For more than half a century, the riverside community of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui was one of the largest ports in Costa Rica. Major crops like coffee and bananas were transported from the Central Valley and Caribbean slopes to the coast via the Sarapiqui River. The scenic river originates on the Deception Depression between Barva and Poas Volcanoes and flows 53 miles into the San Juan River, which continues into Nicaragua. Today, the river is plied by whitewater rafters and kayakers seeking the thrills of Class III-IV rapids. The Sarapiqui and its sister rivers, the Sardinal and Puerto Viejo, also have Class I-II sections ideal for tranquil safari floats, allowing passengers glimpses of crocodiles, monkeys and sloths along the river banks.