Tag Archives: Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions Advises Booking Well Ahead for Epic Canyon Rafting Trips

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – If an epic river rafting adventure is in your future, Western River Expeditions says don’t delay making reservations for trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and in Utah’s Cataract Canyon.
 
Here are a few good reasons why to act now:
 
Tight controls on inventory through commercial permits make these areas available only to a limited few every year. While Western River Expeditions escorts more people down the Colorado River on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah and Arizona than any other rafting operator in the country, Western River, as well as other commercial tour operators, has to abide by the limits set by government-issued permits. These coveted seats are being snapped up quicker than ever before by an unprecedented surge of demand following months of COVID lockdown, record-breaking heat waves that beg for water-based recreation, and an exploding demand to visit America’s national parks.

As a result, Western River Expeditions has filled all Grand Canyon slots for 2021. Many departures for 2022 are sold out and others are very close to selling out. If you’re looking to raft the Grand Canyon in 2022, Western recommends checking availability online now for the Grand Canyon 3 & 4-Day Expeditions at https://www.westernriver.com. The company also suggests looking at Cataract Canyon, just upstream from Grand Canyon.

“While Cataract Canyon doesn’t carry the same name recognition as Grand Canyon, the scenery and whitewater along this section of the Colorado River through Canyonlands National Park are absolutely stunning,” says Brandon Lake, CMO for Western River Expeditions. “Guests can often find some availability on a Cataract Canyon expedition when Grand Canyon may be sold out.”

If a 2022 trip is not in the cards, mark your calendar for 2023! Western River Expeditions’ Grand Canyon trips for 2023 go on sale (tentatively) on Nov. 30, 2021. Cataract Canyon itineraries, which are more impacted by spring runoff than the dam-controlled flow through the Grand Canyon, are in demand for the high-water trips of May and June 2022. See dates and availability at https://www.westernriver.com/cataract-canyon-rafting.

For 2023 in the Grand Canyon, these options exist:

Even though hearts may be set on the longer 6 and 7-day options, itineraries of 3 and 4 days are easier to come by. These shorter trips are more popular with families with young teens and first-time canyon rafters. Space is still available for these trips for April-September 2022.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021/2022 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October the operator escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past seventeen consecutive years (2004-2020).

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Western River Expeditions Offers Families Respite from Lockdown Whitewater Rafting in Utah’s Desolation Canyon

Western River Expeditions’ Desolation Canyon 5-Day rafting trip, ideal for families seeking respite from COVID lockdown, is offered June through August.

SALT LAKE CITY – For over 60 years, Western River Expeditions has specialized as Nature’s partner, offering guests the specialized expertise, matched with a pristine river environment to enable transformations in body and spirit that are so needed as families emerge from COVID isolation.

“Reservations are up 37 percent over the same period last year for our premier family rafting trip,” reports Brandon Lake, co-owner of Western River Expeditions. “Families are clamoring to reinvent themselves in one of the most remote (no roads, no towns and no cell service) destinations in the continental United States. They are counting on us to deliver their first great trip back after hibernation for so long.”
 
This is Utah’s Desolation Canyon, carved over millennia by the 730-mile Green River that is spawned by glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the wilds of northern Wyoming.
 
The company’s proven and lauded health protocols are in place for this trip that welcomes families with children ages five and up. Fully 100 percent of this vacation takes place outside together. Transportation to the put-in is by small plane on a 40-minute flight over the desert plateau from Moab, Utah. Passengers are appropriately distanced on the aircraft and are required to wear masks on the airplane and in shuttle vehicles.
 
“Being able to travel and vacation in confidence will also assist the healing process – especially for parents,” Lake said. He explained that the rafting journey through Desolation Canyon is much more than rafting. The environment offers large beaches, swimming holes, outlaw cabins to explore, Native American sites, wildlife, fishing and great hikes. “It’s absolutely one of the best family vacations in the world.”
 
The Green is less strident than the Grand Canyon’s rollicking Colorado River. Whitewater on the Green is playful, marked by over 60 warm-water Class I-III rapids, packed with more than enough splash to excite all ages.
 
Western River Expeditions’ Desolation Canyon 5-Day Trip is offered June through August. Rates are $1,845 for ages 16 and up and $1,145 for ages 5-15 including airport transfer and flight from Moab, Utah, to the river, cots, tents, sleeping bags, chairs and water-resistant bags, all meals from between departure to return, guides, staff and equipment.
 
Highlights:

  • exploring 88 river miles
  • the option to paddle two-person inflatable kayaks or, relax in a guide-powered oar boat
  • witnessing 40 million years of geologic history
  • maneuvering 60+ fun-filled Class I-III rapids. One of the greatest features of this expedition is that the rapids are spread fairly evenly throughout the length of the trip so the action keeps it exciting all journey long.
  • visiting famous Wild West outlaw hideouts. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch found that the rugged terrain here offered a perfect hideaway.
  • wondering about the past at now-derelict homesteads built of native materials
  • getting to know an ancient culture that both foraged and planted corn from the 7th to the 13th centuries, leaving behind Fremont Native American petroglyphs
  • hiking off-river with a seasoned guide well-versed in the region’s history and geology
  • deluxe camping on broad, sandy beaches along the river bank
  • enjoying host-prepared meals for both adults and children, with ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers
  • sunbathing on and off the water shaded by ancient cottonwoods
  • watching a Trip Jester entertain the children so parents have some down time 

For more details on this trip see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon
 
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the recently enhanced website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

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Western River Expeditions Re-Opens with Limited Availability on Previously Sold-Out 2020 Grand Canyon Rafting Trips

Western River Expeditions is offering limited availability on previously sold-out
2020 Grand Canyon rafting trips.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – With the official announcement from Grand Canyon authorities that river operations will again resume on June 14, many are looking to get a spot on an epic outdoor adventure this summer.
 
Snagging seats on 2020 Grand Canyon rafting trips was impossible just a few months ago. However, pandemic-driven cancellations by international travelers has opened up seats for some of Western River Expeditions’ 2020 departures.
 
“Select departures June through September of 2020 now have limited availability,” said Brandon Lake, company CMO. “Normally last-minute inquiries would be directed to 2021 or even 2022 selections. This is an incredible opportunity for those who are making last-minute plans and feel like an outdoor adventure may be the best choice for a summer adventure this year.”
 
Vacations that embrace fresh air and the healing powers of nature can work wonders on pandemic-driven nerves. “On these iconic expeditions our guests immerse themselves in a remote world that provides a much-needed escape from civilization,” explains Lake. “A trip through the Grand Canyon becomes not only a celebration of the river and its untamed surroundings, but of life, providing a way to reconnect and refresh.”
 
This is Western River Expeditions’ promise for a true trip-of-a-lifetime far removed from the stress and challenges of today’s world. The more time spent on the river, the more the canyon reveals its sublime mysteries.
 
Western River Expeditions’ 6 or 7 Day Grand Canyon Rafting Vacation carries guests 188 river miles in custom-designed J-Rig rafts, maneuvering Class III-V rapids and each day descending deeper into geologic time, before a helicopter transports them back to the rim.
 
Their Grand Canyon 4 Day River & Ranch Tour and Grand Canyon 3 Day Lower Canyon Trip brings visitors down 100 river miles over Class II and III rapids. But first there’s a scenic helicopter ride to access the put-in. Guests on the 4-Day tour enjoy a pre-excursion overnight at Bar 10 Ranch on the North Rim of the Canyon, complete with horseback riding and optional ATV adventures.
 
Western River Expeditions for nearly 60 years has operated five-star-quality river rafting vacations. This year they are also applying their decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. (For more details on Western River Expeditions’ protocols see https://www.westernriver.com/covid-19.)
 
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is one of the largest licensed outfitters in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019). 

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866-904-1160 (Local: 801-942-6669) or visit http://www.westernriver.com/.

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Western River Expeditions Draws on 60 Years Experience to Devise Protocols to Keep Families Adventuring this Summer

Western River Expeditions is applying decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. Here are some of many steps this company is taking to counter COVID-19 fears so families can continue to experience outdoor adventures this summer. 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Where in the world – and how – will families vacation this summer?
 
Given months of pandemic-driven lock-down orders, stay-at-home summer vacation won’t be high on many lists. What will be attractive will be vacations that embrace fresh air and the healing powers of nature that can work wonders on family spirits and recovery.
 
Western River Expeditions (https://www.westernriver.com/ for nearly 60 years has operated top-quality river rafting vacations for individuals, families and friends. This year they are also applying their decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. Here are some of many steps this company is taking to counter COVID-19 fears. 

  • Screening Employees: Every day before work, each employee must pass both a temperature and pulse oximeter screen, and then answer a detailed questionnaire.
  • Screening Guests at Check-in: Guests exhibiting temperatures of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to travel with Western River Expeditions at the time they planned; instead, they will receive an “Adventure Credit” which allows the guest and any members of the group who were currently living at the same physical address during any of the 7 days prior to the trip to use the full paid value of their trip as a credit for a future trip at a later date.
  • Screening while on Multi-Day Trips: All trip participants and guides will have a daily temperature and pulse oximeter checks and fill out a daily review of symptoms questionnaire. 

In addition, there are new protocols in place should someone experience COVID-19 symptoms during a trip. In such case, steps will be taken to protect other guests from exposure during the remainder of that trip. There also will be protocols for toilet facilities, hand washing stations and social distancing (when feasible) as well as reduced number of guests per raft.
 
The company will also implement specific guidelines that address everything from life-jacket use and sanitation, to meal prep and service, use of shuttle vans, number of people per shuttle vehicle, sanitation of rafts, dry bags, cots, sleeping bags and all associated equipment. For more details on Western River Expeditions’ specific protocols please see https://www.westernriver.com/covid-19
 
Western River Expeditions hopes to still operate late spring and summer 2020 trips, subject to the easing of government-mandated closures. Three suggested trips ideal for families are: 

  • Desolation Canyona five-day trip through breathtaking Desolation Canyon and Gray Canyon on the Green River in central Utah. Trips are scheduled to depart June 7 through Aug. 12 with a minimum age of five years old. For details see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon
  • Southwest Samplera four-day adventure that includes an off-road Hummer Safari, Arches National Park tour and overnight rafting trip as well as a stay at Moab’s Marriott SpringHill Suites. Departures are scheduled May 26 through Aug. 26. If National Park closures affect the operation of the Arches National Park tour, guests will explore another stunning location in Moab. For details see  https://www.westernriver.com/moab-utah-vacation-sampler
  • Grand Canyon, the three-day option still has some limited space on certain dates from June 21st through September. Conveniently departing and returning to Las Vegas, NV, this 100-mile journey is suitable for families with kids as young as nine. For details see: https://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-river-trip 

Other adventures from Western River Expeditions include:

Utah’s Cataract Canyon Classic 4 Day: Unless otherwise advised, we are currently planning to operate all scheduled departures for our 4-Day Cataract Canyon Expeditions June 2 through August 25. We are accepting reservations now for any of these dates. This spectacular 4-Day Colorado River trip runs 100 miles from Moab to Lake Powell through Canyonlands National Park. A flight returns guests to Moab over Canyonlands.

Cataract Canyon Express 2 Day: Unless otherwise advised, we are currently planning to operate all scheduled departures for our 2-Day Cataract Canyon Expeditions June 1 through August 25. We are accepting reservations now for any of these dates. This faster-paced 2-Day Colorado River trip runs 100 miles from Moab to Lake Powell through Canyonlands National Park. Large whitewater rapids are a big part of this adventure!

Upper Grand Canyon 6 or 7 Day: Trips starting June 14 and later are currently scheduled to operate. Select trips June through September have limited availability. If you are unable to find your desired date, please add your name to our 2020 Waitlist for Grand Canyon 6 & 7 Day Expeditions. The upper 188 miles of the Grand Canyon offer some of the largest whitewater rapids in North America and a plethora of side canyon attractions. 

Lower Grand Canyon 4 Day with Bar Ten Ranch: We plan to operate all 4 day departures from June 21st through September. Limited space is available on select departures in 2020. If you are unable to find your desired date, please add your name to our 2020 Waitlist for Grand Canyon 3-4 Day Expeditions. Adding one day and a night at the Bar Ten Ranch before dropping into the 3-day river expedition is a popular way to extend your Grand Canyon experience.

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the one of largest licensed outfitters in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, Western River Expedition was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 

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Western River Expeditions Offers Tips on Adventure Travel to Costa Rica

In the heart of the Costa Rica jungle sits the Pacuare Lodge, a remote rainforest paradise. Western River Expeditions guests raft in with a small group and, once at the lodge, find themselves surrounded mostly by dense jungle and the sounds of the nearby river.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – When it comes to a vacation in Costa Rica, the experts advise that “you gotta know the territory.” But how can you if you’ve never been there?
 
Follow the tips of Western River Expeditions, soon to enter its 59th season of award-winning adventure travel. Here are a few of many questions this company suggests you ponder before booking a Western River Expeditions’ 9-Day Costa Rica Vacation Package

When is the best time to visit Costa Rica?  This is the question that everyone asks and the answer is, “It depends!” Mid-December to April can often be drier, but due to this, and the fact that it’s a popular time to get away to warm destinations, the crowds can be greater. During May through the first half of December, daily rainfall is more common. It’s a period the locals refer to as “the green season.” During this period, you might experience different wildlife and fewer crowds. Generally, the rain doesn’t last all day and guests find periods of lovely sunshine each day as well.
 
But here’s a little secret! In some years, visitors reap the rewards of Costa Rica’s “Little Summer” (Veranillo de San Juan or Little Summer of Saint John) in July. Because of a little-known weather phenomenon that in-the-know wildlife lovers are keen to, July is one of the best times to visit Costa Rica. The secret is a drier break after the rains of May and June that yield flowering trees and fruits, which attract a lot of wildlife.
 
Do you appreciate crowds or are you looking for something more secluded?  The time of travel will affect the crowd levels in popular destinations such as Arenal and Manuel Antonio, but Western River Expeditions has built in to its Costa Rica itinerary a few days of blissful seclusion. In the heart of the jungle sits the Pacuare Lodge, a remote rainforest paradise. Guests raft in with a small group and, once at the lodge, participants find themselves surrounded mostly by dense jungle and the sounds of the nearby river. A hike along centuries-old trails to the top of the Talamanca Mountains brings a visit with the Cabécar Indians, the largest indigenous group in Costa Rica. This is only one of the eight lodge-based activities to choose from. Extending a stay at the lodge (optional) gives visitors even more time to participate in the various experiences offered.
 
When is the best time to go rafting in Costa Rica?  The Pacuare River (rated among the top 10 rivers in the world by National Geographic) offers 38 Class II-IV rapids over 16 river miles with the caveat that the excitement varies by how high and fast the river is flowing. During the dry season of January to April whitewater rafting in Costa Rica is more sanguine than during the misting and green months of May through December. That said, there can always be unpredictable rainfall any time of year that raises the water levels – and the excitement levels.
 
Is birding a passion?  From a bird watching tour at the Pacaure Lodge, to the Mistico Hanging Bridges tour which boasts over 200 species of birds, to the Manuel Antonio National Park which is home to more than 180 different species visitors will find plenty of rare picture taking opportunities.
 
Interested in surfing?  Experienced surfers appreciate the bigger waves of September and October on the Pacific Coast. Adrenaline-seeking travelers wanting to take optional surfing lessons while in Manuel Antonio (highly recommended), might appreciate the somewhat tamer surf during the remainder of the year.
 
Do you love authentic wildlife viewing?  You’ll likely find wildlife in Costa Rica no matter when you choose to visit. One of the top destinations on the Western River 9-Day Costa Rica itinerary is the Manuel Antonio National Park. Home to a variety of mammal species, it is a thrill to be personally greeted by multiple curious Mono Titi monkeys on a day tour.

 
“Our guests experience Costa Rica by the activities they choose, such as river rafting, zip lining over the rainforest canopy and a 3km walk over 15 bridges suspended from the ground to the treetops. But guests are also taken to the base of the Arenal Volcano where they can soak in therapeutic cascading hot springs, through the sights and sounds of primitive rainforests and jungles as well as to Manuel Antonio National Park (named one of the world’s 12 most beautiful national parks by Forbes). This park is home to 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds. Here on the Pacific Ocean are the sandy beaches and gentle surf that fulfill the requirements of a great vacation,” said company CMO Brandon Lake. 
 
The basic rate is from $3,705 per person, double inclusive of transfers, hotels, activities, 11 meals and most activities. Western River Expeditions’ core Costa Rica program can be arranged for just two people or for up to 25 and can be customized by lengthening or shortening the trip and by adding or deleting activities. Year-round departures on a space-available basis can be tailored to travelers’ schedules.
 
The tour utilizes four distinguished properties selected for panache, location and comfort. In the gateway city of San Jose is Hotel Grano de Oro. At Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort guests enjoy a swim-up bar, local and international gourmet cuisine and they are positioned to explore the geology of Arenal Volcano and nearby hot springs. While on the Pacuare River guests enjoy Pacuare Lodge (National Geographic Traveler World’s Best Ecolodge). Tulemar Bungalows (a Travel + Leisure World’s Best award winner) in Manuel Antonio National Park offers and ocean and beaches.
 
For vacation package details please see https://www.westernriver.com/costa-rica-vacation-package.
 
For more on how Costa Rica weather varies from season to season, see https://www.westernriver.com/costa-rica-vacation-package/weather.
 
To request a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020 catalog and for questions, availability and reservations, call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit the award-winning website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for sixteen consecutive years.

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Western River Expeditions’ New 9-Day Multi-Sport Costa Rica Adventure Allows for Customization

Western’s nine-day/eight-night Costa Rica Vacation Package includes conquering the rapids of the legendary Pacuare River, rated one of the most beautiful in the world.
Western’s nine-day/eight-night Costa Rica Vacation Package includes conquering the rapids of the legendary Pacuare River, rated one of the most beautiful in the world.

SALT LAKE CITY – Veteran outfitter Western River Expeditions is inviting travelers to tweak the company’s recently launched 9-day multi-sport Costa Rica adventure to create their own personalized experience. This trip is offered year-round with ultimate flexibility in scheduling for a minimum of two participants who choose their own date of trip departure based on availability. The per person (double) rate is from $3,295 (minimum age 12). See: www.westernriver.com/costa-rica-vacation-package.

For starters, guests may choose to shorten or lengthen their core trip with final price adjusted accordingly. They can add activities and regions of specific interest to them or skip some parts of the suggested itinerary. For example, if they’re escaping a stateside winter, they may want to add beach time or sport fishing and surf lessons while on the Pacific Coast in Manuel Antonio National Park that like most of Costa Rica enjoys a warm and dry climate in the winter months. Or while rafting the Pacuare River they may want to visit to the Cabecar Indian village enroute for an immersion into native culture. Other add-on options might include biking and hiking around Arenal Volcano or a trip to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast to get up close and personal with Green, leatherback, and Hawksbill sea turtles that nest on the beaches here.

Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) for over 50 years has helped people overcome fears when it comes to rafting on rivers. It introduced its Costa Rica program earlier in 2016 to deliver the most highly curated experience possible and at the same time to help alleviate the stress and anxiety of planning foreign travel.

Why Costa Rica?

“Costa Rica is a natural, with the added excitement of volcanoes, hot springs and beaches,” said Brandon Lake, CMO of Western River Expeditions. “This customizable itinerary is perfect for first-time visitors or anyone new to foreign travel. We offer as much ‘hand holding’ as needed at the front end of the trip while adopting a more on-your-own approach as participants become more comfortable with their surroundings.”

Western’s nine-day/eight-night Costa Rica Vacation Package includes conquering the rapids of the legendary Pacuare River, rated one of the most beautiful in the world. This river slices from Costa Rica’s interior to the Caribbean, enroute creating some of Costa Rica’s most exciting rapids flanked by pristine rainforest. Guests stay for two nights at Pacuare Lodge, rated one of the top jungle eco lodges anywhere. An off-river day explores waterfalls and a zip line adventure above a tropical rainforest canopy. The rafting continues downriver to the takeout where a minibus awaits for the trip to Arenal Volcano and a buffet dinner on the open air terrace at Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort.

Between time spent splashing in thermally heated pools at the base of the towering volcano, Arenal participants enjoy a rainforest adventure focused on monkeys, iguanas, sloths and birds from the perspective of 15 hanging suspension bridges over which guests experience the forest from the ground (like a Jaguar), from the middle (like a Monkey) and from the treetops (like an Eagle). Later comes a scenic drive that ends at Manuel Antonio, a village on the Pacific Ocean.

Spread over a forested ridge overlooking the Pacific with unforgettable coastal views, the area’s postcard-perfect beaches include Playa Manuel Antonio, a crescent of ivory sand between the rainforest and calm waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Nearby Playa Espadilla is a long beach lined with coconut palms and Indian almond trees. While here guests enjoy a 2.5-hour nature walk and sunning on the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, named one of the world’s most beautiful national parks by Forbes.

The rate includes eight nights and breakfasts at four stellar properties; three lunches and three dinners; transfers to and from San Jose airport, hotels and activity sites; rafting; zip lining; soaking in the thermal waterfalls and pools of T Tabacón; guided walks and a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park to see sloths and numerous species of monkeys.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2017 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit the newly enhanced website at www.westernriver.com.

 

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Western River Expeditions: Top Questions Families Should Ask When Considering a Raft Trip

In answer to the question “Is a raft trip right for me and the family?” Western River Expeditions says, "If you’ve been eager to get the kids away from an over-civilized world and all its technology and overload, river rafting is a great place to start (hint – no Internet or cell service!)."
In answer to the question “Is a raft trip right for me and the family?” Western River Expeditions says, “If you’ve been eager to get the kids away from an over-civilized world and all its technology and overload, river rafting is a great place to start (hint – no Internet or cell service!).”

Salt Lake City–Rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions advises on the key questions families should ask before embarking on a river rafting vacation.

“In our 50-plus years of operation, Western River Expeditions has created heirloom memories for literally thousands of families,” said Brian Merrill, CEO. “We’re always learning new things about how to engage parents and children both ashore and on the river.  And we love it when families take the time to ask us questions before they make reservations for a rafting adventure.”

Merrill and his staff have heard it all from first time river runners, from “will there be flush toilets and room service?” to “I can’t swim, but can I still go?” But they also appreciate that no question is too silly or inappropriate.

Here are the questions they suggest anyone considering a raft trip should ask:

First, “Is a raft trip right for me and the family?” If you’ve been eager to get the kids away from an over-civilized world and all its technology and overload, river rafting is a great place to start (hint – no Internet or cell service!).

“How young can children be?” This question is river-dependent. If the river is relatively tranquil in post-spring runoff, with most rapids being Class III or lower, children as young as five can often be accommodated with Coast Guard-approved age-appropriate life jackets.

“How old can Grandma and Grandpa be?” This is truly more a question of physical ability over age. Western River Expeditions has taken 85-year-olds down the river who can get on and off the boat and hike better than a 60-year-old. Discuss your physical level with your outfitter to help you make the best choice. Note that Western River Expeditions does offer an interesting option for the older crowd. On Grand Canyon trips, Western uses a patented boat called the “J-Rig.” This 37-foot motorized craft offers quite a bit more flexibility in seating and comfort than traditional rafts and can be a great way for Grandma and Grandpa to join a trip.

“Is it mandatory to know how to swim?” Non-swimmers are welcomed on most all river trips. Coast Guard-approved life vests (PFDs – personal floatation devices) are mandatory as well as a safety talk prior to departure. Non-swimmers, however, should have a heart-to-heart chat with their potential tour company before making a reservation for a rafting trip with larger whitewater.

Bottom line: “Is rafting dangerous?” The element of risk (and thrill) that comes with running the rapids is why river rafting is so popular. But there’s perceived risk and then there’s real risk. That’s where professional river guides come in. They are extensively trained to minimize and manage risks. But there’s not much even your guides can do about your sunburn if you forget to put on sunscreen, or if you’re a klutz getting in and out of the boat!

Once you’ve put the above questions to bed, then ponder:

“How many hours will your gang want to spend on the river each day?”  Some itineraries involve less time on water, more time at camp and exploring trails. But please come with a flexible attitude. The speed of the flow, location of campsites and how long lunch and day hikes take influence the amount of time floating, swimming and paddling on the water each day.

“What if I’m nervous about whitewater?” Think options. There are rafting trips on calm water and trips with world-class whitewater. The type of boat you’re in also dictates the adventure. You can choose to paddle your own craft (most adventurous), ride in boat with a guide at the oars or with Western, ride atop a patented “J-Rig,” a large, motorized boat with seating up front for the more gung-ho or aft for more protection.

“In camp, how much ‘roughing it’ is there?” Guests sleep each night in a wilderness setting on the river, in a tent or out in the open under the stars (your choice). Your biggest responsibility will be pitching your tent. The guides take care of setting up the loo, food prep and clean up. Camping is usually deluxe, comfortable and easy. Meals are often better than what you have at home.

“What do little ones do at camp?” Think nature-oriented games and special hours for dining for youngsters, supervised by staff trained to work with children. There is truly never enough time for all that both kids and teens want to experience on the river.

When you are ready to make a reservation, let the company know the ages and experience levels of participants.  The company will guide you.

For first timers and young families with ages five to 12, Western River Expeditions recommends a five-day trip on Utah’s Green River or Idaho’s Lower Salmon.

For families with children ages nine and up, a three-day trip through the Grand Canyon may be the right fit.

Those with children 12 and up have the widest range of options to choose from including Utah’s Cataract Canyon and a full six day trip in the Grand Canyon.

Chances are other families will be on these trips and the children have fun interacting and making new friends.

For a copy of the 2015 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: http://www.westernriver.com/.

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

For a copy of the 2015 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit: http://www.westernriver.com/.

 

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