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Rafting in the Highlands of Peru

The Santa River, which winds through the Callejón de Huaylas valley, in the department of Ancash, splits the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra mountain ranges. The stretch used for rafting runs between the towns of Caraz and Yungay, and features Class II-III rapids. It can be rafted from May to October, making it an ideal complement to a visit to the region.

The Colca River is famous for whitewater rafting, and its rapids are widely respected for their degree of difficulty. The river, which runs through the Colca Valley 300 km north of Arequipa, can be run without undue risk down the stretch between Cabanaconde and Tapay. The river can be rafted from May to October and features Class II-IV rapids. Tours set out from Chivay. With a depth of 3,091 meters, the Colca Canyon is, after Cotahuasi (3,354 meters, also in Arequipa), one of the world's deepest gorges, twice as deep as the Colorado Canyon.

Recommendations:

  • Hire the services of companies with experience in rafting.
  • Obey the instructions of the guides and boat captains and always demand security gear (helmet and lifevest).
  • Do not insist on rafting in areas that are excessively difficult or unknown, as this can cause serious accidents.

On the coast:

  • Visitors should bring plenty of water and sunscreen

In the highlands:

  • Sunscreen is recommended, plus warm clothing. High altitude sickness known locally as soroche can set in at over 2,500 masl. Take precautions by resting the first day, drink plenty of liquids and avoid heavy food and alcohol.

In the jungle:

  • Never travel without insect repellent, a raincoat and sunscreen. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are recommended to ward off insect bites. A yellow fever vaccination is obligatory. There are also vaccinations for malaria, tetanus and Hepatitis A and B, as well as local treatment for leishmaniasis (uta) and malaria.

Adventure Sports and Activities in Peru

Hiking and Trekking

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