March 20, 2023

Rafting tours on Bali’s Ayung River provide an adrenaline rush

When whitewater rafting in Bali, wear water shoes or sport sandals and comfortable clothes with a swimsuit underneath.
Daydreams of Bali might include white-sand beaches, terraced temples, pumped-up nightlife, and waking to warm Indian Ocean breezes from a luxurious four-poster carved teak bed in a private thatch-roof villa. (We’ve given this some thought.)

What they probably don’t include is white-water rafting. It may be surprising to learn, then, that rafting trips tend to be one of visitors’ favorite Balinese vacation experiences.

Bali Sobek operates the two-hour tours on the Ayung, Bali’s longest river, which are led by experienced rafting instructors who may double as rainforest guides.

The rapids range from level I, akin to an amusement park lazy river, to level III, with some hair-raising drops and elbow grease required to paddle through. It’s a nice mix of a relaxing float, with rainforest scenery and Hindu shrines along the way, interspersed with segments of rushing rapids for the adrenaline junkies. Tours are suitable for all levels of rafters, including children as young as seven.

The trip ends with lunch at a local restaurant. But before that, you can swim at a rainforest lagoon with a waterfall. Standing under the rushing water surrounded by jungle greenery is a photo op that may be more like the Bali of those daydreams.

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