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Old 06-24-2011   #1
Badazws6's Avatar
The Road, Colorado
Paddling Since: '07
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Thinking about trying to put together my own trip to Ecuador this winter. Is there a whitewater guide to Ecuador out there somewhere? Would prefer to avoid paying out the nose for one of the all-inclusive outfits.

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Old 06-24-2011   #2
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
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The Kayaker's Guide to Ecuador is the leading Guidebook on the area. Its written by the owner's of Small World Adventures.

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Old 06-24-2011   #3
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
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Posts: 85
I'll be heading there at the end of July, primarily for some mountaineering but hopefully doing a little rafting in Tena. We are going with non-paddlers so will do a commercial trip. I can report back afterward.
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Old 06-24-2011   #4
Join Date: May 2005
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If you can swing it, go with Small World. It is soooooo worth it.
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Old 06-24-2011   #5
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Stay in borja. It's cheap and where all of the expensive outfitters are based. Taxi drivers know all of the put ins abd takeouts. I spent over a month there without guides and had no problems even with remarkably shitty Spanish skills.
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Old 06-25-2011   #6
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Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
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Small World for sure!
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Old 06-25-2011   #7
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Whitewater Kayaking With DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking

here is another good outfitter for Ecuador
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Old 06-25-2011   #8
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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I had to re-read the post to make sure he didn't ask about outfitters in Ecuador after all those responses. Especially with some Spanish knowledge it should be relatively easy to do it yourself. The most difficult thing will probably be judging water levels since there's not exactly an eddyflower and levels can rise and fall quickly out there.

Even if you don't do a guide you might be able to work out some boat rentals from Small World - they're definitely a uniquely quality outfit. Another in between option is you might be able to pay someone to guide you just for certain runs you're interested in.
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Old 06-25-2011   #9
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Over the years I have been kayaking down in the Borja and Tena area at least 4 times. This was in the early years of Small World and the DeRiemers setting up their businesses. Both are very high quality and great folks to boat with. The deal with either one of these outfitters is they have every thing dialed in perfectly. All you do is boat every day on a quality run. They have the gear, the drivers, know the rivers, have the facilities and take care of you to make the most of a boating vacation in a foreign country.

I have run into private boaters down there several times. Each time the private boaters were asking the outfitters all sorts of questions - all of which were answered. The issues are lack of quality Spanish speaking skills means it takes time to do every thing - granted a lot of locals are now able to speak some English and it can be done by less than perfect knowledge of Spanish. Knowing where to stay and eat is also something to figure out. The outfitters know where to eat and sleep and I have never been in a less than quality food and board place. Some were and are superior.

I wish I had the skill set to go down there and do private trips but unless you have lots of time and are very adventurous on where you eat, sleep or drive with - both Small World and the DeRiemers earn their pay.

Admiration from me for those folks who can travel in foreign countries on their own, I am one who is hesitant to do that. I just cut down on expenses till I saved up the money to use the outfitters.
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Old 06-25-2011   #10
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 114
I went down there not too long ago and we did a "a la carte" trip where we rented boats for $15/day, hired a guide and paid him $60 a day and stayed in a decent hostel in Tena for $9 a night per person. There were four of us splitting the cost of the guide and the taxis for shuttle (thankfully, all the taxis down there are Toyota pickups).

It was a great trip and after some time down there we figured out how to do it even more cheaply (like using buses for shuttle instead of taxis). I highly recommend the guide we used and would be happy to PM you his information if you'd like.


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