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Kayaking Trips


Small World Adventures can run any trip anytime (space available), so if you don’t see something that matches your schedule or requirements then contact us.  SWA also specializes in customs trips.  If you want to tailor a special trip to your group’s needs, we can do it.  This is a great idea for special birthdays, anniversaries, or friends’ reunions.  A minimum of 6 people is required for a custom trip, 12 people is the minimum to buy out an entire week (lodge, vans, guides, everything). Contact our office for details.  Kayaker on shore watching kayak in difficult rapid.

Tropical Tune-Up Class II/III

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Trip Details

Laughing Ecuadorian girls hanging on back of kayakEcuador is the perfect setting to either learn to kayak or refine your skills while getting started in the sport. The warm water, warm air temperature and abundance of Class I, II, and III rivers in the tropical Napo Valley provide the ideal conditions for aspiring kayakers. SWA instructors adapt our teaching format to each student’s needs and abilities to be sure they learn not only the basics of kayaking, but also advance as far as possible throughout the week. The difficulty of these courses is determined by the first people to sign up, and can vary from a group who has never kayaked before, to a crew of Class II paddlers looking to take their paddling to the next level. Few other beginner courses will introduce you to both large and small volume rivers, as well as explain and practice specific paddling techniques and safety measures unique to each type of paddling. On this trip, expect to log some serious river hours, and still have some time leftover for rainforest hikes, cultural excursions, monkey watching, and other unique-to-the-tropics activities.

Sample Itinerary

A woman kayak surfing a wave.Our Tropical Tune-up trip is designed for the inspired beginner kayaker. We know that it’s hard to sit the winter out when you are just learning how to kayak, so we invite you down to our tropical paradise to keep working on your skills. Although Ecuador has a reputation for being home to hard rivers, it has a lot of Class I, Class II, and Class III runs as well. The warm water and warm air create the perfect setting for learning new kayaking skills!

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1: Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the. new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we arrive at Cabanas Tres Rios (Small World’s private riverside lodge) we will outfit our kayaks, enjoy the first of many excellent meals and head to the river. We usually spend this day in a quiet area on the river learning or reviewing the basic kayak strokes and maneuvers and getting used to our boats. We’ll stay at CTR tonight.

Day 3: After driving to the lower elevation of the Napo Valley we run a section of the Middle Misahualli. It’s a low volume run which is perfect to practice the building blocks of kayaking—the eddy turn and ferry. After paddling we stay at a riverside hotel in the jungle town of Tena.

Day 4, 5 & 6: We expand the list of maneuvers we practice such as the roll, river reading, rapid running and surfing. Some of the runs we may paddle are the Anzu, Napo, Tena, and Jatunyacu. After paddling on Day 6 we drive back to the Quijos Valley and stay at CTR.

Day 7: Today we will kayak a short section on the Rio Salado and then continue into the Rio Quijos. After paddling we will take a short hike to a beautiful nearby waterfall. We spend the evening at CTR enjoying another of CTR’s famous meals.

Day 8: After a short morning paddle on the Quijos, we head back to Quito, hoping to arrive to the airport area by around 5pm.  Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

Right for me?

Which Tropical Tune-up Trip is right for me? If you have NEVER paddled before, you will want to sign up for our Class I/II Tropical Tune-up. If you have perhaps taken a few kayaking courses, have learned how to roll, and are comfortable on your home Class II and II+ rivers, our Class II/III Tropical Tune-up is for you. Rivers you should be comfortable on before joining our Class II/III trip would include the Lower Yough in PA, The Nantahala Power Plant to Wesser in NC, Upper Green in SC, Coloma to Greenwood on the South American in CA, and the Arkansas River Rincon to Pinnacle Rock in CO. Feel free to contact our office and talk with us about which trip is right for you. info@smallworldadventures.com 970-309-8913

Winter Whitewater Class III and IV-

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Trip Details

Kayakers following guide down Pia TuaMany people have the misconception that Ecuador is only for Class IV or better kayakers, but they are wrong! There are tons of great Class III and IV- rivers in Ecuador, and Small World knows where to find them. Our Winter Whitewater Class III trip is an ideal winter vacation for intermediate paddlers who are excited about kayaking and don’t want their Class III skills to get rusty over the long winter months. Our Class III trips include a combination of big water runs and some low volume rivers where paddlers will get an introduction to creeking. The emphasis of these trips is refining solid Class III river running skills. If people want, we are happy to help you work on playboating moves, which will only make your overall paddling stronger. Our Winter Whitewater Class IV- trip will follow a somewhat similar itinerary to our WW Class III trip, but will step it up just a notch. Big water play runs, and technical rivers abound in the IV- range in Ecuador giving us many great runs to choose from. For boaters out there who are super comfortable on their local Class III and IV- runs, a week of IV- runs in the middle of winter is an ideal way to keep your skills sharp, while advancing certain aspects of your paddling in anticipation of the upcoming boating season.

SEE THAT MORPHO BUTTERFLY? asks our guide, Don Beveridge, guide at Ecuadorian kayak outfitter Small World Adventures. “Line up right below it, heading right.” We’ve already followed ducks over drops and used parrots as reference points in the jade-tongued rapids of the Lower Misahualli, an Amazon tributary five hours southeast of Quito, so keying on the iridescent insect comes easy. And alongside Beveridge, 41, who authored The Kayaker’s Guide to Ecuador, so do the rapids. Indeed, the secret to exploring the world’s exotic river canyons isn’t a Class V boof stroke; it’s going with a ringer. And with many of the world’s best kayakers supporting their habit by guiding, more foreign territory is becoming accessible to intermediate paddlers every year. – Outside Magazine

Feel free to contact our office and talk with us about which trip is right for you. info@smallworldadventures.com 970-309-8913

Sample Itinerary  WW Class III

A kayaker lines up his boat to run a rapidA few years ago we divided our Winter Whitewater trips into a Class III trip and a Class IV- trip to ensure that people were getting on the right runs for their ability level. On our Class III Winter Whitewater Trip you can expect to run some of Ecuador’s best Class III and even Class III+ runs. The trip will focus on river running, but we will also throw in a little bit of play boating and creeking to spice things up. What could be better than a week of Class III in a tropical paradise?

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1: Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we arrive at Cabanas Tres Rios (Small World’s private riverside lodge) we will outfit our kayaks, enjoy the first of many excellent meals and head to the river. We usually start right out front of the cabins to get used to our boats and later head downstream for the first half of the Pica Piedra run.

Day 3: We get to paddle two technical rivers today! In the morning we will run a section of the Upper Cosanga and then travel to the neighboring Napo Valley. For our afternoon run we will paddle part of the Middle Misahualli where the water is even warmer! We’ll stay at another riverside hotel right in the town of Tena so there is ample opportunity to experience everyday Ecuadorian life.

Day 4: Today we are off to the Rio Anzu for the day. This is a medium volume pool drop river that almost always serves up some fun surfing. On the way back to Tena we will take a side trip to the historic town of Puerto Misahualli where you can take photos of moneys in the trees, shop for some local handicrafts and find a cold bottle of Pilsner in the bar overlooking the park.

Day 5: Big water pool drop on the Rio Jatunyacu and a short hike up an incredible jungle slot canyon are on the menu for today’s adventure. We should be back in town in time to explore the nature preserve right across the river from the hotel before happy hour on the patio overlooking the river.

Day 6: We head back to CTR and the Rio Quijos for more great meals and another run either on the full Pica Piedra section or the lower half of El Chaco Gorge.

Day 7: Today is graduation day. Plan on a full day of pool drop paddling on the Grand Canyon of the Quijos. This run is very remote and has beautiful waterfalls spilling into the river, not to mention great rapids. After paddling we will again enjoy the evening at CTR.

Day 8: After a short morning paddle on the Quijos, we head back to Quito, hoping to arrive to the airport area by around 5pm.  Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

Sample Itinerary Winter Whitewater IV-

A kayaker with a football style facemask boofs a drop.This trip combines small volume technical creeking and big water play runs to give you a sample of Ecuador’s best. A few years ago we divided our Winter Whitewater trips into a Class III trip and a Class IV- trip to ensure that people were getting on the right runs for their ability level. For the IV- trip, we are focusing on paddlers with great foundational skills, but who are not yet comfortable on solid Class IV. On this trip, you should expect great variety in runs–a little play boating, a little river running, a little creeking, and whole lot of fun. Sample Itinerary

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1: Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we arrive at Cabanas Tres Rios (Small World’s private riverside lodge) we will outfit our kayaks, enjoy the first of many excellent meals and head to the river. We usually start right out front of the cabins to get used to our boats and later head downstream for the first half of the Pica Piedra run.

Day 3: We spend all day on the lower Quijos running drop pool rapids in some of the best rainforest accessible to kayakers. Waterfalls abound on the jungle-covered cliffs with little evidence of human impact in this spectacular gorge.

Day 4: After traveling to the neighboring Napo Valley we paddle the Upper Misahualli, a delightful technical run. We’ll stay at another riverside hotel right in the town of Tena so there is ample opportunity for interaction with, or observation of, Ecuadorian life.

Day 5: Big water play on the Rio Jatunyacu and a stop at a jungle tributary swimming hole and slot canyon. After paddling we visit Puerto Misahualli where we can expect to see monkeys playing in the trees, and where we can shop for local handicrafts.

Day 6: After paddling the remote full day lower section of the Rio Jondachi we will return to our Tena hotel.

Day 7: Paddle the middle section on the beautiful Rio Cosanga on our way back to Small World’s riverside lodge—Cabanas Tres Rios.

Day 8: After a morning paddle on the Quijos we head back to Quito, hoping to arrive to the airport area by around 5pm.  Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

Right for me?

Which Winter Whitewater Trip is right for me? For either trip (Class III or IV-) you should have a good whitewater roll. If you are thinking of the Class III trip, you should be fairly comfortable on your home Class III runs—this means you wouldn’t mind leading first timers down these runs. Good examples would be the Chili Bar run on the South Fork American River in CA, the Fractions or Brown’s Canyon on the Arkansas River in CO, paddlers should be very comfortable on the Dart loop when water levels are well onto the slab in the UK. For our Class IV- trip you should again have a solid whitewater roll, and be comfortable leading and playing in your local class IV- and even some familiar Class IV runs. Good examples would be the Numbers on the Arkansas River at low flows in CO, the Lower Gauley in WV, Chattooga Section IV at flows above 1.4 in GA, the Nolichucky in NC, the Tieton in WA, the Canyon run on the S. Fork Payette in ID, and Chamberlain Falls on the N. Fork American in CA.
We find that most people honestly and realistically evaluate their skills. We choose rivers based on the ability level of the group and the trip signed up for. If an individual has overstated their skills and cannot safely run these rivers, we may have to ask them to sit out a day and enjoy some dry land activities rather than holding back the entire group. And, a note on your whitewater roll: If you aren’t nailing your combat roll in the rivers, you may be asked to sit out for certain runs on your trip, so make sure your roll is good and reliable when you come down to Ecuador! All of our paddlers who go to a few pool sessions before their trip find that it helps them immensely. Even if you have a “bomber roll” hitting the pool before your trip will just remind those muscles of what they need to do while you are enjoying Ecuador’s best rivers.

Pilates for Paddlers Class III+

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Trip Details

Join SWA for an awesome week of world class kayaking and pilates instruction. Lisa Marie, Pilates Instructor and Wellness coach, and Devon Barker-Hicks, ACA certified kayak instructor, are teaming up with Small World Adventures (SWA) to offer a fun filled Wellness River Retreat in Ecuador. By combining the beauty of the river and the movement of Pilates this retreat will offer not just an adventure but an awareness of how the river moves similarly to our movements. Lisa Marie has been teaching Pilates for over 10 years and also offers a stretch/exercise repertoire called Pilates for Paddlers. Devon will incorporate the Pilates movements into daily paddling. There will also be time to work on your paddling goals. Each morning will begin with a Pilates session before we go play on the water. Our time on the water will be a great opportunity to enjoy Ecuador rivers,  work on your specific goals, and strengthening your paddling. Devon is excited to return for her third trip to Ecuador and her second trip with SWA! Please see www.pilateshut.com for more information on Lisa Marie and her teaching. Join us in Ecuador for a fun filled adventure with Lisa and Devon’s Pilates for Paddlers week with Small World Adventures.

Sample Itinerary

Our Pilates for Paddlers trip was designed by Lisa Marie and Devon for the inspired intermediate kayaker who knows the importance of taking care of their body. On this trip you’ll find the perfect combination of hours logged on the river and body work to go along with your paddling regime.

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1: Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the. new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we arrive at Cabanas Tres Rios (Small World’s private riverside lodge) we will outfit our kayaks, enjoy the first of many excellent meals and head to the river. After a warm up afternoon of paddling, we’ll do an evening Pilates session. We’ll stay at CTR tonight.

Day 3: Have breakfast, enjoy an hour-long Pilates session, then head to the Upper Cosanga for a day of paddling.

Day 4: Wake up, do Pilates, have breakfast.  Then we’ll head over to the Napo Valley and paddle the big water Jatunyacu.  Sleep at a riverside hotel in Tena.

Day 5: We have a long day on the river today so we’ll skip the  morning Pilates session and head straight to the Lower Jondachi!  This iconic day requires a 30 minute jungle hike in (don’t worry, porters carry our boats), then 3 hours of paddling on a beautiful Class III+ creek, followed by 2 hours of big water Class III/IV after we hit the confluence with the Hollin River.  If you still have energy when we get back to the hotel in Tena, we’ll do some pilates!

Day 6: Wake up, do pilates, have breakfast and kayak the fun, technical Upper Misahualli on our way back to the Quijos Valley

Day 7: Wake up, do Pilates, go kayaking!  We’ll paddle the last mile of the technical Oyacachi into the big water Bom Bon section of the Quijos.

Day 8: After a morning pilates session and a short morning paddle on the Quijos, we head back to Quito, hoping to arrive to the airport area by around 5pm.  Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

Right for me?

Is the Pilates for Paddlers trip right for me? You should be fairly comfortable on your home Class III and III+ runs—this means you wouldn’t mind leading first timers down these runs. Good examples would be the Chili Bar run on the South Fork American River in CA, The Canyon of the S. Fork Payette in ID at low water.  the Fractions or Brown’s Canyon on the Arkansas River in CO, paddlers should be very comfortable on the Dart loop when water levels are well onto the slab in the UK.  We find that most people honestly and realistically evaluate their skills. We choose rivers based on the ability level of the group and the trip signed up for. If an individual has overstated their skills and cannot safely run these rivers, we may have to ask them to sit out a day and enjoy some dry land activities rather than holding back the entire group. And, a note on your whitewater roll: If you aren’t nailing your combat roll in the rivers, you may be asked to sit out for certain runs on your trip, so make sure your roll is good and reliable when you come down to Ecuador! All of our paddlers who go to a few pool sessions before their trip find that it helps them immensely. Even if you have a “bomber roll” hitting the pool before your trip will just remind those muscles of what they need to do while you are enjoying Ecuador’s best rivers.

Intro to Creeking Class IV- Instructional

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Trip Details

A brightly dressed boater boofs a great drop.Have you wanted to step up to some fun new local creeks, but maybe you are not sure you have the requisite skills for technical runs?  Here is a great opportunity to learn—and then spend a week practicing—your boof, eddy hopping, boat scouting, river signals, and how to safely boat a creek with your buddies.  Ecuador is a wonderful place to learn these skills with great, continuous class III to IV creeks and technical rivers.  (Just a disclaimer: this week is not about running waterfalls, but we will do more boofs than you’ll be able to count).  We will spend 7 days on some of Ecuador’s most technical runs, where you will learn and refine both basic and advanced creeking skills. We will hold a couple of evening “classroom” sessions where we’ll discuss skills, safety, technique, and “creeking” in general. But don’t worry, class will be over in time each night to enjoy gourmet meals and Ecuadorian night life. We also offer harder creeking runs for those of you with more advanced skills, check out our Torrents, Advanced Creeking Clinic Class IV+, or Mucha Agua trips.

Sample Itinerary

red boat boofing.Throughout the week, we’ll work on all the essential skills you’ll need to become confident on technical creek runs. Our goal by the end of the week is to have you boat scouting drops, then nailing the boofs once you find the line. If you’ve been wanting to work on your creeking skills, this is the trip for you! Sample Itinerary

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1:  Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we get to Cabanas Tres Rios we will outfit our kayaks, enjoy the first of many excellent meals and head to the river. Kayak outfitting will include a brief talk about creek boat selection. Warm up and skill review on the Rio Quijos, Pica Piedra or Lower El Chaco sections. These sections are beautiful mid volume runs perfect to get the rust off your paddling.

Day 3: After a short dry land discussion on creeking signals, boat scouting and “flow” (what we call running a technical river in a small group while supporting each other) we will paddle the upper Cosanga, practicing technical river reading, eddy hoping, boat scouting, and other basic creeking skills.

Day 4: After traveling to the neighboring Napo Valley we paddle the Upper Misahualli, a delightful technical run, where the emphasis will be boofing. We will also cover scouting–what to look for and tools to help you make the decision to run or not–judgement, self-awareness, group-awareness and self-evaluation.

Day 5: We will paddle the Lower Jondachi where we will work on flow, river leading, scouting and decision making–all while running one of the prettiest rainforest rivers anywhere in the world. Today, we will also work on general paddling technique fine tuning your paddle strokes to be efficient and powerful at the same time.

Day 6: We’ll either paddle the Piatua or Upper Mishualli again, adding in river rescue plus putting all the week’s skills together on an incredible warm-water creek.

Day 7: Middle Cosanga today is full of tight moves where we will use all the skills we have been practicing.

Day 8: After a morning paddle on the Quijos we head back to Quito, hoping to arrive to the airport area by around 5pm.  Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

Right for me?

Is the Intro to Creeking trip right for me?

For our Class IV- intro to creeking trip you should have a Solid Whitewater Roll, and be comfortable leading and playing in your local class III and IV- runs. Good examples would be Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River at medium to high flows in CO, the Lower Gauley in WV, the Green River Gorge in WA, Cheoah in NC, Chattooga Section IV at flows above 1.4 in GA, the Canyon run on the S. Fork Payette in ID, and Chamberlain Falls on the N. Fork American in CA.  You do not need previous creeking experience but should have good class IV- river running skills.  Normally we want people to arrive with experience on similar runs to what we plan on paddling, but this week has an instruction focus so you don’t need to already be a good creeker, just have a desire to learn and practice attitude.

We find that most people honestly and realistically evaluate their skills. We choose rivers based on the ability level of the group and the trip signed up for. If an individual has overstated their skills and cannot safely run these rivers, we may have to ask them to sit out a day and enjoy some dry land activities rather than holding back the entire group. And, a note on your whitewater roll: If you aren’t nailing your combat roll in the rivers, you may be asked to sit out for certain runs on your trip, so make sure your roll is good and reliable when you come down to Ecuador! All of our paddlers who go to a few pool sessions before their trip find that it helps them immensely. Even if you have a “bomber roll” hitting the pool before your trip will just remind those muscles of what they need to do while you are enjoying Ecuador’s best rivers.

Torrents Class IV – Our Signature Trip

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Trip Details

Willie winds up on the Mishuali!If you enjoy nailing amazing boofs and surfing huge waves all in the same week, then the Torrents trip is for you! This trip is our most popular by far, and for good reason. Variety is what this trip is all about. You will challenge yourself on steep, continuous, technical creeks pouring off the Andes mountains, as well as on large volume, drop pool Amazonian tributaries. At this level of kayaking, there are an astonishing number of world-class rivers to choose from, so don’t be surprised if this is the best week of paddling of your life.

Sample Itinerary

Variety is what this, our most popular trip, is all about. You will challenge yourself mostly on steep technical creeks but we throw in a couple large volume, drop pool rivers as well.  We take advantage of the best water levels when selecting runs for each group so don’t be surprised if it’s the best week of paddling of your life. Sample Itinerary

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1: Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we get to Cabanas Tres Rios (Small World’s private riverside lodge) we will outfit our kayaks, enjoy the first of many excellent meals and head upstream to the river. We will run the confluence section of the Rio Quijos and take out right at CTR in front of your cabin!

Day 3: Paddle the Pica Piedra section and magnificent El Chaco Gorge on the Rio Quijos.

Day 4: It’s creeking time and we travel to the Napo valley and paddle on the delightfully technical Upper Misahualli. Tonight, we will stay in the heart of historic Tena and have time to wander through town sightseeing.

Day 5: Today we kayak one of the most scenic rivers in Ecuador, the Piatua. The adventure factor is high on this run just to get to the put-in since it is at the end of a remote, small road. Expect a clear, technical river with uncountable boofs and nonstop rapids, a new favorite on our trips.

Day 6: After breakfast we will head back to the Quijos valley and run the Rio Cosanga, taking out at CTR. It’s a low volume tributary of the Quijos and one of the best in this valley.

Day 7: We have lots of runs to choose from such as the playful big-volume Bom Bon section or maybe the technical Oyacachi or Upper Quijos.

Day 8: After a morning paddle on the Quijos or Cosanga, we head back to Quito, hoping to arrive to the airport area by around 5pm.  Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

Right for me?

Is the Torrents trip right for me? A bomber roll is an absolute must on this trip. If you sign up for this trip and fail to show competency in your combat roll, you will be asked to sit out. Also, you should be comfortable both play boating in bigger volume rivers and running tight, technical, low volume creeks. You should be comfortable leading runs, catching eddies, ferrying and down river boating on many different Class IV runs. Good examples of runs you should be comfortable on are, The Royal Gorge and Numbers at medium to high water and Pine Creek at medium to low water on the Arkansas River in CO, Canyon Creek in WA at medium flows, the Upper Gauley in WV, the Upper Yough in PA, the Lochsa at high water in ID, Giant Gap on the N. Fork American in CA, the Dart River from Dartmeet to Newbridge and the Kent River from Scroggs to Park Head both in UK, Lower Blackwater in WV, and the Seymour River in British Columbia.
We find that most people honestly and realistically evaluate their skills. We choose rivers based on the ability level of the group and the trip signed up for. If an individual has overstated their skills and cannot safely run these rivers, we may have to ask them to sit out a day and enjoy some dry land activities rather than holding back the entire group. And, a note on your whitewater roll: If you aren’t nailing your combat roll in the rivers, you may be asked to sit out for certain runs on your trip, so make sure it’s good and reliable when you come down to Ecuador! All of our paddlers who visit a few pool sessions before their trip to Ecuador find that it helps them immensely. Even if you have a “bomber roll” hitting the pool before your trip will just remind those muscles of what they need to do while you are enjoying Ecuador’s best rivers. Feel free to contact our office and talk with us about which trip is right for you. info@smallworldadventures.com

Advanced Creeking Class IV+ (Instructional)

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Trip Details

SWA guide, Darcy, timing a giant boof strokeThis trip/course is for people who are already good paddlers and are looking to become great paddlers. We focus on paddlers who have the basic and intermediate creeking skills down, feel good on IV and even IV+ creeks, but who want to refine their skills in order to push themselves even more.  We will review basic creeking skills, learn advanced techniques, on-river safety, and work on putting it all together.  Besides on-the-water skills, we’ll talk about the necessary mental skills, group skills, river rescue, and equipment necessary for advanced creeking. We hope to train you to be the kayaking partner everybody wants to paddle with. During the week, you can expect 7 days of Class IV and IV+ kayaking with the occasional Class V rapid thrown in.  We will offer occasional dry land skills discussions in the mornings and evenings but still leave plenty of time for paddling.  While this is an instructional course, you can expect to paddle one of Ecuador’s fantastic creeks each day.   Contact our office to see if you are right for this course.

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1: Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we arrive at our private lodge, Cabanas Tres Rios, we will outfit our kayaks, enjoy the first of our chef’s excellent meals and head to the river. Depending on water levels, we’ll either run the Upper Cosanga or the Bridge to Baeza section of the Quijos.

Day 3: We stay in the Quijos drainage today but hop on the Rio Oyacachi for hours of continuous powerful and technical rapids. After the confluence with the Quijos we have the option of continuing downstream on the big water Bom Bon section.

Day 4: We’ll start the day with an instructional boofing video and discussion of the “art of boofing.” Then it’s time to run the even warmer Upper Misahualli on the way to Tena and practice those skills! This run is very low volume with large granite boulders creating fun slots and boofs. We stay at our riverside hotel in the heart of Tena.

Day 5: The Rio Piatua is today’s mission. This very remote medium volume river is usually super clear and very continuous. There are fun boofs in almost every rapid and you can eddy hop until you are exhausted.

Day 6: With over eighty significant rapids in a six and a half mile run you hopefully have plenty of energy left for the Rio Jondachi. We’ll return to the Quijos Valley.

Day 7: We will paddle the Cosanga or one of the upper sections of the Quijos depending on water levels and energy levels.

Day 8: After a morning paddle on the Quijos in El Chaco Canyon or the Cheesehouse section, we head back to Quito, hoping to arrive to the airport area by around 5pm.  Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

Right for me?

Is the Advanced Creeking IV+ trip right for me? A bomber roll on both sides is a must for this trip. We will be paddling very steep and continuous whitewater so good boat control and the ability to stay on line with minimal mistakes is also a must. If you sign up for this trip and fail to show competency in your combat roll, you will be asked to sit out. You should be comfortable on the following rivers: Gore Canyon on the Colorado River, Green Narrows in NC, Norris Creek in BC, 49 to Bridgeport on the S. Yuba in CA at low flows, the Raquette River (Stone Valley: Colton to Brown’s Bridge) in NY, the Green Truss on the White Salmon at medium flows (minus Big Brother and BZ), and Nevis from Steall Gorge to Polldubh Falls and Conway (Fairly Glen) in the UK. Feel free to contact our office and talk with us about which trip is right for you. info@smallworldadventures.com

We find that most people honestly and realistically evaluate their skills. We choose rivers based on the ability level of the group and the trip signed up for. If an individual has overstated their skills and cannot safely run these rivers, we may have to ask them to sit out a day and enjoy some dry land activities rather than holding back the entire group. And, a note on your whitewater roll: If you aren’t nailing your combat roll in the rivers, you may be asked to sit out for certain runs on your trip, so make sure your roll is good and reliable when you come down to Ecuador! All of our paddlers who go to a few pool sessions before their trip find that it helps them immensely. Even if you have a “bomber roll” hitting the pool before your trip will just remind those muscles of what they need to do while you are enjoying Ecuador’s best rivers.

Mucha Agua Class IV+/V-

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Trip Details

SWA guide Liam, leading Serpentine!The Mucha Agua trip is the most difficult week of whitewater that we offer. We focus on steep, technical runs on this trip, so bring your boof and your elbow pads! We will probably throw in a day of big water boating as well, just to cover as many of Ecuador’s classic runs as we can pack into one week. The “Mucha Agua” runs in the Qujios and Tena Valleys tend to be on the longer and more continuous side, so get yourself in shape so that you can get maximum enjoyment out of your week with us. If you love paddling Class IV and V runs around the world, this trip is for you.

Sample Itinerary

This trip has a strong focus on Ecuador’s creeks and it’s steeper, more continuous rivers. We’ll most likely throw in 1 or 2 days of bigger volume boating, but for the majority of the week you should bring your creeking game. We’ll hit up many of Ecuador’s classic IV+ and V- runs. For people who are super comfortable boating Class IV/V runs, this is an awesome week full of world class boating.

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1: Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we arrive at our private lodge, Cabanas Tres Rios, we will outfit our kayaks, enjoy the first of many excellent meals and head to the river. Time-allowing we will head to the Lower Cosanga to warm up. Or, if we are short on time, we will run the technical Baeza to Borja section of the Rio Quijos. Either way, we will take out right at CTR in front of your cabin!

Day 3: We stay in the Quijos drainage today but hop on the Rio Oyacachi for hours of continuous powerful and technical rapids. After the confluence with the Quijos we have the option of continuing downstream on the big water Bom Bon section.

Day 4: It’s time to run the quintessential Class V run of Ecuador–the Upper Jondachi. While only 10km long, this run boasts over 85 rapids and will definitely have you ready for a beer by the time we hit the take out! We stay at our riverside hotel in the heart of Tena.

Day 5: The Rio Piatua is today’s mission. This very remote medium volume river is usually super clear and very continuous. There are fun boofs in almost every rapid and ends up with a rope swing!

Day 6: Depending on water levels we will either hit up the super technical Upper Misahualli or head back to the Quijos Valley to paddle a section of the Quijos. We will spend the night back at CTR.

Day 7: If the group is still feeling strong, we’ll head to the upper reaches of the Quijos River and paddle the Cheesehouse section, Bridge to Bridge and however much more of the Quijos the group is in the mood for!

Day 8: After a morning paddle on the Quijos in El Chaco Canyon or the Cheesehouse section, we head back to Quito, hoping to arrive to the airport area by around 5pm.  Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

Right for me?

Is the Mucha Agua trip right for me? The Mucha Agua trip is right for you if you are a competent class IV/V kayaker with a super solid roll, and bomber river running skills. Participants should have–and use on a regular basis–a combat roll on both sides. If you sign up for this trip and fail to show competency in your combat roll, you will be asked to sit out. You will be paddling on remote rivers, so Ecuador is definitely NOT the place to be in over your head. Having said that, we love running these trips because we get to hit up many of the classic IV+ and V granite-strewn creeks of Ecuador. So, if you’re feeling up for Mucha Agua, let’s do it! You should be more than comfortable running (meaning you don’t have to follow anyone down) the following runs with minimal portaging: South Yuba 49 to Bridgeport in CA, Little White Salmon in WA at low flows, Gore Canyon and Bailey in CO, the Raquette River (Stone Valley: Colton to Brown’s Bridge) in NY, Robe Canyon in WA, North Fork Payette in ID, and Lower Meadow, WV.
We find that most people honestly and realistically evaluate their skills. We choose rivers based on the ability level of the group and the trip signed up for. If an individual has overstated their skills and cannot safely run these rivers, we may have to ask them to sit out a day and enjoy some dry land activities rather than holding back the entire group. And, a note on your whitewater roll: If you aren’t nailing your combat roll in the rivers, you may be asked to sit out for certain runs on your trip, so make sure it’s good and reliable when you come down to Ecuador! All of our paddlers who visit a few pool sessions before their trip to Ecuador find that it helps them immensely. Even if you have a “bomber roll” hitting the pool before your trip will just remind those muscles of what they need to do while you are enjoying Ecuador’s best rivers.
Feel free to contact our office and talk with us about which trip is right for you. info@smallworldadventures.com 970-309-8913

SWA’s Grand Tour of the Oriente Class IV+/V-
12-day trip

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Trip Details

On this trip, SWA guides will give you a tour of Ecuador’s best rivers, most remote corners, and most scenic areas.  It will take a special kind of person to enjoy this trip.  You need solid Class IV+/V- kayaking skills so that you can enjoy the Upper Jondachi and the Rio Oyacachi.  But you also need to be happy kayaking a super remote and beautiful Class III run so that you will find enjoyment in the Rio Suno, and the middle four hours of the Hollin!  You will need to be stoked on exploring remote parts of Ecuador, checking out tropical birds, and visiting out of the way towns that very few tourists ever get to spend time in.  Your capacity for adventure needs to be high, but you must also be ok chilling out in the van as we cruise the country and lounging at a funky hotel perched on the shoulder of an active volcano.

If this sounds good to you, join us for an Epic Ecuadorian Road trip!

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1: Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we get to the Quijos Valley we will outfit our kayaks, enjoy the first of many excellent meals and go paddling on the Rio Quijos.

Days 3 and 4: We spend full days paddling the rivers in the Cosanga, Quijos and Oyacachi valleys while staying in the Quijos Valley.

Day 5: Head north and paddle the Salado River en route to stay at a funky hotel on the shoulder of an active volcano.

Day 6: Head further north and paddle the Chingual River which makes the border between Ecuador and Colombia.  Then continue on to the oil town of Lago Agrio for the night.

Day 7: Drive through the famous town of Coca–jumping off point for many jungle tours–and continue around to the backside of Sumaco Volcano. Paddle the Suno River and then stay at Wild Sumaco Birding lodge.

Days 8 and 9: Do an overnighter on the Hollin River. You can start your day with a 15-20 foot waterfall if you want, or opt to put in just below it. The Hollin starts of Class IV+ and then mellows considerably as it flows through some of the most beautiful rainforests on the trip!  We will sleep at Los Yutzos hotel in Tena on the night of the 9th.

Day 10: Paddle the Piatua and sleep one more night in Tena.

Day 11: Kayak the iconic Upper Jondachi and head back to the Quijos Valley.

Day 12: Paddle El Chaco Canyon on the Quijos and then head back to the airport in the afternoon. We hope to get you to the airport area by around 5pm.  Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

There is a 4 person minimum for this trip.

Right for me?

Is SWA’s Grand Tour of the Oriente right for me? This trip is a little tricky because you need to be a solid Class IV+/V- paddler AND you need to be able to enjoy a few Class III/IV runs as well (the Salado, Suno, Piatua and the middle 10 miles of the Hollin will be Class III/IV if the levels are low). For the harder rivers of this trip–the Oyacachi, Chingual, start of the Hollin, and the Upper Jondachi you need to be a competent class IV/V kayaker with a super solid roll, and bomber river running skills. Participants should have–and use on a regular basis–a combat roll on both sides. If you sign up for this trip and fail to show competency in your combat roll, you will be asked to sit out. You will be paddling on remote rivers, so Ecuador is definitely NOT the place to be in over your head. You should be  comfortable running the following runs with minimal portaging: South Yuba 49 to Bridgeport in CA at low flows, Little White Salmon in WA at low flows, Gore Canyon and Bailey in CO, the Raquette River (Stone Valley: Colton to Brown’s Bridge) in NY, Robe Canyon in WA, parts of the North Fork Payette in ID, and Lower Meadow, WV.
We find that most people honestly and realistically evaluate their skills. We choose rivers based on the ability level of the group and the trip signed up for. If an individual has overstated their skills and cannot safely run these rivers, we may have to ask them to sit out a day and enjoy some dry land activities rather than holding back the entire group. And, a note on your whitewater roll: If you aren’t nailing your combat roll in the rivers, you may be asked to sit out for certain runs on your trip, so make sure it’s good and reliable when you come down to Ecuador! All of our paddlers who visit a few pool sessions before their trip to Ecuador find that it helps them immensely. Even if you have a “bomber roll” hitting the pool before your trip will just remind those muscles of what they need to do while you are enjoying Ecuador’s best rivers. Feel free to contact our office and talk with us about which trip is right for you. info@smallworldadventures.com 970-309-8913

Rios Escondidos Class IV+/V-

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Trip Details

SWA owner, Guy, in Oro Pendual on the ChingualSince 2009 we have been leading trips to these “hidden” rivers in the Northern part of Ecuador.  The Due, Chingual, Aguarico and Coca rivers (the Rio Quijos below San Rafael falls) are a bit off the beaten track, but well worth the effort.  Especially for paddlers that have been to Ecuador before, the rivers, rainforest, wildlife, and scenery make this a unique experience. On this trip, we will spend 4 days basing out of our riverside lodge in the Quijos Valley and paddling the classics there. We will spend the other 3 days basing out of a hotel two hours north of our lodge in a small town called Lumbaqui. This trip requires a willingness for a little extra adventure in the form of long walks to put-ins and some slightly off the beaten path traveling.

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1: Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we get to our private lodge, Cabanas Tres Rios, we will outfit our kayaks, enjoy the first of many excellent meals and head to the river. We will run the confluence section of the Rio Quijos and take out right at CTR in front of your cabin!

Day 3: Today we paddle the technical Rio Cosanga, running slots and boofing our way down through a beautiful rainforest-covered gorge. We end up at CTR in time for happy hour at the horseshoe pit.

Day 4: We travel north and put in on the medium volume Rio Due and paddle across the equator in the first rapid. We have a couple hours of fast action on the Due and then confluence with the Rio Agua Rico where it is big water time. Tonight we stay in the village of Lumbaqui and if it is clear we will see three volcanoes from the hotel roof.

Day 5: Today we start super early for a decent of the Rio Coca. After a short drive we hike almost two hours (downhill) to the put in. It’s a big water, pool drop river in an amazing rainforest canyon. The final hour or so is pretty much flat but the current keeps moving. We return to Lumbaqui for the evening.

Day 6: It’s time to kayak the Upper and Lower Macaw sections of the Rio Chingual. The rapids are pool drop, big, powerful and steep. The last few miles are on the upper Agua Rico. After paddling we will head back to CTR for more great home-cooked food.

Day 7: After breakfast we will paddle the technical, medium volume Rio Oyacachi.

Day 8: After a morning paddle on the Quijos in El Chaco Canyon or the Cheesehouse section, we head back to Quito, hoping to arrive to the airport area by around 5pm.  Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

Right for me?

Is the Rios Escondidos trip right for me? A solid, bomber, and excellent roll are required for this trip (participants should have–and use on a regular basis–a combat roll on both sides), as are solid Class IV+/V- paddling skills. If you sign up for this trip and fail to show competency in your combat roll, you will be asked to sit out. This means you are SUPER comfortable in both Class IV+ and Class V rivers. Water levels are a bit more prone to fluctuations in this region, so we want peoples’ skills to be up to par so we can paddle these runs even if the flows are medium or high. You also need to be in good shape, as 1 run requires an 2-hour hike to the put in (but believe us, it’s worth it, it could be the most amazing run of your life)! The last requirement is that you don’t mind suffering just a bit more than you would on our Torrents or Mucha Agua trip. You should be more than comfortable running (meaning you don’t have to follow anyone down) the following runs with minimal portaging: South Yuba 49 to Bridgeport in CA, Gore Canyon and Bailey in CO, the Raquette River (Stone Valley: Colton to Brown’s Bridge) in NY, Robe Canyon in WA, North Fork Payette in ID, Green Narrows, NC, and Lower Meadow, WV. Call our office if you want more details about this trip.
We find that most people honestly and realistically evaluate their skills and we choose rivers based on the ability level of the group and the trip signed up for. If an individual has overstated their skills and cannot safely run these rivers, we may have to ask them to sit out a day or two rather than holding back the entire group. And, a note on your whitewater roll: If you aren’t nailing your combat roll in the rivers, you may be asked to sit out for certain runs on your trip, so make sure it’s good and reliable when you come down to Ecuador! All of our paddlers who visit a few pool sessions before their trip to Ecuador find that it helps them immensely. Even if you have a “bomber roll” hitting the pool before your trip will just remind those muscles of what they need to do while you are enjoying Ecuador’s best rivers.

Rafting Week Class IV

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Trip Details

A raft in the large whitewater of the lower MishauliRaft the RIO QUIJOS: WHERE THE 2005 WORLD RAFTING CHAMPIONSHIPS WERE HELD! Raft in style with Small World Adventures on thundering Amazonian tributaries such as the Rio Quijos, Jatunyacu and Jondachi. SWA specializes in week-long non-camping rafting adventures. We have new rafting equipment, Hyside self-bailing rafts, 23 years of experience running the rivers of Ecuador and some of the most experienced guides anywhere. Internationally (besides Ecuador) we have guided in Honduras, Nepal, Chile, Costa Rica, Canada, Norway, Peru, New Zealand, Australia, Bhutan and of course all over the USA. The tropical rivers are fantastic, our riverside lodging is luxurious and the food outstanding. Check out our unique itineraries and consider linking one up with a trip to the Galapagos or any of the other popular tours of Ecuador. We can help you arrange everything. These rafting adventures are also excellent for mixed groups of kayakers and rafters who want to run rivers together, but in different boats. Here’s what Outside Magazine had to say about our rafting trips: “Not all adventures are created equal—especially those that end the day with a hot spring and a cold beer in a riverside cabin. When you’re not kicking back on this weeklong trip, you’re rafting the Class IV Rio Quijos and Rio Jatunyacu, both tributaries of the Amazon.” Previous rafting experience is helpful but not necessary. Participants just need a willingness to paddle and have a great time. Feel free to contact our office and talk with us about which trip is right for you. info@smallworldadventures.com 970-309-8913

Sample Itinerary

On this trip you’ll not only experience exciting Class IV paddle rafting, but also much of what has made Ecuador famous with adventure travelers. You can hike in the jungle, soak in the nicest hot springs resort in Ecuador and watch monkeys playing in the forest. SWA’s expertise on the rivers of Ecuador, combined with our 15 years of experience leading tours around the country, guarantee an exciting and unique rafting vacation.. By the way, we don’t camp on our rafting trips, but stay in the beautiful riverside lodge—Cabanas Tres Rios (CTR). Adventure travel doesn’t mean you have to rough it!

*Please note that itineraries are subject to change due to water levels and the ability level of the group.

Day 1: Saturday—arrive to Quito airport.  Most flights arrive at night and we recommend staying in one of the hotels out near the airport–there are many great choices that are 10 minutes away from the new airport.  You should also arrange an airport pick up through your hotel.  (If you arrive a few days early, it’s worth going into downtown Quito—a 1-2 hour drive from the airport depending on traffic—but if you arrive on the Saturday before the trip, we think it’s better just to stay out near the airport).

Day 2: One of your guides will pick you up around 9am (exact time to be confirmed by our office) and you’ll drive over the 13,000 foot Papallacta Pass and drop down into the lush Amazon Basin. If the weather is clear we will see three of the four highest snowcapped volcanoes in Ecuador. Once we arrive at SWA’s riverside cabins, you’ll move into your comfortable room, check out all the necessary river equipment and enjoy the first of many excellent meals by our chefs. We will put in right out front and paddle the fun pool drop rapids of the Pica Piedra run.

Day 3: It’s another spectacular day of rafting downstream on the remote and beautiful Grand Canyon of the Quijos. This fourteen-mile run has over twenty-five big pool drop rapids including the famous Gringos Revueltos. After rafting we take a short walk to a beautiful waterfall before returning to CTR.

Day 4: Today we head to the Napo valley for a couple days of rafting but first we enjoy a short hike on the top of an 8,000 pass and visit an animal recovery center on the way to our riverside hotel in Tena.

Day 5: Rafting on the big volume Rio Jatunyacu is today’s focus. It’s full of wide-open, fun rapids and we’ll take a side-hike into the rainforest as well. The SWA guides will introduce you to guiding techniques and you can guide the easier rapids. After rafting we take a short excursion to visit Puerto Misahualli where we can expect to see monkeys and local handicrafts.

Day 6: The rainforest gorge of the lower Rio Jondachi is a place no one will forget. We start with a half hour hike into this remote river while porters carry the raft to the river. The first couple hours of whitewater on the Jondachi River consist of continuous, technical rapids. After lunch, we will hit the confluence with the Hollin River, which offers big volume pool drop rapids.

Day 7: We will drive back to the Quijos valley and raft the powerful rapids of El Chaco gorge while viewing basalt canyons and incredible rainforest. After rafting we return to Cabanas Tres Rios, enjoy a beer on the riverside deck or a game of horseshoes and more great food from our kitchen.

Day 8: After breakfast we head to the Papallacta hot springs resort for a soak in their beautiful pools high in the Andes.  Then we head back to Quito, hoping to arrive to the airport area by around 5pm. Most flights are leaving Quito around midnight these days.  If you have a late flight Saturday night/early Sunday morning, you will have quite a few hours to kill.  We can drop you off at the Papallacta hot springs, at a restaurant or hotel out near the airport, or can bring you into downtown Quito–your choice!  If you fly out Sunday morning, you’ll need to book yourself a hotel for Saturday night.

Right for me?

Middle Fork Salmon, Idaho

2018:  June 7th-12th.  6 days on the River

middle-fork-2The Middle Fork Salmon in Idaho is one of North America’s most iconic multi-day river trips.  On this trip, you will descend 3000 feet in elevation through 100 miles of unforgettable Class III-IV rapids and breathtaking scenery. Towering granite walls, desert side-hikes and natural hot springs will keep you busy when you aren’t running classic Middle Fork rapids like Velvet Falls and Pistol Creek.  Each night we will make camp along the banks of the river where you can relax, listen to the river flow by and stare at the stars with zero light pollution to drown them out.  The Middle Fork runs through the heart of the Frank-Church River of No Return Wilderness which contains over 2.5 million acres of protected land.  This is some of the most rugged and beautiful country on our continent, and we know your 6-day trip down this river will be etched in your heart forever.  We run our trips through Wilderness River Outfitters–a family owned and operated business–that has been guiding the Middle Fork since 1972.  Now the kids run the business and their deep-rooted passion for and knowledge about the river will leave a lasting impact on you.   Our June 7th launch should give us medium to high water which means awesome big water fun!  Kayakers should be confident Class III+/IV boaters with a solid combat roll.  Day 1 on the river can get pretty continuous at these flows so you should arrive tuned up and ready to go (i.e. the Middle Fork should not be your first time on the river of 2018).  Rafters are welcome too!  No experience necessary for rafters, but an adventuresome attitude is required.

Trip Details at a Glance
Question
Cost? $2050 per person.
Boat? You should paddle a boat you are comfortable in. Play boats are okay if you can sit in all day long.
Entirety? You will paddle the whole river. You can do it!
Rent? Yes – We can help you lineup a rental kayak.
Arrive? You arrive in Stanley Idaho before 6pm on June 6th. Fly commercially into Boise Idaho then take Gem Air into Stanley Idaho.   Make your reservations at the Mountain Village Lodge (800.843.5475) in Stanley.  They will pick you up at the Stanley Airport. We will have an orientation at 6:00pm on June 6th at the Mountain Village Lodge.
Finish? We get off the river June 12th. We provide transportation to Salmon from Cache Bar take out. It is about a two hour drive. You can either fly out of Salmon to Boise late that day or stay in Salmon and fly out the next morning. We recommend staying at the Stagecoach Inn (208.756.2919) in Salmon or at the Best Western Vista (800.727.5006) in Boise.
Driving? If you choose to drive to Stanley you can arrange to have your car shuttled from Stanley to Salmon by River Shuttles or Blackadar Boating.
Skills? As long as you have a solid combat roll and Class III+ to Class IV skills you'll love it!
Rafters? Absolutely – If you don't kayak you can ride a raft.
Temp? Spring weather in Idaho can be fickle.  Be prepared for 80 and sunny and 50 and rain.  You'll probably get a little of both.
More? Contact our office
Ready? $400 deposit due by December 15th to  Small World Adventures
Payment? Full payment due March 15th 2018

Grand Canyon September 2018


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The Grand Canyon impacts many levels of intellect and emotions. Descriptive words seem trite.

2018:  September 1st-14th – 14 days on the River (FULL contact us about getting on the waiting list)

It’s impossible to describe what people feel as they travel through this timeless place! A journey through the Grand Canyon can be a life-changing experience, and we are sure this trip will impact your life and give you fresh eyes to see the world. If you’ve dreamed about rafting or kayaking down the mighty Colorado through the Grand Canyon, this is a great opportunity to do it–why wait? We tailor our Grand Canyon trips around kayakers which means we stop at the great play spots, run the classic rapids such as Hermit and Lava numerous times, and supply kayak guides (two of SWA’s great guides) to show you the good lines and, more importantly, to show you the best surf waves! Non-kayakers are welcome too! This is a great way for friends or family with a mix of kayakers and rafters to enjoy the Grand Canyon together.  Our guides will take you on amazing hikes and fill your head with interesting knowledge. We will give you good lines and help you in any way we can. You will paddle, hike and eat your way through this Canyon while making new friends and running amazing whitewater. We run our trips through Arizona Raft (AZRA) who have been guiding in the Canyon since 1974. AZRA guides know where all the great hikes are, and are amazingly knowledgeable about the geology and history of the Grand Canyon. They will also feed you well with gourmet meals each day. SWA founder Larry Vermeeren works full time for AZRA as a raft guide in the summers. Larry is the trip leader for Small World trips. With Larry in charge we have a trip leader that really understands how to do a great trip for both rafters and kayakers. Small World Adventures will provide the kayak guides, can provide rental kayaks if you are traveling from afar, and will also provide the fun and friendly atmosphere on the river! Kayakers will love paddling through this awe-inspiring place. And, it’s even better to surf a big wave while contemplating John Wesley Powell’s epic adventure or the slow geological processes that formed the canyon. Whatever you like to contemplate while on the river, we know a trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon will leave a lasting impact.

Trip Details at a Glance
Question
Cost? APPROX $4025 TBD by National Park Service in the next couple of months.
Boat? You should paddle a boat you are comfortable in. Play boats are okay if you can sit in it all day long.
Entirety? You will paddle the whole river. You can do it!
Rent? Yes – We can help you lineup a rental kayak.
Arrive? 7:00pm on August 31st 2018 for an orientation. We meet at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Flagstaff AZ (928.773.8888).  Most guests choose to spend the night here the night before the trip begins (August 31st) and the evening they return to Flagstaff (September 14th).
Finish? We take out mid-morning on September 14th. We will most likely get out at Diamond Creek; but this will be confirmed closer to launch date. A shuttle bus or van will take you back to Flagstaff AZ. If you’ve had your car shuttled it will be waiting for you in Peach Springs and a bus will drive you up the bumpy road from Diamond Creek to Peach Springs
Skills? As long as you have a solid combat roll and Class III+ to Class IV skills you'll love it!
Rafters?  Absolutely – If you don't kayak you can ride a raft.
Temp? September is a great time in the Grand Canyon. You'll have hot days for on the river and cooler night for sleeping
Motors? We are all oar and paddle powered. No motors here Baby!
More?  Contact our office
Ready? $400 deposit due by April 2017 to Small World Adventures
Payment? Full payment due March 15th 2018