Rafting in the heart of Bali’s rice fields

Country: Indonesia
Region: Bali, Ubud
Outdoor activities: Rafting
Sustainable tourism rating:écotourisme-3-SOL

Bali is known for its blue waters and green rice fields but you can also practice many outdoor activities at interesting prices.

Rafting is one of the activities offered by all the agents in Bali. You have 3 options: Ayung River, about 12 kilometers and level 2-3, 2 hours 30 minutes downhill (in Ubud), Melangit river, 8 km and level 2-3 (in the region of Klungkung) and Telaga River , 16 km and with a level 1-2 with a 3-4 level passage (north of Ubud).

We chose to go rafting on the Ayung River because it is the one that offers the most drops.

The first test for the small budgets will be to negotiate the price in the jungle of operators and resellers, prices can vary a lot. If you want to compare the prices, be aware that all operators do not offer the same distance and you will need climb 400 to 600 steps down to the river and back at the end. The different agencies show prices between 35 and 60 € (if you go to Ubud) and if you are a good negotiator you can have it for less than 20 € for the same service.(Always smile in Bali if you want to obtain a better price)

Then, the organization is always the same, pick up at your hotel, quick stop at the base to drop your belongings and equipment: helmet, life jacket, waterproof bag and paddle. The warm-up is mandatory for everyone: indeed, you must descend 400 steps to reach the river in the canyon where your raft awaits to take you on a beautiful journey.

stairs-raftingAfter the safety guidelines, it’s time to go on board and let the current carry the boat. Rapid passages are connected and some passages are slightly more technical. All the adrenalin combined with amazing scenery through the jungle landscape deep in a beautiful canyon.

rafting-ayun-riverThe descent is easy, through beautiful scenery and crosses refreshing waterfalls. Around every bend of the river you’ll find waves crashing over your head. As we are in a tropical climate, the water is good. Unfortunately, rafting fans will be disappointed because the raft is often slowed by the rocks.

rafting-baliOn arrival you will be challenged to go up the 400 steps before returning to the base where you can have a hot shower and regain strength (buffet included).

In conclusion, do not go to Bali only for rafting, there are many countries where you can go rafting and have more adrenalin. If you are in Bali, the rafting activity is very pleasant, accessible to all levels regardless of skill level or experience at a very reasonable price.

This river rafting is: White-water, small waves, a couple of small drop, but no considerable danger. May require significant manoeuvring.

The pros:
Like most rafting courses, the landscapes are beautiful.
The ability to combine rafting with other outdoor activities if you are in Ubud for a couple of days: biking, hiking, snorkeling, diving, surfing …
The organization is good
Very attractive price

The cons:
Rafting in Bali is a mass tourism outdoor activity and you will cross dozens of rafts on the river. Prefer to come in the afternoon, it is less crowded than the morning
Safety & equipment are not at European standards but the river is not very dangerous and there will always be a raft to fish you out in case of problem.

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