Which river to choose?
If you are planning a trip to Bali, or you’re already there, you don’t want to miss going white water rafting!! It’s honestly one of the best experiences of being on this beautiful island and I’d like 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 the Ayung Rivers.
General advice when going white water rafting in Bali
With all the things I’m going to tell you, only one thing is for certain, and that is that every trip will be completely different. This will depend on a number of things, such as the time of year and the company with which you decide to go, as they all have different starting and end points.
However there are some things that will be similar, such as:
Time: pick up time is usually from 9:00-9:30 (from Ubud, this may be earlier if you’re in the South). The time of actual rafting will be between 2-2.5 hours. End time is about 14:00 and you’ll get back to Ubud by 14:30-15:00.
Distance: the length of the river that you’ll get to see is usually about 12-14km. This will vary from company to company as they will choose which bit of the river they can take you to.
Lunch: lunch is always included and consists of some fruit, rice, a vegetable dish, a noodle dish (usually vegetarian too) and a meat dish. Very basic and local food, but tasty anyway.
Views: you will see stunning jungle views in both the Ayung and the Telaga Waja rivers. I honestly can’t say which one I prefer as they are both gorgeous! Both rivers have waterfalls falling into the rivers and at the right season they can be lots of fun as you may be allowed to swim under one or just stop and get a little “shower” 😉
Your guides: the guys who will take care of you during your trip are awesome and very safe! You will usually have a group of 2-3 boats, with 4-6 people and a guide in each one, sitting at the back. He will be doing the main steering and getting you out of trouble (because you will get stuck at least once haha!). They are usually hilarious and will entertain you throughout the entire journey.
Your stuff: your main bag will be left with the driver, your small bag of essentials can be taken on the boat, but it will be placed into a waterproof bag. You can take it out during your 10 minute break. Flip flops will be tied to the boat until the end of the journey. You will be given a paddle, a lifejacket and a helmet at the start and you will carry it to the boat and back.
Your kids: will love it! Both of the rivers are very safe and you always see kids of all ages on the boats (well maybe not younger than 5). As long as they can walk and follow basic instructions, they will be fine, please read my recommendation below for which river to chose for younger children. You don’t even need to know how to swim, everyone gets given lifejackets and for the most part you will stay in the boat.
Cost: It depends on where you’re booking it from, usually between 300,000-400,000IDR (around $30-40).
Telaga Waja river – rafting in Bali
Telaga Waja is personally my favourite river to go to because it is a little bit more exciting than the Ayung river. It is quite bumpy all the way through, with many mini waterfalls. What makes this route even more fun is that at the end, there is a 6 metre waterfall – don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe, the paddles will be taken away from you and you will be asked to sit in a specific way to avoid hurting yourself.
I would recommend the Telaga Waja river if you are up for a little adventure. However your arms may get tired after a while as there will be more work involved in steering the boat. Also, there is no swimming on this river as far as I know.
Surprisingly, I don’t really have photos at the Telaga Waja, but the views are very similar at the two rivers.
This one is usually marked at a slightly higher price, but you can always haggle.
Ayung river – rafting in Bali
The Ayung river is, in my opinion, the better choice if you are travelling with younger children or those who just want a more relaxing ride down a beautiful river. The waters are more calm here, with many rapids but no large waterfalls to go down.