Tranquil Canyon

9 Day Journey

Tranquil Canyon

9 days from $2600 per person

Our 9 day tour down the Marañon travels through a tranquil canyon. There are less rapids than the sections above or below and it showcases a quiet, tranquil beauty of the Marañón. There are stunning slot canyons to explore and side trips where we can glimpse the local way of life. This tour includes scenic flight from Trujillo to our start point at Chagual.

The Marañón River is unique on a global scale. Endemic birds & ecosystems, isolated riverside communities and stunning Andean canyons.  It is also one of the most endangered rivers in the world.

Visit this tranquil canyon.

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Trip Details

Tour Season: May – November
Trip Length: 9 Days
Trip Price: From $2600 per person based on dbl occupancy.
Activity Level: Moderate
Arrival City: Trujillo, Peru
Meeting Place: Airport Pickup or Hostal Naylamp

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Marañón River 9 Day Journey

Tranquil Canyon

The scenic flight to the starting point of this journey sets a high standard for what is to follow, and you will not be disappointed. The first days of this journey are characterized by long, slow moving pools through deep canyons interspersed by gentle rapids. We explore stunning slot canyons, visit local farms and in the final days tackle larger rapids, up to class IV+.

The geology and rock formations throughout this deep canyon will leave you in awe of this powerful river as it cleaves it way through the Andes.

One of the most unique yet endangered river journeys in the world. 

Every person who has floated through this isolated section of the Marañón River is moved by the unique blend of breathtaking scenery and heartwarming cultural exchange. This is a diverse, changing landscape, you will not just be travelling through, your presence here will leave a lasting impact on what the future of this river will become; similarly the humble, inviting local people and stunning vistas will leave an  indelible mark on your memory.

Experience a true wild river, sit by the campfire at night on deserted sandy beaches swapping stories. Taste Peruvian and international culinary delights, sample local wine and beer. Fall asleep listening to the sounds of the Marañón flowing timelessly by, and wake to the sound of a hundred different species of bird, many of which are endemic to this valley alone. We are working with some of the most talented outdoor guides in the world, to offer you the Marañón Experience.

More than an incredible river journey.

Aside from being one of the world’s premiere expedition style river journeys, there are few places on earth where you can see so clearly how rapidly the world is changing around us. This is a rich, thought provoking cultural experience. This is an endangered journey, but with your help it can become a protected one.

Day 1: Arrive to Trujillo, Peru. Meet your host for the expedition, and spend the evening in the beachside town of Huanchako. Enjoy group welcome dinner and stay in comfortable hotel for the night.

Day 2: An incredible scenic flight from Trujillo over the Andes and into the Marañon valley at Chagual. The rafts will be waiting for us when we arrive at the river. After lunch and briefings the river journey will begin.

Day 3: After rolling over the large waves of the class III Gansul Rapid, we will continue through the scenic Canyon Asconta to reach camp in the early afternoon. At camp there will be the option to hike into a nearby canyon.

Day 4: In the morning visit the picturesque riverside village of Calemar; made famous by the writings of Cirio Alegria in ‘La Serpiente de Oro’. After lunch we will continue down the river to camp.

Day 5: Continue downriver and visit the Muro Poso Waterfall before making an early camp to avoid strong afternoon winds.

Day 6: Hike into the stunning Llanten box canyon. After lunch we tackle Llanten Rapid (class III+) and make camp before Samosierra.

Day 7: Samosierra Rapids in the morning. Make an early camp in the afternoon leaving time for a tour of the homestead and hike up the scenic box canyon. This is the last night on river for participants on the 9 day tour.

Day 8: Arrive at the town of Balsas. Lunch and refreshments in town before travelling by private bus to Celendin. Explore Celendin in afternoon, stay in comfortable hotel and a final group dinner in local restaurant.

Day 9: Travel to Cajamarca early in morning, arriving before miday. Participants can book flights to return to Lima anytime after 12 noon.

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We run with a relaxed schedule so that you will get the most out of this journey and never miss out on highlight times. Between water, weather, a changing landscape and operating in a rapidly developing region, there are things we cannot control. That is why we have built flexibility into this itinerary so that at no point you will feel rushed or miss out on a key part of the journey.

sunset-1123570_1920Day 1:  Fly into Trujillo, Peru. Your guide will be at the airport and you will take a 20-minute taxi ride to the beachside town of Huanchako where you will have the opportunity to unwind, stroll along the local beaches, surf, or visit the enormous Chan Chan Ruins – the largest pre-Columbian city in South America. At 6 pm in the evening the group will meet for a Welcome Dinner and drinks at a beachside restaurant.

Day 2:  After breakfast we depart for Trujillo airport and take one of the most incredible scenic flights in the world. Taking off from Trujillo, you will leave the coast and get a real feeling of the scale of the Peruvian Andes. You will climb up and over dozens of Andean peaks, many of these greater than 5000m (16, 000 feet). Nestled among these mountain giants, you will spy remote villages, lagoons and lush green pastures that the people of Cajamarca depend on. Soon you will begin to descend into the dry canyons of the Marañón, passing through several distinct climatic zones as you get your first glimpse of the mighty Marañón River. This is a truly epic way to start your journey down the River. Before you know it, you will be touching down on the Chagual Airstrip; our crew will be waiting here to welcome you onto an  unforgettable Marañón Experience.

Over lunch we will introduce the entire crew, go over the itinerary and then complete a thorough safety briefing. After launching we will complete safety drills as we float through the first tranquil pools. As a passenger, you will be travelling in a 16’ oar-assisted raft, guided by a highly trained and experienced river guide; your safety net will be made up of safety kayakers and a cataraft.

Tonight will be your first night camping on the remote beaches of the Marañón. You can really begin to fall into the rhythm of this powerful river. After we pull up to camp you can enjoy beer, wine or another beverage while snacking on cheeses, crackers and other nibbles after a good day of rafting. A scrumptious 3-course dinner will follow then you can sit back and relax by the campfire and listen to laughter and stories of the river.

viaje julio-25Day 3: Waking up in the morning, you will notice the incredible diversity in bird calls, many of which only exist in this remote Marañón Valley. After a cooked breakfast we will get on the river for our first full day of rafting.

The rolling waves of the Gansul Rapid (Class III) will wake you up, and we will continue over dozens of class II rapids until passing through the Asconta Canyon. Reaching camp early in the afternoon, you will have the option to relax riverside or hike in to explore a nearby side canyon.

viaje julio-17Day 4: Shortly after leaving camp, we will arrive at the picturesque village of Calemar, overlooking the Marañón River. Calemar was made famous by the writings of Cirio Alegria in the book entitled ‘La Serpiente de Oro’ (The Serpent of Gold). We will walk up into Calemar to visit the house that Cirio once lived in. After lunch we will continue down the river to camp.

Day 5:  On enjoyable class II rapids we will float past the Rio Crisnejas confluence and the beautiful town of Tingo la Paya until we stop at the bottom of the Muro Poso Waterfall, which falls around 60m before splashing into the Marañon. From here we continue between the stunning rock formations and high canyon walls to make an early camp. This section is notorious for strong winds in the afternoon that is why we plan on getting to a sheltered camp before they pick up..

viaje julio-55Day 6: This morning we will eddy out above the Llanten rapid (III-IV), and hike up into the stunning Llanten box canyon. It is possible to climb up several small waterfalls and reach the inner canyon. In this cavern the sunlight filters between high rock walls to highlight the incredible texture of the rock while water cascades down through the canyon.

After lunch we tackle the huge waves in the Llanten rapid (Class III+) and continue downstream until we reach the largest rapid on this section, Samosierra. We will make camp for the night above this roaring rapid.

IMG_0161Day 7: In the morning, we navigate the Samosierra rapids, 5 km of class II-IV fun. In the afternoon we will make an early camp beside a riverside homestead. The owners often give us a tour of their farm, including an ancient water-powered mill. From the mill we continue up the valley into a clear water creek which leads to a stunning box canyon, perfect for swimming in the afternoon sun. 

Day 8: Today we arrive at the town of Balsas. Pulling into town there will be cold beers and frozen coconuts full of cool refreshing coconut milk waiting for us. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before we depart for Celendin.

The drive up to Celendin is one of the most scenic drives you can imagine. On a paved road we wind our way up and over the Andes. The landscapes will change drastically in each different temperate zone. From semi-tropical areas with bananas and coconuts growing beside the river, we will cruise up through dry forests of the Marañón before reaching the cool pastoral lands in the farming region. Just when you think we cannot go up any higher, we will cross over the Andes and make our way to Celendin. There will be time to explore some of the sights of Celendin before we check into a comfortable hotel.

viaje previo-102In the evening we will meet at a typical Peruvian restaurant for our final meal as a group, sharing stories, a laugh, and drinks to celebrate the end of an incredible journey, safe passage for those who are continuing and a toast to the Marañón Sin Represas (Marañón without dams).

Day 9: As a participant on the 9 day journey you will travel to Cajamarca in the morning. You can book flights back to Lima that depart anytime after 12 noon, or you may choose to explore Cajamarca for an extra day or two. As you continue on your own journey, we hope that you will always remember the friends you made and incredible places you witnessed on this trip. With your help this river will continue to exist into the future and remain more than just a memory.


Departure Dates

   2016 (Custom date available on request)

   2017 (Custom date available on request)

August 1 – 9 (Book Now)

Trip Length

9 Day Journey

Included in Price Hotel & welcome dinner first night.
Flight from Trujillo to starting point at Chagual.
All inclusive on river.
Tent accommodation on river.
Transport to and accommodation in Celendin (1 night in hotel).
Final night departure dinner and transport to Cajamarca.
Occupancy Normal booking fee is based on double occupancy.
Single Supplement for all hotel nights (2 nights): $150
Where possible, we will give single guests their own tent while on-river. When we approach booking capacity, this may not be possible. Single supplement for all nights on river is $150.

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