White Water Rafting in Costa Rica’s Balsa River


I LOVED white water rafting with Kern River Tours on the Kern river near Bakersfield, CA and always wanted to go again. so when a couple of people I was with in San Jose, Costa Rica were going rafting out of La Fortuna, Costa Rica I was IN!

My first (only, so far) white water rafting in Costa Rica was on its Balsa River – one of the many rivers commercially rated in Costa Rica. It isn’t THE river here but heck, it was rafting! This trip with Costa Rica Descents was Class III and IV, both the upper and lower Balsa. The water was warm so the spray and getting walls of water in my face or on my body was enjoyable. The price I paid, with the help of a local connection, Christian of Sabor Tico, was good. I know many others pay up to $90 for this Balsa trip.

Here are some of the photos from my trip. You may notice I am somewhere under water in all of these. That’s because I love the excitement of the water coming up or the boat going down. I have plenty of photos where I am sitting atop the side and paddling, but the look of the life vest and my swim suit are a combination best not published.

I have to say that I might have enjoyed rafting California’s Kern River in the rush of the May snow melt more. (To be fair, in part that was because I was with a great friend in the raft.) If you live in CA, know that you have great rafting in your own backyard and go enjoy it instead of rushing out of the country. I, and many others, don’t feel the prices you pay in Costa Rica are so great. They likely were at one time, but now they seem to be on par with rafting right in the USA. (But do travel!)

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