Marañon River Rafting

The grand Canyon of the Amazon

The Amazon River (Río Marañon) in the Andes offers the finest raft-support trip in South America. Join our raft/kayak expedition as we paddle through the scenic and arid main Grand Canyon section, with fun class III-IV rapids, amazing side hikes, beautiful beach camps, friendly residents, and Incan ruins


Río Marañon is the parent stream or "mainstem" source of the Amazon, meeting no stronger rival at any junction on its route to the Atlantic. It therefore is the Upper Amazon and the only stream meriting this title. From its birthplaces at glaciers on the highest tropical mountains in the world [Yerupajá and Huascarán; 6600-6800 m (21000-22000 ft)], the Marañon courses north over about 1/3 of the length of the country of Peru in the central Andes. As it does so, it is squeezed into the bottom of an arid canyon up to 3000 m (10000 ft) deep on both sides - more than double the depth of Arizona's Grand Canyon. A SierraRios expedition in 2012 explored what the Marañón was like, and learned of plans for over a dozen hydroelectric dams. The next expeditions are intended to increase appreciation of the river so more authoritative opinions can be formed against the dams.
Voice your opinion now in the SAVE RIO MARANON campaign. Sign a petition! Watch a film. Make the issue known. Support the cause with a donation! The trips are open to everyone: rafters, kayakers, IKers, and passengers. No prior whitewater experience is necessary on a raft.

Our main Grand Canyon Amazon trip covers the following sections:
CentralGC:149 km; class II-III (IV); 6-7 days;
LowerGC: 143 km; class III-IV; 6-7 days;

- Some expeditions will continue 5 more days into the Jungle Pongos
- launches at low water (Jun-Oct) will be planned for 14 days total
- launches at high water Dec-Apr may be planned for only 12 days
- lt is possible to join or leave any expedition at Balsas
- Private groups are welcomed to schedule a trip - either as a fully guided trip or a self-organized trip.


Itineraries and camps may vary from trip to trip. This is a sample itinerary that has worked well in the past for the Central+LowerGC Grand Canyon Amazon trip (see Upper+InnerGorge if doing the upper section):

DAY 0:

Rendezvous in Trujillo
Meet trip leader in afternoon

DAY 1:

Flight Trujillo-to-Chagual; rigging
Safety and camp talk; possible Pumurgo (III-IV) run; camp

DAY 2:

Central Grand Canyon
Pass Vijus, Hualango (III), Gansul (III)
Llaupuy side hike; ~30 km

DAY 3:

Central Grand Canyon
Possible hike; Lunch at Calemar
Río Choclo clear stream; class II; ~20 km

DAY 4:

Central Grand Canyon
Easy river day with beautiful scenery
Camp near giant wall & falls of Muro Poso; class II; ~20 km

DAY 5:

Central Grand Canyon
Muro Poso: Hike Cangrejo and/or Sute ruins
Montevideo tombs; (camp by Llanten); ~28 km

DAY 6:

Central Grand Canyon
Layover; Hike to Llanten Narrows/Falls; Jecumbuy
possible Pachamanca traditional meal

DAY 7:

Central Grand Canyon
Big rapids day: Llanten (III-IV) & Samosierra (IV)
Camp near Trapiche or Chacanto; class IV; ~30 km

DAY 8:

Lower Grand Canyon
Lunch at Balsas/Chacanto
Possible cooler exchange/food resupply
Visit Odebrecht office; class III; ~30 km

DAY 9:

Lower Grand Canyon
Playa El Cura citadel hike
El Choclón (III-IV), Santa Rosa (III); class III; ~30 km

DAY 10:

Lower Grand Canyon
To Mendán or Tupén Grande, meet villagers, visit chacras
Possible Pachamanca; class III; ~30 km

DAY 11:

Lower GC; San Lucas; Chadin II dam site
Playa El Inca, camp at/near Magdalena; class III-IV; ~30 km

DAY 12:

Lower Grand Canyon
Layover; Hike Magdalena (layover is also possible Day11 or Day13)

DAY 13:

Lower Grand Canyon
Magdalena, Linlín, Totora, Sauce
Pools at Q.Agua Blanca; class III-IV; ~30 km

DAY 14:

Lower Grand Canyon
Palaguas, Amazon Cavern
Arrive Puerto Malleta by 1 pm; derig
Ride to Bagua; hotel; class III; 20 km


Prices in American Dollars per person

MAP maps