Pacuare River Rafting
The best whitewater rafting trip in Costa Rica
Spectacular views & amazing rapids
Whitewater rafting that feels out of this world
All of our experiences include Pacuare River rafting
The Pacuare River is hard to put into words. Maybe it’s the continuous whitewater and seemingly non-stop action. Or perhaps the dozens of waterfalls that cascade into the river. Or the beautiful swimming holes that are seemingly everywhere. The rapids are exciting but not over-the-top scary. The scenery is spectacular. It’s an amazing river that it’s worth exploring for both new and experienced rafters.
Why the Pacuare
“ …perhaps the greatest, family-friendly jungle raft trip in the world.”
Paddling Life Magazine
July 23, 2015
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February 3, 2023.
POC is simply the best. I have been whitewater kayaking for almost 30 years and have paddled in a number of countries. The people at Pacuare Outdoor Centre run a top-rate professional operation catering to a wide variety of groups and individuals, and they do it in style. We booked months in advance from our home in Australia. POC communication was easy, fast and demonstrated flexibility and responsiveness to our queries. We knew we had found the right partner organisation. My family of 4 (kids aged 18+20) booked a 1-day canyon descent and 2 days of packrafting. No one else in the region appeared to offer solo packrafts. This was important to us as we prefer the control and skill-building that comes with it. Our private tour with POC was superb. We lodged with Tom and his family at their B&B about 15 minutes outside Turrialba. So much fun. Games of pool. Glorious sunrises looking out over the valley. Our best mattress experience by far in 2 weeks at various Costa Rican destinations. And the best: the dogs. Special mentions to Shaq, Rocky & Fraser. The meals prepared by Maritza were the best local meals we enjoyed on our trip. Gracias Maritza 🙂 The canyon was so much fun: 5 waterfall abseils over about 3 hours. A very local company indeed, Johan and Ariel of Infinity Green Tours were professional, safety focussed and fun. Pura Vida! A mid-canyon fresh fruit snack beside Johan's aunt's house provided energy and a nice break half-way along. Then we were honoured to be invited to Johan's house where his mother had prepared a lovely lunch. Our first day of packrafting was on the Pejibaye River. This was our warm-up day. Our head guide Luis "Luigi" gave us one of the better whitewater briefings I've experienced: comprehensive but not condescending. Then we paddled the lower part of the river, which was fairly continuous class II/II+. This was a great time for the guides to reinforce basic skills. And a bit of surfing. The Kokopelli packrafts proved to be compact, responsive and surprisingly stable. What I liked best was the format of the day. After running the lower part of the river (a bit over an hour), we drove upriver and ran a slightly harder section followed by a re-run of the lower section. This was psychologically important; while the lower seemed intimidating on the first run for my family, it was just easy and fun on the second. It was a great opportunity to re-examine fear in light of very recent experience. POC had recommended running the Lower Pacuare for the next day, spending the night at their on-river lodge and rafting down the grade IV rapids the next day. We explained that we really wanted to packraft individually. POC was amazing in adapting their plan to honour our wishes. We instead ran the Upper Upper Pacuare - a wonderful boulder-filled 10km stretch with fairly continuous class II+/III. The one IV we portaged. POC was flexible in letting me kayak the day while the rest continued in the packrafts. It was a perfect level-up on the day before and everyone had a blast. We ran it in 'expedition style' with a defined order; Luigi leading 2 of our team, followed by Cookie leading the final 2. It was a very well ordered arrangement allowing everyone to follow clear lines down the rapids. A special shout out to Cookie, our kayak safety guide who was so much fun on the rivers. POC took care of all our transportation needs during our stay; it was so convenient and the drivers were reliable and safe on those crazy mountain roads. We didn't make it to POC's lodge on the Lower Pacuare on this trip. It looks amazing and surely represents a compelling reason for our return one day. If you are Turrialba-bound, consider POC for your adventure partner; you are unlikely to regret it.
January 25, 2023.
What an amazing place this is! I can’t thank our guides Ivan, Andres, and Max enough. The best hosts, cooks and river guides! Our lodge was so clean, no bugs, comfy beds and the sounds of the jungle to fall asleep to. I would recommend this experience to anyone. Pura Vida ✌🏽🌿🦥
January 24, 2023.
A truly unforgettable experience -- I can't recommend Pacuare Outdoor Center enough for the trip of a lifetime. Whitewater rafting, canopy ziplining, mountain biking, waterfall hikes, tarzan swinging, and more unreal adventures all take place in the most beautiful locations in Costa Rica. All excursions are guided by the friendliest, most professional staff anyone could ask for. Luigi and his guide team are incredibly talented at what they do and ensure everyone is having fun, informed, well-fed, and most importantly extremely safe. I never expected to learn so much about the breathtaking and culturally-rich country of Costa and I can't recommend the Pacuare Outdoor Center enough. Anyone - from families, groups, to solo travelers - will have the time of their lives. I definitely did. The lodging and locations are first-rate. Super clean, comfortable, and well maintained by the POC staff. Shout outs to Luigi, Eddie, Max, Andres, Mauricio, Fernando, Rafa, Tom, and all the other team members for making this trip one that I will never forget. They truly felt like family and really go out of their way to give first-class service to everyone. I can't wait for my next adventure with POC - this will not be the last. 11 out 10 stars. Absolutely incredible.
January 24, 2023.
The crew at Pacuare Outdoor Center took care of everything from start to finish. There’s something to be said about a group of Costa Rican Raft Guides serving up their home cuisine on the side of the river using the raft you just floated through rapids on as the dinner table. Not to be missed!
January 24, 2023.
When you come to this experience you think you know what your getting into based on the pictures and videos, but it is so much more. Between the staff and the accommodations you are so completely taken care of. You can effortlessly enjoy yourself while you see the best parts of Turrialba. This trip will push you. You will face your fears and do things you never thought you could. It’s the perfect balance between adventure and relaxation. After a full day of zip lining through the greenest forests you have ever seen you get driven back to a beautiful lodge where the food is delicious and the beer is cold. You can raft down rapids and stop on the shore for a homemade meal. It’s an experience I will never forget. If you’re looking for a travel package to see this country, this is the one.
January 24, 2023.
I only gave this five stars, because I didn’t have the option for six. This was by far the best trip experience I’ve ever had. Luigi, our guide for the trip. Blew away my expectations regarding his knowledge of the wildlife in Costa Rica, and also how thoughtful the country is with how they use their resources. The activities on the trip were more fun than I expected, which was still quite a lot. What made it better was how the entire guide team did a stellar job educating me on how to do things like the zip line, the Tarzan swing, and rafting. Not only that, but the guide team was warm and inviting in their friendliness. I really felt like I made lifelong friends in this experience. Long story short, you’d be short some brain cells if you didn’t book this trip and experience Costa Rica the way it’s supposed to be.
January 24, 2023.
We brought a group here with our company and we could not be more happy with the entire experience. The entire crew were friendly and trustworthy and everyone in our group keeps raving about the food, activities, and crew. I would recommend this company to anyone and everyone who wants to travel to Costa Rica.
January 24, 2023.
This is a MUST!!! We had the best time ever. The guides are the BEST! Luigi and his team of guides make the trip incredible. Their knowledge of the animals and nature was really great we learned a lot. The homemade food was incredible it was good and natural. Loved the white water rafting and zip lining. The lodge was natural and beautiful 👍 This is our first trip to Costa Rica and we will be back each year and always we will come to Tom and his lodge. Come visit you’ll be glad you did.
January 23, 2023.
Absolute paradise! Best people, accommodations and activities! I will be coming back every year! Can't recommend Tom and his crew enough!