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Rafting in Vilcabamba

The attack of the sacred waters


If you listen the word Cusco, you might immediately think about Machu Picchu or Sacsayhuaman maybe about Ollantaytambo. What we are sure the last word you will think about is rafting. Perhaps we hardly know about the rapids of Vilcabamba (also called Urubamba), the lovely river that crosses the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Sometimes quiet, sometimes turbulent but it is always beautiful. The giant snake of water offers beginners and experienced people a doses of adrenaline. Get ready to sail by the river of adventures.


    Stop! Stop! Go ahead!, the experienced captain ordered his soaked crew with indulgence. They form a group of new adventurers with life jackets, helmets that looked like hard eggs and thin but solid rows. They tried to keep their chubby rubber raft floating because it is moved by the not so fast rapids of the great snake of water that is dividing the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

    The crew rows strongly even if they were not so experienced, with enthusiasm but without technique, with tenacity and maybe some anxiety because they feel the movements produced by that playful river which is son of the Ausangate and Salcantay. The divine mountains are forming the lovely Vilcanota or Willkamayu (Sacred River) with its thaws.
 
 
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    The captain did not give up trying to put order. The crew tried to continue his orders. They could not, they are inexperienced and afraid of water entering everywhere despite the spoiled river of the Children of Sun is not excessively severe , it is even soft and let beginners dominate it. Thus, it always manages to frighten us.

    And the raft goes following the generous Vilcanota that along his curved way feeds the fertile lands of the peasants in Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and the numerous terraces that have given food to Andean man for centuries.

    The Vilcanota, with its 862 kilometers long from which 200 are navigable is a perfect complement to the fantastic andean landscape. Going away from the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the river is baptised again with the name of Urubamba. Under this nomination, it caresses the skirts of Machu Picchu.

In quiet waters?
    In order to sail in the waters of the Vilcanota or Urubamba, you do not need previous knowledge. It is about daring to experience in that quiet torrent where it is easy to control everything because the rapids are generally of type II and III. They are ideal, attractive and exciting for the beginners.

    The most frequent circuit for those people training in rafting includes areas of Huambutio-Pisac. The crew does not need previous experience because the rapids are type II and III. It is enough to have a captain in the raft and the decision to immerse in this experience that must be performed especially between May and September.

    If what you are looking for is a surplus of adrenaline, the Sacred River of the Incas offers you some areas with rapids of type III and IV. Here you need experience because running become rough and you have to face them with lot of technique and extreme energy.

    The circuit Calca-Urubamba is also known as the rapids of Huaran, the best rapids of Urubamba, with big running and full adrenaline. We recommend to try them from June to September. Another amazing route is from Ollantaytambo to Chilca with violent and extreme sectors that should be done between May and October.

    Adventure is hidden behind the difficulties of the sacred river. An extra reason to visit Cusco: the monumental city of Inca and Spanish origin… and the captain starts shouting again and water attacks again. And the crew? They continue rowing while the chubby rubber raft is being pushed by the not so fast rapids of Vilcanota.



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