Peru is a country with many rivers, descending from the high Andes mountains, leading towards the Pacific coast, or into the Amazon basin. Rafting in Peru is a very popular outdoor excursion and the country offers a multitude of options for white-water rafting, which will trigger any adrenaline junkie’s weak spot for adventure.
Rafting in Peru is the perfect way to experience adventure travel, and add some excitement to your trip through Latin America. Other than exploring the country’s magnificent sacred sites, indulging in the interesting culture and diverse traditions, and enjoying the authentic gastronomy – Peru offers outdoor excursions that are, as they would say, “something to write home about”.
So, if you would like to experience rafting in Peru – keep reading as we will summarize the choice of rivers that are available for rafting, as well as what to wear, how to prepare, and more.
– Where to go white river rafting in Peru
1. Urubamba River, Cusco
Taking the lead as the most popular white river rafting location in Peru is Urubamba River (sometimes known as the Vilcanota or Vilcamayo River). It combines different difficulty levels, stunning natural scenery, and some kind of mysterious vibe, that attributes to the overall experience.
The most popular rafting route on the Urubamba River is the beautiful stretch that goes past the town of Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley. However, this route is only accessible in the dry season, from the months of April to October. Usually, the rafting is paired with a stop at the Inca fortress, and sometimes to one of the colorful markets in the valley.
2. Cañete River, Lima
Lunahuana is popular with urbanites looking for winter and sun, adventure and beautiful mountain landscapes. It is located on the banks of the Cañete River, at an altitude of just under 500 meters, and it is only a three-hour drive from the capital, Lima.
Cañete River offers various rafting routes, and caters to all difficulty levels and age groups. During the months of December to April, the river is at its highest, when the rain in the Andes mountains moves downwards to the Pacific Ocean. Reaching grades of IV, this is the time when the rapids are the most exciting and attract experienced rafters from around the globe.
3. Tambopata River, Madre de Dios
The Rio Tambopata rafting trip is said to be one of the best whitewater rafting experiences which offers some of the most exquisite wildlife viewing in the world. The journey begins close to Lake Titicaca in the high Andes, and it continues all the way down to the Amazon basin.
If you are lucky, you may even see a jaguar swimming across the river or gracefully prowling the banks, searching for prey. The fact that you are traveling by raft means that you are basically camouflaged, the wildlife ignores you and this allows you to observe “national geographic-style” views from close up. Tambopata River rafting is suitable for anyone who is confident in water, and does not require previous rafting experience.
4. Cotahuasi River, Arequipa
This multi-day rafting trip takes you through the world’s deepest canyon in the Department of Arequipa. Offering up to 160 kilometers of Class IV & V rapids, the Cotohuasi River was descended for the first time in 1994 – and it is definitely not for the faint hearted!
From Arequipa it takes a full day by car to arrive at the Andean town of Cotohuasi. It is common for rafters to spend at least five days on the river, camping by the river, near Inca ruins, at night. Unlike the previous locations, Cotohuasi River requires rafters to have a bit more experience under the belt.
– When to go?
It really depends on which river you would like to have your rafting experience. The best time for rafting in Cusco is between the months of May and October. This falls after the rainy season, which means the river tides aren’t overpowering, and the conditions are more suitable for beginners.
For Lima, the best time to go rafting is in January and February. The best time to go rafting in Arequipa is June and July. Tambopata River is best in the dry season, as it is too big and dangerous in the rainy season.
– How to prepare?
You do not require a certain fitness level for most of the easier rafting trips, because you literally just sit in the raft and let the guide take control. That being said, the fitter you are – the more you will enjoy your rafting experience, and the longer the trip – the fitter you need to be. You will be using muscles you thought you didn’t have when you’re paddling all day long.
It is vital that you are confident in the water. As the difficulty of the rafting trip increases, the more confident in the water you would need to be. Even though you will have a lifejacket on during the entire rafting trip, once you fall into the whirlwind of water, you won’t be swimming easily like you would in a swimming pool.
– Tubing & kayaking: Alternate options to rafting
For those of us that are less about the adrenaline rush, and more about the wildlife and soaking up the sun and natural surroundings – tubing and kayaking are great alternatives to white river rafting. For an unrivaled perspective of the vast Peruvian landscapes, and close encounters with animals and birds – there is literally no better seat than the one in a kayak, or on a tube.
Kayaking or tubing through Peru’s gracious rivers, lakes and bays on an exclusive kayak tour gives a truly unique Peruvian travel experience. Some great locations that are popular for kayaking trips in Peru are Paracas Bay, Lake Titicaca, Urubamba River and Sandoval Lake. Most of these excursions include either tours through incredible natural sights, or/and a treat to some ancient ruins that just happen to be on the way.
– Experience Rafting in Peru with Kuoda
Peru is one of the top traveling destinations in South America, for good reason. It hosts one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, it has incredible gastronomy, and it has rich culture formed by a mixture of ancient civilizations and more recent Andean traditions.
Other than all the fantastic things mentioned above, Peru also provides the thrill and adrenaline that any adventure seeker craves – so there really is no reason for someone not to like this beautifully diverse country.
We at Kuoda are passionate about creating hassle-free, all-planned-out trips, and there is a good reason that we have many happy clients that brag about their memorable experiences after trusting us to create a customized luxury travel itinerary for them.
Contact us today to discuss your personal needs and requirements and we can start planning your trip as soon as possible!
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