mexico trips

Mexico falls
about mexico
about liquid adventures
costs and refund policy
getting there
what to bring

2006 schedule
advanced beginner / low intermediate program
strong intermediate program
advanced program
expert program

Looking for an escape from the winter chill? Hoping to develop your kayaking skills in a fun, intensive outdoor classroom? Like to find some exotic adventure away from the beaten path?

If so, then come join Liquid Adventures as we migrate south for the winter!  Along with our gear, we pack our enthusiasm for the warm culture, our individualized approach to instruction and our decades of professional instructional experience. We have been exploring remote Mexican rivers for years, and we invite you to join us.  All you need to bring is a sense of adventure, a desire to build your river skills and maybe a Spanish phrase book.  Whether you are new to the sport or are a seasoned kayaker, you'll end up with improved paddling skills, a wealth of river experience, and perhaps the adventure of a lifetime.
See our links below for details about our programs, locations we paddle and logistics for getting there. Be sure to call our office at (301) 229 0428 with your questions.


About Mexico
If you've never been to Mexico, or if you've only visited Mexican tourist resorts, you're in for a great surprise. Our neighbors to the South are friendly, warm and hospitable. Mexico is a country of extremes, with a rich history and a strikingly different culture from ours. Our whitewater trips take us to sparsely traveled corners, encompassing some of the country's most lush and beautiful landscapes. Our more advanced expeditions include camping riverside, but we always take time out to explore local towns, sample Mexican cuisine and make new friends along the way. The winter weather is perfect for paddling and generally sunny, with air temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees and water temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
If you travel a great deal, you'll enjoy the immersion in colorful, easy-going Mexico. If you're new to this part of the world, you can sit back and relax: Mexico is our home away from home, and we're excited to plan a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for you. We generally travel on our expeditions through San Luis Potosi and Veracruz states, along the central Gulf of Mexico coast, running the rivers flowing from the Sierra Madre and off of the mighty Pico de Orizaba. We base our Beginners and Intermediates trips around Jalapa and select sections to run according to skill levels and river conditions. On our Advanced trips we travel to mountains north of Mexico City.  We will add an exploratory trip to Chiapas as the last trip of the Winter season. See each program for details.


week long adventures

West Virginia

day/weekend trips
North Branch
of the Potomac
Lower Yough
Cheat Canyon
Lower Gauley
The New River
Upper Yough

About liquid adventures
Liquid Adventures' Mexico trips are led by kayaking professionals with years of instructional experience. We are renowned in the Washington, D.C. community for our commitment to professionalism, safety and spirit of adventure. As the week progresses you will find that our teaching style is defined by the love for being in the outdoors and a dedication to helping you grow confidence in your skills. We know Mexico and her rivers well, and look forward to enjoying this year's trips with paddlers of all levels.
Tom McEwan has been paddling in Mexico since 1980. He made the first descents of the Tomate, Cajones, and Upper Valle National rivers. Over the years, he has come to know the rivers, as well as the local paddling community in Mexico. He is co-director of Liquid Adventures and his instructional programs have produced many of the best paddlers in the country. 

Sarah Park is co-director of Liquid Adventures. Her first visit to Mexico was in 1997, and since she has also pioneered first descents down Mexican rivers. She is ranked in the top ten U.S. women's slalom racing team trials for 2003 and teaches whitewater paddling year-round.


horse and kayaksCosts and refund policy

Prices: The cost of trips ($1280) includes all expenses but airfare and alchohol.  

Registration: For our Mexico trips, a 30% deposit is required to confirm a reservation with the balance due on the 15th of November. (We will automatically debit your credit card if you request). Reservations within 30 days of the trip date require full payment with the reservation. Reservations after 15th November require full payment.

Please print out a registration form and mail to the address below or use the online payment. An equipment list, waiver and health form will be emailed to you.

Cancellation: If notice is received more than 30 days prior to the trip date, a refund, less the 30% deposit, will be issued. No refunds or alterations will be issued within 30 days of trip date. We highly recommend Trip Insurance to protect you in case there is a sudden need to cancel.
We thank you for your understanding.


i'll buy that muleGetting there
Once you register, you are encouraged to book your flights early to secure low fares. Flights should arrive as close to noon as possible on the first published date of a trip. Departure flights should be booked for the early afternoon of the last day of a trip. Alternatively, it is possible to travel to the airport via night bus from our final paddling location and take an early morning flight home. We are happy to discuss these options with you when you are ready to make airline reservations.

Upon arrival in Mexico City on the first day, we gather at the airport's international arrivals area. Arrival times will be coordinated in advance. We then travel together by bus and car to our first paddling destination.

If you would like to arrive early for a visit to Mexico City or other parts of Mexico, please let us know in advance. You can either return to the airport to rendezvous with the group or join us at our first paddling destination.

Our lodgings vary depending on the location of rivers paddled.  We paddle in relatively quiet parts of Mexico, and the nearby accommodations are simple, clean and quite charming. We have been visiting the Hot Springs Resort at Carrizal and Campamento Aventurec for years and our students have never been disappointed. When we stop in cities, our options expand and we usually stay in 2 or 3 star hotels.
Guests generally share double occupancy rooms. If you feel the need for your own room at some point on the trip, an extra charge may apply.


What to bring

We provide details of what to bring and suggested vaccination guidelines to participants prior to the trip. We supply boats from a fleet in Mexico, but ask participants to bring their own paddles, PFDs, helmets, sprayskirts and float bags. If you'd like to bring your own boat, it is possible to fly it with you as extra baggage. Please check with your airline. We may be driving to Mexico, in which case we can possibly transport your own boat.


  2006 schedule        


Int - Adv for Youth
8 days in country

6 days of paddling
Dec 25 - Jan 1

Strong Intermed.
8 days in country

6 days of paddling
Jan. 7 - 14
Advanced Beginner/Low Intermediate
8 days in country

6 days of paddling
Jan. 15 - 22
8 days in country

6 days of paddling
San Luis Potosi
Jan. 24 - Jan. 31

8 days/6 days of paddling
Jan. 15 - 22
including all land expenses (except for alcoholic beverages).
These trips offer the perfect mix of paddling on the water and relaxation onshore. In addition, given that this is both an Advanced Beginner and Intermediate trip, it serves as the perfect vacation for paddling friends who are of different skill levels. With this flexibility, you can choose to enjoy a relaxing day on an easier section of river or take a plunge into more vigorous whitewater. 

Sunday is a day of travel and getting to know one another. But be ready, because starting Monday, you'll have five straight days of instruction, river drills and down river paddling ahead! By the time you head back to Mexico City on Saturday, you won't believe how far your skills and confidence have progressed during the week. Each day on the river, we'll review basic strokes and river maneuvers, test out our rolls and then head down some of our favorite class I-II stretches of the Rios Bobos and Actopan. 

Throughout the week, we emphasize stroke development, river maneuvers, river scouting, and appreciation of the beautiful, undeveloped landscape. You'll believe that you have the waterfalls and stunning views all to yourself...until the local children race out to the shore to greet you. We'll spend 5-6 hours on the water, so you'll have plenty of time afterwards for walks in the local towns or along the river. And who knows, maybe by the end of the week you'll be ready to run your first class III rapid or friendly, 18-foot waterfall! In addition, we hope to shoot video during the day so we can review your paddling technique through video analysis over chilled cervezas in the evenings.

Our exact itinerary will depend on the river levels. We know the area well and are best equipped to assess conditions once we're there. We'll overnight at friendly indoor accommodations. We'll enjoy the Hot Springs Resort in Carrizal, where we can practice rolling in the warm springs, or overnight in the simple cabins at Campamento Aventurec, where we can hike the hilly jungles and explore the local archeological digs in the afternoons. 

Our Advanced Beginner / Low Intermediates' trip is ideal for people who have had an introduction to kayaking in a few river classes and pool rolling sessions. If you are new to Liquid Adventures, we recommend that you join us for our easy learning steps. Call us to talk about the right level for you. See below for more information. 


8 days/6 days of paddling
Jan. 7 -14
including all land expenses (except for alcoholic beverages)
Intermediates will enjoy plenty of liquid adventure in Mexico!  We’will spend six straight days of river running, with a focus on improving your boat handling and control, challenging your abilities with miles of rapids, with the option of spending an overnight on the river. Depending on your individual skill levels, by the end of the week you can hope to run the class IV rapids of the Rio Filo-Bobos.

This paddling adventure consists of day trips to explore the Rios Pescados, Actopan and Bobos. The first day we spend in transit, getting to know one another and making our first acquaintance with Mexico on the way. After assessing individual skills and goals, we determine our river-running itinerary. And the paddling begins the following morning. The possibilities are endless in this remote whitewater playground! 

Depending on conditions, we usually begin on the Rio Actopan, which gushes out the side of a hill through reeds and bushes and becomes a clear, class III stream with fluorescent-blue water. We also may run the Barranca Grande, which offers two different class III+ canyon sections of whitewater. En route to Tlapacoyan, we can stop at one of the Gulf coast beaches to try a little kayak surfing. Once in Tlapacoyan, we venture into the Rio Bobos, which offers class III and a couple of class IV rapids along with a mysterious canyon, a high waterfall and a recently excavated archaeological dig of pre-Columbian ruins.

We overnight at friendly indoor accommodations, planning on a night or two at the Hot Springs Resort, which overlooks the Rio Pescados in Carrizal. Here we dine on-site or in the local village. After dinner, we can head down to the therapeutic waters of the hot springs to enjoy our cervezas, soak our exercised muscles under the twinkling stars and wind down for a good night’ sleep. Enjoy a great hot shower at the end of each day! Moving on, we travel upcountry across a land of deep, magnificent gorges. Our delightful cabins at Campamento Aventurec are set in the hilly jungle of Tlapacoyan, where we’will spend our evenings enjoying a breathtaking view of the barrancas whilst dining on sumptuous Mexican cuisine. 

Our Intermediate trip is ideal for people who are comfortable on the Lower Yough or other class III-IV water. If you are one of our local students who have taken our Intermediate classes, you're probably ready for this trip. If you are new to Liquid Adventures, we recommend that you join us if you have a consistent roll on moving water and feel comfortable in class III. Call us to talk about the right level for you.


8 days/6 days of paddling
Jan. 24 - Jan. 31
including all land expenses (except for alcoholic beverages)
Our advanced itinerary allows you a taste of a true kayaking expedition. We begin our trip in Tampico, traveling into the Sierra Madre mountains in the state of San Potosi. Along the way, you will challenge your paddling skills, test your sense of adventure and pick and choose the most beautiful whitewater available. You may feel as though you’are discovering these rivers for the very first time—but don't worry, we're among the few kayakers to have explored these areas, and we'll be with you the whole way. 
We start by working our way down the gushing waterfalls of El Salto and the Rio Verde. We take a break from these steep, technical rivers to play on the roller coaster falls of the Micos Cascadas, before heading on to the magnificent Santa Maria, which cuts through a deep, remote river canyon with numerous class IV rapids and a rare, river-level view of the 300-foot Tamul falls as they plummet into the Santa Maria. 

These trips are traveling adventures: we overnight at campsites or at an occasional hotel and travel to a new section of a river each day. Our exact itinerary varies depending on conditions. When we’are not car-camping, we usually spend the night at our favorite hotel in Valles, where we sample the local specialties and feast at the local seafood restaurant and grill. 

Our advanced itinerary is designed for solid class IV paddlers who are confident on rivers such as the Upper Yough or the Numbers of the Arkansas, for example. If you are one of our local students who have taken our Advanced classes at Dickerson, you’are probably ready for this trip. If you are new to Liquid Adventures, we recommend that you join us if you have a solid whitewater roll and feel comfortable in class IV whitewater. Please call us to discuss the right level for you.


rappelling custom exploratory trip
8 days/6 days of paddling
Feb. 5 - 12
including expenses (except for cerveza)

The core of these expert expeditions is our own staff who like to explore the great challenges of whitewater in Mexico, and we include some additional, qualified paddlers from outside our programs.  Our itinerary will vary, as we aim to further our discoveries from the previous season's trip. Expect a series of multi-day adventures through remote sections of the Santa Domingo, Rio Grande, Valle National, Rio Verde, Jatate and other great runs. Some of these may be self-contained trips, for which we carry overnight gear in our boats.

These challenging and spectacular rivers offer us big mountain whitewater, gradients up to 200 feet per mile and over-sized springs flowing off high ledges. We run over numerous waterfalls and through steep, technical rapids, though we're prepared to use ropes to get around sections too steep for the group to run. Our trip may take us to the deep, red canyons of the Rio Grande north of Oaxaca City, through an Indian reservation where Spanish is a second language, or down the Seven Sisters waterfalls of the Rio Tomate. We stop along the way to explore the local communities

We car-camp for much of this trip, but are sure to spend a few nights in Oaxaca City so we can enjoy refined Mexican cuisine, cold cervezas and the city's nightlife after tough days of camping and paddling. You'll love the colonial architecture of this charming town, set deep in a valley. It's an arts and cuisine center, so you'll be able to sample the best of Mexico. You may even have time to head out to the nearby ruins of Monte Alban. We usually stay just blocks from the main markets and the famous zocalo.

Our Expert adventure is for paddlers who are comfortable running the Upper Yough or rapids with a similar level of difficulty. You should have a solid combat roll and be fit enough to hike a couple of miles in the afternoon with your boat and equipment. If you are new to Liquid Adventures, we recommend that you join us if you have solid experience in class IV whitewater. Call us to talk about the right level for you. 


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