colca canyon rafting adventure

Rafting in the Colca Canyon, advices for tourists

Adventure lovers and adrenaline seekers, this is an article for you all! Arequipa is known as The White City because it was built from the white Sillar stone that was spewed out from the majestic Misti volcano. But maybe the White city is not only unique for it, but also for being the gateway to stunning places of thrilling outdoor adventures such as trekking and Colca Canyon rafting. 

The great selection of rivers that have stunning and challenging white waters will make your adventure a once in a lifetime experience. Arequipa is also noteworthy for its amazing active volcanoes where you will witness sublime sceneries while the condors soar into the air and flow as the breeze. Condors in full flight is undoubtedly a great spectacle. As you realize, there are a lot of things to do in Arequipa. So, get ready and let’s go for it! 

Take into consideration the information and advice below before you head off on a Colca Canyon adventure.

Let’s go for an adventure!

colca canyon rafting river

As we told you before, the White City of Arequipa boasts powerful and impressive rivers that are ideal for those who love extreme and unforgettable experiences.

Actually, these rivers which formed the two deepest canyons in the world, Colca Canyon and Cotahuasi canyon, are the perfect and ideal spot for experimented rafters. Thus, all the cool tours in Arequipa include tours in the Colca Canyon.

Colca Canyon rafting is a six-day adventure tour. The Colca river is the hardest descent in the world which favorably increases in difficulty. But as Arequipa’s rivers cater to different ability levels, enthusiastic beginner and intermediate rafters can be able to enjoy a cool rafting experience in a one-day excursion as well. So, if you are one of these rafters, get ready to drive along the riverbank!

colca canyon rafting

In order to begin the rafting on the Colca River (it formed the canyon of the same name), you have to travel about 7 hours from Arequipa to the Colca Valley, near to the village of Sibayo (in Ipo). The best time to go rafting on the Colca River is between the months of March and December because the water levels are higher than in other months. During this time of year, the rapids of Colca Canyon rafting are class II to III, perfect for beginner and intermediate rafters.

*The Colca River’s temperature is between 5-6 degrees centigrade.

*In the countryside of Arequipa, only 7km from the city center, the local river, known as Chili River, also offers rapids class II, III and IV which are totally suitable for beginners. Prior experience is not required.

Six days on a Colca Canyon rafting

colca canyon rafting group

This adventure journey is only suitable for experienced rafters. We will give you some details of the popular rafting itinerary through the Colca Canyon:

  • Day 1: You will drive around 5 hours through the desert to the Colca Canyon. Along the way, you will see the beautiful countryside of Arequipa. Camp in the village of Huambo.
  • Day 2: You will start a 7-hour hike and 15 km down around the Huambo canyon tributary into the Colca Canyon. Here is where the river journey will begin! 
  • Day 3 through Day 6: You will hike to The Juan Pablo II falls and cross the river in an adrenaline andarivel (iron cable). Then, you will start your exciting descending with a series of class III and IV rapids! After 3 intense hours rafting, you will reach the Mamacocha River. Here, the volume of the Colca River is double. 

The next days will be full of rafting through the Colca Canyon, culminating in a series of Class IV and V rapids. It sounds terrific, doesn’t it? You will enjoy around 100 miles or even more of continuous class IV white-water.

*Colca Canyon is one of the world’s deepest canyons which stands at 3.270 meters.

colca canyon rafting place

What to pack?

Good preparation is crucial for making a successful Colca Canyon tour. So, ensure you are well-equipped with the essentials:

  • Light clothes
  • Bathing suit and towel
  • Shorts to wear over the wetsuit. The raft is slippery when wet.
  • Warm clothes for the night
  • Water and snacks
  • Sunscreen and mosquito repellent

In conclusion, in order to spend the best time in the Colca Canyon, you must follow all the recommendations and let your adventure soul flow!

Peru has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start. With many years of experience in the tourism sector, Machu Travel Peru is happy to help with anything regarding your trip to Arequipa and any tours around it. Make your Colca Canyon experience an unforgettable one!


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