Friday, December 19, 2014

Whitewater Rafting Costa Rica on the Paquare River

Overnight White Water Rafting on the Paquare River!

This was what we had been waiting for! I was really looking forward to this. We went with Exploradores Outdoors, a tour group that doubles as onward transportation to the next city when you are done with your rafting trip. We had our pickup in San Jose, so first we took the bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose, which was really easy. We spent a nice afternoon in SJ, walked around a bit, then hit the sack early for our 6am pickup for RAFTING!

This was in San Jose- I fit right in! ;-)

Here's a typical meal in Costa Rica- rice, beans, chicken, veggies and fried plantains. Served on a banana leaf.

SIDE NOTE: How to get from Manuel Antonio to San Jose.
Taking the bus to San Jose from Manuel Antonio is pretty easy. You should buy your tickets ahead of time, and you can only buy them from the bus station in Quepos. From anywhere along the road to MA, take the bus (630 colones) to the end of the line in Quepos and buy your tickets (4675 colones) right there at the bus station. Use Tracopa Direct. Direct is a little more expensive, but worth the money since you won't be stopping in every little town on the way. We did this on a free day, and spend some time exploring Quepos. There wasn't much there. We got some ice cream that was kind of weird. Meh. On the day we left, the bus was about 45 minutes late. We met a guy who said he had missed the previous two buses because he didn't know where they were picking up from - so we asked around and found out they were picking up from out in the parking lot. Bottom line: ask someone! Double check. And if something seems fishy, ask someone else. END SIDE NOTE...

This was our boat! There was only 5 people in our boat, plus our safety kayaker, in that cute  little tiny looks-like-a-bug kayak behind Oz. The safety kayaker scouts the route ahead and charts the way for our guide. Our guide then shouts directions at us and we are trained in how to follow his directions- Left forward! Stop! Right back! etc. He said our safety kayaker was one of the best in Costa Rica, and I could believe it! he did tricks like balancing on one end of the kayak, surfing a wave, and totally flipping the whole thing upside-down. They were both really good guides.

The other couple were Canadian, and having a nice vacation from the snow. It was really chill having the whole resort all to ourselves.

Here's our little hut

No windows, those are screens! 
The room is totally open to the air and jungle sounds, and always the roar of the river below. 

By night, our guides turned into chefs, and whipped up a gourmet meal. This dinner was both chicken AND fish, rice and steamed veggies with mushroom gravy. There was also plenty of beer and wine. All included! What an amazing experience. They also served up lunch when we got there, and breakfast the next day.

Here's the kitchen/lounge area. From this deck there were multitudes of butterflies, birds, and especially hummingbirds! The birds were having a great time playing in the trees. And at night, fireflies!

The next day was filled with a lot more rafting, and we met up with a group that was doing a day trip. Lunch was a pit stop on the side of the river, where we got to socialize with other rafters. There was a cool spot on the river where a hot river flowed into the Paquare. Our guide maneuvered us over and we got to enjoy the warm water on our feet. The water in the Paquare wasn't really cold, it just wasn't really warm. We had kind of a cloudy day, so we weren't as warm as we could be. In fact, it poured buckets when we first arrived at the resort, and instead of going on the waterfall hike we all just took a nap! It was so soothing to sleep under the rain. We saw a bunch of waterfalls the next day, and it didn't rain the next day. We were thankful the rain stopped, because they said if the river gets too high they don't raft, it can be too dangerous.

I don't have any pictures from the actual rafting because all we had were our iPhones, which were safely in the van along with our clothes, not on the boat with us! All I can say is the river was beautiful. Iconic jungle rafting, with toucans flying overhead, waterfalls spilling over from high cliffs, and people have a great time. If you like adventure and you don't mind getting wet, I highly recommend it!

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