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  • Perfect for all nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and people who are looking for an easy-going adventure!
  • You will love the rafting in Costa Rica.
  • You will love Costa Rica rafting on the Balsa River.
  • So much fun rafting in Costa Rica with Desafio.
  • Having fun rafting in Costa Rica.
  • You will love rafting in Costa Rica!

Costa Rica Whitewater Rafting Balsa River

Whitewater and Wildlife Class 2-3 Arenal


Costa Rica Rafting Class 2-3 Whitewater & Wildlife near Arenal

Rafting is one of the most-popular activities to do in Costa Rica and runs rain or shine just about EVERY day of the year. We offer the best Class 2-3 rafting near the Arenal Volcano on the beautiful Balsa River just 45 minutes from your La Fortuna hotel.

The Rio Balsa is the perfect rafting tour for first-timers, families with children, all nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and people who are simply looking for a fun rafting adventure in Costa Rica!

One of our friendly (and handsome) professional river guides will come by your hotel to pick you up. Be sure to be waiting in the lobby about 5 minutes prior to the established pick up time just in case he gets there a little early. He will check to make sure you have secure shoes, clothes to get wet in and that you have a day sack to bring along a change of clothes for after the tour. We sell dry bags and Chum sunglass holders, river shoes and commemorative souvenir Rio Balsa t-shirts at our office in our EGO Store in case you need any last-minute supplies.

After you are picked up from your hotel, we’ll drive through the lush, green Costa Rican countryside to our private Operations Center right next to the river. We are the only company equipped with bathrooms and changing rooms for your convenience and comfort.

We will get you fitted with your top-quality rafting gear such as an NRS helmet, lifejacket and paddle. Our "Paparrazzi" photographer will be hovering around you to catch the best shots (of the sometimes apprehensive faces) as you listen intently to the thorough safety talk from the head guide of your trip.

You will then be divided into groups of 4 or 5 paddlers -- we use high-quality 13-ft rafts that seat up to 5 people plus your guide in the back. Your professional guide will provide paddling and safety instructions to prepare you for your adventure!

True to the Desafio name, you will "challenge" yourself as you paddle down over 10 kilometers of continuous, exciting rapids with names like “Congo Loco” and “Rock around the Croc!” Rafting in Costa Rica is a little different than other parts of the world because our rivers have steep gradients with lots of rapids and are a little more technical and shallow, which makes for a fun ride on your rafting trip!

As you descend down this beautiful class 2-3 river, you’ll have a chance to admire the lush greenery, vines, and different types of insects, birds and animals -- your eagle-eyed guides will even point out the monkeys, sloths and toucans along the way!

About half way down the river your guides will provide you a smorgasbord of fresh tropical fruit as you relax with the rest of your group. Take a swim and immerse yourself in the wild nature around you!

When your rafting adventure is finished, enjoy a typical Costa Rican lunch at charming rural location. After your day full of nature, adventure, and delicious food, we’ll drive you back to your hotel on our comfortable, air-conditioned vans with FREE WiFi!

"I really did 'Experience Water Like Never Before' on my rafting trip with Desafio Adventure Company on the Balsa River. Much more fun than I thought a class 2 and 3 river could be. Highly recommended!" -- D. Stevens, Utah


  • Free WiFi-equipped vans; transportation to/from your hotel; fun and professional guides who love what they do; photographer; tropical fruit break; delicious meal at the end; private entrance and exit with changing rooms and bathrooms; towel; and lots of adventure!


  • 10-65 YEARS


  • 5 Hrs


  • Clothes to get wet in; change of clothes; secure shoes and a big smile!


  • 9:00am


See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Rafting in Costa Rica with Desafio Adventure Company

Have a look at our Adventure Waiver if you have questions about our Costa Rica adventure tour policies.



For reasons beyond our control (climate, river levels, etc.), we may change to a more-suitable tour with an equal or similar adventure-appeal or offer other tour options so you don`t miss out on a fun day in Costa Rica. We reserve the right to cancel a trip due to unfavorable conditions & will only run a tour according to our policies. We have the most-flexible cancellation policy in the industry -- Full refund is given if (on rare occasion) no tour is run. This adventure involves some inherent risk and physical exertion, so you must be in good physical condition! We are the pioneering rafting company in Costa Rica's wet & wild Northern Zone -- we only have 2 rules: 1) Be Safe! and 2) Have Serious Fun!

NOTE: We have an extra transport charge for hotels outside of our normal pick-up
ZONE 1: 1-22 pax: No extra charge
ZONE 2: Lost Iguana, Observatory Lodge, Arenal Lodge & The Springs Resort: $20 per trip or $40 roundtrip. ZONE 3: Rancho Margot, Linda Vista, Arenal Vista: $25; $50 rndtrp
ZONE 4: Leaves & Lizards, V. Hermosa, Tilajari: $35/trip; $70 rndtrp



Romel was our guide on the Balsa River Class ii-iii tour. He was amazing! He made us feel very safe, but we also had fun. He is a rafting expert and we would request him if we get the opportunity to raft in Costa Rica again! Pura Vida!
Amanda Dunakin - July 18, 2015 at 12:00 AM
We picked a half day rafting trip,8:30-2:30, for our family of 5. It was awesome! Our 17 year old said it was her favorite adventure in CR. The crew, "Adan", were really enthusiastic and made even the downtime fun. We would highly recommend this trip for first time rafters. It was challenging, but not too scary. Lunch and fruit break were really good too. Thank you Desafio!
Gaye Walter - January 1, 2016 at 12:00 AM
Rafting was awesome. Guides were great. Got up close and personal with a sloth too which was super amazing.
hearn - November 28, 2015 at 12:00 AM
This tour is outstanding! I have highly recommended it to my friends that are going there in a few months! So much fun, the tour guide was very professional and very skilled at rafting, giving us the exact amount of thrill that he thought we wanted. The stop for fresh fruit was so good - best pineapple ever! And the lunch at the end was very good. Even the pictures were worth buying, which I never like doing on these tours, but this one the pictures were not overly expensive.
Karen - September 17, 2017 at 1:55 AM
From the beginning of the trip until the very end, we spent our time laughing and having a blast on our rafting adventure! The trip was a first for a couple of us, but our guides were very thorough in their instructions and made the trip a memorable one, from the team Pura Vida "high 5s" to the fast paced rapids.We had wonderful time!! We voted this our top adventure experience during our week in Costa Rica. A special thank you to Hernan, we hope to see you on our next vacation. Mucho Gusto! Kevin, Pam, Erika and Alex Bishop
Kevin, Pam, Erika, and Alex - May 13, 2015 at 12:00 AM
This raft trip was fantastic. Well trained guides who are very customer focused. Best whitewater rafting I've ever done. Sufficient adventure with class 2 and 3 rapids to intimidate but yet seem tame able. Beautiful river and countryside. Desafio seems to be the way to go. When trip ended I saw other companies have to load on buses wet. Desafio has an arrangement where yo go to a facility where you can shower and change before loading bus. Trip included a fruit stop during raft trip and lunch on way back to La Fortuna, and that was good tasting and plentiful. This raft trip is definitely a great value.
Ramon Vallejo - July 17, 2017 at 11:04 PM
Our family had an incredible time today with Johanny. It may have been raining but it was sunshine in our raft. This is our last family vacation before our son heads off to the Navy and we made some awesome memories. Thanks Johanny for a great ride.
Susan - January 8, 2017 at 7:28 PM

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