San Augustin / Rio Magdalena, Colombia
Whitewater on the Rio Magdalena

Kayak holiday Colombia

Colombia is a whitewater paradise. Although the country has so far been synonymous with drugs, kidnappings and violence the times are changing fast: Colombia is a relaxed country, with friendly, cheerful, cordial people, great culture, vast landscape – and crazy white water :-)


  • Nine days of professional kayak guiding and coaching
  • An absolutely one-of-a-kind experience

Meeting Point

Neiva, Columbia


14 Days

We started our first organized kayaking experience in January 2013 in this fascinating country and returned with enthusiasm: the "Rio Magdalena" is waiting with its 90 kilometers of world class whitewater from WW 2 to 4.


All routes are possible as whitewater day tours from the hotel, or alternatively as a two-days tour with "jungle overnight". The tributaries of the "Rio Magdalena" are fantastic! Our base, the colonial "San Augustin", awaits at 1.700 meters altitude with a pleasantly warm climate. We stay in a dreamlike hotel with friendly Colombian French leadership: paradise does not seem far away. 


With a small group we will repeat this worldwide unique kayak adventure. "San Augustin", the Colombian province "Huila" and the region at the end of the "Rio Magdalena" are fantastically located in the Andes.


Please note: This kayaking experience is something special. We are paddling in a country and region that is in a state of upheaval: vehicles and traffic routes are often in poor condition (many pistes and potholes, poorly paved roads), the Colombian mentality requires patience and empathy (for example, a lot of family members of the driver are always taken in the pickup), and it is very slow on the bad roads.


But this is also the special attraction: Paddling in Colombia has pioneering character. Not every entry or exit point is easy to reach, the vehicles/pickups have partly no windows, a huge roof rack made of bamboo tube and are usually occupied with at least eight people. For this we are compensated with a unique kayak experience in breathtaking scenery. 


day by day

1st day Individual arrival to Neiva with Stopover in the capital city of Colombia Bogota. Pick up from the guides at the airport "Neiva", transfer to the hotel. Welcoming the participants and dinner together. Hotel overnight in "Neiva".


2nd day After breakfast we start in our bus/van/pickup to drive to "San Augustin". The scenic journey takes us to the "Rio Magdalena": our paddle destination. We take a first look at river sections that we will use. Hotel stay in "San Augustin". After a coffee we set off. The kayak guides assist with advice and action, with "fitting material" and tape. A detailed briefing by the guides makes us familiar with land, people, environment, safety, guiding and rivers. Dinner together and hotel accommodation in San Augustin. The national currency is the "Colombian peso" (COP): 1 euro = approx. 2,300 peso. Credit cards work at ATMs (sometimes!!!).


3-12th day Every day we start from the base, our beautiful hotel in "San Augustin", for kayak day tours (optional a two days tour with "jungle overnight"). What Rivers and river sections we take, we decide daily on the basis of the water levels, the wishes and the ability of the participants. You can choose from: The Rio Magdalena, the Rio Paez, the Rio Mazamorras, Rio Sombrorillo, etc. On the river we will take you to the best of the lines, also enjoy a playspot and work on the improvement of your personal paddling techniques. Dinner together and hotel accommodation in San Augustin.


If the current security situation allows, we will also aim for two or three paddling days on the rivers around the village "Mocoa". The white water there is unique (e.g. the "Rio Pepino"). However, since "Mocoa" lies in the still crisis-ridden Colombian province of "Putumayo", we will only take this option if the security situation is absolutely stable. Possibly one to two hotel nights in "Mocoa".


13th day After breakfast we leave the beautiful "San Augustin". With our bus/van/pickup we drive back to "Neiva". Last dinner together and graduation "Fiesta" in the local bar. Hotel overnight in "Neiva".


14th day After breakfast: Transfer to the airport "Neiva". Goodbyes by the guides. Individual departure.



  • Nine days of professional kayak guiding and coaching on the river through local and experienced kayak guides

  • German, English and Spanish speaking direction

  • Organization and tour accompaniment throughout the duration of the kayak experience

  • Provision of expedition pharmacy, first aid, spare paddle, water filter, spot emergency transmitter, safety package etc.

  • Including overnight stays with breakfast in Colombia: Second to twelfth night in typical hotel/lodge/cabaña in the dormitory or double room-subject to availability. First and last night in "Neiva".

  • All vehicle transfers in Colombia during the kayak experience including airport transfers

  • Plus rental fee for kayak/paddle, not included in the price are flights, lunch and dinner, drinks and tips


Arrival and departure

Takes place individually by flight from/to "Neiva". The city of "Neiva" is served by the Colombian airline "Avianca" several times a day in an approximately one-hour domestic flight from Bogota, the capital of Colombia. In order to pick up/transfer from the airport "Neiva" to "San Augustin" (and back) an intensive coordination of the participants with us is required to ensure the simultaneous arrival of all participants at the airport "Neiva".


Further Information

Degree of Difficulty

Whitewater WW 3


  • Safe on Whitewater WW 3


Hotels and beautiful typical cabana


Global-Kayak / Ecuador-Kajak, Bamberg

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Nico Langner

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