Peru’s beautiful Sacred Valley is carved by the waters of the Urubamba River, which makes its way away from the Inca’s ancient capital city of Cusco towards the Amazon Rainforest. The river has a number of good stretches for rafting, making it a popular excursion during an adventure tour of Peru.
Thanks to the fact that many people head to Machu Picchu and Cusco, the Sacred Valley is becoming a common and popular destination for a lot of people. Fortunately, it also offers a number of excellent opportunities for thrill seekers, such as whitewater rafting.
For anyone who loves rafting or has always wanted to try it, there are several tours that one can take in the Sacred Valley that start out in Cusco. The length of some of these can be just one day. This makes it an easy thing to add on to a trip to Machu Picchu, even if you don’t have a lot of extra time.
The rafting tours in the Sacred Valley take you out on the Urubamba River. While it’s considered a full day tour including travel time and lunch, the time rafting itself is usually around 3 hours. When you are choosing the part of the river that you wish to raft on, it may be worthwhile checking if the agency also runs trips to Ollantaytambo and Pisac so that you can see the ruins when heading back to Cusco.
There are three parts of the river that are most often rafted. Rapids of the Class III variety are found in the section of Ollantaytambo to Chilca. This may be the most popular of the sections as, although challenging, beginners can make it but it’s still enjoyable for those with experience. On the way back to Cusco, a visit to the Inca site at Ollantaytambo is frequently added in. With a combination package of white water rafting and the Inca Trail trek, this section of rafting is often added.
Another of the possibilities is the Huambutio to Pisac section. This is a fairly easy one and ideal for people who have never rafted before. In the dryer months some people find it slightly too mild for their taste, but the vistas that you see along the way are beautiful and combining it with a trip to Pisac can easily be done.
The third part of the Urubamba River that is sometimes rafted is the Huaran section. Experienced rafters only should try these sections because they are the most challenging on offer. It is not offered every day and is only available during the dry months between June and September.
As with the mountain biking, you will want to look for a company that has experience and plenty of favorable recommendations. There have been problems in the past with accidents due to operators taking out groups when the river was too swollen to be rafted safely. If you are looking to raft during rainy season and finding it hard to find an operator willing to go, this may be a sign that it truly isn’t safe.