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International Scale of River Difficulty
Prior Experience: When in the company of responsible, professional river guides with the proper equipment, first-time and veteran rafters alike thrive on class II, III and even class IV paddling fun. Class V usually requires previous paddling experience.
Flows: A river's level of challenge can change greatly with fluctuations in water levels. The ratings listed on this web site are for normal river flows through the typical Quepos rafting season, which generally runs from April to November. The actual water level on your trip may be higher (or lower) and the river correspondingly more demanding.
Class I - Easy: Waves small, passages clear; no serious obstacles.
Class II - Medium: Rapids of moderate difficulty with passages clear.
Class III - Difficult: Waves numerous, high, irregular; rocks; eddies; rapids with passages clear though narrow, requiring expertise in maneuvering.
Class IV - Very Difficult: Long rapids; waves powerful, irregular; dangerous rocks; boiling eddies; powerful and precise maneuvering required.
Class V - Extremely Difficult: Exceedingly difficult, long and violent rapids, following each other almost without interruption; riverbed extremely obstructed; big drops; violent currents; very steep gradient. Paddlers must pass a Class V paddler's test and have prior Class IV or better whitewater experience.
Class VI - Unrunnable
A plus sign (+) after a rating indicates there may be one or more rapids with difficulty slightly above the level indicated, while a "P" after the rating indicates there is a portage.
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