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River Explorers provides extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime river rafting tours that will leave you excited and some times at bit breathless.
The full Apurimac whitewater is truly one of the purest rafting adventures in Peru and South America. This trip offers a unique authentic outdoor experience to people who seek adventure and serenity. The Apurimac is the source of the Amazon River and its waters flows through untamed Class III, IV and V rapids, deep, colorful canyons, virgin sandy beaches, ruins and its home for unique animals and plants and other dazzling treasures in a river untouched by human hands.
Briefing the night before departure: Pre-departure information about river canyon, system navigation, personal equipment etc.
River level: II, III, IV and V
Time in the water: 6 hours a day
The Apurimac rafting adventure begins at your hotel in Cusco, where our transport and guides will pick you up at 8 am. Before driving, your guide will introduce to the whole rafting guides and then begin the tour with a spectacular three-hour scenic drive stopping at some local communities and miradors along the road. The driving shows both Peru’s typical Andean live and outstanding mountain scenery. We continue driving down after passing the highest point (3850 m – 12631 ft) to our put-in at Rocoto (2300 m – 7570 ft).
After stretching out, unloading all the rafting gear, pumping the boats and loading the luggage boats, the guides will help packing your gear (camp clothing, toiletries, sleeping bag and sleeping pad) in a water-proof duffel bag provided by us. All camping gear are packed away separately. Next, the guides will provide you with type V life-vest, splash jacket, full wet-suit, helmets and paddles Guard approved life jacket and paddle
The head-guide will give you a comprehensive orientation and safety talk about the rafting commands and other safety instructions with plenty of time for questions. This orientation will be followed by practice on the river, participants will learn swimming positions on rapids, what to do in case the boat flips over or you fall off the raft, how to grab the kayak, rescue lines and other safety precautions, only once you will have the confidence needed to handle anything that comes up during the trip the journey on the mighty Apurimac begins.
As we run the first couple of rapids, we will begin passing small valleys filled with Acacias trees that line the river shores coming off the black canyon walls. These stands of dark walls gives the upper canyon its name – Black Canyon.
Once we arrive at our sandy campsite, we unload all the gear from the rafts and then change into camp clothes and set up the camp. Guides will assist with setting up your tents. You guides again will give a brief camp orientation where everybody become familiarized with our solid waste toilet system and the camp routine, you will then be free to relax, enjoy a refreshing swim while your guides will make dinner. The menu may include items such as fresh vegetable soup, grilled chicken breast, steak and salad. After dinner there will be a brief explanation about next Apurimac white water river adventure day. You can choose to sleep in or outside your tent, and surprisingly, there are no bugs or mosquitoes during the night perfect to sleep under the vast canopy of stars.
We wake up with a nice cup of tea or coffee and clean air from the river canyon. After a delicious breakfast, guides and passengers will put down tents, toilets, kitchen and pack up the dry bags. Once all the gear is packed on the boats, we’ll begin another fun-filled day of adventure and adrenaline.
Today’s the Apurimac river features astonishing vistas of waterfalls, giant rocks and impressive stone walls that go hundred of meters up and of course nice class II, III and IV white water rapids.
While the guides unpack cooler boxes with food, drinks and fresh vegetables, we enjoy a tasty lunch to refuel for the challenges that lay ahead.
The portion of the river covered after lunch is a little less challenging than first day. Small rapids perfect to jump into our one men kayaks and experience navigating between calm and slow level II rapids.
A well earned rest brings our second camp after unpacking the gear, with enough time to chill out over a nice book and cold beer. As the light begins to fade and the smell of a delicious freshly cooked dinner takes over, the Apurimac River is all ours.
Another energetic breakfast with oats, eggs, bacon, fruit, milk, bread etc, will be ready for another great whitewater adventure.
Today’s rafting combines floating over peaceful pools of water under waterfalls, shadows of towering stone walls formations, exploration of Incan ruins and running easy rapids at levels II and III.
Going down the river, we can see more tributaries joining the river as the Apurimac Gorge gets deeper and deeper. With more water in the river, there will be bigger and more fun rapids to run. Our lunch today will include pasta salad with cheese, tomatoes, green paper, tuna salad and fresh vegetables. After lunch, we will run more easy rapids until we arrive to the next camp.
After a nice breakfast, we will jump into the river for a very active and wet day with many level III and IV rapids with nice crashing waves and holes. We will have to scout some of the rapids so we can decide which line we will use to run the rapids. After hours of thrilling, rolling waves, we will stop to have lunch close to Walpachaca bridge.
After lunch, there will be more rapids coming until we reach a waterfall, after which we are just a few minutes away from our next camp on the sandy beach called Las Paltas (“The avocados”).
We jump into the boat around 9 am and we continue our way through the river canyon. Just few meters from camp, we will be already confronting level III rapids and the the Chute a level IV rapid. We enter into a spectacular gorge as we travel toward the second Portage. As before, passengers will walk around this area.
One of the most challenging rapids from the Apurimac river is about to come The Minefield that contains a series of grade II, III and IV rapids until the river calms and goes into the Purgatory Gorge: a fascinating place where river floods and other natural agents have eroded the gorge, creating peculiar stone walls and rock formations. We can jump into the river from a cliff, take pictures and swim. Minutes afterward, we will be going into a grade IV rapid also called Purgatory. After this great rapid, one more tributary joins the river, and couple of rapids later, we will again stop for lunch. Then it’s big rapids such as 3 Marias, The Rollover, Window, The Z, Indiana Jones and a nice rapid called El Trinche, class IV and V from May to June. The river gorge gets narrow while we enter into the table gorge and camp. Once again, you will help collect wood for the campfire, and after the luggage boat is empty, you can then relax, watching the spectacular condors flies that are easily seen in this area. After dinner, we’ll have a last briefing about the coming day and then sleepy time.
Today’s tour will include exciting rapids, so be prepared for a boost from the beginning. Challenging level IV rapids such as Ramona, Wake Up and the Labyrinth will await us during the first hour, and then we will arrive to the biggest portage of the Canyon: the Toothache and You First. For the final time, passengers will walk around it; only Apurimac river guides will raft this rapid.
There will be a section of rapids level II and III until Babaluba, the biggest grade V. Once the safety kayak and the guides with the rescue lines are properly located, the rafting boats will start running the rapid. The river goes through small channels with many rocks in the beginning of the rapid after, the river gets calm, and then we disappear dramatically while the boat is jumping through drops and holes. We have only few seconds to rest after Babaluba before we enter to the next big rapid call The Last Laugh, level IV.
After these rapids, there will be a series of class II, III, and III+ rapids to run until the end. Yummy lunch and cold beers will be waiting for us at the end of the Apurimac river rafting tour. It takes two hours driving back to Cusco through in a nice paved road.
Meals (5 breakfast, 6 lunches, 5 dinners)
Professional English-speaking guides, certified in Wilderness First responder and in International Advance Swift-water rescue.
Safety and professional river system navigation, double tents, private round trip transportation, video and picture service.
Full equipment first aid kit, including disposable resuscitator (CPR Bag Valve Mask).
State-of-the-art rafting equipment including hi-flotation life jackets type V, self-bailing rafts, helmets, paddle jackets, dry duffels for personal gear, and special containers for cameras.
Sleeping bag and inflatable mattress (may rent for $30 each per trip).
Sleeping bag and inflatable mattress (available to rent for $ 30 per trip), flashlight.
Clothing: lightweight long trousers, shorts, fleece/thermal top, bathing suit, T-shirts and sandals that covers the whole foot.
Personal items: eco-friendly toiletries i.e. Bio-degradable no pollutants please!!
The safety of our guides and clients is our main priority. We have the best rafting guides in Peru whom been running the Apurimac river, they are certified in Swift-water rescue, first aid and most importantly they are experienced, know our Canyon history and they are responsible and fun.
Choosing between the many rafting outfitters who offer trips to the Apurimac river can be a hard task. Fortunately, we created links so this doesn’t have to be as much work as you might first think.
Apurimac river rafting tours are carefully designed to provide safe and fun adventure tours. We care about the environment, and we work day by day in an effort to prevent contamination and pollution.
River otter are mostly seeing early mornings, foxes usually after breakfast, condor you will see flying high up in the mountains and some times you can see them flying very low, variety of birds such as tiger heron, eagles, falcons and other are easily seeing during rafting — dears and puma are difficult but if we are careful its probably that we will see them.
We have garbage disposal for organic and inorganic trash. All inorganic matter is returned to Cusco, including all human waste (transported by means of cargo boat).
Warm and arid, it can get a little chilly in the evening during May to August.
Available fixed departure dates and flexible. If you are a couple or group of friends that will like to depart in any day, feel fee to ask. We guarantee departures in any date with a minimum of 2 people.
Seasonal from mid of May to mid of November.
May: 14, 28
Jun: 4, 18
July: 9, 23
Aug: 6, 20
Sep: 3, 17
Oct: 8, 22
Nov: 5, 19
Graduated from the National University of San Antonio Abad, Cesar is one of our main guides. He is expert in MTB, River Rafting, Inca Trail and cultural tours.
Erika is the operations manager, she organizes, book, confirm and make all the arrangements making your vacation unforgettable.
Ylda Tupayachi is the Accounting Manager. With more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry, she is a key for our clients happiness.