La Fortuna

Upper Balsa River White Water Rafting Class 3/4 in Costa Rica

Badge of ExcellenceLa Fortuna, Costa Rica
White Water Rafting Adventure Class III and IV on the Upper part of Balsa River

From USD 85.00

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 5 hours
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Take advantage of some of northern Costa Rica’s best white-water rafting on this full-day, guided tour with traditional lunch included. Paddle through the rainforest and over the rapids of the Balsa River stopping along to swim and rest in nature. After your adventure is done enjoy a Costa Rican style lunch at a local restaurant.
  • Class III and IV white-water rafting adventure
  • 9-miles (15-kilometers) of paddling down the Balsa River
  • Enjoy a break to swim, relax, snack and have a beer
  • Lunch at a local restaurant after your rafting trip

Sample Menu


Costa Rican Casado

A casado is a meal using rice, black beans, plantains, salad, a tortilla, and an optional protein source such as chicken, beef, pork, fish and so on.

What's Included

  • Fruits on the river
  • Lunch
  • Bottled water
  • Transportation from hotels located less than 6 km away from our main office
  • Towel
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase) at the end of the tour.
  • We do extra pickups in some hotels for a charge of $40
  • Pick up service at hotels located over 6 km away from our main office

Meeting And Pickup

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

Meeting point

  • Arenal Rafting
    Av 333 y Calle 460, Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, 21007, Costa Rica


Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Start time

09:10 am

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

-Bring comfortable clothes to get wet and paddle, secure shoes for rafting (closed toed shoes are safer, flip flops or crocs are NOT RECOMMENDED), bring also  changing clothes. -Make sure you show up at the reception of your hotel or pick up place at the right time. Guides and drivers only wait a maximun of 5 minutes after the pick up time. If you are not sure about your PICK UP TIME call or send a whatsapp message to +506 89342626. Please Note: "Pick up time" refers to the time we pick you up at the hotel, "Start Time" refers the time when the tour starts. Pick up service is included ONLY for hotels located 5 km around La Fortuna Central Park. We DO NOT offer pick service on Airbnb, however you can drive or take a taxi to our main office in La Fortuna, where we offer safe parking and more facilities.

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travellers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travellers should have a strong physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 100 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.

Traveller Photos

See more
Featured review
We had a fantastic experience in rafting. Our guide , Jason the water sloth was really fantastic. We could not have hoped for a better guide. He was fun, interested in our group, and was extremely talented. We had a fantastic day, and we also learned about the region, culture, vegetation and the local wildlife inhabitant. If you are looking for a guide we have no hesitation in recommending Jason. The tour was well organisés and we had a great day


1,031 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 1,031 reviews
Best part of the trip
Mandy_A, Sept 2023
This was our favorite activity. What a fun day. Highly recommend. Yader was an excellent host. Fun from start to finish and they pointed out wildlife along the way.
Response from Host, Sept 2023
Hey, glad to hear you had a blast on the river! Thanks a bunch for recommending us, we really appreciate it. Yader is indeed an excellent guide, and it sounds like he made sure you had a fantastic time. And spotting some wildlife along the way? That's just an extra slice of Costa Rican paradise right there. 😄 Thanks again for joining us on this adventure! 🚣‍♂️🌿
Worth it - go!
Sheila_T, Aug 2023
I don’t have photos cuz you don’t wanna bring a phone white water rafting. But just go. It’s beyond spectacular! It’s surprisingly easy. Pretty sure our guide did 80% of the work. You can totally do this! Guide’s name was Alex and was fantastic, welcoming, helpful and looked amazing without a shirt on. Costa Rica is beautiful and so are it’s people. This experience will be one of the highlights of your trip. Fruit on the beach is heaven. And god was I hungry. We saw lots of wildlife. Huge iguanas and some sloths + lots more. I am obsessed with sloths :) I don’t recommend bringing kids under 12. It worth getting some cheap water shoes too. My sneakers will never be the same, good thing they were second hand.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Hola! It is a pleasure for us to hear that our rafting is beyond spectacular, and yes, Alex is indeed an outstanding guide, he is also very knowledgeable about local flora and fauna, We are truly glad you enjoyed the sights and embraced the Costa Rican spirit. We hope to welcome you back for more rafting adventures!
Absolutely loved it!
Danielle_R, July 2023
My daughter and I had an absolutely incredible time! This was so much fun! Our guide Imanol was the absolute best! From start to finish it was awesome!!! When we come back to Costa Rica we would do this exact one again and would have to request Imanol!!!
Fantastic White water rafting with Jason the “water sloth” :)
Francois_L, July 2023
We had a fantastic experience in rafting. Our guide , Jason the water sloth was really fantastic. We could not have hoped for a better guide. He was fun, interested in our group, and was extremely talented. We had a fantastic day, and we also learned about the region, culture, vegetation and the local wildlife inhabitant. If you are looking for a guide we have no hesitation in recommending Jason. The tour was well organisés and we had a great day
Response from Host, July 2023
Wow, that sounds amazing I'm thrilled to hear that Jason, AKA water sloth, made your rafting trip fantastic. He's a gem of a guide, fun, knowledgeable, and truly talented. It's awesome that you not only had a blast but also got to learn about the region, culture, vegetation, and wildlife. Thanks for rafting with us and sharing your awesome feedback! 🌊🚣‍♂️😄
Adventurous, beautiful, entertaining and safe
Brock, July 2023
My family of five at a wonderful time yesterday on our rafting adventure. I grew up rafting in Texas, but none of my other family members had gone rafting before, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife was a little apprehensive, but it was safe. In addition to enjoying the white water rafting, we got to see wildlife along the river, including monkeys, Aquinas, and an assortment of birds. Roberto was our guide and he was a perfect match for my family being very entertaining with a spirit of adventure. We saw people of all ages (probably 10 yr olds to 60’s). At the end, we had delicious fruit on the river before taking the bus ride back to headquarters.
Even the teenagers were Raving about these rafting trip!
Laurie_C, July 2023
We had a great time!! I was worried the rapids wouldn’t be exciting enough for my teenage (16 &14) but I was wrong to worry. They had a great time. In fact, my son and husband got thrown out on one of the first rapids and that was the highlight for these thrill seekers. The staff was quick to work together to get them back in to boats and no one was in danger. Safety is a BIG priority. And so is adventure and fun. The rapids were great and we even had a chance to jump out and swim. We had a great time. They stopped to show us a few sloths in the trees and caught poison dart frogs. We loved stopping for the fresh fruit snack toward the end of the trip and then back to the shop to change in to dry clothing for a typical lunch. highly recommend this tour with Arenal Rafting. They are friendly and safe and FUN!
Highly recommend. Great experience
Dara_R, July 2023
So much fun! Our guide was very knowledgeable. He made the experience so fun and safe. The rapids were great! Lunch was transitional casada. Very good.
Great rafting day
Ashley_M, July 2023
Great rafting experience. Guides very safe but yet all having fun with customers and other guides. Gear provided was in good shape. Pick up from hotel was great. They provided a tasty lunch after rafting with towels. Also- freshly cut fruit mid river for all was fabulous. Arenal rafting did a great job!
Awesome experience
Joey_N, June 2023
The experience was lots of fun, Carlos Rosales was the best on providing a great experience and adventure. Must do!!! Ask for him!! Pura Vida!
Pura Vida
Evan_W, June 2023
Great trip with Juan R. On the river. Definitely a trip highlight for us and hope to do it again next time!
Exhilarating experience and well worth it
Caron_M, June 2023
This was by far the best excursion we took. We only had 4 people and our guide in our boat. The rapids were pretty rough but manageable. Our guide Jose Sanchez was awesome. It was so much fun going down the rapids. The water level was perfect. A photographer took lots of cool pictures and there was a charge of $40 for at least 30 pictures which they emailed immediately. They gave us a great lunch afterwards and at the halfway point we had pineapple and watermelon. Even if you have younger children you can do 3's and 4's rapids. Fantastic excursion
Amazing! A must for adventure lovers
Amanda_B, June 2023
We ended up rafting on the Upper Class 3/4 Sarapiqui due to an issue with the Balsa River. I cannot say enough good things about this tour. Our guide Braulio was THE BEST. He began explaining about rafting on the ride over so we felt very prepared. He was so funny and helpful. We lucked out that he was also our guide in the raft. The rapids were awesome and so fun. We fell out of the raft which can happen but he pulled us all back in quickly and we all felt so safe. We ended with a delicious lunch while looking at photos. What a great tour and I highly recommend it.
Great experience
Beatriz_A, May 2023
Very nice experience. I wished the water level was higher but not their fault. Next time I will make sure I do it during wet season for more adrenaline. Good food afterwards
Excellent white water rafting experience !
Hetal_S, May 2023
It was our first time rafting and we had an amazing experience on 3/4 rapids !! Our tour guide Emanuel and rafting guide Allen made it FUN, and thrilling. We had a great time !
A bit disappointing
Christine_E, Apr 2023
Oso, our guide, was excellent. We expected class lll and lV rapids, though, and although there were a few class lll's, there were no class lV's and mostly ll's. Actual whitewater was only 1/2 of the 2 1/4 hour trip. Would not recommend at end of dry season.
Overall wonderful
Lucas_G, Apr 2023
Wonderful time either our tour guide Victor. Saw sloths, iguanas, howler monkeys and other wildlife. Rapids were great as well!
Nice experience
Karola_K, Apr 2023
Crew is very nice and competent But unfortunately there are way too many boats on the river, it’s like a highway
Our favorite tour!
Jaime_M, Mar 2023
This was our favorite activity that we did while in Fortuna! We had such an amazing experience. The day was very well coordinated from start to finish. Very fun and safe for all ages. Our guide was amazing! I recommend buying the pictures- they are so fun to look at later and you do get over 100 photos. Definitely take this tour!
It was so much fun, would...
Moa_S, Mar 2023
It was so much fun, would absolutely recommend. Fun guides!!! It was a bit of an adrenaline rush but not too bad. Towels and water after the tour was also included which was nice. Good lunch as well.
So much fun!
Phylicia_E, Jan 2023
Do it!!!! Such a memorable experience! Colon & Joder were the best guides and we had so much fun! I would pick this excursion again and again!
Response from Host, May 2023
Hello, thank you so much for this feedback, we appreciate every single one review that our customers provide to our staff, for us is really important to take every single review because it help us grow as a company. Pura Vida!

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