Rio Coto Colorado
Season Dates: December to April
Price: Starts at US$96 a day for meals, kayaking, and camping (see below for details)
Length of Tour: 1-5 Day Trips Available
Adventure/Activity Level: I to III
Accommodation Options Available:
Located in the South Pacific region of Costa Rica in the southwest part of the Golfo Dulce, this beautiful river and the incredible surrounding mangroves can be enjoyed by all level of paddlers. For those interested, the river mouth and some of the longer paddles up this river can be more challenging. The Rio Coto Colorado and the Rio Sabalo offer long snake-like paths cutting through thick mangroves, slow murky waters and a magnificent rivermouth perfect for catching some fun surf on our 17' sea kayaks.
Magnificent Frigate birds, Brown Pelicans and others soar overhead, the shore is spotted with bright white Egrets, or a group of cazily pink Roseate Spoonbills sit out starkly against the dark green backdrop. Many others can be spotted as well and birders will love this river. We might drift lazily behind a crocodile for several minutes before being noticed and the crocodile dissapears below the muddy water, or pass a Caiman suning on a muddy bank. Howler monkeys sound in the distance and a group of White Faced Capuchin Monkeys may stop by and perform some acrobatics for us.
Playa Zancudo is the location of choice for us to unwind before or after this trip with warm showers and comfy beds easily found. Remote enough that you rarely see more than a few people on the long expanse of black sand beach, the small town serves as gem in the jungle. Located south of Golfito, it is easily accessed by boat for those who fly into the Puerto Jimenez or Golfito airports.
As our current base of operations, this sleepy one road town provides easy access to both the ocean and river systems. A small peninsula with the warm waters of the Golfo Dulce on one side and the extensive river system of the Rio Coto Colorado on the other, this is a perfect location for adventerous kayakers. The mouth of the Rio Coto Colorado and Rio Sabalo come together and sweep into the Gulf at "The Point" where the only road hits the water at the end of the Zancudo peninsula.
"We spend more than an hour with the mangroves close on our sides, winding our way, sometimes it seems doubling back, before we exit as if from a cave hidden in the jungle. The entrance seems to close behind us."