Another important river is the Misahuallí , navigable from mid-October until mid-March. It is the most difficult river in Ecuador. Faster than the rest of the rivers, it is recommended to experienced sportsmen. The advantage of this river is that it will take you through the "Land of the Giants," the biggest accumulation of rapids in the country.
The rivers flowing in the Western Andes are mainly two rivers: the río Toachi and the río Blanco . These are closer to Quito and they are frequently used for water sports for this reason. The two rivers drain into Valle Hermoso , an ideal site for rest and relaxation after a journey.
The main problem with these rivers is that, due to an ever-growing population, the zone is less clean than the Napo and Misahuallí. However, the landscapes that they offer are still unforgettable: the beginnings of tropical rainforest, dense vegetation and a warm, wet climate. The ideal months to run these rivers are between January and mid-May.
There are other rivers that are not so frequently visited by rafting and kayaking fans which are still unique in their class: the Muluate , Quijos, Puyango and Jatunyaco . "Jatunyaco" means "Big Water" in Quechua and is a good river for beginners who want to step it up a notch.
The best way to get into rafting and kayaking in Ecuador is to choose your tour operator well. You need to be sure that there will be certified, specialized guides who can communicate to you well. In Ecuador there is an Association of River Guides that certifies people to be fully capable river guides.
To organize this kind of trip you can book tours out of Quito in advance or book the tour directly from the city you wish to leave from. Most of the tours depart from the city of Tena. Their price ranges from $30 per person on up, depending on the type of tour, and sometimes not including the price of equipment rentals. Group discounts are usually given.
If rafting doesn't capture your interest, one alternative way to enjoy the jungle and its rivers is to visit Mindo, a small cloud forest town easily accessible from Quito (in car or by bus), 80 km away on the road to Calacalí. Besides camping and enjoying the refreshing scenery, the amazing waterfalls and incredible biodiversity in the protected forest, you can rent inner tubes in the town and enjoy an interesting and exciting float down the small rapids in the river Mindo. The price is around five dollars, which includes equipment and a guide. Mindo is a bird watching hot spot in Ecuador and also has a butterfly garden with several exotic species.