Whether rafting the Apurimac River, the Tambopata River or the Yavero river you will have the rafting tour of a lifetime. No matter which trip or river you choose, we assure great fun, breathtaking scenery and some of Peru’s best rafting guides.
Join us on a tour absolutely free of distractions, discover the serenity of floating down rivers, and explore Peru’s natural wonders. With RIVER EXPLORERS you will see for yourself why so many call this “the best rafting trip of their life”.
We are considered as a highly recommended white water rafting tour operator in Peru: that is why RIVER EXPLORERS have become one of the rafting leading companies in Peru with outstanding safety standards.
Rafting in Peru has become a popular destination for adventure among visitors for our thrilling and challenging rivers. As fun and exciting as this may be, we cannot forget that rafting trips involve risk due to the elements of nature. No matter how challenging and easy your white water rafting experience can be; you should always follow these basic tips to ensure that your rafting experience is as safe as possible.
Prepare before a trip: If you have never been rafting before, you should educate yourself on the sport. Don’t try doing any level V rapids on your first ride and, most important for rafting in Peru, be honest with yourself.
Know your physical limitations:If you are attempting a longer white water rafting trip of three days or more, be prepared. Exercising — especially the upper body — is essential to achieve some stamina for longer rafting trips. Note that all rafting participants need to know how to swim.
Always listen to your guide: They will tell you exactly what to do and when. RIVER EXPLORERS guides will always explain where the safety will be located and the route that will be used to run the rapids.
Don’t drink to much alcohol before the trip: This very important because this can affect your physical condition. In cold-water rivers, drinking can lead to hypothermia.
Choose the right company:Do a little research on the company that you will use for your vacation. There are several rafting companies that do not follow the Peru Rafting Regulations and some others that operate illegally.
White Water Rafting Peru – Regulations
In 2008, the Peruvian government authorities published the Peru rafting Regulations. This regulations is not translated into English in the original document stated in the Ministry of tourism, but here you can see all the Peru rafting regulations translated into English with all the points that you need to pay attention to if you want a safe rafting trip in Peru.
PERU RAFTING – LIST OF RAFTING EQUIPMENT – TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS
1. I. FOR RAFTS WHICH TRANSPORT TOURISTS.
1.1 GENERAL CONDITIONS:
- Inflatable boat (raft), for exclusive use on rivers, specially designed and built for commercial activity, being at least 10ft in length and of a variable width.
- Must include a selection of materials and an insistence upon clothing suitable for the activity.
- Every Travel and Tourism Agency must mark or label all equipment and boats allowing for the easy identification of the proprietor.
- The inflatable boats (rafts) must contain independent, inflatable chambers in accordance with the specifications of the manufacturer, with the chambers along the perimeter being separated by diaphragms in perfect condition.
- The boats (rafts) can either have inflatable floors or be self-bailing: rafting boats with a fixed floor can be used in rapids up to Class II and must have a bucket or other similar system to remove water from the boat in an effective way when necessary.
- All boat types (rafts) must have a rope around the perimetre which can support at least 0.5 tons of static tension being anchored in at least 6 points.
- All boat types (rafts) must have a prow line and a stern line, each being at least 5m in length and able to support at least 0.5 tons of static tension.
- Each boat (raft) must have at least one security or rescue line: a special line able to float that is an authentic product of the manufacturer, designed for rafting and at least 20m long.
- Specialized pump for the activity.
- Foot straps on the floor for passengers or anchoring tubes in perfect condition, authentic to the manufacturer, which provide stability for the passenger.
- Identification number that has been provided by the Peru Rafting Regulating Body, visible on the port and starboard sides of the boat.
- The boat (raft) must be able to stay inflated with an air pressure of 4.5 to 5.5 lbs for at least 5 hours on any type of river.
- Waterproof radio o mobile phone communication or in waterproof cases protecting them from the water.
Note: The Peru rafting evaluating Entity must mark or label defective equipment and boats and place them in a determined storage space to prevent their use.
1.2 DIFFERENCES IN BOATS (RAFTS) IN RELATION TO THE TYPE OF RAPIDS:
1.2.1 MAXIMUM CAPACITY OF BOATS (RAFTS) FOR RAPIDS OF CLASS I TO III
- Boat (raft) from 10 to 12 feet: maximum 6 people including the rafting guide.
- Boat (raft) from 13 to 15 feet: maximum 8 people including the rafting guide.
- Boat (raft) of 16 feet or more: maximum 10 people including the rafting guide.
1.2.2 MAXIMUM CAPACITY OF BOATS (RAFTS) FOR RAPIDS OF CLASS IV and V
- Boat (raft) from 10 to 12 feet: maximum 5 people including the rafting guide.
- Boat (raft) of 13 feet or more: maximum 7 people including the rafting guide.
1.3 OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT THAT BOATS (RAFTS) MAY HAVE (INDEPENDENT OF THE TYPE OF RAPID OR DURATION OF THE TOUR OR EXPEDITION):
- Specially designed frame for rafts which use long paddles. They can be made of aluminum, chrome, iron and/or other similar materials in accordance with the specification of the manufacturer of the boat (raft). They cannot be wooden or home-made and without certification.
- Long paddles for the activity, to be used with a metal structure made of aluminum, chrome, iron and/or other similar materials. Paddles cannot be home-made.
1.4 COMPLEMENTARY EQUIPMENT (RELEVANT TO EXPEDITIONS):
- Waterproof bag in good condition for the transport of client clothing and gear in the event of expeditions.
- Equipment for the repair of the boat: patches, glue, scissors, thread, needle, sandpaper, screw-driver for the valves and wrenches at a minimum.
- First aid kit for expeditions.
1. II.FEATURES OF THE SAFETY BOATS (RAFTS):
The safety boats that accompany the boats (rafts) which transport tourists can be kayaks or catarafts or boats (rafts) specifically designed for rescue depending on the type of rapids.
If the boat is a kayak it must possess the following feature:
- A minimum volume of 65 gallons.
- At least one handle on the front part of the boat and a handle on the back part of the boat which allow the tourist to grab onto the boat.
- Safety kayaks must have at least 4 float bags.
- Kayaks must be fully-equipped (neoprene skirt, kayak paddle, life-jacket, nose-guard, helmet with strap fitted to the paddler, rescue line, tow rope, knife and communication system) in excellent condition. (None of the equipment can be home-made.)
- The kayak must have foot support.
b. In the case of a cataraft:
- 1. Must have 2 inflatable tubes, a frame (it cannot be wooden but can be aluminum, chrome or a similar material), pillow blocks or pins (whichever one must be an authentic manufacturer’s product).
- Must have paddles specifically designed for river rafting (they cannot be home-made).
2.1 Considerations that must be taken into account for safety boats:
- In Class I to III rapids, there must always be a safety boat when the passenger boat (raft) goes alone. If the boat (raft) is accompanied (by a boat carrying gear or by another passenger boat), it is not required that there be a safety boat.
- In Class III rapids there must always be a safety boat.
- In Class IV or V rapids there must always be a safety boat. For every two tourist boats there must be an additional safety boat.
- For the commercial use of inflatable kayaks or bodyboards in rivers with rapids up to Class III there must be at least one safety boat for every three inflatable kayaks or every 3 passengers on bodyboards.
2.2 The number of safety boats for running rivers:
Safety boats. Specify the maximum number of participants per trip.
|Boats with clients
|1 to 2
|3 to 5
|6 to 10
|11 to 14
2.3 Number of safety boats for Class IV and V
- For navigation with 1 boat (raft); 2 safety kayaks or 2 catarafts
- For navigation with 2 boats (rafts); 2 safety kayaks or 2 catarafts
- For navigation with 3 boats (rafts); 3 safety kayaks or 3 catarafts
- For navigation with 4 boats (rafts); 3 safety kayaks or 3 catarafts
- The paddler of the safety boat must use an independent (additional) boat.
2.4 Peru rafting – Minimum age for participation in river sports (rafting, bodyboarding, kayaking, etc…):
|Age in years
|8 – 13
|6 – 11
|14 – 17
|18 or older
- All minors will participate in this activity only with the written authorization of their parent or guardian, using proper-fitting life-jackets and a canoe or kayak appropriate to their size.
- Regardless of which type of navigation, the client must not have any physical impediments which impede their ability to paddle or swim.
- For navigation in grade IV and V rivers, the client must know how to swim in both a defensive and aggressive position.
III. MINIMUM EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR THE RIVER GUIDE
- Specially designed life-jacket for paddling, authentic to the manufacturer, in good condition, with international, type V certification, required use of a safety belt and/or harness type rescue system.
- Knife or river pocket knife.
- Protective helmet designed for paddling.
- Tubular webbing to flip the boat, 2.5m in length.
- Rescue line, 15m in length, which must be with the guide (around their waist).
- Shoes that adjust to the foot of the paddler (guide) and that as a minimum are strapped to the feet and appropriate for the activity.
- Neoprene shorty wetsuit, with wind-jacket, except for in the tropics and full wetsuits when the temperature is less than 2°C.
- The boat (raft) must possess personal rescue gear consisting of two (2) safety carabiners, two (2) ropes for prusik or similar, a figure 8 carabiner, a harness and a climbing or rescue pulley.
V. MINIMUM EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENS FOR THE TOURIST:
- Class V LIFE-JACKET
- Neoprene wetsuit, wind-jacket, appropriate footwear
VI. RESCUE AND FIRST AID EQUIPMENT:
The rescue equipment must include at a minimum, the following items:
- 4 safety carabiners.
- 1 static rope, at least 60m in length, resistant and in one piece (cannot be tied).
- 6 flat anchor lines, each of 3m in length.
- 3 prusik type cords
- First aid kit whose contents are as outlined in the “Rescue on the River” theoretical and practical course. It is recommended that the first aid supplies be listed.
For groups of four or more passengers and for expeditions of two or more days when it is necessary to bring camping equipment and when there are no access routes, there must be at least three boats, including the safety boat.
For every three boats (rafts) there must be one set of rescue equipment.
For every four boats (rafts) there must be two sets of rescue equipment.
VII. HYGIENE AND HEALTHFULNESS
All organic and inorganic waste must be packed out (see Inca Trail rules) via specially-designed hermetic containers.
All our rivers for rafting in Peru are internationally classified on six levels from Class I to Class IV.
- Class II (moderate): Rapids with clear channels that are easily seen without scouting. Some maneuvering may be required, but medium-sized waves and rocks are easily avoided by trained guides.
- Class III: Rapids with irregular and moderate that which may be difficult to avoid. Big waves, holes and strainers may be present but are easily missed. Injuries while swimming are very rare, self-rescue is easy but safety kayak or cataract assistance may be required to avoid unnecessary swims.
- Class IV: Powerful and intense rapids that require precise boat maneuvering in rough waters. The rapids may have big, unavoidable holes and waves or tied channels and passages demanding quick response under pressure. Rapids may require obligatory moves in dangerous situations. If there are swimmers, the risk of injury is moderate to high, and water conditions can make self-rescue difficult. A safety kayak or cataract is necessary. You can find this level in almost all our white water rafting Peru tours.
- Class V: There are different kind of Level V rapids. Some have no volume of water but the presence of undercuts, siphons and nasty hydraulics are evident. Level V is very difficult, obstructed, and turbulent rapids can be long or short. Rapids may contain big, unavoidable rocks, waves and holes, with complex, demanding routes. Requires very good maneuvering, excellent rafting gear suited for the situation. Peru rafting rivers offer many different river with level V rapids.
- Class VI: Classified as non-runnable by any commercial rafters. These rapids are for experts at favorable water levels. If errors are made during running a level VI, the consequences are very severe and rescue may be in many cases impossible.