Tena is known to be a good place for white-water rafting. There are rivers nearby for different levels; class 3, class 4 and even class 5. There are many agencies adverticing rafting in Tena, but you should be sure to go with one with good reputation.
I went rafting with River People, a company owned by a family who moved to Ecuador from Ireland about 20 years ago.
The two most popular rafting tours are to Jatunyacu, a class 3+ river and Jondachi/Hollin rivers, which is class 4. When I first arrived to River People no one had signed up for rafting the next day, but they told me to come back later as people usually arrive in the afternoon. Later there were more people, and even a big group of high school students interested in doing rafting the next day. I was interested in doing both the Jatunyacu and the Jondachi/Hollin, but if I could choose only one, I most of all wanted to do the class 4 Jondachi/Hollin. It was up to the big group which rafting it would be and in the end they choose Jatunyacu. Luckily there were some other people who, like me, wanted to do Jondachi/Hollin the second day.
In August 20013 the price for Jatunyacu was $55and for Jondachi/Hollin it was $70. When doing the Jondachi/Hollin rafting-tour we got it for $65 as it was the second rafting with the same agency.
Included in the price is transport, lunch, safety kayak and all equipment.
I have got more information about the rafting tours on my Tena page.
Ecuador has more than its share of sporting activities. An avid hiker could spend a lifetime here and backpacking in the wilderness is pretty unlimited too. The snorkeling and scuba possibilities are top notch and even the simple act of swimming can be a joy if you find the right watering hole like Las Grietas!
We were in that hotel with swimming pool in Canoa, and believe it or not, we had to share it (the pool not the hotel !) with frogs !!! Pretty nice for a sport, no ?
On etait dans un hotel avec piscine de Canoa, qu'on devait la partager avec des grenouilles !! Sympa comme sport, non ?
Equipment: A couple of big frogs !
Quelques grosses grenouilles !
Ecuador is a terrific country for mountain biking, lots of dirt roads and big hills - a few smaller ones as well. We did a 4 day cycle trip with Jorge Cruz out of the Hosteria San Jorge, 15 minutes north of Quito. The routes were a blast & very challenging. Jorge loves to cycle so you are in good hands!
Equipment: jorge provided the equipment, helmets,gloves, bikes, and they were pretty decent bikes for loaners, better than we expected.
Rent a bike, grab a map & raincoat and head east downhill along the river from the town of Banos. You can ride approx 60+ km to Puyo passing raging waterfalls and blooming orchids. When you're done, throw your bikes on the bus and head back uphill to Banos the easy way. As the rain was hammering down, we only made it about halfway before we bailed & caught the bus back up.
Equipment: Rain gear & a bike with brakes. Lots of places in Banos to rent bikes (none come with helmets) we rented our from our hotel, Isla de Banos.
A national sport : drinking !!!!
But be careful, amateurs can be on the dole very easily...
Un des sports nationaux : boire !
Mais attention, les amateurs peuvent vite se retrouver sur la touche...
Equipment: A good bottle of ron, a bit of Cola and a slime of lemon ... The "Chisme" or also called "Cuba Libre"
Une bonne bouteille de rhum, un peu de Cola et un zest de citron... le "chisme" dis aussi "Cuba Libre"
If you like sports, there are a variety of opportunities in Ecuador, BUT there is not much of a sports infrastructure here yet. In addition to mountain climbing and hiking, here are some of the possibilities:
Scuba diving and snorkling: great opportunities to snorkel in the Galapagos islands. I have heard is difficult to find a good scuba outfit here though. Would be better to pay more for good quality!
Surfing: I met a few surfers when I was in Bahia de Caraquez. The most popular surfing spots seem to be at Canoa and Montenita.
Horseback riding: A guy affilated with AFS (my exchange program) owned a ranch and a bunch of horses near Quito. He took a group of us riding. As I was the only one with any riding experience, I got stuck with the horse named "Diablo". You can imagine how that went. He would not do anything but gallup. The ride lasted 8 hours and I was sore for weeks afterward! I don't really know any commercial outfits, but the LP guide recommends Ride Ecuador (www.travelecuador.net/ride)
White water rafting:
Apparently you can do this on some rivers in the jungle. I read in Marie Claire magazine about some tourists dying as a result of unexperienced guides, so I would be careful with this one.
This volcanoe is very active at the time and not considered stable. Many guides will refuse to take you up, but they WILL show you the way if you want to go on your own. So I climbed it on my own with no problems. You can't go all the way to the top because of the volcanic activity. But you can climb up to the refugio which sits at about 3800 meters or a little further depending on how close to danger you want to get. I only met a handfull of other people on the day I climbed it. It was a great experience viewing the volcanoe spewing a tall column of white smoke and hearing the constant rumbling coming from the crater. Cool!
Equipment: No technical climbing gear is needed just good hiking boots, some water, sturdy clothes, and a Gortex jacket for the higher elevations. I always use a trekking pole or two as well, but that's a matter of personal preference.
Super granny is practicing ... the flight !
Super Mamie pratique... le vol !
Equipment: Flying arms
Des bras qui volent
Traveled thur Quito on a Eco Tourism trip. The Marriott was unforgetable. Beautiful hotel in every...more
When we arrived at the Hotel Victoria after our early morning flight from Quito it was only 9.00 am,...more
Av. de las Amazonas, Banos, 2000, Ecuador
Good for: Business
More Regions in Ecuador