Ecuador is a country of immense cultural wealth and geographical diversity, unmatched in the Americas. Straddling the Andes, the country features volcanoes, fantastic animals, expanses of Amazon jungle, the Pacific Coast and the Galapagos Islands. Only half the size of France, the striking geographical and cultural contrasts found in this one small country is what makes Ecuador such a fascinating place to visit.
Juliet Kastorff and Anna Levesque are offering a unique women’s trip experience in Ecuador that combines Class III + paddling with yoga and confidence building. Together, Anna and Juliet have over 32 years of experience leading paddling adventure travel trips in Latin America with their respective companies, Girls at Play and Endless River Adventures. They are collaborating for the first time and you don’t want to miss it!
ABOUT THE PADDLING
This trip explores some of the best rivers of Ecuador and immerses you in some of the most fascinating culture found in the Americas. The network of rivers falling off either side of the Andes is remarkable, making for unlimited boating possibilities in Ecuador. Our paddling time will focus on the Quijos Basin and the Tena Region. Often winding through miles of lush, high-elevation rainforest, you will discover a feeling of remoteness that has been lost in other countries. We have created a trip itinerary for you that includes Class III whitewater that is both fun, challenging, and scenic. From the Quijos to the Misahaulli, this trip offers you the most diverse group of rivers to paddle in the Americas. You will enjoy more technical river runs that will remind you of the Lower Tellico, to big water runs that are full of big waves and open lines. Every day you will finish up a run thinking it is your favorite, only to have it beat by the next day’s run! And we supply a flexible itinerary that leaves room for changes and new opportunities.
Day One: You fly into Quito, the capital of Ecuador. A representative of ENDLESS RIVER ADVENTURES meets the group at the airport. After clearing customs and checking into the hotel, you have an opportunity to relax and get acquainted with others on the trip. Quito sits at an elevation of 9,400 feet. This is where we will spend our first two and last nights of the trip
Day Two: This is your day to get used to the elevation change and enjoy the sights of the capital of Ecuador. We take a city tour to some of the highlights of Old Town Quito and a trip to the “Mitad del Mundo”- the Middle of the World, or the equator. Plan to do some shopping today, especially if you aren’t spending any extra time in Ecuador. Late afternoon we will load up and drive to our lodge in the Quijos Valley. The drive is about three hours from Quito, over a 13,000-foot pass, to the Quijos River Valley.
Day Three-Eight: Waking up to the sound of the river and birds never seen before is part of the magic of the RioQuijos EcoLodge. Yoga with Anna get our bodies and our minds ready for paddling at our best. After rising early and eating breakfast,we will outfit our boats and head out for a great day of paddling. We will split our week between the Quijos Valley and the Tena region—a drop in elevation from 6500 feet to 1500 feet and the gateway/stepping off point to the Amazon Jungle. The scenery switches between high elevation cloud forest changes to thick, humid rain forest filled with monkeys and birds, lush tropical flowers and a slower pace of life. Over the next six days, we paddle a new river or repeat a favorite run, based on the following rivers:
The Upper Cosanga: When it is time to catch eddies and run technical moves, the upper Cosanga is a great run. We start at the town of Cosanga and eddy hop our way downstream.
The Rio Tena: A warm-water river flowing serenely above the town of Tena. It is not unusual to have a gaggle of young children cheering from the river banks.
Jatunyacu: This is the perfect run to use to get comfortable on big water—and so much fun we normally opt for a second day’s run! It is like a giant roller coaster ride through many of the wave trains. Often we will do this run twice, the second time starting further upstream to add several more rapids. By the second run down, you will be ready for a surfing safari!! We will spend as much time as we want, until everyone is surfed out. Then we head downstream. As on our many other runs, we see scenes out of National Geographic.
Lower Mishaulli: The Mishaulli has sections to offer every skill level! And for the Class III boater, this is the place to start honing your creek moves! Starting out with tight turns, the river finishes up with the perfect play hole. We often repeat this run.
Rio Quijos: The Quijos River provides multiple sections to chose from and depending on the water levels, offers big play waves and open rapids.
Day Eight: After our final run, we load up the van and head out to Quito. We make this an early day in order to spend time at the famous Pappallacta hot springs on our way back to the capital.
A final night in Quito allows us the opportunity to enjoy a last dinner together in town.
The rivers are challenging Class III runs depending on the water levels. The rivers are often remote and access off the river is limited. Paddling in Ecuador adds variables not found on “backyard runs” you are used to at home. In Ecuador, river levels can fluctuate dramatically, upping the ante considerably on the runs we do. Paddlers joining us for this trip should be in good shape and have put in paddling days that include runs similar to the Nantahala, French Broad, Section III of the Chattooga, or Brown’s Canyon of the Arkansas. Paddlers will be challenged on new, unfamiliar runs. And there is ample opportunity to work on skills.
A note about the roll: Your trip is scheduled for later in the season when many boaters have already called it a season at home. Come on this trip with confidence in your whitewater roll. If you have been having problems with your roll this past season, plan on spending a day or two at the pool before your trip. You will have a much better time!
The group size for your trip is small: a maximum of seven to eight paddlers with two guides. We will make every effort to match paddling skills in your group. We guarantee the group as a whole that if a paddler is not up to the minimum requirements for paddling the runs on the itinerary, we reserve the right to set up alternative plans off the river for him/her.
January 27 – February 4, 2017
Cost for the 9-day trip is $1845.00, based on double occupancy. If you would prefer single occupancy for the week, we are happy to accommodate you, although we cannot guarantee single occupancy every night. The price for guaranteed single occupancy will be determined.
Price includes meals, airport pick-up, transportation, kayaks, daily yoga class with Anna, guided rivers with Juliet, Anna and an ERA staff.
A $350.00 deposit is necessary to hold your space for this trip, with the full balance due no later than November 1. This includes ground transportation, guides, boat and all hotel accommodations and meals during the trip. This does not include airfare, airport taxes, miscellaneous tips and your taxi ride to the airport on your way home.
Call Endless River Adventures
You may cancel up to November 1 and receive a full refund. After November 1, money is not refunded unless someone fills your spot on the trip, at which time all money will be refunded.
Please note that ENDLESS RIVER ADVENTURES, GIRLS AT PLAY and their leaders cannot be responsible for changes or cancellations made due to extreme weather or water conditions or any other situations that may alter the trip. We recommend that you buy trip insurance when they purchase their airline tickets. And look into trip insurance if your health insurance does not cover you out of the country.
Flights should be arranged to Quito, Ecuador. To visit as a tourist, you will need a valid passport. The passport must have an expiration date of greater than six months after your return date. You will receive a migration form from the airline you fly with. Please keep this form with your passport at all times. You must have it to exit the country.
Boats are provided for each member of the group. Because of the difficulty of transporting boats, our selection is limited to the overall needs of the paddlers on the trip and the rivers paddled. Our selection is based on the more all-round boats. Every effort will be made to equip you with the boat of your choice. This is done on a first-come, first-serve basis. The equipment you need to bring is paddle, flotation bags, helmet, sprayskirt, lifejacket, throwbag, and any other gear you need to be comfortable.