The Pacuare River offers Costa Rica’s most scenic and accessible white-water rafting. Unlike most raft tours on the Pacuare, this 10-hour tour runs on the gentler Class II and III rapids of the river rather than its lower reaches, making it an excellent option for families looking for a moderate yet exciting nature adventure. Breakfast, lunch, and hotel pickup and drop-off are included on this small-group tour, limited to eight participants.
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the La Cruz section of the Pacuare River while rafting Class II-III rapids. The trip begins on the upper reaches of the Pacuare River, above the more commonly run Class III-IV section, and ends before the first Class IV rapid. It’s ideal for families with children 9-14 years old (children under 9 not permitted).
The tour beings with an early-morning pickup at 5:30am by your guide at your San Jose hotel. You’ll make no more than one additional stop en route to a typical Costa Rican breakfast, which precedes your trip on the river. The Pacuare begins in the Talamanca Mountains and flows to the Caribbean Sea on Costa Rica’s central coast. Upon arrival at the La Cruz put-in, your river guides outfit you with a life jacket and helmet. After a safety talk, you’re ready to start your relaxing trip down river.
Floating down the swirling waters, you'll soak up wild scenery as the Pacuare tumbles through lush primary and secondary rain forest. Water levels permitting, your guide will lead you on a hike up one of the many side creeks that spill into the Pacuare — keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that lives in the dense forest. You’ll also have time to play and swim in the river before enjoying a gourmet lunch on the riverbank prepared by your guides.
Continue your paddle downstream to the take-out at Bajo Tigre where a 4x4 pickup truck will be waiting to take you partway up the mountain, a 20-minute journey on a muddy, bumpy backcountry road. (You’ll ride inside the truck, not in the back.) On arrival, towels and a celebratory cocktail await. You’ll also find changing rooms and restrooms. Once you get changed, ride another 30 minutes to the main road where your van and driver will be waiting to take you back to San Jose.