The primary aim of this expedition is to kayak independently and in a self-reliant manner. The remoteness and distance to Costa Rica increase the challenges and benefits of doing this.
Due to the nature of tropical rivers and floods, the rivers’ characteristics can change dramatically over time. The majority of guides and information for kayaking in Costa Rica is at least a few years old, and we hope to be able to provide updates for these. Chasing Jaguars: The Complete Guide to Costa Rican Whitewater was published in 2003 and is the only formal known source of information. Due to Costa Rica being a country with extreme weather conditions it is likely that the descriptions within this guide have changed.
To provide a more engaging expedition we are embarking on a ‘Coast-to-Coast’ approach. Rivers flow from Cerro Chirripó, the country’s highest mountain, to both the Atlantic and the Pacific. We aim to paddle these and climb the mountain at the source of the two rivers, combining the popular kayaking theme of ‘Source-to-Sea’ with ‘Coast-to-Coast’.
Costa Rica is a small country that encompasses just 0.03% of the world’s land mass located in Central America, between Panama and Nicaragua. It has coasts on both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The terrain of the country consists of a central spine of mountains with a coastal plain either side. The highest point is Cerro Chirripó, which rises to 3,810 meters (12,500 ft) in the Chirripó National Park. Due to changes in rainfall and elevation, the country has a range of different microclimates.
With over 500,000 plant and animal species, Costa Rica is one of the planet's most biologically dense countries. According to Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Institute (INBio), the biodiversity in Costa Rica represents close to 4% of the total species on Earth.
First Posted: Kayaking