About Us

Award-winning, authentic adventures

Founded in 1985, Rios Tropicales started with white water rafting trips, expanding from the pristine Pacuare River to rivers through-out Costa Rica, and adding more kinds of adventure tours with biking, hiking, sea kayaking, nature safari tours, and more. Rafael Gallo, cofounder of Rios Tropicales, even co-wrote the book on Costa Rica’s Rivers.

Rios Tropicales is consistently recognized by National Geographic Adventure as one of the best adventure companies in Costa Rica and one of the top rafting companies in the world. Our conservation, reforestation, ecopreneurs, education, and community efforts have earned us numerous national and international recognition and awards. We are humbled and grateful for the recognition and awards we’ve won in our long history. See all our awards and achievements.

Adventures in All of Costa Rica’s Regions

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, Rafael Gallo and Jimmy Nixon from El Savador, and Fernando Esquivel from Costa Rica. Their 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 with the Rios Tropicales Cairo Operations Center (El Cairo de Siquirres in Central Caribe region), La Fortuna (Arenal region), Cañas (Guanacaste region) and Quepos (Manuel Antonio region). Rios Tropicales’ signature trips are the Pacuare River Rafting Adventures, offered in one through four day adventure packages, with multi-day trips staying at their acclaimed rainforest “Eco-Lodge” deep within the Pacuare Protected Zone. 

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