Darcy Gaechter is the first and only woman to kayak the Amazon River from source to sea. She has been whitewater kayaking for twenty-one years and, for the past fifteen years, she has been considered one of the world’s best female kayakers and one of the most accomplished expedition kayakers. She has won whitewater kayaking races throughout the world, and has participated in and led kayaking expeditions in eighteen different countries. In addition, she has been a kayak, raft and adventure travel guide for two decades and has owned and operated two kayak guiding businesses. She currently spends half the year in Ecuador running Small World Adventures and showing kayakers down some of her favorite rivers in the world.
She has long been a groundbreaker of women pushing the limits in both kayaking and other outdoor pursuits. Leading by example of what women can accomplish in a predominately male sport, she has inspired other women athletes to push themselves to achieve extraordinary things. Darcy was the only woman paddler featured in Wild Water, a film directed and filmed by Anson Fogel, which won numerous awards and was distributed widely throughout North America and Europe as part of the Banff Film Festival’s traveling contingent. She is also a guest lecturer (webinars) for the California Watersport Collective. She's given courses on Planning Kayaking Expeditions, Finding Flow State Consciousness while Kayaking, and a personal talk about her Amazon Source to Sea Expedition.
When not kayaking, Darcy donates her time to the Ecuadorian Rivers Institute and other non profit organizations. She is currently spearheading a fundraiser for the ERI so that the organization can follow through on two legal cases to protect the Jondachi and Piatua rivers in Ecuador. If you would like to get involved, please contact Darcy. She also volunteers for the Front Range Pika Project because working to protect wild animal species from climate change is one of her passions.
Author of the Kayaker’s Guide to Ecuador and numerous articles about whitewater kayaking, the guiding business, and river conservation, Darcy has been honing her adventure writing skills for years. This combined with her MA in Environmental History have given her a solid background in researching, academic writing, and adventure travel writing for popular media.
Darcy is also refining her skills as a public speaker after engaging audiences at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, The Roaring Fork Conservancy, and the Colorado Whitewater Associations’ annual dinner. So many people want to hear her story about becoming the first woman to kayak the Amazon from source to sea and Darcy is looking forward to actively promoting and sharing AMAZON WOMAN with the broadest possible audience, both here and abroad, and in as many formats as possible.