It's not Ecuador but Pucon Kayak Hostel
is the do-it-yourself design your looking for, just in a different country. First, I'm the proud owner of Pucon Kayak Hostel specifically designed to offer kayakers an economical option.
As the founder of Huge Experiences (high school for kayakers) one of the favorite parts of my job was travelling internationally and setting up logistics. Kayakers have the "Big 4" challenges as I call them: food, lodging, transportation (with kayak), and kayak equipment. You could also add river knowledge to that one. If any lodging can offer solutions to those challenges then kayakers would flock to the resources. All-inclusives like SWA have answered this but they cost more than many are willing to pay. Plus if you're like me then you'd prefer to do a month or more trip on your $2000-$3000 vs. 10 days.
Pucon Kayak Hostel is offering kayak rentals at $20/day + beds + meal services. The package comes to $40- $55/day depending on your level of lodging: plush dome, cabin bed, Gypsy Wagon, or the most economical dorm bunk.
What about transportation?
If you're a class IV or + boater then you can show up and get in with a group. Lots of kayakers under one roof means shuttle sharing. Groups of 3 or more will often rent a local vehicle together. Solo travellers can hop in with other groups for gas and cost share. And we offer daily shuttle services too.
Tena, Ecuador is one of the most economical kayak destinations for shuttles anywhere. Taxis have a menu of costs and if you can find a group to paddle with that works. Now, Pucon Kayak Hostel is bringing that shuttle concept to Pucon, Chile's rivers.
Ecuador Kayak Challenge-
If you can fly with your creek boat to Ecuador then you're pretty solid. Even then you're going to have to deal with getting around: if you rent a truck then you're golden but that will cost you and you'll just about need a group rental split to offset costs. Travelling solo with kayak is challenging. Renting boats in Ecuador from my past experience was frustrating. All of these reasons add up to why folks pay the extra bucks to get in with SWA.
Pucon Kayak Hostel was built with kayaker's needs in mind and kept it economical.
Eg- kayak lockers have been built so you can dry and store your gear securely. A communal quincho hangout with fireplace is the centerpiece. Meals are scheduled around the day's river runs. A shuttle board is posted. Kayaker's from town continually showup at the hostel to share shuttles. A movie dome is being built this year just for hanging with laptop and watching flicks on a big screen.
What rivers does Pucon, Chile offer?
The best resource is the online guide Rivers of Chile.
Kurt Casey first descented many of the nations runs and made this great guide.
The kayaker hostel is a great concept and lots of kayakers are showing up annually. If you have questions feel comfortable to shoot me an email.
Here's the website, PuconKayakHostel.com