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Adventures / Rapid Rafting

Rafting Expedition Through the Heart of the Andes

Discover Peru a different way on this once-in-a-lifetime rafting expedition down the mighty Rio Marañón - an almost untravelled wild river that lets you connect with the riverside villagers.

I'M UP FOR
Rapid Rafting
DURATION
8 Nights
DIFFICULTY
Challenging
COMFORT
Basic
LOCATION
Peru
SEASON
July—January
NEAREST AIRPORT

Raft down the exhilarating rapids of the Marañón River, revel in the spectacular scenery, swim in natural rock pools, camp on idyllic riverside beaches and experience the life of Campesino villagers in the remote Peruvian Andes. Your local hosts are committed to protecting this important river and work closely with the Marañón Waterkeeper. This rafting expedition offers a chance of true adventure on one of the greatest free-flowing rivers on the planet, whilst being easily accessible from Lima.

Your hassle-free adventure includes

  • 7 days whitewater rafting
  • 6 nights camping + delicious meals
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation
  • Full board
  • Professional, certified river guides
  • Rafting and camping equipment
  • Safety equipment and drybag rental
  • Airport transfers
  • Local transfers
  • Transport to and from the river

Perfect for

Anyone looking for an epic rafting adventure in a spectacular setting and meeting remote local communities. No previous experience is required. Your guides will tailor side hikes and excursions to individual needs and experience levels.

Need To Know

Yes, your guides are highly qualified, experienced and internationally certified to ensure your safety throughout the trip. Your guides will thoroughly plan and prepare for this expedition and always have a back-up radio if needed.

You’ll experience a great mix of different kinds of rafting. There are moments of calm water at times but you can also expect exciting rapids from class II to IV.

Class IV rapids are usually classified as long, difficult rapids or narrow passages with turbulent water that require precise maneuvering that send your heart racing.

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights
  • Alcoholic beverages (There will be an opportunity to purchase supplies at start of trip)
  • Travel Insurance (must cover whitewater rafting up to Grade 4)
  • Tips for your guides (optional)
  • Personal items (Host will send a detailed packing list)

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 people, most groups are between 6-12 people in size, with a maximum group size of 18 people. The guest to guide ratio will be maximum 4:1.
Please note, if there are not 4 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

If you have a small group of friends and would like to do a private trip on the river, this can be arranged by special request.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people and have the adventure of a lifetime!

Your host recommends to pack:

  • A small daypack
  • Water bottle with locking carabiner to attach to raft
  • Headtorch and spare batteries
  • Sunglasses with securing strap
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner (Available to rent)
  • Toiletries (Eco friendly where possible)
  • Small towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Spare glasses/contacts if required

Clothing:

  • Warm clothes for Cajamarca (These can be sent with you extra luggage to the finish point)
  • River shoes or sandals
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Flip flops
  • Socks
  • Neoprene socks or socks for use on-river
  • Long sleeve shirt and trousers for off the river
  • Long sleeve top and trousers or shorts + leggings for on the river.
  • Sun hat, Cap or visor
  • Medium weight fleece or jumper
  • Swimming clothes
  • Quick drying t-shirt

Additional Optional Items

  • Small personal dry bag for day use
  • Camera
  • Paddling gloves
  • Bug net
  • Personal tent if you prefer your own
  • Sleeping pad (Basic foam pads are provided, or can be upgraded for delux option)
  • Travel sized games

Yes! Speak with your host about visiting the enormous Gocta Waterfall, or the lost city of Kuelap created by the Chacha Cloud People.

You are free to book any flights that fit with the start and end point of the trip. These could connect with your international flights in and out of the international airport in Lima.

Speak with your host to see what other travel opportunities exist in Northern Peru, you may find yourself wanting to stay for extra days after the trip!

Comfortable overnight busses can also get you between all major cities in Peru. You can search the options at www.redbus.pe

Through the main rafting season (May-Nov) weather is perfect! This section of the Marañón 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 is advisable to have sun protection as the raft can be very exposed to the sun.

It is very unlikely to have any rain throughout the dry season (May-Nov).

In the rainy season, (Dec-May) it is much more likely to get several days of rain, humid weather and possible high water levels.

No problem. Any additional luggage can be transported for you to the finish point. Your host will deliver these to Hotel El Bosque when we arrive in Jaén.

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Location

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This adventure takes place in the heart of the Marañón River Canyon in Peru. This spectacular canyon is known as the ‘Grand Canyon of South America’ and it most certainly lives up to the title. It is almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in USA, and is becoming known as one of the greatest rafting locations on the planet. Along its course, the scenery of the river offers an ever-changing plethora of dramatic vistas from the majestic expanse of the Andean Mountains at its source, through the vibrant rock walls of the Marañón Canyon and into the lush Amazonian Rainforest where it feeds into the mighty Amazon River. This is the perfect setting for an epic raft journey and a true adventure.

The Marañón River is one of the largest tributaries to the Amazon. It is home to an incredible array of plant and animal life, many of which are only found in this region, and the sediment it carries is a vital source of nutrients for the Amazon Rainforest. It is also a fantastic river to raft with numerous rapids from class II to IV. Your local host works closely with the Marañón Waterkeeper Alliance your adventure will help to conserve this globally important ecosystem. It is the perfect setting for an epic raft journey and a true adventure.

Start point

Cajamarca Airport - Anytime before 17:00
Your adventure begins at Cajamarca Airport (CJA), a one hour flight from Peru’s capital Lima, where a pre-ordered private taxi will transfer you to your hotel. You will meet your guide and fellow adventurers at the hotel at 18:00 for a welcome dinner and orientation. You’re free to book any flight scheduled to arrive before 17:00.

Finish point

Jaén Airport - Anytime
At the end of the adventure, you’ll be dropped at Jaén Airport (JAE). You’re free to book any flight that day as the programme ends in the evening of day 8 after a farewell dinner in the city of Jaén. It’s only a short 20-minute private transfer from your hotel to the airport.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrival

Your journey begins in the Peruvian city of Cajamarca where you will meet your experienced river guides and fellow rafters. If you arrive early, it’s a great opportunity to explore this historic city filled with colonial Spanish architecture before the evening welcome meal.

The group will gather at 18:00 in your Hotel Lobby to go through orientation and then head out for a welcome dinner.

Your host will provide you with a drybag so that you can pack your personal items inside, and set aside any extra luggage that will be transported to the finish location.

Day 2: Rafting Kick-Off

Today, the real adventure begins. The scenic journey crosses the Andes through the Peruvian highlands then down into the Marañón Valley is an experience in itself. After a morning tea stop in Celendin, you’ll arrive at the river by lunchtime.

Digest your lunch and the comprehensive safety briefing. After an introduction to the river, pack your gear as it’s time to hit the water. A few warm-up rapids later, you’ll have a chance to practice some rescue drills in preparation for what’s to come.

Day 3: Hiking, Rafting and Village Tour

In the morning, there is an optional hike to take in the cliff top ruins at Playa el Cura. After lunch, your journey continues down the Marañón River taking in several exhilarating rapids along the way. Your day’s destination is the riverside village of Mendan where you will experience the life in an Andean Campesino Village, and we will stock up on and fresh fruit and local, organic produce.

Day 4: Rafting, Hiking and Village Life

It’s a short morning of rafting today on fairly continuous but moderate rapids to the village of Tupen. After lunch, we will explore the surrounding Haciendas, see how Cacao is grown and processed and then spend the evening in the Plaza de Armas of the village. The local children love nothing more than beating a visiting team at a game of football or volleyball.

Day 5: Whitewater Rapids

Today is all about the whitewater with an action-packed day riding some of the most exciting rapids on the river. Along the way, you’ll visit the site of a proposed dam and learn about how the local people have tirelessly worked to protect their river from corruption and greed. The day ends at another spectacular riverside campsite on an idyllic beach deep in the canyon.

Day 6: Lin Lin Rapid

This part of your journey heads through the deepest and most isolated section of the Marañón Canyon where you’ll face its largest rapid, Lin Lin. After the excitement of Lin Lin, there are several smaller rapids to navigate before reaching your camp for the night. Set up your tent among the stunning scenery then kick back, relax and enjoy the sunset.

Day 7: Rock Pools and Red Rock Walls

After a peaceful camp breakfast, the morning is spent exploring a side canyon full of pools and waterfalls known as ‘Las Cascadas’. This is the perfect spot to enjoy swimming and sunbathing while you take in the view. Your hosts have been leading the proposal to create a Conservation area here, and will be excited to share information about the surrounding ecosystem and cultural history.

In the afternoon, your journey continues past the vibrant red sandstone cliffs that define this section of the Marañón River. You will notice as the surrounding vegetation subtly changes the closer we get to the lowland Amazon.

Day 8: Final River Rapids

Waking for the last time on the peace of the riverbank, you’ll navigate your final rapids before bidding the river a fond farewell. There is a celebratory lunch before the two-hour drive to the city of Jaén where you will be staying in a comfortable hotel. Spent the last dinner with your guides and fellow adventurers to celebrate the end of a magical journey down this wild, beautiful river.

Day 9: Departure

After 7 days of a fantastic adventure along the wild Marañón River, it is time to head home. Take the included airport transfer or speak with your host to arrange your onward travel to the north of Peru, to cascading stunning waterfalls (some of the tallest in the world) or the ancient ruins at Kuelap.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

During the trip, there are six nights of camping and two nights of hotel accommodation.

Riverside camping is one of the highlights of this adventure and your knowledgeable guides will take you to the best beaches and campsites along the Marañón River. Accommodation is based on two people sharing three-man tents ensuring plenty of space for a comfortable night’s sleep. Food is prepared for you using fresh, local and often organic ingredients whilst you relax and enjoy the surroundings or swap stories around the campfire. A portable camp toilet ensures a minimal environmental impact.

In Arrival and Departure cities of Cajamarca and Jaén you will stay in comfortable ensuite hotel rooms, with dinner included.

All accommodations are shared (twin share in tents, up to triple share in the hotels) unless you would prefer to pay the single occupancy supplement.

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Dates & Prices

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

Prices include

Accommodation · Airport Transfers · Equipment · Guide · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection · No Single Supplements

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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Guide Prices

Group size Adults Children
4–5
6–7
8–24

Please note: These prices may change subject to extra requirements.

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