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

This trip is no longer on sale

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-Nov

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 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

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Internal flights

Domestic flights from Lima to Cajamarca, and Jaen to Lima

Accommodation

5 nights in independent hotels and 6 nights wild camping

Guides

Expert, English-speaking local guides

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

map

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.

If you would like to arrive early/extend your stay, your host can arrange an airport transfer for you. Please see Optional Extras for details.

Travel options

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

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 · 65m up · 65m down

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 4 and Class 3 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 · 5km · 70m up · 70m down

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 camp 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 · 680m up · 680m down

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 · 600m up · 600m down

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

Driving

3hrs

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 one last view of this incredible cloud forest, drive to Jaen and hop on a short flight to Lima in time to connect to any international flights home later this evening. You can also be transferred to your Lima accommodation if you are spending more time in Peru.

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 and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

Bags

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (35+ litres)

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

Double/Twin room

Payable Before Departure

Double/Twin room

Single room

Payable Before Departure

Single room

Private Room and Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Private Room and Tent Upgrade

Private Transfer Airport - Lima Hotel

Payable Before Departure

Private Transfer Airport - Lima Hotel

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 591kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

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 satellite communications 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.

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.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

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.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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