FREQUENT ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TRAVELING TO ECUADOR WITH KAYAKS IN PLANES AND MORE.
Proof of insurance is required for all travelers coming to Ecuador starting FEB 2018.
PASSPORT AND VISA Although special visas are not needed for stays of up to 90 days, valid passports are required for entry into Ecuador. Your passport must have a remaining validity of at least 6 months from the date of your entry into the country. ( CHECK BEFORE YOU GO)
US Dollar is the main currency and ATM's available for VISA and MasterCard. In all main towns.
UIO (Quito International Airport) is the one you want to fly in to be picked up for our tours and it will be the best location to start your kayaking adventure, other than Quito is Guayaquil International airport another main airport, but is 6-8 hours away from Quito on the bus.
VACCINES? Is up to each individual to check on this topic.
If you are concerned you can check the travelers health page on the cdc site that will recommend vaccines for prevention.
We will be eating at very specific trusted places and provide plenty of drinking bottled water daily when on guided tours and you can trust to stay healthy.
FLYING WITH KAYAKS? Traveling with your boat can be really easy or very difficult sometimes, that is why rent Kayaks, but also is a potential pain in the butt, but here is some advise for you to make it simple:
First and most important book your flight with United airlines, allows whitewater kayaks in their planes, I dont know of other airlines flying out of the US admitting Kayaks. 2013 I checked in 2 kayaks wiht me to Ecuador UIO. (No problem)
Just get a kayak bag...if you take the time to get a fabric bag, (any bag works) for your boat (like the ones the new Jackson kayaks come in, that is the cheapest solution) you can pick those from any kayak shop, Or wrap in a tarp and put a big sign that says, WIND SURF EQUIPMENT FRAGILE. Very important DO NOT MENTION OR ADMIT to THE AIRLINES IT IS A KAYAK, because SEA KAYAKS are no different to them than WHITEWATER kayaks and SEA kayaks are on the NOT allowed list because they are so big and delicate. So call it what ever you want, surf shoe, surfing equipment, surfing boards, paddle board, kite surf, anything you want but NEVER call it or admit is a kayak , get it?
Just call it a WINDSURF, and add some webbing loops to the grab loops of the boat, pull them out of the bag and it will be easier for the airlines people to move them around.
(Do not bring 3 bags) you may not even be able to have a 2nd, there is a cargo embargo from Nov-Feb sometimes, but that just means more room inside the plane for a boat. So checking a second bag will be hard you can try to check the boat as your only bag checked in and have a carry on with the rest of your clothing. (Put all your boating gear in a mesh bag inside the boat just in case you need to pull it out quick if they definitely not taking the boat so you need your gear.)
Hope for the best but always plan for the worst and if the boat does not get in for whatever reason, then make sure you showed up early enough to have time to put the boat back on the car or have something figured out as a plan B. ( just in case).
One more thing never take a NO as an acceptable answer, you insist and call a supervisor and tell them how you never had this kind of problem before and can not be possible they not taking your WINDSURF.
Christmas until New years will be hardest time to flight boats due to baggage embargos so be aware.
WHAT PADDLING GEAR DO I BRING: Your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) PFD, Helmet, Skirt, Drytop and wetsuit pants, maybe drypants if you get cold easy this are really a good combo for when we paddle up on the highlands around 6000 feet on the Quijos area.
When we are in the lower lands ( Tena) a shorty top or a splash jacket is recommended it helps keep the water out of your boat or simply skin to the wind will be good ( a whole different dimension).
Most paddlers travel with their own paddle.
If you don't want to carry your gear bag back, you can donate or sell your gear to the school or a local kid, we don't have retailers and gear is very rare around here.
CAN I BRING MY PADDLE? YES or rent paddle for a week. Werner Powerhouse 198cm 30 or 45 degree offset available.
if you partner up with more people and put several paddles in one bag you can share the extra bag fee if any. This is a 50/50 chance they charge you 100$ or I've had my single paddle taken for free a couple of times.
If you bringing a boat you can attach the paddle to the kayak inside the bag, but make sure it has a FRAGILE sign on. Just make sure is kinda flat along the boat. ( Is the easiest way to avoid extra fees)
You don't have to bring your rescue gear but if you want to have it with you is that much better, We carry rescue gear with us always and we have plenty of extra throwbags for every boater, everyone always carry one when in the river, Our staff is highly trained in kayak and swiftwater rescue, if you don't have any training you may want to get in touch with us to have you getting some extra information, is good to know some rescue skills before you paddle in Ecuador due to the characteristics of the continuous whitewater, we have a Rescue3 International certified Instructor as the lead guide to ecuadorpaddling team, we will and can do refreshers on rescue techniques for groups under request. Let us know.
here is some useful knots for you to practice your rescue techniques:
Animated Search and Rescue Knots by Grog.
WHAT TO WEAR OR BRING? Required – good footwear !! slipery AF .
Be advised that the weather can change quickly, be ready for spring weather to hot tropical jungle.
minimum temps 50 degrees celcius
DO I NEED TO SIGN A WAIVER? Yes, all guests must sign a waiver. Also, guests under the age of 18 will need a guardian’s signature.
* Guests should be prepared for some demanding physical activity.
* Tours are not recommended for anyone who may have a heart condition, neck/back issues, or other medical concerns, please check with your doctor first.
If you have questions please let us know our staff is highly trained on rescue and medical fields and prevention is the first step to take to avoid any incidents.
* Please let us know about if you have any medical conditions before hand and if you have any special needs with food ( allergies, vegan or anything else).
ARE TOURS CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER?Tours will run Rain or shine; however some extra driving may occur during floods. In these events, we will do our best to find adequate rivers to fit the occasion and if is out of control and not safe we may cancel til we can find something appropriate to kayak.
WHAT IS THE MAX SIZE GROUP?Currently we offer groups tours with a maximum size of 8 people. If you have a group with more than 8 participants, contact our reservations department for special scheduling arrangements.
TIP MY GUIDES? Tipping is entirely up to you. If you feel you received exceptional service, feel free to tip your guides.
CAN I BUY A GIFT CERTIFICATE? YES
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE A CREDIT CARD TO PAY ON LINE?
WESTER UNION, PAYPAL, VENMO, CASH. Checks and money orders.
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