Costa Rica: Pacuare River

Select Experience Tour, Costa Rica: Pacuare RiverSelect Experience Tour, Costa Rica: Pacuare River

Costa Rica

Pacuare River


Plunge into a multi-active adventure—exploring an area of unsurpassed natural beauty—on a journey that begins with a whitewater run on class III-IV rapids! Gaze from rainforest treetops and discover indigenous cultures, try horseback riding, or spot tropical birds and butterflies. Fully unwind in an exemplary jungle ecolodge, complete with spa and gourmet dining by candlelight.


Activity Level
Activities vary and
are accessible to
most fitness levels;
see full itinerary
San José, Costa Rica
San José, Costa Rica
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3 days, 2 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Meals: three breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners
  • Accommodations in an eco-lodge (river suite)
  • Two whitewater rafting excursions into (and out of ) the Pacuare Lodge with expert rafting guide
  • Small-group rainforest canopy tour (2 hours) with expert local guide
  • Small-group walk to visit with Cabecar Indians (5 hours) with expert local guide
  • Private transfer from San José to the river put-in for rafting excursion
  • Small group transfer from the river take-out (after rafting excursion) to San José
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the Country Walkers staff
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Surcharges may apply for solo travelers as well as for trips during New Year’s, Christmas, or national holidays.


Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.



Itinerary and Accommodations

Pacuare River
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Pacuare River
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Pacuare River
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Day 1

Pacuare River

Arrival in San José; Transfer to Pacuare; guided rafting excursion. Tree-top canopy adventure; 2 hours, easy to moderate

Your active adventure in Costa Rica begins with your pickup in San José and approximate 2½-hour transfer by van to the Pacuare River (with a stop en route for a Costa Rican-style breakfast), for the next step of the journey by river on a class III-IV whitewater rafting ride. Officially declared a “Wild and Scenic River,” the Pacuare is one of Latin America’s finest whitewater rivers, and winds through the heart of crucial primordial rainforest. Located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean slope, the Pacuare River lies beneath the biologically rich Talamanca mountain range, home to the Cabecar Indians. Once at the river, your professional river guides provide a safety briefing before you set out on the excursion through luxuriant gorges and past rushing waterfalls, serene pools, and rapids, as the conditions alternate between stretches of thrilling rapids and calm waters. After running fun rapids like Pele el Ojo, you reach the river take-out point, from where a short transfer brings you to your welcoming eco-lodge.

After lunch and some time to settle in to your riverview room, you may choose to embark on a two-hour canopy tour, a unique experience of rising to the treetops on a series of platforms, walkways, and cables, where you gain access to dramatic vistas above the tropical rainforest. With a thorough safety orientation and equipment fitting, you walk about 20 minutes on a trail through your lodge’s private reserve to the canopy tour starting point; here you ascend to the sensitive forest canopy ecosystem, secured safely in a harness. Proceeding from platform to platform, you emerge just steps away from the lodge. You can unwind in your room before enjoying a gourmet candlelit dinner.

Pacuare Lodge

Pacuare River, Costa Rica

An award-winning eco-lodge that blends comfort and exemplary sustainable practices, located in 740 acres of protected rainforest, with spacious and well-appointed suites or bungalows, private pools, a spa, and gourmet dining.

Day 2

Pacuare River

Cabecar Indian visit; 4-5 hours, moderate to challenging or treetop canopy tour (see Day 1 for description)

Today you have the rare opportunity to visit a small community of Cabecar Indians, the largest indigenous group in Costa Rica, who maintain many of their traditional customs and beliefs. In their ancestral home of the Talamanca Mountains, the Cabecar live in small family units scattered throughout this remote region. After walking along the Cabecar’s centuries-old trails through the rainforest, you are greeted by the clan’s “Zutkia” or shaman, who in this culture acts as priest, magician, and healer. Little accustomed to contact with the outside world, the Cabecar can be shy and prefer not to be photographed. Your local guide provides cultural instruction and acts as interpreter in Spanish with the Zutkia. A portion of your tour payment goes directly to the Cabecar community to be used in sustainable projects.

Alternatively, you may choose to embark on the treetop canopy tour today, and later fully relax at your lodge, enjoying its amenities and tranquil location before concluding the day with another delicious dinner of fresh local cuisine.

Pacuare Lodge

Pacuare River, Costa Rica

An award-winning eco-lodge that blends comfort and exemplary sustainable practices, located in 740 acres of protected rainforest, with spacious and well-appointed suites or bungalows, private pools, a spa, and gourmet dining.

Day 3

Pacuare River

Morning rafting adventure (class III/IV rapids); transfer to San José for departure

This morning, awakening again to a chorus of bird song and an enticing breakfast and coffee, you depart the lodge the same way you arrived—by river. The portion of river you run today is also a thrilling combination of class III and IV rapids, including the Upper and Lower Huacas, Cimarron, and Dos Montanas rapids, slicing through spectacular scenery. You may be tempted at one stop at a waterfall and pool to plunge in via a natural waterslide. Finishing up the excursion with a well-deserved picnic at the water’s edge, you have the opportunity to change into dry clothes at a private facility before transferring back to San José for onward travels.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

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