which river to choose?
If you are planning a trip to Bali, or you are already there, you don’t want to miss white water rafting !! This is truly one of the best experiences on this beautiful island and I want to share some general information with you about what you can expect, as well as a guide to the 2 main rivers: Telaga Waja and Sungai Ayung.
General advice on going white water rafting in Bali
With all the things I will tell you, only one thing is certain, and that is that each trip will be very different. This will depend on a number of things, such as the time of year and the company where you decide to go, because all have different starting and ending points.
But there are some things that will be similar, such as:
- Time: pick-up time is usually from 9:00 to 9:30 (from Ubud, this might be earlier if you are in the South). The actual rafting time is between 2-2.5 hours. The expiration time is around 2:00 p.m. and you will return to Ubud at 2:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Distance: the length of the river you will see is usually around 12-14 km. This will vary from company to company because they will choose which part of the river you can carry.
- Lunch: lunch is always included and consists of several fruits, rice, vegetable dishes, noodle dishes (usually vegetarian as well) and meat dishes. Very basic and local food, but good too.
- Views: You will see a stunning view of the forest on the Ayung River and Telaga Waja. Honestly I can’t say which one I like because both are beautiful! Both rivers have waterfalls that fall into rivers and in the right season they can be very fun because you might be allowed to swim under one or just stop and get a little “shower” 😉
- Your guide: the people who will take care of you during your trip are amazing and very safe! You will usually have a group of 2-3 boats, with 4-6 people and a guide in each, sitting behind. He will do the main steering and get you out of trouble (because you will be stuck at least once haha!). They are usually funny and will entertain you throughout the trip.
- Your items: your main bag will be left with the driver, your important small bag can be carried on board, but will be put in a waterproof bag. You can take it out for 10 minutes of your rest. Flip flops will be tied to the boat until the end of the trip. You will be given paddles, life jackets and helmets at the start and you will take them to the ship and back.
- Your children will love it! Both rivers are very safe and you always see children of all ages on the boat (well maybe not younger than 5). As long as they are able to walk and follow basic instructions, they will be fine, please read my recommendations below to choose which river for young children. You don’t even need to know how to swim, everyone is given a lifejackets and most of you will stay on the boat.
- Cost: Depends on where you order it, usually between 300,000-400,000IDR (around $ 30-40).
Telaga Waja River – white water rafting in Bali
Telaga Waja in person is my favorite river to visit because it’s a bit more exciting than the Ayung river. Very bumpy along the road, with many mini waterfalls. What makes this route more enjoyable is that in the end, there is a 6 meter waterfall – don’t worry, this is very safe, paddles will be taken from you and you will be asked to sit in certain ways to avoid hurting yourself.
I would recommend the Telaga Waja river if you are ready for a small adventure. But your arms may get tired after a while because there will be more work involved in directing the boat. Also, there is no swimming in this river as far as I know.
Surprisingly, I don’t really have photos in Telaga Waja, but the scenery is very similar on both rivers.This is usually marked with a slightly higher price, but you can always bid.
Ayung River – white water rafting in Bali
white water rafting Bali ayung river, in my opinion, is a better choice if you are traveling with young children or those who just want a more relaxed ride to a beautiful river. The water is quieter here, with lots of rapids but no big waterfalls going down.
Usually there is also the opportunity to swim in this river. Sometimes a tour guide will stop you in a good place with a waterfall and let you swim around it, or at other times if you float in a safe area, you can jump out and swim beside the boat for a while.
If you have chosen this river, prepare yourself for a small walk down several hundred steps to the river, and walk far up. I think you can’t avoid it, I was on the Ayung River with a number of different companies, starting from different locations, but going down always the same – beautiful, but my legs hurt for 2 days then haha! Worth it!
Depending on the route you take, you might see beautiful carved walls along the river side. It was done around 2005 I believe, but it looks old-fashioned and you might get a chance to stop and take photos with it.
What should you bring with you for white water rafting in Bali
If you have straps or straps that are tied, it is very helpful because flip-flops can fall off and will be detached from you, and sometimes if there are blocks on the river, you will be asked to walk a little through the forest, barefoot.
You WILL be wet, no question, so bring a spare suit (you will be asked to leave the main bag with your driver and only carry basic necessities). I would recommend using things that you don’t mind getting wet, like surfing pants / swimming trunks and t-shirts.
If you have a waterproof camera or a better Go Pro that you can attach to your helmet, it will be a fun thing for you to carry.
A ziplock bag for your cellphone, wallet and key might be a good idea. They give you small plastic bags for these items which they will later put in a large waterproof bag, but it is always fun to keep things together and locked.
Some companies give you towels and some don’t – it’s better to take precautions, you can leave it to your driver.
If you have certain dietary requirements, maybe you should bring a snack. The choice of food at lunch is very basic and I can guarantee you will be hungry after a long trip!
What you should not bring with rafting in Bali
Personally I always leave my big camera at home, everything you carry is put in a bag, so there aren’t many opportunities to take photos. And even though your items are stored in a waterproof bag, the contents will still crash into each other for 2 hours.
Don’t wear a hat – you will be asked to wear a helmet, and you may want to leave jewelry or other objects that can easily fall during the trip or get caught in your life jacket.
Leave your nice clothes at home, you might get mud.
The same applies to coaches, unless you really don’t mind them getting wet – you will wear them or tie them to a boat, they will not fit into a waterproof bag.
Am I missing something?
Let me know in the comments below, I want to hear your adventure 🙂