Rio Grande River Rafting has been done since 1999. The upper section of this river is classified as a Class III and the lowest section is between Class II-III. The upper section runs through some gorges that are stunning with some nice drops. If the current is too high this part may be avoided since it does not have shores in some sections. The upper part can be done in smaller rafts or inflatable kayaks (duckies).
The lower part of the Rio Grande River Rafting takes you through big water pools followed by rapids running mostly through planes and small hills. It is easier than doing river rafting in Mamoni river, so it is suitable for families and is a good introduction to rafting. Rio Grande runs through a tropical dry forest. Its basin is devoted to farming and cattle.
You will be picked up from your hotel in Panama City at 6 a.m. to head west of the country crossing the bridge of the Americas into the Cocle province of Panama. It will take about three hours to reach the starting point. Those staying in a hotel in the Playa Blanca beach area will be picked up at 8 a.m. River rafting should begin around 11 a.m. Arrival time to the take out zone should be around 2 p.m. to return to Panama City by 5:30 p.m. Itineraries can vary according to the water levels.
The Cocle area of Panama has become the preferred beach destination of Panama’s Pacific coast because of its large all inclusive hotels including the Decameron, Riu Playa Blanca, Playa Blanca Resort, Bijao Beach Resort and the Buenaventura. The small mountain village of El Valle is also in this province which is worth including in your Panama vacation.
- Transportation to and from Panama City
- Rafts or kayaks
Available: Thursdays from June through March.
Time: 11-12 hours.
What to bring? Swimsuit, light or dry fit clothes that can get wet, strapped sandals / aqua shoes / sneakers, hat, sunscreen, towel, change of clothes and passport or ID.
Important information: Rio Grande River Rafting is offered every Thursday with a minimum of 4 passengers. ONLY book this tour for Thursdays. Additional dates will be added with a minimum of 6 passengers, please consult if you want to do this tour on an alternative date. There is a maximum of 30 people from July through December and a maximum of 12 people in January through June.
Rafting can be done almost all year-round depending on the water levels of the Rio Grande River. Water peak is reached in November. The lowest water is in the months of March through May, at the end of the dry season, when river rafting and kayaking is not done on the Rio Grande River. Rafts are used in the lower section from June through December.
Smaller rafts of 11’ and duckies (inflatable kayaks) are used from June through December in the upper section. Duckies are more challenging than paddling in a raft. Less experienced participants will be in rafts and parties may be split up in order to procure overall safety. Guides will provide basic training and they will escort the ducky convoy downstream. All guides are trained in white water navigation, first aid and CPR.
Participants must be in good health and physical conditions. Any person between the ages of 12 to 70 can participate in the Rio Grande River Rafting tour.
Other Panama River Rafting Tours: