Surviving River-Tubing down a Waterfall in Liberia - An Adventure you should experience in Costa Rica

Before our trip to Costa Rica, we had never heard of this adventure sport - river tubing or white water tubing. During our stay at Four Seasons in Papagayo, we had an option of either taking a sky canopy tour (ziplining) over the majestic Rio Blanco Canyon or river-tubing down the rapids of Rio Negro. We were more excited about river tubing, so we opted for that.

Before our trip to Costa Rica, we had never heard of this adventure sport - river tubing or white water tubing. During our stay at Four Seasons in Papagayo, we had an option of either taking a sky canopy tour (ziplining) over the majestic Rio Blanco Canyon or river-tubing down the rapids of Rio Negro. We were more excited about river tubing, so we opted for that.   


Right before the river tubing, we had completed a hiking tour in the Rincon de la Vieja Volcan National Park. Before heading for River Tubing, we stopped for a traditional Costa Rican lunch at a ranch, where we had food and drinks. Very close to the ranch was a hanging bridge over Rio Negro. We crossed that to photograph the horse stables on the other side. Here we were delighted to see a foal playing around with full grown horses. This was the first time I was seeing a foal. Before this, I had only seen full-grown horses. 






After the lunch, we boarded our bus to reach the point where the river tubing was to commence. We had been instructed to bring along our swimsuits and a pair of waterproof shoes that would not fall off. People who did not have such shoes were asked to go barefoot. We were not allowed to bring our cameras or phones because it was inevitable that we would lose them or break them or ruin them. 



We were made to sign a waiver, which basically absolved the Adventure Tour company of all responsibility in case of any mishap. After signing our lives away, we were made to put on a helmet and were put in huge tubes. The tubes had a net base and two ribbons for us to hold on to. There were 8 of us in this tour and we were accompanied by 3 guides who were supposed to keep us safe. These guides were experts and knew the course really well. 



The course was going to be 5 km long and we would be navigating class 2 and 3 rapids along the way. Before this, I had never even done white water rafting, so this was going to be a whole new experience for me. I was scared as well as excited. 



The first few minutes of the tubing were quite smooth and I thought that this was going to be piece of cake. However, I was so wrong. Soon the rapids started and the ride became bouncier and bouncier. Moreover, there were huge rocks on the banks and my toes regularly struck against them. Unlike a raft, in river tubing, you do not have much control on where your tube would rotate. So often you are floating down the river backwards, and you do not know if you are going to collide with a rock or not. Believe me, this adds to the fun. 



All through this, the guides were making sure that we were safe and staying with the group. While the rapids carried us automatically, getting past the still pools was a bigger challenge. We had been taught how to do this, but it basically involved us turning over on our stomachs and then paddling our way towards the currents. We tried this, but most of us were too scared to turn over in the tubes. So it was mostly up to the guides to rescue us whenever we got stuck. 




Related Blog-post from Costa Rica - Incredible Birds of Costa Rica - Part 1 || Hummingbirds


But the best was yet to come. The guides had told us about a waterfall on the way. We had thought that they were joking. But soon we found out that they were serious. There was indeed a five-feet waterfall midway. We were told to hold on to the tubes and also what to do in case we fell out of our tubes. However, out of the 8 of us, only 1 managed to stay on the tube, and she sprained her neck. Rest of us, all went underwater. Despite being warned not to panic, we panicked and as a result it took us a couple of minutes to gain a footing and re-surface. 



Once out, it was a challenge to get back on the tube, but we managed somehow. After this waterfall, the rapids seemed like child's play. We navigated them with wide smiles on our face. At the beginning of the ride, we had been instructed to hold on to each other's tubes as well whenever we were stuck in a pool. By the end of the ride, we had finally got a hang of this technique as well. It was a fun group and all through, we were laughing at our and others' misadventures. 



Our ride came to an end too soon. At the end, we were supposed to carry our tubes up a small hill. However, only a few of us managed that. The guides who had done a great job in keeping us safe, helped us with this too.  

Other blogpost from Costa Rica - Irazu Volcano National Park - Must visit place around San Jose & Cartago cities of Costa Rica


Don't want to miss the only photograph used in this blogpost is clicked by https://www.pexels.com/@must-bee-553282, so all credits go to mentioned profile link. 


Other Blogpost from Costa Rica - Tour of our room at Four Seasons Papagayo Peninsula, Costa Rica

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