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“Best day in Arenal.”
Review of Wave Expeditions

Wave Expeditions
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$145.00*
and up
Class II-III Rafting and ATV Tour from La Fortuna
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Best One-stop Destination for Outdoor Adventure! WAVE Expeditions Adventure Company invites you to explore the famous northern zone of Costa Rica. WAVE Expeditions is BEST option for all your favorite outdoor activites in one location. Arenal is the one stop destination for Rafting, Canyoning, Hiking, Wildlife, Canopy, Biking and much more! WAVE Expeditions has earned a reputation for professionalism, organization, and high quality trips.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed September 2, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I did this tour in the same day we did the waterfall rappelling. Both were great. The white water rafting was the best. Grade 2 and 3 rapids. Our guide Jayro was clear on all instructions and no one fell out of our boat. The rapids were exciting. Lunch after was delicious and the instruction on coffee and sugar cane was interesting. Highly recommend.

Thank Barbara D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"sugar cane"
in 286 reviews
"balsa river"
in 276 reviews
"rafting trip"
in 163 reviews
"white water rafting"
in 281 reviews
"fruit"
in 146 reviews
"class rapids"
in 100 reviews
"organic farm"
in 119 reviews
"pineapple"
in 110 reviews
"costa rica"
in 325 reviews
"la fortuna"
in 149 reviews
"pura vida"
in 96 reviews
"raft guide"
in 37 reviews
"great rafting"
in 29 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 73 reviews
"class iii iv"
in 19 reviews
"safety instructions"
in 21 reviews
"delicious lunch"
in 38 reviews
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1,313 - 1,317 of 1,999 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2013

My wife and I recently had the pleasure of experiencing a bit of whitewater on the Balsa river. We had an amazing time. I have been rafting many times but this was my wife"s first commercial trip. She is a bit afraid of the water and rivers especially.
Although I would have like to been up and paddling more, with the amount of rocks present and shallow water, I could see why the guides aired on the side of safety and had us leaning in much of the time. My wife absolutely loved the trip and never once did any of us feel unsafe. I have read some of the other reviews and I am really unsure of their situation. We had I think 7 boats and there were only smiling faces when we got to the bus, no crying, no bruises, etc. Whitewater rafting can be dangerous folks, that part of what makes it exciting. This river is very technical with so many rocks and varying water levels, lots of things can happen out there even to the most experienced river runners.
The most important thing is that my wife is ready for the next river adventure because she enjoyed her first experience so much!
The snack was great and the lunch was even better! The food at the local organic farm was maybe the best we had on our entire trip and the "surprise" at the end of our lunch was a nice treat.
Thank you to wave expeditions for showing us a great time in Costa Rica! Pura Vida!

Thank charles m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

I went to Wave Expeditions with my boyfriend and it was a terrible mistake. I have been white water rafting four times and this trip was both unfun and dangerous. In the first 10 minutes THE GUIDE FELL INTO THE WATER, as did another passenger (on an easy rapid, and the passenger was experienced) because the guide kept having us go into the center of the raft instead of paddling through the rapids. I have been WWR four times before and I have been instructed to the center of the boat *once* during in a huge rapid, when someone else had fallen out, but never apart from that. The problem with going to the center is that 1) sitting in the center of the boat isnt any fun, and more importantly 2) it causes everyone's feet to get dislodged so that when you readjust yourself on the boat, you dont have proper balance.

What ended up happening is that the guy next to my boyfriend lost his balance, hit my boyfriend, and my boyfriend broke his wrist on a rock.

I understand that this is an inherently dangerous activity, but I promise, the guide's behavior was exceptionally poor since the other four boats behind and in front of us all went down the rapids normally (i.e. we were the only ones to go to the center of the boat). I would have forgiven the guide's inexperience but the owner's treatment post-injury was ridiculous. I had to rush to the hospital with my boyfriend (who spoke no Spanish) and the owner (Warner) refused to refund my boyfriend his ticket when I returned the next day. Let me restate this: 20 minutes into the trip, my boyfriend broke his wrist because of a guide's error and both of us had to rush to the hospital, and Warner refused to refund my boyfriend's $60 ticket. I am a native Spanish speaker (and Warner's English is good) so this isnt a "lost in translation" situation.

The most infuriating part is I did not ask for my ticket to be refunded or for medical expenses; I just wanted what was fair for my boyfriend. However, Warner was trying to intimidate me and said that he was a lawyer and that he knew he wasnt going to get in trouble, thus he didnt feel the need to make things right.

A company's test of ethics and customer service comes when times are difficult, so I would choose a different WWR company. The folks who sold me the ticket warned me beforehand that Wave was sketchy and I didnt listen to them (I thought they just had an alliance with the competitor, and since Wave was in Lonely Planet I didnt believe the company would be problematic). Lesson learned, especially by my boyfriend, who three months and one surgery later is still in physical therapy and does not yet have full use of his arm.

7  Thank LZ27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
waveexpedition, Owner at Wave Expeditions, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review our business. We truly value the opinions of all our customers and we apologize that we did not meet your expectations on your recent trip. Providing our guests with a safe and memorable experience is our number one priority. Whenever we have a customer whose experience is less than superior, we take that opportunity to analyze our business practices and make any necessary changes within our organization.
WAVE Expeditions prides itself on being an industry leader in safety and training standards. All of our whitewater experts are certified by international whitewater standards and are required to have a minimum of 2 years, intensive, white water training prior to working as a guide in Costa Rica. Given the inherent risks involved with the sport of white water rafting, having guides with the highest level of training helps to ensure the safest experience for all our guests
WAVE Expeditions number one priority to minimize incidents on the river and keep our guests safe. Please know that we value your feedback from your trip and will make the necessary adjustments within our organization. Please know we would like to work with you to ensure a positive outcome so please feel free to contact me

Vanessa
WAVE Expeditions Costa Rica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2013

Our family had never been river rafting before so we are all a little nervous. We went of a class 2-3. From the very start of being picked up we felt comfortable with the company that we were recommended to go with. Carlos was so fun, energetic and went over all of the safety instructions with us on the ride to the river! Our guide was Elmer and he was also great with safety instructions and made it safe and FUN for us as well!
We had a thrilling experience on the Balsa
River, feeling safe with the experienced guides. We had a snack half way with great fruit, and they also pointed out wild life to us on the second half of the trip! Extra bonus we did not expect to be so good was the lunch stop at a farm, the food was delicious and another bonus was the sugar cane demonstration! I will definitely recommend Wave Expedition for your river rafting trip as well!

Thank DonnaR1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 27, 2013

My husband liked this your more than I did. Based on my experience I would have given it 4 stars, but my husband loved it. What soured it a little bit for me was that the first half of the rafting before you get snacks is pretty much non-stop and we had to "Get down" fairly frequently. Every time we were told to "get down" I bruised my knee on the seat in front of me (the seats are inflatable, I think I was hitting a smaller area of the seat that is hard and is used to inflate the seat) and it ended up hurting quite a bit and I did have a large bruise the next day. I also didn't like that I couldn't see anything when we were told to "get down" because you have your head down, so it was always a surprise when you got drenched by a bunch of water. I know and appreciate that this was to keep us safe though so we would not fall out of the raft. I think I would prefer a bruised knee over falling out of the raft.

My husband liked the wildness of the rapids on that first half, but I ended up liking the more low-key second half of the trip better. I liked that our guide, while we were stopped once, put a bunch of leaves in our helmets, it was really cute. I wish I could see some pictures of that. My husband got to ride on the front tip of the raft at one point, so we may need to buy the pictures they took for us. He really enjoyed that.

The snacks at the midway point were great! I liked on the more low-key second half (this was the Balsa River by the way) we got to see some animals, like a sloth way high up in a tree, we got to hear some howler monkeys and near the end we saw a pair of toucans, which I found out later are kind of rare to see. After the rafting trip we got beer or water and were shuttled to a lovely organic farm and ate in their restaurant. I think that was our second best meal on the entire trip. They demonstrated how to make coffee in the traditional Costa Rican way, and then showed us how to prepare sugarcane. We got to sample sugarcane itself, fresh-squeezed sugarcane juice (much healthier tasting than you would think) and guaro, Costa Rican liquor made from sugarcane. I didn't try the guaro, I've kind of lost my taste my straight hard liquor, but my husband had some and enjoyed it.

Overall, it was an enjoyable tour and we had a fun day.

Thank dreamoftheshore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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