Pacuare River Rafting Trip | Adventure Tours Costa Rica
View All

, Costa Rica

Pacuare Rafting
Whitewater Class IV & V

Full-Day Whitewater Trip on the Pacuare River

Experience one of the world’s best whitewater adventures with a river rafting trip down the mighty Rio Pacuare.

rafting on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica

While most of Costa Rica’s rafting excursions take you on brisk rides to the Pacific side, one of the country’s greatest rivers flows to the Caribbean Sea. The Pacuare is among the world’s 10 best rivers as named by National Geographic and a journey down the unique waterway tells you why. Descending from the rugged slopes of the Irazú Volcano, the majestic river rolls through stunning canyons, passes impressive waterfalls and an indigenous reserve, and traverses over fifty challenging rapids.

Your trip begins with a 6 am pick-up in San Jose. Enjoy picturesque views of Braulio Carrillo National Park as you cruise through wide-open countryside on your way to the river that borders the Talamanca Mountains. After a hearty breakfast, you reach the riverbank for safety instructions from an experienced guide and set off on the jade-green waters.

River Rafting on an Incredible Nature Excursion

Often compared to fictional Jurassic Park, the stunning landscape that emerges before your eyes fills you with a sense of awe and wonder. Thick vines twist around colossal trees, massive boulders defy the rushing river and towering waterfalls cascade to your left and right. Brightly colored toucans and brilliant blue morpho butterflies flutter overhead while monkeys, ocelots and white-tailed deer lay claim to lush expanses of virgin rainforest.

But your attention is drawn to the rapids! Along the river’s upper section you plow through intense Class IV and V whitewater, plunging down sudden drops and bouncing through bumpy narrows. In the Pacuare River Gorge, you take on famed rapids including the “Double Drop,” “Pinball” and “Terciopelo Snake” and gaze in amazement at the 150-foot-high Huacas Waterfall.

group on a rafting trip in Costa Rica

The river opens up in the Pacuare Valley where calmer currents give you the chance to absorb the scenery. Take note of tropical wildlife on shore and stop to refresh in a natural swimming pool. Enjoy a fresh-cooked lunch on the riverbank. You also paddle past the valley’s original inhabitants. The indigenous Cabecar people have called this spot home since pre-Columbian times and today live much in the same manner as their ancestors.

Along the final downstream stretch through the Huacas River Gorge, you encounter some of the river’s biggest rapids. Exhausted but exhilarated and fueled by pure adrenaline, you and your now-tested team bump and tumble through extreme whitewater challenges on the last tear down the formidable river.

On the relaxed ride back to town, you reflect on the amazing experience. At once exhilarating and inspirational, the whitewater rafting trip is a high point of your adventure travels on an exceptional Costa Rican vacation.

Book Now
Naranjo Rafting Class IV

Naranjo Rafting

  • Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Los Sueños, Costa Rica
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Half Day Starting From $89
  • Challenging

Per Person (2 person minimum)

La Fortuna Rafting & Waterfall Rappelling Combo Tour

La Fortuna Rafting & Rappelling

  • La Fortuna, Costa Rica
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Full Day Starting From $159
  • Challenging

Per Person (2 person minimum)

La Fortuna Balsa River Rafting Tour

  • La Fortuna, Costa Rica
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Half Day Starting From $79
  • Moderate

Per Person (2 person minimum)

El Chorro Rafting

  • Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Los Sueños, Costa Rica
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Half Day Starting From $99
  • Challenging

Per Person (2 person minimum)

Melissa Ryan

Tamarindo, Guanacaste
Our family loved loved loved this river trip! The guides were fun and knowledgeable. The river is gorgeous and well worth the cost. Highly recommend!


St. Aug, FL
From the pickup, to the food, to the van, to the guide, to the photos, to the knowledge, to the everything, they did it right! I would definitely use this tour company over some of the other ones, even if a few extra dollars are needed, mainly because of the smaller group size and their desire to make it a day to remember, rather than just trying to make money. Do it! Yew

Anthony G


The rafting tour was pretty sick. the rapids were big and the trip was intense. It was very fun, and I would do it again in a heartbeat..

Holly m

San Bernardino,California

This was the most fun ever. Thanks Adventure Tours.

Debbie B

Santa Clara, California

My girlfriend took me rafting on the Pacuare River for my birthday. I was a bit nervous about it at first, but once we were going it was great. That was the best birthday gift ever. Maybe I will take her on a tour for her birthday now.