The glorious Rio Grande brings thousands of outdoor enthusiasts to Santa Fe every year. Everyone from beginners testing their endurance to expert thrill-seekers are on the racing river. Whitewater season lasts from March to October, and there are plenty of ways to experience the fun and excitement no matter your skill level. To help you plan your Southwest getaway, here are some of the best water activities around Santa Fe, NM.

Whitewater rafting


First on our list is whitewater rafting. This is the most obvious choice for exploring the Rio Grande and Rio Chama, and for good reason! Santa Fe Rafting Co. offers half-day, full-day, and even multi-day excursions for visitors to enjoy. For a peaceful trip, take a tour along the Rio Grande Orilla Verde or Rio Chama Chavez to Big Eddy. The Rio Grande Racecourse is the most popular stretch for those seeking something challenging. Yet, it’s still calm enough to bring the kids along. Ifyou want to test your endurance, the Rio Grande Taos Box provides exciting class IV rapids. You also witness a breathtaking view of the Taos Gorge Bridge.


For those of you who prefer to be the captain of your own ship, kayaking is the way to go. Take lessons from expert instructors at New Mexico River Adventures, or rent a vessel and take a self-guided tour. Traditional plastic kayaks are just fine for calmer stretches of water. However, if you want to take on the rapids, then an inflatable kayak, or ducky, is going to be your safest option.


Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun and unique way to travel the Rio Grande and Rio Chama. Kokopelli Raft Adventures offers expert instruction on flat water for true beginners, and on moving waters for those with a little more experience. If you’ve already have some experience, rent a board and lead your own excursion at your own pace.

Fly Fishing

For a full-service tour, check out Land of Enchantment Fly Fishing. They provide all the equipment, tutelage, and refreshments for a relaxing day of reeling in trout. Plus, they offer half-day and full-day trips on a variety of rivers across Northern New Mexico. The choice is yours to wade through the water or relax onboard a drift boat. If you’re looking for an extended trip or a large group outing, they’ll customize a package especially for you.

Once you’ve finished enjoying the best water activities around Santa Fe, NM, rest and recharge at Inn of the Turquoise Bear. Our intimate, historic property is the perfect place to enjoy the serenity and beauty of Santa Fe. We offer 9 unique and comfortable rooms from which to choose. Each morning, we’ll treat you to a gourmet breakfast. What’s more, delectable house-baked treats are available to enjoy any time during the day. Our guest-oriented attention to detail provides you with an idyllic and transformative Southwestern getaway.

June 7 2021