Our family was rafting on the Sarapiqui River in Costa Rica, on an awesome tour with Aguas Bravas. My wife Lauren and I were in the front of the raft, with our two sons right behind us. Behind them was our friend Glennda, and two guides from Aguas Bravas.
The lead guide Victor was scolding me because I was looking back at my kids too much, when I should have been paddling. Admittedly, I was looking back to make sure they were still in the boat. But I was also looking back to see their faces, and to try and capture those looks of joy on my video camera that I mounted to my helmet.
In June we went rafting on the Sarapiqui on an absolutely gorgeous day. I’ve done some whitewater canoeing before, but these waves were a lot bigger and this was a new experience for our whole family.The Aguas Bravas team is awesome. Our group of 20 people were split between 5 rafts, each with an experienced guide who would steer the boat. Everyone else’s job in the boat is to listen to the guide, and paddle in the direction they tell you.
You’ll go through a series of rapids over the course of 2.5 hours, with different names like “Morning Coffee”, “Superman”, and more. The rapids are exhilirating, and you are guaranteed to get wet, to laugh alot, and to shout “Pura Vida!”.
We did the Class II and III Sarapiqui Eco Rafting trip, which was safe for our sons (ages 8 and 10) to go on with us. If your children are older, you can opt for the Class III and IV rapids (12 yrs and up). The smaller rapids were still not that small, as our videos from the trip show, and the kids had a ball.
You may very well fall out of the boat at some point, as our younger son did and several people in our group did. But it’s very safe and Victor pulled in our son Joshua before Lauren and I could even react. Joshua had a huge smile on his face the whole time, and he loved it.Along the way, Victor pointed out birds, trees and flowers, and at one break point even went in the woods and came back with a couple of poisonous dart frogs to show us.
Midway through the trip they serve a very refreshing buffet of fresh fruit and water, and at the end of the trip we had a typical Costa Rican lunch at their restaurant which was at the end of the rapids.
For part of the rapids, Victor switched our sons to the front of the raft. That’s not because I was still ignoring my paddling to watch them – I got better, I promise! It was so they could just get a different perspective from the front of the boat for some of the rapids. They absolutely loved this part, because now they were only given the job to sit up front and hold on!
Rafting with Aguas Bravas was an excellent experience, and I can’t wait to do it again someday. Some of us at HereCostaRica have already done it multiple times – check out David’s post about a trip with Aguas Bravas on the Chirripó river!
For more information on Aguas Bravas, visit http://costaricaraftingvacation.com/
To see the Sarapiqui River trips in particular, visit this page on Aguas Bravas: