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Rafting in Costa Rica

Pura Vida

Example 6 Day Tour
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Enjoy incredible wildlife with a 6-day tour focusing on the rainforest activities that put Costa Rica on the map! This tour is designed to see some of the top highlights in a short amount of time. Enjoy a challenging 2-day whitewater rafting trip down the beautiful Pacuare River. Then explore the active Arenal Volcano, the rainforest canopy with a zip line and tram tour, and a soak in the natural hot springs. This is a great getaway experience!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in San Jose
Day 2 : Pacuare River Rafting
Day 3 : Pacuare Rafting | On to Arenal
Day 4 : Rainforest Tram and Canopy
Day 5 : Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs
Day 6 : Return Home

Highlights

  • Raft down the beautiful and challenging Pacuare River
  • Search for howler monkeys, toucans, and sloths in the rain forest canopy
  • Explore the Arenal Volcano area on foot, horseback or bike
  • Hike along the old lava flows and see the unique flora and fauna

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Independent

Activity Level

Easy Active

Trip Snapshots

Rafting in Costa Rica Howler Monkey chilling out in the AOL garden Rafting the Sarapiqui A caimen basking in the sun during a tour in Costa Rica Arenal lava flow seen from Arenal Observatory Lodge Coatimundi in the Arenal Observatory Lodge garden White water rafting on the Pacaure River Traveler zipline tour during Costa Rica trip
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Day 1 Arrive in San Jose

Arrive to San Jose anytime this day and overnight.

Day 2 Pacuare River Rafting

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your adventure begins with an early traditional Costa Rican breakfast, followed by a briefing on safety measures. Then you slash right into your incredible rafting journey. As famous for its spirited waters as it is for its beauty, the Pacuare River doesn't disappoint as you plunge through mountain gorges, run long stretches of powerful rapids and weave your way through a rainforest alive with the sounds of howler monkeys, toucans, sloths and ocelots. Today's rafting trip takes a couple of hours.

​This afternoon transfer to Rios Tropicales Lodge. Choose from a variety of activities to fill your afternoon. Go for a hike to a waterfall in the forest, try the zip line canopy tour (additional cost), play dominoes or cards, or just relax. Rest well tonight - in the morning you tackle the river once again!

Day 3 Pacuare Rafting | On to Arenal

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today continue the rafting adventure - putting yesterday's skills and experience to use. Tame that river yet! After a buffet breakfast, launch the rafts again for the second day of your river expedition. You may stop to explore side streams that lead to striking waterfalls inviting you to jump right in. A delicious lunch of sandwiches, fruits and juice are served along the edge of the river. While the guides prepare the food, rafters have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the spectacular surroundings. After lunch you're picked up and transferred about four hours to Arenal Volcano where you stay at your hotel for the evening.

Day 4 Rainforest Tram and Canopy

Enjoy a leisurely morning. Included today is a tour on a rainforest aerial tram! You are picked up and transferred to the Sky Tram gondolas. Enjoy a slow ride up the mountainside, enjoying amazing views on the way, as well as keeping your eyes out for wildlife. You are accompanied by a bilingual guide who points out flora and fauna in the ecosystem. At the top, enjoy magnificent views of volcanoes and Lake Arenal from the observation deck. You can spend some time exploring the top area before descending down to the base. One option is to ride back down the tram, but the more exciting option we will try is the zipline canopy tour. Enjoy a thrilling ride as you zip on cables running across two mountains all the way to the bottom! Tonight unwind at your hotel.

Day 5 Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs

Enjoy a free morning in the area. You can arrange activities locally through your hotel this morning. Enjoy a horseback ride to nearby La Fortuna Waterfall, go for a mountain biking tour, or just relax at the pool!

This afternoon you will be picked up and visit Costa Rica's celebrated Arenal Volcano, beginning with a 90-minute walk near the volcano. As you move through the forest, watch out for howler monkeys, bright tropical toucans, and listen to the rumbling sounds of the distant volcano. The walk ends with a magnificent view of Arenal, one of the most active volcanoes in the world since its massive eruption in 1968. With a bit of luck, you may see lava plummeting down the mountain's slopes. The tour concludes with a little relaxation in the nearby natural hot springs at dinnertime, as the volcano towers in the distance. After the hotsprings you return to Arenal Manoa hotel for your final evening in Costa Rica.

Day 6 Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Today you are picked up in time to make the three hour drive to the San Jose airport for your flight home.

Or, extend your trip with a visit to Monteverde Cloudforest or Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast!
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Arenal - Hotels

Pacuare River - Hotels

San Jose - Hotels

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Per person starting at
$1,402

Notes

Select a Date

Included

  • 6 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 5 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Park Entrance Fee
  • Hotspring Entrance Fee

Excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Local guides full-day tours: $5-$10 per traveler per day
    Local guides 1/2-day tours: $5 per traveler per day
    River guides: $5 per traveler per day
    Support staff: $2-3 per traveler per day
    Drivers: $5 per traveler per day
    Taxi drivers do not expect tips for their normal services
    Baggage Handlers: $1 per bag
    Hotel hospitality (maid service): $1-$1 per traveler per night
    Restaurants: Most restaurants include in their bill a 10% service charge, as well as a 13% sales tax.  If the service charge has been added, no additional tip is necessary; however, the wait staff is happy if the amount is rounded up. 

    USD and major credit cards are commonly used in Costa Rica, and it is very common to see higher cost items priced in USD. It is recommended to carry cash (NEW $20 bills or smaller ONLY) for taxis and restaurants. Most hotels and restaurants will accept major credit cards, as well.

    Colones are the official Costa Rican currency. It is common to receive change in colones if you pay for something in USD cash. Smaller cost items (sodas, metered taxis, etc.) will commonly be priced in colones.
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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf
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When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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