“This is a fun, beautiful, and thrilling alternative activity to do while in Cusco.”
I’ve ridden the Nantahala, the Ocoee, the Pigeon, the Chattooga, and the Colorado Rivers. I’ve also toured through most of Latin America for the past 16 years. I say this so that you’ll know where my review, my point of comparison, is grounded.
We booked our full-day trip through one of the tour operators inside Casa del Abuelo, beneath the Chocolate Museum in Cusco.
One of the guides picked us up at our hotel just after 9am and walked us three blocks to the bus. From there it was a 2-hour ride to the river camp. The guides were great: engaging, knowledgeable, hilarious, and very skilled. They all had great grasp of English too.
At the camp we received our gear: helmet, paddle, wetsuit, waterproof jacket, and life vest. There was enough for everyone with enough sizes for all. The important equipment (life vest, paddle, and helmet) were in good shape. The wetsuits and waterproof jacket were worn out more so than one would see in the U.S., but not to the point where they did not serve their purpose.
After dressing we received a brief safety and instructional talk, similar to those given at all rafting outfits in the U.S. We split into teams of 4-6 and then hit the water. The guides practiced commands with their paddlers in small-wave (Class I) waters before heading down the river. The boats were in great shape. For each raft of 4-6 people and a guide, there was a kayaker that paddled alongside in case anyone were tossed from the boat.
The river was excellent: full of voluptuous water, Classes I-IV, 2-3 meter waves with long rapids, and set in the green sloping Urubamba Valley of Peru where sheep, llamas, and cows graze and locals pasture them or tend to their crops. We paddled 12 km over two hours with a break in the middle and taking smaller rests in between long runs. During the mid-point break, we pulled to a grassy patch and did Dizzy Bat (Paddle) Relays with each boat competing against the other. It was great fun and a good stretch of the legs.
Our guide, Henry, was excellent: telling jokes all the time, steering us into the good rapids and keeping us away from the dangerous ones. Just before pulling out, at one of the last major rapids, my father-in-law and I were both tossed from the boat. I was able to grab the chord of the boat and Henry pulled me back in to the boat. Then he got us over to my father-in-law, where I was able to pull him in. We had good laughs about it all.
After the river, we returned to the camp by bus, about 15 minutes. They had a sauna hot and cozy for all of us. The showers were not working that day because a pipe had burst in the town. A hot shower would have been wonderful, but the sauna worked. Then they gave us hot tea and coffee, quinoa and vegetable soup, and rice, vegetables, and chicken (vegetarian options were available). After eating, we got to ride the zip line across the river and back. All of this was included in the original price.
Finally, we returned by bus to Cusco (about 2.5 hours because of traffic) and arrived at our hotel around 6:30. A photographer had taken pictures all along the way and passed around the camera on the bus so we could see the photos before committing to buy them. For those who wanted, he sold CDs with all the photos for 30 Soles, and even delivered it to our hotel that night.
Bottom line: it was a great operation, very organized and VERY FUN! and it was a great alternative activity to the ruins and museums of Cusco. I would do it again. Book directly with Mayuc—they have an office in the Plaza de Armas in Cusco—; almost all of the tourist agencies will book for you, but they will charge you more and don’t know the most current conditions of the River like Mayuc does (the same guys at Mayuc go out every day).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
April 20, 2013
Thanks for your comment, all our guides are professional, fun and make a lot of jokes.
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and Safety is the most important, our teams are new and of the best quality; fun safely is our motto ..
We have many adventures to enjoy, and we are sure that like you, many travelers will have fun with the adventures he has in Mayuc and all the people who work here.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.