Whether you’re a first-time rafter or a world-class kayaker, Costa Rica’s got some fast water ready for you. Rivers rise and fall with the rain, but you can get wet here any time of year.

The best whitewater rafting ride in Costa Rica is the Pacuare River, which some say is one of the best rafting rivers in the world. It’s clean and scenic, and it has heart-jolting Class IV rapids. There is also excellent rafting on the Savegre and the Sarapiquí. Some of the most challenging rafting in the country is at the El Chorro section of the Naranjo River, where Class V rapids rush through a narrow, steep canyon. Whitewater rafting operators can be found in almost every corner of Costa Rica, and they’re worth looking up. Full-day rafting trips run between $75 and $140 per person.

Unfortunately, the Reventazón is no longer an option we recommend  because of its hydroelectric dams.

Ríos Adventure was developed by the guides of stalwart rafting operator Rios Tropicales, which shuttered during the pandemic. They run tours on most of the country’s popular rivers.

Exploradores Outdoors is another good company run by longtime and well-respected river guides. They run the Pacuare and Reventazón rivers, and even combine a 1-day river trip with onward transportation to or from the Caribbean coast, or the Arenal Volcano area, for no extra cost.

Canoa Aventura specializes in canoeing and kayaking. Based in the Arenal area, it offers tours of the Peñas Blancas River, Tres Amigos River, and Lake Arenal, along with other adventures.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.