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Arenal Volcano - Costa Rica

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Rio Balsa
Rafting Costa Rica

Whitewater Rafting Rio Balsa.
Costa Rica White Water Rafting

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Rio Balsa Rafting -  the Rio Balsa is ideal for those first-time whitewater rafters and those with some experience, as it is gentle enough for those inexperienced rafters but enough of a challenge to make it exciting. The Desafio guides are very accommodating to those first-time rafters, quickly earning the trust of their clients. As a result of their knowledge and care, first timers soon grow brave enough to enjoy a unique adventure! You'll enjoy the challenge as you paddle yourself through 25 fun & safe rolling rapids with names like "Morning Coffee" & "Rock around the Croc" and then play around in tranquil river pools in an isolated rainforest river canyon. Hopefully, you'll get to see lots of wildlife like monkeys, sloths and tropical birds such as ospreys and toucans. This unique river trip is the best way to combine adventure and nature. The Río Balsa is dam-controlled, so good water levels are usually available.  

Plus at the end of the tour you will go for a special lunch for a delicous home-cooked traditional meal!

Rio Balsa is only 45 minutes or so from downtown La Fortuna, which makes it a convenient location, and you'll spend more time on the river than in the car! The white water rafting trips offer door-to-door service for most hotels in the Arenal and La Fortuna areas.

At the launch site, the guides give a detailed explanation of safety procedures. Rafting is an adventure sport, so everyone receives a helmet and life vest. The guides slowly and clearly explain all rules and fundamentals. Right from the outset, the river is beautiful, with very few farms that come to the river's edge, and you find yourself paddling through scenic stretches of rainforest.. Depending on the level of the water-flow that day, the depth of the river will vary from shallow and rocky to fairly deep. Paddling can be practiced through the initial rapids before you get to the 'morning coffee', the first of the class III rapids. The guides give you specific instructions on each rapid, for example 'stay to the right on this one' or 'avoid the big boulder at all costs' or even 'watch out for crocodiles on this one' (just kidding). If you are lucky you might see monkeys, sloths, birds and butterflies.

At the lunch spot there are bathrooms and changing rooms, so bring a change of clothes to leave in the van.

Rio Balsa Rafting recommended for ages 10-55:

Price:  $69pp (pick up from from most hotels in Arenal)

Price: $85 with pick up from San Jose and drop off in Arenal after rafting

Tour Time: 9.00am

Click here to see our frequently-asked questions!

Transport from San Jose to Rio Balsa, then drop off in Arenal on our Adventure Connection!
Fun for all the family on the Rio Balsa, Class 2-3 river! Tour includes one way transport (from San Jose to the river) and after the tour we will drop you in La Fortuna/Arenal. Total transport for the day only $10 extra on the normal price of the tour!

Price: $85



Rio Balsa only $69 per person

Rio Balsa Adventure Connection $85pp (pick up San Jose- Rafting- Drop off in Arenal)

  • All equipment
  • Transport to and from hotel within the pick-up zone ( there might be a small charge for hotels near La Fortuna/Arenal area but not in pick up zone).
  • For the Adventure Connection we pick-up from San Jose, go rafting and then drop you at your Arenal hotel.
  • Safety Kayaker
  • Fruit fiesta during the tour
  • Experienced bilingual guides with appropriate safety training
  • Lunch.
Start times

Rio Balsa - 9.00am - Exact pick-up time depends on hotel location

For the Adventure Connection from San Jose the pick up time is about 7.00am


Rio Balsa - 5 Hours (including transport, lunch,rafting)

Adventure Connection about 8 hours

What to Bring

1 . clothes to get wet in (best to wear swim gear with shorts and t-shirt on top)

2.  secure shoes (sports sandals are best)

3.  dry clothes and a towel for after the trip

Plus  a big smile and a sense of adventure!

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