Sarapiquí River Rafting Intermediate Class 4 Rapids 6-Hour Trip with Lunch

The Class 4 Section of the Sarapiquí River is the ultimate Costa Rican rafting adventure. It has a perfect mix of whitewater rafting excitement and immersion in classic Costa Rica nature. This trip offers the unique opportunity to embark on the formidable and technically demanding stretch of the Sarapiquí River, filled with nature and wildlife. This thrilling journey in the deep and remote gorge is designed for ages 15 plus, promising an unyielding onslaught of large drops, numerous obstacles, and steep gradients throughout the nearly two-hour river descent. This is the epitome of classic Costa Rican whitewater!

Our boutique rafting company specializes in crafting premium experiences for small groups of no more than 16 rafters. Our Standard Trip is designed to reflect this commitment to quality. For an even more exclusive adventure consider booking a Private Trip tailored to your group of four or more.

Daily departures from La Fortuna begin at 8:00 AM, with an estimated return by 2:00 PM. Our driver will collect you from your La Fortuna accommodation and provide an informative hour and fifteen-minute drive through rural Costa Rican communities. To reach the put-in point in San Miguel, we will pass by plantations of papaya, pineapple, and yuccas, as well as fields of sugarcane.

Once at the put-in location in San Miguel, we will provide you with a safety orientation talk and equip you with the necessary gear before you navigate through 30+ rapids. The ability to swim is not a must but active full participation is necessary. You will receive a life jacket, a helmet, and a paddle as well as a thorough practice run in a calm pool prior to heading into whitewater. Client safety and comfort is our number one priority. We will take a break during the trip to rest and enjoy a fresh fruit snack and take in the epic natural beauty. After your rafting adventure we will make a stop for a typical Costa Rican lunch, before driving back to La Fortuna.

Our guides have a wealth of river experience, safety knowledge, and training. They are fluent in English, highly interpretive with the local flora and fauna, and eagerly seek to provide you with a fantastic river experience. All our rafting equipment is top-of-the-line and imported from the US. We carry extensive First Aid Kits and an AED on all our trips. Each pod will have a safety kayaker supporting the journey the entire way. From our guides to our safety equipment and protocols, our trips offer the highest standard of rafting in Costa Rica.

The Rapids and Wildlife on the Sarapiquí River

Navigating through roughly 30 rapids on your epic trip, a Class 4 rapid known as “Morning Coffee” will kick the day off. You will encounter a series of exhilarating rapids, one after another. The technical “Dos Locos” is worth mentioning, and then come the thrills of “Peraltico.” You’ll find a tricky Class 3 rapid “El Ceibo” downstream. “Quiebra Codos,” a Class 4 rapid, will keep your heart pumping. A continuous rush leads to one rapid after another, with the Class 4 “Terminator” being a culmination of excitement.

The adventure continues with “El Tavo,” “Zarcerena,” and “El Vasquel,” all leading to a wildlife section where you’ll want to keep your eyes on the rainforest, teeming with iguanas, birds, sloths, and monkeys – to name a few. You will find yourself immersed in authentic Costa Rican beauty. Look closely at the lush rainforest walls dripping with waterfalls. Gaze further at the breathtaking backdrop of distant mountain ranges, canyon waterfalls, and the boundaries of dormant volcanoes.

The journey down the Class 4 Section of the Sarapiqui concludes at La Virgen, where the road meets back up with the river and we will stop and takeout at the bridge. From the thrilling rapids, the serene nature teeming with wildlife, and your trusted guide safely rafting you down, the Sarapiqui River offers a complete and unforgettable experience of Costa Rica’s stunning natural world.

Pit Stops

There will be several recovery breaks on the trip. This allows paddlers to rest, and guides to prep everyone for the rapids to follow. During one of the rest stops we will enjoy a variety of fresh fruit which will energize you. At the end of the journey, our shuttle driver will greet you with your change of clothes and a towel to dry off with. Once you’ve had the opportunity to dry and change, you will jump on the shuttle for a short drive to lunch. Lunch will be a traditional Costa Rican meal with a hearty vegetarian or chicken option featuring rice, beans, salad, and plantains. You will then journey back on the shuttle to your accommodation in La Fortuna.

Preparing for the Trip

Staying hydrated and wearing suitable clothing is essential to ensure comfort during your rafting trip on the Sarapiqui River. Costa Rica is located right along the equator, so the sun will be hot, and the sunburn will be more intense than areas to the north or south. This could dehydrate and burn your skin, so bringing sunscreen and protective clothing like hats and long-sleeved shirts this will protect your skin. A large water bottle will keep you hydrated on your adventure. Before embarking on your rafting adventure, make sure to bring essentials such as:

Wear Swimwear or a T-shirt and Shorts: Leave your hotel ready to go rafting, and bring a change of dry clothes. There are toilets at the start, and at the end of the trip, there are showers and changing rooms. We will provide you with a clean microfiber towel so you can dry off after you shower or before you change into dry clothes.

Shoes or Sports Sandals: Footwear that will stay on your feet is essential for an enjoyable rafting experience. Please do not wear flip-flops as these tend to break or get lost.

Sunscreen and Hats: Sunscreen should be applied before the trip and getting on the raft. If you are prone to getting burned, we suggest bringing sunscreen on the boat. Each boat has a mesh bag for loose items like sunscreen and water bottles. DO NOT apply sunscreen on your forehead or the back of your bottom. Splashes of water to your face are regular, and sunscreen will wash into your eyes and burn. Sunscreen on your bum will cause a slippery situation between your body and the boat, leading to an out-of-boat experience 🙂

Reusable Water Bottle: We carry potable water in our shuttle vehicle and encourage you to use a water bottle you can fill up rather than a single-use plastic bottle. Refreshments will be provided at the end of the trip.

What’s Provided

For us, your safety and enjoyment during your trips are paramount. We provide a pickup and drop-off shuttle service from your hotel or La Fortuna accommodation. All our rafting trips are guided, and we will have an experienced guide on each raft. Rafting equipment such as lifejackets, helmets, and paddles will be provided. A fruit snack will be served along the river, and lunch will be served at the end of the trip. Refreshments will be provided after the trip for the shuttle back.

Are you ready to experience the best Class 4 rafting trip in Costa Rica? Book your Sarapiquí River rafting trip today with us and create unforgettable memories in the heart of Costa Rica.


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