*Small World guides have an intense commitment to Ecuador, kayaking, guiding, your safety, and your fun
*We were the first company to run kayaking trips in Ecuador, and have 19 years of experience backing us up
*We have the nicest kayaking lodge in the tropics complete with quiet and private rooms, gourment meals, hot showers, and a great porch to chill on while having a beer or checking out the amazing birdlife at our lodge
*The biggest and best kayak fleet in Ecuador
Read below for even more reasons to choose SWA for your Ecuador kayaking vacation
Small World pioneered leading whitewater kayaking trips in Ecuador. It’s what we do. No one else has led as many kayakers down the rivers of Ecuador as we have. Plus, Small World’s owners are extremely passionate about what they do. You won’t find them sitting behind a desk, they are out on every trip Small World runs. The three of us have a combined 78 years experience paddling - 43 of those years have been in Ecuador!
We Wrote the Book on Kayaking in Ecuador
Come paddle with the authors of “The Kayakers Guide to Ecuador.” We put all of our years of exploring Ecuador into what is without a doubt, the best kayaking guidebook for Ecuador. Who better to lead you on your trip to Ecuador?
We Know the Good Spots:
Play spots, nice lines, sweet boofs. We know where it is that you want to go. Our time in country on all the runs at all kinds of water levels means we know which river is good at what level, and when that sweet surf wave comes out. It can be tricky picking the right run when the water levels get touchy. Don't sweat the high water, we'll help you not get skunked.
Instruction, Play Pointers, Fun Facilitation
We’ve been instructing and guiding for years. Need to tweak that roll? Want to perfect that loop or flat spin? Like to work on your boof? We’re here to help with expert pointers and advice. We won’t clinic you to til you are bored to tears though either. We know that some people like a paddling vacation to be, well, a vacation.
In 2008/2009 We Guided Trips On 12 Different Rivers, 25 Different Sections!
It was a high water year, and we never had to take a day off due to water levels. We often heard reports of folks sitting out when the water wasn’t quite right. But, by thinking outside the box a little, we always came up with a great run to paddle. Come with the best, or spend more time on the porch. To see highlights from last season, visit our blog.
Time in Country
Small World is dedicated to Ecuador. We’re the only US outfitter that spends the entire season guiding here, 4.5 months each year. Our experience with the rivers in Ecuador means we know all the good lines and proper water levels. It also means that we have developed strong relationships with the local communities in Ecuador, which is super important to us.
Deluxe Riverside Lodge
We like Ecuador so much, we built a lodge here. Our only complaint with Ecuador was the lack of quality lodging in the region where all the good kayaking is. So, we fixed that with Cabanas Tres Rios. We wanted you to have a special place to stay in the Quijos valley, our favorite area in Ecuador. We think our Cabanas Tres Rios is the nicest kayaking lodge in South America, if not the world. Beautiful location, great food, cold beers, porch-side bird watching, onsite massage therapist, and instant river access. But don't just take our word for it, come see it for yourself. We are certain you'll love it!
Best Damn Guides Anywhere
Many of our guests say that our guides make the trip. We are all here because we love kayaking, and love showing people a great time on the rivers of Ecuador. If we have a day off, you guessed it, we go kayaking. But we’d rather show some folks down a new river than have a day off. We enjoy what we do. Hanging out on the porch after a good day of boating, chatting with new friends over a cold drink - it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
With a huge modern fleet of over 60 kayaks, we probably have the boat you’re looking for. Creeking one day, playboating the next? Gotcha covered.
Our Local Staff
We are lucky to have been working with the same wonderful group of locals for years now. Friendly, fun, and patient listeners to gringo Spanish, our Ecuadorian staff members are more like friends or family. It’s a bonus that they are great cooks, drivers, massage therapists, hotel managers and gardeners!
We know you didn’t come to Ecuador to hang out on the side of the road while we fix the transmission. Or to ride around in back of a cattle truck. Flat tires can put the adventure in adventure travel, but we know that good transportation is important. The pride of our fleet is a Mercedes Sprinter. We also use Ford passenger vans, and a Toyota Land Cruiser wagon. If vehicle problems do arise, we’re on it. We can usually get you to the river without missing a beat.
We Explored Ecuador So That You Don’t Have To!
You get all the adventure and fun of seeing new rivers without the suffering. No bad restaurants, no missed take-outs. If you want off the beaten track, we can take you there. And, we'll still be back in time for supper.
We offer the most variety. We offer more trips than anyone else. You want creeking, we'll give it to you. You want play boating, no problem. You can paddle Class I through Class V with us. We also take people to the ocean in our Rivers and Beaches trips, up north in our Rios Escondidos trips, and out west in our 2 Worlds trips.
What’s the fun of boating on an empty stomach? We’ve found all the best restaurants in Tena and Quito. No suffering there, either. And back at our lodge, we just can’t wait for another one of the chef's home-cooked meals. Plus, a full bar to wash things down with. Beer, wine, cocktails, fresh juices, soft drinks, tea and good coffee. We are kayakers, right? We’ve got the best happy hour porch in the Amazon.
And On the Seventh Day...We Go Kayaking!
We’ve noticed that most of you want to go kayaking on your kayaking vacations. We paddle 7 out of 7 days. Sure you can take a rest day if you want, but we’re not going to make you.
Short Flight From North America/Short Travel Times Within Ecuador
With only 1 week off from work, you can paddle 7 days in Ecuador! With only a 4-hour flight from Miami, Atlanta, or Houston it won't take you days to get to your paddling destination. Plus, once in Ecuador, all the rivers are conveniently close together. You'll spend far more time on the river than on the road.
Extra Curricular Culture
We don’t paddle you so hard that you don’t get to meet some folks and see some country, too. We’ll see jungles and monkeys and waterfalls, and take you out on the town. We schedule in a little bit of sightseeing every day to go with the paddling.
We Add New Stuff Every Year
New rivers, new boats, new sections, and better put-ins. We keep making things better. We’re always looking for new rivers, or improvements to old ones. Our passion for kayaking and exploration has led us to many new runs in Ecuador over the years, and we’ve added 1-2 new classics to our itineraries each year as a result.
Our Guests Keep Coming Back
About 60% of our guests have been to Ecuador with us before. Many have been to other countries to boat, but they come back to Ecuador again and again.
Onsite Massage Therapist
We Care About the Local Community
We try to have our presence in Ecuador help the locals out, too. We donate 5% of our profits back to charitable organizations in Ecuador. From river conservation to food programs, we try to help a wide variety of people (and rivers) in need. We have a program to give good used clothing to the schools, local aid programs, and villagers in the areas we visit. We’ve given free kayak lessons to local Ecuadorians that want to start the sport, and free ACA instructor clinics to locals who want to work as instructors themselves. We distribute used kayaking gear that our guests bring down to Ecuadorians that don’t otherwise have access to gear.
We Understand Your Passion for Kayaking
We’re here to feed it.
We Give You the Best of Both Worlds
We get to stay at our luxury lodge in the Quijos valley, and then go check out the scene in Tena. Everyone loves to get back to our home away from home, but it’s nice to order out in restaurants, and explore the local life in Tena, too.