10 Jun Rios Tropicales Celebrates 30 Years of Adventure Ecotourism

Rios Tropicales 30th anniversary logo

Rios Tropicales is celebrating 30 years of adventure and sustainability this year!! We are thrilled to make it to such a milestone from our early river running days in 1985. We are grateful and happy to have helped put Costa Rica on the international adventure map. Founded in 1985, we started with white water rafting trips, and then expanded from the pristine Pacuare River to rivers through-out Costa Rica, and added new diverse 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.

TA-greenleader-colorIn honor of 30 years, we have launched our new, 21st century, fully responsive website designed to make finding and booking the perfect trip even easier, and to help travelers like you peruse Costa Rica’s many and varied adventure travel options.  We are also celebrating a host of national and international ecotourism awards recognizing our industry-leading conservation efforts. The latest award that we are most pleased to receive is Trip Advisor’s prestigious Green Leaders™ Award, at the Gold Level, for our Pacuare ecolodge, Rios Tropicales Lodge.  We are, in fact, the first adventure company in Costa Rica to win the Gold Medal in this Green Leaders program, which helps travelers plan greener trips by highlighting businesses meeting strict environmental standards.

“It’s feels great to reach three decades, knowing that we’re protecting the environment while exposing people to what truly is one of the best rafting trips in the world,” says Rios Tropicales co-owner and president Rafael Gallo. “It’s natural to try and protect such an incredible resource.”


Rios Tropicales Lodge, our award-winning ecolodge on the Pacuare River

Delivering “authentic, sustainable adventure for almost all ages,” Rios Tropicales’ crown jewel offering is providing day-long and multi-day trips on a 21-mile, Class III-IV section of the Pacuare, taking guests through world-class whitewater and waterfall-filled rainforest. Overnight guests, who can choose to plant four trees each at the put-in to offset the carbon footprint of their flight, stay at our award-winning roadless, riverside eco-lodge, powered by a hydroelectric turbine.

pacuare river rafting Rios Tropicales

200 foot Huacas Falls on the Pacuare River

Our sustainable tourism practices fall into four major categories: reforestation, sustainable communities, environmental education, and wildlife protection & river conservation programs. In 2008, we won the first ever National Geographic Geotourism Award for sustaining the local environment and culture, and in 2011 we applied our knowledge and experience with carbon neutral operations to support and host the first carbon-neutral international sporting event in the world, the World Rafting Championships.  In our three-decade history, we have protected over 2,000 acres of primary and secondary growth rainforest, while reforesting 100 acres with more than 20,000 native Costa Rican hardwoods in the largest private rainforest reserve in the Pacuare basin. Nearly 13,000 tons of carbon is mitigated annually thanks to our private reserve. Local communities, staff, EARTH University and national and international guests have together helped plant these trees. You can plant a tree in the rainforest reserve on your trip, too!

As well as helping to stop poaching in the watershed and championing efforts to restore the threatened jaguar, ocelot and green macaw, we also continue to  collaborate with local communities to share ecotourism practices; helped defeat the region’s proposed Dos Montanas dam on the Pacuare River by forcing the country’s first-ever Environmental Impact Study; and launched foundation to teach environmental education in local schools.

Thanks to all our staff, community family and friends, and guests from around the world for helping us get to our 30th anniversary. Pura Vida!!

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