Rafting in Bali
Bali is a tropical island in the Indonesian archipelago. The climate is hot, with temperatures averaging around 86 degrees F all year. The best time to visit the island is between May and August, when it is slightly cooler and mainly dry. The island has several tumultuous rivers that are ideal for whitewater rafting, and trips are available throughout the year.
All of Bali's rafting companies provide free hotel transfers in air-conditioned vehicles. A welcome drink also is included, and morning tours finish with a hot buffet meal. Waterproof bags are supplied for keeping your valuables safe, and shower facilities are provided at the end of the trip. Some companies also offer a souvenir video or photographs of your tour for an additional fee.
Health and Safety
Bali's rafting companies have an excellent safety record. Most use Avon rafts with safety hand ropes and toe-cups, as approved by the World White Water Rafting Association. Helmets and life jackets, which meet international standards, are provided, and an instructional briefing is given before the trip. Reputable rafting companies use only professional, experienced guides, many of whom are trained in emergency first aid. Children under 6 are not permitted to ride.
What to Bring
Rafters should wear lightweight shorts or bathing clothes with a T-shirt in case they fall into the river, and should bring along a complete change of clothing and a towel. Rubber-soled sports shoes that can be securely fastened are the most suitable footwear. Although a helmet is used while rafting, it is still a good idea to wear a sunhat, and sunscreen is vital. Bring along a camera to take shots of the beautiful Balinese scenery, but ensure that it is secured in a waterproof bag during the trip.
The Ayung River is Bali's longest waterway and a number of rafting companies operate from here. The start of the course is approximately one hour's drive from the resorts of Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dua. The 7-mile run has a class II to III rating, which means that it is suitable for beginners. The course includes 27 sets of rapids and several short drops. The route winds through steep-sided gorges with cascading waterfalls and tropical rain forest. The trip lasts around 90 minutes.
This river is more challenging than the Ayung and suitable only for people who are physically fit. The rafting course, which begins at the foot of Mount Agung, an active volcano, is a continuous 7.5-mile stretch of whitewater and hairpin bends. Riders are sure to get soaked as they paddle though waterfalls, and the trip ends with a hair-raising 13-foot drop at Bajing Dam. Transfer time from Denpasar is around 90 minutes, and the rafting trip lasts for approximately two hours.
The starting point is about 45-minute journey from Denpasar, and the course runs through a rain forest canyon, with steep cliff sides and numerous waterfalls. This is a challenging run, with sharp bends to negotiate, more than 30 rapids and drops of between 3 and 13 feet. The river is classed as a II to III, but can increase to level IV during the rainy season of October to March. It is suitable for rafters of intermediate skill.