SierraRios contribution guidelines: General


Note: contribution guidelines can change at any time. Only full payment locks in the rate at the time.
To make a payment, see ways at the PAYMENT page.


General participants on SierraRios trips are passengers/paddlers on a raft or experienced boaters in charge of paddling their own kayak or rowing a raft. General participants who wish to be in charge of a kayak or raft must have adequate prior experience, provide references, and provide a damage deposit. Those with limited river running experience usually will ride on a raft as a passenger or help paddle a raft, and may have the opportunity to be in a kayak or IK at times on easier sections of river. Full paying general participants are not required to help with camp chores (but do set up their own tents). All participants must agree to abide by the trip leader decisions and sign an assumption of risk agreement.

Our normal rates are generally much lower than is typical in this industry, partly because our main goal is conservation of these rivers and we often enlist significant "helper guides" on our trips. Helper guides can be local residents learning more about boating who help with camp chores or security, and/or experienced guides from other rivers who wish to do the trip at a reduced rate in exchange for offering their expertise on the water. We also sometimes grant reduced rates to certain participants with limited financial means who can help with safety or publicity, such as to safety kayakers (if needed), to journalists or filmmakers who can help with publicity, to anti-dam activists who will be instrumental in protecting the river, and to citizens of the country where the river is located who will advocate for protection. Please send an inquiry if you would like to be considered for a reduced rate, but consider the basic cost to cover expenses of a trip always must be met (Outfitting Service).

General contribution levels are:

Mexico Expeditions:
$1300 for Usumacinta (6-7 days)
$1300 for Lacanjá (6-7 days)
$2000 for Mulatos-Aros (10-11 days)

Peru Expeditions:
$2400 for Marañon (Upper) (~12 days; UpperGC+InnerGorge)
$2600 for Marañon (Main) (13-14 days; CentralGC+LowerGC)
$1000 for Marañón (JunglePongos) (5-6 days: P.Malleta to Imacita)

$1400 for Cotahuasi (7 days)
$1400 for Colca (7 days)
$1200 for Tambo (6 days)
$2800 for Pampas-Apurimac trip (16 days)

Bolivia Expeditions:
$2800 for Pilcomayo (16 days)
$3200 for SanPedro-Grande (~20 days)
$1600 for SanPedro only (~9 days)
$2000 for Grande only (~11 days)

Argentina Expeditions:
$2400 for Grande-Colorado trip (14 days; midway entry/exit possible)
$2400 for Neuquén (14 days)

Ethiopia Expeditions:
$3200 for BlueNile (16-18 days) [high water full trips; Jul-Sep]
$5000 for BlueNile (~30 days) [medium water full trips; Oct-Nov]
$2800 for BlueNile (~16 days) [medium to low water half trips: Rennaissance Bridge to Sirba; Oct-Feb]
exhanges possible at various bridges - see MAP; if interested in a shorter trip, send an Inquiry]

Myanmar Expeditions:
$1400 for NamPang (7 days)
$1200 for Salween1 (6 days)
$1200 for Salween2 (6 days)
$800 for Doktwaddy (3-4 days)

These rates assume a deposit is made at least 3 months in advance and full payment is made at least 2 weeks in advance [add 10% to Total Contribution if late on either payment].  The contribution goes toward rafts, kayaks, transport, food, guides, group gear, maps, coordination, advertising, and efforts to protect the river. See what's included in each trip below

Camping gear: if you'd like to use a set of our camping gear including tent, Paco pad, chair, sleeping bag, paddle jacket and drybag add on 5% to your contribution amount ; (PFD and helmet are included in the normal rate) [items can be rented individually as well - see RENTALs].

$160 Marañón flight: on the Marañón trips, if you prefer to take the 1 hr flight Trujillo-Chagual (MainGC) or Chagual-Trujillo (UpperGC) instead of riding on the overnight 12-hr bus

SocialMedia ($100+ discount): you can take advantage of this if you help spread the word about the river, trip and conservation measures; it is generally available if you have a Facebook account with >100 friends, send an email to >20 potentially interested friends, or find some other way to get others interested. See details at the SocialMediaAdvocate page.

6-20%: Group discount: If some of your friends and family decide to join you on the trip, you all get rewarded with a discount. If your group of X people joining the trip is 3 or more, then take 2X% off of the trip rate (max. 20% off for group of 10+).
10%: Repeater: sometimes granted if you joined SierraRios on a trip in the past and significantly promoted conservation, the trip, and SierraRios via articles/posts/slideshows/etc.
10%: Sequential trip: if two sequential trips of 6+ days are joined on the same river or based out of the same city, take 10% off both trips.

When ready to sign up for a trip, send an email message ( stating your name, how you found out about the trip, where you live, your river-running experience, and a little more about you and who you might get to sign up for the trip as well. You'll then have to make your deposit ($500 or $1000) via any of the methods outlined in: PAYMENTS .

If you want to join a SierraRios LLC river trip, you will need to provide a deposit to reserve your place on a trip ($500 for a trip up to 14 days; $1000 for trips >14 days). This will also help assure the trip continues to be scheduled. General rates assume a deposit is provided 3+ months in advance of the launch date. Full contribution must be received 2 weeks before the trip (if late on deposit or on full payment, 2% will be added per day late up to a full late fee of 10% - with late fee calculated based on total contribution amount).

Make you deposit with a credit card at the SquareUp payment center.

All participants in charge of a raft or kayak must also provide a damage deposit in the amount of $300 that will cover equipment damage/loss (such as broken or lost oars or paddles) and/or a credit card data and authorization to charge. Any participant in charge of a raft or kayak takes on the responsibility for that equipment and must agree to provide replacement costs (MSRP + shipping + importation dues + tax) in the event of damage/loss. Damage deposits will be returned after the trip when a full evaluation of the trip and river is provided (such damage deposits can sometimes can be directed to be given as tip to the guides).

Full payment is due 2 weeks before departure date. Discounts and the damage deposit will be refunded after the trip. If full payment is provided <2 weeks in advance, 2% will be added per day late up to a full late fee of 28%. If full payment is not made by the time a trip commences, add 50% to the total contribution amount.

We reserve the right to cancel the trip 60+ days in advance. This generally will occur only if there are not enough paying participants signed up (generally if <4 full-paying clients). If we cancel the trip for this reason, all deposits and payments will be refunded. We do not provide any reimbursement for cancelled airfare. If a trip is cancelled at any time for reasons out of our control (war, catastrophy, drought, flood, etc), you will not be due any refund. It is best to have a travel insurance policy to protect against such situations.  

If you must cancel, you'll get all of your money back if you find someone comparable to take your place on the trip who pays at least the same rate. Otherwise, you will not be due any money back. It is best to have a travel insurance policy to protect against situations where you may be forced to cancel.

We often give credit in lieu of a refund but credit must be used toward another trip in a timely manner. See the policy at the Credit Policy page.

We strongly recommend that you get a travel insurance policy that covers emergency trip cancellations, evacuations, medical treatment, theft, loss of equipment, missed flights, war, drought, hurricanes, or other circumstances that might arise during your travel abroad and lead to loss of equipment/travel/trip. You can find these insurance policies through Squaremouth, Travelguard, and Travelsafe. On some newer trips with more risks involved, we may require proof of such insurance. You are are not due any refund for cancelling your trip. You are responsible for your own missed flights, evacuations, medical costs, and baggage/equipment loss before and during the expedition. We are not responsible for refunding money if trips are cancelled or end short for reasons out of our control.


Trip contribution covers:
-Transport to the river from the rendezvous city at the start of the trip (see specific trip page)

-Transport to indicated rendezvous city at the end of the trip
-All meals while on the river with sanitized bowls, plates, and utensils [see FOOD/DRINK/SANITATION]
-Guides* to captain rafts, arrange logistics, provide safety on the water, prepare meals, and interact with residents
-Rafts and kayaks (passengers will be on a raft with a guide; experienced paddlers may reserve a boat to paddle)
-PFD and helmet (good quality type III or V PFDs and WRSI or equivalent helmets - required for safety)

-All permits, local permissions and local guides required to safely pass villages, bridges with military, etc.

Contribution does not cover:
-Hotel stays (before departure day or after take-out day) 
-Personal camping gear (tent, Paco pad, camp chair, tent, drybag, sleeping bag) [add 5% for all these: or see RENTALs]

-Alcohol or canned beverages (you pay extra for beer, wine, cocktails, and/or canned soft drinks/juices)
-Tips: you should budget some gratuity at the end to give to your guides (typically ~10% of your contribution amount)

* All trips have river guides trained in swiftwater rescue and wilderness first aid; general participant raft passengers/paddlers will be on a raft captained by such a guide. Our trips also have local river guides or bilingual guides who help with resident interactions.