This action-packed journey in the jewel of Central America is a non-stop water park adventure, with magical nights deep in the rainforest. Take in the energy and beauty of Arenal Volcano and enjoy an invigorating soak at a mountain hot springs. Sneak up close to wildlife as you paddle the jungle waterways of Tortuguero National Park, home to howler monkeys, blue morpho butterflies, sea turtles, and tropical birds. And take a rollicking, fun-filled ride down the Río Pacuare - one of the world's top ten rivers for rafting.
Arrive in San José, Costa Rica's capital city and cultural hub. Meet your MT Sobek representative outside the customs and immigration area for help transferring to your hotel.
After breakfast, travel north towards the town of La Fortuna and home of the Arenal Volcano. Take a moderate, 3-hour hike in the area surrounding Arenal Volcano, enjoying the stunning primary and secondary forests. Watch for a wide variety of wildlife, including howler monkeys, sloths, and toucans along the way. Lunch at a local restaurant and spend some free time this afternoon relaxing at the hotel.
After breakfast, paddle the calm waters of Lake Arenal, Costa Rica's largest and most breathtaking lake, while enjoying a spectacular view of the famous volcano. Late in the afternoon, take a relaxing dip in the EcoTermales mineral hot springs-ranging in temperature from 90°F to 105°F. Gather with the group for dinner at the hot springs' restaurant.
Take a scenic drive through the Caribbean Lowlands to your put-in on the Río Suerte for a unique kayaking trip into Tortuguero National Park, accessible only by water or by air. Explore its jungle waterways and hidden lagoons, and see howler monkeys, basilisk lizards, morpho butterflies, and tropical birds. Arrive at your waterfront lodge, a beautiful resort on a strip of land between the beaches of the Caribbean and the canals of the Tortuguero Lagoon. Walk on the beach, swim in the pool, or have cocktails on the sunset deck.
In the early morning, take an optional guided birding boat tour. After breakfast, take a motorboat loaded with your kayak to a secondary channel in the national park. Board your kayak and paddle through a narrow waterway to look for wildlife. After lunch back at the lodge, paddle to some more areas only accessible by kayak, or simply relax at the pool.
After breakfast, take a boat ride to Matina and then drive to your put-in on the beautiful Río Pacuare, Costa Rica's most remarkable river corridor. You'll find steep, technical drops that are typical of the Pacuare, plus cascading waterfalls that drench you as you pass. Look for sloths, river otters, and anteaters, and an incredible variety of birds, such as toucans, egrets, herons, kingfishers, sunbirds, and trogons. Paddle downstream to your riverside accommodation, a rustic, thatched-roof jungle lodge.
Enjoy a full day at Ríos Tropicales Lodge. Take an optional early-morning guided bird-watching hike to see toucans and many other species, before returning for breakfast and gearing up for a day of adventures. Swing through the forest on a zip line to get an up-close perspective of the ecosystem of the canopy. Trek deep into the Pacuare Nature Reserve, or hike to nearby "Wake Up" Waterfalls and take a thrilling canyoning tour, which includes rappelling down the face of the waterfall.
Continue your whitewater rafting adventure in the lush, magical gorge of the Río Pacuare, where the rapids become more powerful and technical in nature. Power through "Bobo," "Huacas Arriba," "Huacas Abajo," and "Dos Montañas" rapids. Gorgeous waterfalls tumble into the river, and you might catch a glimpse of some of the exotic birds and animals inhabiting the surrounding jungle. Take out near the town of Siquirres and transfer back to San José, arriving in time to clean up and enjoy your last dinner with your fellow travelers.
After breakfast, transfer to the San José airport and depart on homeward-bound flights.
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MT Sobek has been leading adventures in Costa Rica since 1980, working with the best local guiding teams.
This 9-day adventure is the perfect option for those seeking river and rainforest thrills, and the opportunity to be close to nature.
Our classic Costa Rica trip is a popular guest favorite and especially recommended for adventure-loving families.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Ziplining, rappelling, and hiking, plus several days of kayaking on calm water and rafting on whitewater rapids.
A variety of comfortable hotels and lodges that make the most of their rainforest location with beautiful views and lush settings.
Daytime temperatures in 70°s and 80°s Fahrenheit. Evening lows in 60°s. Humid. Expect rain any time of year. December-April are the driest.
Arrive to San Jose international airport any time on the first day. An MT Sobek representative will greet you and transfer you to the hotel.
You can depart from San Jose international airport any time on the last day of your trip. An airport transfer is included in time for your outbound flight.
Yes! Great for beginners. No previous experience required. We supply the technical equipment. Our guides have extensive safety certifications and will train you on what you need to know.
We use paddleboats with 4-6 participants. You will learn to paddle as a team. Day 6 has class II-III rapids. Day 8 is more technical with class III-IV rapids.
We may be able to accommodate children of ages 10 & 11 if they are experienced with rafting and/or kayaking. Please call so we can qualify and discuss their experience.
No, insects are generally not a problem. If you are extra sensitive, bring insect repellant. You may see a few mosquitoes around dawn and dusk especially at Tortuguero.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"Pura Vida in Costa Rica is a vacation is for those who like the water-we were white water rafting, kayaking, rappelling down a waterfall, and even soaking in hot springs. Great food and lodging, interesting birds and animals to see, and excellent guides made this our best adventure vacation yet."
MT Sobek Guest, Costa Rica Rafting & Kayaking
"My grandson and I shared an experience neither of us will ever forget. He never stopped smiling."
MT Sobek Guest, Costa Rica Rafting & Kayaking