Join the first commercial descents of several river gems in the state of Colima, home of the 14206 ft Volcán de Colima. Contrast the volcanic rock gorges of Ríos Armeria and Coahuayana with the granite of Río Marabasco. This trip is suited for intermediate or advanced paddlers seeking varied class III and IV tropical whitewater experiences. Bring your boat or use one of ours: raft passengers welcome.
The Colima Rivers trip is for those seeking varied tropical whitewater experiences with a lot of class III and IV. The trips will have raft options and at least one will be multi-day raft support. Although there is some shuffling around from one river to the other, a high amount of gradient is descended, and you get to experience many typical aspects of Colima: beaches, volcanic canyons, a colonial Mexican city (Colima), and of course, her amazing rivers. Colima is known for its giant volcano - the most active in North America. It looms 4330 m (14206 ft) above the coastal plains below. Two rivers run along the west (Armeria) and east (Coahuayana) sides of it, passing through young volcanic rock gorges. When the rivers emerge from the class IV gorges, they continue with surprisingly high gradients (~9 m/km or 50 fpm) nearly all the way to the ocean with tons of class III rapids. The volcanic canyons and terrain of the Armeria and Coahuayana contrast with granite bedrock of the Marabasco to the west, which is another coastal river cutting through the more typical granite in the Sierra Madre del Sur. We will paddle the best and most appropriate sections of each of these rivers, which are remarkably well-suited to rafting and kayaking trips due to the completely runnable class III and IV rapids.
The itinerary below is not set in stone and some aspects need to be worked out, so expect changes. Also, the trips may be rearranged per water levels or client requests. We are planning to drive through Puerto Vallarta enroute to Manzanillo, so can pick you up there if you happen to find a better flight. [You may have to return there by bus at the end of the trip]. Trip price only includes 7 days of boating, assuming there may be less boating due to some unknown details of the trips at this point. We have Río Marabasco scheduled for both the start and end of the week because it is such an outstanding run, it deserves to be paddled twice - probably at two different flows. This also gives you some flexibility in when you join us. It may be possible to join us for only one of the trips listed at prorated amounts (#days you join/8 days).
To see more information about each river from the first descents, check out the slideshows:
Marabasco (Main - we only paddle the Main Marabasco, not the class V upper section)
DAY 1: Río Marabasco. On DAY 1, we will paddle the incredible class IV day section on this river going through a scenic granite gorge. The rock is reminiscent of California's Sierra Nevada, and so are some of the rapids. The biggest ones will have you scouting and musing over lines: Clahbay, Malo, Guadalupe, Perote, and Crescendo. We may camp by the river or return to hotels this evening.
DAYS 2-3: Río Armeria. On DAY 2, we will drive up to Río Armeria and launch on the upper class IV section upstream of the city of Colima. We will paddle through volcanic terrain and the major La Lumbre rapid before arriving at an intersesting slot canyon on the Nevado de Colima side of the river, where we will hike a bit. We plan to camp by the river - perhaps in this section, or perhaps with car support. On DAY 3 we will paddle another 20-40 km of the river, enjoying open class III rapids. We will end and stay the night in the colonial capital city of Colima.
DAYS 4-6:Río Coahuayana. On DAY 4 we will pack up the rafts for a multi-day trip down Río Coahuayana (also called Río El Naranjo) located on the southeast side of Volcán de Colima, and launch. Over the course of 3-4 days on the river, we will paddle numerous class III (possibly IV) rapids and maybe a final 30 km flat section to the beach at Boca de Apiza. After enjoying a piña colada and playing in the surf a bit, we will load up and return to Manzanillo.
OTHER EXPLORATORY TRIPS:
Day8-10: Exploratories (shared costs); generally class III-IV; some V (from the following: Toscano, Nueva Italia, Placeres, Temascaltepec-Punganarancho, Tlaplaneco, Putla-Verde, Atoyac-Verde, Tehuantepec)
As of February, our group total stands at 1. You may make a deposit or pay a balance with the "donate" button below. ($400 deposit for each person; when paying remaining balances, specify discounts that apply); be sure to send Rocky a message with a little info about you and your group.
We reserve the right to cancel the trip at any time. In particular, the trip may not be feasible to run if there are too few paying individuals. If we cancel the trip, all deposits and payments will be refunded.
If you must cancel the trip, we reserve the right to keep a percentage of your deposit according to the following guidelines:
(2) Other guides have yet to be determined.
Breakfast: usually there is a range of foods to choose from: coffee, tea, fruit, cereals, milk, tortillas, and perhaps something special such as eggs/omelettes, pancakes, or french toast. If you have specific preferences, let Rocky know and he will accommodate.
Lunch: Items typically available are trail mix, dried fruits, energy bars, chips, cookies, and/or sandwiches, but there will be some variety (e.g. PB&J always; maybe ham, turkey, tunafish, cheese, avocados, tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, mayo)
Dinner: Rockys dinner menu will include selections from the following types of food: Italian (pasta/salad/cheese), Mexican (tamales, burritos, and/or tacos), Indian (Tasty Bites), or American (turkey).
Desserts: There will always be some form of sweet to eat cookies, chocolates, etc.
Independent of the drug war, there has always been potential danger for assault in Mexico by armed bandits (bandidos). This is the same now as it was 5 , 10, or 20 years ago. Such risk is common in any third world country where citizens are very poor. In the event of assault, we will do all we can to protect our clients and ourselves, but may have to sacrifice our possessions. Because we can never guarantee against such assault, you must agree not to hold us liable for consequent personal injury/damage/loss you sustain on this outing.
The other aspect of safety is prevention of accidents. It is of utmost importance that you take all precautions necessary to avert injury, sickness, and complications while on the trip. As guides, we are there to help get you safely to the river, down it, and back out, but cannot guarantee against accidents. You must accept the responsibility for what happens on the river if you are in control of your craft. If you are concerned about the whitewater or other aspects, it is your responsibility to make appropriate decisions whether to run the rapid or not and to stay close to someone who can watch and oversee you (if you desire that level of protection). If an accident occurs, we will do all in our power to help you, see that proper care is rendered, and/or evacuate you if need be. Rocky is trained as Wilderness First Responder and will administer appropriate emergency medical care if needed. We will have two basic first aid kits available. We will also carry a satellite phone for emergencies and changes of plan.
WHAT TO PACK
River items to bring:
Camp items to bring: