Peru’s Most Dangerous Whitewater

Dangerous Whitewater Rafting

Peru has a rep­u­ta­tion for con­tain­ing some of the most epic white­wa­ter rapids in South Amer­i­ca. The rag­ing rivers here offer quite a chal­lenge for thrill seek­ers and expe­ri­enced rafters. Whether you’re seek­ing an adren­a­line rush or want to test your white­wa­ter met­tle, you’re sure to find some­thing that’ll push you to your limits.

Cotahuasi Canyon

A trip through Cotahuasi Canyon is a 10-day adven­ture that winds through some of the fiercest Class IV and V rapids in Peru. Fifty miles of pum­mel­ing water push­es you at a gra­di­ent of 60 feet per mile across beau­ti­ful desert scenery in one of the deep­est canyons on Earth. Get­ting there is a jour­ney in itself. The put-in is locat­ed at the end of an Inca foot­path that trav­els across hun­dreds of stun­ning ruins. A guid­ed tour is the best way to raft the riv­er if you want to learn the true his­tor­i­cal con­text of the canyon.

Río Apurí­mac

Río Apurí­mac winds through the 3000 meter deep Gran­ite Canyon past pris­tine sandy beach­es and some of Peru’s rarest wildlife. It’s not unusu­al to spot otters, puma, and even the Andean bear while push­ing your way through the end­less Class IV and V rapids. The trop­i­cal forests and stun­ning val­leys make for excel­lent stop offs when your arms need a break. A trip along the Río Apurí­mac will take at least three days, so come pre­pared to pitch a tent along any of the scenic vis­tas and enjoy a night out under the crys­tal clear skies.

Río Tam­bopa­ta

The con­sis­tent Class IV rapids of the Río Tam­bopa­ta make it one of the wildest and reli­ably great raft­ing options in Peru. The route begins near Lake Tit­i­ca­ca and pass­es through the Tam­bopa­ta Nation­al Reserve, offer­ing some of the Amazon’s most impres­sive land­scapes, before end­ing in Puer­to Mal­don­a­do. The 10-day trip is exhaust­ing and chal­leng­ing but also offers a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore the myr­i­ad of beach­es along the way. The regions hous­es 1200 species of but­ter­fly to dis­cov­er, along with over 200 mam­mals and 800 species of birds. There’s no short­age of epic wildlife to dis­cov­er here.

Río Cañete

The Río Cañete near Lima offers vary­ing degrees of rapids through­out the year. Peak sea­son from Decem­ber to April reg­u­lar­ly sees enough rain­fall to cre­ate Class IV and V rapids that’ll give any sea­soned pro an exhil­a­rat­ing expe­ri­ence. The foam­ing white­wa­ter here hides dozens of boul­ders that’ll you need to quick­ly elude. The tumul­tuous waters here are often so demand­ing that they tend to dis­tract from the region’s nat­ur­al beau­ty. How­ev­er, if you’re more inter­est­ed in test­ing your body’s lim­its than tak­ing in the scenery then the Río Cañete won’t leave you disappointed.