The rafting guides from Barefoot Expeditions are always exploring new options for whitewater rafting and kayaking in Ecuador. This weekend Diego Altamirano -from Quito- and Gregorio Andi -from Tena- (both were in the Ecuadorian Team in the last world rafting championships in Korea) met their friends from Ibarra and together explored the Mira River located in the north-western side of Quito, close to the city of Ibarra.
The Mira river lays in a dry and warm interandean valley, where sugar cane and local fruits, such as “ovos” (they look like cherries but with a sour flavor), grow almost wild. The area is still untouched, the water is clean and warm and the views are fantastic, in some sections the canyon is very deep and in other sections you see hectares and hectares of sugar cane.
The train lines that were used to go from Ibarra to San Lorenzo -formerly the only way to get to San Lorenzo. Nowadays it is only a tourist attraction that crosses the river by using ancient bridges. It is such an experience to raft underneath those bridges.
Although this river is close to an important and popular tourist attractions such as the Otavalo indigenous market, Peguche waterfall, Cuicocha, Yaguarcocha and San Pablo lakes, not too many people know the Mira river and even fewer have rafted here.
The navigable part of the river has 45 km (about 30 miles), where it is possible to make one-day or two-day rafting trips in class III and class III-IV rapids. It is a great option for commercial trips and it is even closer to Quito than the popular Toachi & Blanco rivers in the southwest.