Global Descents Brochure
Global Descents offers an incredible collection of inclusive river expeditions at unique locations around the world. Travel aboard one of our rafts to see some of the world’s most mystical places.
As a Dad, I’m always looking for things to do with my three teenagers that they will remember for years to come. When I suggested a family rafting trip, it was met with only half-hearted excitement. In fact, the night before my scheduled trip, I had to actually sell them on the idea once again. All that changed halfway through our trip. My kids had an AMAZING time and I was able to share a day with them that they – or I – will never forget. Thanks for the amazing memories! It’s something that we will live with forever. See you again this summer!— -Chris M., Parker, CO
Why Global Descents?
Global Descents expeditions include locations to suit every adventure travelers taste. We supply access to some of the world’s most spectacular rivers, creating a truly authentic travel experience. Whether you’re on a large aqua blue river in Patagonia, encountering exotic wildlife in Africa, traveling through the deepest canyon in the world, or the cultural experience of lifetime, our premiere expeditions can change the way you view the world!
“Matching great people with great expeditions.”
With Global Descents, you will meet and spend time with the world class river guides, all of whom desire to spend as much time as possible exploring the world’s greatest rivers. Simply put: our guides are knowledgeable, enthusiastic, fun, people with exceptional river skills and uncompromising safety practices. Our guides are the backbone of Global Descents and will keep you coming back to enjoy all of our river journeys.
A guided river expedition with Global Descents will offer you the comfort, security and service of a U.S company abroad. We pride ourselves as true professionals, and have systems in place to ensure a safe and fun filled adventure.
Global Descents focus is personal service to each individual. Understanding your needs, passions, and interests help us create the travel experience of a lifetime.
We pride ourselves on using the best equipment in the industry: self-bailing rafts; US Coast Guard approved life jackets; fully adjustable helmets; thick, inflatable sleeping pads; and quality expedition tents. By staying up to date with the latest in gear technology, we are able to provide a higher level of comfort and safety. Let’s face it: it’s just more fun with good gear.
We have mastered the art of creating great cuisine in remote locations. We prepare regional cuisine highlighting specialties of each area. We invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy the warm campfire as we prepare your meal to remember.
There are constant threats to rivers all over the globe. From potential dams to other environmental threats to the watershed, it is the river community’s duty to inform both its guests and local communities about the benefits of protecting the resource. Global Descents strives to do its part in demonstrating the benefits of tourism to rivers by supporting the local economy as much as possible. We do this through buying locally and employing a large local support team.
Futaleufu River Expedition
The Rio Futaleufu, nestled in the heart of the Southern Andes in Northern Patagonia is by far one of the world’s greatest whitewater destinations. The Futa contains sections of continuous class IV and V whitewater and will satisfy even the most experienced rafter’s expectations. The rapids are laid out perfectly for a full week of whitewater excitement. First we do a great warm-up section to hone your paddling skills and review rescue techniques, then head straight into world class rapids with names like Inferno Canyon, Terminator, and Casa de Piedra (House of Rock). This place is truly a whitewater rafter’s paradise the river is totally unique. Its clear turquoise waters pass through a glacially sculpted granite river valley that rivals Yosemite. Close encounters with Andean Condors with wingspans reaching up to nine feet, Crested Caracara, Magellenic Kingfishers and Austral Parakeets are a regular occurrence. In the Futaleufu river valley you have found frontier culture. You feel as though you’ve traveled back in time, every house is equipped with wood cook stoves, the primary mode of transportation is still the horse and goods are regularly transported by ox cart. The people of Northern Patagonia are some of the friendliest, most generous people you can encounter. It is truly a great culture to experience!
Day 1: After arriving in Puerto Montt, you’ll be met by your trip leader and transferred to the quaint lakeside town of Puerto Varas. This is a perfect spot to recuperate and relax after the long journey from home. Located on the shores of Lago Llanquihue and at the base of Volcan Osorno, this town is surrounded by breathtaking vistas. Founded in 1854 by German colonists, Puerto Varas’ German influence can still be felt through its architecture, well tended gardens and customs. Tonight will be a night of introductions—to both the other expedition members and the trip itinerary—over dinner and cocktails at a nice restaurant in Puerto Varas. Tonight’s dinner is included in the price of your trip but alcohol is not.
Day 2: This morning we fly in a twin-engine, 18 passenger plane from Puerto Montt over the Bay of Chiloe to the fishing village of Chaiten. We are met by our van in Chaiten for the drive east toward the border with Argentina and into the Futaleufu river valley. This afternoon we begin our week of some of the best whitewater on earth with a Class III warm-up run. After meeting the rest of the Global Descents guide team, we will cover a comprehensive safety orientation. Next we suit up in all of our river gear, split into boat teams and get on the water. A nice bit of calm water at the put-in allows us to learn how to paddle effectively, perform a flip drill and head downstream. This afternoon’s trip ends at camp, where hot showers, sauna, gear drying room and happy hour await.
Day 3: Today we travel further upstream and raft the famous Puente a Puente(Bridge to Bridge) section and continue downstream through the enormous off-set waves of Mas o Menos(More or Less) and on to our first class V rapid of the trip, Casa de Piedra (House of Stone). We finish at our riverside camp for lunch. After lunch we head back upstream and do it all one more time!
Day 4: This morning we are introduced to the small town of Futaleufu. After a short visit and tour of town, we put in for the Class V Inferno Canyon. In this sheer wall gorge, we negotiate Class V rapids such as Inferno, Purgatory, Dances with Angels and Salida (Exit).. We continue on to portage class V+ Zeta and Throne Room. After these two short portages, we head downstream and enjoy the continuous class IV rapids in the Wild Mile. We end this action-packed day at our camp near the confluence of the Rio Azul and the Rio Futaleufu.
Day 5: Layover! After two long, exciting days of whitewater, it’s time for a break. Today we stay at our camp in the Rio Azul valley beneath the impressive spires of the Tres Monjas Mountain. Enjoy a leisurely pace today with a trip down the bright blue glacial waters of the Rio Azul or by exploring this awesome tributary on horseback.
Day 6: It’s time for one of the best days of whitewater in the world. We start at the confluence and after a quick warm-up in Class III Asleep at the Wheel it’s straight into the longest, most challenging class V rapid of the trip, Terminator! Next comes Kyber Pass and the Hole to China. Then enjoy the huge, clean waves in Himalaya, some as big as 18 feet! Just past Himalaya we’re back into the Bridge to Bridge section and onward through Mas o Menos and Casa de Piedra. Today we finish at our riverside camp with plenty of time for fishing, kayak lessons or simply relaxing and enjoying the sunset over the glaciers of the Futaleufu Valley.
Day 7: Because our goal is to provide everyone with the best taste of the whitewater of the Rio Futaleufu, today we head back upstream and try our luck with Terminator one more time. We run Terminator, Himalaya, Pillow, Mundaca and Casa de Piedra and return to camp for our final night Fiesta. Tonight’s meal is a traditional lamb asado(barbeque). Take a sneak peak of the week’s video and tell stories of a great week of whitewater on one of the world’s most beautiful and exciting rivers!
Day 8: Travel day. This morning we wake up for breakfast and goodbyes to the guides and our wonderful hosts, Don Mario and Damari. Then off to Chaiten in the Global Descents van accompanied by your trip leader to catch your flight to Puerto Montt, Santiago and home or your next destination or trip extension.
Zambezi River Expedition
Protected by Zimbabwe’s National Park system, Victoria Falls remains one of the most impressive natural sites in Africa. Because of the abundance of activities in the area, Zambezi Natl. Park is one of the most visited and safest parts of the country. Contrary to some of the media’s interpretation of the country’s political rollercoaster, tourist destinations like Vic Falls have always remained safe and have protected its thriving tourist industry. Please don’t let this country’s political environment prevent you from experiencing one of the greatest adventure travel destinations in the world. The area around Victoria Falls offers all of the security and comfort a traveler could hope for. Located on the border between Livingston, Zambia and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Vic Falls is an incredible adventure travel destination. With innumerable offerings such as micro light flights and bungee jumping to sunset cruises and game viewing at one of the many national parks, this area must not be missed. All of this is situated around 300-hundred foot Victoria Falls and a gorge containing one of the world’s best river trips. A true African experience! Come join us for this incredible adventure.
Day 1: Arrive in Victoria Falls where your trip leader picks you up and you head off for a sunset cruise on the upper Zambezi River above the famous Victoria Falls. You’ll have a great opportunity to enjoy your first glimpse of elephants, hippos, crocodiles and much more under your first African sunset. Tonight over dinner, your trip leader covers the pre-trip orientation so everyone is set and ready for the following morning’s departure.
Day 2: We begin our journey down the Zambezi today, putting in directly below Victoria Falls. This is our first taste of some of the most exciting rafting in the world, and we will pay our respects to the African River God, Nyami Nyami, and one wave at a time. After some spectacular rapids and a short portage, we arrive at our camp on a beautiful white sand beach at the bottom of the gorge.
Day 3: This morning we load up the gear rafts and head downstream through famous rapids such as Oblivion, Overland Truck Crash and Stairway to Heaven. We reach our camp at yet another beautiful beach in time for sundowners.
Day 4: Today the rapids spread out a bit and we are able to enjoy the great scenery and wildlife of the Batoka Gorge. In between, we hit big rapids such as Closed and Open Season and Upper Moemba. Tonight we make camp above the riverwide, 20-foot tall waterfall of Lower Moemba.
Day 5: This morning we wake early to take advantage of the cooler temperatures for two portages. The first is Lower Moemba where we lower the rafts a short distance around the falls. After a short float downstream, we encounter our next portage of Chibango Falls which is also the site of a proposed dam that continually threatens this incredible river. This portage is long and hot. Everyone’s help will be appreciated as we carry the boats and gear around this stair-stepping falls. Below the falls, we reload the rafts and shortly downstream we are rewarded with quite possibly the biggest waves and best rapids of the trip, Ghost Rider. Negotiating this rapid is one of the biggest challenges of the trip and always produces some fabulous whitewater stories! Afterwards—and hopefully upright—we float to camp.
Day 6: The whitewater is mellow today as the gorge begins to slowly open. This is an awesome day for wildlife. We’ll see fish eagles, baboons, vervet monkeys and some impressively large crocodiles. We also get a chance to visit Smuggler’s Cove, a tiny Zambian fishing village where we can find smoked Tiger fish for our night’s appetizer. Tonight’s camp is on an enormous beach at a wide, flat part of the river situated perfectly for sweet sunsets! This is our last night on the river.
Day 7: This morning we wake at a leisurely pace, put on and float downstream through the calm waters up to the confluence with the Metetsi River. Before the confluence we pass carefully by pods of hippos and yes more crocs while keeping our eyes peeled for the huge goliath heron and other exotic birdlife. Just below the confluence is our take-out where we have lunch, load the gear and head for Vic Falls. Tonight is a grand celebration at the Boma restaurant with native dance performances and a wild game dinner. We’ll have toasts all around after completing one of the most quality river expeditions on earth.
Day 8: You are accompanied by the trip leader to the airport for the flight back home. Or extend your trip with a visit to one of the impressive national parks in the area for more close encounters with Southern Africa’s awesome wildlife.
Zanskar River Valley Expedition
Your trip through the wonderfully beautiful and little-explored Zanskar River Valley. Beginning at close to 14,000 feet above sea level, thousands of feet down in a remote river gorge, this trip takes us past the confluence with the Indus River(India’s namesake) and finishes in the historic, monastic conclave of Alchi. In addition to the awesome class IV/V whitewater, this trip provides an unforgettable cultural experience. This is an incredible exploration of one of the most remote rivers of the world. Due to the high altitude, good physical condition is recommended for this expedition.
Day 01: Early morning Fly Delhi – Leh. An hour’s spectacular flight over the Greater Himalayas, with views stretching as far as K2 in the west and the entire Zanskar range and views of Tibet beneath. On arrival at Leh, we drive 15 mins to our hotel, the Kanglhachhen, a traditional, yet comfortable and clean hotel in town. Rest and acclimatise. Overnight Leh.
Day 02: Leh. Acclimatise and sightseeing. Light activity and short walks till Leh palace and the town’s exciting market and outdoor restaurants. For the more energetic a visit to a few monasteries such as Spituk, Thikse and Hemis will be arranged. Overnight Leh.
Day 03: Drive Leh – Kargil (180kms). We drive from Leh to Mulbek / Kargil, through a spectacular moonscape. We drive over the Fotu La (14,000 ft), a high mountain pass, exiting the Indus valley and entering the Suru valley. Enroute, we visit the Lamayuru monastery, known to be one of the oldest monasteries amongst the ‘Red Hat’ sect. Overnight Kargil hotel.
Day 04: Drive Kargil – Rangdum (12,000ft). A spectacular drive past Panikar and Parkachik,with magnificent views of the Nun and Kun massifs (7000 metres),hanging glaciers and large meadows.We drive till Rangdum Gompa (12,000 ft).Camp overnight.
Day 05: Drive Rangdum – Remala (6 hrs). We drive to Remala which is the starting point for the rafting trip on the Doda river, a tributary of the Zanskar river. We drive over the Pensi La (14,500 ft), which enables grand views of the Zanskar peaks at the bottom of which is the Drung Durung glacier that feeds the Zanskar river, 40 km below, into which we flow trip the next day. Overnight tented camp.
Day 06: Rafting expedition begins at Remala. Raft till Karsha Gompa, near Padum. We raft 30 km in 5 hrs which includes a break for lunch and hot beverages. We are surrounded by 6000 metre high peaks. River section today includes a Class II section, a good introduction for first timers as well as to the river in general. After settling into camp by afternoon, we take a hike to Karsha Gompa for the evening incantation.
Day 07: After a late morning start, we raft from Karsha up to Pidmu. This stretch is approximately 30 km with Class II and III rapids. After settling into the camp by mid afternoon, we visit the nearby villages of Pidmu and Hanomil.
Day 08: After packing camp, we raft 20 km to Nyerak, a Class III section. The gorge narrows in on the river – this indeed is a Grand Canyon in its own right. We stop for the day to pitch camp in a gorge below Nyerak village.
Day 09: Today’s 35 km rafting section takes us from Nyerak to Lamaguru, through the core of the Zanskar A classic white water day with continuous Class III rapids, and a few Class IV rapid where the river squeezes between a gap of about 18ft. We stop for lunch near a huge waterfall at the confluence of Markha river with Zanskar. Rock formations, spires and an amazing palette of colours add to the trip today. Camp at Lamaguru.
Day 10: Day hike to Kaya and Skiu. Return to camp by late afternoon. (4-5hrs). Camp at Lamaguru.
Day 11: We raft 40 kms of Class III/IV white water from Lamaguru to Nimu today.We make camp short of Nimu,the confluence of the Zanskar with the Indus river.
Day 12: Raft approximately 25 km from Nimu to finish the trip at Alchi through Class III / IV rapids. After ending the trip at Alchi, we walk up to the century’s old monastery to view the beautiful frescoes and wood carvings. Drive back 60 km to Leh and check into hotel.
Day 13: Leh. Reserved day for shopping, sightseeing etc.
Day 14: Early morning transfer to Leh airport. Fly Leh – Delhi. Trip ends.
Hidden deep in the Andes of Southern Peru lies one of the deepest canyons in the world. An expedition through Colca Canyon is truly a trip of a lifetime. Very few people have seen the depths of this gem in Southern Peru. The only access to this canyon is by river on either rafts or kayaks. About 65km long and 3100m deep, the canyon is filled with fascinating geologic features. Numerous impressive waterfalls join the river, which is guarded by live volcanoes and watched over by Andean Condors with wingspans up to 3m (9 feet!). Few people have had the opportunity to experience this world-class expedition. The Colca has seen limited rafting descents since its first one in 1981. The combination of demanding whitewater and inaccessibility has reserved this trip for the true adventurer. Come with us to explore one of the world’s hidden gems: Colca Canyon.
Day 1: Arrive in Lima in the morning in time for your connecting flight to the southern city of Arequipa. After the short flight to Arequipa you are met by your trip leader and taken to your deluxe hotel. Plenty of time is left in the afternoon to explore this beautiful city. Tonight at dinner we have our trip orientation where your expedition leader will cover all of the details of the journey that begins the following morning.
Day 2: This morning we drive five hours north to the canyon rim and on to the village of Huambo. Here we set up camp on the edge of one of the world’s deepest canyons.
Day 3: Today we begin our journey down into Colca Canyon. All of our gear is loaded on burros so that we are able to travel light for the seven to eight hour hike to the river. On this hike, you get your first peek into geologic time in this breathtaking place.
Day 4-8: We wake up this morning in the canyon and head upstream a short way to check out impressive Juan Pablo II falls. Upon returning to camp, we find our boats rigged and waiting to launch. After an extensive safety orientation and equipment check, we begin our journey downstream.
The six days on this trip are some of the most dramatic you can spend journeying through a river canyon. At some points, the sheer, twisting canyon walls prevent any glimpse of the sky above. It is reputed to be the deepest canyon in the world – at 3182 meters – more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. As the days progress, the whitewater increasingly challenges the team and culminates in a series of steep and technical class IV and V rapids as well as a demanding portage. Teamwork on this trip is essential. We take our time on this expedition. This approach, along with our world-class river guides and our use of the best boats and river gear available, ensure the utmost in safety throughout the descent.
Day 9: We travel a short distance containing Class III and IV rapids to our take-out. Here the Rio Colca changes its name to the Rio Majes. From the take-out, the drive back to Arequipa is short—only three hours. You are back in time to clean up in your deluxe accommodation and prepare for the trip dinner and fiesta. Congratulations on descending one of the deepest canyons in the world!
Day 10: This morning you catch your flight to Lima and then connect to your next destination, whether it’s home or another adventure elsewhere in the world.