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Capital of the so called Turquoise Riviera and linked by air with Munich, Moscow, and Amsterdam, Antalya is a city of many faces. This busy metropolis encircles Kaleiçi (“inside the fortress”), the crescent-shaped old city that brims with cobblestone streets, Ottoman houses, tourist businesses, and carpet dealers. At Kaleiçi’s heart, pricey eateries and cutting-edge nightclubs line the ancient walled harbor that once sheltered Roman ships and now welcomes luxury’ yachts.

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Antalya’s size might overwhelm the casual visitor, but the city offers something for everyone. Beaches, ruins, waterfalls, an outstanding museum, and restaurants serving Turkish regional specialties make this place one of the most cosmopolitan in the country. The Antalya Altin Portakal (“Golden Orange”) Film Festival held in the fall is a huge affair, screening both international and Turkish titles.


  • Flights: Antalya International Airport, 15km from town (domestic flight info 330 30 30; international flight info 330 36 00). THY (reservations 444 08 49) has an office on Cumhuriyet Cad., next to the tourist office. Open M-F 10am-7pm, Sa-Su 9am- 5:30pm. Buses run between the THY office and Antalya Airport (10 per day 4:45am- 2:30am, $3). Flights to İstanbul ($61, students $51; round-trip $79, students $61).
  • Buses: If Pamukkale doesn’t serve your destination, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. The otogar has 24hr. luggage storage. $2 per bag per day.
  • Dolmuş: Antalya has 2 dolmuş hubs. Doğu Garaj sends dolmuş to Lale and Lara Beaches. To get there from Atatürk Cad., turn right on Ali Çetinkaya Cad., walk 1 block, and turn right at the Start Hotel. The Meydan Garajı, at the intersection of Mevlâna Cad., Aspendos Bui., and Ali Çetinkaya Cad., 1km from the city center, has dolmuş to Perge and Aspendos. Dolmuş to and from the otogar are white with a blue stripe.
  • Trams: A new tram system runs from the Antalya Museum along Cumhuriyet Cad., then down Atatürk Cad. to the stadium (every 20min., $.25). Blue signs mark tram stops.
  • Vehicle Rental: Available from many agents in Kaleiçi, who require a valid driver’s license and minimum age of 21. Daily fees start at $32 per car, $16 per scooter.


In 1997, Antalya gave birth to a gargantuan orange otogar, replete with fountains,several ATMs, cafes, A/C, a PTT, and labyrinthine bathrooms with seat toilets.Unfortunately, this wonderland is 4km out of town at Anadolu Kavşağı, the section of Namık Kemal Cad. and Dıunlupmar Bul. White buses (every min., $.40) run from outside the otogar to the city center, near Kaleiçi, the old city. İşıklar Cad., at the intersection of Kazım Özalp Cad. and Cumhuriyet Cad., is marked by a brick- red fluted minaret and a stone clock tower. Hostels, restaurants, and historically important ruins and buildings are in this area. The two beaches are on the outskirts of town. Ali Çentinkaya Cad. leads out of town to the dolmuş garages from the intersection of Atatürk Cad. and Cumhuriyet Cad. in the old city.



  • Tourist Office: (241 17 47), on Atatürk Cad., toward the Antalya Museum. Helpful, English-speaking staff distributes free maps. Open M-F 8am-7pm, Sa 9am-5:30pm. Travel Agencies: Most pensions will organize tours for you, though they charge a commission unless they run the tours themselves. Try AkayTur, 54 Cumhuriyet Cad. (321 88 41; fax 241 98 47). From the clock tower, head 50m west along Cumhuriyet Cad., turn right onto Atatürk Cad., and look for the signs. Tours to: Perge, Aspendos, Side, and Manavgat (9am-6pm, $40); Köprülü Kanyon (9am-6pm; $35, lunch included); Termessos and Upper Düden Waterfall (Sept.-June 9am-3pm, $25).
  • Consulates: UK, Dolaplıdere Cad. Pırıltı Sitesi, 1st fl. (244 53 13; fax 824 67 03). The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Kışla Mah. 35th Sok. Dörteldemir Apt. 11 PK 633 (323 43 64).
  • Banks: For cash transfers, go to Koç Bank, opposite Hadrian’s Gate on Atatürk Cad. Banks, many with ATMs, are clustered about the main streets outside Kaleiçi.
  • English-Language Bookstores: Owl Bookshop, Barbaros Mah. 21 Akarçeşme Sok. (243 57 18), off Hesapçı Sok., 500m into the old city from Hadrian’s Gate. Turn left at the Alp Paşa Restaurant. A cat named Pythagoras lurks among back issues of Harper’s, the New Yorker, and an excellent selection of books. Open daily 10am-8pm. Ardis (247 03 56), in the Setekler Bazaar, past the tourist office on the way out of town. Classic titles and best-sellers. Open daily 7:30am-7:30pm.
  • Laundromat: Yıkama Laundry, 28 Tabakhane Sok. (241 11 74), beside the Anı Pan-siyon. Wash and dry $5. Open daily 8am-11pm. Mysteriously, Öz Ünaller Rent A Car, 43 Hesapçı Sok. (248 93 72), beside the Kesik Minaret, also has laundry service. $4 per 5kg; ironing $.25 per piece. Open daily 8am-8pm.
  • Hamams: Cumhuriyet Hamam (244 49 98). From the clock tower, head 1 block north and turn right. $7 per person. Open daily 5am-2am. Nazır Hamam, in Kaleiçi, near the Tekeli Mehmet Paşa mosque. Bath, massage, and scrub $7. Open for women M-Th, Sa 10am-5pm; for men Su, F 10am-5pm; for couples daily 5pm-midnight.


  • Tourist Police: (fax 247 03 36). Face the water and turn left on a little street left of the Atatürk bust at the harbor. Little English spoken.
  • Hospital: The closest hospital to Kaleiçi is the private Akdeniz Sağlık Vakfı Hastanesi, 17 Ali Çetinkaya Cad. (247 90 01 or 247 90 02; fax 247 90 03), on the left side of Cumhuriyet Cad., 400m past the intersection with Atatürk Cad.
  • Pharmacies: Many are on Atatürk Cad., opposite the old city walls.
  • Internet Access: Sörk Cafe, across from Hadrian’s Gate, in an alley off Atatürk Cad. $1 per hr. Open daily 8am-midnight. In Kaleiçi, try Cool Exhibitions (244 56 71), next to Sabah Pansiyon on Hapaçi Sok. $1 per hr. Open daily 8am-midnight.
  • PTT: To get to the main branch (243 45 79), head down Cumhuriyet Cad. toward Atatürk Cad. and take the 1st major left onto Anafartalar Cad. Open daily 8:30am- 5:30pm for stamps, poste restante, and currency exchange.


The best place to stay is within the ancient walls of Kaleiçi, whose winding streets contain over 200 hotels and pensions. Unless otherwise stated, all include private shower and breakfast. Bargaining may help, especially for students.

  • White Garden Pansiyon, Hespaçı Gençidi No. 9 (241 91 15; fax 241 20 62), through Hadrian’s Gate in Kaleiçi and down Hespaçı Sok. 15 beautiful rooms that prove that less is more. Nice garden patio and helpful, English-speaking management, Laundry $3. Dinner $1-3. Singles $10; doubles $15.
  • Sibel Pansiyon, 30 Firin Sok. (241 13 16; fax 241 36 56). Take the second right after the Kesik Monument on Hespaçı Sok., past Hadrian’s Gate. Large, clean rooms with A/ C, and a sunny, overgrown garden. Singles $12; doubles $20.
  • Sabah Pansiyon, Kaleiçi Kılıçarslan Mah., 60 Hesapçı Sok. 247 53 45; fax 247 53 47, toward the harbor. A popular backpackers’ hangout with a pleasant courtyard area. Organizes cheap tours. Vegetarian and regular dinners $3.50. Beer $.80.
  • Hodja Otel Pansiyon, Kılıçarslan Mah. 37 Hesapçı Sok. (248 94 86; fax 248 94 85). Wonderfully spacious, Hodja has large central hallways, Ottoman paintings, and 12 rooms with bath and fan. Little English spoken. Singles $9.30; doubles $19.
  • Anı Pansiyon, 26 Tabakhane Sok., Hesapçı Sok. (247 00 56). Understated and luxurious, the elegant Anı has large windows, high ceilings, and wooden furniture in a converted Ottoman home setting. Singles $11; doubles $12.
  • Adalya Tesisleri (719 96 35), by the entrance to Lara Beach. Accessible by dolmuş on Atatürk Cad. Tantalizing views of oil tankers. Basic bungalow rooms with 2 bunks each go for $2. The “camping” option consists of being given a tent (you can’t bring your own) to pitch on concrete platforms. 3-person tents $7; 4-person tents $10.50.


Try not, to pay the tourist price. The restaurants around the old city arch tend to have a nice atmosphere but overpriced, overrated food. Near the harbor, prices rise in direct proportion to the quality of the view, and the best and cheapest meals are often found in cheap dives a few blocks from the walls of Kaleiçi. 

  • Tuşba Restaurant (244 43 81). Facing the street, turn left off of Atatürk Cad. onto Mescit Cad. Tuşba is on the right. The best kebaps in Antalya, served sizzling with fresh, warm flatbread ($2.50). Lightning-fast service and free watermelon as a finale.
  • Parlak Restaurant (241 65 53), in the shopping center by the clock tower. Classy, air- conditioned interior and a rotisserie (half chicken $3). Open daily 1 am-midnight.
  • Beğirman Börek and Mantı ( 248 53 45), on the first right after the PTT on the way out of town. Delectable mantı (Turkish ravioli) in a cheerful, air-conditioned, yellow interior. Börek $1.20; lemonade $.60. Open daily 7am-10pm.
  • Santral Cafe and Patisserie. Yum, yum, yum! Superlative tea and pastries ($.30-,50). Also serves cakes, tarts, and ice cream. Outdoor seating.


THE ANTALYA MUSEUM. One of Turkey’s finest museums, the Antalya Museum presents exhibits ranging from prehistoric times to the founding of the Turkish Republic. To the left of the entrance is the Hall of Natural History and Prehistory, which contains various ancient objects and an example of a pithas burial: a skeleton resting in a smashed urn. Past the display, excavations of Phrygian settlements feature amazingly detailed metalwork from the 7th and 8th centuries BC.

The Salon of Small Objects and Underwater Remains, down the hall to the right, houses silver and ivory Phygian statuettes excavated from 8th-ccntury tombs. A blue-lit glass case nearby is littered with “underwater findings, ” mainly barnacle- encrusted earthenware salvaged from 3rd-century shipwrecks. Down the next hall is the Hall of Emperors, home to 2nd- and 3rd-century Roman marble busts from Perge . In the next room, the newly refurbished Salon of the Gods, are some of the museum’s highlights: large 2nd-century statues of Zeus, Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis, Hermes, and Dionysus, as well as their Egyptian sidekicks Serapis, Isis, and Torus. The gem of the collection is a magnificently painted Grecian urn, mysteriously labeled the “Tibet Crater.”The Icon Hall across the way displays a small but exceptional collection of Orthodox Christian icons. Farther down the hall lies the Mosaic Salon, which contains a Seleucid floor mosaic and smaller 6th-century Byzantine works. The Hall of the Cemetery Culture, the next room, contains seven beautifully carved sarcophagi, including special ones to escort dogs to the afterlife. The Hall of Money and Jewelry, around the comer, contains a few of the world’s first coins, minted between 640 and 630 BC by the Lydians. These were forged from white gold, or electrum, imder the last Lydian king, Croesus. The Ethnography Salon displays daily implements of Ottoman and Bedouin life. Check out the elaborate wooden ceiling display near the exit. (2 Konya alti Bui, about 2’Akm from town along Cumhuriyet Bul., which changes its name to Konyaaltı Bui. as it heads out of town. Dolmuş labeled “Konya alti/Liman” head along this street, ($.30). Get off when you see the yellow museum signs before the dolmuş heads downhill to the beach. 238 56 97. Open Tu-Su 9am-7:30pm; in winter8am-5pm. $5, students $2.)


Near the entrance to Kaleiçi, at the intersection of Cumhuriyet Cad., stands the symbol of Antalya, the unique red tinted Yivli Minare (fluted minaret). Dating from the 13th century’, this minaret was constructed by the Selçuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad. Down Atatürk Cad., on the right, stand the throe adorned arches of Hadrian’s Gate, built in 130 AD to commemorate the emperor’s visit. Through this gate, about halfway down Hesapçı Sok., is the Kesik Minare (Broken Minaret). The mosque traces Antalya’s history: it was once a Roman temple, then a domed basilica, and, finally, a Selçuk mosque. At the far end of Hesapçı Sok. is the Hıdırlık Tower, believed to have been built as a lighthouse in the 2nd century. Kaleiçi, a charming district with serpentine streets and old buildings, is a great late afternoon stroll. Founded as Attaleia in the 2nd century BC by King Attalos II of Pergamon, this area is still fortified by Greek, Byzantine, and Selçuk walls.Antalya’s two large and placid beaches, Lara and Konyaalti, are both accessible dolmuş (to Lara from the Doğu Garaj, to Konyaalti from Konyaalti Bui.; $.30). Both beaches are free. On the way to Lara, stop off at the Lower Düden Waterfall, a cascade that tumbles 20m into the sea. The spectacular Upper Düden Falls, about 10km from Antalya, is included in most half-day tours of Termessos


Whether you’re looking for an elegant dance club or a more rowdy bar, there’s no shortage of nightlife in Antalya. Cinemas generally show English-language films with Turkish subtitles. Oscar, on Zafer Sok., along Atatürk Cad., shows Hollywood blockbusters and other foreign films ($3.50).

  • 13 Club Ally, above the harbor on İskele Cad. Easily identified by the intense green laser it shoots across the water at night. The be-all and end-all of nightlife for Antalya’s young and wealthy. 10 independently owned bars encircle a central bar in this spacious outdoor establishment. The evening begins with mellow hip-hop, while bass-heavy dance beats pick up the pace as the night wears on. Beer and rakı $3.50; cocktails $10. Cover Su-Th $7.50, F-Sa $10; includes 1 drink. Open daily 10pm-4am.

  • Club 29 (241 62 60 or 247 59 37), uphill along the harbor. Mega bass Euro, Turkish, and American pop blasts from all directions on the open dance floor and chic white seats. On weekends, young Turks pack the floor until daybreak. Beer $3.50; rakı $5. Cover M-Th $5, F-Sa $7.50. 18+. Open daily 11pm-4am.

  • Rock Bar (248 89 41), downhill from the clock tower. Disgruntled still upset over Kurt pack this tiny crawl space of a bar, comparing tattoos over beer ($1.50). Loud, angry live music 10:30pm-1:30am. Open daily 2pm-3:30am.

  • Denizcinin Köşesi (Fisherman’s Corner), 1 Yat Limanı (247 53 29). Along the harbor. This popular bar spins a range from oldies to contemporary pop music. Beer $1.85; rakı $2.25; cocktails $5.85; pizza $5-6. Open daily 9am-5am.

  • Tequila Mexico Bar, 24 Yat Limanı (243 41 15), near the bazaar. This fortress-like bar looms over Antalya’s quiet harbor. Lowkey and festively decorated, it has nightly music, with live Latin tunes W, F-Sa. Corona $8; tequila $5. Open daily 2pm-6:30am.

DAY TRIP FROM ANTALYA                                   


Dolmuş run from Meydan Garajı in Antalya to Aksu (25min., every hr. 7am-10pm, $.75). Ask to be let off at Perge, which is a 2km walk from the highway; beware the hot summer sun. Daily tours also visit both Perge and Aspendos ($25-27, admission and lunch included). Talk to your pension owner or contact Akay Travel Service (see Antalya: Travel Agencies). Site open May-Oct. daily 7:30am-7pm, Nov.-Apr. 8am-5:30pm. $7.The extensive remains of ancient Perge (16km from Antalya) make it easy to imagine what life was like in this prosperous town of over 100,000 inhabitants. The city was supposedly founded by Greek heroes after the Trojan War, but it didn’t earn its place in history until it sided with the omnipotent boy-wonder Alexander the Great when he stormed through Asia Minor.Just before the ticket booth is a theater featuring fine reliefs of Dionysus, the god of wine and merriment. The entry to the theater leads to an overgrown stairway marked by two bulls’ heads the official entrance for the Emperor and his entourage. The theater is undergoing renovation, and should reopen by 2006. The 12,000-seat stadium, past the ticket booth, hosted wild beast fights and athletic events. The wall at the far end protected spectator’s from the bloodier incidents. For all this danger, however, the victor only took home a measly bottle of olive oil.he official site entrance is the Roman gate, once throw stories high and covered with a marble facade, beyond the theater and the stadium. Niches inside the gate mark where statues once stood. Past the gate, on the left, lie the remains of the athletic complex and bath. Passing through the remains of a large swimming pool and exercise area, enter the bath, a series of three rooms. The first was known as the frigidarium (for cold water), the second the tepidarium (for warm water), and finally the caldarium (for hot water). A stroll through the multi-room complex reveals marble floors and scant bits of marble wall tiling. Under the brick vaults in the last room, fires were built to keep enormous pots of water boiling. The rising steam heated the room and water. The hot water would pass to the warm room and the cold room as heat was lost, finally ending up outside in a water basin known as the nymphaeum, which provided drinking water for the town.To the right of the gate is the large agora. Here, shops were arranged by trade and inspected by officials known as agoranomas. Noteworthy are the intricate black and red mosaic floors of the shop just before the main agora complex. The marble columns still standing originally connected to the shops by wooden roofs, forming a covered portico. Directly ahead of the Roman gate are the ruins of the Hellenistic Gate. The city-state of Perge primarily worshiped Artemis, the huntress, but because the townspeople used both the Greek and Latin languages, large stones also bear Artemis’s Roman name, Diana.Up ahead, two imposing 3rd-century BC Hellenistic towers mark the beginning of the long, colonnaded avenue. Following the avenue to its source will lead you to a beautiful fountain and the only remaining statue, the reclining river god Kestros, who presides over the once well-stocked wrater systems. A path to the left affords a stroll past the overgrown palestra (gym) and the decayed northern basilica. Another walk heads up the steps of the fountain, leading to the acropolis and a view over the whole site.


You may have seen amphitheaters in Italy, France, Dalmatia and Africa; temples in Egypt and Greece; palaces In Crete; you may be sated with antiquity or scornful of it. But you have not seen the theater of Aspendos.From Antalya, take the bus from Meyden Garajı to Serik (40min., every hr. 8am-6:30pm, $1.75), beyond Perge and Aksu. Dolmuş run to Aspendos from the Serik otogar ($.50). Be aware that though the site closes at 7pm, the last Antalya-bound bus from Serik leaves at 6:30pm. 242 735 74 43. Open daily 7:30am-7pm. $4.50.Aspendos’s magnificent theater, built by the architect Zeno under the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD), owes its remarkable state of repair largely to the Selçuks, who restored it as a kervansaray. Aspendos arguably has the most magnificent remaining Roman theater in Asia and the single most memorable monument on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. It Lakes little imagination to envision the ancient tragedies and comedies, the coarse Roman plays, the gladiatorial duels, and mock naval battles for which the theater was filled with water. The acoustics are stunning: send a friend to the back row and she’ll hear anything you say.When Atatürk visited Aspendos, he was so impressed by the remains that he declared it would be used again as a theater, though in recent years many events have been cancelled due to lack of funding. The annual Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival (242 248 00 08) is still held here during the summer. For details, call the Antalya Kültür Ministry (243 43 77). On the right side of the theater is a small museum housing sample Roman theater tickets and pictures of Atatürk’s visit.Up the stairs, past the theater, are the bath and gymnasium complexes, across the highway. The top of the “theater hill” also gives an impressive view over the whole site. Veering to the left up the hill will bring you to the city’s agora and enormous nymphaeum (fountain), on the right. As you circle the fountain, look up for the dolphin and sea turtle engravings on the remaining shelves. Behind both structures is (lie odeon, host to smaller theatrical events and government proceedings. If you’re not pooped yet, a trip behind the odeon will bring you to the extensive remains of the marvelous Roman aqueducts that dot the landscape.


Due to the severe heat, the ruins of Termessos are sometimes dosed in July and Aug. Getting to Termessos is easiest with a half-day tour from Antalya (10am-3pm, $25). For more info see Antalya: Travel Agencies.Buses running to Korkuteli can stop at the entrance of Güllük Dağı National Park, from which it is a grueling 10km (2hr.) climb to the ruins. Taxis run $5 each way. Be aware of the dangers of heatstroke. Wear hiking shoes and pants for the rocky, bramble-covered terrain. Open daily 8am-5pm. $1.50.On amount surrounded by rocky crops and dense undergrowth, Termessos wins the grand prize for best location of an ancient city. Termessos was famed for its wildlife and the valor of its Pisidian residents, who withstood Alexander the Great’s attack in the 4th century’ BC. The site is now a collection of well-preserved buildings, including a magnificent theater and a unique water-storage system.Near the parking lot at the site entrance stand the high stairs and impressive doorway of the Temple of Artemis. With the temple on the right, walk up the path past the city walls, built in stepwise fashion and now crumbling under the weight of spreading tree growth. About 500m up, past the city gate, is the large gymnasium- bath complex, where remains of columnar facades sit opposite arches used for water collection. The path then splits: to the right are the quarry and some rock tombs. To the left, walk past the unidentified building to the osbaras portico, built to make the walk more scenic. Head right at the portico for a stroll through the agora to the five enormous cisterns. The heroum (temple of heroes) stands farther up the walk. Take a left from the heroum to the 600-seat odeon, the gymnasium, and, best yet, the theater. Seating 4200 spectators, the theater’s sheer cliffs and surrounding mountains provide a backdrop that once complemented the staged drama.Back at the unidentified building, continue straight to the imposing Corinthian temple, built by Pergamcne King Atallus II in the 2nd century BC. Climb up the path to the left to the magnificent, extensive necropolis for a view over the whole site. For a bit of an adventure, look for the “Agathemeros Mausoleum” sign, in the trees on the left side of the walk, to search for the stunning Lion’s Tomb and the tomb of King Agathemeros of Termessos. Continue on the path through the necropolis to a small whethar, 1100m up the mountain, where comfy beds, beverages, binoculars, and a delicious breeze await those who persevere.Back downhill, a left out of the necropolis and another left at the walk’s juncture will bring you to the tomb of Alcetas, one of Alexander the Great’s best warriors, who befriended the young soldiers of Termessos. Upon learning that he was to be betrayed by the town’s elders into the hands of power-hungry rival deputies, Alcetas committed suicide, only to have his body turned over anyway and atrocities inflicted upon it. Upon the recovery’ of the body by the soldiers of Termessos, this monument was built to house his ravaged remains.Near the entrance to Güllük Dağı Park is the small Flora and Fauna Museum, which contains some stuffed animals and dried plants from the region, as well as photos, Ottoman wares, and treasures excavated from Termessos.


Buses from either Antalya or Olimpos pass the turnoff for Phaselis (frequent, about $1). Ask to be let off when you see the brown sign. The ruins are about 3km from the highway, and the shady roads make the walk bearable in summer. Pay at a booth 2km up the road from the site. Open daily 8am-6pm; in winter 8am-5:30pm. $4, students $2.On the road between Antalya and Olimpos, the ancient city of Phaselis is a combination of beaches, Roman rains, and pine groves. Situated around three natural harbors, the city was founded around 690 BC as a colony of Rhodes. Its location made it a strategic port on the shipping routes between Greece and Syria. Phaselis declined only in the Byzantine period, as Alanya and Antalya grew in prominence.

From the parking lot near the water, pass through the aqueduct to arrive at the military harbor. A second harbor lies to the left, encircled by an uncrowded pebble beach. The town’s main road runs to the right, and on the right side of the road, you can amble through the Roman baths. The decomposing theater is 100m down the road and up a short hill on the left. At the end of the 150m Roman road, you’ll arrive at the third harbor, now a sandy beach allowing for as fine a swim as Olimpos, without the wayward crowds.


Akay Tours offers daily trips from Antalya for around $35. Medraft, whose service is a bit more expensive ($52 per person), also offers an optional speedboat exploration of the canyon at the base of the river ($30 for 20min.).

An organized rafting tour to Köprülü Kanyon falls far short of the ideal encounter with nature, what with the crowding and intermittent photo opportunities; it may, however, be the safest way to see the canyon. After the 2hr. bus ride from Antalya to Köprülü, tourists are dropped near the mouth of the canyon where they can choose to ride the rapids in a two-person kayak or an eight-person boat. By the end of the day, passengers will have taken in breathtaking views of the natural setting at an adrenaline-pounding pace, and paid a pretty penny for it.