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Whitewater and Wine Tasting Day Trip

Rio Grande
Full Day
Mild to Moderate
Minimum Age
Call for Details

About the trip

This is the perfect combination of adventure and culture for the wine enthusiast in Northern New Mexico.

  • Custom pick up and drop off in Santa Fe
  • Enjoy the famous class 2-3 rapids of the Racecourse
  • Award winning wine tastings
  • Delicious lunch preparred at the winery

This trip meets at our private, Rio Grande Headquarters which is conveniently located 1 hour north of Santa Fe and 30 min. south of Taos. Our fully stocked Headquarters and Outfitters Shop is in the heart of the Rio Grande Gorge right across the street from the river, less than 1 mile from the finishing point of the most popular trips and offers safe, secure parking in our private parking lot.

For directions to our Rio Grande Headquarters click here!

Do I need to know how to swim?
It is recommended but not mandatory that all our guests know how to swim. All guests are given Type V, US Coast Guard approved flotation devices (lifejackets) that are designed to float you on your back, nice and high in the water. For all our class 3 and above sections on the Rio Grande, you will also be issued a helmet.

What do I need to wear?
We have packing lists for you to review for each of our different trip types. Remember that the weather changes dramatically throughout the New Mexico rafting season. It can be significantly colder during March-May we encourage our guests to always be prepared.

What if it’s my first time, do I need experience?
There is no experience required for any of our river trips. However, we encourage experience for our more difficult, Taos Box and Razorblades trips. Please feel free to call us with any concerns or questions about appropriate trips for your group.

» Read all Rafting FAQ

» Plan Your Trip

» Trip Forms

  • 5 star rating

    I took the half day racecourse trip today and had such a great time! Gwen was an excellent guide!! It was thrilling and beautiful!! What could be better than sunshine, water & nice people.

    I will definitely book another trip....maybe the full day next time!! This was my first river rafting trip but I felt I was part of the team!

    The company is very organized from booking to reminders to secure parking, restrooms, changing rooms...every detail was well thought out and efficient! The staff is friendly and they really seem to love what they do!!

    Susan T.
  • The whole family had such a great time doing the half day Racecourse tour! Everyone from my 5 year old son to my 70+ year old parents! Shout out to Luke for being a great guide, super professional and skilled in getting us through the rapids!

    Charleen Miguel
  • 5 star rating

    NMRA a great group to river raft with! We had a great time on the Race Course, even with the water at a low point. DEVIN is the best!!! Personable and very knowledgeable. Next time we will plan to come earlier in the year to do the Box and get some class 4s.
    I highly recommend using New Mexico River Adv. Easy to get to, clean and comfortable facility with secure parking. Great staff.

    Nancy G


The Start

Your day will start off with NM Wine Tours picking you up from your hotel, home or where ever. Traveling North to New Mexico River Adventures’ Headquarters, where we drop you off to begin your half day river rafting adventure. Upon arrival at New Mexico River Adventure’s Headquarters, you will meet your guides for the day who will outfit you with all the gear necessary for the day on the river. At the headquarters, you’ll find clean restrooms, changing rooms, shaded picnic tables on our patio rooms and any last minute items you might have forgotten including sunscreen, water shoes, hats and much more. Then it’s off to the river to challenge the Rio Grande’s most popular section of whitewater, The Racecourse.

The Trip

The Racecourse Rafting is the perfect trip for first timers or those whitewater enthusiasts who only have a limited amount of time available. It is class II-III (IV at high water) and absolutely perfect for everyone. When the water levels are especially high (usually in late May and June), we do raise the minimum age as this section grows into an extremely fun and continuous section of class III and IV whitewater. Please call if you have any questions about water levels or our minimum ages for any of our trips. We’ll tackle rapids with names like The Maze, Eye of the Needle, Big Rock and the infamous Souse Hole. The Racecourse is a great trip and it’s located a mere mile away from our headquarters. If you are looking for a memorable addition to your vacation in Northern New Mexico, stop by our headquarters or reserve your space for this wonderful whitewater rafting experience.

Our guides are the best in the business, focusing on safety and guest service as a top priority. All are extremely knowledgeable about the area’s geology, ecology and history and just love being on the river. Many have experience on rivers all over the country and across the globe. I know you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do and they will certainly help to make your day on the river the best possible.

The Wine

After your half-day river adventure, NM Wine Tours will pick you up at the rafting headquarters. You will have a little time to change and freshen up. Then off we go for a wonderful experience of wine tasting at some of New Mexico’s wonderful wineries in New Mexico’s wine country! Relax in comfort, during a delightful afternoon of wine tasting, as we take you for a fun-filled scenic tour of local wineries & attractions. We’ll visit several wineries, where you will have the opportunity to taste & purchase wines. Along the way, we just might stop at a scenic vista or out of the way attraction so our guests can enjoy the natural beauty of New Mexico. After our visits to the local wineries, you will be returned to your hotel in time for dinner reservations.


Morning trip pick-up will depart from Santa Fe & all surrounding resorts at 7:15 AM.

Pick up from rafting headquarters will be at 11:45 am then off to wine taste.
(We welcome groups up to 14 people per van at this time. With advance notice larger groups up to 28 passengers.)

What is included

  • Transportation to the Rafting headquarters, morning pick up.
  • Door to door service!
  • Rafting trip half-day course.
  • Transportation, driver/guide pick up from rafting headquarters to three wineries.
  • Transportation back to Santa Fe, and all surrounding resorts (Buffalo Thunder, Bishops Lodge, etc.)
  • Gourmet lunch served at one of the wineries and chilled bottled water to drink.

Not included

  • Gratuity for your River Guide.
  • Tasting fees are not included (due to several different factors).
  • Each winery will waive your tasting fees if you buy a certain amount of wine. ASK!
  • You may want to skip a tasting at one of the wineries.
  • Average tasting fees for three wineries $19.32, includes tax.

Reservations for this trip are only available on a custom basis and prices vary depending on group size.  Please call us for more information 505-983-7756. You must be 21 and have ID to taste wine!


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