Camping and Rafting

In the grandest canyon of the Balsa River, experience the excitement, serenity, joy and enchanting beauty of the river as it transforms this divine chasm and those who venture down it.

Balsa River Trips vs. Other Vacations

The setting and pace of a Balsa River rafting trip gives you something you don’t find in other vacations.  On a rafting trip, you’ll find the absolute escape from the hectic world around us – completely free of distractions.  You’ll eliminate the constant decisions about where to go, what to do, and where to eat each day of your vacation.  On a rafting trip, you’ll experience the pinnacle of relaxation as you drift over tranquil pools of water under the shadows of towering rock formations, the exhilaration and thrill of rolling waves and crashing whitewater, the exploration of seldom-seen natural wonders and, the peaceful moments of reflection as you gaze up at the star-studded sky, and the fresh feeling of renewal as the morning sun slowly filters through winding canyons.  All this provides an indescribable sense of belonging – a sense of oneness with yourself and those around you; a sense of adventure, reflection and renewal; and a time to hear your own heart beat.  On a Costa Rica Descents’ Balsa River Class V Trip, you will quickly discover why so many are calling this “the best vacation of their lives.

A Typical Day on the River

After meeting your guides, we are going to drive for 1 hour, you will be given a trip orientation that will include how and where you can sit on the rafts, how to hold on, and safety precautions while on the river.
A typical day will include rafting for a few hours at a time, stopping for scenic side-canyon hikes, bathroom breaks, lunch and possible swimming opportunities.  Visiting with new-found friends and learning river lore and geology from our well trained guides adds to the enjoyment of each day.
After a full day of learning and fun we arrive in camp.  Guests will find their favorite campsite and then return to the rafts for the famous “fire line” – the way we load and unload rafts.  Your help in passing the gear off the boat is greatly appreciated; however, if you have physical restrictions or limitations that would prohibit you from participating you are not required to help.
The first evening in camp, our guides will give a demonstration on how to easily assemble the cots and tents and will be available to help if you need additional assistance.  Costa Rica Descents will provide you with cots, tents, sleeping bags, sheets, camp chairs and water-proof gear bags for all guests.  You do not need to worry about bringing any of your own camping equipment.
While you relax at the edge of the river, your guides will prepare dinner.  Every night, the meal will be different, but the menu may include items such as grilled chicken breast, steak with sautéed onions, pasta, fajitas, and casado (Costa Rica’s typical food or salad).
At night, whether you choose to sleep in your tent or under the vast canopy of stars, the fresh night air and the rhythm of the river will lull you to sleep.  In the morning, your guides will prepare a delicious breakfast which you will enjoy before returning to your campsite to take down your tent and cot and pack up your belongings in your dry bag.  After bringing your bag down to the boats, guests participate in the fire line once again and you are off on another fun-filled day of adventure.
The second day we go rappelling after having had a nice costarican breakfast. We rappel two waterfalls before we continue down the river for approximately three hours.

Camping With Costa Rica Descents

Whether you’re a veteran camper or experiencing sleeping in the outdoors for the first time, Costa Rica Descents makes camping simple.  All you have to worry about is packing your personal items in a soft-sided duffle bag.  We’ll supply the rest:

Comfortable cots make sleeping and relaxing on the river easy.
Roomy tents are always available and easy to set up.  You may be like many of our river guests who prefer to sleep under the vast canopy of stars. If you haven’t ever experienced camping in the desert you’ll be surprised at how dry and comfortable everything stays when sleeping under the stars.
Freshly laundered sleeping bags and sheets provide warmth on cool evenings.
Water-resistant bags protect your personal belongings from exposure to sand and water.
A personal day-use bag keeps important items handy during the day.
Camp chairs offer comfortable seating while in camp.
A sturdy vinyl ground cloth keeps your gear and camping areas clean.
Toilet facilities are available from the time we pull into camp until we leave the following day. A portable toilet and hand wash system is set up each day in camp in a secluded location that assures privacy.
To ensure you have a pleasurable and comfortable camping experience, we will provide a detailed camping orientation before your first night in camp.