Kayaking in Costa Rica

Rafting adventure in Central America's Whitewater Capital

Tall mountains, pristine valleys and plenty of rainfall to feed rivers that drop steeply toward the sea. These are prime ingredients for world-class rafting adventures, and Costa Rica has more than its share. Paddles and drifts take place across the country, and there's something for everyone. Hard-core thrills test experts’ skills on the flumes and standing waves of upper rivers; exciting but manageable cataracts race through gorges and splash against mid-stream boulders; and easy-flowing lowland waterways spirit visitors through virgin forests and coastal swamps. Excursions are supported by a network of professional outfitters and experienced guides who ensure safety and enjoyment for all.

Highlights

  • Best for: All travellers from budget to luxury with a love of nature and adventure
  • Best season to visit: Year Round, drier November - May
  • Weather: There is minimal seasonal variation in air temperatures, with highs reaching near 90 and lows touching 70 at night. The wet season runs from May through November, drier months from December to April bring lower humidity

Things to Do

Costa Rica Information

Paddle Sports in Costa Rica Overview

There are more than a dozen premier white water rivers in Costa Rica. Some are within the range of easy day trips from resorts and hotels; others will involve a longer drive or a multi-day float plN with overnight camping, or a stay in a river lodge. One of the favorite locations to begin day trips is the resort area of Guanacaste.

Paddle Sports in Costa Rica Tips

Know what you are getting into by learning the rapids classification system. Class I offers small waves with no obstructions, Class II adds small obstacles that are easily avoided. Class III delivers larger standing waves, small drops and narrower channels. Class IV rapids will often require complex maneuvering in the turbulent water. Anything higher is best left to expert rafters.

Best Places for Paddle Sports in Costa Rica

The central Colorado River provides safe but thrilling drops in class III whitewater. Easily-managed Class I and II rapids add interest to a drift down the Corobici River, which leads through a tropical forest where monkeys perch in the branches of Ceiba, Mahogany and Guanacaste trees. The upper Tenorio River provides intense Class IV challenges and with quick turns, twists, plus a 12-foot, Class V drop that will exhilarate even the most seasoned thrill-seekers.

What to Pack for Paddle Sports in Costa Rica

Wear comfortable clothes that can get wet, strap-on sandals or water shoes, sunglasses with a secure head drop, and a hat that fits securely. You may want to invest in a small rafting-style dry bag for sundries such as cameras, phones sunscreen, insect repellent and wallets.

Specials

Paddle Sports

Costa Rica

Secrets Papagayo Resorts and Spa

PAPAGAYO, GUANACASTE - CARADONNA RECOMMENDS includes 7 night Deluxe Room accommodations, Rincon de la Vieja National Park Hiking Tour (730am-300pm) includes hiking, waterfalls, fumaroles, hot mud pools, steam holes, amazing landscape, ancient trees, spider monkeys, toucans. other small creatures, Buena Vista Canopy Adventure & Natural Spa Tour (730 am-6:00 pm) includes lunch, 12 ziplining platforms, water slides, horseback riding, steam baths, natural spas, monkeys and toucans, Tenorio River Rafting Adventure Tour: Class III - IV (630am-300pm) includes 10 miles of intense challenging rapids, Guaitil Pottery and Shopping Santa Cruz Cultural Tour (730am-1200pm), breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, snacks and beverages including top-shelf alcohol, scheduled daytime activities and nighttime entertainement, free WiFi, $200 per room resort coupons, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 6/23/19-8/17/19. Add $445 per person for travel 3/31/19-6/22/19. Book by
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From $1,716 per person double diver

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Packages

Paddle Sports

Costa Rica

Caradonna Adventures

SAN RAMON, MANUEL ANTONIO & OSO PENINSULA - BIG 3 COSTA RICAN ADVENTURE includes 2 nights accommodation at Villa Blanca including breakfast daily, 3 nights accommodation at Si Como No including breakfast daily, 3 nights accommodation at Aguila ade Osa including breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, one day trip to Arenal with rafting and visit to Tabacon Hot Springs including lunch and dinner, one cloud forest hile, one visit to Manuel Antonio guided park walk, one Canopy Zipline Adventure, one visit to Cano Island Biological Marine Reserve Snorkeling Tour, one Corcovado National Park Tour, all ground transfers between destintions and included activities, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges.
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From $2,620 per person double occupancy

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Costa Rica

Secrets Papagayo Resorts and Spa

PAPAGAYO, GUANACASTE - BUILD YOUR OWN PACKAGE includes 7 night Deluxe Room accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, snacks and beverages including top-shelf alcohol, scheduled daytime activities and nighttime entertainement, free WiFi, $200 per room resort coupons, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges.
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From $1,871 per person double diver

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Costa Rica

Occidental Papagayo

PAPAGAYO, GUANACASTE - BUILD YOUR OWN PACKAGE includes 7 night Deluxe Room accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, snacks and beverages including alcohol, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges.
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From $1,151 per person double occupancy

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Costa Rica

Caradonna Adventures

COSTA RICA - 7 NIGHT ACTIVE ADVENTURE PACKAGE includes 3 nights accommodations at Arenal Kioro Hotel with onsite hot springs and cool pools, 4 nights accmoodations at Bosque del Mar Hotel in Playa Hermosa, Chocolate tour and White water rafting combo, waterfall rappelling tour, choice of Stand up Paddleboard or Canopy Zip Line tour, catamaran adventure, breakfast daily, Waterfall Tour with lunch. Package includes all ground transportation from San Jose roundtrip, hotel tax and service charges.
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From $1,954 per person double occupancy

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Resorts

Paddle Sports

Costa Rica

Bosque del Mar Hotel

PLAYA HERMOSA - A unique beach front high-end boutique eco concept located in Hermosa Bay, Guanacaste. Surrounded by beautiful beachfront gardens with frequent visits by local monkeys and iguanas. Playa Hermosa Bay is a great and peaceful location for beach lovers, not crowded and offers a gorgeous view of Pacific Ocean. Close to Local diving, Catalina Island and Bat Island and lots of topside activities.
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Costa Rica

Casa Conde del Mar

PLAYA HERMOSA - Beach Front All Inclusive Boutique Resort of 26 rooms located within a twenty two acres Tropical Dry Forest. Casa Conde Beach Front Hotel offers comfort and relaxation with one of the most pristine beaches in Costa Rica, Playa Panam?. Many water sports can be enjoyed including diving, fishing, swimming, and windsurfing. Playa Panam? has the Blue Flag certification and categorized as one of the most sanitary beaches in the country.
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Margaritaville Beach Resort

PLAYA FLAMINGO - Escape to a tropical paradise where golden sands invite you to linger under shady palms and the warm, blue Pacific Ocean beckons you to dive in and explore. Where a relaxing and casual beach vibe and authentic hospitality truly inspire the spirit of Pura Vida - the pure life. Relax in beautiful rooms and suites overlooking beautiful gardens, oversized pool and the Pacific Ocean. Indulge your senses at OnZen Spa, lounge on the pristine beach or enjoy paddleboarding on Pacific waves. Relax by the sparkling outdoor pool and sip a cocktail at the swim-up pool bar. Take in a spectacular sunset over the ocean while enjoying international cuisine infused with Costa Rican flavors at our restaurant. Enjoy whitewater rafting, zip-lining adventures, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing and volcano tours. At the Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo , the possibilities for romance and adventure are endless.
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Costa Rica

Seahorse Resort Tamarindo

TAMARINDO - Featuring an outdoor swimming pool and a garden, Seahorse Resort and Dive Center is five miles from Tamarindo. All of the rooms include breakfast daily and have a private terrace with complimentary WiFi and the property features a shared lounge. The bed and breakfast rooms are equipped with a desk, and pool view. A dedicated fitness center for cardio and yoga with equipment provision are available at the property,
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Secrets Papagayo Resorts and Spa

PAPAGAYO, GUANACASTE - A short 20 minute drive from the Liberia International Airport, this adults-only resort will seem a million miles away. Perfectly situated on a serene beachfront and surrounded by lush tropical gardens, this hideaway will offer an Unlimited-Luxury experience in one of the most romantic and intimate settings imaginable.
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Costa Rica

Occidental Papagayo

PAPAGAYO, GUANACASTE - The Occidental Papagayo is an all-inclusive resort in which premium service is joined by a breathtaking location just 35 minutes from Liberia International Airport. Situated on a bluff with stunning bay views and sunsets, the resort offers 4 restaurants, 4 bars, a day spa, tennis courts and many other activities. Diving services provided by Rocket Frog Divers nearby.
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Passport and/or Visa Requirements

A valid passport is required for entry that must be valid for length of stay. No visa is required for stays less than 90 days. The passport must have at least one blank page for the Costa Rica entry stamp. There is a departure tax of approximately $29 U.S. which should be included in your international ticket. Check the entry/exit requirements here.

Immunizations

There are no immunizations required for entry into Costa Rica, although you should check with your doctor and with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for other recommendations.

Culture and Customs

Costa Rica is known as the safest and most prosperous country in Central America. It is home to a large community of North American ex-pats, but also retains its distinctly Latin culture, which includes a relaxed attitude to schedules that is known as “Tico time.” Laid back is not the same as uncaring, however, and Costa Ricans are known for taking pride in their appearances and their work. A well-developed road system connects major destinations, but much of the country's central highlands remain wild and protected within national parks. Within a day's drive of beach resorts at Guanacaste lie the slopes of Arenal Volcano, the Monteverde Cloud Forest and Palo Verde National Park. Costa Rica is the eco-adventure capital of the Caribbean. Surfers come from around the world to ride famous breaks from Witch's Rock to Pavones. Coastal lodges are filled with fishermen seeking light tackle challenges with roosterfish or tug of war with a marlin. Forests draw birders, hikers and naturalists, and there are more than a dozen rivers offering whitewater rafting thrills. More relaxing experiences await at hot springs, where spa treatments and soaks in mineral-rich volcanic water provide a soothing end to an active day.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

The standard in Costa Rica is the same as in the United States: 110 volts AC (60 cycles). Some electric outlets only have 2 prong sockets, so an adapter may be needed for 3 prong plugs.

Costa Rica has an excellent phone system, and the country code for dialing is 506. Check with your cell phone provider for international data and voice plans and costs.

Many resorts and restaurants offer WiFi.

Water Quality

Although the water in Costa Rica is generally safe to drink, water quality varies in some cities. It would be best to use bottled water and avoid ice.

Language & Currency

Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, but English is widely spoken. The Costa Rican currency is called the “colon”. Check the current exchange rate here. Many businesses will accept U.S. Dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.

Time

Costa Rica is on Central Standard Time, 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-6 GMT). Costa Rica does not use daylight saving time, so the time difference is an additional hour April through October.

Location, Size and Population

Costa Rica is located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua (to the north) and Panama (to the south). Costa Rica encompasses a total of 19,700 square miles (51,100 square kilometers).

The population of Costa Rica is 4.9 Million (2015) with approximately 350,000 living in the province of Guanacaste.