Whitewater Kayaking the Best Rivers in Ecuador

Millions of years ago the Andes Mountain range formed from the tectonic shifts of the South American Plate causing towering mountains and volcanoes to reach far into the sky. In Ecuador, these peaks collect melted snow and rain runoff that become rivers that barrel and snake down through the mountainsides, forming some of the best whitewater kayaking runs in the world.

Small World Adventures

Our friends at Small World Adventures are masters of the these mountain rivers. Their guided whitewater  kayaking adventures bring you up close and personal with the forces of mother nature. With many years of experience searching for the best kayaking rivers in the Andes Mountains and Amazon Tributaries of Ecuador, their intimate knowledge of this wild terrain ensures their guests will receive the highest standard possible for whitewater kayaking trips.

Imagine the rushing torrents of water that slope over rocks and push you down the mountain past hanging cliffs, thick forests, towering boulders and an array of changing natural landscapes. Their modern kayak fleet and professional guides will provide you with a safe and exhilarating experience while you test your skills through this rough terrain.

Find trips of varied skill level and location that Small World Adventures offers HERE. 


Where You’ll Stay

Small World Adventures bases their operations out of a beautiful riverside lodge nestled in the Andes Mountains on the shores of the Quijos River. Cabañas Tres Rios accommodates up to 16 guests with a staff that provides a luxury setting. Take time to relax after an intense paddle in the yoga/beer hut or submerge yourself in a hot bath or chill with friends the hot tub. The surrounding forest provides great hiking and bird watching opportunities.lodge

The Rivers

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced kayaker, Small World Adventures has a trip for you. Get your adrenaline pumping on one of their top rivers that range from Class I up to Class V+ rapids. Below we have listed the top rivers in Ecuador that Small World Adventures offers their expertise and guidance for you to explore. Find a more detailed explanation for each river HERE.

Rio Quijos – Class III+ to Class V: This river begins as a glacier stream from the Antisana Volcano and tumbles down to become a large river in the Amazon Basin. It provides over 100 miles of top-notch whitewater rapids. Enter the river from Small World Adventures, Cabañas Tres Rios riverside lodge.

Rio Cosanga – Ecuador Class IV- to Class V: A tributary of the Rio Quijos that dawns stunning lava cliffs, rainforest, 100 foot waterfalls, and an array of tropical birds. Experience the river’s three technical runs ranging in Class.

Rio Oyacachi – Class IV to V+: This river runs through a remote valley full of constant rapids and boulder gardens. It requires a high technical level, but is one of the top favorites for its classic rapids.

Rio Misahualli – Class II+ to IV+: Here you’ll find clear and warm water full of large granite boulders that pass through the technical rapids of the upper runs. Be sure to wave to the kids swimming in the local indigenous villages that you pass by.

Rio Jondachi – Class IV/V: An amazing steep creek that passes through indigenous areas on a 4- 6 hour run through some amazing whitewater areas. The upper section is 10 km long, but contains close to 100 rapids.

Rio Piatua – Class IV: This newly discovered river contains smooth boulders, clear water and is full of boofs.

Rio Jatunyacu (or Upper Napo) – Class III: A big volume river with straight rapids that is perfect for those learning to kayak or wanting to practice their big water skills.

Rio Tena – Class II/III: Located near the town of Tena, this short run is great for new kayakers wanting to learn technical boating skills.

Rio Pusuno – Class V: This highly technical river begins in a tight bedrock canyon that consists of 5 drops that lead into a 4o-foot waterfall.

Rio Chingual – Class IV-V: These runs can be done during a variety of water levels as you pass though a maze of boulders

Rio Cofanes – Class V: This remote river earns a Class V rating and at times can be a bit scary. Regardless of the danger involved it is one of the most spectacular rivers in Ecuador with its 50 kms of narrow canyons and fluctuating rapids.

Ready for a whitewater kayaking adventure? Contact Small World Adventures to book your trip now!


Phone – 970-309-8913

Email – info@smallworldadventures.com

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