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With access to six rivers for white-water rafting, Veracruz is an established mecca for the sport in Mexico. The rivers drain the steep slopes rising up to the flanks of Pico de Orizaba, and are the usual tropical-storm drains: wide valley floors with shoal-like rapids at every twist and turn. The rafting season runs from August to November.
The Río Antigua has five runs, all classed at level IV or under. Not far from the Río Antigua, the Río Actopan is an amazing Class III stream. For pure white-water fun, the Río Pescados is the best run in the area. In the rainy season it has some rapids on the high side of Class IV, but mostly the rapids are Class III. Tight turns against the towering cliffs make for some great splatting. Base camps with tents, rafting equipment, and dining facilities are near the river at Jalcomulco, 42 km (26 mi) southeast of Xalapa.
With Amigos del Río you can choose trips based on skill level, from newcomer to expert. Calle Chipancingo 205, Xalapa, Veracruz, 91000. 228/815–8817. www.amigosdelrio.com.mx.
Expediciones México Verde organizes various rafting excursions—from day trips to multiday programs—to Río Pescados, Río Actopan, and other rivers. Most guides speak English. The company also provides an array of adventure sports and group programs. Av. Murillo Vidal 133, Xalapa, Veracruz, 91000. 279/832–3734. www.mexicoverde.com.