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Old 09-22-2013   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 29
December paddling -- where to go and not be bugged

I may be interested in doing a paddling or multi-sport trip in December. I know there's paddling in Mexico, Belize, Ecuador, Costa Rica and most other places south. However, I don't want to be bugged by worries of scorpions, tarantulas, gators/crocs, huge, fearful looking insects, and other posionous and/or bothersome critters. And I don't want to find any in my bed either or worry that they'd be there. Yes, I am a true worry bug in that regard at times.

I am looking to do class 2-3 maybe 3+ paddling; I envision a place with nice sunny weather (most of the time!) and maybe a relaxing lodge to stay at (with the group) with good eats. Perks such as fresh water pools, organic foods, music/dancing, and hotsprings would be nice additions!

Does anyone have any experience with any outfitters/trips that I might enjoy?

I know there is always New Zealand but the outfitter trips I have seen were very expensive.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-23-2013   #2
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Pucon Kayak Hostel

GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 09-23-2013   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Unfortunately, traveling in the tropics means critters.The most dangerous are really malaria and dengue fever carrying mosquitos.That is summer in the southern hemisphere so Chile, NZ, or maybe higher altitude areas in tropical countries might meet your needs.San Luis Potosi area of Mexico (la Huasteca) is less tropical and relatively cheap.

Belize would be perfect tor what you say you want, easy rivers -organics -dancing -cushy lodges with good food -spectacular swimming holes, but also has everything you don 't want and yeah sometimes in your bed.I 'd say overcome your fears.

Everyone raves about Small World in Ecuador and Veracruz seems pretty high on peoples lists also.Pucon is more of a creeking hub but probably has easier runs too.Most international outfitters are pretty pricey but you will get more and better boating in than trying to do it independently.(
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Old 09-26-2013   #4
catfishbates's Avatar
Red Lodge, Montana
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 14
Just a thought but dont let your fear consume you. Easier said than done but have you ever tried to address your bug fear. Somethimes our fear comes from the unknown. Putting yourself in a controlled environment with said bug might alleviate your fear. Could be as simple as heading over to a local "bug barn" or expanding your knowledge about your destinations local flora and fauna. Anyway hope this helps. If all else fails the cold non tropical climates may be your new best friend.
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Old 09-26-2013   #5
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 47
I've been to Ecuador with Small World Adventures and it was AMAZING, mostly because of the guides, Larry, Darcy, and Don. However, there's new ownership now and Darcy and Don aren't guiding there anymore. Therefore, I would not recommend SWA.
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Old 09-26-2013   #6
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Not as fancy as SWA, but right next to them is Endless adventures. The Rymans run a good trip, but no pools and check with them about more mellow runs.

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Old 11-24-2013   #7
Pucon Chile Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 133
Pucon Kayak Hostel warm invitation

First, I am the owner of Pucon Kayak Hostel. Second, Chile is a fairly bugless snakeless country due to geographical boundaries: Atacama Desert North, Andes east, Gulfo de Ancud and tundra to south, and Pacific to west.

While, PKH is all but booked full for the December season I'd still like to thank the previous endorsement. As well, publicly state that we are enthusiastic and grateful to host any kayaker nomads seeking a do-it-yourself or all-inclusive kayak program. PKH is in the heart of Chile's most blessed area of waterfalls, river runs, lakes and lagunas ranging from class I to V. Like all the destinations listed Chile is spectacular.

What an exciting time for you to plan a trip with such fantastic programs and destinations. I saw earlier on here a Stephen Wright trip to the White Nile at 13 days for $us1400 that is almost impossible to match and I think one of the best all-inclusive deals available. But if you are not into freestyle then all the other options are great.

Things to look for in making your decision: price point vs. quality of trip (what are the resources and history of the program? All the ones I saw listed are top shelf. Do you prefer a budget trip or a plusher all-inclusive package?); destination and type of paddling- note the destinations listed are quite different. What would you most enjoy in your adventure? Eg- Chile is much different than a rainforest trip. Uganda is it's own experience too.
Are you seeking cultural experiences too? What does the program you're considering offer in that regard.

Best of luck and make sure to share your experiences with us. if you choose one of those great companies then do them a favor and share with us some fotos and stories. I know company owners love you for that.

Keep Kayaking.

David Hughes
Owner- Pucon Kayak Hostel
Director- Patagonia Study Abroad
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Old 11-24-2013   #8
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 332
re decenber trip

Can't believe that Nepal has not come into the equation. Once you get over the air ticket hurdle, you would be in kayak heaven. Temperate himalayan climate, all classes of rivers and plenty of english speaking folk to do it with.A web search would give you all the info you want. The neighbouring Ganges watershed in India would also meet your needs.
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Old 11-28-2013   #9
Castlegar, British Columbia
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 16
Thanks for the referral!

Originally Posted by lotsawater View Post
There is a newer company called Endless Adventure (Kayaking and Rafting Nelson BC V0G1H0 kayak courses rentals and tours, Castlegar and Slocan, Kootenays, British Columbia) They are by far the best in the business without question. They have a huge selection of boats and they are great boaters. They have real beta which can be hard to find down here sometimes. I would give them a call and see what their schedule is.

Don't miss the overnighter on the Holleen, (not spelled correctly) but it is an amazing trip. 72 kilometers right through the jungle. Sweeeeeeet trip.
Really appreciate the referral! Stoked you had a great time with us. Very excited to announce our new website for ecuador kayaking trips.
Endless Adventure International

Hope to see you again!

Chris Ryman
Owner, Head Guide.
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Old 11-29-2013   #10
Pine, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 37
Check out Casa de Rodrigo in Baeza! Rodrigo has the nicest place in town next to a four star restaraunt (Gina"s). He has a great selection of boats and will arrange or run the shuttles for you. He's the real deal! Another amazing guy is Abe Herrera who loves to show you Ecuador and could show you the mountains around Baeza. Boating with Abe is so inspiring you could find yourself running the Cosanga which is read and run IV with one V portage that is nothing. Rainbow trout in cool, clear water and no bugs that would bug you! Papallacta hot springs is close to you (a must) and you are literally at the headwaters of the Amazon. Never got a mosquito bite in that region and never even wore bug repellant until we went lower in elevation to Tena.

When I first joined the buzz and was looking for a boat for my youngest daughter, you gave me some really nice advice! It's great that I can maybe return the favor. Safe Journeys! Alan

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