Pacuare Lodge

Named a “Unique Lodge of the World” by National Geographic, this lodge is in good company. One of my favorites for Costa Rica travelers looking for different, exotic, Off the Beaten Path adventure.

Pacuare Lodge is unique due to how you get to/from the property. It is a whitewater rafting experience down the famous Pacuare River. Guests are picked up in San Jose, Costa Rica capital city, at approximately 630am. There are only 3 hotels form which they will provide transportation so be sure to do your homework or work with your travel Advisor.

Enroute to the put in point of the river, guests will be treated to a typical Costa Rican breakfast. This breakfast will always include Gallo Pinto, a local delicacy of rice, beans, cilantro and other goodies. Homemade tortillas, eggs and fresh fruit usually top it off along with delicious local coffee. This hearty meal will give you the stamina you’ll need for the Level II-III rapids you are about to tackle.

After a brief safety lesson from you Pacuare guide you will strap on your life jackets and helmets and board your raft. This guide will give instructions as you float down the river towards the various rapids. There is time to stop in a secluded cove, if water conditions permit, for a quick swim and cool off.

Upon arrival to this magnificent property you will learn about the love and dedication that went into creating this one of a kind lodge hidden in the jungle. The river guides stay throughout your stay and become your servers in the restaurant making delicious recommendations for each meal. The food is organic and mostly locally

Pacuare Lodge’s first and foremost priority is the preservation of the environment, land and culture in this protected region. Guests are encouraged to join a daily Sustainable Tour and experience a behind- the –scene tour of the facilities. Learning about the concept, history and actions that are taken to minimize impacts on the environment while supporting conservation and providing benefits for nearby communities. The onsite naturist guide will take you to visit the hydroelectric micro-central turbine, recycling program, and end with a visit to Jaguar Hall where you learn about this endangered feline.

Of course adventures besides rafting include kayaking, hiking, canyoning and zipline. The Nest is a platform hidden in the treetops where one can zipline in, enjoy a delicious meal and rappel down. This is offered for both breakfast, lunch and dinner and reservations are required.

For Nature Lovers the bird watching is spectacular, or take a hike to a local waterfall, not for the faint of heart but there are multiple trails and hikes for every level or activity.

The suites and villas are among the highlights of your stay. Each is a free-standing unit with all the amenities of home. Private bathrooms have both indoor and outdoor showers. Although this is an air-conditioning free property the multiple doors with screens can be opened to enjoy the fresh breeze. Sleeping to the sound of the running river is soothing and relaxing after an active day.

Many of the villas have their own private plunge pool to cool off after a long hike. This past year Pacuare added an infinity pool to the property for all guests to enjoy.

Although families and couples alike are welcome to enjoy the property there is a minimum age allowed of 12 for rafting. Children ages 7 to 11 may access the lodge via 4×4 . As you are a captive audience all your meals are included but your bar tab is not. The bartender will delight you with specialty cocktails, Huacas crafted  beer produced at Pacuare Lodge and spirits.

 As you are a captive audience all your meals are included but your bar tab is not. The bartender will delight you with specialty cocktails, local beers and spirits.

The rafting out is a Level III-IV and although you will be sad to depart the views are unforgettable. The guides will give you the opportunity to float down river and view the surrounding gorge, truly spectacular and great time to use your GoPro!

Once the trip is complete you are transferred to an area where you can change clothes, use the facilities and board your last and final leg back to San Jose. Because of the early departure and late arrival, overnights in San Jose are strongly recommended. Although some may continue to Arenal or other areas to complete their magical Costa Rican experience.