During our trip to Ecuador we spent one day white water rafting the Amazon River basin outside Tena, Ecuador.
Our tour was pre-arranged by the local guides and the rafting company, Rios Ecuador, they picked was fantastic. We enjoyed a day rafting the Jatunyacu River on class 3 rapids. Our group was large, so they split us into an experienced and beginner group. Both our groups rafted the same river, but our group did more difficult lines.
The day of the tour
The tour company picked us up from our hotel and we arrived on the Jatunyacu River around 8:30am. The drive to the put in location was about 40 minutes over mostly-dirt roads.
After a safety introduction and gear fitting, we hiked down the riverbank to the rumbling water below. In addition to the rafting guides, we also had someone in a kayak to help people that fell out and to take pictures. After a spectacular launch off a cliff in his kayak, we got in our rafts for the white water that awaited us.
Around noon we stopped for lunch on the beach of a pretty little camp. Lunch was provided on this stop by our guides. We spent time playing games and looking at local crafts for sale. After lunch and some more pictures, we continued down the river. The trip ended just outside Tena around 4pm.
The pace of the river was perfect; we had fairly constant rapids with short breaks on flat water to catch our breath. I don’t know if the classification system is different than at home, but the rapids were more exciting than I expected. We even flipped quiet spectacularly once, although the guides did a good job of avoiding these areas with the raft of beginner paddlers.
Our guides also made an effort to keep the trip interesting. They were professional when needed, but also made the experience fun with a variety of activities. I was lucky to play rodeo, where I sat facing out on the front of the raft while they took us through rapids. It was fun trying to stay on! They also stopped to let us swing off “tarzan vines” on the side of the river and jump off of large rocks into the rapids.
If you are doing this trip remember to bring sunscreen AND long active clothing. I am glad I had long sleeves to prevent sunburn, but also to stop a chill after being wet for several hours.
Overall, I highly recommend this tour!
Check out our other adventures in Ecuador on the Ecuador travel page.