Being a permanent river, it can be used for white-water rafting even in dry seasons. However, the water gets high and the stream becomes extremely strong from December to April when there is a lot of rain. The difficulty level of this river is categorized into Grade II - III+, which is a grade higher than Ayung river in Bali and Saddang river in South Sulawesi. A number of waterfalls and rapids along the river add to the difficulty level and the sheer challenge of white-water rafting. Other challenges that visitors may have to face are repelling as well as lining the raft with a rope, and portaging, that is carrying the raft in case it is impossible to go through an obstacle.
Pekalen Rafting is divided into 3 (three) stages; Pekalen Atas (12 kms), Pekalen Tengah (7 kms) and Pekalen Bawah (10 kms). Pekalen Atas has the highest difficulty level and is recommended for experienced or professional white-water surfers. However, it doesn't mean that rafting in Pekalen Tengah or Pekalen Bawah is less challenging.
Pekalen Atas route reaches 12 kms and can be covered in 2-3 hours. It starts in Desa Pesawahan, Kecamatan Tiris and ends in a basecamp in Desa Condong, Kecamatan Gending. It offers a spectacular view as you struggle your way through high cliffs, rocks, rapids, and even under bat caves and beautiful waterfalls. Rowing your raft is hardly necessary as you will find as much as 55 (fifty-five) rapids, i.e.; Welcome, Batu Jenggot, Pandawa, Rajawali, Extravaganza, KPLA, Tripple Ace, The Fly Matador, Hiu, Cucak Rowo, Long Rapid, and Good Bye rapid. There is also "Inul" rapid, as you may have to shake the raft like "Inul", a famous Indonesian Dangdut singer, in order to get past.
What is special about Pekalen Atas is the view and adventure it offers. The rain forest, wildlife, and 10 (ten) beautiful waterfalls will offer breathtaking view alongside the river. You will not only enjoy the view of the waterfalls, but also feel the fresh water pouring onto you from the cliffs alongside the river as you row your raft below them. You will also go under bat caves where you will find thousands of bats hanging on the high cliffs. Listening to thousands of bats squeaking and watching them flying above will add to the elements of adventure it offers. Whitewater rafting in Pekalen river will certainly be an unforgettable river trip outing experience.
Updated: May 2nd, 2013