A river winding through the dense Costa Rican rainforest, the Pacuare flows from the Talamanca Mountains to the Caribbean Sea. Known for its exotic wildlife as well as whitewater rafting conditions, the river is divided into sixteen sections. Sabe, palm, and banana trees line its waterfront, where colorful birds, monkeys, ocelots, and even jaguars can be spotted. As a true gorge, it is surrounded by walls of thick greenery, frequent waterfalls, and colorful plants. Sloths, toucans, parrots, butterflies, snakes, and frogs are a few of the animals that populate the rainforest beside its banks.
The river has several different classes of rapids, with varying levels of adventure based on skill levels and experience. Part of the river opens up to a unique five mile stretch of scenery, along the Valle del Pacuare. It has been recognized as one of the best river trips in the world, both for its rapids and its dramatic tropical rainforest scenery.
Visiting the river is best done as a guided trip. Turriabla is the closest city to the river, with transportation accessible from both San Jose and the Arenal areas. River rafting requires the rental of equipment and hiring of a guide, which can be done from either city.