How Much Does White Water Rafting Cost?
If you’re feeling up for some adrenaline-rush adventure while enjoying some spectacular views, whitewater rafting is the perfect option for your next adventure trip. But, how much does it cost?
How much does white water rafting cost? For a single person, full-day and half-day whitewater rafting prices can range from $30 to $350 USD. A full-day typically ranges from $120 to $350 USD for adults and $130 to $200 USD for youth. This may include lunch and optional activities. Half-day costs range from $30 to $100 USD for both adults and youth.
Keep in mind; rafting costs vary depending on the size of your group, the length of the trip, and location.
This article will review the average prices of famous rafting trips in Colorado, The Grand Canyon, and white water rafting trips in Costa Rica and Bali. However, the prices for rafting are pretty typical of the states that offer white water rafting.
Amazon and Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means we will earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) on the products or services you purchase using the links.
How Much Does White Water Rafting Cost?
Overall, rafting is family and kid-friendly, but pay attention to general regulations and guides on difficulty.
Since prices vary depending on the type of rafting trip, location, and length of trip, this article will dive into the different examples and take a look at the various options in some rivers that are famous for whitewater rafting.
Note: These prices were researched at the time and date of writing this article. They most likely have changed and may vary depending on season and availability. All prices are shown in US dollars.
How Much is Whitewater Rafting in Colorado?
Colorado is arguably one of the most popular rafting states for both its beautiful scenery, and spectacular and adventurous white water rafting rivers.
There are many rivers in Colorado that are great to whitewater raft. Here are the top three most popular rivers and their average price.
Arkansas River, CO. Rafting Cost
One of the most popular rivers in Colorado stretches through Royal Gorge in Cañon City.
Departures typically start at Cañon City.
Echo Canyon offers multiple rafting trips that are friendly for kids, kids at heart, and thrill-seekers alike. Here are the three main ones on the Arkansas River:
- Bighorn Sheep Canyon
- Royal Gorge
- Family Float
Rafting Trip Pricing:
Half-day prices start at $77 dollars for most of the trips.
Bighorn Sheep Section/Trip Costs
- Full Day – $77
- Half Day – $129
- Full Day Children Under 12 – The Same
Royal Gorge Section/Trip Costs
- Full Day (20 Miles) – $89
- Half Day (10 Miles) – $149
- Children Under 12 – N/A
Family Float Trip Costs
- Full Day – N/A
- Half Day (5 Miles) – $77
- Children Under 12 – $77
Dolores River, CO. Rafting Cost
Second, in rank is the Dolores River. Despite it placing second in the list, Dolores river is loved by rafters for its scenic view and rich history. On this trip, you will pass crimson-colored cliffs and Anasazi ruins while enjoying your thrilling ride.
The river may vary availability to rafters due to the snowpack and dam releases. Be sure to plan ahead and book early.
Trips on the Dolores River can be long and adventurous; most people like to take several day trips to enjoy rafting on the Dolores. There are two main rapids on the Dolores River:
- Ponderosa Gorge – Class II, III, and IV rapids
- Slick Rock Canyon – Class II and III
Ponderosa Gorge Rafting Costs
- Adult – $179
- Youth – $159
- Adult – $499
- Youth – $399
- Adult – $749
- Youth – $699
Slick Rock Canyon Costs
Slick Rock Canyon white water rafting is a 3-day trip.
- Adult – $749
- Youth – $699
Clear Creek, CO. Rafting Costs
If you’re looking for a quicker, single-day trip or want to explore various rapid levels, Clear Creek is a great river to explore. All of the trips start at the Arkansas river in Canon City.
Rafting Trip Pricing
Pricing can vary depending on the trip and whether its for youth or adult. Most trips are available to both youth and adults. For those that feel extra adventurous, there are also full-day advanced trips for ages 16 and up.
- Adult – $35
- Youth (7+) – $50
- Adult (14+) – $65
- Youth – $N/A
- Adult (Beginner)/(Intermediate, ages 14+) – $55/$65
- Youth (Ages 7+) – $50
Advanced Express Trip
- Adult (Ages 16+) – $80
- Youth – $N/A
Advanced Full-Day Trip
- Adult (Ages 16+) – $135
- Youth – $N/A
How Much is Whitewater Rafting in The Grand Canyon?
Much as all the beautiful rivers in Colorado, whitewater rafting is truly an experience in the remarkable Grand Canyon. There are different types of whitewater rafting offered throughout the Grand Canyon and you can choose what best fits your interest and group.
A motorized rafting can be a great option if you are looking into more sightseeing of the Grand Canyon more than the physical rafting activity. A motorized rafting option helps you see more as you can focus on the views, but it also goes twice the speed of the current. You’ll get to sit back and take in the beauty.
There are many options available such as a hike-in or hike-out adventure or a long adventure with the motorized raft. Keep in mind, although the 4-day option is the shortest, it is mentioned to be the most challenging.
Motorized Rafting Trip Pricing
- Four-Day (With Hike Out) – $1550
- Five-Day (With Hike In) – $2150
- Seven-Day – $3125
- Eight-Day – $3125
Oar Powered Rafting
The oar-powered rafts are generally 18 feet long and can carry up to 5 passengers plus one guide. A long oar maneuvers the raft from the middle and the speed of the raft will be dependent on the current of the river.
Since the guide takes the oar, the passengers are still able to take in the view and enjoy the Grand Canyon. In comparison to the motorized rafting, it is generally slower but longer tours.
Oar Rafting Trip Pricing
- Seven-Day with Hike Out – $2535
- Nine-Day with Hike In – $3225
- Fifteen-Day – $4495
Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai River
The trips on Hualapai River ranges from a 1-day, 2-day trip to 5-day whitewater rafting tours. On the trips you’ll get to enjoy meals while taking in the fabulous views of the Grand Canyon. All trips offer a hike to Travertine Cavern Falls and more exploration the longer the tour, such as hiking and camping at Spencer Canyon.
Hualapai River Rafting Trip Pricing
How Much is Whitewater Rafting in Costa Rica?
If you are feeling more adventurous this year and wish to fly over to the rugged and adventurous rainforest of Central America, Costa Rica is a gem that offers numerous rivers for whitewater rafting.
These are few of the top rivers for whitewater rafting in Costa Rica.
- Savegre River
- Pacuare River
- Reventazon River
Savegre River Rafting Costs
Savegre river is in the North Puntarenas which includes numbers of other rafting options. Savegre river includes class II and class III rapids and is a great place for a thrilling but not too thrilling adventure.
As exiting as the trip maybe, you’ll still be able to stop for a bit to hear the rainforest around the river and take a quick dip in the rapids.
Savegre River Rafting Trip Pricing
Pacuare River Rafting Costs
The Pacuare River is in Alajuela, a stunning province in Costa Rica that also offers other activities after your whitewater rafting adventures. You can check out national parks, hot springs, and more rivers.
Pacuare River offers a class III to IV level of rapid difficulty and is rated as one of the top 10 white water rafting destinations.
Pacuare River Rafting Trip Pricing
- 5 Hour (Class III-IV) – $100-105
Reventazon River Rafting Costs
Reventazon River cuts through Cartago with the Pacuare river, and it is as bountiful and adventurous as the Pacuare. Difficulties range from class III to V at the reventazon and are known to be one of the most thrilling in Costa Rica.
Reventazon River Rafting Trip Pricing
- 2.5 Hour (Class II-III) – $96 (Adult- 9+)
How Much is Whitewater Rafting in Bali?
Another top location for whitewater rafting is in Bali. Within the luscious nature and culture, Bali is a hot destination location for adventure.
There are two top river rafting locations recommended in Bali.
- Telaga Waja River
- Ayung River Ubud
Telaga Waja River Rafting Costs
Telaga waja river is an adventurous and famous river for whitewater rafters ranging in difficulties in class III-IV. Telaga waja river is the longest whitewater rafting option in Bali, stretching 15 kilometers in the scenic, tropical jungle.
Whitewater rafting on Telaga is offered by BMW, Bali Mitra Wahana Rafting, and Alam Rafting Karangasem Bali; both are recommended companies for many tourist activities. In addition to whitewater rafting, they offer cycling tours and ATV ventures.
Telaga Waja River Rafting Trip Pricing
- Adult (ages 13-60) – $90
- Youth (ages 9-12) – $75
- Adult (ages 13-60) – $88
- Youth (ages 9-12) – $N/A
Ayung River Ubud Rafting Costs
Ayung river is a great option for beginners. It’s close to the Ubud area and an easy trip to the site if you’re staying in the area. They have difficulties ranging in class II to III and is very suitable for beginners to enjoy a scenic ride.
Ayung River Ubud rafting is offered by Bali Sobek Rafting. They provide safe and high-quality services and is well known as one of the top companies for Ayung River rafting.
Ayung River Rafting Trip Pricing
- Adult (ages 16-65) – $55
- Youth (ages 7-15) – $45
River Rafting Cost Wrap Up
Whitewater rafting is a fun and adventurous way to explore the outdoors. And as far as outdoor adventure experiences go, it’s reasonably priced and available in many of the North American States, Central America, and around the world.
And in many cases, for less than $100 per person per day, you could mark white water rafting off your bucket list or fall in love with it for life.
I’m Steve, the research and technology workhorse behind Paddle Camp. I do tons of research on all our family’s paddling gear before I buy or recommend anything. I grew up canoeing with my dad and brother. A few years ago I bought paddle boards for my daughters, myself, and my wife. Ever since then, we plan most of our vacations around kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding.
If you’ve ever paddled a sit-on-top kayak, you might’ve noticed the holes in the bottom of the hull. The first time I saw those kayak scupper holes, I wondered if I needed them and if I should just.
One of the things I love the most about kayaking is that it can be as safe or as adventurous as you want it to be. From leisurely paddling a flat calm lake to paddling the ocean, witnessing beautiful.
We love paddling! We all remember being beginners and having no clue what kayak, canoe, or SUP to buy. Nor did we understand all the rafting gear, paddling laws, and how-to paddle info we’d need to get started. So we built Paddle Camp to help you navigate the often confusing world of kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, and river rafting.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Paddle Camp is a participant in various affiliate networks, including AvantLink, CJ, and others. Paddle Camp is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.
White Water Rafting in Costa Rica: Where to Go & What to Know
Are you looking for adventure in Costa Rica? Do you want a thrill with a little bit of relaxation on your vacation?
Let’s talk about the amazing white water rafting you can experience in Costa Rica, whether you are a level I rafter (beginner) or a level 6 (Expert).
In this article, we want to allow you to learn how to flow down the stream that will touch your heart and soul.
What Is The Best Place to White water Raft in Costa Rica?
Rafting the Mighty Rio Pacuare
“Rio Pacuare!” members of the Costa Rica Escapes team will collectively and enthusiastically answer! Travelers that want to take full advantage of their limited time in this country must experience white water rafting on the Pacuare (Pah-KWAH-ree) River. Overall, this paddle-sport adventure leaves people in awe and provides an unforgettable white water experience.
Pacuare River rafting is one-of-a-kind and offers visitors an incredible and genuine look into the primary rainforest of Costa Rica. So naturally, and as Mother Nature intended, is the way that paddlers will experience this world-renowned river.
No vacation is complete without a white water rafting adventure on Costa Rica’s famous Pacuare River!
Kayaking or rafting Costa Rica’s Rio Pacuare is ideally spent as an overnight trip to enhance visitors’ adventure. The overnight trip breaks the rafting into two portions and allows paddlers to sleep at one of the river’s eco-lodges and riverside campsites. With this experience, travelers get a million-star experience as they truly feel it is like to sleep in the rainforest.
Gorgeous Rainforest Lodge Camping on the Pacuare River
Hands down, the best place to white water raft in Costa Rica is the Pacuare River. This excellent river basin starts at over 9,000 feet (3,000 meters) above sea level in the Talamanca Mountain Range and travels for over 400 feet (130 Km ) until it reaches the Caribbean Sea. Since 1985, the land alongside the river has been protected as a forestry reserve, making this river one of the most beautiful sights in the world.
As you travel the river waters, you can enjoy impressive small waterfalls, canyons, and a dense rainforest home to a lot of wildlife. Travelers have seen jaguars and tapirs on the side of the river, but those sights are very rare. Instead, it is common to see toucans, raccoons, monkeys, sloths, anteaters, peccaries, iguanas, hummingbirds, and many butterflies like the blue morpho.
It is common to see indigenous people using and enjoying the river since a considerable population of the Cabecar Indigenous Community lives in the area.
The first white water adventurers to enjoy this river only did it in 1980, but multiple experts and companies have rafted down its waters since then. Today there are over 20 companies that offer white water rafting tours in the Pacuare.
The Pacuare River has three main sections that offer different rafting experiences:
- Lower Section
- Upper Section
- Upper Upper section
The most commonly rafted section is the Lower Section, a 230-mile (37 Km) stretch of river with multiple class III and IV rapids. The Upper Upper Section and the Upper Section are much more technical, and only the Upper Upper Section can be rafted. In addition, there are level IV and V rapids in the Upper Section that kayaks can only run.
Where Else in Costa Rica Can You Go White Water Rafting?
Suppose you are looking at the map of Costa Rica. In that case, you will notice many white water rafting adventures in the provinces of San Jose, Cartago, Alajuela, and Heredia. In addition, there are some in Puenteras province, closer to Manual Antonio and Limon province, closer to Panama, but those are not as popular.
Let’s talk about a couple of rivers located in Costa Rica that may spark your interest, but we have some incredible rivers that we will break down even further.
La Fortuna Rapids
La Fortuna is a famous town in Costa Rica, as you will hear people say, “The Gateway to Arenal Volcano.” The volcano has two active volcanos in Arenal but let’s talk about La Fortuna Rapids. From this town, many white water rafting companies will take you out on the many entrances of La Fortuna. You will have to travel to get to these spots for La Fortuna.
Another incredible place to go white water rafting in Costa Rica is close to La Fortuna, about 45 minutes, called Rio Balsa, which is perfect for the whole family.
If you are brand new to rafting, this is a great river to go. You will have some great movements of pure joy on the rapids, but then you will be able to experience and see the landscapes, possibly see the monkeys and many birds.
Penas Blancas River
Are you looking for a river that you can take the family down? Well, Penas Blancas River is it. The Penas Blancas River is in Puenteras Province, under 2 hours from the San Jose Airport.
You can enjoy the river’s flow without worrying about trying to paddle your way out. If you and the family are lucky enough, you will be able to enjoy the wildlife, such as monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, and many birds, to name a few. Don’t forget to grab that camera!
The Rio Toro, which means “Bull River,” is not for the gentlest of heart, as the name says it all. Instead, this river is for experienced rafters who experienced white water rafting rapids, such as class III and IV. So, taking the kids would not be ideal, but if you want the blood pumping, then we highly recommend it.
The Rio Toro is in the Alajuela Province and about 3 hours from the San Jose Airport.
If you want to head north of the San Jose Airport for only 2 hours, you can experience the Sarapiqui River, as many white water rafters will head here. Why? They have many multi-day adventures.
The beauty of this river is that you can experience class III and class IV rapids, especially during the rainy season, which is June to October. Still, you can also experience some safari tours for the family.
How Much Is Rafting In Costa Rica
Long story short, it will depend on how long you will be rafting. Are you looking to do a day trip or a multi-day trip? Are you adding other adventures to it, such as zip-lining, lunch, or rappelling?
If you are looking at a one-day trip, we have seen prices starting at $65/person up to $130, including zip-lining or lunch or hanging bridge hikes.
If you are looking for a multi-day trip for whitewater rafting, you will have to contact the tours as the tours will be based on how many people will be joining the journey to fuel the heart and soul on the white water rapids in Costa Rica.
How Dangerous Is White River Rafting in Costa Rica?
We wouldn’t suggest white water rafting in Costa Rica if it weren’t safe for us, Costa Rica Escapes, so we want you to feel at ease that it is one of the safest activities for visitors to Costa Rica.
We also want you to make sure you feel comfortable on the rafting tours, so if you are looking for a specific tour, tell us how comfortable you are, and we will do the rest.
How Far Is Pacuare River White Water Rafting From San Jose Costa Rica Airport
If you fly into San Jose (SJO) International airport, the Pacuare River takes approximately 2.5 hours to get to the Pacuare River.
The Pacuare River (or Rio Pacuare), a class III & IV river, runs from West to East through the Talamanca Mountains and ultimately ends in the Caribbean Ocean. This river is most easily accessed from the Costa Rican adventure capital of the East – Turrialba. Turrialba has numerous commercial outfitters that have been running this river for years.
The Pacuare River has numerous put-in points. While the river is accessible from the capital city of San Jose and other population and tourism hubs around the country, the easiest way to take a guided trip on this river is out of Turrialba.
The most often used put-in is located in a town just outside of Turrialba, called Tres Equis. In addition, commercial outfitters use numerous put-in spots further upriver from Tres Equis, but these are generally reserved for special paddling trips or kayak tours.
Where Is The Best Whitewater Rafting For Children In Costa Rica?
Let’s talk about the basics of kids and whitewater rafting. It is suggested that kids should not be under five years old when rafting and starting at a level I (see below). Still, some of the whitewater rafting that we see in Costa Rica for the family are Penas Blancas River and Rio Balsa, to name a couple.
When looking for rapids for the kids, look for Levels I and II, but many white water rafting companies will have restrictions, so make sure you check into that before you book.
What Level/Class Is White Water River Rafting In Costa Rica?
There are levels/classes to white water river rafting in Costa Rica and around the world, and Costa Rica has all the levels.
Let’s discuss what the levels are all about:
- Level I: You want to go tubing? Here is your class.
- Level II: This level is for the novice, and you may have to deal with some obstructions, such as rocks, trees, etc.
- Level III: Expect to get wet on this one, as you are dealing with some rapids, obstructions, and working on your boat control.
- Level IV: This is an advanced level, as you may have to make quick moves so you don’t flip the raft.
- Level V: This level is for expert rafters.
- Level VI: OOFF, how good are you with white water rafting? These are unpredictable and very dangerous.
For the most part, here at Costa Rica Escapes, we see many levels III and IV but then, of course, the ones for the family, at the levels I and II.
What To Wear White Water Rafting In Costa Rica
Expecting for the best and preparing for the worse would be our mantra for white water rafting in Costa Rica, but it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out what you need, whether you are hitting the Level I rapids or the IV.
Let’s break it down for you:
- Clothes: Shoes, such as Tevas or tennis shoes, that you don’t care about will get wet. A swimsuit. Maybe a long sleeve wicking t-shirt to help block the sun or an SPF top. Don’t forget to grab some dry clothes for the car ride home when you are leaving. If you are rafting as the sun goes down, sometimes it can get chilly, so maybe have a light jacket.
- Essentials: Waterproof sunscreen, 50 SPF or higher, insect repellent, if you are someone who gets bit, and any medications that you need personally. Sunglasses with a strap to make sure you don’t lose them! A water bottle, preferably not plastic, as we don’t want to pollute our rivers.
- Additional: Of course, a camera, and it could be your phone. Binoculars to look for those cute sloths, potentially a flashlight, AND if you are overnighting it, maybe an additional charger to charge your phone for more photos the next day.
Summary: White Water Rafting in Costa Rica: Where to Go & What to Know
Are you ready to experience those streams and Leonard di Vinci’s river beautifully described in Costa Rica? We think you are.
Many rivers in Costa Rica will do white water rafting, and while we couldn’t name them all, we wanted to share our top ones for you to plan out your trip.
If you are looking to experience more than whitewater rafting, reach out to us, so we can help you plan the trip of a lifetime!
John Rabenau has been working in the eco-tourism & adventure travel industry in Costa Rica since 2002. He has worked in a variety of capacities from Outdoor Educator & Principle Guide to Itinerary Design Manager & Business Owner for numerous organizations. He has grown Costa Rica Escapes into one of the most reputable Costa Rica travel agencies since its creation in 2006, hosting more than 5,000 people with custom vacation itineraries.
Toll Free: 1-877-202-3381 | Costa Rica: (506) 2233-5151
Travel Agencies, after hours and weekends:
White Water Rafting
Experience the full explosion and excitement that is the thrill of white water rafting!. The route is scenic and the ride is exhilarating. The vegetation will surround you, while the raw unbridled power of the waters will transport you into a great wild adventure.
The scenery while rafting is just marvelous. The vegetation that will surround you plus the power of the waters will transport you into a great wild adventure. The equipment will be given, and a specialized guide will instruct you on how to manage yourself into the strong currents of the river.
Duration: 9 hours
Location: Limon, Caribbean Coast
Estimated Departure from San José: Between 6:00 A.M. – 07:00 A.M.
PACUARE RIVER RAFTING CLASS IV US $99.00 (+8% I.V.A)
The Pacuare River is one of the best choices for your adventure treks in Costa Rica. No other trip in the country exists that offers you a perfect blend of wilderness exposure and excitement, all in one day.
Pacuare is world famous for its sheer beauty. A true river gorge, it is flanked by steep, green walls. Here you enjoy the feeling of total isolation from urban life and the realness of being connected with nature. You see waterfalls cascade into the river from both sides as colorful, tropical birds fly right over your head. Amazing views of this virgin tropical rainforestarea, appear before your eyes as you descend this true exploratory land. Wildlife is abundant, with sloth, toucans, parrots, coatis, morpho butterflies and colorful frogs being common sights.
The white water that is equally exciting. It is not an overly challenging river, but it has a lot rapids, therefore giving you an adventure filled with lots of fun. The 18 mile one day run includes a total of 52 rapids. Few rivers in the world can offer you so many.
Upon arrival to the river we will gear you up with a life jacket, helmet and paddle and then brief you with a full safety orientation talk. Finally, it is time to take off down the rapids!
PRICE PER PERSONIncludes:
- BILINGUAL GUIDE (ENGLISH/SPANISH)
- GROUND TRANSPORTATION FROM ALL THE MAJOR HOTELS IN SAN JOSE (ROUNDTRIP)
- SPECIALIZED GEAR (HELMETS, LIFEJACKETS, PADDLES).
- BREAKFAST AND LUNCH
The first 4 miles consist of fun class II-III rapids which is a perfect time to test your new river skills and gain confidence in your team. Here you can find pockets of secondary growth forest that is extremely beautiful. After about 40 minutes we will enter the famous Pacuare River Gorge, which is 5 miles of some of the best white water Costa Rica has to offer. The rapids here are “Terciopelo snake”, “Double drop”, “Upper and Lower Huacas”, “Pin ball” toname a few. You will also see the Huacas watefall, a 150 foot dramatic drop into the river.
After the gorge the rivers opens up to a 5 mile stretch on the Valle del Pacuare, where the river has a different character. It is wide open, which gives you the opportunity to rest a bit and take the opportunity to do some wildlife spotting. The main rapids here are “Cimarrones”, “The Play Hole”, “El Indio” and “Magnetic Rock”. The forest remains just as lush, and the rapids just as fun.
* No children’s discount
Children Minimum Age 12 years old
SARAPIQUI RIVER RAFTING CLASS III US $80.00 (+8% I.V.A)
The Sarapiqui River is the perfect combination of adventure and nature. This section is filled with class II-III rapids and clear, refreshing water that swerves its way through the tropical rainforest of Sarapiqui, making it a true paradise!
Meet us at our riverside Operation Center, leave your car in our safe parking lot, and jump on the van for a short 10 minute ride to the river or schedule a pick up from your Sarapiqui, San Jose, or La Fortuna hotel.
Once we arrive to the put in, our certified guides will prepare you with your professional gear and a briefing with safety commands and paddling instructions. Then, the adventure begins! Rapids with names like “Roller Coaster”, “Superman”, and “Air Force” will thrill you while the incredible surroundings filled with flora and fauna will leave you breathless.
Halfway through the tour, we will make a stop to savor a colorful buffet of fresh tropical fruit to recharge your batteries before continuing through the remainder of the rapids. During the break, you will also have a chance to swim and jump in from the cliffs above. Here, the guides will take some time to explain the flora and fauna that inhabits this amazing area.
After 2 ½ hours filled with adventure, a delicious traditional lunch will be awaiting you in our riverside facilities.