River rafting adventure in Boquete, Panama

River rafting adventure in Boquete, Panama

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.



River rafting adventure in Boquete, Panama


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.




Setting up the River rafting adventure in Boquete, 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.



Start of the rafting experience in Boquete adventure tours


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.


Posing before our river rafting experience on the Chiriqui Viejo river in Boquete, Panama

Posing before our river rafting experience on the Chiriqui Viejo river in Boquete, Panama


Getting started down the Chiriquí Viejo



Starting our river rafting experience on the Chiriqui Viejo river in Boquete, Panama

Starting our river rafting experience on the rio Chiriqui 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.



Shooting the rapids of the Chiriqui Viejo river in Boquete Panama





Shooting the rapids of the Chiriqui Viejo river in Boquete Panama


Paddling through Class 3 waves on the Chiriqui Viejo river


The class 3 rapids of the Chiriqui Viejo river in Boquete Panama


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.


Beautiful flora and landscape along the Chiriqui Viejo river in Boquete Panama

Beautiful flora and landscape along the Chiriqui Viejo river



Beautiful flora and landscape along the Chiriqui Viejo river in Boquete Panama


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



White water rafting along the Chiriqui Viejo outside of Boquete Panama

Heading through the last string of rapids



White water rafting along the Chiriqui Viejo outside of Boquete Panama

Quiet waters at the end of the Boquete rafing experience

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.


Hitting the bridge and end of rafting tour with Boquete adventure tours


The guides handle all the details in packing back up



Packing up the rafts with Boquete white water rafting tours



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.

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12 Responses to River rafting adventure in Boquete, Panama

  1. Indrani December 20, 2016 at 1:55 am #

    This is so similar to the one I had in Goa. I can imagine the thrill of the class 3 rapids.
    And seeing the pics I am so tempted to experience again.

  2. Sandy N Vyjay December 19, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

    Looks like you had great fun in Panama.
    And the place looks perfect for river rafting , the lush green jungle and less crowded place.
    Would love to try river rafting in this beautiful place.

  3. Karla | Karlaroundtheworld December 19, 2016 at 2:21 am #

    I think I have done several rafting trips but it never gets old. I would definitely want to try this and you are right, its a good way to

  4. Vicky and Buddy December 18, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    I’ve only been rafting once but had an awesome time and would love to do it again. I’ve also never been to Panama, so it would be really cool to have this experience there.

  5. Carol Perehudoff December 18, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    What a blast! I love rafting and this looks superb – although I’m more beginner than expert. I’ve never visited Chiriqui Province so my interest is totally piqued. You must have had so much fun.

  6. anna December 17, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

    I love rafting- it’s one of the things that I try to do whenever I am in a new place. It’s a good mix of adrenaline and thrill. This one looks great!

  7. Doreen Pendgracs December 17, 2016 at 8:59 am #

    Looks like you’ve had a super trip to Panama, Noel. Love the rafting shots! Merry Christmas to you.

  8. SindhuMurthy December 17, 2016 at 4:43 am #

    Wow! White water rafting is my favorite water activity. I have done quite a few in Kali and Ganges rivers in India. This river seems to be calmer comparatively and the lush green surroundings make it all the more enjoyable. The water seems all muddy, what is the rainy season when you tried it?

  9. Vicki Louise December 17, 2016 at 2:10 am #

    What a fabulous place to go River Rafting. The lush jungle background is just perfect and that the rapids are not rated too highly makes me think this would be quit an enjoyable (rather than terrifying) experience!

  10. mark wyld December 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

    What a great experience the jungle looks so thick and green. The rafting looks fun and challenging. Our kids would love to participate in something like this. The sight of the wildlife would be great i can imagine there would be a great and varied amount in Panama

  11. Rhonda Albom December 14, 2016 at 8:41 am #

    The white water rafting looks great and not too over the top. I’ve only ever done grade 3. The guides did well on the action shots and your scenery shots are splendid.

  12. Donna Janke December 14, 2016 at 5:42 am #

    What lovely scenery. A nice spot for river rafting.

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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