Pacuare White Water Rafting
Turrialba Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
We arrived to San Jose in the early afternoon and rushed to get on the road. I prefer not to drive in Costa Rica after dark especially since we didn't really know where we were going. Our strategy was to get close to the Pacuare and stay in a place close so that we wouldn't have a 3 hour transfer in the morning of the rafting. It turned out to be the right decision as we found the place just as the dark settled in. I drove amazingly fast once leaving Cartago on beautiful mountain roads. Since it was Sunday, many people were out enjoying church and parks. The streets were full of people as well.
We decided to take a room at a plantation house. This was a fantastic place on a lake within a short distance of Turrialba and the Volcano.
Roberto from Tico's River Rafting picked us up and in only 30 minutes we arrived to the farm that controls the entrance to the river. The Pacuare River is clean and powerful. The rains of several days gave way to the sun providing optimal conditions. Big water and warm sun. Dozens of Class 4 and one or two Class 5. We ran Upper and Lower Huacas, Cimarron, Dos Montanas and many more. Roberto has been guiding on the Pacuare for 20 years. He stopped to give us a chance to trek up a side river to experience a very nice waterfall.
The next stop was on the East bank of the river in indigonous territory. Roberto had an agreement with the Cabecar Indian peoples who allowed us to use their palapus huts for our lunch. We brought extra food for the very nice family. Our food was typical rice, beans and veggies with a little meat on a tortilla finished off with a quarter pinnapple. Wow, what a life.
Back on the river we passed by an island on the 'dangerous' (Class 5) side while all the other rafts took the easy route.
The final impressive scene in the river is the gorge. In this place the river narrows dramatically (but remains calm) and we drifted through sheer canyon walls covered in plantlife and observed a rickety old footbridge. Interestingly this gorge has been the point of much debate as the public utility has attempted to get approval for a new hydro electric plant and therefore a big dam. The river guides, and eco-nazi's (gotta luv em) have effectively blocked the dam so far. For that we can all be glad and enjoy nature as intended.
After take-out we went to a small restro for showers and changing and a beer. By 5pm we were already on the road to our next destination. The only problem... 3 hours of driving in the dark to Puerto Viejo