The Ultimate Central Costa Rica Road Trip

The Ultimate Central Costa Rica Road Trip
Day 4 – Whitewater Rafting Balsa River

The next morning we woke up refreshed and relaxed from our slumber. Our bungalo was nestled at the heart of the Arenal Volcano. Our room had a floor to ceiling window which gave us great views of the garden. We started the day off with a made to order breakfast at the lobby of Tifakara. I had a hot cup of tea, fresh fruit and a ham and cheese omelet.

Read More: My full review of Tifakara Boutique Hotel

After breakfast we packed our day bags and headed out the door to be picked up at the hotel lobby by the Arenal Rafting company. Today’s adventure would be wet and wild as we were about to raft down the Balsa River. We got into the Uber and were taken to the Arenal Rafting headquarters where we waited a short time until other parties arrived. Once everybody was checked-in and accounted for, we all hopped on the shuttle buses and began our journey to the upper river. But, not before our first bus broke down. We didn’t let that ruin our spirits though as we got a chance to get off the bus, stretch our legs and take in the Costa Rican sun. It wasn’t long, maybe 20 minutes or so, before another bus was flagging us down and we were able to board.

We arrived about 30 minutes later at the river safe and sound. The staff there had our life jackets, helmets and paddles ready for us as we were assigned group numbers and rafts. I strapped on my GoPro to my helmet and I was ready! Our team was little, but mighty, as we only had four of us in the raft instead of the six that most other rafts had. As Amanda jumped into the raft for the first time I could see it in her eyes that she was slightly nervous but super excited to be trying out a new adventure. This was my second time white water rafting. I had previously done it in the Colorado river ten years ago. I gave her confidence and a couple of quick tips and that’s all she needed. Off we go!

Young women Whitewater Rafting the, Balsa River in Costa Rica
Whitewater Rafting, Balsa River, Costa Rica. March 2019

Before we knew it we were racing down the rapids and getting hit with waves and water left and right. “FORWARD. FORWARD!” as Alejandro our guide shouted from the back of the raft. “GET DOWN! GET DOWN!” he said as we were about to crash hard into the river bank. As we safely made it through the crash and looked back at others crashing, we could only laugh at them while enjoying the moment. The weather was absolute perfect, around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say we got a good farmers tan with our helmets and life jackets.

A little over fifty percent of the way through our adventure, we found a nice sandy spot to stop for some fresh fruit with a few other groups from our party. The fruit was deliciouso! Pineapple, watermelon, kiwi, and melon were on the menu. So good! After our quick stop we headed back in the river. We had one more quick rapid to go and then had a chance to jump off the raft and float down the river until the end. But not before Amanda got her change to “ride the bull”.

Young woman Whitewater Rafting a Class III rapid on the Balsa River in Costa Rica
Whitewater Rafting, Class III, Balsa River. Costa Rica. March 2019

I would highly recommend booking a tour through Arenal Rafting in Costa Rica. The adventure had everything you could want and the tour guides were amazing. When we arrived back at the Arenal Rafting headquarters, we were treated to a splendid lunch featuring the best casado I had on our trip.

Watch the Arenal Rafting Costa Rica GoPro Video Here!

After we arrived back at Tifakara, we washed up and headed right back out the door to the town of La Fortuna. We decided to do a little shopping and browse the local streets. After not finding much, we chose to find a good place to grab a couple of Pina Coloda’s at The Corner Restaurante. We topped off our visit with an order of California sushi rolls and headed back to the hotel for the night.

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