Published on février 1st, 2024 | by Kayak Session https://www.kayaksession.com/img-current-issue/upload-your-video.png

Samana Fest 2024 – Event Schedule

The Samana Fest is back and this year we are stoked to announce Kayak Session will be the media partner for this unmissable festival organised by Jules Domine and the Expedition Colombia crew for the past few years!

The Mighty Samana River is the jewel of the Magdalena valley. Waters are pristine and full of life, while the adjacent lush jungle unfolds a bio-diversity as lavish as that of the Amazon. But the river is in danger. With every other local river dammed, focus has shifted to the region’s last true wild space!

For more info go to – Samanafest.co

Event Schedule:

Sunday 10th March : 

Welcome to the Samana ! Paddlers can start to check in and do their registration by 10am, until 4pm. 

At 4pm, we will launch the event and do a mandatory competition meeting.

Monday 11th March :

All competitors will head to the Samana Bridge, leaving at 8am, to paddle the Samana Canyon all the way to Narices. This scouting day is mandatory for all the paddlers who want to take part in the Marathon! 

Return to El Encanto by 7pm.

Tuesday 12th March 

This is the day to enjoy the Calderas river and scout your lines of the qualifiers. More expert paddlers can also choose to continue down the lower Calderas into the infamous “Gracias a Dios “ section.

Calderace competitor meeting will happen at 6pm, at el Encanto 

Wednesday 13th March 

Calderace : The event will leave at 9am el Encanto to the top of the Calderas river. First, all racers will paddle the warm up section together, and then Race head to head on the upper section. We will then do a mass start on the lower section, and a slalom at the bottom. The ranking will be based on the overall result of the 3 races. 

At 4pm, result and prizes at el Encanto

Thursday 14th March

Samana Marathon : This unique and innovative race format will start at the Samana bridge. All qualified racers are asked to be ready at the Bridge by 10pm. 

The concept is simple, paddle as fast as possible to the bottom of the canyon. Because of the difficulty of the last gorge, only the top 10 to arrive by the Guatape Dam outlet will be allowed to paddle down, and finish the race on this epic 5km class 5 section. 

The winner will be the first to reach the waterfalls of Narices. 

On the beach of Narices, we will celebrate the river and announce results. 

Food will be provided by the local community, and there will be music and DJs all night long! 

A camping zone will be available, included in the marathon, but you can also seek a bed in the nearby village. 

Friday 15th March

After a marathon and a party, you deserve some rest. The transports will depart at 10am from Narices and take 5 hours to get back to El Encanto. We will simply cruise the Colombian backcountry and relax for the day 

Final meal at el Encanto 

16th – 17th March 

The Samana Fest continues, but the kayak event ends. All paddlers are welcome to join the rafting stoke floats or paddle on their own in the area, but the kayak event doesn’t include the logistics, and individuals are responsible for organising their own travels.

We recommend sticking around and taking part in the celebration! The main event will be held at the Samana bridge.


  • How do I get there : Fly to Medellin International Airport, the Samana watershed is just 1 hour east on the Medellin / Bogota Highway, near the town of Cocorna. Contact the organisation for transportation details.
  • You can also fly into Bogota and take a bus or a private ride to the location. Expect a 7-9 hour journey.
  • Where to stay : The event’s main location will be the Finca El Encanto – The XXX packages include lodging and food there and Light package includes a camping area at this place. All shuttles will start from this place, and all the competitor meetings, as well as meals will be at this location too. 
  • Should I come before / Stay later to kayak : Hell yes, March is the rainy season and there are many many rivers to paddle in addition to the ones paddled during the event!  You can contact us for a list of lodging options and resources on logistics.
  • Can I rent a boat: Boats are scarce in Colombia, so we encourage all paddlers to fly in with their own, and perhaps even consider selling it afterwards or donating it to a local kayak club. However, there are a few spare boats available for rent, for prices ranging from 15 to 30 USD/day. First come, first served 
  • When should I arrive : You need to be at el Encanto hotel by Sunday the 10th at 4pm for the pre-race meeting 
  • What kind of kayaks can I use : You need to use the same boat you will use on the Calderace qualifiers on the Samana Marathon. If you can qualify for the Marathon with a specific boat, you must race it in the Marathon. Boats must be in good shape, with grab handles and stepout pillars, as well as a bulkhead..

Packages : 

Easy package : Recommended for internationals 

  • 5 nights in hotel el Encanto + one night in Camping in Narrises 
  • Bib + Care package 
  • 3 meals a day for 4 days ( From lunch of the 11 to breakfast of the 15 ) 
  • All shuttles ( Monday Samana – Tuesday Calderas – Wednesday CaldeRace event – Thursday / Friday Samana Marathon 
  • Party in Narrises at the end of the Marathon 

Light package : Recommended for nationals 

  • 5 nights in camping at el Encanto + one night in Camping in Narrises 
  • Bib + Care package 
  • Thursday / Friday Samana Marathon shuttles
  • Party in Narrises at the end of the Marathon

Calderace only package : Recommended for nationals who are not sure to be able to race the Samana

Inscription for the Calderace only 

  • Bib
  • In case you are selected for the Samana Marathon and you want to take part, and additional fee of 290.000 COP will be charged for the race, shuttles and party.

Weekend Event 

The Samana Fest is back on the shores of the Rio Samana, and this year once again, we will gather at the iconic Samana bridge to celebrate and advocate for the protection of the Samana River.

This event is free and everyone is welcome! River, music, friends, family and fun activities are on the program!


Saturday 16th March

Puente Samana 

All day : 

Chill, swim and dance

Food & artesian village 

Rafting and kayaking initiation

Activities & games for adults and kids

12-4 PM : Live music 

4 PM : Arrival of the rafting & kayak stoke float 

4-6 PM : DJ 

Sunday 17th March

Puente Samana 

All day : 

Chill, swim and dance

Food & artesian village 

Rafting and kayaking Initiation

Activities & games for adults and kids 

12-4 PM : Live music 

4 PM : Arrival of the rafting & kayak stoke float

4-6 PM : DJ

6 PM : Closing ceremonies 

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