Culinary Outdoor Adventure from Taos | Raft, Gourmet Chef Lunch at Vivác Winery

Offered Wednesday thru Sundays Starting May 1st – September 18th, 2023

$325 per person + tax* per person (guide gratuity not included)

Meet at Taos Heritage Inspirations Travel Hub located at El Monte Sagrado Resort at 7:45AM return to the same location at 2:30PM

*Includes Raft, Paddle, Wetsuit, Life Jacket, Professional Guides, and Gourmet Lunch with Wine Pairing

join our most popular taos summer outdoor adventure rafting the rio grande & savoring our chefs lunch on an open WOOD-FIRED stove!

After we meet at Heritage Inspirations Headquarters & Travel Hub located at El Monte Sagrado Resort in Taos, you will journey into the belly of the Rio Grande Gorge to the water’s edge to start your day with an adrenaline rushed water voyage. You’ll meet with the New Mexico River Adventures team and you’ll see why they pride themselves on full-service amenities.

Your River Adventure guide will give you a safety and orientation talk, preparing you for your whitewater river journey. The Racecourse is a class 2-3 rapid (4 during high water levels) section of the Rio Grande and is for thrill-seeking folks! The most popular rafting excursion in New Mexico, this trip suits both first timers or whitewater enthusiasts. While it’s typically perfect for anyone, when the water levels are high, a minimum age is applied.

This route goes right through the highest walled parts of the canyon, so be prepared to be surrounded by stunning Quartzite and basalt lava cliffsides, as well as possible wildlife sightings of big horn sheep, coyote or otters. With green splotches of sage, Apache plume and prickly pear cactus dotting the peachy and orangey covered rock, you’ll be astounded by the beauty, even as you work to navigate the zig zaggy run.

After you’re grinning from ear to ear from your rafting adventure you will journey further down river to Vivác Winery where we will indulge in our Inspired Chef Gourmet Picnic prepared to nourish you after working up an appetite.

Our Chef has prepared a decadent spread perfectly paired with tasting Vivác wines to toast to your culinary outdoor adventure together!

We encourage you to bring a backpack, water bottle and a change of clothes because of the watery phase of the outing, but rest assured this all-inclusive tour comprises all your water sport needs, as well as a gourmet picnic lunch and lively guided perspectives.

So, savor breathtaking views above your rivery escapades where you will then raft the glorious waters of the Rio Grande Gorge, for an unforgettable gourmet chef lunch, a culinary adventure that will be the highlight of your Taos trip!

Vivac CulinaryVivac Culinary

Vivac Culinary

Vivac Culinary
Vivac Culinary


New Mexico River Adventures

Wendy and Matt are our local partners and owners of New Mexico River Adventures  that have dedicated their lives to exploring and running rivers all over the US and beyond.  From Zambia to Chile to New Mexico, they have enjoyed some of the greatest river trips in the world.  After meeting in New Mexico in 2001, the Rio Grande and Rio Chama always held a special place in their hearts.  Luckily, they were able to start New Mexico River Adventures in 2011 and settle down in gorgeous northern New Mexico.  Now with their 4 year daughter, Scout, the adventure continues into the next generation of New Mexico river runners!


Vivác Winery

Our incredibly talented friends and  professionals at Vivác Winery have a commitment to excellence & are the Highest Rated Red Wine Producers in New Mexico’s History! Fresh & young, edgy & sophisticated, Vivác offers you something out of the ordinary!

Vivác is the creation of brothers Jesse and Chris Padberg, along with their wives, Michele and Liliana Padberg, respectively. In November of 1998 Jesse and Chris embarked on a new mission “to make the best wine possible and have a good time doing it!” This meant professionally crafted, world-ranked, dry red wines-a first for New Mexico.

Indulge in the local flavor of 100% New Mexican grown grapes while enjoying our picnic lunch offering a breathtaking view of their vineyards along the Rio Grande corridor.



Josh Willette

Josh was born in Exeter, New Hampshire but moved to Taos, where he grew up, when he was only 1 year old. He left New Mexico after high school to pursue his dreams of being a ski bum, and traveled around Utah, Colorado, and eventually Washington state. After a few years of being a ski bum, he changed directions and began working in restaurants. Josh worked his way up in the restaurant world through several fine dining establishments in the Seattle area. This work experience served as his training in the culinary world to eventually become a Chef.

After changing careers and training in the culinary industry, Josh’s work led him all around Washington and eventually to Napa California.  While in Napa Josh ran a catering company called Smoke Open Fire Catering. The premise of the company was to cook in front of the guests, using only local meats and vegetables, on an open fire and in a rustic outdoor setting. These dinners were often held at wineries and served as extravagant wine paired meals.  “I got to work very closely with not only the wineries, but with the growers and farmers in the area, to create these unique experiences that combined a rustic feel with the refined quality of a fine dining experience. The experience is similar to what we create with the glamping excursions at HI” Josh explains.  

In 2018, he decided it was a good time to move home to be closer to his family and the places he loves the most. His favorite things about New Mexico are the outdoors and all they have to offer: majestic mountains, rivers, lakes and deserts are all his playground.  He also has a pretty severe green and red chile addiction. His passion for both the outdoors and for the local flavors of New Mexico led him back to Taos. After cooking and working as Sous Chef at Medley in Taos, he met Angelisa and found HI and knew it was a perfect fit! Josh guides our Taos Tours, Glamping Excursions, and Culinary Outdoor Adventures.