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 Join us on a remarkable journey into the heart of the upper Amazon River. Our expedition will take you into one of the deepest river canyons in the world. We will hike to waterfalls, scenic grottos, and through slot canyons. We will explore a pre-Incan pueblo complex and camp on expansive white sand beaches. We will hike and swim an intriguing set of waterfalls at “Bedrock Cascades” and take refreshing dips into side creeks. We will run exhilarating rapids on one of the most important rivers in Peru and the world. Come with us and experience the Rio Marañón, a biodiversity hotspot of global importance that has one of the highest levels of endemism in the world.

The Rio Marañón is the main stem source of the Amazon River. It is one of the last major free flowing tributaries to the Amazon and a vital link between the Andes Mountains and the Amazonian lowlands. The average flow at this time of year is 5,000 cfs, but with rain it can double. There are some exciting class IV and V rapids, but there is also a fair amount of class II and III whitewater.  A couple of the hardest rapids are quite long and a bit more difficult than the toughest rapids on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

The upper Amazon River, with its unique dry-forest, the flora and fauna, and the people that support themselves from its nutrient-rich waters are all under threat due to mega-dam projects. Join our expedition and feel good about your personal role in the conservation of this important waterway. We are working with others to protect the Rio Marañón, its ecosystem, and the lifestyle and culture of those that live along its path. Part of the money you pay is dedicated to conservation efforts; a percentage of the after-cost proceeds will be donated directly to Maranon Waterkeeper, a local NGO and member of the global Waterkeeper Alliance. 

A highlight of this expedition is the opportunity to interact with the remarkable inhabitants who live along the Rio Marañón and maintain a lifestyle deeply connected to nature. You will learn about their history, customs and daily life. You will also hear about their efforts to maintain their way of life and preserve the Rio Marañón as a free-flowing river. See firsthand several of the 20 dam sites proposed for the Rio Marañón and interact with the villages of Tupén and Mendán, potentially the first to be drowned by the proposed reservoirs. 

The expedition will allow a high level of participation. If you have recent class IV rowing experience you will be able to row a raft part of the time, sharing time on the oars with one of the other participants or one of the professional guides. Our equipment is supplied by us MAYUC CUSCO 100% Peruvian Company . We employ Peruvian guides and hire local Peruvian companies. Our goal is to maximize the positive effects of tourism on the host communities and minimize any negative effects; this includes ensuring that tourism does not divert resources away from Peruvians or the local communities.

Itinerary Note:

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule below, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather, river levels and terrain conditions.


Day 1: Cajamarca Dinner and Orientation

Fly into the city of Cajamarca, Peru. Connections through Lima are available from many gateway cities. Please be sure to arrive no later than the afternoon today. Many Peruvians consider Cajamarca to be the most beautiful colonial metropolis in Northern Peru. Stroll around the central Plaza de Armas and shop in the many specialty stores surrounding the plaza to sample the local specialties – colorful textiles, a variety of local cheeses, and chocolates. Journey a few miles outside of town to the Inca Baths; these hot thermal pools have been around since Incan times and are a wonderful place to take a dip and relax before we meet in the early evening. Our group will gather for a welcome dinner, introductions and pre-trip information. All participants will be provided a shared room at a quality hotel in Cajamarca. The double occupancy room is included for this first night as part of the trip cost. (D)

Night 1: Hotel stay in Cajamarca at the scenic La Hacienda San Antonio Villa 


Day 2: Celendin Plaza Tour, Transport to Put-in and Launch

After a stunning drive through the Peruvian highlands, we descend into the picturesque Marañón Valley. During our drive you will get an idea of the scale of this immense river corridor as it cleaves its way through the Andes. Midway into the drive we stop for a short tour of historic Celendin. Back on the road to we continue on the recently paved road as it drops through several distinct zones, from cloudy farmlands high on the mountain, down into the dry forests of the Rio Marañón. Once in Balsas we will rig the boats and begin the river journey. Rapids: several unnamed class III (B+L+D)

Night 2: Camp at Weasel Beach ~km 10


Day 3: Ruins and Rapids

Hike and explore the Pre-Incan ruins site of Playa El Cura. There are ruins of ancient adobe housing, spiritual centers, and a guard tower high on a bluff overlooking the river, with more yet to be discovered at this archeological site. It would be a shame to lose this to a reservoir before it has even been fully unearthed and studied by academia. After lunch fun class III to IV rapids continue through the afternoon until we arrive at the village of Mendán. Rapids: El Cura (III), Wall Move (III), El Choclon (IV), Yangas (III), Hoodos (III) and many unnamed class II’s. (B+L+D)

Night 3: Camp at Mendan or Playa La Mushka ~km 45 or km 53


Day 4: Cultural Hightlight

It is a short hike up to town through picturesque fruit and coca plantations, and trees heavy with oranges, mangos, bananas and coconuts where we will be welcomed into the pueblo for a visit. Many participants state this is their favorite day of the trip because of the interactions with the locals. Guests tell us they had never before had the opportunity to visit with locals in their home environment. These villagers are truly unique in that they live close to nature in a self-sustaining lifestyle of living off the fertile soil of the Maranon River Valley and fishing from the rich waters of the Maranon. Later we stroll back to our rafts and continue downstream through a class III section of river to camp on the white sand beach of Antes San Lucas Rapid. Rapids: Tupen Grande (IV), Chipche (IV) and many unnamed class II’s and III’s. (B+L+D)

Night 4: Camp at Antes San Lucas Rapid ~km 62


Day 5: Chadin II Dam Site

Today we have more class III-IV rapids; action packed fun until we reach the site of the proposed Chadin Dos dam. The water slows at this point and the canyon walls narrow; marvel at the unique beauty of the cliffs that would be defaced by the proposed dam. Think about the fun rapids upstream that would be inundated by the reservoir. Just before camp you can take a short hike and wade in Magdelena Creek. Camp on a wonderfully scenic beach, directly above the thrilling Magdalena Rapid. This evening, participate in a discussion about ways to support the Peruvian and International conservation movements to save this fabulous river corridor from the proposed dams. Rapids: San Lucas (IV), Playa El Inca (IV), and many unnamed class III’s. (B+L+D)

Night 5: Camp at Magdelana Beach ~km 80


Day 6: Whitewater Highlight

The day starts with the whitewater rush of Magdalena rapid (Class IV-V), next we run several class III’s, and by mid-morning we arrive at the most challenging rapid of the entire trip, LinLin, a long Class V Rapid. We will stop to scout our line and take photos. Everyone has the option to walk this rapid if they do not feel comfortable running it. By early evening we will arrive at camp below Saura Rapid. Let the sounds of the gentle river lull you to sleep. Rapids: Magdalena (IV-V), LinLin (V), Saura (III), and many unnamed III’s. (B+L+D)

Night 6: Camp at Saura Rapid ~km 110


Day 7: Spectacular Bedrock Cascades and Amazon Cave

Today, we’re up early to row the few kilometers to the Bedrock Cascades. We spend the morning hiking and exploring this magnificent geological phenomenon where Aquablanca creek drops off the plateau above, forming a series of waterfalls. Each waterfall ends in a pool perfect for swimming or relaxing. Continuing down river, we will stop and linger at the impressive Amazon Cave; take photos, explore its depth, and marvel at another fabulous feature along the Rio Marañón. As we continue downstream, the landscape changes, the cactus and dry forests along the Rio Marañón giving way to lusher, greener vegetation. Witness red sandstone walls and lush riparian trees and shrubs filled with birds of every variety. Rapids: Palaguas (III) and several class II’s. (B+L+D)

Night 7: Camp at Sandstone Cliffs ~km 125


Day 8: Last River Day, Transport and Farewell Dinner 

After paddling about 15 kilometer, we arrive at Puerto Malleta, our take-out. We begin the derigging and cleaning process. Guests will load into vehicles for the 3-hour ride to Jaén where a room and shower await you. All participants will be provided a shared room at the hotel in Jaen. The double occupancy room is included for this last night as part of the trip cost. Some of the guides will stay behind to do the final derigging and preparation of equipment for transport the next day. After checking in and relaxing for a few hours, enjoy a farewell dinner with the guides and other team members as you plan the next leg of your journey. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not schedule your departure from the expedition on this date, as we cannot guarantee we will be back in Jaen early enough to make your connection. (B+L+D)

Night 8: Prim’s Hotel in Jaen


Day 9:  Scheduled Departure from Jaen

While the expedition officially ended late last night, this is the day to book your departure from Jaen. Please remember, we cannot guarantee that you will make your connection if you book a departure on day 8. From Jaen you can take flights home or continue on to your next destination in Peru. There is much to offer in northern Peru; visit the jungle and pre-Incan ruins, tour Kuelap (the Maccu Picchu of the north), or experience the magnificent waterfalls of Yumbilla and Gocta. Travel south to Cusco/Macchu Pichu and the Sacred Valley; experience colonial Arequipa; or enjoy the coastal resorts of Peru. Let us know if you are interested in any add-on tours, we can make planning the rest of your trip in Peru easy.


Boating configuration:

Emphasis on Safety and Professional river procedures: the Peruvian guides have received international training, swift water rescue and wilderness first responder courses. They will row the more difficult rapids or take the oars if a guest becomes too tired.

Personal river gear: 





JUNE: from Friday, June 29 to Saturday, July 7

JULY:  from Friday, July 13 to Saturday, July 21

AUGUST: from Friday, August 3 to Saturday, August 11




To confirm your reservation just send us US$ 1200.00 per person and your trip application Our accounting department will contact you in less than 24 hours, with your invoice and voucher.


Trip Application

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Why Choose MAYUC?

38+ Years Experience. Providing Tours, Trekking and river raftingsince 1978 in Peru.

We guarantee your trip. all our guides are well trained and speak fluent English.


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