16 Jan

The Rio Chili flows off the snow capped peak of Volcan Misti in Arequipa. This small river is dam controlled and therefore is usually flowing from March to November.

The standard run is relatively short at 5-6 km with the takeout being the entrance to the city with an elevation of 2350 meters (noticeable shortly after one drops over a low headroom dam/weir). The river descends through agricultural terraces with small stretches in mini granite walled canyons. At higher flows you can continue downstream for many more km’s or relatively open boating but make sure you have some way of getting back.


View of takeout as rivers enters Arequipa with Volcan Misti in background

To get to the put in take a taxi or a private car from the heart of town to the outflow of the dam a few km upstream where the elevation is 2550 meters

There is nothing extremely dangerous about the run except for an occasional strainer. At higher flows (> 500 CFS) some juicy holes develop especially in the micro granite canyons. Most of the rapids are class 2-3 but the mini canyon stretches are class 4. The dam releases through most of the dry season providing irrigation water to the fields below. Flows can be very low (approx. 150 CFS) but one can still get down the river and have fun.

If you have no kayak and want to raft this section or if you want to ride in a double kayak you can contact Gian Marco Velutino at Cusipata Viajes in downtown Arequipa. SEE LINK

One Reply to “Chili”

  1. Hi,
    We are in Arequipa and wonder if it is possible to Do river rafting now?
    We are interested in an easy tour.
    Who should We contact if possible?

    Thank you.

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