River boarding?

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11 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Anybody done river boarding in Jamaica? Marks Tours offers a river boarding adventure that looks like wicked fun for a family with active teens, but I also want to make sure it's not too intense/dangerous. We are a family of fit mid-40's parents with a 15 yr boy and 12 yr. girl.
Roswell, GA
67 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Would love to know more about this if anyone has done it. Looks like a lot of fun!
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89 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
We went on the Braco Adventure Tour, Karandas Tours [[email protected]]River Boarding on the Rio Bueno on March 29, 2012. My 2 sons , ages 13 and 16, and I went on the excursion. The cost was $65 per person and we were picked up in front of the cruise terminal at Falmouth, Jamaica. We were picked up, along with another family of 4, in a nice, new van. The driver was very nice and gave us information about Jamaica and the native plants and customs. The van ride was approximately 25 minutes. We arrived at a small, but nice, building adjacent to Rio Bueno. There are bathrooms and a changing area available. When we arrived we were given the opportunity to stay on the river boarding excursion or change to whitewater rafting or kayaking, at no additional charge.

The family of 4 that rode in the van with us were originally scheduled to go whitewater rafting. The father, and his teenaged daughter, decided to change to river boarding. The mother and 10 year old son decided to change to kayaking. The guides were fine with any changes that we made. They suited us up with the appropriate gear and then we had our photos taken. We were escorted down a path of approximately 1/4 mile that ran alongside the Rio Bueno. We were given instructions on river boarding and were led into the river. It was not difficult. The river boarding excursion had approximately 12 people with ages ranging from 10 years old to 55 years old. Everyone did very well. The guides were very helpful and patient. The river had a steady current and we had 3 or 4 mild rapids. There was one larger rapid, maybe a class 1 to 2 but nothing too difficult. Everyone negotiated the rapids without difficulty. Photos of people negotiating the rapids were taken by a photographer who followed along the route. About halfway through there was a larger water hole where we pulled out of the river. Everyone was given the opportunity to swing from a rope, attached to a large tree, and swing out over the water hole dropping into the water.

The river boarding was one of our favorite parts of our trip. It was not boring and it was something we had never done before. My teenaged sons enjoyed the fact that the water was not too cold and the rapids were a little bit challenging. The father with the teenaged daughter was glad that they had changed from the white water rafting to the river boarding. The white water rafting was fairly calm, the daughter wanted something that was a bit more exciting than the whitewater rafting.

Near the area where the river opens into the ocean there is a small sandbar. At the sandbar we got out of the water and waited for a 9 person raft to pick us up. Two rafts, pulled by a small boat, arrived to pick us up. They ferried us out the mouth of the river and into the open ocean. It was approx. 10 minutes before we arrived at a pretty white sand beach. Our original van and van driver was waiting for us at the beach. We could have stayed at the beach for 30 minutes or more. There was a place to purchase the photographs, on CD, for $30. You could also buy one photo for $10. When we were ready to leave our van driver drove us back to the port at Falmouth. The entire excursion was approximately 3 hours. The actual time riverboarding on Rio Bueno was about 90 minutes.

We enjoyed the riverboarding and would do it again. One of the families that went white water rafting lost some of their identification cards. Apparently they were found later.
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