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Whitewater Rafting Guide To River Trips

Urubamba River

Location: Close to Cusco, Peru

The Urubamaba River is located in high elevations (over 10,000 feet) in the Andes Mountains. It flows parallel to the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Inkas).

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Chuquiqwana Section: Class III-IV (Intermediate – Advanced)

The Chuquiqwana Section of the Urubamba is full of fun whitewater adventure for any skill level. This section is best for adventurers seeking the most whitewater action. The level of water depends on seasonal flows. Rafters paddle through lush, green lowland river valleys and ancient cities. They float past the pre-Inca city of Piquillacta, the lakes of Huacarpay and Urcos and experience the vibrant and bustling outdoor markets of thriving local villages.

Ollanta Section: Class III (Beginner)

The Ollanta river has great rapids easily enjoyed by all levels of whitewater experience. This is the most moderate of the three sections with equal time for paddling and downtime for sightseeing along the bank of the river. The landscape surrounding the Ollanta Section is breathtaking. Pre-Inca cities, profuse vegetation and pristine sandy beaches make for a remarkable backdrop. For avid bird watchers, the river valley is teeming with avian species. Many elusive and sought after exotic birds for can be seen in the river valley including the Blue-mantled Thornbill and Giant Conebill along with various types of brightly hued hummingbirds.

Huaran Section: Class I-II (Introductory / All Skill Levels)

Small riffles in the water do not demand much paddling. Most energy you expend in the raft has to do with taking in as much of the scenery along the riverside and in the canyon walls as you can. This is a great trip for families with young children who would like an introduction to rafting. Children take a short hike toward the end of the trip, accompanied by an adult, to the Huarán’s forest. In the meantime, the adults raft the largest rapid of the river named, most fittingly, Huarán. This rapid varies from a Class-II or IV, depending on the season and level of water.

Season: December – May

Rafting on all three sections is available during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer.