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Adventures / Rapid Rafting

From the Andes to the Amazon: 150km expedition in Peru

Set off on a once-in-a-lifetime rafting and hiking expedition down the wild and mighty Rio Marañón in Peru

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Trip Ref #9858

Adventures / Rapid Rafting

From the Andes to the Amazon: 150km expedition in Peru

Set off on a once-in-a-lifetime rafting and hiking expedition down the wild and mighty Rio Marañón in Peru

DURATION
11 nights
LOCATION
Peru
ANNUAL LEAVE
10 days off work
SEASON
May, Jul-Oct
GROUP SIZE
Up to 16 people
MEETING POINT
Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima
ACCOMMODATION
Hotel · Wild camping
DIFFICULTY
Moderate

You'll be paddling/hiking for up to 6 hours a day, including some adrenaline-pumping sections, so you’ll need a decent level of fitness.

Embark on a self-powered adventure down one of the greatest and wildest free-flowing waterways left on the planet: the Marañón River

Raft exhilarating rapids, hike through spectacular scenery and wild camp on idyllic riverside beaches

Experience the life of Campesino villagers in the remote Peruvian Andes and witness your host's amazing conservation work

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking local guides

Accommodation

5 nights in independent hotels and 6 nights wild camping

Meals

All your meals while rafting, plus a selection of alcoholic drinks during the river expedition

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Equipment

All your rafting and camping equipment

Permits

All permits and entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Some meals as described

The Area

Logistics

Starts

Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima

Anytime on Day 1

Ends

Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima

17:30 on Day 12

Transfers

You are free to arrive anytime on Day 1 and your host will collect you from the airport.

On Day 12, you will arrive at Lima airport at approx. 17:30. This should allow for any onward international flights that evening. You can ask your host to book you an extra night in Lima if you are staying on in Peru, please see Optional Extras for prices.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Peru from major airports across the UK and Europe.

What about all the carbon?

We mitigate 4x the carbon generated by all our customer flights annually through our partnership with Cool Earth.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 8

Wild camping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10 – Day 11

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 12

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Food on the trip is prepared using fresh, local and often organic ingredients sourced from nearby conservation areas and local communities. At dinner each night after a long day on the river you'll be able to relax and enjoy the surroundings or swap stories around the campfire.

Meals will be a mixture of international and traditional Peruvian recipes which will keep everyone satisfied and fuelled up throughout the expedition.

Vegans, Vegetarians and food allergies can be catered for, please let your host know in advance.

What is the accommodation like?

Towns

You’ll stay in small local independent hotels in comfortable en-suite rooms.

Wilderness

Riverside camping is one of the highlights of this adventure and your knowledgeable guides will take you to the best secluded beaches and campsites along the Marañón River. Set-up is twin share but in three-man tents, ensuring plenty of space for a comfortable night’s sleep.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price . Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability)

Day 1

Welcome to Peru!

Touch down in Lima and head to your hotel in fashionable Miraflores. Depending on your arrival time, explore the parks, cafes and bars and see why Peru is constantly featured in the best culinary spots in the world.

Day 2

The hotsprings of Laguna Seca

Take a short flight to Cajamarca - don’t be surprised if your hotel is steaming, it’s built on top of a natural hot spring. Take a dip, relax and then head out for a welcome dinner to really kick-start the expedition.

Day 3

The Expedition begins

Rafting

2hrs · 16km

Driving

4hrs

Travel across the Peruvian highlands and into the Marañon Canyon. Then after a safety briefing it’s onto the river! Plunge into the Balsas rapid (Grade 3) for a taste of what’s to come and complete some rescue drills to help each raft crew work as a team. When you're finished, wild camp on the shore with the river just a stones-throw away.

Day 4

The Rapids of the Marañon

Hiking

1.5hrs · 2km

Rafting

6hrs · 29km

Take an optional sunrise hike to the cliff-top ruins at Playa el Cura, or just grab some more sleep. When the teams are reunited, continue downriver, encountering Class 5 rapids as you wind your way through the geological wonder that is the Marañon Canyon - beware of the strong afternoon winds - this stretch is notorious for them. Dock at the village of Mendán and take the chance to look around and refuel with some fresh coconuts, seasonal fruits or a cold beer. Sit down for a home-cooked dinner in this friendly and welcoming village. Most likely the local kids will be keen for a game of football too!

Day 5

Tupén

Rafting

1.5hrs · 8km

After a lazy morning, take a short float through some Class 3 rapids to the village of Tupén. The afternoon is yours to explore further, with some challenging hikes for the energetic and adventurous. Closer to home, the village is an interesting place to wander around. Be sure to visit the school and let the kids show off their incredible treehouse!

Day 6

White water

Rafting

6hrs · 27km

Prepare for a serious challenge as you encounter class 3-4 rapids, including Tupén Grande, San Lucas, Playa el Inca and Shingate. Pass by the proposed Chadin II dam site and learn how the local people, with some help from your host, are fighting to keep this iconic river beautiful and free. Dock on a stunning deserted beach in the heart of the canyon for another night under the stars.

Day 7

The Linlin Rapid

Rafting

6hrs · 38km

Raft the deepest and most isolated part of the canyon as the vegetation and rock morphs into lush jungle, then face Linlin, the largest rapid on this section of the river. After the adrenalin has finally burned away, bounce through several more rapids before arriving at the Marañon Libre Conservation Area. Relax after an epic day on the water and enjoy one of the most stunning sunsets and vistas of the entire trip.

Day 8

Swim in Las Cascadas

Hiking

4hrs

Rafting

2hrs · 9km

Explore the geological phenomenon of Las Cascadas - dozens of natural pools and waterfalls that cascade toward the Marañón. Swim, enjoy the views and then travel downstream to the Carrasco family farm, where you’ll have a hearty lunch with Roy and his family - staunch defenders of the river. Back on the water, enter one of the most scenic sections so far, where lush green shrubs cling to the red sandstone cliffs giving it a prehistoric feel. Visit the ancient rock paintings discovered by Roy and his family in 2019 – one of the many reasons the dam needs to be stopped and samp in the heart of the Red Canyon.

Day 9

Puerto Malleta

Rafting

2.5hrs · 17km

Driving

4hrs

Navigate the final rapids of your journey, arriving in Puerto Malleta for a celebratory lunch and a final goodbye to your river guides. Travel to the village of Cocachimba, with plenty of views of the Shipago and Colan mountain ranges to keep you occupied along the way. Check into your beautiful lodgings surrounded by native cloud forest - your base for the next 3 nights as you explore the Kingdom of the Clouds.

Day 10

Gocta Waterfall

Hiking

6-8hrs · 12km

Wake up to the sound of forest birds and hike to the 2531ft tall Gocta Waterfall. The hike has two options: a longer and more challenging circuit, or the shorter direct access from Cocachimba, which can be completed on horseback if you prefer. Spot native wildlife, including the Andean Cock of the Rock, Peru’s national bird, in the ravines on the way to Gocta and then take the afternoon off, or tackle another hike if you have the energy.

Day 11

Sarcophagi Del Tigre

Hiking

6hrs · 12km

Start early to reach the upper levels of El Tigre, one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the Amazonas. The Sarcophagi del Tigre is rarely visited due to the adventurous nature of the route and the fact that it was only discovered in 2013! Pass skeletons and ruined tomb and use ropes and ladders to climb to the upper level, home to the ancient and mysterious Chachapoyan people, who mummified their dead, much like the ancient Egyptians. Hike back to San Jeronimo feeling like Indiana Jones and then return to Cocachimba for the evening.

Day 12

The finish line

Wake up in peaceful Cocachimba for the last time, with the option for an early morning stroll and a final look at Gocta waterfall. After a last view of this incredible cloud forest, return to Lima in time for your flight home, or continue travelling around Peru.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

What do I need to bring?

Bags

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (35+ litres)
  • Drybags for the river
  • Waterproof liner for kitbag/rucksack

Clothes

  • Shoes for wearing on the river (Water shoes or sandals)
  • Lightweight hiking boots or hiking shoes for side hikes
  • Sandals or flip-flops for around camp
  • Neoprene or wool socks for the river (optional)
  • Long-sleeved shirt & long trousers for off river
  • Long trousers (or shorts + leggings) & long sleeve shirt - important for sun and bug protection
  • Medium weight fleece, sweater or jacket
  • T-shirts and/or lightweight quick-dry tops
  • Board shorts
  • Swimwear
  • Sun hat, cap or visor
  • Something to sleep in
  • Waterproof jacket

Other

  • Water bottle with a locking carabiner, to attach to raft
  • Sunglasses with securing strap
  • Headtorch
  • Padlock for left luggage
  • Universal travel adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Spare camera batteries
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Earplugs
  • Insect repellent - DEET free if possible
  • Suncream - Eco-friendly if possibly
  • Personal first-aid kit (including blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottle x1 litre (2 of these if you have room)
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system

You'll be paddling/hiking for up to 6 hours a day, including some adrenaline-pumping and steep sections, however, no previous experience is needed and people who are generally active will be fine.

Your guides are highly qualified, experienced and internationally certified to ensure your safety throughout the trip. They also thoroughly plan and prepare for each expedition and have a back-up radio just in case. You'll experience a mix of different kinds of rafting, with moments of calm water and exciting rapids that range from Class 2 to 4. Class 4 rapids are usually classified as long, difficult or narrow sections with turbulent water that requires precise manoeuvring and sends your heart racing.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Throughout the main rafting season (May-Nov), the weather is perfect for this kind of trip. The section of the Marañón you'll be rafting on is warm and dry with daytime temperatures ranging between 23-35 degrees Celsius and water temperatures of between 18-23 degrees Celsius. The river travels through desert-like canyons and dry forests for the majority of the journey. Throughout the day, it’s advisable to have lots of sun protection as the raft can be very exposed to UV. The area is unlikely to have any rain throughout the dry season (May-Nov). In the rainy season, (Dec-May) however, it is much more likely to experience several days of rain, humid weather and possibly high water levels.

Filtered water is provided while on the river expedition. Tap and bottled water is available while on the Kingdom of the Clouds section; there are also water filters in some locations so that personal bottles can be filled.

Any additional luggage will be transported to the finish point for you.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

For current advice about travelling in Peru, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion aand there is not a suggested amount. Your guide will help with advice during the trip if you are keen to tip for excellent service at any stage.

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

All of our group adventures are especially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded.

"I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I've ever been on!" Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

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Transferrable Deposits

Cancel up to 31 days before departure and we'll transfer your deposit into credit for a future booking.

Free Date Changes

Free date changes up to 31 days before departure.

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