A rushing river with cold waters that descends from the Andes through an unbelievable array of green and foggy mountains in the higher zone, huge trees on the riversides, mammals, birds and insects that emit their characteristic sounds, a slight drizzle that gently falls on the Amazon jungles and a set of sensorial experiences all set the tone for the Adventure that is about to begin in Napo, a province of the Amazon region, in the home country of the four worlds: Ecuador.
Upon leaving Tena, capital of Napo, towards the Jatunyacu River, whose meaning in Kichwa is “Big Water”, the “Trade Ecuador” Magazine team had mixed feelings of expectation and uncertainty about what it would be like to go rafting for the first time. This is a category 3 river. Once we reached the loading site, adrenaline and emotions ran high as we were about to experience one of the most thrilling Adventure sports that exists, rafting.
The Jatunyacu River is a river branch that is formed by the Mulatos and Verdeyacu rivers, which originate from the Cotopaxi volcano and the lakes of the National Park Llanganates. This river carries sediments from the moorlands and cloud forests it crosses. The Jatunyacu, together with the Anzu Rivers, are the principal tributaries of the majestic Napo River that runs through the northern part of Ecuador’s Amazon Region and flows into the great Amazon River described Andrés Samper, our instructor and guide at Torrent Duck, the tour operator that has organized this rafting tour in the province of Napo.
A considerable physical effort is required to row during the trip, especially when we have to row against the current to avoid passing through certain “holes” in the river, or specific sites where the river becomes very turbulent and could overturn the boat. Suddenly we find ourselves in another rapid, with big waves (considering that this is a river) and everyone yells with excitement as the boat rises and suddenly falls during this section of the Jatunyacu River.
Three hours after we began our descent down the river, the guides told us that we would stop for lunch at a cabin located on the right side of the River shore. While the guides from Torrent Duck prepared some delicious cheese, ham and vegetable sandwiches for the starving adventurers, we decided to take a swim in the river and float for a few minutes in order to feel the power, energy and temperature of the water, which turned out to be quite cold.
Afterwards, we continued the trip to Puerto Napo, our final tour destination. Before reaching the port, there was a light fog that rose from the river and created a sublime vision of the jungle, the river and the sky, that in that instant all seemed to merge. After crossing the meeting point of the Jatunyacu and Anzu Rivers, which form the immense Napo River, we reached the first port if the Ecuadorian Amazon region: Puerto Napo.
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