Whitewater Rafting was started by the military after using rafts in the second World War to be silent so enemies would not detect motors. When they returned a few adventurous soldiers came back to the USA and decided to take these rowing rubber rafts on the rivers where they could find rapids. It was then that the adventurous sport of rafting began. Unlike those days, today you do not have to be a soldier. Whitewater rafting today is for the entire family. It is a commercial industry run all over the world. It should be said that rafting is for everyone when run by professional guides. It is a sport that requires you go with an outfitter that puts safety first and has guides that are highly qualified.

With this said, there are rivers that can be run with kids ages four years and older. We find it very important to get kids on the river at a young age and that is why we always make a special effort to do rafting for kids even if it is on small rapids. It is when you get to the different rivers that you start to see that rafting is for a more select crowd. One of the main concerns of rafting is for older people. There are many rapids that make the raft jerk back and forth and accidents can happen in the raft without even falling out. It is important that you are in good physical shape and that your bones can handle the quick movements in the raft. It is also important that you can handle a dip into the water without a panic attack. Falling into the river is always possible and usually quite fun. There are those that are very afraid of rafting to a point of almost a panic. If you are older and you have this fear, it is probably b est you do not take part in some of the more adventurous rivers.

Rafting in Costa Rica is for the entire family. There are rivers that are easy enough for the kids to enjoy rafting and for grandpa to get wet too. After a visit to those rivers you can take the more adventurous crowd to some of the best rapids you will find in the world and get the chance to run the famous Pacuare River. The Pacuare River has the age limit at 12 years. We have run the river with younger kids during the dry season when the river is running low. Rafting is for almost everyone but depending on the water level it could be a day when rafting is for no one.

Written by Tom Ranieri

Written by: Tom Ranieri, 11 year experienced Costa Rica River Guide, Naturalist Guide, Swift-Water Rescue Technician, Vertical Rescue Technician, WEMT, Environmentalist.