Also known to the locals as the Sacred Waterfalls River, Rio Upano is an excellent white water rafting stop in Ecuador. This 60-kilometer river stretches from the isolated town of Macas, located in the western province of the Amazon Basin.
Rio Upano is formed of several whitewater sections extending from raging to gentle rapids that take you along the narrow canyons. Rafting on this river is not an activity exclusively for adventure junkies, but it is also an excellent water sport activity for people who love nature and enjoy heartstopping sceneries. You will marvel at extremely remote, stunning rainforests that make this part of the earth truly special. You will also get the golden chance to pass through enthralling native Ecuadorian tribes, including the Shaur Indians, who have managed to maintain their traditional way of living for ages.
Because of the diverse rapids, Rio Upano is ideal for both advanced and amateur rafters. The rafting tours presented here usually stretch out to around three days, allowing you to immerse yourself in this remote yet fascinating region of Ecuador. A multiple-day trip also gives you space to hike isolated trails and enjoy camp overnight in lovely lakeside camping grounds. The rafting season is from October through January. Participants do not need exclusive rafting experience for this voyage, but you require to be at least 16 years of age and a decent swimmer.
To reach Rio Upano, you have to fly from the capital Quito to Macas in the hilly Morona-Santiago province. From Macas, you can boat all the way Rio Upano to the Shaur wildlands. This trip is rated the finest in the world because of the exceptional jungle scenery that will reveal itself before your eyes. You will most likely confront wildlife like oropendolas, iridescent butterflies, egrets, and toucans. The river’s rafting sections are composed of narrow canyons and a wide valley.
An outfitter typically arranges rafting trips in the lake region, and there are a couple of regional operators to choose from. Outfitters usually present camping equipment like dry sleeping bags and arrange for expert guides to prepare the meals. However, remember to bring your own gear like shoes, proper clothes, insect repellent, toiletries, sun protection, and a water bottle. Before trying the rapids, outfitters present a safety briefing and paddling technique instructions to tourists.
You can arrange a rafting tour covering a Share family visit and a stay at traditional palm-thatched houses near the lake. By doing so, you can gain precious knowledge about the culture and forest life of this indigenous tribe. Some operators employ a Shaur guide to go with the trip.
One of the most interesting parts of the river is unquestionably the Namangosa Gorge, which boasts Class IV+ and even IV rapids. On top of a guarantee of a wild, stimulating ride, the gorge also highlights several sumptuous waterfalls cascading down its sides. After conquering the challenging waves, you will end up at the river’s deeper and broader side, where it usually is calmer. This is the section of the Rio Upano that meets up with the Amazon River (Rio Amazonas).