Costa Rica is a country whose privileged location allows us to find an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, along with surprising landscapes that never fail to delight us.
A hidden adventure in the forest
Costa Rica is a country whose privileged location allows us to find an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, along with surprising landscapes that never fail to delight us. When we combine this natural backdrop with fun, excitement, adrenaline and adventure on one of the best rivers in the world, we get the perfect combination for an unforgettable experience.
This and more is what you will experience on our most recent adventure, in which we spent a night on the one-of-a-kind, challenging Río Pacuare, which is one of the rivers that rush towards the country’s Atlantic coast.
Ziplining, horseback riding, rappel and more
Our adventure began nice and early, when we caught a bus in San José, beginning our journey to Siquirres, where the company Ríos Tropicales has its base of operations.
The trip took a little more than two hours, and a delicious breakfast was waiting for us when we arrived.
Randall Solano, better known as “Chino”, was our guide on this adventure. He has been guiding rafts down the Río Pacuare for over 25 years. I have to admit that we all felt a little bit nervous, or maybe a lot nervous, at the outset. The challenge was exciting, but for many of us it was our first trip by raft. However, Chino’s experience and focus on safety helped us to transform our anxiety into adventure and excitement.
We reached the part of the river where we would begin our trip towards the Lodge. Chino gave us a speech about safety and gave us the necessary equipment. In just a few minutes, we were rowing down the river.
Just five minutes after our adventure began, Chino announced the first rapids in the water: the moment we had all been waiting for was right in front of us. “Adelante, fuerte!” said Chino, and in just a few seconds, Río Pacuare initiated us with a wave that washed over us, putting our anxiety to one side and turning on the adrenaline.
After our first rapids, which, by the way, were a Class II+, we began to enjoy the landscape surrounding us, which made us feel as if we were in a Hollywood film about explorers. The waterfalls on either side of the river, the different species of birds flying above our heads, and an indescribable beauty were all a constant presence during our travels.
About an hour and a half later, we were told that we were close to the Ríos Tropicales lodgings. We looked around us once more and just saw trees. “Were we supposed to sleep in the trees?”, we wondered.
As the river rounded a bend, we could see some wooden constructions in the distance, and as we got close to the riverbank, we were shown to the Lodge’s meeting point, a pleasant place where we had an enjoyable dinner.
The rooms are right at the side of the river, with electricity coming from a small hydroelectric plant on a creek that flows through the property. To everyone’s surprise, the rooms had a king-sized bed, a private bathroom, hot water and lovely decorations. It was like being in a hotel room, with the major difference that it was situated in the middle of the forest.
Time to rest
My curiosity got the better of me, and I couldn’t help but ask how they were able to bring such large beds and mattresses to the lodge.
“The same way we brought the bathrooms, structures, and everything else here: by raft, just like how you came!”, laughed Rafael Gallo, the owner of the Lodge.
Once night fell, the guides and other members of our expedition shared a delicious dinner, and then headed to our rooms to get some rest.
Many of you reading this might know how pleasant it can be to fall asleep with raindrops falling on the roof. However, that sensation is nothing next to having your room right next to the rushing Río Pacuare: it’s sensational, the sound of the forest combined with the rush of the currents combining into a melodic accompaniment to your night.
In the morning, before breakfast, I found my way to an observation deck where I was able to see a large family of Montezuma oropendolas and many other species of birds flying above the room.
Ríos Tropicales Lodge also offers ziplining tours, horseback riding and other activities for everyone who wants to enjoy the extra activities during their stay at the Lodge.
We returned to our rafts and our guide helped us through various Class III and IV rapids in a very safe and professional manner.
Vamos a turistear
The landscape down the river is just as impressive as upriver, with a large number of rapids which end as waterfalls, and even a canyon in which we were able to jump out of the raft to swim in the river. The water was very refreshing.
Once we reached the base, a delicious lunch and places to shower and change were waiting for us. Back in San José, all of us were planning the next time we could come and see the sights in those parts.
People, all we can tell you is: vamos a turistear!