Pacuare 1-day trip

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We have daily departures from San José, the Caribbean Coast and the Arenal Volcano, giving you the choice to start and finish at the place of your convenience. Half way between these locations is our Exploration Center, a private base for our river trips and our Tortuguero Expeditions.


This is the Premier River of Costa Rica

RATE: $99.00 USD / + Value Added Tax
Difficulty: Class III-IV
Distance: 30 kms/18 miles
Number of rapids: 38
Approximate river time: 3 hours
Minimum age: 12 years

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION San Jose, Puerto Viejo or Arenal with option to change destination.
DEPARTURE TIME 6:00 – 6:30 am , Pick- Ups in San José and Southern Caribbean Coast. In Arenal Pick-Ups start earlier, approximately  5:20 – 5:40 a.m.
RETURN TIME Approximately 5:30 PM.
WEAR Come with rafting cloths on (light shoes that will stay on, swim suit, shorts,nylon shirt) sunscreen, water bottle, change of clothes, towel, insect repellent, and a credit card to buy photos, souvenirs or drinks. All luggage will be kept in lockers.
Breakfast Lunch Transportation to/from San Jose, Puerto Viejo or La Fortuna town (hotels outside La Fortuna have extra cost) Insurance

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The Pacuare River is one of the best choices for your adventure treks in Costa Rica. No other trip in the country exists that offers you a perfect blend of wilderness exposure and excitement, all in one day.

Pacuare is world famous for its sheer beauty. A true river gorge, it is flanked by steep, green walls. Here you enjoy the feeling of total isolation from urban life and the realness of being connected with nature. You see waterfalls cascade into the river from both sides as colorful, tropical birds fly right over your head. Amazing views of this virgin tropical rainforestarea, appear before your eyes as you descend this true exploratory land. Wildlife is abundant, with sloth, toucans, parrots, coatis, morpho butterflies and colorful frogs being common sights.

The white water that is equally exciting. It is not an overly challenging river, but it has a lot rapids, therefore giving you an adventure filled with lots of fun. The 18 mile one day run includes a total of 52 rapids. Few rivers in the world can offer you so many.

Upon arrival to the river we will gear you up with a life jacket, helmet and paddle and then briefyou with a full safety orientation talk. Finally, it is time to take off down the rapids!

The first 4 miles consist of fun class II-III rapids which is a perfect time to test your new river skills and gain confidence in your team. Here you can find pockets of secondary growth forest that is extremely beautiful. After about 40 minutes we will enter the famous Pacuare River Gorge, which is 5 miles of some of the best white water Costa Rica has to offer. The rapids here are “Terciopelo snake”, “Double drop”, “Upper and Lower Huacas”, “Pin ball” toname a few. You will also see the Huacas watefall, a 150 foot dramatic drop into the river.

After the gorge the rivers opens up to a 5 mile stretch on the Valle del Pacuare, where the river has a different character. It is wide open, which gives you the opportunity to rest a bit and take the opportunity to do some wildlife spotting. The main rapids here are “Cimarrones”, “The Play Hole”, “El Indio” and “Magnetic Rock”. The forest remains just as lush, and the rapids just as fun.

We finish in Siquirres, at our own private Exploration Center where you can take a shower, change and enjoy the gardens and terrace while having a beer or two and reflecting with your new friends about the great adventure you just shared.

  River Grade Excitement Frequency Wilderness & Isolation Wild Life Spotting Physical Challenge
High Water
Low Water



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Approximate Itinerary for Our Pacuare 1 Day Trip

6:00 – 6:30 am: Pick- Ups in San José and Southern Caribbean Coast. In Arenal Pick-Ups start earlier, approximately  5:20 – 5:40 a.m.

6:30 – 8:15 am: In route to “Exploration Center” (Siquirres)

8:15 – 9:00 am: Breakfast at “Exploration Center”

9:00 – 9:30 am: In route “Exploration Center” – River Access

9:30 – 10:15 am: Preparation for the Descent (safety orientation, paddle practice)

10:15 – 1:15 pm: River Descent

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm:  Return to our “Exploration Center” with time to shower, change and enjoy the lunch.

2:30 pm: Departure to San José, Arenal or the Caribbean Coast

Note: Pick Ups in Cahuíta would be at 6:30 am

Get a Promotion Code by driving yourself there

For us at Exploradores Outdoors excellence in our service is key. Therefore we strive to offer you meal combining quality, quantity, cleanliness and good presentation.

River Menu Pacuare I day

Breakfast: Breakfast takes place in our Exploration Center located at the Rio Pacuare. It includes:

  • Fruits salad (Banana, watermelon, pineapple and papaya)
  • Yogurt
  • Granola
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Gallo Pinto
  • Toast, butter and jelly
  • Sour cream
  • Hot drinks: coffee, tea and milk
  • Fruit juice

Lunch: Our lunch is buffet style in one of the beautiful beaches in the river. The boats turn in tables and our guides in chefs. Table cloths, trays, tweezers and  gloves are some of the utensils we use to prepare the food. Lunch consists on:

  • Hot flour tortillas to prepare wraps
  • Whole wheat bread to prepare sandwiches
  • Fresh green salad with lettuce, heart of palm, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, jalapeños and pimentos
  • Monteverde cheese
  • Chicken ham
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chips and salsa
  • Lemonade or iced tea
  • Pineapple
  • River cheese cake (guava jelly and cream cheese on a biscuit)
  • Refried beans

We have daily departures from San José, the Caribbean Coast and the Arenal Volcano, giving you the choice to start and finish at the place of your convenience. This is an excellent option to be combined with our Tortuguero Expeditions.