Activities to up your adventure


Go big on adventure, or chill on the lounge deck watching toucans fly across the river. At Rios Lodge you can have it all, on your schedule. Vacations are a chance for adventure, rejuvenation, and relaxation. Our guided adventure activities all start at the lodge, and most of them are included as part of your lodge stay for guests booking directly with Rios Lodge, on our website or contact our Reservations Office. From an hour-long zipline canopy experience, to lovely waterfall hikes to tubing and horseback riding – get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant Costa Rican rainforest. Want to relax in a natural spa waterfall pool? Check out our Lodge Amenities for two soaking pools only steps away. Do you have a group or special event or request? Visit our groups page – we offer custom activities for groups large and small. Or contact us directly.

Conservation is the reason why Rios Lodge exists. You are making a difference on your vacation by coming to Rios Lodge. Your stay supports our decades-long reforestation programs of secondary rainforest, ongoing scientific studies like our wildlife corridor and biodiversity mapping and protection for the Great Green Macaw, Jaguars, and Ocelots, and our community and international student education programs. These all take place within our 2000 acre private reserve. The longer you stay at Rios Lodge, the more you can experience what makes this part of the world so magical!

Important note, Rios Lodge guests are discouraged from hiking alone. Guests are allowed to walk to the waterfall across the suspension bridge to the left, to La Piscina overlooking the pacuare River – (base of creek waterfall / tubing pool), or to Matsu Creek above Cabin Room 12 – the Creekside Family Suite.

Guided activities that take place at the lodge can be selected and added to your experience daily, when you have arrived at the lodge, subject to availability. The guided activities that take place away from the lodge require additional advance reservations. Please add them at the time of booking online or via your travel agent, subject to availability. Most of our activities have a 10 person maximum to ensure a high quality experience. Enjoy insider tips and insights from your expert guides, you’ll be amazed what you learn!

Available Guided Activities INcluded for guests

These Guided Activities are included for all reservations booked directly through our Reservations office or here on

Rafters rafting down the Pacuare River in Costa Rica

PACUARE RAFTING (to/from lodge)

Our award winning Lodge sits at the midpoint of the world famous Pacuare white water rafting experience. Raft the easy going upper section to the lodge in the morning, stay for 1 or more nights, and then raft out through the thrilling Pacuare Gorge. Book rafting through our Lodge Stay Packages.

Note: Families with kids under 12 or guests who are not keen to raft the lower, more intense Pacuare Gorge section, can raft into the lodge and hike out of the lodge. No problem! Simply select those options when you book your lodge stay online. 

Hikers enjoying the trails at the Rios Lodge in Costa Rica

Hiking (to/from lodge)

Hikers shuttled to the Pacuare River cable car crossing to start your hike to the Rios Lodge on the Pacuare River Trail.   You will be traveling  on the Pacuare River Trail headed downstream. The  1.5 km (0.9 miles) trail is rolling and is a 30-45 minute moderate hike along the river, depending on how many stops you make to take pictures and your mobility level. You will rejoin with the rafters and all have lunch at the lodge together in the early afternoon.

Hiking out of the lodge is along the same trail to the cable car crossing over the river. A shuttle will take you to Siquirres to get all your luggage that went out on rafts from the lodge, and get transportation back to San Jose.

Note: Guests can choose to hike in and out, or raft in and hike out. Families with kids under 12, or guests who are not keen to raft the more challenging lower Pacuare Gorge section, can raft into the lodge and hike out of the lodge. Book hiking, or rafting/hiking combos through our Lodge Stay Packages.

Guest on a canopy tour with Rios Lodge zipping over the Pacuare River

Zipline Canopy Tour

Our zipline canopy tour will be one of the highlights of your trips to the lodge. Our eight-zipline course crosses the Pacuare River, where you get breathtaking views of the rainforest, the Pacuare River Gorge, and the lodge.

Featured in USA Today’s Outdoors Wire as one of the best zipline courses in the world!

Hummingbird Morning Garden hike

Take a light walk around the hotel gardens with an expert guide learning about all the tropical plants, insects, birds, wildlife that can be found in our gardens including different varieties of: Hummingbirds, golden orb spiders, Colobri, blue morpho butterflies, orchids, heliconias, birds of paradise, and other tropical species.

visit costa rican waterfall pools

Matsu Creek hike (Waterslide creek Hike)

This amazing creek walk is a wet experience which is a great way to stay cool in the tropical rainforest. We start at the base of several smaller cascades, and slowly work up the creek bed past ledges, jacuzzi pools, and waterfalls. The pristine clear waters of the creek create natural swimming pools along the way at the base of every one of the countless waterfalls you pass along during this 2-3 hour experience.

Loop Hike (Long option vs Short option)

This walking trek goes up Matsu Creek and into the primary rainforest. Enjoy beautiful views of the creek with stunning views of the river along the way. One of our naturalist guides will interpret the tropical flora / fauna along the way.

El Tigre Waterfall Hike

This hike takes you from our lodge upriver 1km to the cable crossing, includes an eco-tram cable crossing (which is a mini adventure in and of itself- crossing the Pacuare River in a metal trolly connected to a cable 10-15 meters above the river), and then another 1km hike to a seldom visited tributary of the Pacuare River with a swimming pool at the base.

Tiger Heron Tubing

This experience starts by walking upriver to the eco tram from Rios Lodge (about 1km) with one of our commercial inner tubes. From there, we launch the inner tubes either at the beach or under the eco-tram to get 1 more rapid, and float back down to Rios Lodge. The class I-II rapids are perfect to float in a tube while learning a little about river hydrology (eddy hopping) and looking up in the trees for tropical birds. This experience takes 2-3 hrs.

Bullet Ant Night Hike

Similar to the garden hike and into the entrance of Matsu creek, this hike is a lot slower and more deliberate. It takes more time to find the night animals, insects, and reptiles that are active at night. This hike increases your chances of seeing uncommon wildlife (frogs, spiders and snakes). Join one of our expert guides to photograph and film all the critters, reptiles and animals that are active at night in the rainforest.

Available Guided Tours at additional cost

Select these additional Guided Tours when you book your lodge stay via our Reservations office or on

Horseback Riding Tour

This all new tour starts with a short hike from Rios Lodge to the Eco-tram cable crossing. Leo and the tractor ride awaits and will take you up the ridge to where the horses await. From there you will mount horses and explore the high ridges & vistas overlooking the Pacuare River drainage. The tour concludes on the 2000 acre private reserve of the Gallo Family and passes the reforestation areas before you dismount at the head of the 20-30 minute rainforest trek down to the lodge. Total experience is about 4 hours.


Our lodge amenities include relaxing at the riverview pavilion in the hammocks, playing board games with friends, or reading a good book, perhaps from our small lodge library. Want to enjoy the natural spa effects of lovely waterfalls and soaking pools close to the lodge? We’ve got that, too!

Hammocks & Yoga Mats

Hammocks are available throughout common areas and private areas near rooms. Yoga mats are available for your practice or simply stretching. Take advantage of various board games and multilingual books at our lodge library, from fiction to Spanish phrase books and Costa Rica naturalist guide books.

Learn about the February 2024 Yoga Retreat: Recharge in the Rainforest

Guests at the Rios Lodge enjoy a hike to a waterfall next to the Pacuare River in Costa Rica

Waterfalls & Swimming Holes

Rios Lodge is located right on the banks of the Pacuare River, at the base of a pretty steep canyon. As a result, there are abundant waterfalls from the canyon ridge that tumble down to the river. Several of these have fantastic swimming holes and places to sit under the waterfall for a natural spa effect. There are two waterfall pools close to the lodge that guests love to hang out in. These are the suspension bridge swimming hole, and the Terciopelo Creek waterfall and swimming hole right off the river view pavilion. Got little ones? They love it too!
A native toucan on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica


You don’t have to be an experienced birdwatcher to revel in the birds of the Pacuare rainforest! Bring your binoculars and hang out on any of the decks and pavilions to watch the many species in our tropical playground. The toucans are abundant and easiest to spot. Take advantage of Costa Rica Bird Books in our lodge library, too!