Kayakers Guide to Whitewater of Peru

Rio Chinchipe

The Rio Chinchipe is located in Cajamarca Province in North Central Peru and has its headwaters in the Southern district of  Zamora Chinchipe Ecuador. It is a rainfed river runnable all year long but ideally in the rainy season which is generally November through May. The size and length of river makes it good for […]


The Huncabamba is a good multi day river in Northern Peru flowing out of the Sierra de Guamani in the state of Cajamarca. Two diversion dams are under construction which will forever alter the flow of this drainage but some sections may periodically have water so a description has been included. The river starts in […]


Low volume , kayak omly creek run located in Peru´s northern Cajamarca region. A tributary of the Huancabamba, this steeper creek is runnable with prolonged periods of rain. We hit this run in the heart of the rain season in Feb 2014 only to find a paltry flow of 100 CFS due to lack of […]

Maranon River whitewater kayaking

John Wasson and some friends first ran the Rio Marañon in 1977 in hollowform kayaks. Their one-month navigation of the river’s course was a major accomplishment given the equipment of the era is heralded as one of the first successful explorations of the “Big canyons” of the Peruvian Andes. Parts of the lower section of […]


The Rio Sonches is a steep-walled, high jungle adventure in the North of Peru. The run originates in the highlands of the Department of Amazonas and for the first 50 km follows the Chacapoyas-Mendoza road system. This upper stretch is relaxed, roadside boating and would be a good high water alternative. The gnarly stretch lies only […]


Born in the highlands of the department of Pasco is one of Peru’s mightiest Rivers known as the Mantaro. Its course is directly southward through the mining town La Oroya and on past Peru’s third largest city, Huancayo. Beyond here the river is twice dammed forming Peru’s single largest source of hydroelectric power. The fertile […]


October 2010 update The Upper Huallaga has finally conquered. See passage at end of post but first a bit of history In early July 1999 Ethan Green, John Mattson, Mark Fair and myself bailed out of a first descent after 5 days. Our goal was to reach the town of Tingo Maria at 600 meters […]


The Mayo River is located in the Department of San Martin flowing East from the Andes into the Huallaga River. There are three runnable sections between Moyobamba and the Huallaga River, two sections in the middle Mayo and one in the lower Mayo. The Mayo is formed by several small creeks that drop from the […]


A trip down the Huallabamba is a whitewater odyssey into the depths of Peru’s remote high jungle rainforest. The river starts in the Department of Amazonas and passes through the Department of San Martin on its way to the confluence with the Río Huallaga. The 160 km journey can be run in kayaks in 5-6 […]


Born in the highlands of the central cordillera, the Rio Utcubamba flows through the Department of Amazonas on a northerly course before joining the mighty Marañon. The river takes its name from Quechua and means “fields of cotton”. The river can be thought of as an upper stretch and a lower stretch all of which […]