La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano)
Near Arenal there are the three main rivers; the Toro, the Balsa and the Peñas Blancas. Each river offers a different rafting style. Some trips are a cozy “river safari” where you can enjoy a slow pace and excellent animal watching while others take you through class III and IV rapids. Like most activities in Costa Rica, there is something for everyone regardless of age or experience. The guides accompany each trip and ensure that the tours are prepared with all of the necessary equipment and rafting knowledge. Most tours include transportation and lunch. The three options are discussed below.
Peñas Blancas River (Floating) Class I -II
The Peñas Blancas River passes through the Tilarán mountain range in north-central Costa Rica before converging with the San Carlos River just east of the Arenal Volcano. This river flows slowly and is very pleasant. Rafting trips down the Peñas Blancas River will allow you to enjoy the sights and sounds of the river as well as the countryside pastures. Be on the lookout for monkeys, iguanas, caimans, crocodiles, and a wide range of bird species. Swimming here is peaceful and ideal for people of all ages.
Peñas Blancas River Tour Description
They arrive on the banks of the Peñas Blancas River about 45 minutes later, where you meet your guide and be introduced into the rafting equipment. As soon as all participants are ready, the tour begins. The Peñas Blancas is a slow and gentle river that makes it a perfect place to observe the wilderness. Keep your eyes on the passing rainforest and you can be able to spot monkeys, faults, iguanas, caymans and various types of tropical birds. As you descend the river, your experienced guide will guide you through the area and help you discover creatures. This tour lasts two hours. We recommend wearing shorts and sandals (or shoes that can get wet) and bring you insect repellent, a rain coat and camera.
Balsa River Class II – III
The Balsa River has class II and III currents. This category has quiet stretches as well as some more exciting passages. However, it is not too intense, and a ride on the Balsa River is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. The rafting adventure usually takes about 2 hours and leads through picturesque forest landscapes. Experience the excitement and adrenaline of whitewater rafting on the Balsa River with rapids graduated from 2 to 3, a perfect choice for families looking for a short adventure.
Tour Description Balsa River Tour
Experience the excitement and adrenaline of whitewater rafting on the Balsa River with rapids graded from 2 to 3, a perfect choice for families looking for a short rafting tour, one that is not too wild and also does not take too long, but still brings adventure and adrenaline. After meeting your river guide in your hotel, head for the river for an hour, where the fun begins! Your guides will declare the safety procedures and ensure the equipment before embedding the river. From here, you will experience up to 2 exciting hours of whitewater action on this beautiful tropical river. This river is a great option for families and beginners.
Toro River Class II – III
The Toro River starts near the volcano Poás in the central highlands of Costa Rica. From here, the river goes north-eastwards and finally empties into the Caribbean Sea. On the way it leads through dense forests, impressive gorges and gentle hills. A trip to the Toro – meaning “Bull River” in English – is an exciting, fast-paced affair. There are technical rapids and large, sweeping waves. All this time, this trip continues through the rapids of class III and IV and will also challenge the most experienced rafters.
Tour Description Toro River Tour
El Río Toro has an upper course which starts at Poás volcano. From here, the river winds through the rainforest and gradually increases when it collects water from smaller streams. Before emptying into the Caribbean Ocean, El Río Toro leads through dense forests and spectacular gorges. As the name suggests, this is an aggressive river – its waters range from Class II to Class IV rapids. As such, it offers some of Costa Rica’s best rafting. There are big waves, technical rapids and almost continuous white water. It is a trip that is filled with nonstop class 3 and 4 rapids that challenge even the most experienced guests. This trip begins with a scenic drive through the eastern part of central Costa Rica, home to pineapples, papaya and yucca fields. Once the river is reached, trained guides will check the rules and safety guidelines with the guests. Once everyone feels comfortable and ready, the ride begins. Expect wonderful scenery and an exciting ride. Halfway through the trip, lunch is enjoyed on the banks of the river, and in the end, guests are treated with cold drinks and a lunch of Gallo Pinto and fresh fruit.