Costa Rica: Raft, Surf & Kayak

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
8 days
From: $ 1,836 $ 230 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is home to monkeys, reptiles, toucans and macaws, while its waters contain turtles, barracudas, sea urchins and more than 125 species of fish.
  • Raft Costa Rica’s Pacuare River – an area ranked in the top five rivers of the world for whitewater rafting. You’ll tackle Class 3 and 4 rapids on an unforgettable river adventure.
  • Catch some waves with a hiking and surfing expedition at Manzanillo beach. You’ll be away from the crowds and hanging ten in no time!
  • Hop into kayaks and paddle through the waterways of Tortuguero National Parkin search of monkeys, sloths, caiman, jaguars and lizards.
  • Explore the rich urban centre of capital San Jose, with time before and after your active adventure to really get to know the Costa Rican way of life.

Short Description

This trip has changed for 2023 with an exciting new range of destinations featured - please see Costa Rica: Hike, Bike & Raft. Get a thrill in Central America on this 8-day active adventure through one of the world's greenest countries: Costa Rica. Cascade down the rapids of Pacuare Rivers, and later relax in a rainforest eco lodge. Take a surf lesson in the Caribbean waters near Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. Relax along the Costa Rican coastline to the mellow beach refuge of Puerto Viejo and paddle through the waterways of Tortuguero National Park in search of monkeys, toucans and jaguars. Costa Rica is a country perfect for adventure seekers, and the ecstasies of this expedition are sure to impress even the most seasoned active traveller.

Style Small group tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City N/A
End City N/A

Destinations

Costa Rica

Attractions & Cities Visited

Caribbean Tortuguero National Park

Activities & Interests

Adventure & Adrenaline

Age Requirement

15

No single supplement
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Itinerary

Day 1 San Jose

Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a city with colourful markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. If you do happen to arrive early, a good place to start exploring is the main plaza. Artisan booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. Have a look at the Gold Museum which has an amazing collection of indigenous gold art. If these cultural gems get you in the mood for a bit of shopping, head to the outdoor markets in Plaza de la Cultura or the Central Market, where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.

Day 2 Rafting Pacuare River

This morning, head out of the city and to the river. The next 48 hours are full of exhilarating white water rafting in Pacuare River with a nights’ stay in an eco-lodge. Today will be an approximately 2-hour adventure down the river covering 12 kilometres of rapids, ranging up to Class 3. In the afternoon, arrive at your lodge, where you can either chill out around the gardens or walk through the self-guided trails around the lush canopies of the Turrialba Valley.

Day 3 Rafting Pacuare River / Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Hit the river again as you leave the eco-lodge by raft for more unforgettable rapids on the Pacuare River, and potentially stopping for some wildlife-spotting along the way. You'll ride the Class 3 and 4 rapids for around 2 hours, or 14 kilometres. Around 10 am, travel by private vehicle (approximately 2.5 hours) to Puerto Viejo de Talmanca for a taste of Caribbean seaside – think reggae bars and palm-fringed beaches.

Day 4 Surfing Manzanillo beach / Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Rise early to take the 8 am public bus (20 minutes) to Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge – an area that encompasses several rare habitats, including a lowland rainforest, a wetland, a coral reef and a mangrove swamp. Spend around 2 hours exploring with your group leader and keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, reptiles, toucans and macaws. The Refuge is also the nesting area for several species of turtles, manatees, crocodiles, caimans, tarpons and dolphins. There will be some free time for lunch in Manzanillo town before taking to the shores for a surf lesson at 2 pm. Learn some basic pointers to ride a wave, or if you've done this before, grab a board and hang ten! You will be dropped back at the hotel between in the late afternoon, in time for perhaps a Costa Rican regional specialty, casado, at one of the local restaurants on offer.

Day 5 Tortuguero National Park

Wake up nice and early, and at 8 am, transfer to Limon on the Caribbean Coast, and then travel by boat to Tortuguero National Park, one of the best places in Costa Rica for wildlife spotting (approximately 3-4 hours depending on the water level). Tortuguero is a network of canals and waterways on Costa Rica’s north Caribbean coast, surrounded by native jungle and full of exotic plant and wildlife species, including turtles, caimans, monkeys, and various bird species. Today and tomorrow are dedicated to kayaking on some of the canals in search of various forms of land and birdlife around the park. Tonight, why not join an optional activity of a turtle watching night tour where, depending on the time of year, you’ll see these small creatures nesting and (hopefully) some little babies hatching.

Day 6 Kayaking Tortuguero National Park

Today is another active day in Tortuguero National Park. Accessible only by plane or boat, the park is regarded as one of the best places in Costa Rica for spotting wildlife. With this in mind, today, hop into kayaks and set out on a 2-hour journey through the park's canals in search of monkeys, sloths, caiman, jaguars, lizards, bats and a vast selection of birdlife. Along the way, learn from a local tour leader about how the jungle's islets, lagoons, wetlands and palm forests functions as a thriving ecosystem.

Day 7 San Jose

Travel by boat to La Pavona (1.5-2 hours, depending on water level) and continue by road back to San Jose (approximately 3.5 hours). With time to explore the historic buildings and bustling food and artisan markets, you’ll see a more urban Costa Rica, quite different to the past few days of travel. After so much activity in Costa Rica, you may instead be up for a quiet night, so perhaps head out for a group dinner and become acquainted with the city's night scene – your group leader will know a good place to go.

Day 8 San Jose

After breakfast, you are able to leave at any time, with no activities planned for the day. If you’d like to explore San Jose in more depth, why not book in an Urban Adventures tour like The Art of Craft Beer, where you’ll learn of the emerging industry of breweries in Costa Rica. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/san-jose-tours. If you wish to spend more time in San Jose, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,836
Price Per Day: $ 230 per day
Checking price

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

4,186 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

94%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,164
Great 667
Average 132
Disappointing 66
Terrible 157
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Costa Rica: Raft, Surf & Kayak

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Company Reviews

I had a really fun time travelling to…

4.0
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Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
I had a really fun time travelling to Thailand last December. Intrepid made the entire trip easier because of the preparations they made beforehand. I'm definitely going to recommend Intrepid to my friends. Ciao!
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Viewing wildlife in a natural setting

5.0
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Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
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Viewing wildlife in a natural setting with an experienced naturalist is outstanding

Great trip made better by the guide.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
Great trip made better by the guide.

This trip is an excellent mix of cultural experience, adventure and nature.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
This trip is an excellent mix of cultural experience, adventure and nature. Nepal is a beautiful country and the people are so warm and approachable. Dal Bhat Power 24 hour!

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This tour of Bali was the perfect mix of culture, adventure and relaxation.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This tour of Bali was the perfect mix of culture, adventure and relaxation. Andy was an exceptional leader. If you want more than just resorts when coming to Bali I highly recommend this tour

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Walk the Scenic Rim

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Had the best time! Over 5 days we hiked up hill, down dale, across creeks and through beautiful pockets of ancient Gondwana rainforest. The scenery was stunning, the company was awesome, and I can't recommend Intrepid Travel (and our tour leader, Joel) highly enough!
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Private vehicle,Shared vehicle,Shared boat. Raft

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accommodations

Hotel (4 nights),Lodge (3 nights)

Guides

All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Additional Information

Finish point

  • KC Hotel
  • 125mts West, 175mts South
  • Sabana Sur
  • San Jose
  • 10101
  • COSTA RICA
  • Phone: +506 25194100

Trip ID#:

intrepid-QVXA

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