Location: Arequipa, Peru
Begin your trip in the city of Arequipa in Southern Peru, preserved as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO, by viewing the mummified remains of a young Inca girl found atop the peak of Ampato presently named “Juanita.” From there, travel by bus northwest to the town of Huambo. The Colca River valley is an extremely remote location.
Level of Difficulty: Class II-IV / Beginner – Intermediate
Few people have witnessed the incredible Colca river since its first descent in 1981. Reserved for the true adventurer because the canyon is so remote and the whitewater can be intense at times.
Scenery: Condors and Salmon in an area with incredible Incan history
Colca refers to small holes in cliffs that can be seen in the valley and canyon along the river. These holes were used in Incan and Pre-Incan times to store Andean crops such as potatoes or as tombs. Ancient terraces still cultivated along some lower sections of the valley can be seen from the river. Through a worldwide effort to preserve these majestic creatures, a growing population of Andean Condors can be seen soaring on the rising thermals above the river canyon while Black salmon and otter accompany the trek downstream.
Season: December – May
The Southern Hemisphere’s summer months provide the best weather and flows for rafting trips on the Colca River.