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Old 11-06-2011   #1
San Francisco, California
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1
Costa Rica Rafting with Kids: Toro or Naranjo?

In late December, my family is going on a trip to Costa Rica. We have time for at least one day of rafting for my kids (boys, 16 & 12) and I. The Toro or the Naranjo look like they will be the most convenient based on our schedule. Would anyone here recommend one over the other? Here are some of the considerations:

1) We have been going on annual raft trips for four or so years now: Snake and Lower Salmon in Idaho, a bunch on the middle (class III/IV section) and south forks of the American.

2) Both boys spend most of their time in duckies, although, in more serious rapids the younger one has been in a double with me.

3) Both boys and I are eager to do the III/IV sections of the rivers.

4) Both boys have swam rapids before, but neither long nor shallow runs.

Do you think one river would be more fun than the other for them? Are there safety concerns? I have read on the forum that CR rivers can be tougher than their ratings indicate.



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Old 11-06-2011   #2
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I haven't done the Toro, but the Naranjo was very mellow. The one 'III' that was in there was a wave train shoal with a runout pool, but not much else on the entire float. Pretty enough run; but certainly a full grade or more below from the runs you listed above.

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Old 11-06-2011   #3
CBrown's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 347
Toro sounds like a good fit.
"We're gonna need a bigger boat"
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Old 11-06-2011   #4
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
the Toro is pretty solid IV but if it's not too high you might get away with the 12 year old the 16 yr old should be fine. If I was the outfitter I wouldn't allow a 12 year old on the Toro. you could try the Sarapiqui for a III+ experience.
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Old 11-07-2011   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 728
I have done both. Toro was a lot more challenging and it solid class 4 at higher flows. The Naranja is a lot more docile. At least the lower section is.

You could reach out to these guys, they are an awesome resource for good info and guiding in CR

Costa Rica Tours & Activities - Things to do Desafio Adventure Company
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Old 11-08-2011   #6
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
I took a group of seniors (16/17) down the Toro a few years ago and they loved it. It is challenging, but the water is warm and the guides are amazing. If the 12 year old is a seasoned duckier I don't see why he couldn't paddle in a boat.

"There is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?" -Wind in the Willows
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costa rica, rafting

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