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Class II to III rafting/kayaking trip Chagres River

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Our leading one day rafting tour in Panama. You will explore the pristine jungle of Chagres National Park. It includes 4x4 transportation, hiking, rafting/kayaking, breakfast, lunch, and more.

Difficulty: Moderate
Duration: Hike - 1 hour; Rafting - 5 to 7 hours; Trip duration - 14 hours
Included: Snacks, lunch, fruit, drinks
Price: $200 per person, minimum 2 people




The Chagres River, which is the source of water for the Panama Canal as well as for the city of Panama, is virtually unseen in the Chagres National Park due to the lack of access roads. This section of the river, characterized by thick jungle and no people, is considered class II although several of the rapids are considered class III by the International Classification of River Navigation.

As a result of the dense tropical forest that covers the river basin, there is a minimum of sediment in the rivers, and thus the water is generally very clear. The flora, typical of a tropical rain forest, is represented by more than 300 species per hectar (2.5 acres).While the jungle is the habitat of large mammals such as jaguars and tapirs, they are seldom seen. It is much more likely that one will see monkeys (Howler, Spider, White Face Capuchin and Geoffrey's Tamarin), sloth, river otters, iguanas, tucans and fish.

The Chagres River Adventure begins by picking up guests in Panama city at 5:00 A.M., to take them on a 4 X 4 vehicle to a remote village called San Cristobal, beyond the mountain town of Cerro Azul, where we will stop for breakfast (included). After breakfast the tour continues with a hike through the jungle for an hour and a half on a narrow trail that takes us deeper into the jungle until reaching the Piedras River, a tributary of the Chagres River. At approximately 11:00 a.m. we will start an exciting 5+ hour rafting tour in the Chagres Jungle, all the way to Lago Alajuela, where we will arrive at the take out point at about 4:30 with the assistance of members of the Embera Indian Tribes who will carry us and our gear the last half hour. Lunch will be served along the way. Our guests will be taken to the original pick up site at around 7p.m.

Who Can Go? Any person from twelve to seventy years old, in good health, ready to walk for about an hour and a half through an irregular and muddy path. Minors must travel with a responsible adult.

The Chagres River has enough water to paddle year round. It usually reach its highest water level by November, at the peak end of the rainy season, and its lowest water level by May at the end of the dry season.

However, the Chagres Challenge one day tour, can only be offered when Rio Piedras, the tributary we put in, has enough water to paddle, usually from June through February.  When there is enough water we paddle San Cristobal River into Rio Piedras River into Chagres River, 3 rivers in one day!


Helicopter: Fly from Albrook Airport directly to the heart of the Chagres National Park in a helicopter, and then, continue the journey on rafts.

Chagres Overnight: For those of you who are interested in fully experiencing Chagres National Park, and to improve the chances of encountering native wildlife, overnight trips are available and recommended.

  • USA Tel: (310) 341-2511
  • Panama Tel: (507) 6496-1833
  • Email: info@adventuretourspanama.com
    Skype ID: MaxMapache (please include details in contact request)