Level: Challenge. Class 4 and 5 rapids. No experience is needed but good physical condition is essential. Demanding hiking or horse back riding (2 days).
Description: Rough and challenge. Beautiful canyon with archeological sites. Hard and intense rapids.
Meeting Point: Arequipa (South Peru).
Our trip begins in the city of Arequipa, second largest city in Peru and principal urban center of the southwestern region of the country, situated about 750 kilometers (approx. 500 miles) as the bird flies –a one hour plane flight- from Lima. In the afternoon, we tour the almost 500 year old city –recently proclaimed a World Cultural Heritage Site byUNESCO. Among the outstanding sites are the famous Convent of Santa Catalina, as well as the Museum where we can observe the mummified corpse of the young Inka woman (known in present times as "Juanita") which was found some years ago atop the snowcapped peak of Ampato, in the vicinity of the Colca Canyon.
Day 02: Arequipa. Overland to Cotahuasi
Today we head out from the city, bound for the town of Cotahuasi. This involves a lengthy ride in 4-wheel drive all terrain vehicles through the Andes. Along the way we will surmount a mountain pass at an altitude of 4000 meters (approx. 13,400 feet) above sea level; come in close vicinity of the impressive snow capped peak of Coropuna (second highest mountain in Peru and among the 10 highest in the Western Hemisphere) and go through several ancient towns and villages where time seemingly came to a standstill centuries ago. After 10 hours of driving we reach Cotahuasi and lodge overnight in a local Hostal. (Breakfats and Lunch)
Day 03: Cotahuasi Town and Luicho Hot Srings
In the morning we undertake a hike above the Amaña Canyon, crossing the ancient bridge of Chuquito, dating to pre-Inka times. During the afternoon, we visit the town of Cotahuasi. This is also a centuries-old urban site. The surrounding area constitutes an ideal refuge and habitat for endangered and protected species of Andean fauna such asCondors and Vicuñas. Due to its cultural and archaeological features, it was proclaimed a National Tourist Reserve Zone (Zona de Reserva Turística Nacional) in 1988. (Full meals)
Day 04: Trek to Approach the River at Velinga Put- In Point
We drive to the road-head (thus sparing ourselves a two-hour hike). Upon reaching the bridge of Sipia we are met by the "burros" –the pack donkeys- and their wranglers, who will henceforth bear and transport our gear and raft to the river put-in. Following a seven-hour trek –in the course of which we shall have passed by the cascade of Sipia, a waterfall with a vertical drop of 150 meters (approx. 495 feet), as well as through a grove of giant cacti- we eventually reach the village of Velinga and our first riverside campsite . (Full meals)
Day 05: River 1. Put- In and Raft The Cotahuasi
Come morning, we ready all our gear and other logistical infrastructure pump up the boats, enjoy lunch and put into the river. In the following couple of hours we paddle downriver through 4 kilometers (approx. 2.7 miles) of Class III and IV rapids and reach our second campsite. (Full meals)
Day 06-09: River 2. River Rafting
After a good healthy breakfats we began our rafting journey. We will be running many Class IV and some class V rapids for the next 5 days. Between the rapids we will have many opportunities to hike and explore the numerous amazing pre-inca and Inca ruins that we are going to encounter on our descent towards to the Pacific ocean. The canyon also supports an abundant population of birds, eagles and many condors. Each night your guides will prepare a healthy meal and we will camp under southern star sky.
Throughout the next four days we shall navigate down 65 kilometers (approx. 44 miles) of thrilling and fun-filled Class III, IV and V white water rapids. (Full meals)
Day 10: Final Stretch of Boating and Take-Out
On this day we cover the final 20 kilometers (approx. 13 miles) of our river trip expedition.
This last day in our rafts will spent on the Ocoña river with some class III and IV rapids. The river changes names at the confluence of the river Maran. Here the nature of the river changes as we wind our way down to Iquipí (near to Pacific Ocean) where our transport will be waiting to take us to Arequipa and our hotel at the city. 4-5 hours drive back. (Breakfast and Lunch).