Alajuela, a stunning province in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, is blessed with national parks, active volcanoes, hot springs and raging rivers. Although Alajuela sits in the drier region, it boasts a handful of white water rafting opportunities. Embark with friends and family down the rapids in an adventure made for the books - if you're not afraid to get the books wet. The southern part of the Alajuela is located 17 kilometers northwest of San Jose, and is easily accessed from the Juan Santamaria International Airport
or any of the hotels in San Jose
Rivers passing through AlajuelaToro River Rafting (Class II to IV)
As the most famous attraction of Alajuela, Arenal Volcano National Park
is no stranger to family-friendly white water rafting opportunities. The region is home to a number of rivers that, besides keeping the land rich and fertile, entertains visitors with plenty of rapids. Rio Toro starts off in the eastern portion of central Costa Rica, where you'll find pineapple, papaya and yucca fields bordering the river. Fed by waters from the Poas Volcano, the Toro River winds along 13 kilometers through a canyon filled with heart-stopping scenery. In the surrounding area, you can catch a glimpse of a wide variety of flora and fauna. Expect big waves, continuous white water and technical rapids.Pacuare River Rafting (Class II to IV)
The Pacuare River is unanimously the best in the country. Rated among "Top 10 Whitewater River Rafting Destinations in the World" by Frommers, the Pacuare lies in a river gorge flanked by steep green walls. Watch the waterfalls cascade down as you cruise along the rapids. If you choose to do the full day tour, the 18-mile stretch encompasses 52 rapids. Few rivers in the world offer you such excitement. The most famous rapids include "Terciopelo Snake," "Double Drop and "Upper and Lower Huacas." Single day tours last around four hours.Sarapiqui River Rafting and Kayaking (Class III to IV)
Weaving along the lowland wet forest, the Sarapiqui River serves up a boatload of adventure. Whether you're a beginner or experienced paddler, you'll find more than two hours of cruising near the Arenal Volcano. Battle through 20 continuous rapids through 10 kilometers of Costa Rican rainforest. The highlights include rapids like "The Terminator," "Dos Locos," and "The Pipeline." Get ready to get wet as you take on the Sarapiqui River.
Map of Alajuela
Uniquely, you can take advantage of white water kayaking. If you're not a professional kayaker, no worries, you can opt for a class I or II river. Choose between a beginner, intermediate and novice clinic to learn how to cut down the Sarapiqui River. For adrenaline buffs, this is man versus nature.
Most white water rafting companies offer lunch as well as free pick-up and drop services to your hotel. Plan a day trip, or if you like, a multi-day tour.