With more than 20 rivers and both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, Costa Rica kayaking offers almost limitless options for adventurers. What do you prefer: venturing into the maze of mangroves, paddling along the coast to spot dolphins and wildlife, testing the whitewater? We’ve got plenty of choices.
Kayaking is a great option for anyone who wants to have a chance to explore Costa Rica a bit more privately – and quietly. It’s a must for spotting the shyer wildlife, and birdwatchers delight in the chance to get as close as possible to the wading birds! Kayaking tours are available in many areas of the country, and each offer something unique for visitors.
Damas Island Estuary Kayaking, Manuel Antonio
At Damas Island estuary in Manuel Antonio you can kayak through the tangled mangroves and narrow channels, keeping a sharp eye out for the monkeys and pumas. Wading and water birds can gather in flocks number into the thousands.
Lake Arenal Kayaking, Arenal Volcano
Another option is an adventure on Lake Arenal, Costa Rica’s largest lake while enjoying a great view of Arenal Volcano. The calm water on the lake makes this tour great for younger or beginner kayakers.
Golfo Dulce Sea & Mangrove Kayaking, Osa Peninsula
On the Osa Peninsula, the Golfo Dulce’s clear waters are home to dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and a multitude of other marine creatures to look for. Rivers in the same area offer the opportunity to venture into jungle mangroves.
Curu Sea Kayaking, Nicoya Peninsula
If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, there are full- and multi-day kayaking tours as well. The Curu Sea Kayaking Tour is a 4 day, 3-night trip that includes camping on Playa Quesera, a beautiful and deserted white sand beach backed by thick forests. Spend your days exploring this balmy tropical paradise and your nights sleeping in a comfortable tent or under the stars in a hammock. In the evening, enjoy stargazing, crab hunting, and the tranquility of the forest and sea.
Coastal Kayaking, Pacific Coast
Coastal kayaking is available from most beach properties in Costa Rica. Many hotels on the Pacific Coast offer kayak rentals complimentary or at a minimal cost. Check with the hotel front desk for a rental rate and recommended neighboring beaches to explore. If you’re going to make a day out of it, ask the front desk to pack you a picnic lunch to bring along. And don’t forget your snorkeling gear! Your hotel should be able to help you with this also.
Tamarindo Mangrove Estuary Kayaking, Guanacaste
This 3-hour tour from kayaking reveals the unique nature and wildlife of the mangrove ecosystem of Tamarindo in the Guanacaste region. Quiet paddling through jungle estuaries will unveil a larger amount of animals than could have otherwise been seen a boat cruise.
Terraba Sierpe National Wetlands Kayaking, South Pacific Coast
The Terraba Sierpe National Wetlands, the largest wetlands in Costa Rica, is located on the remote South Pacific Coast. Aquatic birds, fish, reptiles, and mammals can be found along these waterways. Be on the lookout for crocodiles, iguanas, caiman, cranes, Scarlet Macaws, sea turtles, monkeys, and even sharks. Book a kayaking tour from the South Pacific hotels in and around Uvita.