Whitewater Rafting in Ecuador

whitewater rafting

Whitewater Rafting in Ecuador with its warm waters, tropical rainforest and dozens of rivers located in such a small area have made this country a prime destination for adventure sport lovers.


The massive Andean Mountains range gives birth to scores of rivers east and west that carve their way through spectacular gorges, canyons, valleys and jungles leaving behind hundreds of miles of breathtaking world class whitewater.

Ecuador holds the headwaters of the Amazon river and as a result the country has one of the highest concentrations of rivers per square mile in the world.

Ecuador offers excellent year-round whitewater rafting. In addition to their nearly continuous flows, Ecuadorian rivers, especially those in the east, have warm, tropical waters and excellent accessibility.

There are a variety of rivers to choose from, with varying grades of difficulty. Whether you are a rafting enthusiast or a kayaking lover, Ecuador is an unrivaled whitewater destination that you should not miss.

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Best Time for Whitewater Rafting in Ecuador

The best time of year to go will depend on which river you are intending to raft. The Toachi, located about 3 hours outside Quito, offers good rafting all year round.

The Blanco, also located around three hours from Quito, is best navigated between February and June. The Quijos, yet again about the distance from Quito, is best traveled from October to February.

Leaving from Tena, you can go rafting on the Jatunyacu or the Misahualli. The Jatunyacu is available all year round while the Misahualli is only run between October and March.

Another possible location is the Upano Valley which is reached from Macas City. Here, you can raft the Namangosa Gorge where there are dozens of waterfalls.

The rapids are Class IV so not necessarily for everyone and certainly not for people who are not strong swimmers.

The rainy season in Ecuador is from March to September and, at this time, some areas are either not navigable or can only be rafted by those with a great deal of experience.

Best Whitewater Rafting Rivers

Toachi and Blanco Rivers (Class III & IV)

Flowing off the coastal side of the Andes they have some of the longest navigable sections of whitewater in the country.

This is Ecuador's most popular rafting river as it is only 3 hours from the City of Quito and provides fun-filled runs yearlong.

Depending on the water level you might run the upper section (high water) or lower section with the famous Sapo Gorge and ending in Valle Hermoso.

Quijos River (Class IV & IV+)

This river offers excellent 1 or 2 day whitewater rafting excursions with many challenging rapids and is more for the experienced rafters.

A beautiful tropical cloud to rainforest surrounds the river with a rich flora and fauna. Expect to run more whitewater in a day here than you'd do in a week elsewhere.

Misahualli Rivers (Class IV)

This tropical rainforest region around Tena city is located 5 to 6 hours from Quito.

Rafting in the Misahualli rivers can be considered as an Ecuadorian classic, with grade 4 rapids, waterfalls and a narrow canyon pass, this run is perfect for those who love adrenaline and adventure experiences.

Upano River (Class IV & IV+)

Rafting the Upano river you can witness the many moods and changing character of a jungle river.

This river is located in the rugged and hilly region around Macas City and offers excellent longer whitewater rafting excursions.

Jondachi River (Class III)

It is a complete jungle adventure experience, this is one of the most isolated runs in the country.

The trip starts with a hike and a visit to a hidden canyon where there is a chance to make a 10 mt jump into a deep pool. From there the rafting experience is unique with amazing jungle scenery and many cascading waterfalls along the route.

Anzu River (Class II & III)

This river is located in the rainforest of Ecuador and is ideal for families with children as young as eight years old.

It is the perfect river if you want a fun and relaxing day floating through small rapids and relaxing pools in the midst of breathtaking rainforest.

Characterized by it's warm waters the river is a delight for swimming and generally splashing about.

About Ecuador Rafting

Hundreds of thousands of small streams create rivers that flow all year round, with increased water volume during the rainy season in the highlands, from January through May.

Not only the constant water volume makes whitewater rafting in Ecuador an exceptional experience, But also the stunning jungle scenery, Indian communities, abundant bird life and occasional river otters are common sights when you navigate through the rainforest on these great arteries of life. See Also Mountain Climbing in Ecuador

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