“Consecutive days of paddling improved my skills, but really made a difference in my confidence. The instructors and the women on this trip were all so supportive, encouraging and fun. It was great to come through a rapid and find everyone at the bottom cheering for you. The yoga was very helpful in stretching out some well-used paddling muscles. I was glad we had some time to tour the rain forest and see some of the spectacular flowers, birds and animals. Howler monkeys are a hoot! I fell in love with this beautiful country – so much so that I went back to do the Women’s Week of Rivers.” – Dee, VA
Girls at Play is renowned for giving our students results they can’t get anywhere else. Our skills foundation allows you to progress comfortably and confidently on the water. Add in tropical waters, toucans, lush scenery, delicious food, yoga and warm weather and you have got the perfect active winter vacation!
Skill Level and River Difficulty: This trip is for beginner-intermediate whitewater kayakers who have some experience in class II whitewater. We start in flatwater and work our way up to class II and possibly III. Skills you will learn on this trip are the roll, eddy turns, peel outs, ferries, reading water and more!
Day 1 – Arriving in Tropical Paradise
Girls at Play staff will greet you at the Juan Santamaria International airport in San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO), upon your arrival. After leaving the airport, we begin the journey to the town of Sarapiqui about a two hour drive through mountains and rain forest.
Upon arrival in Sarapiqui you will settle into Ara Ambuigua hotel nestled in the rainforest with local characters including howler monkeys, toucans, macaws, and tree frogs. This evening you will enjoy a delicious and authentic Costa Rican meal. This will be a great opportunity to practice your high school Spanish, as you enjoy Tico company with dinner. The remainder of the evening is spent getting to know everyone, setting goals for the week and relaxing.
Day 2: Intro in Flatwater
This morning we’re taking it easy with a morning yoga class, leisurely breakfast and outfitting of gear. After lunch we’ll head to a flatwater pool on the beautiful Sarapiqui River to start with the basics. The Sarapiquí is often referred to as the “Jewel of Costa Rica” with clear water, deep pools and excellent whitewater. We’ll be working on reviewing basic strokes and concepts, including the roll. There is also a beautiful wave train with two big eddies on either side and we’ll start working eddies and ferries. Dinner and relaxing this evening.
Day 3: Hitting the water for review
Early morning yoga will warm up the body and relax the mind. After yoga, we’re served a delicious Tico breakfast before heading back to the Sarapiqui river.
Starting with an easy-going section where we’ll work on stroke technique and river running technique. We’ll also focus on having lots of fun (which isn’t hard kayaking in the winter in Costa Rica!!) We’ll play around in the river all day and then head back to the hotel. You’ll have a chance to relax by the pool before dinner is served. After dinner we can take a night rainforest walk with flashlights to see tree frogs, bullfrogs and caiman!
Day 4: Sarapiqui
Yoga class helps to warm us up for another day on the Sarapiqui. After breakfast we’ll hit the river to review and refresh our skills! Today you’ll really start feeling your skills improving and you’ll feel way more confident on the water. You’re well on your way to becoming a strong whitewater paddler! We have options today on what section to run so we’ll be mixing it up as you work on your skills.
Day 5: Morning Off and Roll Practice in the P.M.
Your muscles and body will be feeling this new sport! This morning we take a break from paddling to let your body rest. We’ll let you sleep in, eat breakfast and then we’ll offer a gentle yoga class. The rest of the morning can be spent birding, taking a jungle walk, going ziplining or any other adventure of your choosing (ziplining and guided jungle walks incur an additional cost). Or you may choose to just relax by the pool and read. If you prefer to paddle this morning we can arrange that as the river is close and logistics are easy! After lunch we’ll head to the flatwater for roll practice and more integration of the basics – including eddy and ferry work on the wave train that is stronger in the afternoon. Dinner will be delicious as usual!
Day 6: More River Running!
Yoga and breakfast start the day before heading out for another full day of paddling after our half rest day. Depending on how people are feeling we may venture upstream to a new and harder section of river to test our skills. We always have plenty of choices on the Sarapiqui as it boasts many different and fun sections from flatwater up to Class IV (don’t worry we won’t be tackling the very upper section this trip!). We’ll enjoy lunch on the river and this is usually the day of the pool party – you’ll have to be there to experience it!
Day 7: Last Paddling Day!
Enjoy the yoga, the delicious food and the paddling as this will be your last day in paradise. You’ll have the opportunity to practice your skills and meet your goals one last time. We’ll talk about what section we would like to paddle today so that everyone feels accomplished and has fun! You’ll really be feeling good about your skills and you’ll be starting to feel like you know what you’re doing! It’s a great last day with the river, friends and all of the amazing flora and fauna that surrounds us. It’ll also be your last opportunity for the rope swing! Have we mentioned the rope swing yet?!
Day 8 – Saying Goodbye
We enjoy one last yoga class and a great breakfast sharing our experiences. We say our good-byes at the airport and we start making plans for your return to Costa Rica!
**We do our very best to adhere to the specific itinerary listed above, but activities and locations may be subject to change due to a number of reasons beyond our control (i.e. weather, water levels, road and safety conditions).
Dates: No 2016 dates available – check back for 2017 dates!
Price: $1850.00 per person
$300 – If you are traveling alone we will arrange shared accommodations with an appropriate roommate. If you prefer single accommodations during the 7 nights, you have the option of paying the single supplement fee to guarantee a single room during the week.
What does all inclusive mean?
All inclusive with Girls at Play means from the moment you step out of the San Jose airport and meet your guides, all of your worldly needs are met, so you can focus on having fun in paradise. Bed and breakfast lodging, freshly prepared meals, private transportation, quality equipment, and professional Girls at Play staff will exceed your expectations
- Experienced Girls at Play guides always available
- All adventure activities and equipment
- Daily yoga class
- All trip accommodations
- All meals
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- Private ground transportation
- Entrance fees and permits
What is not included?
International airfare to San Jose – Costa Rica, yoga mats, alcoholic beverages, travel insurance, optional guide gratuities, airport departure tax ($26 USD payable in cash or credit), and items of personal needs (snacks, laundry, souvenirs, etc.).
Cancellation Policy: A 50% deposit is required to book your spot. The balance is due the first day of the class. 25% of the deposit is non-refundable. If you cancel before 14 days before the trip you’ll receive refund of your deposit minus the 25%. If you cancel within 13 – 0 days before the course your deposit is non-refundable. At that time credit for a future or different program may be offered.