Costa rica river guide? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-28-2008   #1
Boater, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
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Costa rica river guide?


I am looking for a guide to Costa Rica rivers. I just purchased the "Kayaking and rafting guide of the rivers of Costa Rica" by mayfield. I haven't received it so not sure how good it is.

Also if anyone has suggestions of guide books, internet resources, people down there, cheap hotels, etc. please let me know. We are thinking going down there end of November or December most likely. I know that raining season ends around mid-nov, right?


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Old 08-28-2008   #2
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
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Have'nt seen the book by Mayfield but Chasing Jaguars is a very good guidebook for CR: Chasing Jagaurs: The Complete Guide to Costa Rican Whitewater: Lee Eudy: Books
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Old 08-28-2008   #3
Fort Collins, Colorado
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I just bought the Chasing Jaguars book as well. I am not sure how it will be but I have heard from a couple of people that it is the book to have. It is on amazon for $30. If you are looking for places to stay cheap, check out There are serveral hostels in San Jose for like $15/night if you are basing your paddling out of there. There are also a couple of hostels in some paddling towns, I beleive that la fortuna has one or two. Where are you planning on paddling? I am heading down to CR in Jan. for a couple of weeks to do some paddling. I will let you know more if I find out more along the way. When you get back I would love to hear a trip report of what worked/what didnt; where to go; ect. Let me know if you have any more questions and I might be able to help you out.
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Old 08-28-2008   #4
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Leadvillian, Colorado
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I've never seen the Mayfield book, but Chasing Jaguars is quite good. Probably in need of an update soon, but certainly very useable.

We also have a whitewater forum although we haven't had much activity lately. Maybe if all of you go there to chat it will make me feel a little better .

Costa Rica Creeking - Whitewater Forum

good luck!
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Old 08-28-2008   #5
PattyNYCO's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Max at Renaissance Adventure Guides run two to three trips a year in Costa Rica and I am sure would be happy to help with contacts.

Max Young
(303) 988-2943
[email protected]
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Old 08-28-2008   #6
Join Date: Feb 2007
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A couple thoughts....

Spent a little time down there two years ago...
Chasing Jaguars is by far the best current guidebook, though having both is entertaining.
La Virgen has several good runs nearby, depending on time of year.
Rancho Leona was far superior to other accomodations during our visit.
Hotel InterAmericano in Turrialba seemed kinda stiff and a bit of a letdown after the Rancho Leona... You make the call. Lots of whitewater in this area and good shuttle drivers to boot. We really enjoyed rolling with Martin... His business card said "Rides To The River" ask for him in town.
Hope this helps.
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Old 08-28-2008   #7
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My buddy Jeremy Garcia is a native from down there with his own guiding buisness: Costa Rica Adventures pura vida. He is a contributer to the guidebook "Chasing Jaguars".

heres his link:
Costa Rica Family Vacation Tours - Custom Adventure Trips
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Old 08-28-2008   #8
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Desafio Tours

Head north to La Fortuna - better known for the Arenal volcano. There's a company up there called Desafio Adventures. They run some great tours including raft trips. There's a bunch of really good rivers up there including the Rio Toro, Sarapiquí River, and others.

Ask for "Racqui" - pronounced "Rocky." If you know Mongo in Vail, he's a carbon copy in central america.

Super cool company - they'll help you out with advice and directions even if you don't book a trip with them.

FYI - I have no idea why the text went italic and I can't fix it...

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Old 08-28-2008   #9
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Durango, Colorado
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Desafio is a little more commercialized than some of the other companies, but very professional and Racqui is a fantastic guide- knows his shit, but generous with his raft for boaters who prefer to guide themselves. He's the guide in the boat on my profile picture while I was busy throwing myself out of it when he let me take over.
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