Costa Rica White Water River Rafting

 In Tours and Activities

Fun and adventure begins with whitewater river rafting on your Costa Rica vacation.

Offering world-renown for whitewater rafting, Costa Rica’s rivers provide a unique perspective on the landscape and the wildlife which resides at the river’s edge. Croc’s Resort & Casino, on the beach in Playa Jacó,  is ideally situated to give beginners and experienced thrill seekers an opportunity to ride the rapids on the Savegre and Naranjo rivers.

Whitewater rafting puts you into the natural world: no cars, cell phones, or annoying distractions. It’s just you and the river, running rapids, and floating lazily on calm water. Here, at the junction of rainforest and riverbank, you’ll discover some of Costa Rica’s lushest scenery, including dramatic waterfalls, colorful birds, and many animals along the riverbanks and in the rainforest canopy.

All of the rafting tour operators that we work with have experienced, bilingual river guides to accompany you down the river. While no experience is necessary, you will be expected to do some paddling and teamwork on the water is great fun.

Before the raft hits the rushes, you’ll receive a safety talk and some instruction on paddling. In most cases, the lower age limit is usually 6-years-old. Pregnant women and physically-impaired people should consult the tour operator before deciding to take this trip. In green season, May – December, expect increased water volume and flow, which will add to the degree of difficulty (and adrenaline rush).

Río Savegre’s Class II-IV are especially geared to less experienced rafters. The river runs from central Costa Rica through Las Quetzales National Park until it reaches the Pacific. A full-day trip is a 5-hour journey from the upper river to the broad valley floor. The upper section tends to be more technically challenging, especially at high water. Between rapids are calm stretches of the river where the pace is more leisurely. Half-day trips begin farther downriver. Watch for monkeys and sloths in the canopy. With a bit of luck, you’ll see kingfishers, spoonbills, ospreys, and colorful macaws and parrots.

Río Naranjo’s Class III-VI+ rapids drop sharply out of the mountains, through jungle gorges, and rocky curves for an adrenaline-fueled rush down to the sea. More technically challenging than the Savegre, the Naranjo is better suited to more experienced river runners as it cuts through bedrock narrows and drops into rushing chutes. Full-day tours are usually only available during green season and are best suited to the more physically fit. They are not recommended for children under 8. Half-day tours are somewhat less challenging for families with older children and teens.


Full- and half-day trips include:

  • Transportation to/from Croc’s
  • All equipment & safety instruction
  • Bilingual river guides
  • Snacks or lunch, as well as beverages, depending on tour


What to take:

  • Sunglasses
  • Croakies (so you don’t lose glasses)
  • Sunscreen
  • Change of clothes and/or swimsuit
  • Tennis/water shoes (no flip flops, Teva’s OK)
  • Brimmed hat (that you can secure to your head)
  • Towel
  • Dry pack (if you have one)
  • Waterproof/resistant camera


If you’re up for a thrill while getting wet, whitewater rafting is a great adventure for everyone in the family. Your Croc’s concierge team will help you book your trip and answer any questions you may have.

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