advice for Rafting
When choosing a river trip or rafting outfitter, look for experienced guides and new equipment in good condition. Also make sure that the trip you are taking is appropriate for you and everyone in your group. It is advisable to make reservations in advance, and standard practice to pay in full or leave a deposit to reserve spaces on a trip. Cancellation policies are very strict due to the costs incurred by the outfitter in preparing for a trip. Ask about the rescue and first-aid training or certifications the guides have received, and inform your guide or trip leader if you or anyone in your group has a significant past or present injury, allergy or medical issue. Remember to bring any important medications or personal necessities with you.
Dress for the conditions with a swim suit and lightweight, synthetic layers. Wear sandals with a secure ankle-strap or lightweight tennis shoes, and don't forget a retaining strap for eyeglasses. Bring sunscreen and insect repellent as needed for your group. Wetsuits and splash jackets should be provided on high-altitude rivers with cold water. Properly fitted Helmets and Type-V PFD's (lifejackets) are mandatory equipment. Some outfitters will have "dry-bags" available to stow an extra warm layer or a camera. Don't bring any valuables such as keys, cell phones, wallets, passports, etc. on the river.
Quality operators will use a "safety kayaker" to accompany every raft trip. A minimum of two boats should always be used on the river, one of which can be the "safety kayak". "Self-bailing" rafts are the international standard for whitewater rafting. Each trip should include a comprehensive orientation and safety briefing for the entire group. If food is served, advise the outfitter about any dietary restrictions when making the reservation. On overnight and multi-day trips, confirm what camping gear is provided and how much space is available for personal gear in "dry-bags".
Commercial raft trips and guide services should include transportation from their office location or meeting place for the trip to the river, and back. For trips that don't base in Quito, this usually means that you must travel to the local meeting place in Tena, Baņos, Macas, etc, on your own, unless it is specifically included in the cost of the trip.
Getting Around Travelling with kayaks in Ecuador
River Beta Guide to Rafting & Kayaking in Ecuador