Rios Tropicales was ranked the #1 Costa Rica Adventure Outfitter and #5 Rafting Company in the World by National Geographic Adventure Online Magazine in November 2007.
Rios Tropicales is an eco-adventure company that operates throughout Costa Rica - on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, in the mountainous central rainforest, and in the western regions. We offer adventure activities that take advantage of Costa Rica’s unique variety of environments: whitewater rafting, multisport activities that feature kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and cycling, family adventures, cultural encounters, nature and wildlife tours, and “volun-tourism”. Our mission, to share the rivers, natural resources and culture of Costa Rica while sharing conservation values, has not changed since we began in 1985. Rios Tropicales was established by native Central Americans, the Salvadorian Rafael Gallo and Costa Rican Fernando Esquivel, whose deep connection with the region and culture are apparent in every aspect of the company.
Costa Rica is a country with a wide variety of environments: rivers and jungles in the mountainous central rainforest; a dry western region of Guanacaste; and either side is flanked by the ocean coasts of the Pacific and the Atlantic. Rios Tropicales has offices and outposts locations throughout the country: in the capital city of San Jose, central Costa Rica, Rios Tropicales Operations Center (El Cairo de Siquirres), La Fortuna, Cañas, and Quepos. Rios Tropicales' signature trips are the Pacuare River Rafting Adventures, offered in one through four day packages, with multi-day trips staying at their acclaimed rainforest “Eco-Lodge” deep within the Pacuare Protected Zone.
Rios Tropicales Operations Center in El Cairo de Siquirres (Province of Limón), offers private gardens and forest, trails, wildlife, and an ethno botanical garden. It is located at the crossroads of the Reventazon River, Pacuare River and Tortuguero Canals - the heart of Costa Rica’s renowned rafting waters.
Rios Tropicales - Role Model for Sustainable Business Practices and Eco-Tourism
Our company has been committed to sustainable business practices and ecotourism since inception. Our primary goal is to ensure that the rivers and natural resources of Costa Rica are available for future generations, and we promote this both through educating guests as well as educating the local community. More than 95% of our staff are local members of the community " like the Obando family that manages our Rios Tropicales Lodge, and our guides" some of whom are indigenous Cabecar Indians, along with the now grown Obando children, who lead hikes into their homeland wilderness areas. Rios Tropicales has carefully made use of pre-existing hunting and Indian trails that traverse the reserve for hiking and travel “rather than creating new (and less sustainable) pathways. Additionally, in developing and improving the Lodge, no forests were cleared, and we have no plans to clear trees in any future development.
We recognize that any disruption of this interrelated eco-system will have material negative effects on the diverse wildlife population, local indigenous Indian and native communities, and the regenerative health of the rainforest. We adhere to “Leave No Trace” practices and are dedicated to green building, renewable energy sources, and recycling and composting practices. This has allowed us to introduce thousands of new guests each year to the importance of protecting this dynamic eco-system for future generations of wildlife and people.
Rios Tropicales Conservation Partnerships
We have developed partnerships with many organizations dedicated to protecting both the country and the planet’s resources. Please see Sustainable Tourism for more information on the initiatives of Rios Tropicales.
• The National Forestry Financing Fund (Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento Forestal or FONAFIFO) was established in 1996 to promote the management of forests and strengthen the development of the natural resources sector. Rios Tropicales works with them to reforest areas within the reserve to offset pollution in other areas.
•Through a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Rios Tropicales has pledged to plant 30,000 trees to contribute to the reforesting of the rainforest as part of a worldwide UN-sponsored tree-planting program. We are more than halfway to our goal at 20,000 planted so far.
• In 1994, Rios Tropicales founded the Fundacion Rios Tropicales (FRT), a non-profit environmental organization to assist in the preservation, protection and restoration of the rivers, streams and watersheds of Costa Rica. The Foundation recently launched environmental education programs in elementary schools throughout Costa Rica, with the goal of educating children about the rivers of their community and their impact upon them. At the end of each course, participants are presented with a seedling, which is planted in the community as an effort to reforest the watershed.