River Tubing in Costa Rica: The 5 Best Places to Go

Whether you’re a seasoned thrill seeker or a nature enthusiast looking for a unique way to explore, river tubing Costa Rica has something for everyone. We love tubing because it is an activity that people of all ages can enjoy.

Do you know how sometimes when you are on vacation you struggle to find activities that everyone in your group will enjoy? Tubing is the perfect things to do for everyone. We know this for a fact because we took our parents and friends tubing after our wedding in Costa Rica and everyone loved it!

In this post, we will cover what river tubing is and how it works, popular tubing locations in Costa Rica, what to bring and wear on the river, and safety tips for your adventure. 

What is River Tubing?

River Tubing in Costa Rica: The 5 Best Places to Go

River tubing is an exciting activity where participants float along rivers on large inner tubes. It’s a great way to cool off on hot days and explore nature up close. 

Depending on the location, you can expect to encounter calm waters and even some gentle rapids. 

We like this activity because it is great for most people of various ages who are in somewhat decent physical shape. In fact, a lot of rafting companies allow children over the age of five to participate. 

Also, there are some companies in Costa Rica that offer this activity as a day tour that combines tubing with other fun and exciting activities.

Basically, this is a good alternative to white water rafting for those of you that want a lot bit of thrill, but not crazy levels of adventure. 

River Tubing Costa Rica Locations

River Tubing in Costa Rica: The 5 Best Places to Go

Manuel Antonio: River Tubing Adventure Whitewater Class II+

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  5 hours | ✅ Book it!

This tubing tour goes down the Savegre River. You will experience class I and II+ rapids as well as several calm spots.

You will stop on a bank to view a waterfall and enjoy a snack of fresh fruit, cookies and juices.

During your tour, you will also have the opportunity to swim in calm river pools. 

This trip includes:

– snacks (fruit)

– transportation from the Manuel Antonio / Quepos area

– five hours of enjoyment (with two hours on the water)

Arrange Your Manuel Antonio Tubing Adventure

La Fortuna

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour 30 minutes |  Book it!

This tour includes:

-Transportation from your La Fortuna area hotel

– A visit to an indigenous tribe to learn about traditions and herbal medicine

– Hiking through the rainforest

– A relaxing float through the jungle with some more action-packed rapids along the way

Arrange Your La Fortuna Tubing Adventure

Rio Celeste

road near rio celeste

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours | ✅ Book it!

We think this tour is extra amazing because you get to float down the bright blue Rio Celeste waterways.

This tour includes snacks and swimming. J

ust note that it does not include transportation from your hotel and it is only for adults.

Arrange Your Rio Celeste Tubing Adventure

Playa Flamingo/ Tamarindo: Mega Combo tour: Tubing,Canopy & Hot Spring

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  7 hours | ✅ Book it!

This river tubing in Costa Rica tour will take you up to Hacienda Guachipelin in the Rincon de la Vieja volcano area to go tubing along Rio Colorado.

We like this tour because it is a full-day adventure tour that combines several different activities. 

You will get to enjoy:

-Flying through the forest on a zip-line tour 

-Tubing down the Rio Colorado 

-Horseback riding

-A volcanic mud bath and a soak in natural hot springs 

This tour includes lunch and hotel pick-up and is suitable for all skill levels, but is limited to adults. 

Arrange Your Tubing Adventure

Playas del Coco / Playa Hermosa / Papagayo

This tour is the same as the tour from Playa Flamingo / Tamarindo.

Just use the link below to book with transportation pick up from the Coco, Hermosa, and Papagayo areas. 

Arrange Your Tubing Adventure

What to Bring

Waterproof sunscreen (even if it is cloudy it is a good idea to have SPF 50)

A change of clothes (if you will do something else after)

A towel 

What to Wear

River Tubing in Costa Rica: The 5 Best Places to Go

– Water shoes that are stable (we like ones made by Keen) 

– A long sleeve UV protecting shirt. The sun is strong so UV protection is definitely best.

Also, keep in mind that your arms will probably be rubbing a lot against the tube as you paddle somewhat with your hands. I had some really bad burn marks from this chafing action. Next time I go tubing I will definitely wear long sleeves.

But, it is best not to wear something that cost a lot of money. You never know if this rubbing will damage your shirt at all. 

– Shorts. We like lightweight breathable ones which dry quickly

– A glasses strap. I would hate for you to lose your glasses if you go over some rocks 

– Sunglasses. Because….sun 

– And your bathing suit underneath. 

There is no need to wear a sun hat because you will get a helmet to wear. 

Safety on the River

River Tubing in Costa Rica: The 5 Best Places to Go

Always listen to your guide – They do these tours almost every day and know what they are talking about.

Trust your instincts – Although we have always had great experiences tubing, definitely trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel safe to you, you don’t have to participate.

Use sun protection – I know, it is easy to think “eh I’m on the water and it isn’t that hot out. I’ll be fine without strong sun protection.” The sun here is powerful.

-This activity is not recommended for people with back problems, heart problems, or pregnant people. And you should be in moderate physical condition. 

-Your rafting tube should have handles and protective bottoms, but there is always a chance you could fall out or get bruised going over rocks.

-Always wear a life jacket and make sure it is put on correctly for your river tubing adventure.

Our Experience River Tubing in Costa Rica

River Tubing in Costa Rica: The 5 Best Places to Go

We really like tubing because it is an activity that almost everyone can enjoy.

After our wedding, we traveled with some family and friends throughout the country. In La Fortuna, we were looking for an activity everyone could do together, and we chose tubing. 

So, we had a bunch of friends, my dad, and Thomas’s parents with us.

The tour started with a small bus picking us all up at our hotel. We then drove to an area where we were all briefed on safety and were fitted with helmets and life jackets.

We then each got our tubes and headed out onto the water with two guides.

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The trip down the river was a mix of small rapids and calm waters. Our guides were great about preparing us for the more rough areas and took care of safety.

There were a few hiccups, but overall, everyone (even the typically crazy thrill seekers) had a great time. 

We have so many funny memories from that trip and I’m so happy we could all enjoy it together

Conclusion: Tubing Costa Rica

In conclusion, Costa Rica offers an unparalleled adventure for river tubing enthusiasts, with its stunning landscapes and exhilarating waterways. Prepare for a journey that combines the perfect blend of excitement, tranquility, and the unmatched beauty of this Central American paradise.

So, are you ready to plan your tubing Costa Rica adventure? If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you out!

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Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know

๐Ÿš— Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?

Having a rental car will give you the most flexibility when traveling in Costa Rica. This will also allow you to take fun day trips on your own.

๐Ÿ„๐Ÿฝ How can I book things to do?

We find that Viator tends to have the most comprehensive selection of activities with secure booking and good cancellation policies.

๐Ÿ I’m overwhelmed with planning. Can you help?

Of course! I suggest joining our Facebook group for specific questions and head to our Start Here Page to get started planning.

โœˆ๏ธ What is the best way to book a flight?

Usually, we have the best luck finding great prices with Skyscanner. Check for flights to both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR).

๐Ÿ›๏ธ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?

We highly suggest Booking.com for hotel bookings and typically use VRBO for Costa Rica vacation rentals.

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธWhat is the main language in Costa Rica?

The main language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Most people working in tourism speak at least some English.

๐Ÿ’ฐ What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colรณn (CRC). However, the US dollar is widely accepted in most tourist areas

๐Ÿ“ž What is the best way to stay connected?

An eSIM from Airalo is the easiest way to get 4G data while traveling in Costa Rica.

๐ŸŒด Is Costa Rica safe?

Generally, Costa Rica is considered safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s best to use caution and be aware of your surroundings.

๐Ÿ›‚ Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?

Yes, Costa Rica is its own country. You will need a passport to visit.

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