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Costa Rica Reizen Rafting Dag Trips:

Want to spend time out riding the rapids, but not quite ready to give up several days of your vacation? Relax on a safari float or gear up for rumbling along some of the most challenging rapids in the world, all within the span of a few hours – and there are plenty of options!

Safari Float on Penas Blancas River: Class I

10 TOP COSTA RICA WHITE WATER RAFTING TOURS

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest on this peaceful Penas Blancas River Cruise at Arenal. Be prepared to catch glimpses of Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, the brown-throated sloth, the gray four-eyed opossum, the yellow-crowned night-heron, the spectacled owl, the long-nosed bat, the mantled howler monkey, and the ironically named American crocodile.

Safari Float on Corobici River: Class I-II

This easy float is perfect for bringing the kids along, and elderly vacationers are sure to enjoy the relaxing ride down the river as well. The banks of the Corobici River in Guanacaste are home to plenty of exotic wildlife, and the birdwatching in this location is among Costa Rica’s best. It’s truly a surreal experience being guided gently down the stream, watching the untouched landscape and its inhabitants as you pass by.

White Water Rafting Rio Balsa: Class II- III

In close proximity to Arenal Volcano, Rio Balsa is a great excursion for the whole family. Get ready for a healthy mix of both exciting white water action and scenic floats that wind their way through dense Costa Rican forests.

White Water Rafting Savegre River: Class II-III

The Savegre River, found near Manuel Antonio, is one of the cleanest in all of Central America. This 6-7 hour trip down the river is fun rapid rafting for the whole family –– it features a mix of both calm and exciting stretches, and guests will have plenty of time to get out of their rafts to swim in between the maneuvering of rapids with names like “The Washing Machine,” “Boca Diablo,” and “Screaming Child.” And don’t worry, that last one refers to screams of excitement, not fear!

White Water Rafting Pacuare River: Class III-IV

10 TOP COSTA RICA WHITE WATER RAFTING TOURS

One of the top-rated rivers in the world for rafting, the Pacuare River offers beautiful views and crazy rapids to traverse. The river runs alongside the Talamanca Mountain Range, home to a vast array of exotic wildlife including monkeys, toucans, parrots, jaguars, deer, butterflies, and ocelots! Due to the intensity of the rapids, age requirements for this trip are 12 years old during the dry season (December through May) and 14 years old during the rainy season (June through November).

White Water Rafting Tenorio River: Class III-IV

For those looking for a thrill, the 8 mile trip down the Upper Tenorio River in Guanacaste provides just that. This day trip is more of an intense challenge with its quick turns, twists, and one 12-foot, Class V drop that will exhilarate even the most seasoned thrill-seekers! Because of the difficulty of this day-trip, the minimum age is 14.

White Water Rafting Naranjo River: Class III-IV

10 TOP COSTA RICA WHITE WATER RAFTING TOURS

Naranjo River White Water Rafting

There are two separate day trips available on the Naranjo River near Manuel Antonio. The first is a family-friendly trip, Class III-IV, that features an exhilarating stretch on the river’s rapids before opening up onto the Pacific flatlands where everyone can experience a more relaxing journey while scoping for the abundant bird life of the region –– the ringed kingfisher and the white ibis, to name a few.

White Water Rafting Naranjo River: Class IV+

The other Class IV+ option for traversing the Naranjo River is geared more towards thrill-seekers and has a minimum age requirement of 12 years — this is the El Chorro section of Naranjo. El Chorro is an advanced run that features 9 technical narrows and a tight squeeze through canyon walls jutting up on either side of the raft.

What to Bring on Your Rafting Day Trip

  • Rubber-soled shoes or strapped sandals that can get wet
  • Bathing suit
  • Quick-drying t-shirt and shorts. For more sun protection or added warmth, bring a long-sleeved t-shirt.
  • Water-resistant sunscreen lotion (minimum of SPF 15)
  • Hat or bandana to block the sun
  • Bug spray
  • Croakies or other eyewear retainers to secure sunglasses / eyeglasses
  • Change of clothes and dry shoes for afterward
  • Towel for showers after your tour
  • Prescription medications you may need during your tour

Rafting Overnight Trips:

A multi-day rafting trip is a wonderful opportunity to explore Costa Rica from the water! Besides containing some of the best whitewater rivers in the world, the countryside is beautiful beyond description. Many of the rivers run through national parks or reserves, guaranteeing breathtaking views and countless chances to spot the more elusive wildlife creatures. The Pacuare River is a beautiful overnight rafting destination for the active traveler to consider, so come on out and get your adrenaline pumping on any of our multi-day trips!

Pacuare River Rafting: 1 Night/2 Days

10 TOP COSTA RICA WHITE WATER RAFTING TOURS

This multi-day trip will first take you on a Class III whitewater rapid ride through the Pacuare Gorge with an occasion to stop for a snack and swim underneath a gorgeous waterfall before arriving at your Pacuare River Lodge. The second day is filled with continued rafting down the Lower Pacuare, this time through Class IV rapids. Again, there will be time to rest, experience waterfalls, and slide down natural waterslides that you won’t soon forget.

Pacuare River Rafting: 2 Nights/3 Days

10 TOP COSTA RICA WHITE WATER RAFTING TOURS

The 3-day Pacuare River rafting adventure is an amazing way to get the most out of your trip! Experience the fun of whitewater rafting, heading down Class III rapids through a beautifully untouched primary rainforest. En-route, stop for a snack and a swim near a waterfall. You’ll arrive at the Rios Tropicales Lodge this afternoon for an evening of relaxing, delectable dinner, and a good night’s sleep. The following day is free to enjoy any of the amazing activities that are available at the lodge: horseback riding, a canopy zip-line, guided hikes, and much more! Or, the stunning location of the lodge makes it a divine destination for spending the day meditating, relaxing, or reading a book in a hammock near the river. You’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast the next morning, before whitewater rafting your way to the Operations Center for a hot lunch – and then on to the next adventure!

What to Bring on Your Multi-Day Rafting Trip

Consult the list above for day trip essentials as you will need everything there in addition to the following:

  • Necessary personal toiletries
  • Sweater or Sweatshirt for when the temperature drops at night
  • Hiking shoes
  • Light hiking pants (jeans not recommended)
  • Reading material
  • Journal to write down your memories!
  • Additional clothing, but remember to pack light!

Rafting Transfers en Route

10 TOP COSTA RICA WHITE WATER RAFTING TOURS

White Water Rafting Adventure Connection with Desafio

Rafting is all well and good, but you’ve got places to be and things to see! No worries, we can customize your vacation to fit your rafting trip in while you’re heading towards your next destination. Spend a night in San Jose, grab a ride to Arenal Volcano, and stop off halfway for a quick tour on one of Costa Rica’s rivers. This is a great way to sneak in a rafting trip when it looks like your days are all full!


Costa Rica Reizen Snorkelen en Duiken

Thanks to the nutrient-rich coastal waters, diving and snorkeling in Costa Rica can be a magical experience. The clear sea offers visibility for scuba diving between 30 to 100 feet, guaranteeing you’ll spot all kinds of marine life. Divers may even find themselves distracted from the underwater beauty by ‘big animal’ sightings — including whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and the occasional humpback whale. If scuba diving isn’t your cup of tea, snorkeling is a great way to leisurely explore the underwater scenery. Costa Rica has a variety of snorkeling options for beginners and experts. Many diving and snorkeling tours are available along Coast Rica’s coasts, but the following are what we believe to be the best destinations for diving and snorkeling in all of Costa Rica.

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge | Southern Caribbean Coast

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge Snorkeling, Costa Rica

The Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is considered by many to be the best spot for snorkeling and diving on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. The coral reef, little bays, inlets, and islands are the perfect recipe for attracting marine life. Sea turtles (nesting from March to July), manatees, crocodiles, and dolphins are just some of the animals that call Gandoca Manzanillo home.

Cahuita National Park | Southern Caribbean Coast

Cahuita National Park Snorkeling

Cahuita National Park on the Southern Caribbean Coast has one of the largest living coral reefs (with over 35 species of coral) off the coast of Costa Rica. The coastal park backs up to a 5.6-mile trail along the shoreline. Make the trek about 2.35 miles where you’ll reach Punta Cahuita, one of the best snorkeling spots in the park. It can be rainy on this side of the country. If you have any flexibility, plan a visit in the drier months of September and October, specifically during the colorful reggae-style festival of Carnival.

Caño Island Biological Reserve | Osa Peninsula

8 BEST COSTA RICA DIVING & SNORKELING SPOTS

Exploring Cano Island from Aguila de Osa Inn

There are a number of beautiful locations around the Osa Peninsula at which scuba divers—both novices and seasoned veterans—go beneath the surface to experience an entirely foreign world. The Pacific Ocean’s clear waters offer visibility of anywhere from 30 to 100 ft year-round, ensuring visitors to Costa Rica’s underwater world always get an unobstructed view of the vast variety of marine life they’re swimming with. However, no other place has the amount of unique scuba diving spots that the Caño Island Biological Reserve boasts. Be on the lookout for white-tip and bull sharks. Spotted dolphins are always curious and may play in the boats wake. You’ll see more fish than you can handle – visitors often encounter schools numbering in the hundreds. Because of the Cano Island’s status as a biological reserve, there are five designated diving locations and only ten divers can be in the water at a time. Below are the five designated diving locations within the reserve:

El Bajo del Diablo

8 BEST COSTA RICA DIVING & SNORKELING SPOTS

Depth: 20 to 80 feet

The premier diving spot surrounding Caño Island, El Bajo del Diablo (or “Devil’s Rock”) lies a little over a mile off the island’s shore where huge rock pinnacles reach from the ocean floor to create an incredible underwater landscape of peaks and valleys. Giant manta rays sporting wingspans of up to 20 feet have been spotted here, as well as the jumping Mobula ray. A number of shark species can be seen here as well, including bull sharks, nurse sharks, and if you’re lucky, the elusive whale shark. More reliably, a host of smaller, tropical fish can be observed around the jutting rocks.

Cueva del Tiburon

Depth: 50 feet

This is a dive accessible to scuba divers of all experience levels and, depending on your luck, can end up being one of the most incredible dives you will ever endeavor. The “Shark Cave” is home to several white tip sharks, and divers can usually see around 6 or 7 of these sleeping from the mouth of the cave. Because of park regulations, divers do not enter the cave. Nevertheless, just watching the dormant sharks lurking within the rock is spectacular to behold. Besides the actual cave, this dive traverses many underwater rock formations and hard coral where you will see many tropical fish—pufferfish, boxfish, goatfish, sea turtles, and even some large rays from time to time. If the sun is hitting the coral just right, divers can also experience beautifully colorful coral reflections that are infinitely memorable.

The Coral Gardens

8 BEST COSTA RICA DIVING & SNORKELING SPOTS

Depth: 15 to 40 feet

This is definitely the number one spot for enjoying spectacular coral reefs, and the different species that call this habitat their home. This particular dive is a shallow one with a maximum depth of 40 ft. At this depth, scuba divers can swim with the damselfish, the parrotfish, the butterflyfish, the porcupine fish, the goby, and perhaps even an octopus! The range of colors these animals display is absolutely stunning, like an underwater rainbow.

Paraíso

8 BEST COSTA RICA DIVING & SNORKELING SPOTS

Depth: 65 to 70 feet

Spanish for “Paradise,” this diving location is aptly named—if you were a fish, you’d want to live here too! The volcanic lava formation is home to thousands and thousands of blue and gold snapper. These fish congregate in schools, and swimming through one of these groups is like diving through a living tunnel. There are also large groups of barracuda that circle the schools of horse-eye jacks, waiting for the right time to strike. The drama is real, and you get a front seat to watch it unfold! Don’t miss Paraiso on your next visit to Caño Island.

Marenco Rock

8 Best Costa Rica Diving Spots

Depth: 50 to 60 feet

This area is covered in swaying black corals, where grunts and snappers swim and lobsters crawl back and forth looking for their next meal. The area is also home to large amounts of plankton, attracting schools of several species of larger fish to feed at Marenco Rock.

Catalina Islands | Guanacaste

10 Best Costa Rica Diving & Snorkeling Spots

In the Pacific Ocean beyond Flamingo Bay, Guanacaste, the Catalina Islands draw divers and snorkelers alike. This protruding volcanic rock formation is home to a variety of marine life like sea turtles, octopus, eagle rays, moray eels, eagle rays, seahorses, white tip reef sharks, and more. Half day diving and snorkeling tours to Catalina Islands are available from the Guanacaste region.

Gulf of Papagayo for Snorkeling | Guanacaste

8 BEST COSTA RICA DIVING & SNORKELING SPOTS

Culebra Bay (within the Gulf of Papagayo) snorkeling from the Andaz Resort

In the northwest province of Guanacaste, off the Papagayo Peninsula, the Gulf of Papagayo is a wonderful snorkeling destination for its calm and protected inlets and bays. Despite being an up-and-coming resort area, the Papagayo Peninsula retains its natural integrity with its lush tropical landscape and over 400 species of wildlife.

Gulfo Dulce for Snorkeling | Osa Peninsula

8 BEST COSTA RICA DIVING & SNORKELING SPOTS

The Gulfo Dulce on the Osa Peninsula has both unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems making it the perfect destination for those who love wildlife on both land and sea. Its also home to a significant population of spinner dolphins, so you might catch an impromptu circus performance during your snorkeling adventure! The spinner dolphins can gather in super-pods and they’re a delight to watch from the boat or from up close below the surface. The reefs off the coast contain more creatures than can be seen in any single outing, so don’t be surprised if you’re soon itching to go back.

Costa Rica Diving & Snorkeling Tours

As your Costa Rica Experts, we represent full service, PADI-certified dive shops to ensure a safe and amazing scuba diving and snorkeling experience.

  • Snorkeling or Scuba Diving Tour of Cano Island Biological Reserve
  • Golfo Dulce Dolphin and Snorkeling Tour
  • Guanacaste Morning or Sunset Cruise and Snorkeling Tour
  • Catalina Islands Diving or Snorkeling Tour
  • Guanacaste Kayaking and Snorkeling Tour

Costa Rica Reizen Kayak dagtrips

With more than 20 rivers and both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, Costa Rica kayaking offers almost limitless options for adventurers. What do you prefer: venturing into the maze of mangroves, paddling along the coast to spot dolphins and wildlife, testing the whitewater? We’ve got plenty of choices.

7 Best Costa Rica Kayaking Excursions

Manuel Antonio Kayaking at Buena Vista Villas

Kayaking is a great option for anyone who wants to have a chance to explore Costa Rica a bit more privately – and quietly. It’s a must for spotting the shyer wildlife, and birdwatchers delight in the chance to get as close as possible to the wading birds! Kayaking tours are available in many areas of the country, and each offer something unique for visitors.

Damas Island Estuary Kayaking, Manuel Antonio

7 TOP COSTA RICA KAYAKING EXCURSIONS

At Damas Island estuary in Manuel Antonio you can kayak through the tangled mangroves and narrow channels, keeping a sharp eye out for the monkeys and pumas. Wading and water birds can gather in flocks number into the thousands.

Lake Arenal Kayaking, Arenal Volcano

7 TOP COSTA RICA KAYAKING EXCURSIONS

Another option is an adventure on Lake Arenal, Costa Rica’s largest lake, while enjoying a great view of Arenal Volcano. The calm water on the lake make this tour great for younger or beginner kayakers.

Golfo Dulce Sea & Mangrove Kayaking, Osa Peninsula

7 TOP COSTA RICA KAYAKING EXCURSIONS

Mangrove Kayaking from Lapa Rios Ecolodge

On the Osa Peninsula, the Golfo Dulce’s clear waters are home to dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and a multitude of other marine creatures to look for. Rivers in the same area offer the opportunity to venture into jungle mangroves.

Curu Sea Kayaking, Nicoya Peninsula

If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, there are full- and multi-day kayaking tours as well. The Curu Sea Kayaking Tour is a 4 day, 3 night trip that includes camping on Playa Quesera, a beautiful and deserted white sand beach backed by thick forests. Spend your days exploring this balmy tropical paradise and your nights sleeping in a comfortable tent or under the stars in a hammock. In the evening, enjoy stargazing, crab hunting, and the tranquility of the forest and sea.

Coastal Kayaking, Pacific Coast

7 TOP COSTA RICA KAYAKING EXCURSIONS

Coastal Kayaking from Harmony Hotel

Coastal kayaking is available from most beach properties in Costa Rica. Many hotels on the Pacific Coast offer kayak rentals complimentary or at a minimal cost. Check with the hotel front desk for a rental rate and recommended neighboring beaches to explore. If you’re going to make a day out of it, ask the front desk to pack you a picnic lunch to bring a long. And don’t forget your snorkeling gear! Your hotel should be able to help you with this also.

Tamarindo Mangrove Estuary Kayaking, Guanacaste

This 3-hour tour from kayaking reveals the unique nature and wildlife of the mangrove ecosystem of Tamarindo in the Guanacaste region. Quiet paddling through jungle estuaries will unveil a larger amount of animals than could have otherwise been seen a boat cruise.



Costa Rica Reizen Surfen

Famous for its surf breaks, Costa Rica is a world class surfing destination for both beginner and advanced surfers. With great surfing on both coasts – including point and beach breaks, lefts and rights, reefs and river mouths – surfers from around the world come to surf Costa Rica and enjoy the warm water and year-round waves. Often what the waves lack in size, they make up for in length. One of the longest left breaks in the world can be found here! Many of the remote beaches and breaks along both coasts are accessible, but the following world class surf destinations are the most popular.

Tamarindo Beach | Guanacaste

BEST COSTA RICA SURF SPOTS

Sunset surfing from Tamarindo Diria Hotel

Tamarindo hosts several national competitions every year, and the booming development has led to a great restaurants and shops and a fun night life for surf-fans. Tamarindo is quickly becoming a tourism hot spot, partially thanks to the surfing and the availability of eco-tours in an area that avoided attention for many years.

Salsa Brava & Playa Cocles | Puerto Viejo, Caribbean Coast

On the Southern Caribbean Coast, the main attraction of the popular beach town of Puerto Viejo is Salsa Brava, the largest wave in Costa Rica. This famous dangerous surf break is for the most experienced of surfers. Close by, Playa Cocles offers a beach break only slightly less intense.

Jaco Beach | Central Pacific Coast

BEST COSTA RICA SURF SPOTS

Jaco is a small yet bustling beach town, geared towards the travelers who come for the waves and stay for the party. The beach is great for new surfers, and there are a variety of rentals and lessons available throughout town.

Hermosa Beach | Central Pacific Coast

To the south of Jaco, Hermosa Beach attracts experienced surfers. It is known for having the most consistent waves in Costa Rica. The beach is truly beautiful, but due to a strong surf, it is often left quiet and empty.

Dominical Beach | South Pacific Coast

Further south on the South Pacific Coast is another surfing hot spot, Playa Dominical. Dominical is pristine and off the beaten path so there aren’t as many tourists as some of the more popular beaches in the north.

Cabo Matapalo & Playa Pavones | Osa Peninsula

BEST COSTA RICA SURF SPOTS

Surfing from Lapa Rios Ecolodge on the Osa Peninsula

Even the Osa Peninsula has some nice surf breaks. Cabo Matapalo, on Osa’s southern tip near Puerto Jimenez, has a few dependable right surf breaks. The waves aren’t too high here so this is a great destination for beginning surfers. Playa Pavones on the other side of the Gulfo Dulce has one of the word’s longest left hand surf breaks, but you won’t find much more than surfing happening there.



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