Rafting the Papigochi River

by Benjamin Kerns

Sep 7, 2019

Cenote near Playa del Carmen, Mexico © Andamanse | Dreamstime

Destinations / North America

The Papigochi River is located in Northern Mexico, making it a great spot for travelers to test the waters of our southern neighbor. It flows through the beautiful Copper Canyon, just 31 miles from the town of Madera.


The waters are classified primarily as category III, though can go upward of V depending on the season and rain. That’s why it’s a favorite among experienced rafters, but still open to those not as well versed but willing to go with a guide. Copper Canyon itself consists of six different canyons with points reaching deeper than the Grand Canyon. The area is famous for its breathtaking topography and abundant wildlife. The towering canyon walls provide an exceptional backdrop and you barrel through the raging rapids and waves.


If you’re not busy rafting the Papigochi you can even squeeze in a few more adventures while in the area. Copper Canyon boasts great opportunities for rock climbing, repelling, hiking and even has the longest zip line in the entire world.


While you can hire a guide before setting out on your trip, it’s just as easy to find a local guide once you’re in Madera to take you down the river. As one of the most popular activities in the region, there are literally dozens of outfitters in town that offer guides and equipment to get you on your way.



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