White water rafting is one of the most popular adventure activities in Bali and for good reason. It’s a thrilling, fun filled activity conducted in the gorgeous surroundings of the Ayung River near Ubud or the Telaga Waja River in east Bali and with a minimum age restriction of only 7 years on both rivers, it’s an adventure the whole family can enjoy.
The Ayung River rafting trip is approximately 12km long and takes about two hours to complete. It’s pretty much Class 2 and 3 rapids most of the way which in the world of rafting is defined as some rough water, maybe some drops and rocks which may require some maneuvering, manageable with basic paddling skills and no significant danger. On the river, this means you’ll get tossed about somewhat, you’ll definitely get wet but your chances of falling out of the inflatable raft are very small unless you do something silly. In between the rapids you might get a moment or two to take in the lovely passing jungle scenery or the rice terraces but in this writer’s experience that’s unlikely as the whole trip will pass in a blur of laughter and shrieking. Ayung River rafting trips depart from Payangan village about 1hr from Denpasar or 45min from Ubud.
The Telaga Waja River is a bit more challenging with Class 3 and 4 rapids along the 13km course. Compared to the Ayung River the rapids are a little bigger, with more drops and some sharp maneuvering required. It’s still quite safe for beginners though, as long as they comply with instructions from the guides. The scenery is somewhat different to Ayung River as its more open, passing through rice fields, river valleys and small gorges. Telaga Waja River is located in Muncan village about 1.5hrs from Denpasar.
As best we can tell all the rafting tour operators provide the same basic tours including insurance, transport, morning tea before hitting the river, personal safety equipment, paddling tuition, showers and change rooms at the end followed by a hot lunch prior to returning you to your hotel. They all claim their staff are fully trained to international standards including all aspects of swift water rescue. Prices tend to fluctuate depending on the season but there always seems to be a bit of room to haggle, especially if you can get a small group together.
Keep in mind, more water generally translates to a higher difficulty level so a dry season Class 2 or 3 river can become a Class 4 or 5 river during the wet season.