River rafting adventure in Boquete, Panama
The area surrounding Boquete, Panama is filled with stunning landscapes, coffee plantations with views, colorful botanic gardens and adventure activities. I was looking for a place in Panama that combines the scenic beauty of the region, spectacular mountains and vistas and outdoor adventure that ties in with the stunning landscape. I signed up for a river rafting adventure tour with outfitter, Boquete Outdoor Adventures, a well run operator doing a variety of outdoor/recreation tours in the region. The white water rafting experience in the Chiriqui Province covers a variety of rivers depending on the season and water levels. But this outfit offers class 1 to 3 rafting through Panama’s white water rivers including: the Rio Chiriqui Viejo, Rio Fonseca, Rio Gariche, Rio Chiriqui, and others.
On this particular tour we were scheduled to go down the Rio Chiriquí Viejo river which is the most popular route with rapids ranging from class levels 1-3 through beautiful landscapes, waterfalls and skirts close to the border with Costa Rica. The landscape, varied birds and other amazing wildlife and the thrill of the whitewater really made this an exciting experience while we were visiting the Boquete region of Panama.
The rafting experience
After a quick check in and signing the waiver forms, we boarded a large van for about an hours drive outside Boquete and going towards the Costa Rica border and the Chiriqui Viejo river. We travel through paved highway and towards the end, more gravel/dirt roads to the launching area – a big bend where the rafts were already assembled and ready to go.
We quickly get off the van and try hats and water shoes for the right fit and immediately head down to the river to meet our guides and do a quick intro and where are you from greeting. Our guide Jose gives us a basic instructions to paddling and his main commands that we practise doing on the placid parts of the river before we start to head into our first series of rapids.
Getting started down the Chiriquí Viejo
Shooting the rapids of the Chiriqui Viejo river
It didn’t take to long to hit our first series of rapids and I found out that sitting in the front was not the right choice for a tall and clumsy person, so I opted to sitting in the middle section. The rafts could comfortably fit 7 persons including the guide so it was just the right size and space for everyone to feel safe despite the unknown rapids we were starting to cross. Most of the rapids were easy and a few were quite terrifying, but our guide yelled out commands that everyone followed to a T and we almost capsized once on a big wave that took out half the group when the raft almost flipped except for the captain and one person.
Paddling through Class 3 waves on the Chiriqui Viejo river
Checking out the wildlife and flora
We pass through some placid areas of the river and the landscape is agriculture focused with some jungle areas in the remote area along the river. Many of the farms along the river were small, growing a variety of tropical fruit and vegetables. Along the way our guide points out a variety of egrets, hawks, buzzards, a few night monkeys and even a sloth very well hidden in the forest. It seemed like the river was full of life and the birds were nesting all along the river banks in shady forest areas. The area is alive with wildlife that live along the trees lining the riverbanks and forest areas adjacent to the river.
Lunch is served on the rafts
After about an hours rafting, we approach a riverbank and the guides quickly set up a simple lunch with a do it yourself spread of meats, cheeses, breads and fruits along with some juices and sodas. The guests quickly form a line and devour the food – it always seems like being around water makes everyone very hungry. After a quick lunch and bathroom break, we head back into the river and hit another string of rapids
End of the road on the Chiriqui Viejo
This certainly was one of the longest white water rapid tours I have taken and the all day tour covered many scenic locations and fun rapids throughout the entire trip. We approach a bridge which signals the end of our journey and we see the bus van and other vans off to the right for us to land. While everyone takes off their gear and changes back to regular clothes, the staff quickly deflated the rafts and places all the equipment back into storage bins set up for the vans to carry back staff and equipment.
The guides handle all the details in packing back up
That was a fun way to explore the various rivers and the scenic Chiriqui Province and the experience was definitely a thrill of a lifetime. The guides and rafting experience with Boquete Outdoor Adventures was really well done and coordinated from start to the end and my friends and I had an excellent time. We definitely recommend this experience if you are looking for some adventure while visiting the Boquete area in Panama.
Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on the River rafting adventure in Boquete, Panama, hopefully you will be able to see and experience Panama City and some of these wonderful attractions and landmarks for yourself. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post. Thanks to Boquete Outdoor Adventures for allowing me to share this experience – all thoughts and opinions were my own. Also, many of the whitewater images are credited to the guides at Boquete Outdoor Adventures since I could not bring my photo gear into the water.