Ecuador whitewater rafting and river adventures all year round Class II - V

Ecuador Tours - Galapagos Islands travel and Amazon cruises:

Tours and travel to Ecuador and other South America countries, custom itineraries for groups and individuals, responsible tourism and soft adventures for all ages

Galapagos Islands Cruises and tours, yachts, expedition ships, hotels and dive resorts:

Tours and travel to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador with an Ecotourism company, we are experts in leading expeditions to the Galapagos Islands with naturalist guides.

South America - Central American - Travel Directory

South and Central America travel directory and index of tours, hotels, cruises, transportation, vacation planners, trip guides, tour operators for organizing your travels to Latin America.

Galapagos Islands tour and cruises travel planner:

Galapagos Islands travel planner, description of the islands, tourist activities and sites, hotels, cruises and tours around the Enchanted Isles.

Voyagers

Amazon river cruises in Ecuador on board the Manatee Amazon Explorer:

Amazon riverboat eco tours to visit indigenous communities and tribes, birdwatching and adventure in company of naturalist guides..

Ecuador travel transportation and tour guides :

Find Ecuador vans for charter and guides for hire, custom tours for groups individuals, Color Bus Line is a supplier for many international wholesalers.

Galapagos Journey Fleet

Galapagos travel & luxury cruises:

We operate the brand new (July 2006) M/C Anahi Catamaran, this boat replaces one of the older boats of our Galapagos fleet, we have 20 years experience offering unique wilderness trips, our guides are certified by the Galapagos National Park and offer passionate onsight and classroom style lectures. The M/C Anahi will offer a new level of comfort and service in the Islands with our pampered adventures.

Ecuador Mainland Hotel, Lodges & Hacienda Listing and Reservation Center

Ecuador's major cities hotel directory and booking site. From five star international brands to local hacienda lodges, there is an option for every taste. By personally inspecting each hotel and having close ties with them, here you will find the best deals for your nights in mainland Ecuador.

Online Travel Guide for Ecuador Travel

Your complete guide to the country of the four worlds. Our consultants will happily assist you from accommodations to tours, transfers to meals, and everything in between to assure you have a memorable Ecuador travel experience!

Galapagos Travel Advisor

Complete Comprehensive Galapagos Islands Travel Adviser

Find all you need to plan the perfect Galapagos Islands getaway. Here you will find a list of must see attractions, accommodations in the archipelago's main islands, cruise tours and other alternatives. This travel advisor is an invaluable tool for anyone visiting the Enchanted Islands.

Cruise & Hotel Based Galapagos Island Tour Directory

The Galapagos Islands are pretty much in any travel lover's bucket list. They appeal to nature enthusiasts, geologist fans, bird watchers, divers and pretty much any other adventurer looking for something out of the ordinary. Here you will find tours and options that can fulfill any of these people's highest expectations.

Galapagos Islands Hotel Index and Booking Site

Traditionally, the Galapagos Islands have been explored onboard cruises. Today though, it is possible to enjoy the Island's many treasures by staying in one of the many accommodations present in the archipelago's main three main islands. One of these rooms, bungalows, suites or cabins will be the perfect complement to a day filled with exploration.

Ecuador white water rafting

Ecuador white water rafting

Ecuador is a whitewater paradise. Warm waters, tropical rainforest and dozens of accessible rivers concentrated in such a small area have made the country a 'hotspot' for rafters and kayakers the world over.

T he majority of Ecuador's whitewater rivers share a number of characteristics. Plunging off the Andes the upper sections are very steep creeks offering, if they're runnable at all, serious technical grade V, suitable for expert kayakers only. As the creeks join on the lower slopes they form rivers navigable by both raft and kayak (ie less steep, more volume). Some of these rivers offer up to 100 km of continuous grade III-IV whitewater, before flattening out to rush towards the Pacific Ocean on one side of the ranges or deep into the Amazon Basin on the other.

Blanco Valley

Owing to their proximity to Quito, the Blanco river and its tributaries are the most frequently run in Ecuador. There is almost 200 km of raftable whitewater in the Blanco valley, with the Toachi/Blanco combination and the Upper Blanco being the most popular day trips. The former starts as a technical grade III-IV run, including the infamous rapids of the El Sapo canyon, before joining the Blanco where big waves abound (year round). The latter is most probably the world's longest day trip - 47 km of non-stop grade III-IV rapids in a little over four hours on the river (February-June only). Family trips are also offered on the Caoni (II-III) and Mulate (III) rivers.

In addition to those already mentioned, kayakers have a number of other possibilities to choose from depending on the time of year and their skills and experience. The Mindo (III-IV), Saloya (IV-V), Pachejal (III-IV), Upper Caoni (IV), Pilaton (IV-V), Damas (IV-V) and Upper Toachi (IV-V) are options.

Quijos Valley

The waters of the Quijos river and its tributaries are a whitewater playground. Within a 30 km radius of the town of El Chaco you'll find everything from steep, technical grade V creek runs to big volume, roller coaster grade III and IV. The Quijos (IV-V) has quickly earned the reputation as a classic for rafting and kayaking boasting challenging whitewater and spectacular canyon scenery. Other popular kayaking runs can be found on the Papallacta (V), Cosanga (III-IV) and Oyacachi (IV) tributaries. At the end of the upper section the collected waters of the Quijos catchment plunge dramatically over San Rafael Falls, which at 145 m is the highest waterfall in Ecuador. Access to the Quijos valley is generally easy as it forms the main corridor from Quito down into the jungle. The most popular put ins and take outs are accessible by road.

The best time to dip your paddle depends on how hard you want to push yourself. The rainy season generally runs from March to September so at this time you can expect high flows and truly continuous whitewater (for expert kayakers only). The rest of the year, the dry season, is when commercial rafting and kayaking trips are offered. During these months there's still plenty of action and water and air temperatures are more comfortable.

Napo valley

In the jungle surrounding Tena, the Napo river and its tributaries offer a tremendous amount of whitewater in a small area. It's very easy to spend a week based here and paddle a different river every day. The grade III Upper Napo or Jatunyacu, the most popular rafting trip, is runnable year round. While the gem of this region, the Misahuallí (IV), is only rafted during the drier months from October to March. This river passes through pristine jungle in a remote canyon, the highlight being the heart-stopping portage around Casanova Falls. Rafting trips are run on the Napo and Misahualli rivers by our alliance partner Ríos Ecuador.
Additional kayaking options include various sections of the Misahualli, Jondachi, Anzu and Hollín rivers. Difficulty is very much water level dependent but most are grade IV or V when they have sufficient water to paddle.


Upano Valley

The vertical walls of the Namangosa Gorge are covered by a thick layer of primary rainforest broken only by the waters spilling spectacularly off the lip of the gorge.

Best known for the Namangosa Gorge in which dozens of waterfalls plummet up to 100 m into the river, to date this spectacle has been witnessed by few river runners. While the gorge is undoubtedly the highlight, what makes a journey down the Upano special is witnessing the changing character of an Amazonian river. Trickling from a string of mountain lakes the Upano quickly gathers force, carving a path southward through the province of Morona Santiago. As it rushes past Macas it is shallow and braided. Picking a route from the myriad channels is a real challenge; make the wrong choice and an unscheduled portage will result.

The pace steadily increases until the river plunges into the magnificent Namangosa Gorge. Some falls cascade down staggered cliffs while others freefall into the jungle below. This 'Lost World' atmosphere is made even more daunting by the seething rapids below. The rapids are big class IV with lots of funny water including raft-flipping boils and kayak(er)-swallowing eddylines.

Once out of the gorge, the river broadens and deepens to become a calm but powerful giant on its way to meet the mighty Amazon.

The rafting trips start south of Macas. From here to the end of the gorge is about 90 km and takes three to four days. Recommended months are October to February. During the rest of the year the river can flood unexpectedly.