The Antigua River is located in the central Gulf Coast state of Veracruz which is one of Mexico’s most populous states. Despite it’s large population, Veracruz retains areas of impressive natural beauty. The region is home to Mexico’s tallest peak, the dormant volcano of Pico de Orizado (18,490 feet!), the beautiful Costa Esmeralda, and many incredible whitewater rivers. Veracruz grows many tropical fruits and is famous for delicious seafood and banana leaf wrapped tamales.
Level of Difficulty: Class II-IV / Beginner – Intermediate
Rio Antigua river rafting trips vary tremendously, so paddlers have many options from which to choose. Different sections of the river range from gentle class II riffles to big and challenging class IV whitewater. This natural variety means family vacationers and adventure travelers alike will find the perfect Rio Antigua river trip. The Rio Antigua can be split up into three distinct runs:
Puente Pescados Section:
The Puente Pescados run features demanding class IV whitewater. The continuous rapids and powerful water are the perfect challenge for experienced rafters or adrenaline-loving and active first-timers.
The Jalcomulco-Carrizal run gives paddlers a little more “down time” than the Puente Pescados section. The class III-IV rapids provide challenges and thrills but calm pools offer a breather and a chance to appreciate the lush tropical fruit plantations, and active wildlife living along the banks of the river.
Puente Nacional Section:
The class II-III Puente National run is the most accessible section of the Rio Antigua. Fun rapids and beautiful scenery make this a great family or fun day trip. The highlight of this section is the opportunity it gives travelers to see the largest hawk migration in the world. Every year in the fall and spring over 5 million birds fly over this section as they travel through the natural passage way between the mountains and the sea.
Scenery and Wildlife: Deep Canyon with Colorful Birds
Steep walls, coffee plantations, and vibrant bird populations characterize the Rio Antigua canyon. Whitewater rafting trips paddle past tropical fruit groves, small villages, and flocks of exotic birds like kingfishers, elegant herons, and flashy parrots. The water for this beautiful canyon is sourced high in the peaks of the Sierra Madre Mountain range.
Rafting trips on the Rio Antigua can be booked year ‘round but the river changes according to water level. At lower flows runs grow more technical, while at higher water flows the same rapids feature big pushy hydraulics and powerful waves. Rio Antigua river trips can be short and action-packed one-day trips, relaxing floats, or multi-day adventures.