A lot of people who visit the rainforests of Tambopata do so looking for some form of adventure. When it comes to adventure, the Amazon beckons with huge areas of rainforest wilderness, flocks of colorful macaws and other exotic birds, the deep, rumbling growl of a Jaguar at night, and boating down long, wild rivers flanked by humid walls of green jungle. However, we don’t have to take part in a jungle survival course or go on a multi-day trek through humid rainforest to find adventure. Most adventure activities are much more easy-going while being just as exciting. One such activity is “paddle-boarding”.
Also known as stand up paddle-boarding, this sport has become very popular in recent times. Although it appears to be a new sport for many, this activity has been practiced by people in different parts of the globe for centuries. In Africa, people were doing a form of paddle-boarding hundreds of years ago by standing up in their canoes and moving along with the help of paddles. Some tribes did this because it was a stealthier means of sneaking up on enemies and animals while hunting. Other cultures that used canoes may have used similar paddle-boarding techniques at other times. Modern paddle-boarding traces its roots to 16th century Hawaii when surfing Hawaiians used paddles to move their very long surf boards. In more modern times, paddle-boarding also became popularized in Hawaii as a means to surf when there were few waves as well as a way of surfing near the beach.
The ease of paddle-boarding has turned it into a fun activity that can be done in almost any place with calm waters, including many rivers in the Amazon basin. In addition, just as people used paddle-boarding in ancient Africa to get closer to wary wildlife, guests can do the same on calm stretches of the Tambopata River. Mostly, though it’s a fun, peaceful way to get some easy exercise while moving down a wild river flanked by rainforest.