Become immersed in Costa Rica's natural wilds, rafting, kayaking and rafting

Quench your wanderlust while sating an appetite for adventure on this active trip through one of the world's greenest countries. Paddle down the Pacuare River by raft for a night in a rainforest eco lodge. Snorkel in the company of turtles, barracuda and reef sharks in Cahuita National Park. Cycle along the Caribbean coastline to the mellow beach refuge of Puerto Viejo and paddle through the waterways of Tortuguero National Park in search of monkeys, toucans and jaguars. Costa Rica is a country where adventure-seekers thrive.


Start
San Jose, Costa Rica
Finish
San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination
Costa Rica
Style
Original
Theme
Active Adventures
Code
QVXAC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • The Pacuare River has been rated as one of the ten top best rivers around the world; not only for its rapids, but also its pristine rainforest surrounds and waterfalls

  • Cahuita National Park is home to monkeys, reptiles, toucans and macaws, while its waters contain turtles, barracudas, sea urchins and more than 125 species of fish

  • Hop into kayaks and paddle through the waterways of Tortuguero National Park in search of monkeys, sloths, caiman, jaguars, lizards, bats and a gamut of birdlife

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is an active trip - a reasonable level of fitness is required.

Itinerary

Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a bustling city with lively markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. A good place to start exploring is the main plaza, a fantastic place to get comfy and do some people watching. Artisan booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. Have a look at the Gold Museum which has an amazing collection of indigenous gold art. If these cultural gems get you in the mood for a bit of shopping head to the out door market in Plaza de la Cultura or the Central Market where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • San Jose - The Art of Craft Beer in San Jose - Urban Adventures - USD68
  • San Jose - San Jose by Night - Urban Adventures - USD74
  • San Jose - Costa Rica Pura Vida Experience - Urban Adventures - USD63
  • San Jose - San Jose Bites and Sights Tour - Urban Adventures - USD33
  • San Jose - Gold Museum - USD11
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Transfer to Pacuare River. From here you'll hit the rapids of the Pacuare River by raft all the way to your rainforest lodge. The next two days involve some incredible white water rafting down the Pacuare River. This river has been rated as one of the ten top best rivers around the world; not only for its rapids, but also its pristine rainforest surrounds and waterfalls. On arrival at tonight's eco-lodge accommodation you'll have time to either chill out or take a self-guided walk along garden trails.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pacuare - 2hr. Pacuare River white water rafting - Class 3
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Hit the river again as you leave the lodge by raft for more unforgettable white water, and maybe some wildelife-spotting along the way. You'll ride the Class 3 and four rapids for around 2 hours, or 14 kilometres. Afterwards, travel by local bus (approximately 1.5 hours) to Puerto Viejo for a taste of Caribbean seaside: reggae bars and palm-fringed beaches.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pacuare - 2hr. Pacuare River white water rafting - Class 3 & 4
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Visit Cahuita National Park, a protected area that encompasses both rainforest and 600 acres of coral reef. One of the first national parks to have been established in Costa Rica, these days Cahuita is managed by members of its nearby local community. Monkeys, reptiles, toucans and macaws can often be spotted in the park's jungle, while its waters are home to turtles, barracudas, sea urchins and more than 125 species of fish. See which critters you can spy during a this 2.5-hour tour that goes to two different parts of the park and factors in some time for surfing. Learn some basic pointers to ride a wave, or if you've done this before, grab a board and hang ten! 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cahuita - Beginner surf lesson or Independent surfboard rental
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Transfer back to Limon and travel by boat to Tortuguero National Park, one of the best places in Costa Rica for spotting wildlife (approximately 3-4 hours depending on the water level).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Accessible only by plane or boat, Tortuguero National Park is regarded as one of the best places in Costa Rica for spotting wildlife. With this in mind, hop into kayaks and set out on a two-hour journey through the park's canals in search of monkeys, sloths, caiman, jaguars, lizards, bats and a gamut of birdlife. Along the way, learn from a local tour leader about how the jungle's islets, lagoons, wetlands and palm forests functions as an ecosystem.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tortuguero - Canals kayak trip
  • Tortuguero - National Park (Entrance Fee)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by boat to La Pavona (1.5-2 hours depending on water level) and continue by road to San Jose (approximately 3.5 hours). Perhaps head out for a final group dinner and become acquainted with the city's buzzing nigh scene.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day for you to explore San Jose.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Before 9 am, transfer to your lodge near San Gerardo do Dota (approx 2.5 hours). You will make short stop on the way to purchase last-minute suppliers and some snacks for the hikes ahead. There will also be a lunch stop before reaching the accommodation for an afternoon check-in. Huddled up against the Talamanca Mountain is San Gerardo de Dota, a haven for birdwatchers, hikers, and fishing enthusiasts. Perhaps join your leader for a short afternoon stroll or enjoy free time before regrouping for dinner (optional) and a briefing about the hike. In the evening take the time to pack a smaller, lighter bag with only the essentials you require. Your main luggage will be transported to Uvita with access to it on the evening on Day 7.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
We recommend that your backpack should only hold the essentials required for 4 days of hiking and weigh no more than 7 Kg. Among other essentials, we suggest you take a rain jacket, quick-dry clothing, water bottle, hiking boots &/or shoes suitable for river crossings, swimwear, sunblock, insect repellent, a dry bag, flashlight, hat, microfiber towel, extra socks, thermos &/or a warm jacket for evenings. You should also carry a copy of your passport and a small amount of money. 
Leave your main luggage at reception, ready for a 6-7 am departure. Set off on a four-day trek to the Pacific Coast. Guided mainly by the shores of the Savegre River, trek through cloud forests and lowland rainforests, looking out for Quetzals on the way (Approximately 14 kms or 6 hours trekking) to a big wooden house, your accommodation for this evening. You will pass through cattle farms and forest with multiple descends and ascends (Elevation change: 2000 MASL and ends 1600 MASL). This is an area few people know about so make the most of the beautifully remote area and the chance to swim in nearby waterfalls. This is the perfect chance to experience authentic Costa Rican rural life, as well be surrounded by the country's rich natural environment. Enjoy your afternoon rest before dinner at 7 pm. 
Accommodation
  • Multishare Cabin (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Savegre - Savegre crossing 4-day hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
This cabin has electricity in all rooms for charging devices, however hot water is not always available, so we suggest you shower earlier rather than later.
Day two is the most challenging day, where you will hike a total of 16km, taking approximately 7-8 hours (Elevation change: start 1600 MASL and ends 700 MASL). Starting at 6 am, you will ascend for the first couple of hours through fields and by open road until you will reach 2200 metres and be treated to spectacular views. For the second part, you will mainly descend through the forest. This part of the trail can be very challenging if there is rain as the track can become very muddy and slippery. Once you reach the cabin, apply insect repellent to enjoy the afternoon, before dinner at 7 pm. This evening you will hopefully get to try some heart of palm for dinner, a local specialty.
Accommodation
  • Multishare Cabin (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
This cabin is powered by solar panels so there is only one power point available for use by the entire group. There is no hot water for showers today. The group will usually be split into rooms according to gender (depending on group size and make-up). 
On day three you will cover approximately 14km, trekking for approximately 6 hours (Elevation change: starting at 700 MASL ending at 840 MASL). Intitally the trek will be relatively flat along open trails before an extended lunch stop with a chance see the Savegre River from a different angle; go for a swim in the cleanest river in Costa Rica and one of the cleanest rivers in the world! Tackle a 4km climb before arriving to the cabin. If you still have energy, perhaps take the trail nearby to the cabin to search for an array of different frog species, returning in time for a 7 pm dinner. 
Accommodation
  • Multishare Cabin (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
This cabin is powered by solar panels so there is only one power point available for use by the entire group in the kitchen. There is no hot water for showers today and candles are used in the bedrooms for light. 
On the second last day, trek 16 km (approximately 7 hours) to Albergue Los Campesinos (Elevation change: start at 840 MASL to 200 MASL). Starting early (approximately 6:30 am) with a steep climb, expect varied undulation today. Aim to reach the cabin by lunch time and be rewarded by getting the chance to swim in one of the nearby waterfalls or enjoying the hanging bridge in the afternoon. Dinner is at 7 pm. 
Accommodation
  • Multishare Cabin (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
This cabin has electricity in all rooms for charging devices, and hot water is hopefully available.
This is a day to really get the heart pumping. Your local expert guides will keep you safe and ensure that you have a wonderful time. After breakfast, at 8 am walk to the start point of the Canyoneering trip. Gear up and get ready for a day full of adventure. Take a short hike to your first rappel, which will be down a dry rock face into a canyon, followed by a rappel down a free fall from the cable to a tranquil pond. From here, continue to a further three rappelling opportunities taking a total of approximately 2 hours. Lunch will be served back at the cabin around 11 am. Gather all your items and board 4x4 vehicles, travelling about 45 minutes. At 1 pm hop in a raft to ride down the Rio Naranjo for 2 hours. The river drops down from the mountains and flows through tight rocky canyons that boast world class rapids (Depending on the water level, they are classed as 3 or 4). Finally, drive 1.5 hours to Uvita where you will be reunited with your main luggage and have a free evening.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Savegre - Rio Naranjo rafting
  • Savegre - Rappeling
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
At 9 am, travel 2 hours by private vehicle, before boarding a shared boat at 11:30 am to Drake Bay (45 minutes). For 30 years this paradise was conserved by a Costa Rican family before being handed over to the Costa Rican government. Getting to wildlife-rich reserve is part of the adventure. Enjoy the beach on arrival and spend the night at a lodge in the middle of the amazing Corcovado National Park.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Drake Bay - 2 night stay at Punta Río Claro National Wildlife Refuge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy the second largest National Park in Costa Rica. It is one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth, with 13 different ecosystems in its boundaries – highland cloud forests, lagoons, mangrove swamps and marine habitats just a few.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Corcovado - Sirena Station Hike - USD90
  • Corcovado - San Pedrillo Station Hike - USD80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take the boat at 7:30 am and hit the road towards San Jose (approximately 5 hours total), with a visit to the stunning Carara National Park on the way. The protected area is 4700 hectares including regenerating tropical rainforest-lowland and tropical dry forest. Check-in to your hotel in San Jose and decide a time to regroup for your farewell dinner (optional).  
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Carara National Park - Entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This trip comes to an end after breakfast today. Please note you are required to comply with any internal check out rules and times set by the hotel.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

17 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Shared vehicle, Shared boat. Raft

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights), Multishare Cabin (4 nights), Lodge (5 nights)

Included activities

  • Pacuare - 2hr. Pacuare River white water rafting - Class 3
  • Pacuare - 2hr. Pacuare River white water rafting - Class 3 & 4
  • Cahuita - Beginner surf lesson or Independent surfboard rental
  • Tortuguero - Canals kayak trip
  • Tortuguero - National Park (Entrance Fee)
  • Savegre - Savegre crossing 4-day hike
  • Savegre - Rio Naranjo rafting
  • Savegre - Rappeling
  • Drake Bay - 2 night stay at Punta Río Claro National Wildlife Refuge
  • Carara National Park - Entrance

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2.To have a private room on this trip, a single supplement is bookable (subject to availability) with exception of Days 10-13 (Savegre River Trek) where you would be in shared accommodation.
3. To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures. Your leader and the composition of your group may change with the start of each adventure.
4. Please be careful when booking flights to/from San Jose; make sure you fly into/out of Juan Santamaría International Airport [SJO]. Please do NOT book flights to/from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport [SJC] as this is located in California, United States.
5. Hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.

Essential trip information

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