One of the most favorite extreme sports is rafting. This water adventure is much loved because it pumps your adrenalin to a crazy level. The feel of panicking when hitting a massive rapids, the feel like your body is thrown away when getting through a sharp turn, and the shocking feel when your rubber boat slide down the river slope; these kinds of feeling are to be enjoyed only by the braves. And if you really like rafting, then you might want to check out this list of most challenging spots for rafting in Indonesia:


Alas River

Alas River is located in the middle of Mount Leuser National Park, Aceh Province. Access to this place is quite easy with small plane available through Alas Leuser Airport. You can also take a public bus from Medan or from Banda Aceh.

The river is quite famous as rafting track. It sometimes used for national rafting tournament. Alas River has many turns and some of them are sharp. Water debit is also quite high. There are only Grade III (Intermediate) and Grade IV (Extreme) rafting tracks on this river.

Alas River Viewed from Above (Source: Flickr. Credit: Heinrico)
Alas River Viewed from Above
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Heinrico)

Rafting on this river may bring you more than just fun in the water. The river is surrounded by a wide rainforest. Thus, you can see huge trees everywhere and even plenty of unique animals. After or before your rafting, you can even explore the forest by doing some trekking.

It is recommended to spend at least two nights on this national park. Not only because the rafting may quite tiring, but also to give you the time enough for trekking through the forest and enjoy the nature for more. Adventure packages are available from $135 for three days and two nights stay. The price includes transportation from and to Medan, meals, equipment, guide / instructor, and entry ticket to the Mount Leuser National Park.


Asahan River

Asahan River is located on Asahan Region, North Sumatra. From Polonia Airport Medan, you can take a public bus to Toba Samosir region for 4 to 5 hours. After that, get another public bus to Tangga Village. During this journey, you will pass by the famous Toba Lake. If you are not in a hurry, we would recommend you to stop by and enjoy the view for a while.

Asahan River is famous as rafting track, not only for Indonesian but also for international rafters as well. The track has been frequently used for international and national tournament. Some even say that Asahan River counts as the number three best rafting track in the world, after Zambesi River in Africa and Colorado River in the US.

Rafting in Asahan River (Source: Flickr. Credit:
Rafting in Asahan River
(Source: Flickr. Credit:

Asahan River has the tracks for Grade IV (Extreme) and Grade V (Advanced) rafting only. Some massive rapids are continuing each other which may cause exhaustion. Thus, you must prepare your physical fitness before getting down your rubber boat down this river. If you would to finish the whole track in one go, you would spend at least two days to finish it. But, the management of Asahan River has prepared several resting posts so you could stop and rest every two to four hours.

Foods and snacks are not easy to find here. Thus, you need to prepare quite lots of those before getting there. As for accommodation, you can stay in local people’s house with very cheap rate. There are no hotels yet.


Sada’an River

Sada’an River, also known as Sadang River, is located on Tana Toraja region, Southern Sulawesi. From Sultan Hassanudin International Airport, you can take a small plane to Tana Toraja for about 2 hours. You can also take a public transportation if that small flight is not available at the moment.

The river has several tracks suitable for Grade III (Intermediate), Grade IV (Extreme), and Grade V (Advance). You can get through those tracks part per part. But if you want to be extreme and finish them all in one go, then you might need to spend two days on the river to finish it. On the Grade V track, there is spot where the water flow hits a huge rock plate. This may cause your rubber boat to flip upside down.

The Rafters Are Having Fun (Source: Credit: torajacybernews)
The Rafters Are Having Fun
(Source: Credit: torajacybernews)

Sada’an River is surrounded by tropical rainforest and high cliff to enhance the natural atmosphere during your rafting. To spend the night, you can stay on “Lantang”, traditional Tana Toraja houses provided for rafters nearby the river. But if you want a more comfortable accommodation, you can check in a hotel such as Luta Resort or Piston Hotel. For easier adventure, we would recommend a rafting package for only $ 250 per person. The price includes complete rafting equipment and professional instructor.


Nimanga River

Nimanga River is located on Tembukar Village, Minahasa region, North Sulawesi. This place is only one and half hour from Manado. You can take public transportation from Manado to Tomohon for $0.4 and then continue to Sonder using another public transportation for $0.2. From Sonder, you can walk to the rafting post for a couple minute.

Renting the equipment is pretty cheap in here, even if the prices may change time to time. Normally it is around $11.25 to $22.5 per person. Nimanga River has the tracks for Grade III (Intermediate), Grade IV (Extreme), and Grade V (Advance). But the most popular one is Grade V track known as Good Bye Track. The track is 4 meters high and has the slope of 60 degrees. To finish the whole track, you would need about six to seven hours of time.

One Rapid Hits the Rafters (Source: Flickr. Credit: Antoine Hubert)
One Rapid Hits the Rafters
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Antoine Hubert)

Even with the wild rapids everywhere, the rafting track also has several spots with flat water. This gives you chances to fully enjoy the nature while regaining the energy to face the next rapids. Surrounding the river, you will see beautiful nature with trees and rocks everywhere. You can also see two waterfalls in this river; Tincep Waterfall with 70 meters of height, and Timbukar Waterfall with 90 meters of height.  Nearby the area, there is also a camping site which mostly is filled with rafters.


Mamberamo River

Based on the volume of discharge, Mamberamo River may count as the largest river in Indonesia. It also counts as the widest river in Indonesia. Mamberamo River is almost impossible to access as it is located far deep in an isolated forest nearby the Van Rees Mountain, Papua Province. The river has a high water debit. The water could flow up to 5,500 m3 per second. It also is surrounded with raw forest where wild animals may live. Rafting spot on Mamberamo River is classified as Grade 6 (Expert) track. Thus, do not bother to come unless you are absolutely great in extreme rafting.

Extreme Turns on Mamberamo River (Source: Flickr. Credit: J4Noo)
Extreme Turns on Mamberamo River
(Source: Flickr. Credit: J4Noo)

Mamberamo River has beautiful panorama as the wide forest surrounding it are still pure and raw. There are various species of unique animals here. At the forest, chances are you might even meet some primitive tribe who lives as nomadic. Due to this unique condition, Mamberamo River is sometimes called as “Indonesia’s Amazon River”.

Mamberamo River has not been very popular for rafting yet. It is probably because of the difficult access. But if you like nature and challenge, then Mamberamo River might sound very interesting to you because there is rafting spot is as extreme as Mamberamo River.


Before deciding where you want to raft, you better understand on which level of expertise you are in rafting. Rafting on the track that is above your skill may risk your life in an unwise way. Do not forget to keep your health and fitness before your adventure, especially if you plan to finish the track in one go.