Rafting the Pacuare River AND Rios Lodge
Raft INto the Heart of the Pacuare Rainforest
Cross the threshold to a paradise found in a remote part of the rainforest. The river trip to Rios Lodge is the perfect introduction to the wild, untouched beauty you’ll discover and enjoy during your entire stay.
You’ll see why people travel from across the globe to raft the Pacuare in the first moments of the trip. On your way to the eco lodge, you’ll raft past blue-green water, romantic waterfalls, staggering rock faces, and lush green foliage.
With several exhilarating moments of rapids and calm moments to take in the views, it offers the perfect balance for adventurers ready to take in the rainforest in its most raw and pure form.
What You Need to Know
Food and Dining FAQ
Tackle the river confidently with these helpful tips!
Preparing to Raft the Pacuare
What to Wear While Rafting the Pacuare River
The River will definitely jump up to say hello – so we highly recommend wearing light clothing that you don’t mind getting wet! While the water and air temps are often warm, the dense foliage shades the river from the sun. If you get cold easily, bring a waterproof layer!
What To Bring for Rafting the Pacuare?
The Rios Lodge team will handle transporting your bigger bags to the lodge, but we recommend you bring a small waterproof bag with a carabiner to clip to the raft with some essentials. Bring along sunscreen, an extra layer, a waterproof phone or camera and bug spray!
See our complete packing list for the Pacuare river rafting and the lodge here.
No, not directly. Rios Lodge doesn’t own a rafting outfitter or directly operate rafting trips on the Pacuare River or elsewhere in Costa Rica. Our preferred rafting partner is Whitewater Excitement, thanks to their incredible experience of 40+ years on the river. The owners of Whitewater Excitement were long-time head guides and trip leaders for the former award-winning adventure company Rios Tropicales during its three decades of operations. Rios Lodge is the new name for the former Rios Tropicales Lodge that Rafael Gallo co-founded. We work closely with the Gallo-Jimenez family in rainforest conservation in the Pacuare watershed. Learn about the Rios Lodge and Rios Tropicales relationship here.
There are dozens of rapids with names that you can encounter on this river! Most of these larger rapids are on the more rowdy second section of the river. The most popular and memorable rapids on the Pacuare are the following:
Pele el Ojo – Class III: This is the biggest rapid in the first section of the river!
Rodeo – Class III: Second section of the river.
Double Drop – Class III-IV: Second section of the river.
Upper Huacas – Class III-IV: Second section of the river.
Lower Huacas – Class IV: Second section of the river. This is considered the best rapid on the second section of the river!
Cimarrona – Class III: Second section of the river.
Dos Montañas – Class IV: Second section of the river.
From Tres Equis (the put-in of the first section) to Siquirres (the takeout for the second section) it is 26.25 km or 16.3 miles.
Yes! It’s a famous river for whitewater paddlers, including kayakers and canoeists. Rios Lodge can help experienced paddlers rent gear in order to paddle the river to and from the lodge for an amazing white water and rainforest eco lodge vacation. Contact us if this is you!
History of Pacuare River Rafting
The Pacuare River is a stunning river that runs for 80.2 miles from the high mountains of cloud forests down to the Caribbean Sea. While the first known kayaking run was achieved in 1980 by a group of Polish travelers, Rios Tropicales (the company that founded our lodge under its previous name!) was one of the first companies to run commercial raft trips as transportation to our eco lodge.
Over the following decades, Rios Tropicales became dedicated protectors of and experts in the Pacuare River, participating in protests to protect the purity of the river to writing a book about rafting the Pacuare that is still a resource for the river today.
Since then, Pacuare River Rafting has exploded in popularity, being coined a “Top 10 Scenic Rivers in the World” by National Geographic and widely considered the best river to ride in Costa Rica.