When you hear the word “honeymoon,” what do you think of? Candle-lit dinners? Sunset-watching? A romantic beach getaway? Luckily, we were able to squeeze all of those in for our Bali honeymoon. And for variety, we threw in one more thing: ADVENTURE!
While our ultimate goal for our holiday was to relax, we thought that a little action wouldn’t hurt! Hence, we said “why not?” to white water rafting!
Mike had done this before but I was a first timer. And though I am fairly adventurous, I wouldn’t call myself “athletic.” (Mike tells me that I’m so “unco.” That’s short for “uncoordinated.” Heyyy, that’s not true!) I wasn’t sure if I would survive this activity given that I’m quite the klutz, but I was the one who came up with the idea of doing some kind of water sport for our honeymoon, and it turned out to be a good decision!
Where We Went:
- There are two popular sites for white water rafting in Bali: the Ayung River (in Ubud) and the Telaga Waja River (in Karangasem). Obviously, based on the title of this blog post, you’ll know that we went for the latter. Although it was quite far from where we were staying in Seminyak, it was also more challenging, with more bumps and obstacles than the Ayung River, which, based on online reviews, was breezier, tamer, and more suitable for families with kids and beginners. Sure, I was a beginner, but we were already doing something adventurous anyway, so why not just go full speed with the excitement?
- With a route of 18 kilometers, this is the longest white water rafting track in Bali. The Telaga Waja River is the longest river on East Bali, and it takes 3 hours to finish the ride.
- There are various rafting companies in the area but the one we used was Bukit Cilli Rafting (BCR). They were good, professional, and well-organized. Their guides have over 10 years of experience, so we knew we were in good hands. Safety was one of my priorities for this activity!
What We Brought:
- We left our things with our driver / tour guide Made, except for my camera, which we put inside a waterproof bag provided by the company. We were encouraged to bring our cameras because we would have two stopovers where we can have our photos taken. The waterproof bag will be shared by everyone in the boat, so if like us, you go with other people, your stuff will be mixed with theirs, which isn’t a problem really.
- Speaking of cameras, before the ride, we were asked if we wanted to purchase a CD of about 40 to 60 photos of us from the entire trip. If I remember correctly, it would cost us around IDR 300K (PHP 1110) to have a photographer take all our action shots. If there were three or four of us splitting that cost, it wasn’t too bad. But IDR 300K for just the two of us was a bit steep. I was tempted to say “yes” but Mike said we should just save our money. Do I regret it? Hmm… well, I would have wanted to have nice photos of us in the water to look back on (mostly to show our future grandkids to prove that grandpa and grandma were once cool). But it was pricey, and that money could be used on other fun experiences, like two more nice Balinese dinners. My real regret is that I didn’t get an action camera before the trip. Looking back, I should have gotten at least a cheap Go Pro-knockoff!
What We Wore:
- Light and comfortable clothes that we didn’t mind getting wet! Yes, no question there, you will get soaked. So bring changing clothes!
- CLOSED anti-slip shoes. We went down a long flight of stairs and walked on the rocks in the water, and for your safety, it’s best to wear secure shoes that are “wettable” (I just checked and that’s an actual word). I wouldn’t suggest flip flops or shoes without straps. I saw one dude chasing after his slipper as it was being swept away by the water’s current!
- Helmets and life vests provided by the rafting company, included in the fee that you need to pay for the ride.
Before The Trip
- We were happy that a nice, friendly, and experienced tour guide was assigned to us. He was quite entertaining, and he made the ride more fun! He also spoke good English. I’m terrible with names so I forgot the name of our tour guide, but it’s this guy on the photo above.
- Before we started our journey, we first had a short safety briefing. Even for a newbie like me, everything was pretty easy to follow. We were just told to duck or lean our bodies backwards whenever we approached huge vines, tree branches, or other obstacles. My favorite command was “boom boom” — it was pretty much like saying “Hang on! We’re about to collide with some rocks!” It makes sense: the word “boom” is pretty synonymous to the word “crash.” When we were stuck in a spot, we were also asked to “jump” while seated, which was pretty much like bouncing on and off our butts to get the boat moving.
- Each boat could take 4 passengers at a time. If there are two of you, you will be asked to wait for another two passengers, but if nobody shows up after a short period of waiting, you can have the boat to yourselves! We were in the boat with another couple, which we didn’t mind. However, they weren’t really doing much (except for falling off). Mike and I were doing all the work! On the bright side, that was a good workout for our arms!
Even before we started the ride, I was already in awe of the experience. The ambiance of the river set amidst the dense jungle was quite a sight! Sometimes, during the calmer moments of our ride, when we weren’t barreling into boulders, we would just relax a little and appreciate the beauty of nature in front of and around us. It was an adventure-filled journey but the greenery, the valleys, and the waterfalls gave it an air of tranquility. We saw quaint and modest houses and were amazed that people actually lived there, in villages right there in the river! We saw a few kids running around and playing. We even saw a monkey wandering around the jungle! The ride was fun but the scenery was just as interesting.
It was THREE hours of fun and exhilaration as we paddled away through the strong current of the river! There were definitely plenty of hurdles along the way! We came face to face with dangling tree branches and thick vines, our heads were literally inches away from low bridges, and our boat rammed into walls and stones plenty of times. Generally, it’s pretty safe and easy to go white water rafting in the Telaga Waja river… BUT you do need to be alert! Listen to your guide, anticipate your next move, and trust your gut! There were times when an obstacle would take me by surprise, and I had about a millisecond to decide whether to duck or lean back. In those moments, I forgot all the rules and just acted on instinct, trying my best to protect my face from being scratched! Eek! I’m happy to let you know that I came home in one piece. In fact, I didn’t fall off my seat as much as I thought I would. Who’s “unco” now, huh?!
In the middle of our trip, we had a stopover at the waterfalls where we took a small break and had our photos taken using our own cameras. Look at that! This serene view is just what we needed after our intense exercise!
At one point of the ride, our guide told us that we could stop and get off the boat to swim. The fresh water was so cold but it was also inviting, so we, along with the passengers on the other boat, took a quick dip. Good news for those who can’t swim very well (myself included), the water is very shallow so drowning in this river is very unlikely, especially when you have life vests on. It’s a really fast-flowing river though, so you could easily be carried by the current! It was so relaxing and fun to float though, even for just a few seconds!
The entire trip was SO MUCH FUN! I didn’t think I would enjoy it that much. Like I said, there were many obstacles to go through but that was actually what made it more thrilling. I think that without all these “challenges,” the 3-hour ride would have been boring. I felt so sporty! Haha!
It was also kind of exhausting! We were rowing in the heat for so long (with not much help from the other couple!). My arms hurt, and my legs and butt got tired too! It was a great relief to find out that at the end point of our trip, we did not have to go up a long flight of stairs to get to the restaurant area, which was our final stop. I heard that this is the complaint of some people who have done white water rafting at the Telaga Waja River with other companies: they were already worn out from the ride and they had to endure a long climb to the top.
The best and most exhilarating part of the trip was the 4-meter drop! I wish there were more of those!
As with most white water rafting companies, free lunch was included in the rate of BCR, although drinks are sold separately. The ride was great, but the food was forgettable. I didn’t even bother taking photos of the food anymore, to think that I ALWAYS take photos of my food (to the annoyance of my husband). It wasn’t a surprise or a disappointment to us, though, because after our nth buffet in Bali, we just discovered that while food in Bali in general was awesome, buffets in Bali aren’t that great. We always enjoyed meals we ordered a la carte better. But don’t let this put you off. After all, the lunch is just an add-on. You came for the ride, not the buffet, and if you enjoy the ride, then you can say that you got your money’s worth!
Beside the restaurant is a shower area where we washed up and changed our clothes. There was no soap or shampoo available so if you do visit, make sure you bring your own. Towels are provided.
I’m so glad we went through with it because this turned out to be one of our favorite parts of our Bali trip! If you find yourself in Bali and wondering whether you should go white water rafting or not, just go for it! What’s holding you back? Scared? Don’t be. I bet even a 10-year old kid can rock that river. Not sporty? Even if you’re gawky, if you’re careful and you have common sense, you’ll make it out of there alive. Can’t swim? Hello, life vests! Too expensive? My advice is to hire a tour guide who has strong connections with white water rafting companies and you’ll be able to save a fortune! Convinced? Great! Now get on that boat!
Bukit Cilli Rafting (BCR) Telaga Waja White Water Rafting
Address: Jl. Raya Muncan-Besakih, Rendang, Karangasem Bali / Jl. Trenggana no 81 A, Denpasar, BALI (Denpasar Representative Office)
Phone: 087861392784 / 087861392784
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Direct email address of owner), email@example.com
Pick up Schedule: http://www.raftingtelagawaja.com/rafting/pickup/index.html
– USD 88 (Rafting only – Adults 13-65 years old)
– USD 70 (Children – 7-12 years old)
– USD 250 (Family – 2 adults and 2 children)
How to Get There: Rent a private car with driver / guide. I recommend Galih Bali Tour.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
For all stories related to our Bali honeymoon trip, visit the link below:
Disclosure: Mike and I paid for this trip ourselves but we got a big discount with the help of our tour guide / driver.