In this Daily: White Water Rafting in Guanacaste
October rains across the country bring with them full rushing rivers, elevating mild rapids in the country to healthy levels and turning the more active rapids in the country into truly thrilling rides.
Costa Rica has 14 raftable rivers that originate in the country, which drain into the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico, and the San Juan river in Nicaragua, and offer a wide range of rapids that reach from class I to class IV on the International Scale of White Water Difficulty.
From the gentle, slow moving class I and IIs in places like Peñas Blancas at the very northern border of Guanacaste, down to the class III and class IV rapids of the Pacuare River at the heart of the country, there is rafting to find all around Costa Rica.
Departing from Las Catalinas, the nearest white water rafting is on the Tenorio River, which features a mix of class I, class II, class III, and a single class IV rapid on a stretch through the rainforests of Tenorio Volcano National Park.
White Water Rafting on the Tenorio River
The white water rafting section on the upper Tenorio River is a little less than a two hour drive from Las Catalinas, and offers a healthy mix of difficulties for older kids and adults. Tours depart from base camps and head upriver by bus before arriving at put-ins on the North Tenorio. From there, the trip starts slow, with a mix of class I and class II rapids as teams get comfortable in their boats and learn to handle their craft on the water.
As the trip continues, there are hidden waterfalls to swim in and wildlife to encounter in the trees, including rare sightings of sloths, which tend to be active this time of the year.
The rapids increase in size and excitement towards the end of the trip, especially with the October rains. This section has a few class III rapids building to one final, class IV waterfall that makes for a spectacular drop, a memorable photo, and a thrilling end to the trip. Afterwards, rafts make their way to the put-out for snacks and refreshments, before heading back to base camp for lunch.
Make the Day Trip from Las Catalinas
For a full day trip, transportation can be booked to depart from town in the morning and head straight to base camp with one of a few rafting companies, where equipment, gear, and reservations are all handled ahead of time. From there, trips head through the grasslands and down into the river basin to tackle the rapids, with lunch and a ride back home waiting afterward.
Concierge can book full day trips with transportation there and back, or handle reserving gear and a trip for those looking to drive themselves. Either way, rafting the Tenorio is an adventurous day out on the water, and this time of the year the experience has just a touch more thrill.