Many of the most beautiful regions in the world are accessible only by river. From a ten day expedition down the Kongakut River in Alaska’s arctic to a scenic day trip on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica we’ve got you covered. Single day whitewater rafting and smooth scenic float trips are incorporated into may of our itineraries as a means to explore remote canyons and watersheds in search of wildlife. Multi day rafting expeditions are also available for those seeking to explore remote wilderness unreachable by other means. Whether you’re a novice ready to experience a river rafting adventure for the first time or a veteran looking for a new river to conquer, we have the right trip for you.
You comfort and safety are our first priority. Before launch our guides will conduct a thorough orientation briefing to teach you technique and review safety precautions. Our guides are professional river guides with years of experience and safety training. We require that lifejackets be worn at all times on the river and helmets may be worn on more difficult rivers.
Whether your on a day trip or a multi day raftng expedition a typical day will start early with a delicious breakfast. Break down camp (your participation is welcomed but not required) or travel from your accommodations to the river. Spend the morning, on the river floating looking for wildlife, running rapids, swimming, relaxing, and enjoying your surroundings. Pull over for a leisurely lunch and perhaps a hike to stretch your legs, followed by more rafting in the afternoon. The amount of time spent on the water will vary, depending on the trip, generally ranging from four hours on day trips to six or more on rafting expeditions. Late afternoon arrive at camp or transfer back to your accommodations.
Rafting is suitable for persons of all ages and abilities. It is important to find a river matching your physical condition and experience. Most day trips are fun and exciting for those who have never rafted. Many of our lodge based trips incorporate scenic single day float trips and mild whitewater adventures suitable for less active travelers and families traveling with children. Longer, multi day expeditions on challenging rivers may require previous experience. physical requirements are generally modest but may vary depending on the nature of the river.
Rivers are rated according to the difficulty of the most challenging rapids. The following rating system from the American Whitewater Association will help you determine which type of river is best for you. We have modified it slightly to reflect commercially outfitted trips in rafts.
Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.
Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels, which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed. Flips or swims are highly unlikely.
Rapids with moderate, irregular waves, which may be difficult to avoid but are easily negotiated by rafts with experienced guides. Sizeable waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Flips are unlikely though swims are possible. Self-rescue is usually easy.
Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. Rapids may require "must" moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting by the guides is sometimes necessary. Flips and swims are possible. Participants should be good swimmers with the ability to aid in their rescue (self-rescue).
Extremely long, obstructed, or very large rapids, which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes, or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is mandatory but often difficult. Swims can be long and potentially dangerous so strong swimming ability is essential. The ability to self-rescue is mandatory. Portages may be necessary to avoid questionable rapids.