TLDR? White water rafting in Doradal is a great way to get outdoors and get your adrenaline pumping.
If you don’t mind getting your shoes wet, it might be time to think about going to Doradal.
Although this small town looks very delicate with its white cottages, cobbled alleys, and colorful balconies inspired by the Santorini Islands, don’t judge a book by its cover: you’ll find some of the best extreme sports in the area.
Doradal has some of the best white water rafting around, and in this guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about trying it out. Let’s read on.
What is White Water Rafting
White water rafting is basically where groups of people paddle down a river in an inflatable boat as they navigate turbulent waters full of obstacles.
Why is it called “white”? Interestingly enough, it’s because of the white foam that the fast waters generate. So yeah, the more white you see, the more dangerous it is!
You can also do white water rafting by kayak or canoe, although as I mentioned earlier, you’ll typically go in an inflatable raft.
The rafts are designed to bounce of rocks and harsh obstacles on the trip. In contrast, canoes can sometimes get beat up and damaged.
In terms of kayaks, these tend to be a bit harder to maneuver. And, they can only fit a few people at once. As a result, they tend to be designed for more experienced rafters.
How to Prepare for Your Rafting Adventure
If you want to go rafting, it pays to be in good shape and to know how to swim. You don’t have to, but it does make things easier. Since the sport involves a lot of movement, it makes it a bit easier for you to participate.
You should also have a waterproof backpack to carry your personal belongings. I always recommend one or two waterproof layers for putting your phone and passport in a bag inside a bag.
Also, don’t carry fragile or easy-to-break objects. Your agency will probably advise you not to take keys, wallet, phone, or any accessories on the trip. Once you get to the departure point, you can ask the guide to indicate where to save them and avoid inconvenience.
To make things easier for you, I’ve made a list of things you’ll want to put in your backpack:
Enough water bottles
ID card or valid passport.
Comfortable walking shoes
Water shoes (optional)
Sunglasses (adjustable, so as to not lose them in the river)
Snacks (Granola bars, fruits, etc.)
First aid kit (Unless your guide has one)
What to Expect During Your White Water Rafting Trip
Now that we’ve got all the prep work out of the way, let’s talk about what to expect on your rafting tour! Here’s everything you need to know to have a great time.
Depending on your ecotourism agency, you’ll have to meet your guide at a specific pick-up point in Medellin. If you’re actually staying in Doradal, you can always depart from town.
But, for those of you that are just planning a day trip from your Casacol property, I definitely recommend figuring out where the departure point is. I took a package of white rafting with the ecotourism company Doradal Antioquia, a paradise to discover. These guys had pick-up from Parque El Poblado, so it was easy for me to coordinate.
After you get to the departure point, it takes about 20 minutes to get from Doradal to the meeting point in the Los Colores Ecoparque hotel. From there, you’ll take a trail that’ll take you to the banks of the river, and the guide will give you the necessary equipment to get things started.
You’ll go over some rules and techniques and discuss the general procedures with your group. Don’t go paddling left while all your friends go right!
The tour begins gently, so you can enjoy the crystal clear water and even take a dip in the water. The landscapes are out worldly! The caves, cliffs, and mountains will make you feel like you’re in the Amazon rainforest (and you’re not far off).
At one point on the trip, you’ll stop to see the Boveda de Marmol and do some hiking. Watch out for scorpion spiders!
What to Expect on the Tour
After the calm part is over (and you’ve had some lunch), it’s time to buckle your helmet and go down the river’s fast waters and waterfalls.
Yes, I said waterfalls! The waterfalls look a lot scarier than they are, with drops of about three to five feet. It’s enough to get your blood pumping, but you’re not likely to run into any real problems.
Just make sure to hang onto your raft so that you don’t fly out of the boat!
Finishing Up Your Tour
Once the main part of the tour is over (which lasts about two hours), you’ll be guided out of the rapids and into a quieter area of the river.
From there, you’ll be steered back to the banks and the guide will take you back to the village. There’s a crew that will pick you and your group up in a jeep or sometimes a bus to take you back to your starting point.
Then, you’ll head back to Medellín to soothe your sore muscles!
Do You Have What It Takes to Navigate Fast Waters?
The only thing you need to go white water rafting is your desire for adventure, a good ecotourism agency, and a waterproof camera. It’s time to put your paddling skills to the test on this white water adventure.
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