The Vilcanota River is a fun day trip during high water visits to Cuzco. The river is most fun from late November to April when the Apurimac and Urubamba are too high. Access to the river is easy with the paved road from Cuzco to Sicuani following it the whole way.
There is daily bus service along this well traveled route or one could speak with the local rafting companies in Cuzco to join a day trip and use their shuttle. To get to the river from Cuzco follow the paved road to Urcos 47 KM away. From here it is approximately 40 km to the put in at Puente Chucicahuana. (Bridge over river on turn to Acomayo). Here the elevation is approximately 3450 meters.
The river is deep here with several thousand CFS so most kayakers make the 7 meter seal launch of the bridge. With high water the river has some good class four action and lots of play. I like to take out in Cusipata, which is 2 hours downstream, or approximately 8 km.
Raft companies generally continue downstream for more action and take out at various points along the road back to Cuzco. To turn the trip into a multi-day excursion one could boat all the way through the “Sacred Valley of the Incas” covering the 165 km stretch down to Ollantaytambo and from here get road transportation back to Cuzco or continue by train Machu Pichu.
Note: another fun option is to begin boating on the Rio Ausangate (see description)