DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
DAY 1- ARRIVALS TO CAJAMARCA CITY
Upon arrival to Cajamarca Airport a private taxi will be waiting to take you to Hotel Laguna Seca, a hotel fit for the president of Peru. Don’t be alarmed if the hotel is steaming when you arrive- it is built on top of a hot spring and has dozens of hot pools and creeks flowing through. You can enjoy one of the large hot pools with friends, or retreat for a relaxing hot-spring fed bath in the privacy of your own room.
If you’re feeling active you can head into downtown Cajamarca and wander through the city marveling at its colonial architecture, vibrant Andean textiles and delicious local cheese.
We will meet in lobby of Laguna Seca at 6pm for a welcome dinner and briefing about the adventure to come. (*Note- sometimes due to group consensus we move the briefing to one of the hot-pools...)
10-minute transfer to hotel.
DAY 5- RAFTING TO THE HEART OF THE CANYON
Today is a huge day of whitewater. We encounter a handfull of notable class III-IV rapids including ‘Tupén Grande’, ‘San Lucas’, ‘Playa el Inca’ and ‘Shingate’ and ‘Magdalena’ We will also pass by the proposed Chadin II dam site, giving thanks to the local people who fought hard to keep this iconic river running beautiful and free. Tonight we will camp on a stunning deserted beach in the heart of the canyon, deep between canyon walls.
27km / 6 hours Rafting with breaks
DAY 4- RAFTING TO THE VILLAGE OF TUPÉN
After a lazy morning and an indulgent breakfast, we have a short float full of fun, continuous class III rapids until we reach the village of Tupén. In the afternoon we have the option to explore the area. It’s an enchanting walk through the fields until we reach the city center and visit the schools. The kids are always excited to practice english, share a game of soccer or show off their incredible treehouse! There are more challenging hikes available for adventurous guests, just let your guide know!
1.5hr / 8km Rafting, afternoon village experience.
DAY 2- WHEN WE REACH THE RIVER
After breakfast we travel over Peruvian highlands before descending deep into the Marañon Canyon.
When we reach the river, we will have lunch and load up the gear, but not before enjoying a cold coconut. Expert guides will give safety briefings and begin training the crew for the rapids ahead. The journey truly starts when we pass under the bridge and plunge into the Balsas rapid (III), just a taste of what is to come. A short way downstream we will complete a set of rescue drills, allowing each raft crew to unite as a team and prepare for the journey ahead. As a passenger, you will be travelling in a 16’ oar assisted raft, guided by a highly trained and experienced river guide.
2 hours /16km Rafting
4hr scenic drive over the Andes and into Marañon Canyon. Altitude Loss:
1900m. 2 hours /16km Rafting.
DAY 3- OPTIONAL SUNRISE, RAFTING AND VILLAGERS
Optional sunrise hike to cliff-top ruins at Playa el Cura which overlook the river canyon.
1.5 hours / 2km steep/difficult hike.
After the hike we continue downriver, encountering several class II- III rapids as we wind our way through the geological wonder that is the Marañon Canyon. You won’t forget that you are in a remote, wild canyon, especially if we encounter strong afternoon winds that are notorious in this stretch. Today we aim to reach the village of Mendán, where we can find coconuts, seasonal fruits, a tour of the village and a cold beer of course!
The village is friendly and welcoming, we will enjoy a home cooked meal in town, and most likely the kids will be keen for a game of soccer (they may be small, but they will give most visitors a run for their money!). The hardest part is sometimes saying goodbye to the new friends we find in town.
6 hours/ 29km Rafting with breaks. Evening village visit.
DAY 8- FINAL RAPIDS OF THE JOURNEY
After navigating the final rapids of our journey, we will arrive to Puerto Malleta for a celebratory lunch then say goodbye to our river family. There are two options from here:
Guests who are not coming to
Kingdom of the Clouds will travel 2 hours to Jaen and can arrange to book a flight Jaen-Lima after 5pm; or stay the night with us in Jaen for a farewell dinner and comfy hotel. 2.5hours /17km Rafting. 2 hour scenic drive to Jaén
Continuing to Kingdom of the Clouds:
After lunch and saying goodbye to our river family, we take private transport for four hours to the village of Cocachimba. On the drive we will enjoy stunning views of the Shipago and Colan mountain ranges as we leave the dry forests of the Marañón behind. Once in Cocachimba, we will arrive to our beautiful lodgings surrounded by native cloudforest. Cocachimba will be our base for the next 3 nights as we explore the Kingdom of the Clouds.
2.5hours /17km Rafting. 4 hour scenic drive to Cocachimba
DAY 7- POOLS, WATERFALLS, ROCK PAINTINGS
After breakfast we explore the geological phenomenon that is ‘Las Cascadas’. Dozens of natural pools and waterfalls that cascade into the Marañón canyon. There is nothing better than soaking in an infinity pool while you take in the stunning view over the Marañón Valley.
From Marañón Libre, it is a short float down to Tingo Palaguas where we can visit the Carrasco family. In 2019 the Carrascos found ancient Rock Paintings situated in an isolated corner of their property overlooking the Marañón. Preliminary studies estimate that these paintings are over 1000 years old and were created by the Chachapoyan people.
In the afternoon we navigate through arguably one of the most scenic sections of the entire Marañón River. Red walled sandstone and lush green shrubs clinging to cliffs give an unmistakable prehistoric feel. Tonight, we camp in the heart of the Red Canyon.
4 hours hiking, exploring waterfalls & natural pools / 9km/2hr Rafting
DAY 6- TOWARDS A MAGIC CONSERVATION AREA
Today we float the deepest and most isolated part of the canyon. Keep your eyes focused on the scenery as vegetation and rock subtly changes to lush jungle. Soon we arrive at LinLin, the largest rapid we will encounter on this section of the river. After the adrenalin of LinLin, we will bounce through several more rapids before arriving at Marañon Libre Conservation Area. Here we can relax early and enjoy one of the most stunning sunsets and vistas of the trip.
38km / 6 hours Rafting with breaks