Make A Splash With These Top Whitewater Costa Rica Day Tours

When it comes to attractions, Costa Rica has a lot to offer. Home to a variety of wildlife, thanks to its several ecosystems: toucans, frogs, iguanas, monkeys, it also provides tourists with an array of activities such as surfing, river rafting, and zip lining to name a few.

However, taking one of the many whitewater Costa Rica day tours is recommended.

In this article, we'll share with you why Costa Rica is one of the best countries to tour and which whitewater Costa Rica day tours to try out!

(Plus, as a bonus, the different levels of whitewater rafting and the difference between taking a whitewater tour during low season versus high season.)

Costa Rica Day Tours - Whitewater

Why Costa Rica Makes a Great Tourist Destination

Costa Rica, one of the most democratic and stable governments in Central America, has a population of nearly 5 million people. Or "Ticos," as the locals proudly call themselves.

Known for its relaxed atmosphere, Ticos normally use the phrase "Pura Vida" (Spanish for "pure life") as a way to show appreciation. And say that everything is ok.

Costa Rica borders Nicaragua to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Panama to the southeast, and the Caribbean Sea to the northeast.

One-third of Costa Rica's land is covered by evergreen forest, which has mahogany and tropical cedar trees.

Long story short, Costa Rica's terrain and laid back lifestyle offer tourists an unforgettable experience!

Different Levels of Whitewater Rafting

According to the American Whitewater Saftey Code, here are the different types of rapids tourists may encounter, depending on their destination.

Level One

Most tourists will be able to do level one rapids. While fast moving, they're very predictable with only small waves to worry about.

Level Two

Considered as Novice, level two rapids will require tourists to make some maneuvers to get around medium-sized waves. However, the rapids, for the most part, are fairly straightforward.

Level Three

Level Three rapids are considered to be intermediate. Tourists going down these waters may have to do complex maneuvering around fast currents since waves may not be regular.

Level Four

Termed Advance, level four rapids are powerful and can be intense. However, they're still predictable. These waves are large and cannot be avoided.

Level Five

Level five rapids are not for the inexperienced tourist. They are extreme, violent waves which put the paddler at risk for injury. Tourists should be very experienced and know what they're getting into before going on a level five rapid.

Level Six

Considered extreme and exploratory, this is for the experienced, professional paddler who wants to test out the waters.

This level is extreme, difficult, and unpredictable, which makes it very dangerous; some paddlers may not be able to be rescued.

Again, tourists who explore this level should be a professional with considerable experience.

Types of Whitewater Costa Rica Day Tours to Try

Below is a list of some of the best whitewater Costa Rica day tours you should look into.

Pacuare River

The Pacuare River is considered one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. Since Costa Rica has a variety of wildlife, tourists can go down these waters to see some animals and plant life in their own natural habitat.

In fact, tourists have raved about the beautiful scenery.

Rapids can be around level three and four. However, they may be lower if you go during the low season when the river is more dried up.

Some tourists even go on this whitewater day tour down the Pacuare River to get from Puerto Viejo to San Jose, Costa Rica's capital. Which makes for a more exciting experience than your typical road trip.

Normally, buses pick you up in the morning around 5-6 in the morning. Breakfast and lunch are included on this trip. Prepare for a fun day, as tours typically last for twelve or more hours.

Savegre River

Like whitewater rafting the Pacuare River, the Savegre River also has level three and four rapids.

This is a great day tour for whitewater newbies who want to try whitewater rafting for the first time. It also has enough waves for veterans to enjoy a great ride.

Also, the river is close to Uvita, a small village in Costa Rica in the southern region, which offers white sand beaches and sea turtle sightings.

Arenal Volcano National Park

Why not consider whitewater Costa Rica day tours in the Arenal Volcano National Park?

See Arenal, Costa Rica's youngest stratovolcano. Depending on the rapids, tourists may get to get out of the rafts and swim for some parts of the trip.

The river is beautiful and you're submerged in wildlife.

Low Season versus High Season

When looking into whitewater Costa Rica day tours, it's important to consider what time you're planning on booking the tour. You need to factor in low season and high season.

Generally, the low season for whitewater rafting will be when much of the water has dried up. The waves aren't as intense. The rapid level may, in fact, drop one or two levels.

During the high season, typically the water that had dried up during the low season has been replenished. The rapid level is back up. Waves are more intense. Maneuvering may be needed.

Remember, it's a good idea to ask the whitewater company about the low season and high season for that destination, and what they recommend.

As, depending on the age and experience of tourists, the low season may be preferable over the high season, and vice versa.

Final Thoughts

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with many activities for tourists to explore--whitewater rafting being on top of the list.

Being that it has a stable and democratic government, it is a safe country. Some of the top whitewater Costa Rica day tours include rafting on the Pacuare and Savegre Rivers, and in the Arenal Volcano National Park.

What other day tours do you recommend in Costa Rica? Have questions or concerns about safety? Want whitewater rapid advice? Feel free to contact us with any question or comment that you might have!

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