Kayaking in Costa Rica with Canoa Aventura

There have been days on this trip when I’ve tried my hardest to save money and spend responsibly. Then, there are days when I throw my hands up in the air and decide to have a good time and enjoy every minute of this crazy adventure.

That’s what I did on the day I decided to go kayaking through the rainforest with Canoa Aventura in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

There were so many things I’d planned to do in La Fortuna while I was there, but for some reason, I woke up on my only day in town with a strange urge to forgo the ziplining and hot springs, and go kayaking instead.

I asked for a company recommendation from my hotel, and suddenly I was whisked away in a van by the amazing folks at Canoa.

After meeting up with the rest of the group, we drove 45-minutes out of La Fortuna to the river to begin our adventure. We received a quick briefing and then we were off, gliding across the river waters.

I was so impressed with our guides — they were clearly skilled at spotting wildlife. All I could see around me were trees, but they had us pull over our kayaks many times over to observe iguanas, owls, sloths, monkeys and more. Other than the monkeys, I don’t think I ever would have spotted any of these on my own!

My one regret about this adventure is that I was too afraid to bring my nice camera in case my kayak tipped. I only had my GoPro with me, and it wasn’t completely ideal for capturing some of the amazing wildlife and fantastic views we saw. (Note: Canoa provides dry bags for cameras and phones, so I should have used one of those!)

After we paddled along for a while, it was time for a break. We pulled over to the side of the river and visited a Costa Rican farmhouse. The family has lived there working the land for decades, and they were genuinely thrilled to share their life and home with us. They also shared a nice little snack feast with us, which included fresh cheese, fried plantains and empanadas. I would never have paired these things together, but the guides encouraged me to cram it all into one bite and OMG. Delicious.

With full bellies and warm hearts, we wrapped up our adventure with another hour or so of paddling down the river, and a friendly competition. Bernie, my kayak partner, and I won the race…we’re going to just forget for a second that he was one of the guides and kayaks every day for a living. 😉

I have to say, this was by far one of my favorite activities I did in Costa Rica. First, it felt really nice to get some sort of exercise that wasn’t hiking under my belt! Second, I met some amazing friends that I later met up with in another city in Costa Rica. And third, our guides were truly phenomenal. They all went above and beyond their jobs to make sure we had a great time on the river, and Bernie even spent a solid few hours teaching me phrases in Spanish after I told him I was insecure about being in Costa Rica and not speaking the language.

The total cost for the tour was around $59 USD, but I also made sure to tip the tour guides pretty generously, since I really felt like they made the experience that much better for us.

Want to see more from my adventures in Costa Rica? Check out the posts below! Have you visited Costa Rica? Tell me about your favorite adventure there in the comments below!

Pura Vida: A Costa Rica Travel Guide
A 12-Day Costa Rica Itinerary
Exploring Costa Rica with Marbella Tours
Why You’re Never Too Cool for Sunscreen