There were so many amazing things to do in La Fortuna, but one of my absolute favorite activities was to get out on the water and go rafting in Costa Rica. Daniel and I had been before in Bali, but this was a lot more intense when you’re experiencing it with the Pura Vida attitude. If you’re planning on adding river rafting in Costa Rica to your list of things to do, here’s everything you need to know. Everything you need to know about rafting in Costa Rica This guide will cover the information you need to have an amazing time rafting throughout Costa Rica. Where is the best place to go rafting in Costa Rica? Honestly, there is no absolute best place to hit the water–every spot has its own benefits and difficulty levels, so much of it will be up to you and your Costa Rica itinerary that you have planned. We went in La Fortuna, where there are a number of rafting companies available, and we had a blast. It all comes down to how much of a thrill you want and what you have planned for Costa Rica white water rafting. Grades of difficulty for whitewater rafting in Costa Rica One of the great things about exploring Costa Rica by water is that you have a number of ways to do it. Rapids are divided into classes and you can make a choice in how intense you want your trip down river to be based on…
Home Travel Costa Rica Rafting in Costa Rica: The Ultimate Guide | Alex on the Map | Travel

Rafting in Costa Rica: The Ultimate Guide | Alex on the Map | Travel

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Rafting in Costa Rica: The Ultimate Guide | Alex on the Map | Travel

There were so many amazing things to do in La Fortuna, but one of my absolute favorite activities was to get out on the water and go rafting in Costa Rica. Daniel and I had been before in Bali, but this was a lot more intense when you’re experiencing it with the Pura Vida attitude. If you’re planning on adding river rafting in Costa Rica to your list of things to do, here’s everything you need to know.

Everything you need to know about rafting in Costa Rica

This guide will cover the information you need to have an amazing time rafting throughout Costa Rica.

Where is the best place to go rafting in Costa Rica?

Honestly, there is no absolute best place to hit the water–every spot has its own benefits and difficulty levels, so much of it will be up to you and your Costa Rica itinerary that you have planned. We went in La Fortuna, where there are a number of rafting companies available, and we had a blast. It all comes down to how much of a thrill you want and what you have planned for Costa Rica white water rafting.

Rafting in Costa Rica: The Ultimate Guide | Alex on the Map | TravelGrades of difficulty for whitewater rafting in Costa Rica

One of the great things about exploring Costa Rica by water is that you have a number of ways to do it. Rapids are divided into classes and you can make a choice in how intense you want your trip down river to be based on the level of difficulty offered. There are six classes of rapids in Costa Rica, so you have the option of a leisurely float down the river or professional-grade rapids.

Most tour companies lead tours from Class II to Class IV, which is typically more than enough for most tourists! We opted for the Class IV option and Daniel and a few members of our group fell out a few times. For children, Class II should be perfect.

Best rivers for rafting in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a number of different rivers that are perfect for white water rafting, and which one you choose will depend on the tour you take and how many rapids you want to take on. Here are a few of the rivers you are most likely to head down when you’re looking for the best rafting in Costa Rica:

How much does it cost to go white water rafting in Costa Rica?

Prices for tours can vary depending on where you are, which river you’re rafting, and the difficulty level. If you’re combining tours like horseback riding in Costa Rica along with white water rafting, it can also nearly double in price.

For the most part, you can find an affordable tour for around $60 USD per person. Of course, Costa Rica is more expensive than some of the other surrounding countries, but you also have a higher standard of safety that you are unlikely to find in countries like Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Booking online can be convenient (which is why I have included links to different tours), but you might save some money by going and booking at a company in person. Since they might need to fill some last-minute slots and if you’re flexible, you might be able to get a discount.

Keep in mind that if you want photos of your adventure, there is typically an additional cost of around $30 USD depending on the company. Daniel and I split the cost with the rest of the group and shared the photos with each other, so it ended up being half and the photos themselves are pretty priceless.

Choosing a tour company for white water rafting

It can be pretty overwhelming trying to find the right company for white water rafting Costa Rica. There are so many options, and knowing which one to book might seem like a challenge. The good thing is that most all of them are priced similarly, and you get pretty much the same experience no matter what.

We loved Wave Expeditions, and they were great to work with. Their main location is in La Fortuna, so if you are looking to raft near Manuel Antonio or San Jose, then you’ll want to find another company.

My one recommendation is to splurge a little on the tour. Not only is it likely to be a bit safer, but you also usually get lunch and more professional leaders.

Many of these companies also offer full packages which include accommodations, additional tours like rappelling, hiking, tours of national parks, and more. It all comes down to how much you want to plan yourself!

 

Safety tips for white water rafting

You are taking a risk when you decide to go rafting in Costa Rica, and you will have to sign a waiver. It is an adventure activity and you might experience some bumps and bruises if you fall out of the raft (which is a common occurrence). However, there are some ways that you can prepare yourself–which makes rafting that much more fun!

  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt to avoid sunburn
  • Use proper waterproof footwear–no flip-flops if possible!
  • Keep valuables on the bus
  • Always listen to the guide
  • Wear sunscreen, but avoid using it on your legs since you’re more likely to slip off the raft

Have you ever gone whitewater rafting in Costa Rica? Where did you go?

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