We were lucky to be in the right place at the right time for the first trip of the season down the Apurimac river.  These waters are the farthest southwestern confluence to the Amazon river and lie four hours from Cusco, traveling over two passes above 12,000 feet to reach the drop in point.  The three day adventure rendered thirty miles and a drop of 1,200 vertical feet from our drop zone of 6,200 feet.  These waters are the best in Peru featuring consistent class IV rapids, tight technical negotiations through large boulders, danger spots where the team must pass boats and five, great class V rapids.  The Apurimac is big and has earned its respect by claiming several lives over the last three years.

Purgatory, Class IV

We joined in with 4 guides from Instinct, who were scouting the river for the first time of the season.  They expected the water to be even bigger than it was.

The 1/2 mile high Canyon walls that surround The Apurimac River

As its name describes, Apurimac is the "River of the Gods".

The bottom of El Chute, Class IV

(Above)  The first section of the Labyrinth, Class IV+.  (Below) The second picture taken in sequence of the Labyrinth.

The Apurimac river spoke to us as we paddled our way through many rapids.  3 days of solid paddling, checking the river and scouting, made us happy to reach a table with warm food.

*Feature written and photographed by Phillips, April 2001,  who traveled down the Apurimac.  All information regarding elevation, distance, altitude and other specific details was provided by the certified river guides from Instinct, in Cusco, Peru.


There is only one guide service to use while taking your best stab at the Apurimac. Their guides are experts on the river, know how to read the waters and have a good time doing it. They will take good care of you and promise to make it your best rafting trip of the decade. The easiest way to set up this adventure is by travel to Cusco, Peru and making arrangements there.

Company Name: Instinct

Web site: http://www.instinct-travel.com

Email: [email protected]

Location: Cusco, Peru. 

Address: Plaza de Armas, Procuradores N#50

Phone Number: 051-84-233-451.

©2013 Globetrotter Adventures
Globetrotter Adventures
Carbondale, CO 81623