River Explorers
Purgatory gorge

Cusco rafting tours – Whitewater river adventures

With the exciting rush of the rapids, splendid scenery, and the chance to explore new destinations, Cusco rafting tours give you that one-of-a-kind adventure experience you’re looking for. Our tours have it all and with our experienced guides, you’ll find Cusco whitewater river rafting to be one of the most memorable moments of your life. With so many rivers, it’s no wonder everyone comes here from all over the world to take the plunge into the daring white waters.

Our awesome Cusco whitewater rafting tours

Discover our whitewater rafting tours on a variety of rivers in the area of Cusco, including favorite wonders like Machu Picchu, the Andes, and the stunning rain-forest. Choose from one-day or multi-day rafting trips at any level of experience. At River Explorers, our Cusco rafting tours offer every type of experience for you, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Everyone will have the adventure they desire.

Looking for something unique?

We’d love to tell you more about our tours for experienced paddlers and adventurous beginners alike. 

The Apurimac 6-day and Yavero 11-day each offer world-class whitewater rafting experiences set amid the unique terrain of Peru. Ask us about setting up a date for a visit to one of these amazing places or joining an already scheduled trip.

The Yavero river rafting

This is one of the best rafting adventures anywhere in the world, right in the rainforest in Cusco. Only recently was Yavero opened for commercial rafting, and the only company that can get you in is River Explorers. It includes tours of the spectacular waterfalls, an overnight stay with a Machiganga indigenous tribe, outstanding rapids with perfect waves and a balance of calm in between, a visit to Pongo the Mainique, and the chance to discover this unique ecosystem formed by the convergence of two glorious rivers. At the end of the trip, we bring you to Machu Picchu where you embark on a completely guided tour to discover this wonder of the world, capping off 11 days of absolute adventure.

The full Apurimac River Canyon expedition (6 days)

Get in with nature on this full Apurimac whitewater experience with the purest level IV and V rafting adventures in all of South America. The great outdoors is your playground to discover untold adventures and natural serenity. As the source of the Amazon River, the waters flow through untamed Class III, IV and V rapids and around deep, brilliantly-hued canyons. See untouched sandy beaches and ancient ruins all around, and watch how many wild animals you see in the lush jungle surrounds. It’s a dazzling place unspoiled by the callousness of mankind.

It is a rare treat to raft upon this river as only a few people in the world have had this opportunity. You can be the next!

Apurimac whitewater River rafting tours

River Explorers has created 6 unique white-water rafting trips for anyone seeking to raft the great Apurimac River in both the Black and the Granite Canyon. This river begins in the Andes near Arequipa and is the source of the Amazon River, known as the greatest river in the world. 

The Apurimac River is perfect for whitewater river rafting for any capability. Rapids here range from Level II to V and come with breathtaking scenery. Giant stone monuments, ancient ruins, cascading waterfalls, lush foliage-bedazzled valleys, and snow-capped mountains make it unlike any place else on earth. You can choose your tour for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 days on the Apurimac River.

Experience the beauty of the Apurimac River mountains and the thrill of moderate Level II-III rapids followed by plenty of splashy Class IV rapids and non-stop whitewater.
 
If 3 days is not enough, get one day extra to experience a part of the Black Canyon section and the entire Granite Canyon running rapids up to level V! 
 

Urubamba white water river rafting tours

The Urubamba River, close to Cusco, flows parallel to the Apurimac and the Mapacho rivers. It crosses Sicuani city, the beautiful Urcos Valley, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu, plus runs all the way to the Amazon Jungle. The course of this river is peppered with many great year-round rapids, perfect for one-day as well as multi-day Cusco river rafting adventures.

Experience the beauty of the Apurimac River mountains and the thrill of moderate Level II-III rapids followed by plenty of splashy Class IV rapids and non-stop whitewater.
 
If 3 days is not enough, get one day extra to experience a part of the Black Canyon section and the entire Granite Canyon running rapids up to level V! 
 

Choosing the right river for your adventure!

There’s no doubt about it – the Cusco region is absolutely the best place for whitewater rafting in Peru.

With so many diverse rivers and different sections that are suitable for all types of rafters – from young to old and from beginner to advanced. Safety is our top priority to ensure we show you the best time possible. We recommend you follow these helpful tips to help us give you the best experience while keeping you safe.

Please choose a section of the river that suits your level of experience. If you’re a beginner, we’re going to show you everything you need to know and give you an amazing time on the water. If you’re advanced, we’ll help you push your limits. We offer 4 different rivers for your Cusco whitewater river rafting vacation. Each river features different sections from Level II to V. If it’s your first time, please choose a beginner river. It is important to always consider the abilities of the least experienced member when planning a whitewater rafting trip for a group too. If you’re not sure which river to choose, contact us and we’ll be delighted to advise you: contact@riverexplorers.com.

Family enjoying waterfall

Bring your family!

Stop doing the same family vacations year after year. If you have children ages 6 and up and are looking for an exciting adventure, come to Peru for the many unique opportunities to see something that doesn’t have characters dancing about. Cusco whitewater river rafting is the best way to have an unforgettable family vacation with easy rapids on the Urubamba River and in the rain-forest. It’s great for your little adventurers any time of year.

We accept groups!

At River Explorers, we’re a local operator that loves putting young people in touch with our robust nature, history, and culture in the area. Just like all of our tour packages, youth and school group tours get delicious meals brimming with local, fresh products and are led by guides with extensive experience of more than 8 years. Contact us today to discuss your group size and budget, which should be a good match for our Urubamba River option.

Cusco Rivers: The Apurimac, Urubamba, Yavero

Map Cusco river

Cusco River rafting tours FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding our Cusco whitewater river rafting tours. If you don’t find your answer here or have other questions, please contact us so we can assist you.

Not at all! We have whitewater rafting trips that are suitable for any type of adventurer. Whether you’d like a lazy day on the river during the dry season for a Level I or II on the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley or you want more excitement of the Level V sections on the Apurimac River, there is something for everyone in the Cusco whitewater river rafting world. We do ask that all participants be able to swim and have confidence in their rafting abilities. If you’ve never been before, we urge you to try something for beginners. There are sections available for young rafters too from 8, 12, and 16 years old.

According to your river rafting experience you can choose different sections. We recommend however to always start with level I, II and III if you are a beginner. 

In Cusco, there are 2 clear seasons – a rainy season that lasts from mid-December to April and a dry season from May to November. While some sections are open during the dry seasons, others may be closed and that varies by Level classification. However, day tours are available year-round in the Urubamba and multi-day tours are restricted to be available only during dry season for your safety.

Our river tours are suitable for all ages and abilities. We offer sections for beginners, intermediate and advanced. We can even accommodate boaters with kinds from 4 years old to more.

We have the best equipment available and all our gear is imported from NRS, approved and certified by the United States Coast Guard and by the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism.

All day trips include private transportation, full rafting gear (full length wet-suits, PFD, helmets, paddles, river shoes and paddle jackets). For multi-day expeditions, we additionally provide camping gear, dry bags, luggage raft, safety kayaks, toilet facilities, frames, long big oars, kataraft sand the best river guides. . Whichever rafting adventure you choose to embark on with us in Cusco, we will provide the gear you need to give you the vacation of your dreams.

We do require you to sign an Acknowledgment of Risk, this document describes the hazards and challenges that you may encounter while of our river tours.

Yes, you do need travel and cancellation insurance.

With so many rivers, Cusco offers a large variety of whitewater rafting trips. From family to youth group trips, novices to advanced, day to multi-day and from camping to lodging, our tours will fulfill your desires for rafting adventure of any kind. We can also help you combine them with other sports adventures including hiking, biking, and zip-lining.

Because of our extensive experience and outstanding reputation, our tours fill up fast. We recommend booking your trips with us as early on as you can. Day trips generally need about 8 days in advance to book a tour and longer tours may need to be booked sooner, about 2 months prior to your trip departure. Even if it’s sooner than 8 days, contact us and we can see about arranging a tour for you.

One thing we hear time and time again is how much our customers love our homemade food. We feel it adds the ideal complement to the action-packed rafting adventures we provide. We offer plentiful, tasty, filling, and utterly delicious meals made with healthy, fresh and local ingredients. An example of a typical meal is fish, grilled chicken, Lomo Saltado (a local specialty you shouldn’t miss), a tempting array of sandwiches and more. We also provide salads, potatoes and rice to round out your meal. Everything is seasoned with local spices. We also offer vegetarian dishes, available by request. Please tell us of your dietary needs when you are booking your adventure.