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Classic Caribbean Costa Rica Kayaking Trip

Costa Rica Week of Kayaking

DURATION

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS

Early Signup: Save $100*

Early bird discount applied if signing
up at least 6 months in advance

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Trip Overview

Trip Includes
  • All Meals from Dinner on Day 1 through Breakfast on Day 8
  • 7 Nights accommodation, including 1 night at Jungle Camp on the Pacuare River
  • 6 Days of whitewater kayaking or rafting (weather/water level dependent) 
  • Raft support along the Pacuare River (in case you get tired or want to experience the river without having to kayak on Class IV rapids)
  • Airport Transfers + All Ground Transportation
  • Choice of over 20 different kayaks that are 2018 model year or newer
  • All guides
What’s Not Included?
  • Airfare
  • Tips and Gratuities
  • Alcohol
  • Kayak Paddle, PDF, helmet, sprayskirt – please bring your own or you can pay $75 to rent a paddle for the week
 

Two AMAZING Trips that every River person should have on their bucket list!

People ask us all the time which trip we recommend. We suggest doing both. We’ve listed some notes on each trip below, but all of our trips are fantastic for Intermediate and Advanced paddlers. Both trips include the famous Pacuare River and overnight trip at the Pacuare Eco-Lodge that our guides often refer to as “Jungle Camp”. 

The Pacuare Eco-Lodge is in the middle of the jungle but boasts world-class accommodations, stunning landscapes, and an incredible experience. Don’t let the name of “camp” fool you. The ecolodge has private bungalows, warm showers, flush toilets and a gourmet chef’s kitchen where the guides will cook up their best recipes while you dine by tiki torch and candlelight.

“The Classic” Mountain and Jungle Rivers of Costa Rica Whitewater Kayak & Rafting Trip

Class II, III and Optional Class IV – Best Trip for Beginners

Prepare to float the rivers that our guides grew up on. These rivers all sit on the Eastern half of Costa Rica and run through the mountainous regions. You’ll experience eco-lodges in the middle of the jungle as well as many farm areas that are still untouched from the tourist traffic that you’ll find in many other areas of the country. 

While you paddle the famous Pacuare river, hitting more than 52 rapids, our guides will show you the best lines, points of interest, and hidden gems that only locals know.

Our guides have been running kayakers, whitewater canoes, and rafters on this trip for over 15 years. This is an all inclusive trip from the time we pick you up at the SJO (San Jose) Airport until we drop you back off at the end of the week.

If you’ve never been on a Costa Rica river, this is the trip we recommend starting with. It’s the perfect trip for a class III-IV boater that is looking to take their skills to the next level. It’s also perfect for beginning kayakers. The structure of this is such that the more experienced kayakers can do a completely different section of a river than beginners, allowing everyone to feel successful at the end of each day.

Along with paddling Costa Rica rivers, this trip includes an overnight stay at our famous Eco-Lodge that our guides refer to as “Jungle Camp”. The Pacuare Eco-Lodge in the middle of the jungle boasts world-class accommodations, stunning landscapes, and an incredible experience. Don’t let the “camp” name fool you. The lodge has private bungalows, warm showers, flush toilets and a gourmet chef’s kitchen where the guides will cook up their best recipes.

If you’ve kayaked in Costa Rica before or known someone who has, this is most likely the river trip they experienced.

“The Pacific” Beach Rivers + Pacuare River Costa Rica Whitewater Kayak & Rafting Trip

Class II, III and Optional Class IV – Best Trip for Intermediate & Advanced Kayakers

If you’ve paddled in Costa Rica in past years, this is the trip that should put Costa Rica back on your bucket list. All rivers we paddle are runnable in a raft, so it’s a fantastic trip for both kayakers and those who prefer a raft.

Our Pacific and Pacuare River trip was new in 2018 and after multiple scouting trips our team has included several of the off-the-tourist map rivers that have been a local secret up until now. We’ve refined this trip to minimize driving and maximize river time. We’ve also partnered with hotels in areas like Manuel Antonio that allow us to give people an opportunity to enjoy the beach and sunsets over the water for a few of the nights of the trip.

Depending on water levels, you’ll experience as many as five rivers in six days! We start the trip on the Savegre River which has large, wide and friendly flows. This is a great warmup day that has easy lines but plenty of surf and wave spots along the river to keep things fun for those looking to work on their skills.

If water levels allow, we will also run the Guabo river. This is rarely paddled by commercial trips because it is a bit more out of the way, but it is our favorite on the Pacific. You start high in the mountain area and float all the way to the ocean in Dominical. You’ll pass through several awesome Class III rapids and have one optional IV+ waterfall that most people will portage. The takeout is on the beach where you’ll be able to surf in the ocean waves before taking out your boat on the beach at Dominical, one of the most famous surfing areas in all of Costa Rica.

The trip will then start looping around to the south central part of Costa Rica in an area with nearly a dozen river options to choose from. You’ll then head north and finish the week near our home town of Turrialba on the mighty Pacuare River with over 52 rapids. Our team has a special river put-in further upstream on the Pacuare that allows our groups to enjoy a larger section of this amazing river than the normal “daily” commercial trips.

Because we start higher on the river we are able to spend 2 days on the river and our groups spend a night at our guest favorite spot at the Pacuare Outdoor Center Lodge.

Trust us when we say that this trip is worth coming to Costa Rica for, and if you happen to have a spouse, friend or significant other that doesn’t want to spend a full week on a raft, there are incredible things to see in this area. We can make arrangements for non-kayakers to see some of the best wildlife, waterfalls, beaches and other amazing things in this area as well.

This trip and the areas we visit are truly AMAZING!!!

Why Kayak Costa Rica with Amazing Vacations?

All guides have 10+ years experience and are ACA Certified

Brand new kayaks & equipment

All inclusive Small Group trips

Many sections of rivers we paddle aren’t offered by other companies

Group Kayaks
Classic Caribbean Trip
Kayak Broup
Pacuare River - Included in BOTH Pacific and Caribbean river trips
Sevegre River Waterfall Group
Savegre River Falls on the Pacific Trip

Schedule of Trips and Prices

We are constantly running river trips year round. While we have some set dates for each trip, we can almost always make your trip dates work if you need flexibility with when you travel. If you don’t see a date listed, please check with us because we are always running custom trips and can often combine with an existing group. There are rivers running 12 months out of the year in Costa Rica. Also, a hybrid combination of some of our trips mixed with some site seeing can make for the best kind of vacation, with amazing locations and plenty of time having fun on the river. We are always helping people plan custom trips, so talk to us if you’d like to create your own trip plan that also includes time paddling.

Caribbean River Trips 2019 and 2020 dates: Oct 28, Nov 17, Dec 14, Dec 21, Jan 6, Jan 11, Jan 18, Jan 25

Pacific River Trip 2019 Dates: Oct 19, Nov 9, Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 28

Caribbean Rivers Trip Itinerary

Day 1-4

Day 1

Arriving in Tropical Paradise

You’ll fly into (SJO) San Jose, Costa Rica.

We work with a small bed and breakfast called “Your House” in San Jose that is about 5 minutes from the airport. Because we have multiple people coming in during a 4-5 hour period of time, we want to make it comfortable for everyone.
 
We have arranged to have our friends at “Your House” pick you up and take you to their location so you can relax in a hammock, have a drink or snack, and wait comfortably for the others. There is a nice area out back and couches and lounge areas for you to wait for the rest of the group.
 
From there we’ll transfer to the B&B in Turrialba (you’ll get more detailed information)

Day 2

Outfitting & Rio Pejibaye - Lower (Class II+) with optional Upper (Class III, IV-)​

This is the river that most of our guides learned to paddle on. You’ll start out with an easy run with some fun surfing waves and just enough to challenge some people in the group. Your first run will allow the guides to understand the ability levels and needs of the group in a more controlled, less remote environment.

You’ll eat lunch along the river and then depending on the makeup of the group, you’ll likely head to an upper section of the river that is completely covered in jungle canopy for certain spots along the river.

Day 3

Travel North to Rio Sarapiqui (Class II, III)

We’ll travel up North to the Sarapiqui River. This is a great river for both beginners and intermediate boaters. Lots of spots to surf and play on the river today. 

Your guides will be right there with you enjoying your day as you navigate the rapids of the Sarapiqui River.  If the group needs to be split into ability levels, that is an option and all are sure to have a fun an enjoyable day.   You will be challenged and succeed as you travel this great river.
 
After the river we will have dinner and stay the night in a local hotel.

Day 4

Rio Sarapiqui Upper or Lower (Class II or III+/IV-)

Wake up to the beautiful flowers and hummingbirds on the grounds of the hotel for our second day on the Sarapiqui. Today we’ll put in at Superman or La Virgen upper sections that you likely didn’t do the day before (depending on skill level). 

We’ll guide you through fun and challenging rapids and point out the scenery that sometimes includes monkey, iguana, toucan and macaw sightings! After the river we’ll enjoy lunch at our favorite local restaurant right on the river. 

We then head back to Turrialba. Once we get back to the B&B we’ll enjoy family style dinner from our private chef and relax.

Pacific Rivers Trip Itinerary

Day 1-4

Day 1

Arriving in San Jose and Transfer to Manuel Antonio

You’ll fly into (SJO) San Jose, Costa Rica.

We work with a small bed and breakfast called “Your House” in San Jose that is about 5 minutes from the airport. Because we have multiple people coming in during a 4-5 hour period of time, we want to make it comfortable for everyone. If you arrive early in the morning, we have arranged to have our friends at “Your House” pick you up and take you to their location so you can relax in a hammock, have a drink or snack, and wait comfortably for the others. There is a nice area out back and couches and lounge areas for you to wait for the rest of the group.
 
Once everyone has arrived in the group you will transfer in a private shuttle to Manuel Antonio. The drive is approximately 3-4 hours depending on traffic with a few stops along the way to check out some of the local attractions.

Day 2

Rio Savegre (Class II-III)

This is a super fun warm up day on a big river with lots of spots to surf and get comfortable in your boat. We’ll stop along the river for lunch and you’ll be able to walk to and swim/shower in the Savegre Falls. 

Day 3

Guabo River to Dominical
(Class III+)

If water levels allow, we will also run the Guabo river. This is rarely paddled by commercial trips because it is a bit more out of the way, but it is our favorite on the Pacific. You start high in the mountain area and float all the way to the ocean in Dominical. 

You’ll pass through several awesome Class III rapids and have one easy to portage optional IV+ waterfall that most people will choose to walk around. (The waterfall is featured in the image on the left.) The takeout is on the beach where you’ll be able to surf in the ocean waves before taking out your boat on the beach at Dominical, one of the most famous surfing areas in all of Costa Rica.

Day 4

General or Other "Secret" Rivers (Class III+)

Today we’ll be in a town near the Pan-American Highway that has virtually no tourists but has more than 12 rivers within a one hour radius that are great for paddling.

 Depending on water levels and the ability of our group, we’ll determine which of the rivers we will paddle. Oftentimes on this day we’ll be able to start higher up the river and run a class IV section of river and then have the rest of the group meet up with us. 

These rivers are typically only paddled by locals but as Costa Rica’s tourism continues to expand, we’re certain these will become hot-spots for commercial float trips.

Both Trips Finish Day 5-8 On The Famous Pacuare River With The Same Itinerary

Day 5

Upper Upper Pacuare
(Class III+/Optional IV)

For those boaters who have proven they can safely handle Class III rapids in their kayak, this is a step up.

Very few people paddle this section of river because of how remote it is. Expect to see no more than two buildings and two bridges during the day. Traveling in a raft will be an option if you don’t feel ready. 

There is one class IV rapid today called “Por Donde Me Voy” that at many kayakers choose to walk around. This is often one of the favorite days for our groups who are looking for big, fun water in the middle of the jungle. 

Day 6

Pacuare River to Eco-Lodge
(Class III)

This 24 kilometer (17 miles) class III/IV section is your paddling gem today. This is the most popular run on the Pacuare, often said to be one of the top five river sections in the world. We will put-in a bit higher than other groups and enjoy an additional 4 kilometers of whitewater as we paddle to our riverside Jungle Lodge. The rapids on this day are fun class II and III. To spend a night along the shores of the Pacuare river is an experience every person should enjoy at least once in their lives. We’ll light the camp with candles and prepare delicious tropical cuisine. The camp is complete with flush toilets, warm showers, raised platform tents with comfy mattresses and fully landscaped grounds.

Day 7

Lower Pacuare River
(Class III & IV)

Wake up to the sound of Toucans and the jungle mist snaking its way up the canyon in the morning. You’ll eat a delicious breakfast and enjoy the last of jungle camp. This section of the Pacuare winds through the beautiful and exciting Huacas Canyon with several Class III-IV rapids. 

After the canyon it mellows out and then picks back up before a nice Class II-III paddle out to the Caribbean flatland town of Siquirres where we take out. Paddlers who are not feeling up to the harder rapids will experience all these thrilling class III and IV rapids in a guided raft. We then return to Turrialba to enjoy our last dinner together and last night in Costa Rica.

Day 8

Transfer back to San Jose or Extend your Trip

We say our good-byes at the airport and we start making plans for your return to Costa Rica!
 
**We do our very best to adhere to the specific itinerary listed above, but activities and locations may be subject to change due to a number of reasons beyond our control (i.e. weather, water levels, road and safety conditions).

Trip Details

All Inclusive Costa Rica Kayaking Trip

The Costa Rica Caribbean Kayaking trip is ALL-INCLUSIVE from the time we pick you up at the SJO Airport until we drop you off.

All transportation, food, and lodging is included in the price of the trip. You will stay in some of our favorite hotels, eat at our favorite restaurants, and have a driver for the duration of the trip for one low price.

Paddle Costa Rica’s Best Rivers

You’ll have a chance to paddle world-class sections of whitewater during this amazing week on Costa Rica’s rivers.

Our trip includes different sections of river on our three favorite rivers on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. You’ll experience Class III rapids with some optional Class IV sections of river throughout the week.

Depending on water levels, you will have a chance to paddle on the Pequibaye, Sarapiqui, and multiple sections of the Pacuare River. We also have several other river options that are available as Plan B and C options throughout the week as well.

Gear, Food, and Lodging

While on this week of rivers trip, you can look forward to excellent meals from our guides and some nights from our private chef. Enjoy gourmet and traditional meals, all the tropical fruit Costa Rica is known for, and the local’s only secret recipes.

You will stay in top rated hotels and eco-lodges while on this trip. When you’re not on the river, you can relax by the pool, use wifi (Fast enough for Skype video calls), or just kick back and enjoy the scenery. When you are driving, we provide a mobile wifi hotspot in the vehicle, so you’re almost always connected (if you want to be).

You can also take advantage of our new fleet of kayaks and gear. We purchased over 20 kayaks brand new in late 2018 for you to use. Our fleet includes new boats from Dagger, LiquidLogic, and Jackson. You can see the entire list here.

What Kayaking Ability Level Is This Trip For?

This trip is perfect for kayakers of all ability levels. We’ve had people come on this trip that have learned to roll in a pool but never paddled a kayak on a river. We’ve had people raft with us that have never been on a raft. The majority of the people who join this trip will be Class II/III and some Class IV boaters.

We recognize that you may be a bit rusty with your roll and that’s ok. We will work with you and organize the group based on ability levels.

Depending on the makeup of the group and on most days we will send the more advanced boaters a bit higher on the river and then have the beginners work one on one with a guide on a more mellow section of the river. This format has worked great and ensures everyone has a great time.

On some of the harder Class III+ and Class IV days, we always run raft support and some of our guests will typically choose to join the team on the raft. They always have a fabulous time. Our goal is to help you learn to be a better boater, have fun and feel comfortable on the water.

If you have a spouse or partner that does not kayak or raft, we are happy to build a separate itinerary for them that will keep them busy in the areas we visit and also include them on some of the river rafting days so they can still spend time with you.

If you have questions, please contact us and we’re happy to talk with you more about which trip is right for you.

What to Expect Once You’re Ready to Signup

When you are ready to book, we typically do a quick phone call and/or trade emails and texts with you to make sure you don’t have questions about the trip. Once we finalize your dates, we will prepare a deposit invoice that will be emailed to you. You can pay online. We will schedule an email to be sent about 90 days prior to your trip to pay for the remaining balance on your trip. You’ll also be able to pay online when that invoice arrives via email. 

Once you’ve paid your deposit, you’ll get a series of emails and other communications from us to help you know what to pack, what to expect and how to prepare. You’ll also get a final detailed itinerary with pickup times, phone numbers and all the details you’ll need for sharing with your family back home who will jealously be watching you post facebook photos during your amazing trip.

If you have questions at any time, please contact us and we’re happy to talk with you more about which trip is right for you. We have our team in Costa Rica as well as the support team in the United States that are here to help make this the best trip you’ve ever been on!

Costa Rica Rafting Adventure
Lunch On RIver Costa Rica
Costa RIca Family Trip
White Water Kayaking

Can I bring a spouse, partner or family with me for the week?

YES! We have great options to keep spouses, friends and even kids super busy and having as much fun as you are having on the river. Just let us know if you need more info about options.

What others saying about our week of Rivers Trips

Want to read more about some of the rivers in Costa Rica?

We’re working on building a comprehensive guide of rivers in Costa Rica along with Walk-Through videos of each of the rivers so people can better understand what each river is like at different water levels. Feel free to check out the link and check back as we continue to build this resource for the paddling community.

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