|Stretch:||From the end of the road to the Anzu|
|Difficulty:||Class IV- (low) to IV+ (high)|
|Flows:||No gauge. Visual only...|
|Gradient:||131 fpm average|
|Put-in:||At the end of the road|
|Take-out:||Near the nice river resort|
|Shuttle:||4.5 miles on bad road|
|Featured in Video Eighty-Three|
Ecuador 2013 Day 8:
Of all the low water runs we had, this is the only one that I was disappointed with what could have been. The nature of the river is channelized granite boulders and held its minimal water well... but that same nature made it obvious that with a medium flow the run would be world-class class IV. As it was, it was still fun, but it was disappointing knowing how much better it could have been. But alas, oh well. At least we didn't get flashed off of it like a group of our friends the week after Diane and I went home. So beggars can't be choosers.
The real draw to this run, other than the nice whitewater, is the spectacular jungle scenery. The river is away from any road (though not so far you are hosed if it flashes), which leaves you with pristine jungle views lining the river. And the contrast of the grey granite, with the green jungle, and crystal clear turquoise water is really something else.
You might wonder why this run is not in the printed guidebook... and that is because it is new. Only a few years ago the road along the river was extended in order to reach a village. As such, this river has only been getting run for the past few years, but in that time it has become a classic and on all class III/IV boaters lists when in Tena
Also, as this area is popular, I am sure all of the rapids on these rivers have real names... but I don't know them.
- Shallow Boogie (III). For the first half mile there is just some shallow boogie. I imagine if this stuff is rowdy, it is time to get a little nervous.
- The Rio Piatua comes in on river left. The rapids pick up though mostly just read and run. I am hesitant to do a full rapid by rapid because the flows were so low. I am sure it all changes when the water is up. So instead, here are just some pics.
- Lower Put-in is at a footbridge over the river. Or at least I think I recall a footbridge. The last rapid prior to it is rather junky but goes down the left.
- Below the upper take-out I was told the river spreads out and becomes tedious at low flow. Though there apparently are still two or three more good rapids downriver.
Take E45 South out of Tena for 37 km to the town of Santa Clara. Just before the town there is a bridge (very small with very low clearance) that crosses the Rio Anzu. Cross this. It can be take-out if the water is high. If the water is low... on the other side, turn immediately left (in 2013 it appeared that this was just going to be a gravel lot, but instead opened up to a dirt road. There were some forks on the road... and honestly I did not keep them straight. Know that you are on the left side of the river (as you drive up it, looking up it) so when in doubt take a right. Eventually you get to a resort cabin, just past the cabin is a turnout on the right with a trail down to the water. This is a great low water take-out. Our cab-driver knew the way (but was also a kayak shuttle driver)
Put-in: Continue up the road. There was a turn here, to the right is a lower put-in that takes some of the teeth out. Or you can go left and continue up to the bridge over the river and put-in here.
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