Pacuare River Rafting Tour (San Jose)

We currently have discounts for this tour!

Operated by Exploradores Outdoors

November 1st 2016 – October 31st 2017:


[click above to open our tour reservation form]

[click above to open our tour reservation form]

Discount disclaimer: In order for a Pura Vida! eh? discount to be valid, a complete tour reservation form must be submitted via our website and accepted by our team. In addition, travellers must follow the steps/requirements outlined on our “How Pura Vida! eh? Works” page. Please note that Pura Vida! eh? discounts are: a) not valid for preexisting reservations already placed through other companies or tour operators,  b) only valid for the specific day requested on the tour reservation form, and c) may only be claimed by the individual whose name appears on the tour reservation form. Tour reservation change requests may be made by travellers, but such requests are subject to approval by our team; unapproved tour reservation changes may result in a change or loss of the discount amount awarded. Tour reservation cancellations and no-shows will result in a loss of the discount amount awarded. All prices on our website including Pura Vida! eh? discounts are listed in the currency of US dollars, however at the tour operator’s discretion, tour payment may be collected in the currency of either US dollars or Costa Rican colones. For more information, please see our “Frequently Asked Questions” page.


Tour departure/return location: San Jose

Tour times: 6:00am-6:30am

Tour duration: Approximately 12 hours

Tour includes: Rafting tour, guide, breakfast, lunch, and round-trip transportation to/from San Jose hotels (hotels that fall outside of the regular transportation zone may have an additional fee; leave us a comment at the bottom of this page if you wish us to confirm the transportation amount that would apply to/from your specific hotel)

Tour operator’s description: The Pacuare River is one of the best choices for your adventure treks in Costa Rica. Another trip in the country does not exist that offers you a perfect blend of wilderness exposure and excitement, both in one day. Pacuare is world famous for its sheer beauty. A true river gorge, it is flanked by steep, green walls. Here you enjoy the feeling of total isolation from urban life and the realness of being connected with nature. You see waterfalls cascade into the river from both sides as colorful, tropical birds fly right over your head. Amazing views of this virgin tropical rainfores tarea, appear before your eyes as you descend this true exploratory land. Wildlife is abundant, with sloth, toucans, parrots, coatis, morpho butterflies and colorful frogs being common sights. The white water is equally exciting. It is not an overly challenging river, but it has a lot rapids, therefore giving you an adventure filled with lots of fun. The 18 mile one day run includes a total of 52 rapids. Few rivers in the world can offer you so many. Upon arrival to the river we will gear you up with a life jacket, helmet and paddle and then brie fyou with a full safety orientation talk. Finally, it is time to take off down the rapids! The first 4 miles consist of fun class II-III rapids which is a perfect time to test your new river skills and gain confidence in your team. Here you can find pockets of secondary growth forest that is extremely beautiful. After about 40 minutes we will enter the famous Pacuare River Gorge, which is 5 miles of some of the best white water Costa Rica has to offer. The rapids here are “Terciopelo snake”, “Double drop”, “Upper and Lower Huacas”, “Pin ball” to name a few. You will also see the Huacas watefall, a 150 foot dramatic drop into the river. After the gorge the rivers opens up to a 5 mile stretch on the Valle del Pacuare, where the river has a different character. It is wide open, which gives you the opportunity to rest a bit and take the opportunity to do some wildlife spotting. The main rapids here are “Cimarrones”, “The Play Hole”, “El Indio” and “Magnetic Rock”. The forest remains just as lush, and the rapids just as fun. We finish in Siquirres, at our own private Exploration Center, where you can take a shower, change and enjoy the gardens and terrace while having a beer or two and reflecting with your new friends about the great adventure you just shared.

Approximate Itinerary for the Pacuare River Rafting Tour:

  • 6:00am–6:30am – Pick-up in San José
  • 6:30am–8:15am – En route to the tour operator’s “Exploration Center”
  • 8:15am–9:00am – Breakfast served at the “Exploration Center”
  • 9:00am–9:30am – En route from the “Exploration Center” to the river “put-in”
  • 9:30am–10:15am – Preparation for the river descent (safety orientation, paddle practice)
  • 10:15am–2:15pm – River descent (including lunch which is typically served partway through the trip along the side of the river, weather permitting)
  • 2:15pm–3:00pm – Return to the “Exploration Center” with time to shower (if desired), change into dry clothes, and enjoy a beverage or purchase souvenirs (if desired).
  • 3:00pm–5:30pm – En route from the “Exploration Center” to San José

Additional details

  • This tour requires a minimum of 2 people to run. Please contact us to inquire about tour availability if your travel group is comprised of less than the tour operator’s required minimum number of participants.


  • Children must be at least 12 years old to participate.


  • Swimming suit
  • Shorts
  • T-shirt
  • Tennis shoes, Teva sandals or Aqua shoes (flip flops not permitted)
  • Windbreaker (or any synthetic fabric t-shirt)
  • Sunscreen
  • Dry clothes for changing into after the river trip
  • Towel
  • Plastic bag for wet clothes
  • Cash for souvenirs, pictures and t-shirts
  • Medicines if needed (if this is the case, please inform our office staff or the river guide)


Questions already answered

Related topics

Familiar with our blog? Read our related blog post: The Best River For Rafting In Costa Rica


Familiar with our blog? Read our related blog post: Rafting & Kayaking in Costa Rica – Pacuare River Tour


Familiar with our blog? Read our related blog post: The Pacuare River Family


Familiar with our blog? Read our related blog post: Go Big or Go Home: Raft Costa Rica


Rana Roja

Familiar with our blog? Read our related blog post: The Most Time And Cost Efficient Way To Visit Tortuguero And Raft The Pacuare River During Your Time In Costa Rica (Part 1)

6 thoughts on “Pacuare River Rafting Tour (San Jose)

  1. debbee says:

    i would like to get the discount for the panacur rafting do i do that

    • Nikki Solano says:

      debbee –
      Thank you so much for your comment! We can certainly assist you with discounts for the pacuare river rafting tour. Feel free to send us an email at or complete one of our online tour reservation forms. We simply need to know the name (first and last) that we should reserve the tour under, your preferred tour date, the name of the hotel you would like to be picked up at, the name of the hotel you would like to be dropped off at, and the total number of people (age 12 or older) that would like to participate and we can send in the reservation for you at our discounted rate! 🙂
      Pura vida!

    • Nikki Solano says:

      Zemo –
      Thank you so much for your inquiry! The 12 hour duration is a rough average. Whereabouts will you be departing from (I caught you mentioned that you would like to be dropped off in La Fortuna/Arenal)? This tour can depart from La Fortuna/Arenal, San Jose, and/or Puerto Viejo (as well as smaller towns located along the routes between these three larger cities), so the exact day’s duration will depend largely on where you plan to depart from (and the amount of time needed to travel between there and the river). The rough 12 hour duration does include transportation (for example, the route between La Fortuna/Arenal and the tour start/end point is 2 hours and 45 minutes, so taking the tour to and from La Fortuna/Arenal would require approximately 5.5 hours of travel time (included in the 12-hour duration approximation). For planning to arrive in La Fortuna/Arenal by 6:00pm, unfortunately this cannot be guaranteed. There are a number of factors that can affect the river tour’s duration, including the height of the river (which determines the river course, rapid size, and speed at which the tour is run), the number of people rafting (ie. the group size), and any traffic/weather concerns that could lengthen a driver’s route to/from La Fortuna/Arenal, San Jose, and/or Puerto Viejo and the river and the start or end of the trip. For drop-offs in La Fortuna/Arenal, timing for these vary throughout the year, but we have had tours return to the area as early as 5:30pm (during the rain season – when the river is high and quick – and when there is a small group rafting) and as late as 8:30pm (when a large group rafts during the dry season – when the river is its lowest/slowest – and when traffic/rain/construction/other road blocks create delays en route back to travellers’ hotels).
      Pura vida!

      • Zemo says:

        Thanks Nikki,

        Thank you for your reply. Our first three nights we will be in Puerto Viejo so we were thinking to be picked up from there and then be dropped off in La Fortuna like you suggested in your blog. And there I was thinking to surprise my girlfriend (unless she reads this :-)) with the night pass to the Hot Springs with dinner. But you are right it is better not to count on some exact time. I love the blog btw, we will be travelling around Costa Rica for two weeks, renting a car for the second part and I already found lots of useful info. Pura Vida.

      • Nikki Solano says:

        Zemo –
        What a sweet idea! 🙂 How many days/nights will you have in the La Fortuna/Arenal area? If your schedule permits, it may be best to plan to visit the hot springs another day/evening. Otherwise, if you will only have the one night, you can still plan to visit, however your 3-4 hour hot springs pass (depending on which hot springs you plan to visit) may just be shortened to a 2-3 hour visit according to your time of arrival into the area upon completion of the rafting tour. Another option would be to consider a 2-day hot springs pass ( This would allow you to spend a few hours at the hot springs your first night in the area, and then return there the following day for additional hours of use.
        Pura vida!

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