Be ready for pickup at your San Jose hotel at 8:30am. Bring a backpack and some toiletries for the day; storage is available above your seat.
Watch out the window as you pass by stands of papaya and yucca; make a rest stop to stretch your legs and see some local iguanas. Arrive at the launch spot for your river rafting adventure, meet your guides and get a basic orientation. Learn some rafting commands and get outfitted with a life vest and helmet.
Set out onto the Balsa River, passing over rapids such as 'Dredges' and 'Magnetic Rock'. During the 2-hour journey, watch for sloths, toucans, and monkeys. Stop for a swim and a snack of some local tropical fruit.
Arrive at a typical Costa Rican country estate for lunch, then depart for Arenal, arriving between 4pm and 4:30pm.