River Explorers
  • Apurimac whitewater rafting tours

Apurimac Rafting Tours

The Apurimac rafting is one of those unique and impressive river tours that can easily be classified as a mind-blowing adventure. The Canyon is unequaled, and the chance to witness the entire splendor of this region should not be forgotten. A river rafting trip through this fascinating canyon combines world-class whitewater river rapids with excitement and breathtaking scenery to make for a genuinely and extraordinary river rafting experience.

Safety tips Regulations Scale Packing list
  • The commercial section for rafting the Apurimac covers from Nayhua (an small village near the Apurimac river bed), located at 7900 feet – 2400 meters  above sea level and ends 56 miles – 90 km down in Qunyaq at 6100 feet – 1800 meter above sea level. The rafting section offers more than 300 hundreds in between volume of water and  technical rapids in an astonishing setting. Different agents and the river carved the canyon for million of years to create one of the most fantastic places on the planet.

  • Day on the River

    Before any Apurimac rafting tours begins, your guides will give you a trip orientation about safety including details of river navigation, camping, and other safety precautions when rafting on the river.

    A typical day on the Apurimac River includes rafting for 5 to 6 hours stopping for scouting, bathrooms breaks, lunch, and other opportunities such as jumping from cliffs, swimming, etc. After an exciting full rafting day on the river, you will arrive at the campsite where everyone will help unpacking the luggage boat and setting the camp up. No worries, there is always plenty of time to relax, play games, swim, explore the surroundings or watch the condor’s flies.

    The first night at camp, the guides will give you a full orientation about the camping place including the kitchen and toilet facilities. We provide all necessary rafting and camping equipment and dry bags for customers.

    While you enjoy the afternoon, there will be some appetizers before dinner. Every program has a specifically menu catering with Peruvian, Mexican and Italian dishes. Enjoy different main courses such as Lomo Saltado (Peruvian national dish), grilled chicken or beef, pastas, potatoes, rice  and much more; all the menus are always accompanied by entrees and fresh salad bar.

  • Camping

    Even if you are an experienced camper or first time sleeping in the outdoors, River Explorers makes camping easy, you only need to concern about packing your personal things and enjoy the excitement and the beauty of the Apurimac canyon. We provide the rest:  You can choose to sleep in our roomy 3 person tents (one tent for 2 persons) available at any time and simple to set up, or if you wish, sleep under the wide canopy of stars. Sandy empty beaches are always available on the Apurimac River, giving an extra comfort to your nights.

    Dry-bags (Water resistant dry duffels) protect your personal items from water and sand. Camp equipment such as tables, stoves, and chairs makes camping easy and more comfortable.

    Toilet facilities

    As Apurimac River rafting outfitter is our responsibility to remove solid human waste from the canyon. Portable toilet and hand wash system is a part of the camping facilities and will accompany all trips on the river. These facilities are set up in a special location assuring privacy and will remain from the moment we arrive at camp until camp breaks down the following day.

  • Weather

    The Apurimac River offers  mild and dry climate from May to August, warm and humid climate from September to April. Cooled by the mellow breezes of the Andes during the warmest months and heated by the warm breezes of the Amazon Jungle during the coldest months, the climate on the canyon is sunny and enjoyable during the whole dry season perfect for rafting the Apurimac River.

    Practically speaking, there are two distinguish seasons: The dry and the wet season.

    Dry season

    The Dry Season

    Rages from April and November and brings mild and warmness weather during the year.

    The coldest months are between May to August with temperatures averages of 78.8 °F – 26°C high and 60.8 °F – 16°C in the evenings with lovely sunny days.

    From May to August the climate is cooler and dry with daily high temperatures that range between 86°F – 30 °C and lows of 68°F at night.

    The warmest moths of the year are between September and mid-November with daily high temperatures that range between 95°F – 35 °C and lows of 77°F at night.

    Rainy Season

    The Rainy Season

    The wet season extends from December until April including a huge amount of rainfall during January and February therefore whitewater river rafting on the Apurimac is closed, but no worries the wet season brings back to life many sections on the Urubamba River with great whitewater available in 1, 2 and 3 days tours.

  • Rafting Gear

    Like any other adventure activities, the principal key to client enjoyment and safety are guides, gear, and planning. To run the Apurimac rafting tours, it’s very important to keep the equipment in good conditions, certified and especially experienced guides. At River Explorers, we carefully pick the best river gear for your comfort and above all for your safety.

    Our rafts

    Paddles boats

    Our rafting boats are American NRS brand.

    River rafts come in a different size and designs. Our rafts are standard eight-sided design, with various independent chambers and an inflated floating floor. All our boats are self-bailing rafts including the luggage boats (the floor is connected closely to the tubes in multiple points separated by drain holes so that the boat is self-baling).

    The 14′ long and 7′ wide, it’s suitable for all the different Apurimac rafting tours that we offer. The boats tubes provide good stability and control for maneuvering while rafting on the river.

    During the first months at the beginning of the rafting season, when the Apurimac river has a volume of water, we use a 16 foot paddle Cats that accommodate up to 4 people. These crafts are faster, they are easy to break into waves, holes and they are remarkably stable.

    The luggage boat

    Our luggage raft consist in using a one man boat. In this type of boat, the guide sits in the middle of the boat and uses two long oars to steer the boat when enter to the rapids. We use a 16 feet long raft that carries all the gear along our Apurimac rafting expeditions. This raft can take up to 2 passengers, these passengers generally are trainees trying to get experience to become rafting guides in the nearest future.

    The safety kayaks

    Our safety kayaks are made from tough polyethylene plastic. The best kayak for safety, is a slightly volume kayak with larger deck forms that either the end or the back will submerge easily even in the case passengers are on top of the kayaks. The kayaks are designed with 3 to 4 handles in the back and 2 in front.

    Gear for personal use

    Dry bags

    Waterproof bags. These are expedition Dry-duffels made of heavy urethane-coated with large openings and volume, including 2 middle straps, handle, D-ring for extra pressure to keep your gear protected and dry.

    Life jackets

    Our life jackets are NRS made, an American company dedicated to designing gear specifically for whitewater rafting and it suits perfectly for our rafting Apurimac tours. We use a PFD type V life vest approved by the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) . The NRS devices are high flotation life jackets including flotation pillow keeping the head above water while floating on your back plus shoulders, chest, and 6 sided adjustments.


    The helmets are made of hard durable plastic with ventilated cut covering the ears for better protection. They are made off of hard density foam including adjustments straps to ensure great comfort and security.

    Wet suits

    We provide full-length wet-suits. Our wet-suits are mixed 3 mm neoprene in chest and back with 2 mm neoprene for the legs for a better balance of mobility and warmth perfect for the Apurimac river rafting tours.

    Paddle Jackets

    Homemade windproof made of nylon to allow extra warmth. A waist cord, neck and wrist closure for better comfort without interfering with your mobility.

    Oars & Paddles


    Our paddles are high strength-to-weight ratio fitted with an aluminum shaft, covered with polyethylene providing better grip and hard enough to resist hits, abrasions, and oxidation.

    We provide paddles in different sizes according to the river level and the height of a person.


    These light extra hard oars are made of glass-carbon-epoxy technology used by the aerospace business.


    Frames are important equipment to run the Apurimac River rafting tours, they are made of Aluminum and steel. Some are central and some others tail frames. Oar rafts with frame, are rowed entirely by one guide who can be seated in the middle or in the back of the boat powered by two big side oars. The frame is connected to the boat by a number of D-rings attachments points, using heavy-duty straps.

  • Meals

    Are included in the rafting tours all of the meals and snacks from lunch on the first day to the lunch on the last day. Our meals served on the river and in the camps are a perfect supplement to an exciting day of rafting. Our whitewater guides are marvelous cooks who will prepare the best, diverse and healthy meals made with fresh ingredients.

    We offer special dietary needs and allergy issues upon request. Vegetarians, kosher, peanut and gluten free or any other specific requests.

    Join us in an awesome adventure accompanied by spectacular scenery, best rafting guides and premium delicious food.



    We always start with an early morning coffee and variety of teas before we jump into the main course.

    Our first breakfasts include freshly fruit salad with yogurt, muesli and honey, porridge, fresh coffee along with variety teas, milk, marmalade, butter and bread.

    In the second day, after awaking from sleep with delicious coffee aroma breakfast is served with crunchy bacon, pancakes with manjar, honey, porridge with chocolate, bread, milk and scramble eggs.



    Our lunches are prepared fresh along the river banks. While your river guides prepare the main lunches on the river, you will be served with some fresh fruit and vegetables. Our main course contains sliced meats including roast beef, turkey, ham and cook chicken breast. Our main courses are always accompanied with fresh veggies such as tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, avocado etc, bread, mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard.

    Some other days, enjoy our well mix pasta salad with tomatoes, olives, cheese, chicken, cilantro, olive oil, black pepper, avocados, potatoes accompanied with mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and the typical Peruvian chili.

    Beverages are always available including powdered juice, water and sodas.

    At the end of every rafting tour a meal will waiting for us, this consist in grilled chicken and potatoes, grilled sweet potatoes and bananas, this is accompanied with exquisite sauces made with fresh cilantro, tomatoes, cucumber blended with onions, salt and rococo (Peruvian chili), ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard. Cold beers and sodas are also part of the good by feast party at the end.



    After an exciting day on the river is over, our guides will make sure to delight you with yummy, delicious dinners.

    The evening meals are mix of Peruvian dishes with fresh meat including chicken and beef, potatoes mixed with fresh vegetables. Also we serve Italian style including pasta with tomato sauce, bacon and basil and a white sauce with chicken, mushrooms, yellow pepper and Italian pumpkin. All our evening meals include an entree, fresh salads and our typical spicy salad (tomatoes, onions, garlic, mixed with Peruvian fresh chili, coriander, parsley, lemon, salt and vegetable oil) and of course beverages, including  a moderate amount of wine, beer and Pisco.



    Paddling through rapids demands physical activity for what we need to be well fed with the right amounts of calories, energizers, carbohydrates and protein. We provide well nutrient snacks in between breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Our snacks on the river are blend of fresh peanuts toast, Peruvian granola bar of Quinoa or Kiwicha, raisins, banana and beverages. On the camps we offer pop corn, cookies with hot chocolate milk coffee and mix of mates.

  • Nature

    The Apurimac river born up in the mountains near Arequipa in the low lands of the Mismi volcano. The waters run through different climates and nature from the Andes down to the rain forest to finally meting the Ucayaly River, one of biggest affluent of the Amazon River.

    There is not a deep study about the origin of the Apurimac canyon but its easily understood that natural agents carved it. The Apurimac canyon is the result of erosion made by a river who created impressive rock formations and walls of pure stone of more than 3000 meters – 9842.52 feet deep.

    During its course this river traverses small valleys, water falls, gorges and small villages with micro climates perfect to house a wide range of life. Even with its steepness the Apurimac river canyon offers a diverse wildlife. Occasionally foxes, deer, otter and pumas are spotted. However, the bird life is far more incredible. Herons, eagles, parrots, wood pickers, falcons and the amazing condors are few of the birds normally seen during the Apurimac rafting tours.

  • Apurimac rafting FAQs

    Do I need to be fit to raft the Apurimac River?

    Do I need to be fit to join the Apurimac rafting tours?

    Good physical conditions and health are the requirements for rafting the Apurimac River. In addition, being outdoors for a few days in a hostile environment can fast impact one’s health and energy. Your fitness and health grade will collaborate to your personal security and also benefit to expand your experience.

    How many days should I ?

    How much time do you have?

    If you only have about 3 days, your choices cover either the upper Black or the lower Grand Canyon sections. It takes 6 days to raft the whole entire Apurimac River on a rafting boat.

    Which sections are best for me?

    Which sections are best for me?

    Both lower and upper Canyon tour sections have exciting rapids, waterfalls, superb camping sites, history, nice wildlife, and hikes, gigantic stone walls, valleys and astonishing views. However, there are a few differences.

    The Black Canyon, offers an easy introduction to whitewater river rafting. Recommended for beginners to intermediate rafters, but it can also satisfied experience rafters, good for families with kids from 8 years old, friends, couples and groups. The walls of the canyon range between 1 to 2 thousand meters deep and contains waterfalls, hikes and rapids from level II to level IV. For family with kids, the level IV rapids are easily avoided, and in some rapids walking is the best option.

    The Grand Canyon, is the hardest, this section is meant for people with previous rafting experience. If you are a beginner and you really don’t want to miss the whole Apurimac rafting experience, then the perfect combination is first rafting the Black canyon as an introduction and continue on with the Grand Canyon, check out our 6 day Apurimac rafting.

    Soon to come is a two day rafting tour in the upper Apurimac canyon. The ministry of transport in Cusco are constantly building new roads making these  an easy access to sections that wasn’t possible before. The 2 days into the Apurimac will start right before the biggest rapids on of the Black Canyon, and probably this will be the best 2 days rafting tour in Peru and maybe South America during this time of the year.

    When is the best time to go?

    The best time to go

    From May to December, during the 1st two months after opening the season, the Grand Canyon offers one of the best whitewater experiences with a volume of water and hundreds of great rapids. The river lowers down between July and September, but still there is plenty of water to run and is always fun. October and November are the warmest temperatures of the year; with many rapids, the Apurimac River will cool you down in the warmest months of the year with temperatures that can easily arrive at 40 degrees.

    Who can go?

    Who can go

    For the upper section, the Black Canyon are available for couples, families, friends solo travelers! All levels of experience are allowed. Normally our clients range in age from 11 to 70 years old. However, we can accommodate a wide range of needs, including those who are physically challenged or have medical conditions. However, the rigors of outdoor life are not for everyone

    For the Grand Canyon, the lower section, everyone over 11 years old can join our groups and we required previous rafting experience. The Apurimac River is one of those Rivers where you need to pay attention to everything, for example number of people per group, number of people per boat, experience of the guides, excellent rafting gear and navigation system, all these are important components for a successful rafting expedition. For that reason, for better personalized service and most important safety, we can only accommodate 15 people per departure.

    For more information about levels and who can join our Apurimac rafting adventures, let us know. We are happy to provide more information, please contact us or write us directly to

    What is included in the price?

    What is included

    Meals: Breakfast, lunches and dinners. Breakfast on the first day is not included in any of the tours. Drinking water, sodas, and some alcoholic beverages for after dinner is also included.

    Camping gear: We provide spacious camping tents for 2 people. If you wish to have your own tent inform our headquarters before any trip departures, dinner tent, ground tarp, waterproof dry bags.

    Rafting gear: Live vest type V, full wetsuits, shorts, helmets, paddles, safe-bailing boats, luggage boat, and coolers.

    Safety: Swift -Water rescue certified river guides, English speaking, satellite monitored device, safety kayaks.

    Will I have to sign a waiver?

    Will I have to sign a waiver?

    Your safety is our main concern and with over 25 years of experience, we have learned to manage risk exceptionally well. You do not have to sign a waiver, but we do require you to sign an Acknowledgment of Risk which describes the hazards and challenges, as we want you to make an informed vacation decision.

    How far in advance do you have to book?

    How far in advance do you have to book?

    For fixed departure dates we recommend you booking in advance. For the most part, we accept reservations right up to 1 month the tour departures. If available spaces are full, we will add your waiting list, smaller group sizes, or solo travelers can easily find space last minute due to cancellations.

    Are there bugs or snakes in the Grand Canyon?

    Are there bugs or snakes in the Grand Canyon?

    Being in outdoors environment, flying insects and mosquito are present during daylight. At night, virtually there are no any. No snakes in the canyon. Scorpions and other insects are seldom seen and they aren’t poisonous even the ones with small pinches.

    Do I need travel and cancellation insurance?

    Do I need travel and cancellation insurance?

    Yes, you do need travel and cancellation insurance.

Apurimac Black Canyon River Trip 2 days
Apurimac rafting Black Canyon 1 day
Lower Apurimac Grand Canyon 3 days
Lower Apurimac Grand Canyon 4 days
The Apurimac Black Canyon 3 days
The full canyon River trip (6 days)

Did you know?

The Apurimac River Source

Apurimac river map
The source of the Apurimac River was  identified at the volcano peak of Mismi  and considered the ultimate source of the Amazon River according to the  National Geographic expedition led by Loren McIntyre in 1971. In 2000, a follow-up expedition affirmed Lake Ticlla Cocha at the base of Mismi mountain as the source and the Apurímac River as the longest upstream extension of the Amazon River. Until now the Apurimac River is considered as the continuously flowing source of the Amazon River.