RIO PACUARE, COSTA RICA
On September 15, Día de Independencia in Costa Rica, we didn’t have school so my friends and I decided to go on a white water rafting excursion. I had never gone rafting before so I really had not a clue what to expect, but I’m always up for trying something new so I was excited!
I woke up at 5am, before it was fully light out, to the sound of horns and shrieks. Happy Independence Day! We all met at Veritas, where an Exploradores Outdoors van picked us up and whisked us hours away to their base at the end of the river where we had breakfast and then set out on another 40+ minute drive to the area where we suited up in our helmets (mine was over the GoPro headstrap) and lifejackets (mine smelled like a high school boys locker room but it was the only one left that fit!).
We then met Ángel, our guide, who was hands-down the coolest guide out of all of them. Mike and I decided to sit in the front which basically meant that everyone followed our lead when Ángel told us to paddle. It was a ton of fun and a TON of work. Río Pacuare is one of the most popular, and I believe the longest, rivers in Costa Rica for white water rafting. It is also a level 4 river, which is pretty intense if you’re a beginner like me. Nevertheless, we paddled for 2 hours (me with the GoPro on my head to get some awesome footage!) and had an absolute blast!!
We then stopped for a burrito and pineapple lunch in a gorgeous wooded area overlooking the river before getting right back out there for another 2 hours! At this point we had all gotten the hang of the paddling and the river’s roughness so Ángel let us jump out of the raft and swim around under waterfalls, stand up in the raft, and even turn around so that we were all backwards. It was an absolute blast and no wave could knock the cheesy smile off of my face. I got to swim and paddle and laugh through some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen in my life. This was one of the coolest, most exhilarating things I have ever done. Life is so, so good.