Best Water Activities Around Santa Fe

Embark on a refreshing journey through the waterways near Santa Fe, where adventure meets tranquility in the heart of the Southwest. Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of New Mexico, Santa Fe offers a diverse array of aquatic activities to suit every taste.

Glide serenely across the glassy surfaces of pristine lakes, immersing yourself in the calm rhythm of kayaking, or feel the adrenaline surge as you navigate the exhilarating rapids of nearby rivers on a whitewater rafting excursion. Whether you seek peaceful solitude or an adrenaline-fueled thrill, Santa Fe’s water adventures promise an unforgettable experience against the backdrop of its stunning natural landscapes.


Our top picks for whitewater rafting adventures near Santa Fe include Santa Fe Rafting Co. and New Mexico River Adventures. Santa Fe Rafting Co. offers a variety of excursions, from half-day to multi-day trips, catering to all adventurers.

For a serene journey, opt for a tour along the tranquil Rio Grande Orilla Verde or Rio Chama Chavez to Big Eddy. Looking for a challenge? The Rio Grande Racecourse boasts thrilling rapids yet remains gentle enough for family outings. For the daring, the Rio Grande Taos Box promises an adrenaline rush with its exciting class IV rapids, plus a stunning view of the Taos Gorge Bridge awaits.


If you’re keen on steering your own course, kayaking offers the perfect opportunity. Learn from skilled instructors at New Mexico River Adventures or opt for a self-guided journey with rented equipment. While standard plastic kayaks are ideal for leisurely waters, inflatable kayaks, known as duckies, are the safer choice for tackling rapids.

Additionally, Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures offers guided kayak tours on calm sections of the Rio Grande and other scenic waterways near Santa Fe, providing an immersive experience for kayaking enthusiasts of all levels.


Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) presents an enjoyable and distinct approach to exploring the Rio Grande and Rio Chama. Kokopelli Raft Adventures provides expert guidance, catering to both novice paddlers on calm waters and more experienced adventurers on moving currents. For those already acquainted with SUP, renting a board allows for self-led expeditions at a leisurely pace.

Additionally, Flatwater Fitness & Fun not only provides rentals and guided tours but also offer fitness and yoga classes, along with expert coaching and lessons. Whether practicing yoga on the paddleboard, embarking on a leisurely sunset tour, or simply enjoying the peaceful rhythm of paddling, flatwater activities in Santa Fe offer a refreshing blend of fitness, relaxation, and fun amidst the captivating Southwest landscape.

Hot Springs

Nestled in the heart of New Mexico, Santa Fe isn’t just famous for its vibrant arts scene and rich cultural heritage; it’s also a haven for relaxation seekers. With its unique geological features, the region boasts an array of natural hot springs, each offering its own blend of rejuvenation and tranquility. Whether you’re a local looking for a weekend retreat or a traveler seeking solace, check out our the top hot springs in Santa Fe to add to your bucket list!

Santa Fe’s water activities offer a dynamic blend of adventure and serenity, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the natural wonders of the Southwest. Whether you’re navigating rapids on a whitewater rafting excursion, gliding peacefully across tranquil lakes in a kayak, or mastering the art of stand-up paddleboarding, there’s something for every water enthusiast to enjoy. With expert guides and rental options available, exploring Santa Fe’s aquatic playground has never been more accessible. So, pack your sense of adventure and dive into the refreshing world of water activities awaiting you near Santa Fe.