater, large waves, long rapids, rocks, maybe a considerable drop, sharp maneuvers may be needed. (Skill Level: Whitewater Experience)
Class 5: Whitewater, large waves, continuous rapids, large rocks and hazards, maybe a large drop, precise maneuvering. (Skill Level: Advanced Whitewater Experience)
Class 6: Whitewater, typically with huge waves, huge rocks and hazards, huge drops, but sometimes labeled this way due to largely invisible dangers. Class 6 rapids are considered hazardous even for expert paddlers using state-of-the-art equipment, and come with the warning “danger to life or limb.” (Skill Level: Expert)
For more information visit their website www.riostropicales.com