White water rafting is one of those things that I love but just don’t actually do very often — along with Stand Up Paddleboarding and a whole host of other interests that I don’t actually put into practice all that often. So you better believe I jumped at the chance to review Viator’s Jungle White Water Rafting Adventure for their website during our recent week in Bali.
Photo by Tour Operator
The first time I tried rafting was in Honduras, and ironically that was probably my most intense experience to date. Though I loved the experience I didn’t try it again until a few years later when I signed on for a two day rafting trip through the Thai jungle. While the scenery was stunning and it was still quite an adventurous outing, my timing was off and it was more like Calm Water Napping than White Water Rafting. At the time we were in the dry season in Bali as well so I mentally prepared myself for a tame ride.
The day got off to a rocky start when our pickup didn’t show up in the morning. I was pretty ticked off because I had called to confirm with the local operator and the company even sent a confirmation to our hotel the night before. Okay, I lied — that part didn’t really bother me. What really annoyed me is that we totally rushed through the breakfast buffet for no reason! Priorities: I have them. But the local operator placated us with a free photo (shown above) and bumped us to the afternoon. When the pickup eventually showed the midday heat and the motion of the car lulled us to sleep — when we finally woke up, we were deep in the Ubud jungle.
Anders came along to keep me laughing and to shoot video with his GoPro. We lucked out as the rafting company had a helmet with a camera attachment, and he got some really fun footage. As you guys loved his Rinjani video so much I asked him if I could share this one as well, and he agreed — check it out at the end of the post! I’m thinking of taking him on as the official Alex in Wanderland videographer — what do you think? (Salary to be paid in mango smoothies.)
I was kind of won over by this experience before we even got started because of the scenery. We had to walk down a million steps down to the river and with each one I just fell more and more in love with the lush jungle valley we were in. The cute leaf-made water cups at the bottom didn’t hurt the charm, either!
I had suspected that this would be a pretty laid back rafting experience and when Anders and I were paired with three adorable girls all under the age of eight it was pretty much confirmed. That was fine by me — I was all about a few hours of soft adventure and feeling reflective in nature.
While the river was quite busy with boats from several rafting companies, it was easy to see why. The setting was easily the most beautiful of any of the rafting trips I’d been on, with dense jungle canopy overhead, chirping swallows dipping into the water alongside us, and intricate ancient carvings lining the riverbanks.
Yeah, I’d say this was a pretty unbelievable setting to spend a few hours in.
We passed several waterfalls along the way, as well as a local Hindu shrine, several mischievous monkey and laughing local kids playing in the water. Rafters aren’t the only ones to enjoy the area’s charms — we also spotted several luxury hotels around the valley.
Towards the end of the run, the guide let us know we could jump in and swim the rest of the way. I was feeling a little chilly and so I said a polite “thanks but no thanks,” but Anders had other plans.
After discarding our gear and drying off with warm towels we grabbed a seat in the company’s private riverside pavilion and treated ourselves to heaping servings of the included buffet lunch. We watched in amazement as local women packed up enormous sacks of gear and deflated rafts and carried them up what we would soon learn were endless steep stairs to the road. It was quite the sight!
While I wouldn’t recommend this tour to anyone looking for a heart-stopping adrenaline based experience, I would absolutely suggest it to someone looking to see some of Bali’s beautiful jungle scenery with some light adventure thrown in for good measure. While pickups are available from Kuta and other southern beaches, unless you want to spend a lot of the day in the car it’s best to take this tour from Ubud. Check out Viator’s tour description for more information on dates and current pricing and happy rafting!
Have you ever been white water rafting? Tell me where!
I am a freelancer for Viator and participated in this tour in order to write a review for their site. I was compensated for my time and they did not request a favorable review on either their site or my own.