Rafting in Ecuador at Piedra Blanca
River rafting tours in indigenous rafts:
For rafting in Ecuador, the Piedra Blanca Community Ecotourism project offers something unique. It's not whitewater rafting as such, though there are parts of the river that are whitewater. In this part of Ecuador, rafting takes a different form - this is adventure
rafting in replica design ancient Ecuadorean rafts
Spend a couple of days drifting through the warm tropical scenery of the lower parts of the provinces of Cotopaxi and Los Rios on a traditional wooden raft. Escape the crowds and enjoy the unpolluted air of the countryside. Practice your Spanish with the friendly rafting crew, try the local beverage and spend a night under the stars.
The Manteño Huancavilca tribes of Ecuador (pre-Inca) developed this type of raft for travel and trade. Some academics suggest that these rafts were the boats used to colonise Easter Island, thousands of miles west in the Pacific. Thor Heyerdahl replicated the design of the raft for his famous Kon-Tiki expedition (more info) to cross 13000 miles of the Pacific Ocean. We don’t go quite that far, but you might achieve 30 km a day on the Rio Zapotal when the current is running fast. The traditional raft design has not changed much in a thousand years and was used until about 40 years ago to transport cocoa and bananas to the coast and beyond.
The Kon Tiki Expedition (above) - undertake your own Kon Tiki mini-adventure at Piedra Blanca
The adventure rafting tours offered by the Piedra Blanca Community Ecotourism Programme can be tailor made to suit your preferences - anything from a tranquil one-day trip to the longer 5 day rafting adventure to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. See the way of life on the river-banks as you sail down the rivers of Bolivar Province. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and tranquil setting.
If you're looking to go rafting in Ecuador, this is the unusual alternative. The community of Piedra Blanca cultivates the balsa wood used and will build your personal wind-powered raft in a day. Fully qualified, experienced local guides take you on an all inclusive overnight rafting trip (tents erected aboard the raft). The wood is sold upon arrival at your destination down-river. The balsa wood is sustainably forested to provide the community with alternative sources of income. Local reforestation projects are ongoing.
One day rafting tours are a possibility - we've come up with our own design to accommodate small groups with not much time on their hands. These rafts are similar in nature to those you see in these photos, but they're smaller - it'll be just you and a guide in each raft. Get in touch with us to see if this is a possibility for your visit and what the costs would be.
Please note that the rafting tours are an adventurous experience offered by us. You will sleep on tents aboard the raft. Toilet facilites are not always available - this is a remote region of Ecuador. If you seek 5 star luxury, these rafting tours are not for you. If you seek an adventure, you will be rewarded with a fantastic experience.
Prices for longer rafting expeditions vary dependent upon group size - costs are approximately $60 per person per day all inclusive, based upon a group of at least six. A typical tour would last 2 days and include 3 meals a day, provision of camping equipment, two or three guides per raft, transportation to and from embarcation and disembarcation and traditional alcoholic beverages. International expeditions have been arranged in the past. Click for suggested rafting itineraries.
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Ecuador Rafting Tours & Adventure Ecotourism at Piedra Blanca