As mentioned in an earlier post, this past summer a friend and I went on a 3 day rafting trip with New Mexico River Adventures.  Spoiler alert:  We loved the company and had a great time.

We did the 3 day wine pairing trip that is offered once a year in July.  This is a leisurely river trip down the Chama River with a multi-course dinner prepared by a local gourmet chef (Chef Rocky from Santa Fe has done it the last several years) and wine pairings from Vivac NM winery.    They also have other multi-day trips and shorter half day / full day adventure trips. 

New Mexico River Adventures is owned and run by Mathew and Wendy Gontram.  The company is currently the perfect combination in that it is large and experienced enough to know what they are doing. They have good equipment and large staff, but it is small enough that it doesn’t feel like an impersonal corporate tour.  Our group was kept small and had an amazing staff to guest ratio.  But by the end of the first day, you almost forgot who was a guest and who was part of the leadership team.  The staff was exceptionally professional, capable, helpful and friendly.  You got the impression there was nowhere in the world they would prefer to be. 

Rocky’s food was amazing and we left the table full every night. However, if the extra cost is a deal breaker, there are also regular 3 day Chama rafting trips.  And while less fancy and not gourmet, the food prepared by the rafting staff for lunch and breakfast was also top notch.  It was filling, healthy and delicious.  And while their other trips don’t come with wine pairings, you are able to bring your own beverages for your evenings at camp. 

When you meet the group, you will be given two very large dry bags for your stuff.  They were so large, we both only needed one each for all of our clothes, toiletries, sleeping bags, etc…  The company provides tents, sleeping bags and pads.  I must note that the sleeping pads are heavy duty mats.  It resembles a gym mat more than the flimsy things I take backpacking. And for those wondering, a camp toilet is set up each afternoon. 

The days were shorter than I expected but I really enjoyed the time just hanging out at camp. We were a small group and everyone there loved the outdoors, wine and food.  Another unexpected surprise were the option to try stand-up paddle boards and kayaks.  I didn’t have to commit to the full time but tried both out.  

Bottom line – it was a wonderful trip, well worth the money and I would go again. 

I received no compensation of any kind for this review (in fact they don’t know I am writing it or have a blog)  

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