Excellent multi-day paddling. The river character is siphon-y: rapids are usually formed by boulders falling into the river or being washed downstream by floods. As a result the rivers change character frequently, usually from year to year and it is advisable to seek up-to-date local knowledge where possible from the various rafting outfits.
- Peru Whitewater by Kurt Casey is the bible of Peruvian paddling.
- IC 2012 trip report
- Tom Hugh's take on Peru
- Rob Tuley trip notes from 2003
When to go
The season is virtually all year round, and it depends how scared you want to be as to when you go. The rains come in Oct/Nov and last to about March, and the water gets gradually lower and lower from then on during the year. We went in Sept, when the water was almost at its lowest, but if we were to go back I think we'd be tempted to go a bit earlier.
How to get there
Plenty of flights are available to the capital Lima, although the best paddling is based around Cusco/Arequipa: local airlines like Lan Chile and Lan Peru fly regularly from Lima to Cusco or Arequipa, or it can be done with kayak on an overnight bus.
If you don't have private transport travelling is slow but entirely possible: buses, taxis and collectivos (shared minibus taxi) will all take kayaks. There are plenty of rafting companies in both Cusco and Arequipa who can also help arrange transport, or you can exchange safety boating for food and transport to the river.
Obviously depends on what time of year you're out there, but in general pretty mild. However, you're often at quite a high altitude (e.g. Cusco = 3500m alt.) so bring warm clothing/sleeping gear.
Hostels are everywhere, and very cheap. Most of the interesting runs involve either multidaying or camping near the putin so you will need camping gear.
Living costs in Peru are cheap. The peruvian currency is the Sol, but if you're going to take any cash or travellers cheques get them in dollars. Can just take a visa card and find a cash machine in most main centres.