Flo’s Atlántida Adventures: Rafting down the Rio Cangrejal

I am really pumped to tell you guys about this experience. This was the most enjoyable tour yet. Just so you all know, Omega tours does an absolutely phenomenal job, not only with their guides but their up to date equipment and awesome eco lodge.

Today I got a friendly cab driver named Don Melvin to drive me a few kilometers into the Cangrejal River Valley. He dropped me off at Silvia’s and Udo’s eco lodge about an hour before the tour. There I grabbed a good book and picked a hammock that was just right and read to the sound of the rainfall. Yes, it was as nice as it sounds.

IMG_4711[1]

Then around 12 some smiling staff members brought us out huge bowls of spaghetti and fresh bread. It was really nice to share a meal (that’s included in the price by the way) with all of the people I was about to go rafting with. Including the instructors. We all learned each other’s name, where we are from and what our travel plans were like. Next we took a break to get changed and ready for my first white water rafting experience! Darwin and George, our charming and knowledgeable guides suited us up with some life jackets and helmets and led us down a little path down to the bottom of the river. Just a heads up for those interested in doing this tour, you do not have to be an expert but you do have to have the capability to climb over and around some slippery rocks. It was a little challenging at times but it was really worth it.

IMG_4723[1]

Then the boys led us on an expedition up the river, where he taught us how to swim against the current and led us up giant boulders so we could jump off. Even though most people know me as a pretty big chicken, I am proud to say that I jumped off every single point, and screamed my head off while doing it.

Once we got to a certain point, Darwin told us to float on our backs with our feet up and let the current take us back down to where we had started. It was really cool to feel how strong the current was and to just lay back and take in the scenery. I felt like I was in a completely different world, the smooth rocks and giant white boulders really are something else.

IMG_4728[1]

In the span of a few minutes, we were dragged back to our initial location, where we drank some water (which they kindly provide, along with dry bags for your cameras and all the equipment) and hopped into our rafts. After a small introductory and safety lesson we were off. My boat consisted of a Guatemalan girl new to rafting that had just picked up a job with omega throughout her travels, me in the middle and Darwin doing pretty much all the work in the back. He would yell, “paddle forward” “paddle backwards” or “stop” while the boat swirled in circles to the rhythm of the Cangrejal. He led us down waterfalls and rapids for probably the craziest hour and a half I have had in a long time. When it was all over we climbed our way back up to the road where a beaten down jeep was waiting for us and all the equipment. We hopped in, made our way to the bar for happy hour (2 for 1 domestic beer fyi) talked a little bit more and then went our separate ways, exhausted and smiling.

IMG_4725[1]

Contact omega tours if you’re interested and don’t forget to inquire about rooms at their rainforest eco lodge.