Sea and River Kayaking: A Fresh Approach to Nature
Counting more than 1,200 km of coastline, two gulfs and a multitude of tropical estuaries, Costa Rica is a beautiful playground for sea kayaking. Discover the pleasure of sea kayaking in an almost infinite space, and access to isolated coves home to beautiful flora and fauna, in total tranquility.
River kayaking is done on the San Juan River on Lake Arenal and in certain estuaries. Rio Corobicí (Class I-II) is a fairly quiet river, great for family kayaking trips. The Rio Pacuare, Rio Reventazon, Rio Chirripó or Rio include General rapids (III-IV classes). On the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero National Park is known for its extraordinary network of lagoons and canals in the middle of the tropical ecosystem. It is also a great way to discover the mangroves in places like Isla Damas and Tamarindo!
Where to Kayak?
Explore the canals of Tortuguero National Park for a smoother, quieter approach to nature! Discover the small channels where larger boats cannot go.
Explore Isla Damas, a peninsula covered with mangroves that arises in a bay south of Parrita at low tide. Kayak through countless swamps and canals and the vast mangrove along the coast from Quepos to Parrita. While paddling, you will have the opportunity to discover this ecosystem and observe the coatis, red crabs, capuchin monkeys and various species of snakes that live alongside crocodiles and caimans. Visiting hours depend on tides.
An easy and relaxing way to discover natural areas, kayaking Playa Samara you will see the coast, beaches and wildlife and the surrounding plant life. If you wish, you can hang a fishing rod on the back of your kayak, and with a little luck a fish will bite! It is also possible to reach the Isla Chora in front of Samara and spend a few hours exploring this desert island.
Located at the foot of the active Arenal volcano, the lake is a large (85 km) playground for many water activities. Kayaking here offers you a breathtaking view of the volcano. You will probably hear the sound of howler monkeys, observe some of the 400 species of birds… and, if you put a fishing rod in the back of your kayak, catch one of 10 fish species in the lake!
Lake Angostura, located in Turrialba, and it is fed by four rivers: the Reventazon, Turrialba, Tulin and Tuis. This lake is the largest and newest hydroelectric project in the country. It will allow Costa Rica to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality! It also is a water leisure center: many activities are carried out on this lake.
Rafting: Thrilling Sensations in Rough waters
The practice of whitewater rafting is one of the main activities that can be practiced in Costa Rica. Costa Rica was the host of the world rafting championships in both 1 998 and 2011 whihc took place on the Reventazón and Pacuare rivers.
This activity is well developed in the country, highly and rigorously regulated with international standards. The many streams and rivers that cross the country are accessible to all: from Class I (easy) to Class V (very difficult). The best season for rafting is from June to October, because of the number of cubic meters of water flowing into rivers, but it is accessible all year long!
Combining tropical river, hot springs, waterfalls and animals with bright colors, going rafting on the Pacuare River is truly a unique experience. With class III to class IV bordering the Talamanca mountains, you can be sure that this experience will leave you with amazing memories for a long time!
Whether in the gorges of the Rio Savegre or Naranjo River, sail on board your raft in the heart of the rain forest. Throughout the course of your trip down the river, you will stop to observe the local wildlife, cormorants, toucans, kingfishers and also to swim in natural pools or waterfalls.
Kite and Windsurfing
Lake Arenal, located at 1700 meters above sea level, is one of the top five places in the world for this sport. Strong and constant winds, water at about 20 degrees all year, a wave that reaches up to 1 meter in height, all with views of the volcano…this is a truly a unique site for kite surfers!
We particularly recommend Lake Arenal, Playa Zancudo in the Golfo Dulce or the Bahia Salinas (Guanacaste) for kitesurfing or windsurfing.
THE GUANACASTE ARENAL
Kitesurfing in Playa Copal
Forming part of Bahia Salinas, northwest of Costa Rica, Playa Copal is one of the few spots in the country known for kitesurfing. We recommend you get there between December and May, and more broadly between November and April, during windy season (20 to 25 knots on average).
Kitesurfing and windsurfing in Bahía Salinas
Located north of Guanacaste, Bahia Salinas is continuously swept by winds and therefore makes kitesurfing great, especially from December to April. The wind also blows from 20 to 25 knots on average and waves can reach 1 to 1.5 meters!
Kitesurfing and Windsurfing on Lake Arenal
The northernmost part of the lake is also known for kitesurfing. Lake Arenal is also ranked among the best lakes in the world for kiteboarding. The wind blows very strong and can blow continuously for several months.
Check out the site for WindGuru for expected forecasts and great info on the top kitesurfing or windsurfing spots!