“This was more than great. I really had a lot of fun! Many thanks for having made this trip possible.” – Meryl, France
“It was very inspiring (and of course soooo relaxing) to paddle and yogi with you in Costa Rica. I am glad you are doing what your doing – as it showed me new ways to approach paddling. You are really good reminders to me that it is important to step up to your potential, but remain true to yourself.” – Almut, Germany
“It was a real treat to return to Costa Rica to paddle the Women’s Week of Rivers after being on the Women’s Novice trip the year before. The rivers are beautiful and I fell in love with the Pacuare River and staying at Jungle Camp. Not only did my kayaking skills grow as well as my confidence, but also I was able to share this experience with such great women and instructors. And to top it off, I loved the yoga every morning and the laughter and celebration in the evening. I am so glad I did not miss this experience!” – Sarah, WI, USA
Are you ready to surpass what you thought was possible in your life?! Expand your paddling skills and build your confidence in a fun, supportive atmosphere in the tropics! You’ll come away with renewed confidence on and off the water. Pura Vida! Check out details below.
Day 1 – Arriving in Tropical Paradise
Our local Costa Rican guides 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 our base in Turrialba, about a two hour drive through orchards, small towns and beautiful coffee fields.
Upon arrival in Turrialba you will settle into Villa Florencia – your home away from home. This beautiful hotel is nestled among sugar cane fields with views of the surrounding mountains. This evening you will enjoy a delicious and authentic Costa Rican meal prepared by the in-house chef at Villa Florencia. The remainder of the evening is spent getting to know everyone, setting goals for the week and relaxing.
Day 2 – Yoga, Outfitting, Paddling and Latin Dancing!
Yoga class with Anna starts off our day so that we are awake, stretched and balanced for paddling! After breakfast, it’s time to meet the kayak you’ll be paddling all week! (You will have told us about boat preference before you arrive and please ask us for our boat list). We start out on the Rio Pejibaye, a fun jungle river with clear water and spectacular scenery. Warm up your paddling skills under our guidance – play and creek your way down! This river is an excellent introduction to Costa Rican whitewater and there are a few difference sections we can run depending on levels (both river and paddler skill). After a delicious dinner we are treated to an awesome Latin dance class lead by our favorite local dance instructor, Elberth, who will teach you how to shake your booty!
Day 3 – Yoga, Sarapiqui and Bird Watching
Morning yoga with Anna moves, balances and aligns our bodies and minds to start the day off right. We hit the road after breakfast and travel to the Sarapiquí River, located on the north side of the Caribbean slope. The Sarapiquí is often referred to as the “Jewel of Costa Rica” with clear water, deep pools and excellent whitewater. There are three distinct sections on this river – San Miguel (Class III-IV), La Virgen (Class III) and Superman (Class II-III). Today we’ll start with La Virgen (we also have the ability to split the group so one group can run Superman – depending on skill and comfort). Tonight we will lodge in the town of Puerto Viejo Sarapiquí, close to the river, enjoying a jungle setting perfect for bird watching, sightings of tree frogs and caimans in the ponds.
Day 4 – Yoga, Sarapiqui and Cafe con Leche a la Leña
Anna’s morning yoga amidst the beautiful flowers and humming birds on the grounds of the hotel eases us into our second day on the Sarapiqui. Today we’ll put in at Superman or La Virgen section (depending on skill level). We’ll guide you through fun and challenging rapids and point out the scenery that sometimes includes monkey, iguana, toucan and macaw sightings! After the river we’ll enjoy lunch at our favorite local restaurant right on the river. We then head back to Turrialba with a stop at a local coffee stop that serves up cafe con leche heated over a wood fire. Once we get back to Villa Florencia we’ll enjoy dinner and relax.
Day 5 – Yoga, Upper Upper Pacuare and Chocolate
Treat your body to a good stretch with Anna to rejuvenate your paddling muscles. After breakfast we’ll travel to the remote and absolutely beautiful mountains of the Pacuare headwaters. This rarely paddled section of river starts with Class II and III rapids and progresses in difficulty as we continue downstream where we’ll encounter a few Class IV challenges. This section provides quality whitewater with amazing scenery (I think we say that everyday!). If some paddlers don’t feel up to the more difficult rapids they can stay on the top roadside section and do multiple runs. After dinner our friend Alan, an organic cacao farmer, treats us to a taste of his delicious homemade chocolate!
Day 6 – Yoga and Lower Pacuare to Jungle Camp
This 24 kilometer (17 miles) class III/IV section is your paddling gem today. This is the most popular run on the Pacuare, often said to be one of the top five river sections in the world. We will put-in a bit higher than other groups and enjoy an additional 4 kilometers of whitewater as we paddle to our riverside Jungle Lodge. The rapids on this day are fun class II and III. To spend a night along the shores of the Pacuare river is an experience every person should enjoy at least once in their lives. We’ll light the camp with candles and prepare delicious tropical cuisine. The camp is complete with flush toilets, outdoor showers, raised platform tents with comfy matresses and fully landscaped grounds.
Day 7 – Yoga and Lower Pacuare Adventure
This is Anna’s favorite spot to teach yoga! Out on the grass with the earth beneath you and background sounds of the river flowing and tropical birds signing. Following yoga we eat a delicious breakfast and enjoy the last of jungle camp. This section of the Pacuare winds through the beautiful and exciting Huacas Canyon with several Class III-IV rapids. After the canyon it mellows out and then picks back up before a nice Class II-III paddle out to the Caribbean flatland town of Siquirres where we take out. Paddlers who are not feeling up to the harder rapids will experience all these thrilling class III and IV rapids in a guided raft or shredder. We then return to Turrialba to enjoy our last dinner together and last night in Costa Rica.
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: We’re taking a break for 2017. Check back in the spring for 2018 dates. Happy Paddling!
Price: $1850.00 per person
Skill Level Required: To participate in this trip you must have a success rate of 50% or more with your whitewater roll.
$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 the value of this trip include?
Girls at Play and Costa Rica Rios are committed to providing you with the best trip possible. This includes providing all of the shuttle, paddling, yoga, dancing, chocolate, accommodation and meal logistics so you don’t have to think about anything except how much fun you’re having on and off the river! You may have heard that Girls at Play trips are much more than paddling trips. We are all about empowering women, building confidence, helping you achieve your goals and having fun. We are ready to exceed your expectations!
- Anna and GAP staff as main leaders + highly experienced Costa Rica Rios guides.
- A fleet of quality kayaks including newer models such as Dagger Mambas, LL Remixes, Wavesport Diesels, Pyranha Burns, Jackson Funs and Heroes.
- Daily yoga classes with Anna 500 hr RYT
- Evening with local organic chocolate farmer and producer Alan – yes!
- Evening of latin dance instruction and fun!
- All accommodations including overnight stay at Jungle Camp on the Pacuare
- All meals starting dinner Day 1 until breakfast Day 8
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- Private ground transportation
- Entrance fees and permits
What is not included?
International airfare to San Jose – Costa Rica, paddling gear (PFD, Helmet, Paddle, Sprayskirt – please bring your own) 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 $500.00 deposit is required to book your spot. $150.00 of your deposit is non-refundable. The balance is due 60 days before the trip start and can be made in installments. If you book within 60 days of the trip payment in full is required at the time of booking. If you cancel within 60 days of the trip your balance/payment is non-refundable.