Pacuare Lodge

Sample Itinerary—Jungle Immersion

Curated exclusively for National Geographic

Venture deep into the pristine Costa Rican rain forest by way of the Pacuare River to the remote hideaway of Pacuare Lodge. In this pristine wilderness, take guided hikes, experience world-class white water on one of the world’s most scenic waterways, get to know an indigenous culture, and explore the forest canopy a variety of unique ways.

Your experience at the lodge will be tailored to your interests. The sample itinerary below was designed for National Geographic travelers and can be customized as you wish.


  • Meet with the son of a local Cabécar shaman to gain personal insights about the culture and daily lives of his people (National Geographic Exclusive).
  • Ride the rapids of the Pacuare River—and take in gorgeous jungle scenery—as you arrive to the lodge via white-water raft.
  • Listen to the soothing sounds of the river while indulging in a hot stone massage at the lodge’s jungle spa.
  • Linger over a delicious, candlelit meal in the canopy of a massive tropical tree.

Day 1—Into the Jungle

Meet lodge staff in San José for the 2.5-hour ride through the Costa Rican countryside to the banks of the Pacuare River, and stop for a traditional breakfast along the way. Gear up for an exciting white-water rafting adventure, splashing 1.5 hours through lush scenery to the lodge. Upon arrival, sit down to a farm-to-table lunch with views of the river and surrounding rain forest. Get settled in your suite, then spend the afternoon relaxing on your private terrace or head out on a guided walk through the forest to a waterfall and swimming hole. Tonight, savor a candlelit dinner by the riverbank. Wind down your first day in the jungle with a nightcap at the lodge’s bar.

Day 2—Village Visit and Wilderness Adventures

Wake up to the sound of birdsong echoing through the trees, and set off on a short hike to a community of indigenous Cabécar people. Visit a typical thatched house that Pacuare Lodge helped members of a local clan build, and enjoy a delicious breakfast while meeting with the son of a Cabécar shaman. Gain insights about this ancient and isolated culture and the daily lives of its people. Enjoy a late morning at leisure, resting up for the afternoon’s adventure. Choose between two thrilling perspectives of the jungle: Get a close up view of the canopy as you zip your way between treetop platforms, or rappel down a 90-foot rock wall on a canyoneering tour of the lodge’s private rain forest reserve. Watch the sunset from your private terrace before enjoying another delicious dinner.

Day 3—Rain Forest Relaxation

Rise and smile—today is all about rejuvenation, jungle style. Retreat to the lodge’s riverside spa, Jawa Juü, for an indulgent organic coconut exfoliation and banana leaf wrap, followed by an hour-long hot stone massage. Savor the serenity with a leisurely day reading or dozing on your terrace, or join a guided hike through the rain forest or an excursion to a nearby farming community. This evening, enjoy an unforgettable dining experience on a candlelit platform high in the branches of a massive ceiba tree.

Day 4—White-Water Send-off/Depart

After breakfast, depart by raft for an action-packed adventure on white water. Paddle class III-IV rapids down the Pacuare River’s most thrilling section. As you wind your way through lush canyons and pristine rain forest, past crystalline waterfalls and emerald streams, keep an eye out for tropical birds on the quiet stretches between rapids. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the riverbank, and change into dry clothes at the river take-out before your road transfer back to San José.