kayak ecuador with small world adventures

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Ecuador Whitewater Kayaking


Kayak Ecuador in style with Small World Adventures!

It was 1993 when Larry first paddled in Ecuador, and he immediately decided this was the place to create the best possible winter kayaking vacation.  Fast forward 20 years and Larry’s dream has been realized in Small World Adventures.  Over the years, SWA has set the standard for adventure kayaking trips.  At Small World Adventures, we are dedicated to providing expert guidance and instruction on the best whitewater in Ecuador to ensure you have the kayaking vacation of a lifetime.  SWA committed to and focused on Ecuador.  We have gathered together an incredible group of guides, and we built a riverside lodge we can call home.  Our knowledge of Ecuador’s rivers—acquired through exploration, first descents, and tons of time spent paddling here—is unparalleled.  At SWA, you’ll have over 50 kayaks to choose from; and, we wrote the guidebook on Ecuador’s rivers!  In short, we combine our passion for kayaking with our intimate knowledge of Ecuador's weather and rivers to get you on the ultimate run each of your 7 days with us (yes, you'll get 7 days of kayaking in your week with us). We set the standard in adventure kayaking! 

Wally Macfarlane, one of our guests who has also done guided kayaking trips in Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nepal, Tibet, and Zambia told us,

You guys truly have set the highest bar out there--Wally

Guide Team: Our owner and guides are committed to Ecuador and committed to kayaking—we spend 4-6 months paddling in Ecuador each year, which means we intimately know each run at each of the varying water levels that we see throughout the season. This is super important since river levels in Ecuador are some of the most dynamic anywhere in the world. Larry has over 25 years of experience guiding in Ecuador alone! That’s not counting histime spent paddling in other places throughout the world. We’ve decided that Ecuador is the place we enjoy paddling the most, and these days, each of us paddles about 120 days per year on Ecuador’s rivers alone. You can be assured that we’ll know the lines on every stretch of river we do whether the water is low, medium or booming! As of 2012, SWA has a new owner/team member--Guy Erb. In addition to his many years of kayaking experience, Guy is bringing yoga to the SWA experience in Ecuador! Guy has found the combination of his 2 passions-kayaking and yoga-to be immensely helpful, and wants to share this balance with you. Tarquino brings an intimate “insiders” knowledge to the team—one that could only be gained from growing up in a place. He speaks English, Spanish and Quechua and can tell you about all the plants and animals you’ll see while paddling in Ecuador.  Liam brings an unequaled enthusiasm to our trips.  He can put a smile on anyone’s face. Using our knowledge gained over the past 2 decades, on over 18 rivers and 35 different sections at our disposal, we’ll get you on the right river for the day.  If your goal is to kayak the some of the best rivers South America has to offer, you'll love a paddling vacation to Ecuador with Small World Adventures! To read more about SWA’s staff, visit our lodge page.


eugene best week of kayaking in his life with swa in ecudor

Cabanas Tres Rios: Many guests have told us that our private riverside lodge is worth the trip alone. The lodge was designed and built by us to host our trips in a comfort and style rarely found in Ecuador.  You will enjoy eight private rooms with private baths, hot showers, drying areas for paddling gear at each cabin, a yoga hut overlooking the Quijos river, covered kayak outfitting area, bar, living room and restaurant.  All of this is set in a lush, quiet garden that backs up against the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve—you won’t have to worry about noise disrupting your sleep on our trips.  Over two hundred species of birds have been seen in the surrounding valley by kids on the piatua bridge ecuadorguests staying at CTR. There are numerous hiking opportunities from the door of your cabin if you want to do a little exploring before or after your day of paddling. But, our gardens and forests attract a large variety of humming birds and tropical species if you just want to do your bird watching from the porch with a post-boating beer in your hand!  Our chefs specialize in creating meals to satisfy hungry kayakers, and can cater to virtually any food request from vegan to gluten-free. While paddling with us, you'll enjoy meals like strawberry-stuffed, baked French Toast, Frittata (a traditional Ecuador Highlands meal that consists of slowly cooked pork in local spices and is accompanied by cheese-filled potato pancakes  ) and Coconut Curry vegetables on a bed of Quinoa (another food from the Andes).

Kayak seven days on Ecuador’s rivers We love showing our guests the culture and beauty of the Andes and Amazon basin and we are especially well know for our passion for kayaking. We offer paddling every day of your trip—that means you’ll get 7 days of paddling in your week-long vacation in Ecuador!  We guide our guests on over 35 runs on 18 different creeks and rivers in the three best paddling zones of Ecuador.  These rivers are all close together and our lodge is right in the middle of it all.  But don’t worry, we also make time for cultural excursions such as trips to local markets, evening soccer games with the locals, and Empanada stops on the way home from kayaking. 

Logistics are one of the most important elements to a smooth overseas trip and Small World Adventures has the logistics dialed!  Our guests are constantly telling us how amazed they are that we think of everything right down to the last detail.  But that’s our job!  We’ve got all the logistics covered so that all you have to do is focus on your paddling.   

Transportation: Memo Bonilla is our head driver and you’ll ride in style and comfort in his Mercedes Sprinter.  He is a very safe and conscientious driver, an avid bird watcher, a great Spanish teacher and all and all an invaluable member of the SWA team.  We’ve taken Memo rafting on many of Ecuador’s rivers which has given him valuable insights for being our driver.  He knows if the water rises, to wait at the very next access point, and he also knows how nice it is to have a beer cooler in the shuttle rig!  Before driving for us he played professional football in Ecuador and now many of our guests join him to challenge the local football team in the evening after paddling.  He also has made a commitment to improve the river accesses in the Quijos valley and you will find most put-ins and take-outs cleaner because of his weekly efforts.

Intro to creeking kayaking trip in ecuador with small world adventures

Modern Kayak Fleet is another thing that sets SWA apart.  We bring new models down each year to keep our boats fresh so you can  paddle in a boat you know or test drive some of the latest kayak models


Our specialty is leading kayaking trips of all levels—from Class I through Class V.  We lead our trips on Ecuador's best tropical whitewater, which just happens to be right in our backyard. We also offer rafting trips, or a raft/kayak combo trip so that kayaking and non-kayaking friends or family members can enjoy a vacation together.  Our trips have been written up in Kayak Session Magazine, Outside Magazine, Paddler Magazine, and Canoe and Kayak Magazine, and they continue to amaze both our new and return guests each season.  Come paddle with the foremost experts on Ecuador’s Whitewater!

We immediately fell in love with Ecuador. The whitewater, the landscape, and the people are simply amazing; we are confident you will love it too. Small World Adventures invites you to look into where you could be kayaking this winter. Take a few moments to check out our information, and you will see our level of commitment to kayaking in Ecuador, it's what we do.

Why Paddle with Small World Adventures?

testimonal about kayaking ecuador from peter


Come paddle with the experts on Ecuador's whitewater. Small World Adventures wrote the guidebook on kayaking in Ecuador!

kayakers guide to ecuador

Order your copy of the Kayaker's Guide to Ecuador

Check out our blog for the latest trip reports, and some great photos of the whitewater you can paddle here in Ecuador. And if you want more media, we have great videos of the kayaking runs Ecuador has to offer.


Small World Adventures--kayaking Ecuador | Promote Your Page Too


Ecuador Water Levels and Weather Updates | Promote Your Page Too

Browse our trips

jondachi river, ecuador
Mucha Agua Class IV+/V- Bring your boof and your elbow pads for this amazing week of Class IV+ and V boating on Ecuador's steepest creeks! We'll paddle down the shoulder of the Andes enjoying continuous boulder garden creeking with more boofs than you'll be able to count. read more

boof practice on the rio Piatua
Advanced Creeking Clinic IV+
Our Intro to Creeking course was so popular that we decided to add this Advanced Creeking Clinic to our line up. This week of boating is designed for people who have intermediate creeking skills, but are looking to hone those skills in order to be able to run the steepest creeks in their backyards. read more

boofing ecuador
Torrents Class IV The variety of rivers in the Class IV range in Ecuador will blow your mind. If the idea of hitting sweet boofs, and surfing huge waves all in the same week appeals to you, then you need to check out our Torrents trip! read more

intro to creeking boofing piatua river
Intro to Creeking Class IV- Interested in learning the intricacies of running tight, technical creeks? Join us for a week of instruction where you'll learn and practice skills such as boofing, boat scouting, river rescue and more! read more

winter whitewater kayaking ecuador
Winter Whitewater IV- Our Class IV- trip offers the perfect combination of both technical and big water runs in the Class III+ to easy Class IV range. You'll be amazed at what 7 days of paddling in Amazon Basin with Small World Adventures will do for you skills; you'll be a different paddler by the end of the week! read more

class iii whitewater ecuador
Winter Whitewater Class III On our Class III trips we give you the perfect combination of whitewater, culture, and scenery. You'll paddle through river canyons that will blow your mind; both in terms of the quality whitewater and the incomparable scenery. read more

kayaking and yoga with small world adventures










New for 2012/2013! Go With the Flow: Mind, Body, and Rivers Class III/III+
Yoga and kayaking are very complementary and we will use our time to explore that connection.  Yoga is a great tool to help you build flexibility and core strength as well as techniques to help manage stress and fear on the water. Yoga will help us develop a new, improved approach. This can be a very transformational experience as you develop your inner game on the mat andfind yourself dropping more easily into the 'zone' on the water. read more

tropical tune up learn to kayak in ecuador
Tropical Tune Up Class II What better place to learn to kayak than in Ecuador where the water and the air are WARM? We offer both beginner courses, and Class II courses, come hone your skills with Small World Adventures. read more

private instruction kayaking ecuador
Private Instruction On our private trips you'll have a maximum of 1 instructor per 2 guests (and if you want, we can do 1 on 1 to give you the most out of your week with us). This is perfect for people who have specific goals they want to reach with their kayaking. We can spend the entire week focusing on you! read more

rios escondidos the maximum in adventure travel
Rios Escondidos Class IV+/V- The maximum adventure possible in 7 days! read more

kayak the grand canyon with small world adventures

Kayak the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River with Small World Adventures Class IV
Looking for a Small World Adventure in the US? Join us for our 2014 Grand Canyon trip. Dates are August 30st-September 12th. Rafters are welcome (of course); but the trip is tailored for kayakers. We'll focus on the fun rapids and great surf waves, but will still get you on the classic side hikes. Contact our office for details.

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