Darcy is the first woman to kayak the Amazon River from Source to Sea


Amazon Woman: adventure, kayaking and self discovery

Amazon Woman

Amazon Woman was released March 3rd!

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Tattered Cover

The King's English

Elliot Bay

The Bookworm



“A well-paced tale of outdoor adventure. Daring readers will be inspired to overcome similar challenges―and armchair travelers won't be disappointed.” Kirkus Reviews

“The same courage and relentlessness that propelled Darcy Gaechter down the Amazon also powers this terrific book. Thanks to writing that is both lyrical and self-reflective, Amazon Woman manages to become at once an inspiring adventure story and a deeply intimate memoir.” Eli Saslow, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of Rising out of Hatred

“A powerful, adventure-filled memoir, beginning with the first page.”  Booklist

“Don’t miss Darcy Gaechter’s AMAZON WOMAN, an account of her harrowing kayaking journey along the Amazon river from source to sea.” Outside

Hearing how Gaechter pulls off an expedition of this breadth is audio listening at its most exciting.  AudioFile Magazine

Darcy presents us with a  bigger question beyond the intensity of the hardest rivers: that of seeking purpose and meaning. Those who ride the length of the Amazon with Darcy will come away from the book  pumping their fists and cheering, ready to take on their own challenges. If you have a daughter who is determined to make her own way and face the biggest challenges, give her this book.  Afterwards she will have a new look in her eye, the look of, “I can do this.” Doug Ammons

“A roller coaster thrill ride, both physically and emotionally. Yet, riding rapids pales in comparison to having to face down the darkest elements of human nature.  A riveting definition of true fortitude. Readers will be inspired by her audacious sense of adventure and courage, and when combined with her vulnerability, Darcy becomes a Wonder Woman for the ages.” Julie Moss, Ironman Hall of Fame athlete and author of Crawl of Fame

“Darcy’s trip down the Amazon serves as a reminder that the beauty of life is not in the destination, it’s in the journey. Darcy is a role model and an example of what you can accomplish when you follow your dreams.” Tejay Van Garderen, professional road racing cyclist

“Darcy Gaetcher navigates Class V whitewater and evades armed drug cartels while uncovering the deep and complex roots of her own passion for adventure. As the first woman to paddle the Amazon River from source to sea, she leverages extreme skill and endurance against refreshing humility. Amazon Woman shares a remarkable journey that runs, like the river itself, with both turbulence and grace.” Caroline Van Hemert, author of The Sun is a Compass



Part memoir, part feminist manifesto, AMAZON WOMAN chronicles one woman’s harrowing journey to become the first female to kayak the Amazon River from source to sea, showing what extraordinary feats women are capable of and encouraging women across all backgrounds and ages to find the courage and strength to live the life that they have imagined.

Amazon Woman chronicles Darcy's harrowing journey to become the first woman to kayak the Amazon River from source to sea, showing what extraordinary feats women are capable of and encouraging people across all backgrounds and ages to find the courage and strength to live the life that they have imagined.


Besides being a woman, Darcy is also small, and vegan, which only compounds her problems in the eyes of others. Little, female plant-eaters can’t do things like kayaking the Amazon, or so she'd been told. 

This 148-day adventure began on Darcy's 35th birthday after selling her successful outdoor adventure business, and upsetting her partner and boyfriend (Don Beveridge) by getting both of them fired by the new owner. This last fact would fester and manifest during the often harrowing journey. To add some sublime to the ridiculous, Don and Darcy were on the Amazon to support their client, Midge, who was not a kayaker prior to dreaming up this Amazon idea and, in fact, had never even been camping.

With blistering lips and irradiated fingernails, Don, Darcy and Midge tackled Class V whitewater; just barely survived a dynamite laden canyon being prepared for a hydroelectric plant, and pled for mercy at the hands of the murderous Ashaninka people who remained somewhat convinced the team had come to steal their children's organs. In a desperate act meant to give her some pretense of control, Darcy cut off all her hair just before they entered Peru’s notoriously violent “Red Zone.” The hope was to pass for a boy and be seen as less of a target.

What Darcy had convinced herself would be the mark of closure to a 16-year extreme sport ascent, a beginning of calm and social normalcy, did not end up turning out quite that way.  Darcy had been looking for an excuse, a reason, or that final push to convince her to give up her weird life that very few people understood and to try to settle into a what most of America considers a normal existence. Darcy's hope had been that kayaking the Amazon (or any number of other big adventures) would so thoroughly satisfy her yearning for adventure that she'd finally feel good about turning her back on this lifestyle. 

This didn't happen on the Amazon (or in the 5 adventure-filled years since). Darcy learned that embracing her weirdness and alternative lifestyle was the only viable option if she wanted to be happy. The Amazon expedition taught Darcy not to let social pressures dictate her life choices. She learned that she should keep on kayaking and having adventures because that's what brings out the best in Darcy and allows her to inspire and bring out the best in others. 

Darcy is thrilled to announce that she just got a book deal with Pegasus Books!  Thanks so much to my amazing agent Suzy Evans! Amazon Woman will be released March 3rd, 2020.  It's been a years-long journey to land at this publishing house during which time Darcy had to learn the ins and outs of literary agents, query letters,  proposals, publishing houses and more. If any new authors are reading this and embarking on their our journey into this intimidating world, send Darcy an email, she'll be happy to share what she's learned!