Amazon River Rafting, 3 Days
Activities: Whitewater Rafting, Hiking, Bird Watching, Swimming, Cultural Encounters, and Hot Springs.
Amazon River Rafting, 3 Days
A world class Amazon rafting adventure that runs through two of Ecuador´s very best one-day river runs. The Jatunyacu is a classic descent through breathtaking jungle scenery with Kichwa Indian families settled along its shores. The Jondachi – Hollin cuts through a remote and pristine jungle canyon filled with crystal clear waterfalls. Evenings are to relax in a quality jungle lodge among the serenading rainforest creatures.
- Raft two of Ecuador’s best one-day river runs with exciting class III-IV rapids.
- Pass through spectacular jungle scenery in nature reserves and national parks.
- Explore caves and beautiful rock formations, swim in natural river pools.
- Relax and rejuvenate in the mineral-rich, curative Papallacta hot springs.
- Discover the spiritual world of the Kichwa Indians.
- Experienced rafting guides make your adventure safe and fun.
DAY 1: RIVER POOLS AND JATUNYACU RIVER RAFTING (Class III+)
DAY 2: RIVER CAVE AND JONDACHI-HOLLIN RIVER RAFTING (Class III – IV)
DAY 3: KICHWA CULTURAL EXCHANGE AND HOT SPRINGS
DAY 1: RIVER POOLS AND JATUNYACU RIVER RAFTING Our journey begins heading east from Quito through the Inter-Andean valley, then gaining elevation until we reach the continental divide at 4,100 meters of altitude. Here we begin a scenic descent into the Amazon Basin. We enjoy beautiful scenery along the entire ride, from highland paramo to lush rainforest. We reach our put-in just as we enter the Llanganates National Park. Before we start our rafting adventure, we set off on a short hike through the jungle to a nearby group of naturally-formed river pools, where we jump, slide, and swim around incredible rock formations, helping us get comfortable in the water before rafting.
We return to the put-in, and after a brief instructional session, head for the rapids. The Jatunyacu, which means “Big Water” in Kichwa, is considered one of Ecuador’s best one-day river runs. It has lots of big waves and fun features, and offers the perfect balance of challenge and accessibility for the novice rafter. The river is surrounded by spectacular jungle scenery, birdlife, and Kichwa families that live along the shores in small bamboo and thatch
houses. After an exciting first run, we head to our riverfront jungle lodge, where we enjoy a gourmet dinner and a relaxing evening amidst the jungle sounds. (L, D)
DAY 2: RIVER CAVE AND JONDACHI-HOLLIN RIVER RAFTING This morning, we drive toward the Jondachi River to experience Ecuador’s newest whitewater attraction. Today’s run starts with a technical section of the Jondachi, which eventually merges with the Hollin and transforms into a high-volume river with seriously big waves. We hike for 30 minute to access the river. Before boarding our rafts, we visit a secluded river cave nearby, where we plunge into deep pools and enjoy the amazing scenery of this hidden spot. We return to the put-in to begin an epic 38 km run through a pristine jungle canyon.
The Jondachi section is tight and technical, requiring careful maneuvering between granite boulders. Once the Jondachi joins the Hollin, water volume increases significantly, creating big waves and demanding a more aggressive paddling style. The high canyon walls that frame the river are covered in lush rainforest and several picturesque waterfalls. As we paddle, we can see kingfishers, egrets, yellow-rumped caciques, and brilliant blue and green tangaras. Above the canyon, we see several wooden foot bridges built by the Kichwa people to access their deep jungle territories. We return to our jungle lodge for another serene evening. (B, L, D)
DAY 3: KICHWA CULTURAL EXCHANGE AND HOT SPRINGS Today we begin our return trip back through the Andes, with a pair of fun stops along the way. Before leaving the Amazon, we stop to visit the Waira Churis (“Wind Dancers”), an extended Kichwa family who express their culture’s symbiosis with the rainforest through traditional song and dance. Many of their songs are played with traditional instruments made from jungle animals and plants.
After our visit, we continue up into the Andes, enjoying views of lush tropical valleys and waterfalls. Our next stop is the Termas de Papallacta Spa and Resort, where we relax in thermal pools fed with mineral-rich water from the nearby volcanic hot springs. The resort is surrounded by mountainous cloud forest scenery. We are also happy to arrange other spa services, including massages, aromatherapy, and mud treatments. After a relaxing afternoon, we head back to Quito in the early evening. (B, L)
Accommodations:Riverfront Jungle Lodge.
INCLUDED: Private ground transportation, rafting and related safety equipment, jungle lodge accommodations, all meals as indicated, and professional certified rafting and nature guide(s).
NOT INCLUDED: Hotel and restaurant beverages, tips or gratuities.
TRAVEL TIME:1 to 4 hours per Day
RAFTING TIME:3 to 5 hours daily depending on water level
SEASON:All year except June
ALTITUDE:1,600 to 2,300 feet (500 to 700 meters)
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE – CLOUD FOREST:DAY 60-86ºF / 16-30ºC
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE – AMAZON:DAY 68-95ºF / 20-35ºC, NIGHT 64-71ºF / 18-22ºC
SUGGESTED ITEMS TO PACK:water sandals, flashlight, sunblock, bathing suit, and mosquito repellent
WHITEWATER CLASSIFICATION:Class I – easy, Class II – novice, Class III – intermediate, Class IV – advanced, Class V – expert