Sometimes, during my adventures through the Costa Rican rainforest, I come across some of the mighty rivers that wind through this tropical paradise. I often see adventurous tourists tackle these waterways in inflatable rafts! I'm not sure I'd have the courage to try it, but it sure looks fun! Let's find out more about white water rafting in Costa Rica!

White Water Rafting on the Pacuare River
White Water Rafting on the Pacuare River

A river runs through it

Hundreds of rivers snake through the Costa Rican jungle. From gentle streams to raging torrents, there are a lot of waterways to choose from if you're planning a white water rafting excursion! Although you don't need to know how to raft to enjoy this thrilling activity, you've got to be a strong swimmer - in the event that the raft capsizes, you need to be able to swim to the safety.

A class of its own

Whether it's your first time or you're an experienced rafter, you'll find a river to suit your skill level. The major waterways in Costa Rica are categorized into classes to give tourists an idea of how rough the river is. The gentlest brooks are Class I and II, while the toughest rivers are Class VI. Beginners should try their hand at riding a Class I or II to get some experience before tackling the more challenging rivers.

Come one, come all

Tourists taking their kids on a white water rafting expedition should probably start with the Pejibaye River. Children as young as five can get their feet wet and have some fun rafting down this Class II waterway, which could be a great introduction to this exciting watersport.

For intermediate rafters, the Pacuare River is ideal. Beginning at the Cordillera de Talamanca and flowing for 18 miles directly into the Caribbean Ocean, this course is a little more challenging than the Pejibaye, but is still manageable for adventurous or ambitious rafters. The Pacuare is one of the best white water rafting courses in Costa Rica, and is a Class III-IV river.

Seeing Costa Rica's breathtaking scenery from the river can be one of the most exciting and memorable ways to experience the majesty of the rainforest firsthand. Whether you're a seasoned white water enthusiast or have never set foot on a raft before, Costa Rica has something for everyone.