Rafting the Apurimac River

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June 1st 2008
Published: June 2nd 2008
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Apurimac River

Cusco is one of the best places for whitewater adventures in South-America, beside Pucon and Futaleufu in Chile. You can do everything from one to six days trips around Cusco and it's plenty of companies who offer their service.

The Apurimac River is among the top ten rivers in the world for rafting! It runs through an old Canyon which is as much as 1800 meter deep at some sections. It can also tempt you with more than 160 rapids from easy level to class V/V+.

River Explorers

I signed up for a 3 days trip with the company River Explorers and we turned out to be just six people. 3 from UK, 2 from Sweden and me.
River Explorers is a small local company with excellent guides. They also try to be environmental friendly in their business.

3 days on the river

We started off on Thursday, driving over a mountain range and down in the canyon.
It was more people who had planned to go, but they changed their mind the day before. The group then consisted of 12 people, six clients and six workers!! Jesus, Frank, Juanito, Thomas, Muler and Victor.
And with Jesus as our rafting guide it couldn't go wrong ; )

The first day we started with an instruction in security and how to paddle and follow the comands we were given.
It's really important that everyone do exactly what Jesus say, or we could end up in the river all of us...
After a bit of theory, we jumped in the boat, and practiced the different techniques, including capsize the boat and rescue each other.
It turned out to be UK on one side of the boat against Scandinavia on the other : )

We only paddled for a couple of hours the first day, before we camped at a beach beside the river.
The rapids were not to bad this day, a good introduction to rafting for all of us.
Juanito and Thomas followed in kayaks for security backup.
Muler, Frank and Victor had full controll over the cargo boat and brought our gear safely down the river.
Our six cooks (!!) made a great meal while we put up the camp. A two course meal with the wine we brought was not to bad in the middle of the canyon.

Day two was the longest with around six hours on the river, and rapids up to class V. Some rapids we also had to walk around when it was too dangerous to paddle, for us..... : )
Rafting is serious. If you fall out in the wrong place, with strong currents and undercuts, you might die.... So high focus all the way is necessary!
We stopped in one wave to try to surfe, without any good results... I actually fell out of the boat and was dragged under. Struggled for a little while and was almost out of air, when I finally found the way out and up. But it was good fun : )
I startet in the back of the boat, but changed with Peter, from Sweden, in front. It was a totally different experience! First of all you get more wet ; ) But it's also more action. Sitting down and crash into waves after waves was pretty cool!

The canyon was at its best this day as well, and I think I have decided to skip the canyon's in Arequipa which is the worlds deepest! After three days in this one I'm satisfied. And it doesn't really matter if it's the deepest one....
Our great guides made another good (and massive) meal and we had to get rid of the rest of the wine ; ) Along with a campfire, the evening was perfect.

They let us sleep to 7.30 the last day, so we were actually quit awake when we got up ; )
Only 2-3 hours on the river was on the program, but it was a perfect end with loads of good rapids to go down. We also tried to body-surf down a class II rapid! After that I wasn't really interested in falling out of the boat in a grade IV or V one : )

Rafting is actually hard work! You use a lot of strength while paddling in the thoughest rapids, or on flat water with hard wind against you : )
And you have to focus all the way. Listen to the messages from Jesus and do it right away. Sometimes we were seconds from capsizing.... and other times we got stucked on a rock or three...
Forward! HARD FORWARD!! Backpaddle! GET DOWN!! Get Up! HIGHSIDE LEFT!! (thats when we almost tip over...) and so on...

I thought I was finished with the sandflies after the jungletrip in Bolivia, but no..... I got a few new bites in the collection on this trip as well....

After a last lunch we drove back to Cusco. And on Saturday night, they showed the film from the trip on a pub in Cusco. It turned out to be a late night with too much local beer...... ; )

If you are planning a trip to Peru and Cusco, drop in to River Explorers and talk with Boris, the owner, who will give you a great service and a highly recomended trip!!

I will put out the pictures from our trip later... just have to get them from the company. These pictures are from another group.

Tomorrow I'm going for a five day trip. Four days trekking and the last day in Machu Picchu!!

Greetings from Cusco, Peru : )


7th September 2008

River Explorers
Hi there! Just want to say that we´ve had the same great experience on the Apurimac River, also with this company. The owner has a great sense of providing service and he also arranged a trekking trip after our rafting, which was really great too. Great safety in the river and very good guides.
7th September 2008

Hello Sarah
Good to hear that you had the same great experience that I had! Then we can both recomend it to other people : ) Hope you're still ok travelling around!
10th December 2008

Grate rafting
I also enjoy doing rafting with River Explorers, safe, grate food. I´ll highly will recommend RIVEREXPLORERS.

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