Some of the best trails and paths in the undulating landscapes of Costa Rica are waterways - from the country's meandering streams to its crashing white waters, there are plenty of rafting and canoeing spots to explore. North Puntarenas
provides a number of wild enclaves to explore, and with only minimal roads to choose from, it makes sense that many visitors take to the water to get a better view of some of the region's remarkable accolades. Since most rivers in the region have routes that are less than Class IV, this is a great region for families to enjoy the sport in. Here are some of the top rivers in navigate, as well as some attractions you'll likely see while journeying down them:
Rio Naranjo (Class II and III)
Running through Manuel Antonio National Park
, the Rio Naranjo provides thrills that range between Class II and III rapids, and offers a new way to see the park that foot traffic will never experience. The wild parts of Rio Naranjo usually provide a great half day of rafting. With nearly continuous rapids, the river keeps you on your toes for the duration of the trip, and can be challenging even for the most motivated of rafters.
Due to large fluctuations in the river levels, this rafting option runs between the months of May and June, and is suitable for kids ages 8 and older.
Savegre River (Class II and III)
Known as one of North Puntarenas' most pristine waterways, the Savegre River that runs through the town of Savegre
also offers opportunities to discover plenty of thrills. With the rapids reaching Class III, this river provides a number of heart-stopping channels and plenty of boils. However, this trip is perfect for rafters who love to play hard, yet also stop and smell the roses. Your guide may stop at a calm swimming hole for a brief reprieve from the foamy rapids, or you and your group could listen to the sounds of the rainforest
as they mix with the soft showers from overhanging waterfalls. Keep your eyes peeled for national park residents like ospreys, vibrant parrots and egrets. Around noon, you'll stop with your group at the village of Silencio to enjoy a delicious lunch. The entire tour will take you around 3/4 of a day and most tours leave from Manuel Antonio
. Most guides also speak English and Spanish, so you'll have no trouble understanding the directions. However, it is recommended that you know the words for "right", "left", and "stop," prior to hitting the waves.
Map of North Puntarenas
This journey is offered year round to all individuals ages 6 and older.
What to Bring
In addition to a change of clothes, you may want to put on a swimsuit. Sandals with straps are also helpful, as they are usually quicker to dry and are easy to wear even when they are wet.
A quick drying towel is also recommended - you can find these at most sporting goods stores that carry swimming and diving equipment.