Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rafting The Changuinola River

This was another trip where I had to leave the camera at home and I'm glad I did.  Some of you following my blog from the beginning may have remembered that I like to raft on our adventures.  This rafting experience was amazing because the river was chaotic in some parts.  The Changuinola is not a river for beginners nor is it for people who can't swim.  We had some incredible rapids on this 3 hour trek down the river.  There were two rafts.  One was the raft of the "borrachos" or drunks and ours was the one who saved their sorry butts when their entire raft flipped over spilling everyone into the river.  Normally this wouldn't have been fun, but I loved the challenge as we put into place our emergency measures while still floating towards a major rapid.  I had pulled a member to safey onto our raft but for the first time in my life, I was thrown from the boat as we hit a rock. It went something like this.  Their raft flips.  People scattered all over the river screaming for help.  Our raft reaches out to assist while we enter dangerous waters ourselves.  I pull a person up onto the raft.  In slow motion, I look back and see the "rock" and prepare for my death.  I'm thrown into the waters while still in the rapids. It was a bit scary as the current caught my feet in several of the rocks but thankfully I didn't let go of our raft and two members were able to haul me up.  The Changuinola river is a several hour ride from the town of David or Boquete.  The rapids, depending on the time of year, can go from level 3-5.  Our journey measured at 3/4 which made it exciting and fun.  If you want some adventure, sit in the front of the raft for maximum water splash.  Rafting is a great and fun way to see a different part of the countryside while getting some exercise and laughs.  There are 3 rafting companies in Boquete that are all very good.  We paid around 80 bucks for the day.  If you don't have experience rafting or don't know how to swim, don't do this river. I have to admit that I was a bit scared going into this one when they started talking about rafts flipping over....and sure enough, one of them did.  We didn't want to go on the raft with the drunks because as we all know, drinking and driving aren't good things.  And because they didn't take things seriously nor pay attention, their raft flipped over.  Anyhow, I'd do it again because it was a blast. If you want a little spice for your trip, this makes for a great day trip.  One more post to go today at 2PM and our adventures in Panama will be over.  September is a really interesting month of writes from the garden, forest fires, gardening tips, some travel, and a bit of science.  We're back in Tucson starting tomorrow!


  1. I like a quiet paddle down a still body of water...looking for turtles on a log
    yee gades,,you sound like my daughter and son in law....adventure racers they are....
    She didn't get it from me
    who in your family is the wanderer and adventurer?
    I do love to read about it though....sort of a cheap thrill on this side of the computer screen and no water in my mouth no drunks
    I think if I had known about these things when I was young....I might have

  2. Hmmm....that's a good one. I'm the wanderer. In a family of 8, everyone has stayed back in Wisconsin and while they explore the Great Lakes Region, I've strayed quite a ways from home. I love to travel and so do some of my siblings but they don't like to be far from where they grew up. Now it's off to work:( It's so early. I miss summer vacation!

  3. Hi Chris, this activity is something which scares me even if just viewed on TV-Nat Geo. You are brave for loving it!

  4. The day before I go rafting, I always think, "Will I make it this time?" I had heard so much about this river before going and I have to admit, I was a bit scared going into it. Some rivers are nice to go on. This one was definitely action packed.

  5. Just wanted to say I enjoyed your series from Panama, but rafting would have been my highlight. I have started taking my little point and shoot on the kayak with me, wrapped in a water tight bag and kept in a zippered case on a string around my neck. I would never take my real camera, but this one works well, though I make sure I am still when I use it.

  6. Thanks for reading. On our river trip, I was frustrated because there were several opportunities to snap shots or some incredible kingfishers! They really do a great job posing:) Sometimes I'll purchase a water camera, but on this trip, I just wanted to be free of the camera....but that's when photo opportunities present themselves! It's a no win. Thanks for reading.


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