Tropical Sea Kayaking in Costa Rica

Golfo Dulce Kayaking Adventures & Nature Experiences

Join us for a multi-day escape kayaking one of the few tropical fjords in the world, experiencing the most abundant exotic flora & fauna in Costa Rica. You will paddle the calm, warm waters of the Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf) home to 25 species of dolphins and whales, and surrounded by the tropical backdrop of rainforests and jungle mountains.
You’ll experience the best of super-natural Costa Rica on this tropical adventure, and taste the natural flavors of the Costa Rican cuisine; all while staying at beautiful and comfortable Eco lodges.

About Us
Why TSK?
Gallery
F.A.Q.
Trip Info
Map

Guiding Life’s Greatest Adventures in Costa Rica

The Greatest Adventures

At Tropical Sea Kayaking we strive for the greatest nature and adventure expeditions combined with unique lodging, tasteful & natural food, and highly experienced guides. Friendly and professional trip leaders, active adventures with a high biological intensity, and some of the most incredible landscapes on earth are the framework for our success.

With a genuine belief that sea kayaking adventures are exceedingly worthwhile life experiences, we have committed ourselves over the years to providing the best trips available, always with an eye on safety and improvement.

4 Distinctive Trips

We offer four sea kayaking trips designed to perfection, each of different duration and configuration. Any of the trips can be booked based on either cabin style lodging or authentic tent camping accommodations for which TSK will provide the camping gear. The trips presented on our website and in our brochures can be modified to a certain extent, for which we will be happy to receive your wishes and needs.

Our itineraries should be seen as approximate guides only. All our expedition are subject to the weather conditions, currents and tides which might cause alterations and delays to our trips.

Amazing Add-Ons

Our trips are designed to start & end in the Golfo Dulce. For ease of travel, we offer the option to complete each trip with the first and last night near the airport of San Jose & transportation to and from the Golfo Dulce. With this option called ‘Add-On #1’ you don’t have to worry about a thing from start to finish. We’ll take good care of you! Our signature trip (8-Days) already includes Add-On #1, which makes it a complete package from beginning to end.

To complement our kayaking trips, we offer more add-ons for you to choose from.

Add-Ons

10 Reasons Why: Golfo Dulce & Tropical Sea Kayaking

The uncut gem of Costa Rica for paddlers & nature lovers

Why Golfo Dulce?

  • One of few tropical fjords on earth
  • Calm, glass like water conditions
  • Excellent lodging & nutricious meals
  • Rich marine life (dolphins, whales, turtles)
  • Rainforests & National Parks
  • Untouched & Pristine Location
  • Off-the-beaten path: no mass tourism
  • Tropical climate (no wetsuit!)
  • The most biological diversity in the World!
  • River estuaries, and Mangrove wetlands

Why TSK?

  • We are the Golfo Dulce Specialist
  • Environmentally sustainable business
  • Professional adventure & naturalist guides
  • CPR & First Aid certified guides
  • Top notch sea kayaks & gear
  • Comfortable & Unique Eco-lodging
  • Fresh & organic meals prepared on location
  • Add-On options for all inclusive trips
  • Your guide is your pre-trip contact person
  • Trip customization to meet your wishes
More Photos

F.A.Q. & TRIP INFO

This stuff’s good to know prior to your trip

(Click the topics for more info)

On Location

First of all, our kayaking trips are simply perfect for families! The waters of the Gulf are warm– absolutely no chance of getting cold, not even at night. Moreover, the waters are usually very calm with no major waves, and little current. Our waters are probably the safest in all of Central America for kayaking, and swimming!

In addition, during our trips there is so much to see and learn about wildlife, vegetation, and the tropics in general. There is plenty of down time for the kids to enjoy grassy fields, trail hiking, and games. Our inflatable Stand Up Paddle boards are free for families to use!

Having said this, we set the minimum age limit to 8 years old. If your children are younger we will be happy to discuss this with you to see if we can make it happen anyway. We are pretty flexible!

In a nutshell: Our trips can be enjoyed by everyone in relatively good shape. No prior paddling experience required.

Paddling a sea kayak is quite easy and really fast & fun to learn. It’s just a couple of techniques you need to get accustomed to, which we will cover during the introduction of each trip (on dry land). No problem at all!

In general the tricky part with sea kayaking are the water and weather conditions, which are ideal in the Golfo Dulce. It’s a large body of water protected from the open Pacific Ocean by the Osa Peninsula giving us glass-like water conditions! We will encounter some tide related currents, but this shouldn’t be a problem at all if you’re in relatively good shape.

We’re in the tropics with a constant warm climate and warm waters, so there is no chance of hypothermia, or even getting slightly cold. Not even at night.

Paddling the Golfo Dulce is such a peaceful and inspiring experience, having your pre-trip doubts about safety vanish instantly.

These are the tropics, and you will find yourself in the most biologically diverse place on earth meaning we have to share the jungle with its original inhabitants like monkeys, wild cats, and snakes. Monkeys are fun and stay high up in the trees, wild cats are too shy to get close to humans, and they’re nocturnal anyway. Snakes, we do need to be aware of their presence. Your guide will touch up on this subject during briefing, which really isn’t an issue since we hardly encounter any snakes during our kayaking trips. If we do, it’s exciting and educational.

Apart from that, we are away from other humans, so basically it’s the safest environment imaginable.

In one word: absolutely! At all of our TSK locations we offer potable water, usually coming straight out of tab. If not, we filter the water and have it readily available at all times. We hold a 100% safety record for clean drinking water.

After a hot day of paddling, a cold brewski is a well deserved treat while watching the sun set. At all three of our TSK locations beer is for sale. Wine is also available at Saladero Ecolodge.

You may also bring your own on the trip, or we are more than happy to purchase and bring it on the trip for you. Please let us know prior to your trip if you would like us to arrange this for you.

Our kayaking trips include all meals, gear, lodging, and drinks (water/juices/tea/coffee), therefore no additional expenses are required. If you do however like to buy snacks where available, or other (alcoholic) drinks, we suggest taking some cash with you.

Both the local currency (Colones) as the US Dollars are accepted everywhere.

Usually we carry our gear & luggage in the kayaks using dry bags. We will only carry the necessary stuff in our kayaks that we will need on our overnight trips to neighboring lodges. Excess luggage will be stored at El Chontal Ecolodge, being our start & end point of each kayaking trip.

Each kayak provides ample space for your overnight bags. For trips with young children, non-paddlers, and large groups, we have the option to add a support boat. We will be happy to do so for any of our guests feeling more comfortable paddling with a support boat.

Obviously not everyone is keen about paddling a sea kayak. Our trips are wonderful for everyone, which is why we offer the possibility for non-paddlers to join our adventures, too! This is when we add a support boat, which we use for transportation to all our lodges around the Gulf.

Golfo Dulce is not only for paddlers! In case your entire party wants to experience one of our trips without paddling, we will be happy to offer this possibility, too! Simply contact us for more information.

Prior To Trip

Good spirits, a great smile, and lots of joy!

Obviously we will provide an extensive packing list after booking. 🙂

Please contact us by e-mail or through our contact form to request booking your trip of choice. On booking we require a down payment of $500 per person (or the trip price if less), and the balance 60 days prior to trip start, unless otherwise stated in your itinerary document. If you book your trip within the 60 days prior to your trip start, we require the full amount in one payment.

Payments can be submitted by international wire transfer or by credit card using Paypal. Our default payment method is Paypal, for which a fee will of 5% will be added to your package price, unless stated otherwise in your trip itinerary document. If you prefer to pay by wire, please request this by e-mail before booking, or at least 10 days before your final payment date. We will then send you our banking details and payment procedure. There will not be any payment fee for wire payments if the entire final payment for your (group) trip is made as one single payment (amounts of all group participants combined). Read our Terms & Conditions for more information 

Our kayaking trips start and end in the Golfo Dulce, at El Chontal Ecolodge where we are based out of. This location is pin-pointed on the numerous maps on our website, as well as the map in each of our itinerary documents. In addition, our itineraries also state directions to El Chontal Ecoldodge under the header ‘Getting to El Chontal Ecolodge’.

Not keen on traveling to El Chontal Ecolodge yourself? We offer seamless add-ons to our kayaking packages including lodging near the airport for your arrival and departure night & domestic flights and ground transportation to and from El Chontal Ecolodge.

Also, our 8-day signature trip is an all inclusive package that takes good care of you from beginning to end.

Our actual kayaking trips usually start on a Sunday, which means you will need to be in Costa Rica at least one day earlier to allow travel time.

For example, our 8-Day Signature Trip starts on a Saturday, and ends on the following Saturday (the day you will fly back home, or continue your journey). We will be kayaking for 5 days, starting on Sunday throughout Thursday.

We have two International Airports in Costa Rica, one in the capital of San Jose, and the other in the city of Liberia.

We recommend flying in and out of the Airport of San Jose (SJO), since this is the closest and therefore most convenient to continue traveling to Golfo Dulce.
In case of better connections or cheaper tickets you may also fly into Liberia (LIR), however, this implies more traveling to the Goldo Dulce.

In both occasions we offer lodging near the airport and transportation to Golfo Dulce (including domestic flights from either San Jose or Liberia). Our Add-On #1 offers more information on this, while our 8-Day Signature Trip includes this full package service based on the San Jose airport as the arrival/departure location.

If you do have to cancel a trip, please confirm by e-mail a.s.a.p. We charge a cancellation fee depending on the number of days prior to your trip that we receive your cancellation notice. For more information on our cancellation and refund policy, we like to refer to our Cancellation & Refunds section in each of our itinerary documents.

Costa Rica, the country without an army, and the safest of all of Central America. It’s a peaceful country with proud, and educated people being the happiest in the world. Facts & statistics can be found online, but experiencing the ‘pura vida’ (pure life) can only be done in person.

Naturally, lots of things are different here than where you’re from but there are also many similarities. To know exactly what to expect, we will provide an extensive document on booking, covering all you need to know for a well prepared & planned journey to Costa Rica.

  • 8-Day ‘Signature’ Trip: US$ 1,699
  • 3-Day ‘Introduction’ Trip: US$ 499
  • 6-Day ‘Full Experience’ Trip: US$ 1,249
  • 10-Day ‘Kayak & Corcovado’ Trip: US$ 2,199
  • 9-Day ‘Special’ Sea Kayaking San Blas, Panama: US$ 2,499

Prices are per person and based on double occupancy
Discounts apply for 5 or more people in your group

Good To Know

High season (Dry season) runs from December through April, with Low season (wet season) being May-November. The latter does involve significantly more rainfall, however in Golfo Dulce we love rain! A typical day in wet season starts off with a calm and clear morning with rain clouds moving in somewhere in the afternoon. When it does rain it usually lasts a few hours, which are actually the best since there’s nothing like paddling the rivers and mangroves during a refreshing tropical shower.

We stop operations in the months of October & November since the downpours can get a bit out of hand. Combined with possible winds and thunderstorms we thought it’d be better if we take a break during these months.

We use a variety of kayak types, and brands. We have single & double Sit-On-Tops, and single and double Sit-Insides. Brands we use are Wilderness System Kayaks as well as Perception Kayaks, which are brand new. Sizes ranging from 14 feet up to 15 feet.

Due to generally calm water conditions we have chosen to paddle without a rudder. We do however use a TruTrek adjustable skeg system to counter the minor tidal currents. All kayaks come with adjustable thigh & foot brace systems, as well as bow and stern hatches and bulkheads, DLX seats, spray skirts, and bungee deck rigging with reflective static perimeter safety line.

Our default trips are based on cabin lodging which include sturdy beds with a comfortable mattress, pillow, and linen. Towels are available too. The cabins have private bathrooms, except for the glamping cabins at Saladero. Here, several common bathrooms are available on site.

Tents 

If you seek an even more tropical experience and a closer feel to nature at night, we recommend to opt for our tent camping option. The trips are similar, just the sleeping experience will be different. We provide great tents in different shapes and sizes, and mattresses. All we ask you to bring is a sheet, and perhaps a pillow.

Each of our lodges have camp grounds with toilets and showers on site. Please let us know if you’re interested in our tent camping option.

We offer significant discounts for parties of 5 people or more (applied per booking). Please contact us for our rates.

We offer 25% discount for children up to 12 years old (when traveling with at least 2 adults).

We stimulate families to come paddle with us. Our trips are safe, with lots of downtime for playing, swimming, and exploring. There is so much to learn about the tropics, its flora & fauna, and climate, for both young and old.

Having said this, we do apply a minimum age limit set to 8 years old. This, however, is a rule of thumb since no child is the same. In case your children are younger than 8 we like to discuss the options together with you in order to make it happen. This can be done by adjusting the kayaking routes, and perhaps adding another guide.

On kayaking days we offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Our meals are prepared on site, using only the freshest and organic ingredients, often harvested from the lodge’s gardens. We value a good meal ourselves, that’s why we know you do too! In between the meals, we might even cut up some fresh tropical fruits, just because we all love ’em!

Natural juices are served during meals, and at breakfast we obviously offer Costa Rican coffee; the real stuff! Drinking water is always readily available, and we stimulate you drink plenty of it.

We offer private trips for bookings of 5 people or more free of charge, if requested on booking. For private trips for less than 5 people, we charge a 15% fee on the trip price.

We can only customize private trips (e.g. more or less paddling, food, drinks, guides, additional days and activities, more destinations, etc).

Please contact us if you like a private trip, and/or with specific wishes/demands.

Our Add-ons are originally meant to be added to your kayaking trip, hence add-ons, however, you are more than welcome to book these extensions as separate trips. Simply contact us with your add-on trip of choice, and we’ll be happy to offer it as is or with the necessary adjustments.