Pacuare Lodge and River Rafting Extension

Whitewater, Waterfalls, and Rainforest Adventures


The perfect extension to your adventure in Costa Rica—a stay at Pacuare Lodge, a wonderfully remote eco-hotel set on the banks of the Rio Pacuare, one of Costa Rica’s top whitewater rivers. And what better way to arrive there? By raft, of course! The Rio Pacuare courses through a beautiful granite canyon lined with cascading waterfalls and lush rainforest vegetation. With exhilarating rapids and spectacular scenery, it’s a rollicking ride and offers tons of excitement for the adventurous traveler (not to worry—previous rafting experience is not necessary). Once at the lodge, take your pick of a variety of exciting nature- and cultural-based excursions, from guided birdwatching tours and waterfall hikes to zip lining through the tropical rainforest canopy.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
San José / Rio Pacuare Rafting

After an early morning pickup from your hotel in San José, drive through lush farmlands clinging to volcanic slopes toward the town of Turrialba, with a typical Costa Rican breakfast en route. Once at the put-in on the Pacuare, a rafting orientation, paddle instruction, and safety talk with your river guides set you up for a couple of hours of unbelievable fun. Side creeks cascade into quiet pools of the river while iridescent blue morpho butterflies whirl around you, their wings winking in the sunlight. You’ll paddle, splash and float your way on Class I-III rapids to Pacuare Lodge, where more fun experiences await you. Accommodations are in Garden Suites, which include a private terrace with hammock and sitting area, king size or two full size canopy beds, and en suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers. Dinner and overnight at Pacuare Lodge…BLD
Note: Minimum age for rating to the lodge is 12. Arrival by land (via 4WD vehicle) or helicopter (at additional expense) is also available if you don’t wish to raft. Call us for the details.

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Day 2
Pacuare Lodge

The lodge offers a variety of optional activities, including—but not limited to!—the following (note: minimum age is 12 for most excursions, 9 for easier activities):

  • Early morning guided birdwatching tours (Costa Rica is a birder’s paradise), right on the lodge's grounds. Enjoy a cup of coffee before you head out, then return to the lodge for breakfast afterwards.
  • A variety of hikes, from the challenging “Ancient Trail and Hidden Waterfall Hike” (6-7 hours) and a hike to visit a clan of the indigenous Cabécar people (4-5 hours) to an easy loop hike (1.5 hours) that ends with a refreshing splash in a local waterfall.
  • Most of the action in the rainforest is up in the treetops! Experience it all with a zip line offering dramatic views, exotic birdlife, rappelling down trees, and sliding on cables from tree to tree (2 hours).
  • Feeling fit and adventurous? Try canyoning, combining rock climbing, rappelling a rock face, descending a waterfall—all in the lush environment of the rainforest (2.5 hours).
  • Or just take it easy—relax at the lodge’s infinity pool, indulge in a soothing spa treatment, enjoy a meal in El Nido (“The Nest:—a platform set high in the branches of a ceiba tree).
Overnight at Pacuare Lodge…BLD

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Day 3
Return to San José

Once again, board rafts and head through the Pacuare’s Class III-IV rapids to the town of Siquirres (this is a more challenging part of the river). You can return to San José by vehicle if you do not choose to raft this harder section, arriving at your hotel around 6:00 pm. End of services…BL


Length: 3 days
Cost From: $1465  
Arrive: San José, Costa Rica
Depart: San José, Costa Rica
Lodging: 2 nights rainforest lodge
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Wildlife and Natural History, Hiking / Trekking, Birding
Trip Level:

Optional whitewater rafting, hiking, cultural explorations