The Sarapiqui Region is arguably the best area for kayaking and rafting in all of Costa Rica.  The climate of the area permits paddling all year long and the area is also home to many rivers, including the Sarapiqui River, that originates between the Poás and Barba volcanoes and runs for 85 Kms to the San Juan River, the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Thirty five kilometres of the river are used by paddlers of all levels from all over the world since it can be run all year long and is easily divided into three skill sections. Starting with 1200 feet of altitude and a flow volume of 1,300 ft3/second, twelve kilometres run through an impressive canyon with some of Costa Rica´s best paddling, big waves, technical rapids and pure white water followed by a long section of adrenaline filled scenic paddling class III and IV where you can take out at Chilamate when the altitude starts to drop to 100 feet and the flow rate lowers to 5,000 ft3/second, perfect for a safari float or kayak lesson, for any age.

Close by you can also run the Rio Volcan, the upper Rio Pozo Azul, the Rio Toro, Rio Sucio, Rio Chirripo Norte, Rio Toro Amarillo or Rio Patria, among others! Below is a chart of the best sections in the Sarapiqui Area!

Retreat Owners Davis Azofeifa and Meghan Casey passionately support kayaking and believe that more kayakers means more conservation and protection of our rivers!

The Retreat is a perfect place for kayakers and the owners are happy to help plan your itinerary, coordinate transportation, boat rentals and excellent local guides. The Retreat has two minibuses available to rent, equipped with custom designed kayak racks and great contacts for lodging and guides in Sarapiqui, Turrialba, Quepos and beyond.

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Sarapiqui Area Rivers

Rivers Sections Classification
Rio Sarapiqui Pilas IV+
San Miguel IV
Lower Sarapiqui I, II, III
Rio Volcan “Tetas de mi abuela” IV, IV+
Rio Poza Azul Upper Poza Azul IV, V, V+
Rio Toro Upper Toro IV, V
Recreo Verde III, IV
Rio Aguas Zarcas Upper Aquas Zarcas IV, V
Rio Sucio Upper Braulio Carillo Bridge IV, IV+
Rio Chirripo Norte Lower Sucio III, III+
Rio Toro Amarillo Upper IV, V
Lower III, IV+
Rio Patria One Day IV, V+
Rio Bijagual Ticos Paradise Fall V
Rio Puerto Viejo Upper IV, IV+


Call: +506-2766-6949 or +506-8842-1171