Central America Costa Rica

Rafting the Rio Pacuare, Costa Rica


Day One On The Rio Pacuare

Today is the beginning of the Adventure tour with International Student Volunteers. After a busy night I wake up still slightly drunk and wobble myself and my luggage down to the bus. Driving away I fall into a deep slumber as we travel to the Rio Pacuare. Soon enough, we arrive at our white water rafting provider, Rios Tropicales, and have a breakfast accompanied by an interesting looking pug dog. The next hour was a mixture of bus and tractor travel as we make our way to the start point on the Rio Pacuare.



The rafting teams are created and these are the people we will be spending the next three days with as we travel downriver. Jumping into the raft and beginning the trip we get a rhythm going, floating down the class 1 and 2 rapids doing a variety of tricks. Before we know it, it is time for lunch. So, while the guides prepare the meal the rest of us are led up a side stream. As the sun beams down we climb up a freezing cold river until finally we have reached a swimming hole. After a few jumps from the rocks we make our way back down for a lunch of sandwiches (the bread here smells like fairy bread).



As the sun beats down we continue along the river in our raft, marvelling at the rainforest on either side as we float by. Jumping up at the vines dangling over the river, and stopping every so often for a quick swim. Soon enough, in the afternoon with our arms tiring and the weather dampening we arrive at our beautiful accommodation. Here, in the middle of the Costa Rican rainforest, is an amazing eco-lodge with view right over the Rio Pacuare. We set up in our rooms which contain three bunk beds. There is the most amazing wildlife here. Everyone helps prepare dinner and we all relax in the hammocks which overlook the rushing river

Day Two On The Rio Pacuare


It was day two on the Rio Pacuare and after a much needed sleep in we headed out to the eating area. We all munch on a decent fed while talking about a coral snake that was spotted the previous evening. After grabbing our togs and mentally preparing ourselves, we hike up numerous stairs. Along the way we learn about the native fauna and flora, all whilst running to avoid fire ants.

After about forty minutes of trekking uphill we all jump into a freezing cold river. Swimming across we begin climbing up a small waterfall with our feet pressed up against one side and back against the other. It’s a very slow climb to avoid falling and hurting ourselves. Once I have finished that, its stage two, grabbing hold of the rope and walking uphill along slippery rocks. Surprisingly I don’t fall or slip over at all and soon enough everyone reaches a naturally formed rock slide. We all take turns sliding down, crashing into the swimming hole at the bottom. After getting absolutely drenched we head back and assist with making lunch.


That afternoon I chill with friends in the hammocks. Attempting to keep semi dry while others hike to swim holes. I quickly get over the rain. Seriously, it is such contrast from living in Ostional where it hadn’t rained in months, to this constant rain. I was not mentally prepared at all.


Day Three On The Rio Pacuare

Today was the last day on the Rio Pacuare which we would have to white water raft out of. Loading our boats early in the morning and departing the lodge we were quickly drenched from the ongoing rain.



The class 3 and 4 rapids were seriously such fun. I felt like my years of living on a lake and having my father driving the boat flinging me around on the knee board and biscuit had led me to this moment. Next, one of the guys flies off the raft over the rapids. I replace him upfront ready for the excitement. Managing to stay on and navigate the rapids successfully. Suddenly, the water calms. We are floating between two large cliffs, a sort of canyon. Here, we stop and jump out for a swim, before continuing downriver to the base. Soon enough our raft hits the shore and we all jump out, bundling up in our warmest clothes and sitting down for a hot lunch.


I seriously enjoyed my three day trip on the Rio Pacuare so much. I loved staying in the Costa Rican rainforest. Also, the company Rios Tropicales is extremely environment conscious. We were all told that us humans are visitors to the rainforest, we must not disturb the local fauna and fauna. Seeing the Costa Rican landscapes from the boat also gave us chances to travel where you couldn’t hike or drive to. I highly recommend for anyone traveling to this country to check out Rios Tropicales rafting packages for the opportunity to get amongst nature and experience something truly magical.

I am travelling all through Costa Rica with International Student Volunteers (ISV). This is part of the two week adventure tour which all take me from the rainforest, to desert landscapes and even the Caribbean Coast!

rio pacuare