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Costa Rica
9 Day Vacation Package

Costa Rica Vacation Questions

A rafting vacation in Costa Rica often entails many questions. What type of boats are used? How does my stay on the river work? What is the food like? What do I need to bring and what is supplied? You'll find answers to all these questions and many more in the categories below.

Reservations & Cancellations

What deposit is required?

An initial deposit of 50% per person is required to secure your space. Deposits may be made by check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express).

Can I hold space without a deposit?

No, space cannot be held without a deposit. Trips leave daily, so if you have some flexibility, we can likely find a departure date that works for you.

When is final payment due?

Payment in full is due 90 days prior to trip departure and is non-refundable. Payment may be paid by check (preferably) or credit card.

How can I make payments?

For your convenience, we offer an automatic payment service to charge the balance due to your credit card 90 days prior to trip departure or you may make partial payments by credit card or check providing the full balance is paid 90 days prior to your trip. We reserve the right to cancel your reservation if full payment is not collected by the due date. You may also make payments towards your balance prior to the final due date. These payments may be made online or by phone. Installment payments can be scheduled to run automatically if requested. For payments over $10,000 and for large international payments, a check or wire transfer is preferred.

What is the cancellation and refund policy?

Standard Reservations (3 -7 Rooms)

Your initial deposit of 50% is refundable less a $100 per person cancellation fee if cancelled 90 + days before trip departure. Payment in full is due 90 days prior to trip departure and is non-refundable. Trip or date transfers will be treated as a cancellation and will incur the same fees. Name changes are subject to a $50 service charge (per person) if processed within 90 days of trip departure.

Group Reservations (8 to 19 Rooms)

Your initial deposit of 50% is refundable less 20% if cancelled 121+ days before trip departure. Cancellations made 120 to 90 days prior to departure will be charged 50% of the total booking. Payment in full is due 90 days prior to trip departure and is non-refundable. Trip or date transfers will be treated as a cancellation and will incur the same fees. Name changes are subject to a $50 service charge (per person) if processed within 90 days of trip departure.

Our cancellation policy applies in every instance and there will be no exceptions for any reason. Western River Expeditions will not issue any refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early whether voluntary or caused by other circumstances. Western River Expeditions is not responsible for any expenses incurred due to travel delays, flight cancellations, or illness. Western River Expeditions assumes no financial responsibility for personal injury, emergency evacuation, or personal equipment lost or damaged in any way.

In the event that we are forced to cancel any portion of the direct services provided by Western River Expeditions or contractors due to unsafe water levels, wildfire, flooding or other unforeseen circumstances, Western River Expeditions will refund the portion of the unavailable services. However, in these cases, refunds will not be given for flights or other travel expenses related to the trip.

Depending on availability and advance notice, you may have the option to transfer your reservation to another date or trip for a transfer fee. This is not guaranteed, and availability and transfer policies vary between trips.

Is cancellation insurance available?

If you are concerned about the possibility of having to cancel, you will find information about cancellation coverage at www.travelguard.com/westernriver.

Some of the most difficult situations occur when a guest needs to cancel a few days before a trip because of an injury, a family illness, or some other catastrophic event. In these situations, we generally do not have time to refill the space. Yet, we have already spent considerable time, money, and energy preparing for your trip: scheduling vehicles, flights, drivers, guides and equipment, purchasing food, etc. Because of our short season and very limited number of available seats, we cannot afford the financial loss that cancellations cause. Therefore, consider the investment you are making in your vacation and whether or not you could afford the loss if you did have to cancel.

What about tips and gratuities?

Gratuities for guides, waiters and drivers are not included. Tipping is voluntary, of course, but it is a nice way to recognize special attention or express gratitude for the service you receive during your stay. Any gratuity offered to guides, housekeepers, waiters, or massage therapists is greatly appreciated and at your own discretion.


Are departures guaranteed?

Yes, every departure is guaranteed. However, on occasions (generally during the late summer and fall with heavier rain) we are forced to cancel the arrival and/or departure by river rafting to Pacuare Lodge due to unsafe water levels of the river. In these cases, clients will access or leave the lodge by ground transportation by 4x4 vehicle (approximately a 45-minute ride). A refund of the unused portion of the rafting trip will be given under these circumstances.

What if the date I want is sold out?

Due to the popularity of this Costa Rica Package and the singularity of the Pacuare River and Lodge experience, this is a trip that generally must be booked far in advance. However, if your dates are not flexible, we can either put you on a wait list in hopes that some space will open from cancellations or we can suggest an alternate adventure.

Groups & Charters

What is the maximum number of guests on this trip?

There are 19 total rooms at the lodge, so the total number of guests depends on the availability and configuration of those rooms.

How many guests per raft?

There is space for 6 guests plus a guide on each raft.

Can I charter my own private trip?

This is possible if you have enough people to book all the rooms at the lodge (likely around 40) and book far enough in advance that no other guests are booked.

What about group discounts?

Based on the size of your group and the time frame of your travel, we may be able to offer a discount for larger groups.

What if I’m traveling solo?

No problem! You'll have your own room throughout the itinerary. You will enjoy the camaraderie of the group during guided activities and have your own private time in between. Because pricing is based on double occupancy, a single supplement charge will apply.

Physical Requirements

What are the physical requirements for this trip?

A whitewater rafting trip can be both thrilling and challenging. Participation requires an appropriate mind set. The same qualities that make a river trip appealing to most people can present real difficulties to others. We desire to strike the appropriate balance between encouraging our guests to stretch themselves and making sure they are protected from harm.

The remoteness of the location, rugged terrain, and being outdoors are a major part of the appeal. We take pride in our ability to accommodate a variety of disabilities and strive to make our trips as accessible as possible. However, a river trip is not for everyone. The last thing we want is for you to be miserable or to get injured. Your decision to participate should be carefully evaluated.

The following list is designed to help you understand the various demands of a river trip so you will be better informed and can determine whether you and other members of your party are well-suited for the activity.

Do I need to know how to swim to go on this trip?

You need to be comfortable floating in water while wearing a lifejacket and you need the ability to propel yourself through the water to assist in your own rescue should you fall out of the raft. Falling off the boat into the river, or having your boat capsize is one of the inherent risks associated with whitewater rafting. If this happens, you will need the ability to self-rescue by swimming to the boat or to shore.

Each guest wears a lifejacket and the lifejackets, if worn properly, are very effective at keeping you above water, but if you are unable to swim, it can still be a threatening situation because the waters are turbulent.

Self-Sufficiency

A river trip is a participatory experience and requires each guest to be reasonably self-sufficient. Our guides will look after the safety and welfare of all the participants on the trip, but you are also responsible for your own safety! Our guides will provide you with the information and tools you need to participate; however, they already fill nearly every minute of their day performing their duties on behalf of the group. They will not be able to devote a lot of extra time to any one individual on the trip.

Remote Locations

Our trips are operated in remote locations. At any given time, you may be several hours away from medical help. Our guides are all trained in First Aid, CPR and swift water rescue. Many of our guides have additional certifications such as Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder. Guides are well-trained in emergency procedures, however, sometimes injuries or the aggravation of pre-existing medical conditions are severe enough to require evacuation from the trip.

Weather
On the same trip, you may experience cold, heat, wind and perfectly comfortable conditions. For this reason, we encourage our guests to bring everything from shorts to substantial rain gear. In Costa Rica, rain is common throughout the year so please bring raingear that you can be comfortable wearing for all activities.
Hiking

As we travel down river and during our stays at various locations, we enjoy several hikes and walks which can be either very short and relatively easy, or much longer, covering significant distances and elevation. We may hike over uneven, rocky, and often steep surfaces. Though all the hikes are not mandatory, when the rafts are tied up in swift current, all guests must get off the rafts and move up the shore a distance. Guests cannot be left on the rafts due to safety concerns. Reasonable mobility is important. If you have questions about your limitations, please call.

Boats

Getting on and off the boats can be very challenging. We park the boats against a variety of terrain such as rocks, steep sandy beaches, and flat locations. The boat is sometimes moving up and down and side to side when tied up in faster current. Boats may also be slippery and they have uneven surfaces. The front of the raft is turned up allowing it to climb waves. Because we have to park the rafts with the front against the shore, it makes a taller barrier to climb over when boarding or de-boarding the raft.

Falling off the raft

Falling off a boat into the river, or having your boat capsize is one of the inherent risks associated with whitewater rafting. If this happens, you will need the ability to self-rescue by swimming to the boat or to shore. If you end up on shore, you will need to traverse a rocky shoreline to rejoin the boat which cannot maneuver upstream.

For those participants who have heart conditions or who are very overweight, falling into the river also presents the possibility of a “cold-water immersion heart attack.” This is caused when the person swimming cannot calm his/her breathing within a reasonable amount of time (generally 60 seconds).

Lifejackets

Each guest wears a lifejacket and they are very effective at keeping you above water, but if you are unable to swim, it can still be a threatening situation because the waters are turbulent. The lifejackets we use are certified by the United States Coast Guard and are approved for use by our managing agencies (National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management & Utah State Parks & Recreation). They are classified as “Type V Whitewater” jackets, and they come in two basic sizes “Youth” and “Adult Universal.”

Youth jackets fit someone weighing between 50 and 90 pounds (23-41kg). An Adult Universal Jacket is rated “for persons weighing more than 90 pounds (41kg).” They are highly adjustable and fit a range of chest sizes from 30 - 58 inches (76-147 cm). Body shape can also affect the proper fit of the jacket. If you are unsure, call and speak with us. If necessary, we’ll mail you one of our jackets and you can try it on.

The Importance of Full Disclosure

We don’t want to be overly discouraging, but it is important for your safety and comfort that we be forthcoming about the specific challenges presented on a river trip. It is also vitally important that you disclose any and all physical, emotional, and mental conditions, limitations, or challenges you or your children may have. Likewise, it is important to be completely honest about the age and weight of children. Undisclosed medical or physical conditions might affect the safety and well-being of you and/or other participants on the trip. It is critical that you share this information with us in advance so that we can help keep you safe.

We cannot absolutely guarantee your safety, or the suitability of a trip like this for you. For a participant who is not capable of meeting these criteria, a river trip, particularly a multi-day trip, can be unpleasant, dangerous, or even fatal. For those who meet these criteria, these trips are often the best experiences of their lives. The difference is in determining your suitability for a trip, then selecting the right trip for you, and arriving physically and mentally prepared to actively and joyfully participate in the experience.

We encourage you to carefully evaluate your overall physical, mental, and emotional condition in relation to these environmental challenges. If you have concerns or questions about your physical condition, we recommend you also consult your physician. If you have questions about the specific parameters of a rafting trip with Western River Expeditions, please contact our office at 1-800-453-7450 or 801-942-6669. We would be happy to provide any other information you need to make this decision, or to discuss any of this information in detail.

Traveling with Children

What is the age limit for this trip and is it flexible?

As our minimum rafting age is 12, most of our guests are couples, groups, or families with older children. We do offer ground transportation to and from the lodge, so guests can, if they wish, bring children ages 7 and up.

Is this the best trip for younger children?

Most of the activities and facilities at the Pacuare Lodge are geared for older children and adults. However, younger children will certainly love the wildlife and warm river and ocean water. Longer drives between locations can be harder for younger children. If you're looking for an excellent adventure vacation with younger children, we highly recommend our 5-Day Desolation Canyon trip out of Moab, Utah.

Preparing & Packing

What should I bring?

Please see our recommended packing list. Your list for what you bring on the river may differ a little from the rest of your belongings. However, if you pack light, you may be able to bring it all on the river with you.

Print the Packing List for this trip

Do I need a wetsuit?

No. Water temperatures on the Pacuare River and in the ocean are quite comfortable. Temperatures can range between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can I bring my own lifejacket or PFD?

Guests are not allowed to bring their own lifejacket or PFD. Guests of commercial outfitters wear Type V Whitewater lifejackets. Personal life jackets are usually meant for lake sports and even Type III jackets, meant for kayaking or canoeing, are not acceptable for use by our guests.

Fortunately, the newer generations of Type V life jackets are very comfortable. They also have a lot more floatation than the typical personal jacket.

What about fishing on the river?

Fishing on the river is possible from the shore while at the lodge. If you want to fish, bring a collapsible pole inside a case that can ideally fit inside your luggage.

How should I be dressed the morning of my rafting trip?

Be ready for the river when you are picked up at your hotel in San Jose. This means you should be wearing sturdy water sandals, swimsuit, quick-drying shirt, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

What about sun protection?

You will want to have at least 30 SPF sunscreen on when on the river and outside at any time. You may also consider a lightweight, quick-drying, long-sleeve shirt or pants for added sun protection.

Can I bring a camera on the river? What about charging it?

You cannot charge your camera while on the raft. However, during your stay at the Pacuare Lodge, there is a charging area by the main office. Bungalows do not have outlets.

This video features some excellent camera tips:


Guidelines for camera use on the river:

You are free to film and shoot photos during our trips, however, we ask that you consult with your guide before doing so. We have some guidelines you will be asked to follow. These include:

  • Shooting from an appropriate location - Wearing a camera in certain locations could endanger yourself or others around you. If your guide feels that your use of a camera may put you or another guest in danger, you may be asked to put the camera away or move to a safer location for filming.
  • No pole mounts or extension devices on rafts - Cameras cannot be mounted to poles or other extension devices while on rafts as this may endanger you or other guests.
  • Shut down cameras in emergency situations - For the privacy of those involved and your own personal safety, you will be expected to shut your camera down if first aid is being rendered or in an emergency situation. We need all guests to remain alert and undistracted from filming or taking pictures in such situations.
  • Anticipate battery or card change necessities - If you see your card getting full or battery getting low, change them ahead of time during an appropriate moment. Rafts or vehicles cannot be stopped to change batteries or memory cards.
  • Cameras may be damaged or lost - We cannot guarantee the safety of your camera. It may become wet, sandy, lost in the river, dropped on a hike, etc.
  • Respect the privacy of others - If someone does not want to be filmed or photographed, please respect their privacy.
  • If you’re wondering what type of camera is most suitable for the river, here are a few thoughts.

    Waterproof/Shockproof Digital Cameras - These cameras are perfect for everyday use and have become very affordable with most at $100 to $300. They’re rugged and waterproof, but also elegant and trim like any other digital camera.

    GoPro and Similar Cameras - Together with their durable waterproof cases, these cameras can take some nice shots while on and off the water. Generally, the wide angle zoom cannot be adjusted so this should be taken into consideration. We ask that you plan to mount these cameras only with the head strap or helmet mount options (bring your own helmet). You will not be allowed to mount the cameras anywhere on the rafts during travel on the river.

    Larger SLR Cameras - It is possible to bring a larger SLR camera, but be sure to have something sturdy to protect it. We recommend a hard-shell Pelican Case if you’re planning to bring a more expensive camera. Space is limited on the boats, so we try to keep additional camera equipment minimal.

    Aquapac - This is a good solution if you aren’t in the market for a brand new camera, but just want to protect the one you have. It is a flexible waterproof housing to fit a number of camera types -- including video cameras. You do need to make sure the plastic housing stays clean as you’re shooting through it, but a lot of our guests find this to be a nice solution.

    See it at Red Rock Outfitters

    Batteries and Cards - While your are in remote areas during your trip, there will not be any location to charge your batteries or devices. Consider bringing extra batteries and memory cards and don't forget to charge your extra batteries before you get to the river.

    Small Float - You might consider attaching your camera to a small float that may save your camera if you happen to drop it in the river. GoPro sells a small, attachable float that fits on the back of the camera housing that many of our guests find useful.

    How do I protect my belongings from getting wet?

    Your main luggage will be stored in large dry bags as they are transported down river. Anything that you carry personally should be okay to get wet.

    What gear is provided with the river trip?

    All necessary rafting equipment is provided. This includes your lifejacket / PFD, paddle, and helmet.

    What do I do with extra luggage?

    Pacuare Lodge offers a complimentary luggage stowing service at our river take out warehouse in Siquirres.

    Up to the present we have never had any problems with theft, however, Pacuare Lodge will not be held responsible for any lost or stolen objects. Therefore we will require guests to securely padlock all luggages left at our facilities.

    It is also advisable for guests not to leave behind valuables or important documents such as passports and credit cards. The latter should taken to the Pacuare Lodge in ziplock plastic bags or similar (we provide safety boxes in our bungalows). Additionally, guests who leave luggage at our facilities will be asked to sign a form consenting to the above conditions.

    Are there any guidelines for camera use on the river?

    We do have several guidelines and suggestions for camera use while on your trip. You are free to film and shoot photos during our trips, however, we ask that you consult with your guide before doing so. We have some guidelines you will be asked to follow. These include:

    • Shooting from an appropriate location - Wearing a camera in certain locations could endanger yourself or others around you. If you guide feels that your use of a camera may put you or another guest in danger, you may be asked to put the camera away or move to a safer location for filming.
    • No pole mounts or extension devices on rafts - Cameras cannot be mounted to poles or other extension devices while on rafts as this may endanger you or other guests.
    • Shut down cameras in emergency situations - For the privacy of those involved and your own personal safety, you will be expected to shut your camera down if first aid is being rendered or in an emergency situation. We need all guests to remain alert and undistracted from filming or taking pictures in such situations.
    • Anticipate battery or card change necessities - If you see your card getting full or battery getting low, change them ahead of time during an appropriate moment. Rafts or vehicles cannot be stopped to change batteries or memory cards.
    • Cameras may be damaged or lost - We cannot guarantee the safety of your camera. It may become wet, sandy, lost in the river, dropped on a hike, etc.
    • Respect the privacy of others - If someone does not want to be filmed or photographed, please respect their privacy.

    If you’re wondering what type of camera is most suitable for the river, here are a few thoughts.

    Waterproof/Shockproof Digital Cameras - These cameras are perfect for everyday use and have become very affordable with most at $100 to $300. They’re rugged and waterproof, but also elegant and trim like any other digital camera.

    GoPro and Similar Cameras - Together with their durable waterproof cases, these cameras can take some nice shots while on and off the water. Generally, the wide angle zoom cannot be adjusted so this should be taken into consideration. We ask that you plan to mount these cameras only with the head strap or helmet mount options (bring your own helmet). You will not be allowed to mount the cameras anywhere on the rafts during travel on the river.

    Larger SLR Cameras - It is possible to bring a larger SLR camera, but be sure to have something sturdy to protect it. We recommend a hard-shell Pelican Case if you’re planning to bring a more expensive camera. Space is limited on the boats, so we try to keep additional camera equipment minimal.

    Aquapac - This is a good solution if you aren’t in the market for a brand new camera, but just want to protect the one you have. It is a flexible waterproof housing to fit a number of camera types -- including video cameras. You do need to make sure the plastic housing stays clean as you’re shooting through it, but a lot of our guests find this to be a nice solution.

    See it at Red Rock Outfitters

    Batteries and Cards - While your are in remote areas during your trip, there will not be any location to charge your batteries or devices. Consider bringing extra batteries and memory cards and don't forget to charge your extra batteries before you get to the river.

    Small Float - You might consider attaching your camera to a small float that may save your camera if you happen to drop it in the river. GoPro sells a small, attachable float that fits on the back of the camera housing that many of our guests find useful.

    Do I need a passport to travel to Costa Rica?

    Yes. Be sure to prepare months in advance to renew or obtain a valid and current passport during the time of travel.

    Should I bring cash and what is the preferred currency?
    You will want to have small bills ($20 increments) on hand for souvenirs, restaurants, spa treatments, etc., as credit card processing is not always available. US Dollars are commonly accepted in Costa Rica. You may wish to exchange a portion of your money to colones (Costa Rican currency) at the airport in San Jose or a local bank for small purchases such as fast food. You will want to spend this money while in Costa Rica as there is a steep exchange rate to convert back to the US dollar.

    On the River

    How much time is spent on the raft?

    You'll spend 2-3 hours on the first leg of your rafting trip down to the Pacuare Lodge.

    What is a typical day on the river?

    We'll experience whitewater rapids and calm sections of water coursing through rugged canyons and verdant tropical rainforests on one of the most exotic and scenic rivers in the world. We'll make a stop or two to do a short walk up to a waterfall or other area of interest.

    What about rapids and water levels?

    The Pacuare River is rated a class III-V river which means it has some straightforward, fun rapids and others that are more technical. Water levels can fluctuate dramatically due to rainfall which does impact the speed of the river and the size of the rapids.

    What type of raft can I expect?

    On the Pacuare River, we use paddle rafts that fit 6 guests.

    What is the water temperature on the river?

    The river temperature is generally between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

    What about swimming?

    A few sections on the river are suitable for swimming. Your river guide will let you know when you can get out of the raft and float down the river.

    What bathroom facilities are available during my trip?

    Standard bathroom facilities are not available for the time you are on the river. However, there are toilets at the river put in, at the lodge and at the river take out location.

    What do I do about feminine hygiene during the river trip?

    If you expect to be menstruating during your trip, we recommend the use of tampons rather than pads. While on the river, you will constantly be getting wet, so pads are not ideal. You will only be on the river for a short period during two days of your itinerary, so this will likely not be too big of a problem. You'll have standard bathroom facilities at the Pacuare Lodge and during each part of your stay in other locations.

    Can I be contacted while on the river?

    You will not have cell phone reception while on the river. However, there is a small area at the lodge where you can get wifi if you need to contact someone. The reception area also has an IP phone system that can be used for emergency situations.

    What additional activities are available at the Pacuare Lodge?

    The Pacuare Canopy Adventure (Included): A thrilling adventure where visitors glide amid a tropical rainforest canopy

    The Day Break Activity Tour: An early morning tour that explores the impressive variety of plant and animal life native to this area (led by a naturalist guide).

    The Cabecar Indians Tour: Enjoy a fascinating cultural exchange with a Cabecar Shaman (participants should be in reasonably good shape as the tour involves some strenuous hiking).

    In addition to the above tours, the second floor of our main lodge boasts several hammocks (just steps from the soothing sound of the river), board games and a well-stocked collection of nature books.

    Therapeutic Rainforest Massage: Experience the energy of a tropical paradise with our deep tissue Therapeutic Rainforest Massage

    The Great Outdoors

    What can I expect with my accommodations?

    All accommodations on your trip will be 3-star or better. Learn more on our accommodations page.

    What are the sleeping arrangements during the trip?

    Throughout the itinerary, all rooms are private and will not be shared with anyone except those specified within your party.

    How do I bathe while on the river?

    Each room at the Pacuare Lodge is equipped with private solar-heated showers.

    What about bugs and mosquitos?

    Although the Pacuare Lodge is located deep in the jungle (generally too deep for the mosquitoes to even find us!), we have had very few complaints about bugs from our guests. Our bungalows are well screened, so the important thing is to keep your bungalow door closed at all times. For late afternoon outings, or hikes into the rainforest, we highly recommend a good dousing of insect repellant.

    Should I be concerned about malaria?

    The short answer is no. Although the CDC (Center for Disease Control) does list certain provinces of Costa Rica as posing a possible malaria risk, these areas are isolated outbreaks generally occurring in areas far from tourist traffic. We strongly recommend you follow your physician’s advice in this matter – but as far as we know, in recent years no tourist has contracted malaria in Costa Rica.

    What about the Zika virus?

    Costa Rica has highly consolidated protocols for the prevention and control of diseases. Further, the World Health Organization states that Costa Rica has one of the best sanitation systems in Latin America. However, we recommend staying informed and up-to-date with the following links to these trusted organizations:

    Centers for Disease Control

    World Health Organization

    Do you require vaccinations to travel to Costa Rica?

    If you are traveling from outside Costa Rica, please consider that you may require vaccination against some diseases found in other parts of the world. There is currently no risk of yellow fever in Costa Rica, although Costa Rican government requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. We recommend to ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US.

    What do I do with jewelry while on the river?

    It is best to leave your jewelry behind. Rafting is an active vacation and jewelry often gets in the way. Earrings and necklaces can get caught on lifejackets. Rings can also cause injuries when you are holding on tightly to ropes.

    Food & Beverage

    What meals are provided with the trip?

    During the course of your 9-day vacation package, you will have 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners included. All meals while on the river and at the Pacuare Lodge are included. You will have some optional meals while in the Arenal area and in Manuel Antonio, providing an opportunity for you to go out and experience your favorite cuisine at local restuarants.

    What is the food like?

    At the Pacuare Lodge, all meals are served at the main lodge or deck. Breakfast includes a healthy assortment of eggs, pancakes, cereal, tropical fruit, yogurt, homemade bread, juice, Turrialba cheese, Gallo Pinto, coffee and tea. Lunch tends to be a pasta type meal such as pizza, pasta, cous cous and salad. Dinner is the main meal at our lodge. Here you will enjoy a candlelit three-course meal that features a soup or salad entry, a choice of prime cuts of beef or chicken/fish with vegetable side dish, and desert.

    Most meals throughout the remainder of your itinerary will be enjoyed at local restaurants featuring a wide variety of delicious selections.

    What beverages are supplied?

    During your stay at Pacuare Lodge, water, soda and juices are available at any time. A superior selection of wines may be purchased with the evening meal. Additionally, the upstairs bar includes a variety of spirits and liquors that may be purchased separately. Restaurants throughout the rest of your itinerary have a wide selection of beverages available. Bring a refillable water bottle that you can use throughout your entire trip.

    Is it safe to drink the water?

    Yes. The tap water at the Pacuare Lodge comes from an uncontaminated spring originating in the mountains high above the lodge and is tested periodically to ensure its quality. Bring a refillable bottle with you as plastic water bottles are not available for purchase at the lodge. Water throughout the Arenal and Manuel Antonio areas at resorts and restaurants is generally fine with most everyone.

    What about dietary restrictions or food allergies?

    Please let us know of any special dietary needs well in advance. All food and supplies are brought to the lodge by raft so we will have to plan ahead. We are able to cater to most needs. Throughout the rest of your trip, you'll have a wide selection of food choices at most every meal.

    Travel & Logistics

    When is the best time to travel?

    The most popular time to travel to Costa Rica is from December to April due to the lower rainfall. If you are planning to travel during December or January, please plan to book well in advance. February through April may have a little more availability.

    What weather should I expect?

    In Costa Rica’s tropical rainforest it is best to be prepared for all kinds of weather. In general, expect most mornings to be sunny and clear followed by rain showers in the afternoon. During the day the weather will be hot and humid with temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s (28 – 30 C). Evenings are usually clear and occasionally may even require the use of a light jacket.

    How do I get there?

    Book your flight in and out of San Jose International Airport (SJO). A representative will be at the airport to meet you when you arrive and transport you to your hotel in San Jose. On the final morning of your itinerary, you'll be transferred back to the San Jose Airport. Please note that this is approximately a 3-hour transfer so you should plan your departure flight accordingly.

    What transportation is provided with the trip?

    All transportation is included between activities and destinations. The only transportation you might purchase during your trip would be a taxi ride to and from dinner or a nearby activity during your stay in Arenal or Manuel Antonio.

    How long are the drives between each location?

    Distances between locations are as follows:

    • San Jose to Pacuare River: 2.5 to 3 hours
    • Pacuare River to Arenal: 3.5 hours
    • Arenal to Manual Antonio: 5 hours
    • Manuel Antonio to San Jose: 3 hours
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