Apurimac rafting is the perfect adventure tour for families on holiday in Peru.

Our family-friendly guides make your Apurimac rafting trip down the Black Canyon stretch of white water rapids an exhilarating time.

The Apurimac canyon and its river rafting is one of the world’s hidden white water rivers, suitable for beginners and families.

More about Apurimac rafting

This river is a mix of exhilarating rapids, awesome scenery and deserted sandy beaches.

This lovely class III – IV section of the Rio Apurimac is ideal for anyone looking for a true wilderness white water experience close to Cusco.

No previous rafting experience is necessary as full safety instruction and a safety talk is given. Even the most novice crews are expertly trained up to meet the challenges and thrills of this adventure journey of a lifetime.

Our guides and safety kayakers are all trained up to Swiftwater Rescue Four and are amongst the best and most experienced raft guides in the country.


We provide everything you need for the river, and spend evenings camping on sandy beaches, sharing drinks and food underneath starlit skies.


Trip Highlights

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  • Fantastic white water rafting trip close to Cusco.

  • Open to anyone aged 12+ looking for a fun trip.

  • Drift through beautiful canyons, keeping an eye out for condors and more wildlife.

  • Camp on sandy beaches under starlit skies.

Fun from the first rapid, excellent guides told us what to do, when, and we had a blast.

Only shame is that it had to come to an end.

T. Shearman, Apurimac


Full Itinerary

Day 1: Cusco to Apurimac canyon, camp (L,D)

We leave Cusco at 08.00 for a beautfiful drive to the Apurimac canyon – which takes around approx 3.30 hours. If we are lucky with the weather we sill get lovely views of the snow-capped Vilcanota mountains before we descend into the canyon to start our Apurimac white water rafting adventure.

The guides will inflate the rafts, load them up with our kit and all provisions, then after lunch we have a safety briefing on the art of white water rafting. Once we know what to expect we will set off on the rafts into the canyon in search of adventure. This is some of Peru’s very best white water rafting.

The river flows into an impressive, steep-sided gorge which boasts many excellent rapids, class III and IV.

Between exhilarating rapids there is a chance for a breather and to float gently along, enjoying the breathtaking scenery. From time to time there is a possibility of jumping out of the raft to look at waterfalls and colonial bridges.

The night is spent camping on a deserted beach, enjoying a cooked meal, a nice drink and some camaraderie around our camp fire.

Day 2: Rafting through canyon walls, drive to Cusco (B,L)

Today we have some more great rafting.

We float gently between the rapids, and may porterage if water levels are low. Always keep an eye open for some Andean wildlife, we may spot Andean foxes, Torrent ducks, otters and even the Long-winged Vulture, the Andean Condor.

We reach a break in the canyon walls and stop for lunch. This is the end of the rafting trip and time for your drive back to Cusco. Sit back and enjoy the views.

It is a five-hour drive, more or less, to get back to Cusco. Hopefully we’ll see the summit of snow-capped Salkantay mountain on the way.

Prices From $790 / £670 per person

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What's Included?

Meals as listed and water on rafting trip, rafts and equipment, domestic transportation, guide, camping 1 night, communal camping equipment (tents, cutlery etc), wetsuit and boots, helmet, lifejacket, splash jacket, thermarest sleeping mat, waterproof duffel bags, dining tent.

What's Not Included?

International flights (we can look for prices for you), other meals, snacks and drinks, personal expenses, extra entrance fees, tips, alcoholic or soft drinks, laundry, personal clothing, sleeping bag, personal medical kit, sun cream etc.


Camping on riverbanks.

Tour Staff

All the guides on this tour come to us as recommendations from our current guides. They are very careful who they recommend.

Training is a vital investment in our guides to ensure the security and safety of all our trips.

All the guides are all qualified in first aid, taught by instructors brought over from the UK.

River guides: All our white water rafting and kayaking guides hold the internationally recognised “Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced” qualification.


Evening meals are usually pasta or rice dishes served in the dining tent, and almost all dietary requirements can be catered for – please enquire.

After eating, you can choose to socialise with team members, relax in your tent take in the views.

On the second day, you usually wake early, around 07.00. Your meals are prepared and served to you and will be a mix of hot drinks, cereals, fruits and toast with jams.

Lunch will be either sandwiches or meat and cheese, with snacks etc.

Activity Level

For anyone who doesn’t mind getting wet!

Experienced and qualified guides are on hand to keep you (mostly) the right way. We are more interested in your ‘water confidence’ than your ability to swim. The only parameter is that you are mobile enough to help us get you back in the boat.

People of almost any fitness can enjoy this trip – you need to be able to paddle for short bursts, with pauses, over a few hours.

Enquire about booking

Practical Information

Introduction to Peru

Peru is the perfect holiday destination for adventure travellers that want an amazing variety of activity, geography and cultural travel experiences.

The breadth of travel experiences in Peru is breathtaking – from trekking in the Andes to Machu Picchu to the tropical jungle of the Amazon, and plenty in between.

The people of Peru make it a special destination too, with its colourful and traditional street life and friendly locals.

Kit list

Good kit is vital for every trip.

Book with Andean Trails and get 15% off Páramo’s fantastic ethical and high performance outdoor gear.



Rafting means you are frequently being cooled by river water and may not notice how strong the sun is.

Good sun cream, a hat and sunglasses are vital.

Give plenty of thought to kit selection, and try to keep weight down.

Below is a more detailed guide.


Detailed kit list – rafting:

  • A pair of Chacos or similar sandals – trainers are also okay, but be prepared for them to be soaked through.
  • A pair of River shorts or swimming costume.
  • Long-sleeved business shirt / t-shirt to wear under your life jacket. A business shirt gives added protection to your neck from the collar.
  • A baseball cap for under the helmet to keep sun off.
  • Wide brimmed sunhat and/or baseball cap.
  • Sunglasses, with chums/strings so they attach to your head.
  • Nalgene or similar water bottle.
  • Carabiner for fastening water bottle to your boat.
  • Thermal top for warming up once out of the water.
  • Waterproof sun cream (factor 30+) and lip balm factor 15 minimum.


If camping, for evenings:

  • Lightweight long trousers.
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirt.
  • Fleece jacket.
  • Ladies should bring a long skirt or sarong to cover your legs whilst in the company of locals.
  • Underwear.
  • Glasses or contact lenses, disposable lenses are ideal.
  • 3-season sleeping bag.
  • Travel pillow
  • Daypack (at least 30 litres). Comfortable and with waterproof lining or cover.
  • Personal first-aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, anti-biotic cream, general antibiotics (ask your GP), after-bite (tiger balm), anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Towel & wash-kit.
  • Wet Wipes/antiseptic hand-wash cream.
  • Head-lamp (plus spare bulb and batteries).
  • Penknife.
  • Travel alarm clock.
  • Plastic bags – ‘Zip-loc’ & tough bin liners.
  • Trainer for walking around camp.
  • Camera and film / memory cards (take at least twice the amount you think you will need!). Print & slide film is available locally. Polarising filter is recommended for SLR cameras.
  • Book, e-book, mp3 player/ipod or other to help pass the time.
  • Binoculars.
  • Spanish/English phrasebook.
  • Extra snacks i.e. cereal bars or favourite chocolate bars.


Miscellaneous others

  • Money belt.
  • Passport.
  • U.S. dollars cash, mixed-denomination notes, undamaged and unmarked.
  • ATM cash/credit card.
  • Any inoculation certificates.
  • Personal & medical insurance certificates.
  • Presents e.g. Postcards from home.
  • Comfortable clothes for travel, smart clothes for night life, especially in big cities.

Quick facts about Peru


Official name: Republic of Peru

Country population: 27,083,000

Capital city: Lima (8.1 million)

Largest cities: Lima, Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo

Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymará

Latitude/Longitude: 10º S, 76º W

Official currency: New Sol

Major industries: copper, gold, zinc, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals

Time zone: GMT-5

Our environmental policy

All our activities are governed by our respect for the environment and the people who live in it. We aim to make a positive impact both in the UK and in the Andean countries we work in (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina).

We agree with the principals of sustainable development and specifically promote environmentally aware tourism in the Andean countries, in order to preserve the heritage of the people who live there and to help protect their environment.

In the UK we use recycled paper where possible, recycle what we can and attempt to keep waste to an absolute minimum.

Throughout South America we work together with local people, paying them a fair price, and putting money into the local economy. We do this by using local agents, local trek staff and experienced and qualified local mountain and cultural guides who have an in-depth knowledge of their own country. Our porters on the Inca Trail are fairly paid, carry a maximum load of 20kg and are supplied with tents and food. In other areas we use donkeys or horses to carry loads.

We use locally owned services such as hotels and restaurants, wherever possible. We buy fresh local produce for all of our treks from markets in each departure town. We use public transport whenever possible and feasible.

We have ongoing contact with the teams that we work with and also with local families in the areas we trek through, developing relationships with them and donating goods such as clothes and shoes to their communities, through appropriate local agencies. We also support local Peruvian charities, specifically NIÑOS in Cusco, and CARE in the Huaraz area, plus Huchuy Yachaq.

If you have any suitable (warm) clothes and shoes that you would like to donate to Peruvian children please take them with you and give them to your tour leader, who will ensure they go to a suitable organization.

When out on tour we encourage learning about the countries we travel in, the local culture of the teams we work with and the areas we pass through. Our guides hold informal talks with groups to inform about and discuss with them all aspects of local life. This helps understanding of the area and appreciation of the people who live there.

Our group sizes are kept to a maximum of 16 people, and we encourage smaller groups where possible. This minimises the negative impact we make on the local people, the wildlife and the environment, and increases the quality time spent in contact with the local people and environment.

When trekking we adhere to a responsible tourism code of practice and are also involved in ongoing training of our trek staff.

Health and Safety

A full Health and Safety document will be sent to you at the time of booking and before you travel.

You can also read it on our website, or contact us for more information.

ATOL holiday protection

Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.


What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.


Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.


I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.

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