Costa Rica is one of the top kayaking spots in the world. The Rios Pacuare, Reventazon, Sarapiqui, and Corobici Rivers are popular destinations in the country for this memorable adventure trip for families, or anyone else, seeking an opportunity to get away and enjoy the Costa Rican scenery.
Located on the southern end of Central America, Costa Rica offers a vast array of kayaking opportunities, from low impact gliding across tropical waters, to world class white water challenges for the most avid paddlers, on rivers rated with Class II to Class IV rapids.
The wettest, and best suggested months for kayaking Costa Rica are June, July, August, September, and October, because that is when the white water action is at its peak in the country. Two styles of kayaks are available for kayaking Costa Rica. They are "sit on top" kayaks, where the paddler sits in them in an open area, and "Cockpit style" kayaks which have spray decks that create a water resistant seal around the kayaker.
To protect against sunburn while out on the water, long sleeve shirts come in handy. A couple pairs of quick drying nylon shorts, of tropical weight, will be needed. Long pants protect the kayaker's legs from insect bites while on the water, and from scrapes and scratches when having to travel through the jungle on their journey. Sport sandals and comfortable socks are recommended as well.
Kayakers in Costa Rica find a lightweight, pile jacket helps keep them warm on the open ocean which can get chilly. A suggested safety item that should be worn while kayaking is a life jacket, and a brimmed hat helps protect against the hot sun found in the Caribbean. Other recommended items for a kayak trip are a mesh bag for wet clothes, a wet suit, casual beach cover up, and of course, a swimsuit.
Equipment needed for kayaking in Costa Rica can be rented, and kayaking trips are available for all skill levels. Group kayaking is recommended for safety, as is informing somebody of your whereabouts while out on the rapids. Tour guides can also be included in tour packages.
Wildlife viewing opportunities are plentiful while kayaking throughout Costa Rica. Some species likely to be encountered along the way may include howler monkeys, iguanas, otters, jaguars, ocelots, crocodiles, parrots, cuckoos, falcons, kingfishers, egrets, ospreys, storks, herons, and many others.
The Pacuare River is divided into three popular kayaking sections. They are the Upper-Upper, which is 16 miles of Class II and Class III rapids, the Upper, which is 10 miles of Class IV rapids and waterfalls, and the Lower, which is the part of the river most well known to Costa Rican kayakers.
The Corobici is a wide river that flows past Lake Arenal to the tropical rainforests and mangrove forests near the coast. The Reventazon River flows into the Caribbean Sea and forms the southern boundary of the Tortuguero National Park. Lowlands tropical rainforest forms the area around the Sarapiqui River, and it is home to many varieties of tropical animals, insects, and plants.
Kayaking provides many exciting opportunities to tourists wanting to really experience all Costa Rica has to offer.