Peru features more than a dozen rivers that are more
than 600 km long. The five largest rivers alone total
7,000 km within Peru.
Polish adventurer Yurek Majcherzyck and his friends
introduced rafting into Peru, and after several attempts,
managed to paddle down the thundering Colca River and
its 300 rapids in the heart of Arequipa. Ever since
then, a group of Peruvian rafting enthusiasts have made
major efforts to open up new routes around the country.
The sport depends on rubber rafts which are powered
by paddles and generally steered by the helmsman through
the foaming rapids.
Internationally, rapids are qualified on a scale of
I to VI according to the degree of difficulty (Class
VI rapids are impossible to run, and portage is necessary).
- Hire the services of companies with experience
- 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.