Costa Rica // The Zona Norte //

White-water thrills: the Puerto Viejo and the Sarapiquí

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The wild Río Pacuaré near Turrialba may lure adrenaline junkies to Costa Rica, but the churning waters around La Virgen have plenty of thrilling white-water action on offer. The relaxing Class I–II run that puts in on the Río Puerto Viejo is essentially a scenic float along a jungle-lined river, suitable for wildlife-watchers and small children (from 3). Moving up a grade, the Class III runs, which start on the Río Sarapiquí around La Virgen, require good physical fitness but can be ridden by anyone over 8. If you want to tackle the ferocious and technically more demanding Class IV runs on the Upper Sarapiquí, you must be over 16 and have plenty of experience wielding a paddle.

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