Upper Colca

16 Jan

The lower stretches of the Colca River (the Lunar Canyon) has been an international mecca for whitewater paddlers for the last two decades. Located in the heart of Andean Sierra this river corridor, second deepest in the world only to the Cotahuasi (immediate neighbor to the North) is the destination run  for most boaters making their first trip to Peru.


Brent, Jay, Cas, Kurt, Duilio, Oliver on Upper Colca foto by Nate Elliot

A 44 KM stretch of river above the Lunar Canyon has laid dormant for almost 20 years since a group of Poles attempted the river in fiberglass kayaks and a non self bailing raft. The Poles pronounced the river un-runnable and endured a incredibly arduous journey of unparalleled proportions. In early November of 2003 Russell Kelly and Damen Millar ventured back into the Cabnaconde Canyon of the Colca and uncovered a sleeping giant. Not only did they find the river to be navigable but they found outstanding class 5 whitewater in a  breathtaking canyon. This Upper section of river offers easier access than the the downstream run and provides 2-1/2 to 3 days of additional whitewater.

Duilio Velutino Upper Colca  Oct. 05

Oliver Grossman going deep  Upper Colca

To reach the put in one needs to arrive in the colonial town of Cabanaconde on the rim of the Colca Canyon. There is regular bus service from Arequipa to Cabanaconde which has become a regular tourist destination for people hiking into the canyon and for visitors hoping to glimpse a view of the magnificent Andean condor at a site now called cruz Del Condor”

 Nate Elliot somewhere above Salto Juan Pablo Segundo


Click here for a topo map – HUAMBO.PDF 1.47 MB

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CLICK HERE to download a free copy.

One Reply to “Upper Colca”

  1. Pingback: Video of Chile & Arrival in Peru | Paddling With Purpose

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