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Frequently Asked Questions

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Rafting

What is whitewater rafting?

Whitewater rafting is a recreational outdoor activity which use an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other body of water. This is often done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water. Dealing with teamwork is often a part of the experience. This activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the 1950s, evolving from individuals paddling 10 feet (3.0 m) to 14 feet (4.3 m) rafts with double-bladed paddles or oars to multi-person rafts propelled by single-bladed paddles and steered by a person at the stern (Whitewater guide). The International Rafting Federation, often referred to as the IRF, is the worldwide body which oversees all aspects of the sport.

Who can go rafting?

This is a tricky question, but in general, anyone that wants to have fun, can go Rafting. There are several levels of white water and depending on the level of adrenaline and adventure that you want to experience you can choose the right level for you. To know more about the different levels or white water classes please check River and Activity Ratings. The minimun age to go Rafting with Kayak Ecuador is 4 years old (to the Anzu or Napo River, both class I-II) and the maximun age depends on the phisical condition of the passanger, but we have had passanger over 75 years old, for more information please check I AM A SENIOR CITIZEN, CAN I GO RAFTING?

Do I need experience to go rafting?

In most of our Rafting tours you DON’T need Experience. If you have never experience White water Rafting before we strongly reccomed to go streight to Class III (If you over 7 years old). On every Rafting tour you will be accompanied with a professional, certified Guide and a Safety Kayaker that will ensure your safety and fun on the river. Our Water Staff will make sure you understad all the concepts of whitewater before your Adventure starts. We require Rafting Experience for the Lower Misahualli River and the 3 day expedition on the Hollin river. Please Check our Essential Eligibility Criteria for our river Trips if you need more specif information.

Will I be kept safe at all times during my trip?

Because our trips take place in wild environments, there are inherent risk factors that can’t be entirely avoided without compromising the unique character of the activity. Obviously, it’s not our intention to reduce your enthusiasm for outdoor adventure activities, but we believe it is important for everyone to know in advance that real adventure involves real risk, much of which simply cannot be controlled by KAYAK ECUADOR or KAYAK ECUADOR employees. By joining one of our trips, you are representing that you understand, and are accepting of, the risks described in the acknowledgment/release document that all participants are required to sign.

What are your guides' qualifications?

Our team of highly experienced guides is passionate about rivers and sharing them with others in a supportive and informative environment. KAYAK ECUADOR is the one of the largest single employers of river guides in Ecuador, attracting talented professionals drawn to the variety and pristine quality of the rivers we run. Many of our guides hold current Wilderness First Responder or Emergency Medical Technician certifications, and all carry at least Basic First Aid and CPR. Many are also certified in Swiftwater Rescue Techniques, and all have received formal training in whitewater navigation and risk management strategies. Our guides also hold current IRF certifications.

What happens if I become ill or injured on the trip?

Our staff will assist you to the best of their abilities. We do our best to mitigate the risks associated with adventure travel, but incidents and injuries that require evacuation do occur from time to time. Since most KAYAK ECUADOR trips take place in remote wilderness locations, evacuations can be prolonged, difficult and expensive. As such, emergency medical personnel and hospital facilities may be distant or not available. It is your responsibility to carry insurance, or be prepared to cover the cost yourself, for expenses related to emergency medical evacuation.

What river safety equipment does Kayak Ecuador provide?

All trips travel with a well-stocked first aid kit and a plan for initiating an evacuation if necessary. All of our multi-day and Class IV and IV+ wilderness expeditions carry a satellite phone for use in an emergency. River-related safety equipment includes Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), Spalsh Jackets and helmets for each passenger along with throw ropes, a whitewater wrap kit, spare paddles and oars, air pump, and a boat repair kit. We also provide Wet Suits depending on the trip and water temperature. (We include Wetsuits in all our Duckies Tours)

What are the chances I will become a "non-voluntary" swimmer on my river trip?

Naturally, the odds of going for a “swim” will vary depending on the trip you choose. Plan “A” is always to stay in the boat, but believe it or not, many people love falling out of the raft, after the fact. It’s exciting, but it can be disorienting and a little overwhelming at first. Many people have taken multiple trips and never fallen in. Some people swim on their first trip. It’s all a part of rafting. Before you go on any trip, you’ll be given extensive instructions on what to do if you fall in, and how to be a smart swimmer. Follow your guide’s instructions, and your “swim” could be the most exciting part of your trip and a great story to tell your friends afterwards!

If I can't swim, can I still go rafting?

YES! Everyone on commercial rafting trips wears a coast guard approved ‘life vest’ or personal flotation device (PFD). This critical piece of equipment is designed to aid in keeping you afloat in the event that you find yourself in the river. Many non-swimmers go on rafting trips, and they have a great time. Your guides will give you an in depth and engaging safety talk before your trip explaining what you should prepare for and do in the event you fall out of the raft. Your guide is trained in whitewater rescue and will work with the rest of your guide team to ensure that you are able to feel comfortable with the whitewater conditions on your trip. We are willing to get in the river with you in the flatwater and give you some pointers on swimming techniques if you would like. All non-swimming folks should inform their guide on the trip.

I have a family with young children, can they go rafting?

Yes. We encourage parents to bring their kids and let them experience the amazon Jungle in the best way possible…Rafting. There are, however, age restrictions specific to each river trip, so please check into the details for the trip you’re interested in and contact us with any questions or concerns.

How early should we arrive beforehand?

Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your trip departure. If you are not familiar with the area you may want to allow some extra time before your trip departure time. Make sure to get good directions before you leave home. FYI: Be sure to take your reservation number and info with you. All trips leave our outpost at their scheduled departure times, if you are late you have missed the trip. Make sure you are familiar with our trip policies.

What happens on a typical rafting trip?

Your trip begins when you meet us at our office or Wearhouse (Depending on the trip) at check in time. We will hand out and collect your release forms and distribute rental gear if necessary. Then everyone gets geared up and loaded on the Truck/Mini Van or bus which will transport you to the “put in”. The Trip Leader will deliver a safety talk en route or at the put In – a vital 20 minute discussion about how to be safe on the water. At the put-in we move quickly to get out on the river, after you have your group photo’s taken, you’ll head over to your rafting guide and help carry rafts (many hands make light work), once the rafts are on the river, so are you. You’ll receive a paddle talk, learn to paddle as a team and be rafting before you know it. Then you’ll head on down the river, play games, do teamwork activities, shoot the breeze, learn a little about the area, enjoy the scenery, see some wildlife and have the time of your Life!

How many people fit in a raft?

Our paddlerafts typically seat 7-8 people and a guide, this is because we run smaller rafts and are adamant about not overloading them as a matter of safety and social responsibility.

Do you take photos? Can I bring my camera?

We will have a photographer take pictures in the rapids during your trip (during Rafting Season July & August). These photos will be for sale when you return. These are professional quality pictures and usually come out pretty nice. This is a great option if you don’t want to fool around with your own waterproof camera, which you are more than welcome to bring. If you want to hire the Picture or video Service please let us know when you are booking your tour.

I'm a senior citizen. Can I go rafting?

Many healthy people of all ages, including spry folks in their 70′s and 80′s, enjoy rafting at all levels. We recommend the following tours for Senior Citizen: Jatun Yacu Full Day Trip (Class III), Jatun Yacu half day Trip (Class III) or any Trip in the Anzu or Napo rivers.

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Is it safe?

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Where is the location?

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Vehicula nec vestibulum nibh nam pulvinar curae viverra, placerat libero auctor habitant lacinia platea, euismod hendrerit porta condimentum ante augue. Vehicula platea nisi hendrerit nullam interdum quam justo molestie rhoncus, phasellus fringilla euismod pharetra pellentesque accumsan inceptos gravida aliquam, malesuada sed neque nunc tempus egestas sociosqu elementum. Cursus risus suspendisse turpis auctor nam dignissim primis duis, natoque urna eros litora sociosqu ligula feugiat torquent volutpat, nunc euismod per orci faucibus nisi nullam.

Who is this for?

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Vehicula nec vestibulum nibh nam pulvinar curae viverra, placerat libero auctor habitant lacinia platea, euismod hendrerit porta condimentum ante augue. Vehicula platea nisi hendrerit nullam interdum quam justo molestie rhoncus, phasellus fringilla euismod pharetra pellentesque accumsan inceptos gravida aliquam, malesuada sed neque nunc tempus egestas sociosqu elementum. Cursus risus suspendisse turpis auctor nam dignissim primis duis, natoque urna eros litora sociosqu ligula feugiat torquent volutpat, nunc euismod per orci faucibus nisi nullam.

How much time does it take?

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Vehicula nec vestibulum nibh nam pulvinar curae viverra, placerat libero auctor habitant lacinia platea, euismod hendrerit porta condimentum ante augue. Vehicula platea nisi hendrerit nullam interdum quam justo molestie rhoncus, phasellus fringilla euismod pharetra pellentesque accumsan inceptos gravida aliquam, malesuada sed neque nunc tempus egestas sociosqu elementum. Cursus risus suspendisse turpis auctor nam dignissim primis duis, natoque urna eros litora sociosqu ligula feugiat torquent volutpat, nunc euismod per orci faucibus nisi nullam.

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