Waking up before the sun was not in the original honeymoon plan, but we were ecstatic to be going white water rafting down the Pacuare River toward the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. After a van ride of about 2 hours, we enjoyed a breakfast of rice, beans, eggs, and fruit, an the we changed into our swim suits. After dousing ourselves in sunblock, we boarded the van to the river where we were provided with instructions about white water rafting during the ride. Pulling up to the bank of the Pacuare River, we geared up with lifejackets, helmets, and paddles. We posed for some photos before safely putting our camera in its waterproof bag, as well as the sealed container our raft instructor provided us.
Stephanie and I were both seated at the front of the raft and ready to push off. I was a little nervous since it was my first time white water rafting, but I think I did a good job of hiding my fear. Our rafting team included a pair of guys from Chicago, one of which was wearing jeans and leather shoes (both got soaked), and a middle-aged couple (the guy was originally from the US and his wife was from Costa Rica who spoke limited English). Our instructions were shouted in both English and Spanish, but I think I was the only one who was at the disadvantage of not being fluent in Spanish.
The first 4 miles consisted of fun class II-III rapids, which was a perfect time to test our new river skills and gain confidence in our team. We saw pockets of secondary growth forest that was extremely beautiful. After about 40 minutes we entered the famous Pacuare River Gorge, which was 5 miles of some of the best white water Costa Rica has to offer. The rapids here are "Terciopelo Snake," "Double Drop," "Upper and Lower Huacas," and "Pin Ball" to name a few. We also saw the Huacas Waterfall, a 150-foot dramatic drop into the river. The rapids ranged from class II at the very beginning and continued as class III and IV throughout the rest of the river. We stopped for some lunch about halfway through, and then continued on our journey. Our final stop was a camp site where we were able to change out of our soaked clothes prior to our short van trip to our final hotel on the Caribbean coast.