I’ve been to tropical places before, but spending time on the Pacuare River in the middle of a Costa Rican rainforest, was the most isolated I’ve been in the jungle. To give you an idea of my location, their disclaimer said it would take “help” about 3 hours to get to you, should you need emergency assistance. I guess that’s what happens when you drive 4 hours from a major city and begin to raft down 14 miles of river.
Before I talk about my exciting, first time ever rafting experience.. let me get something out of the way. I did not like my tour guide :(. He was a little extreme in terms of “perfect rafting form” and it took away from my fun a little bit. I understand that rafting is dangerous and everyone needs to be putting in their best effort, but yelling at someone brand new and basically telling them they are terrible at rafting and they just need to move to the back isn’t really the most positive experience to have. HOWEVER. I try to be easy going and didn’t let it get to me too much. I omly mention it here so that others are aware that rafting can be seen as no joke by some people and to know that sometimes, tour guides suck. End of story. 🙂 Alright! Moving on!
Pacuare River takes about 4 hours to arrive to, coming from San Jose. The drive is beautiful though! You pass some rad river flows from a near by volcano (when I went, the two rivers were actually two completely different colors!!!) and you drive through gorgeous hillsides that make you feel like time has momentarily gone back 40 years.
Once you get allllllllll your gear on and actually begin the rafting itself you realize very quickly that rafting is one hell of a work out. It works your legs, arms, core, back and mind. Take that with a grain of salt when deciding if this is an activity for you. But trust me, no pain no gain because it was the experience of a lifetime!
Riding the rapids felt like a roller coaster, then jumping off the raft in to the cool water felt like a scene out of the Jungle Book. There are usually many other rafts and tourists with you during these excursions, so you won’t feel alone with nature, but if you can tune them out and focus on yourself in that moment, you will remember it forever.
I can’t wait for another rafting adventure and even though I have nothing to compare it to just yet, I know Costa Rica has set the bar very high and I hope everyone gets a chance to experience the Pacuare River the way I did!