colca canyon rafting adventure

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. The stone was spewed out from the majestic Misti volcano. But the White city is not only unique for its architecture, but also for being the gateway to stunning places of thrilling outdoor adventures. And one of the best activities is to go 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. There are a lot of things to do in Arequipa. So, together with the experts from Machu Travel Peru, we have prepared an article about rafting in the Colca Canyon.

Most important things to know when rafting in the Colca Canyon


about the valley colca canyon rafting

The Colca Canyon is definitely one of the deepest canyons in the world. It has an approximate depth of 3,400 meters. Between the canyon walls runs the Colca River. It also has within its walls some of the most precious pristine ecosystems in Peru. The Colca rapids are an unparalleled emotion for those who decide to experience them. But being able to enjoy rafting in the Colca Canyon is not the only activity available in the country. The Valley and its canyon is home to the Andean condors, these are magnificent large birds. A tour of the Colca Canyon is essential if you are looking to know what tours in Peru have to offer. You will find much more than being able to go rafting on the Colca River.


colca canyon rafting adventure

As we told you before, the White City of Arequipa boasts powerful and impressive rivers. All of these are ideal for those who love extreme and unforgettable experiences. Actually, these rivers are the ones that formed the two deepest canyons in the world, Colca Canyon and Cotahuasi canyon. The canyons 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 rafting in 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 in the Colca Canyon 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. Have in mind that the Colca River’s temperature is between 5-6 degrees centigrade. Also, 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. One of the best tourist attractions in ArequipaPrior experience is not required


rafting in the colca canyon six days

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 of rafting, you will reach the Mamacocha River. Here, the volume of the Colca River is double.  The next days will be full of rafting in 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. You can also take advantage of the incredible tour in the amazing Colca Canyon. The Colca Canyon is one of the world’s deepest canyons in the world, even surpassing the popular Grand Canyon. One of the most popular destinations on the Peru tourist map


what to pack colca canyon raft

Good preparation is crucial for making successful Colca Canyon tours. 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
  • 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! It is also a good idea to be able to experience the popular Colca Canyon trek. Here you will get to know some interesting traditional peoples and cultures worth knowing. 


As you will see, being able to go rafting in the Colca Canyon is an unprecedented adventure. If you are a fan of adventure and adrenaline, this is your best option. You can find not only rafting options but also hiking. Even if you are looking to relax, there are some luxury alternatives that are worth checking out. We hope together with Machu Travel Peru to have been helpful. If you want to know more about our tours, you can consult with our qualified advisors. Our team will be happy to help you make the trip of your dreams come true. With so many years of experience, we know very well how to organize a trip to suit you.

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 Machu Picchu and any tours around it. Make your Machu Picchu experience an unforgettable one!