La Fortuna

White Water River Rafting Class II-III from La Fortuna-Arenal

Badge of ExcellenceLa Fortuna, Costa Rica

From USD 87.76

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 6 hours (approx.)
  • Hotel pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


The Balsa River is one of the best spots in Costa Rica to try white water rafting, and this 6-hour tour from La Fortuna is suitable for complete beginners. Tackle the Class II and III rapids, enjoy spectacular views as you cruise through the rainforest, and look out for wildlife such as monkeys, sloths and toucans. Hotel pick-up and lunch is included.
  • 6-hour white water rafting tour from La Fortuna
  • Get your adrenaline pumping white water rafting down the Balsa River
  • Practice your rafting skills on Class II and III rapids
  • Enjoy magnificent views of the river, rainforest, and exotic wildlife
  • Tuck into a delicious Costa Rican lunch at a country restaurant
  • No experience necessary: full instruction provided
  • Great-value tour includes hotel pickup, lunch, and round-trip transport

What's Included

  • Beverages
  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Driver/guide
  • Professional guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Equipment: Raft, Paddles, Rafting Vest and Helmet
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to the meeting point, or request pickup

Meeting point

  • WAVE Rafting
    Av. 331, Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Start time

10:30 am

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

Hotels outside of normal route may have an extra transportation charge. o Arenal Lodge o Lost Iguana o Luna Nueva o Bosque de Chachagua o Chachagua Rainforest o Tilajari o Leaves and Lizards o Observatory Lodge o La Mansion o El Castillo o Rancho Margot. o Nuevo Arenal Hotels o Termales el Bosque o El Tucano o Lands in Love o La Garza

What To Expect

Begin your tour with a 10.30am pickup from your La Fortuna or Arenal hotel and an around 50-minute journey to the Balsa River. Along the way, admire the scenery as you drive through yucca and papaya plantations, and perhaps spot iguanas and other wildlife.

On arrival, get suited up for your white water rafting excursion and listen as your instructor explains the basic paddling and steering techniques, as well as important safety rules. Then, jump aboard the raft and set out on a thrilling 2-hour rafting ride. As you paddle downstream, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding rainforest, keeping a look out for monkeys, sloths and toucans along the riverbanks, and get your adrenaline pumping as you paddle over Class II and III rapids, including the ‘Magnetic Rock’ and the ‘Dredges’. Cold drinks and fresh fruits will keep you energized along the way, and you can also take the opportunity to cool off with a swim in the river.

After returning to land and drying off, re-fuel with a typical Costa Rican lunch (lunch) at a traditional country estate, before setting out on the return journey.

Your tour ends with drop-off at your hotel between 4pm and 4.30pm.

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travellers
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult and must be a minimum of 8 years old to take this tour
  • May be operated by a multi-lingual guide
  • Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
  • Weather dependent. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there is flooding or other government river closure. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
  • The duration of transfers are approximate, the exact duration will depend on the time of day and traffic conditions
  • Participants will get wet, please dress ready to raft in bathing suit and shoes that will stay on feet. Flip-flops are not allowed
  • Not responsible for items lost or damaged on river, please do not take anything on the river that you are not willing to lose
  • Tour requires 1 adult minimum to book
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 99 travellers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveller Photos

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Traveller Tips

The transportation was good, tour was friendly and equipment was good as well.
349 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 349 reviews
Superb outing
Frank_T, Jan 2023
Great rafting trip! Marcos was an excellent guide. We highly recommended this company and adventure.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Nailed it! We are happy to hear that you enjoyed our Rafting Trips as much as we do. Thanks for sharing your River Story. We hope to see you again on the river soon. Pura Vida!. The Wave Rafting Team
Great Experience!
Susan_B, July 2022
Our family of 6 (4 adults and 2 teenagers) had a terrific time! Gerald was a great guide and made the trip a lot of fun. The tour was well organized and lunch was delicious.
Response from Host, Aug 2022
Thanks for sharing your River Story with us. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed our Rafting Trip, I´ll make sure that Gerald hears from your side. We hope to see you again next time!. Pura Vida, Wave Staff
Very fun!
Suzanne_B, June 2022
Our family (two adults and 14 and 16 yr old) had a great time. I felt very safe. Gerald was patient and made me feel confident. I recommend this tour!
Response from Host, June 2022
Thanks for sharing your River Story with us. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed our Rafting Trip, I´ll make sure that Gerald hear from your side. We hope to see you again next time!. Pura Vida, Wave Staff
Would do it again!
Norisse_M, May 2022
Excellent service and experience! We have two children 8 and 10 and the guide was great explaining all the necessary rules to make the trip fun and safe for our family
Response from Host, June 2022
Awesome Review! Thank you so much for your nice comments, sure they will be very helpful for families traveling with kids looking for a Safe and family Friendly Costa Rican Adventure. We really hope to see you again next time. Pura Vida!. Wave Staff.
Talisha_F, Mar 2022
Had an amazing experience! Our guide was Warner and was very experienced and made the adventure so much fun and safe! We would definitely do it again! Our bus guide was Pablo and he pointed out many things on our drive to the rivers. 10 out of 10!!!
Response from Host, Mar 2022
Wonderful review, thank you!. We really hope to see you again next time. Pura Vida. Wave Staff.
Organized and Fun
Yana_J, Mar 2022
Very organized, on time, knowledgeable, interesting and lots of fun!! Definitely recommend!! Thank you very much!
Response from Host, Mar 2022
Thanks for sharing your River Story with us. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed our Rafting Trip. We hope to see you again next time! Pura Vida, Wave Staff
rebecca_a, Feb 2022
The white water rafting was amazing! The pick-up was smooth, and our instructor Mario was so friendly. He made us feel at ease and made sure we had as much fun as possible. He also pointed out wildlife like a sleeping sloth for us all to see. The rafting was incredibly fun, and afterwards we were taken for a delicious lunch at a beautiful restaurant. We really recommend for all!
Response from Host, Feb 2022
Thanks for sharing your River Story with us, we are glad to hear that you had a great time on the river. Hope to see you back on the river soon. Pura Vida! Wave Rafting.
Great tour, great lunch
Kavan_P, Feb 2020
Great tour. Our tour guide Mario was amazing at giving instructions. Also gave us bit of history knowledge. Amazing lunch as well. Great tour for first timers.
Must do!
Kelly S, Jan 2020
This was such an awesome tour, probably the best one from our trip! Our guide Augosto did such an awesome job! He made sure to make our trip memorable! We were fortunate to see a sloth moving!
Response from Host, Jan 2020
Thanks for sharing your River Story with us. We are glad to know that you enjoyed our Rafting Trip, I´ll make sure that Augusto hears from your side. We hope to see you again next time!. Pura Vida, Wave Staff
Rafting with Wave Expeditions
Deborah_D, Dec 2019
My family and I went rafting with Braulio as our guide. It was an awesome experience. Braulio pointed out the wildlife as we went down the river and even pulled off to the side and found a tiny blue jean frog to show us, it was amazing. My daughter fell out of the raft at one point and Braulio was quick to get her back in safely. After the trip they took our group to a local restaurant/farm and I had the most delicious meal of my trip! It was a wonderful day spent with professional courteous people!!!!
Response from Host, Jan 2020
Nailed It! Thanks for sharing your river story with us. Your experience rafting with WAVE and especially your recommendation will be useful for travelers looking for Rafting near the Arenal Volcano. I´ll make sure that Braulio hears from you. Pura Vida! Wave Staff.
It was good. Easier than expected from Class 3-4 rapids
Ankush G, Oct 2019
It was good. Easier than expected from Class 3-4 rapids. The transportation was good, tour was friendly & equipment was good as well.
This is a must DO!
Trevor_B, Aug 2019
This was a wonderful experience! The guide was very very funny and the 50 minute ride it took to get to the rafting spot flew by because the tour guide went over safety rules, he talked about different plants on the way and made lots of jokes. He was pretty fluent in english and tried his best. We ended up having him as our guide in our raft and he was a very good director. We saw a sloth, lots of birds, and iguanas. We stopped and had some pineapple and watermelon. There were some cows around so we hand fed the cows the end pieces of the fruit. They were very friendly. We got back on the raft and went the rest of the way. We (my husband and i) were with another family ( mom, dad and 2 younger kids) and the guide was very patient with the kids. He told them they could ride on the front of the raft like "riding a bull" he called it and the kids just loved it. He let them float down the slow part of the river. He answered all their questions and it was just a great time and experience!
My Son's Words ... This Was The Time of My Life
Celeste S, June 2019
Everything was wonderful! The guides are funny and knowledgeable. The rafting was so much fun! The lunch after was sooooo good. My 9 and 11 year old gobbled it up. I would absolutely recommend this for families!!
Response from Host, June 2019
Dear Celeste, I have an 8 year old and 11 year old and they agree with your son that rafting is the BEST! We are over the moon that you and your family had the chance to raft with Wave Rafting and take home "memory souvenirs" that will last a lifetime! Thank you for rafting with us! The Wave Rafting Team!
Great Fun
Dianna_L, Apr 2019
My friend and i loved this experience. We had never been white water rafting before. Our guide Jeffrey made sure that we had a great experience. We saw a beautiful area of the country and enjoyed every minute of the ride. I would highly recommend this to families also.