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River and Mountain Expedition in the Valley of the ‘Talking God’

Way off the beaten path
FromUSD$220
Way off the beaten path
FromUSD$220
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1723
  • 2 Days, 1 Night Start 10:15 am End 3-4 pm
  • Group Size: 1 - 12from age 8 and older
  • April through December(to avoid heavy rains)
  • Customizable difficultyAdjust the level from beginner to expert

If you can’t choose which adventure to go on, why don’t you just take it all?! This tour combines rafting, “bridge jumping”, biking, camping, hiking, and swimming in 2 days of pure fun, in a familial atmosphere and off the beaten path.

The Apurimac River “talking god” is considered 1 of the top 3 rivers in the world for rafting. This classification stems from the good conditions of the river to realize this sport; it has a good climate and strong but safe rapids (depending on the time of the year). In addition, a relaxing thermal pool and idyllic beach at the campsite on the bank of the river are waiting for you.

Day by Day

Day 1Bridge jumping - Rafting - Camping Night

Note: If you come from Cusco (recommended departure is 8 a.m.) you will drive for about 2:15 hours through amazing scenery until we reach our starting point where we prepare for the first part of our adventure.

‘Bridge jumping’ is the activity in which a person jumps off a high bridge with a rope attached to the structure. When the person jumps, he or she balances above the water. Although it might sound scary, it is a very safe and fun experience.

After everyone who wished to jump finished, we prepare for our rafting trip. It begins with our guides handing out the equipment and giving a safety talk. The boats will be accompanied by a kayaker to guarantee maximum security.

We paddle for about 2 hours through rapids level I – III, until we arrive at our private campsite with a thermal pool, where lunch awaits us!

Our campsite is located along the river bank of the famous Apurimac and surrounded by a beach, beautiful carob trees, banana plants and cacti. The odorless water of the thermal pool is said to cure arthritis, muscle aches, rheumatism, and other disorders, but mostly it is just nice to relax!

We will spend the night in tents on our private beach, next to the river. Here, we will enjoy a delicious barbecue and a campfire with marshmallows. Extra cocktails and snacks can be prepared on demand (but are not included in the price).

Day 2Downhill mountain biking - Campsite

Today, after a rich breakfast with fruits from our garden, we will go biking to appreciate the amazing nature and beautiful views.

‘Downhill mountain biking’ starts up on a mountain and follows the trail down. It is considered an extreme sport with jumps, steep fast turns and high speeds.

HOWEVER, at Casa Lena, next to the fast tracks, we also offer an easy or moderate version for beginners, that is not as steep and not dangerous.

We drive 1 hour up the mountain in our famous “BUGGY”. On the way we can enjoy magnificent views of the mountain’s cape as well as a panoramic view over Curahuasi, until we arrive at the lake, near the small settlement of Ccocha, at an altitude of 3800m.

Once we arrive, you can relish a scenic walk around the lake with magnificent views into the next valley. The local people live very modestly and spend their days taking care of their animals and fields. If lucky, you might even catch a condor flying around.

After the walk, we have lunch and then start biking down. It will take us between 2,5 and 4 hours and our buggy will accompany us the whole way down. If some want to cycle and some want to continue the trip in the buggy, this is possible at any time during the trip.

The trip takes you down from around 3800 meters to around 1500 meters above sea level. This offers you a beautiful transition in scenery, going from highland meadows to the transition zone of the Peruvian jungle.

In the afternoon we relax again at our pool and you can make your way to your next destination at around 3 – 4 pm.

When you come to Casa LENA, it is hard to ignore the adorable children and toddlers of the educational project of NGO Oye LENA. If you want, you can stay longer in our B&B and help the local teachers and foreign volunteers during classes and playtime. If this is your wish, please make an enquiry.

Gallery
Slide through some images of this trip
Small version of transparent round logo of RESPONSible Travel Peru

Why is this experience RESPONSible?

We employ local guides in addition to training new young guides. All are paid a good salary.
We also employ a local mother who cooks and works to get everything ready & clean at the B&B.
These are benefits to the town of Curahuasi, which is a non-touristic location that relies mostly on agriculture. To get the supplies we need, we buy from local food producers.
We avoid the use of single-use plastic, for example, making use of boxes with water instead of disposable bottles. And if plastic has to be used, we recycle it. Waste like bottles, cardboard, soap, is upcycled into handcrafts, etc.
All biodegradable or organic waste goes straight to compost and to feed animals.
We organize cleaning campaings at the river, as well as other areas.
We do not pollute the river as we don’t make use of motor boats, but rafts and kayaks.

All our operations are in strict relation with Oye LENA, an educational project for children living in poverty and children with disabilities.

Many of our visitors ask us if they can bring supplies for the children. Of course you can! Here are some suggestions.
All incomes from meals prepared by the cook (local mother) go 100% to the project, as well. 
Children with a disability (syndrome of Down) are being taught how to to clean the B&B, make beds, make breakfast, etc.

Children (with & without a disability) are making soap & shampoo with the aim of achieving self-sustainability of the project.
In 2023, we plan to get cooking ingredients right from our own crops, managed by children of the project.
Children and mothers of the project prepare food packages that are sold to visitors or used during the activities of the tours.

 

About Oye LENA

In 2012, we founded the NGO Oye LENA. Every morning, the project works with kids with special educational needs and every afternoon with children from underprivileged families. We receive a lot of volunteers who help us with the project and work with the children.

We have been providing a home for the volunteers of Oye LENA since the beginning. In 2015, we opened up Casa Lena to welcome travelers as well. Doing so, we want to provide a home base for travelers who want to discover Peru in a familial atmosphere. They can stay in one of the private rooms with an en suite bathroom, or choose to set up a tent on the campground. 

When you stay at Casa LENA, you are always welcome to learn more about our project Oye LENA as well. Do you want to know more about it? Then check out the website! Here you can find more information about the project and how you can help

Details

Price Includes

  • Private transportation Once you arrived to our site in Curahuasi and as mentioned in the description for the activities
  • Professional guides qualified for class V rafting (English, Spanish, little Dutch)
  • Full rafting equipment (different sizes available): Helmet, life jacket, raincoat, paddle, neoprene wetsuit, inflatable boats
  • Full downhill equipment (different sizes available): Bike, water bottle, helmet, knee and elbow protection
  • Entrance to our private campsite with thermal pool
  • Day 1: lunch and dinner. Day 2: breakfast and lunch
  • Some snacks and water during the activities
  • Private tent with sleeping bag and mattress
  • First aid kit
  • Campfire with marshmallows

Price Excludes

What to Bring

Frequently Asked Questions

About the tour itself

Is this tour physically demanding?

We can adjust the level of difficulty on demand, from beginner to expert.

You can choose what you’d like to do and where you prefer to pass. But all activities can be managed to fit your demand as some prefer easy to moderate versions.

While cycling, the little ones can stay in the buggy, with or without being accompanied by one of you. The driver and buggy constantly stay just behind the group of cyclists. 

During rafting, the little ones can sit in the middle of the boat – like everyone else – with a life jacket. The guide can control the boat so that it will not flip.

Is this a private excursion or will I share the experience with other travelers?

At the most, you will be part of a group of up to 12 people. 

Do I have to pay any entrance fees?

There will be no extra fees. The only additional expenses could come from requesting services that are not included in the package price. 

What is the highest point during this route?

The highest point is 3800 masl or 12467 feet. You will go to this altitude at the start of the downhill MTB activity. Also, if you come from or go back to Cusco, there is a point on the way that reaches that elevation.

What kind of weather should we expect during this route?

In Curahuasi, you can expect sunny days with clear skies almost all year. It does cool off in the evening, but in Cconoc, where our campsite is located, it remains pleasant even at night, so you don’t have to worry about a cold night like in Cusco or other high places in Peru. 

It usually rains only during the rainy season from December through March, and mostly in the evening and at night, rarely during the day.

But for general tips about how to get ready for the Andean wheather can be found in our blog:

https://responsibletravelperu.com/what-to-pack-for-your-trip-to-peru/

How bad the mosquitos can be?

It depends from day to day, but it can be a lot. Make sure you’re on the safe side by always wearing long clothes. In the swimming pool the mosquitos won’t bother you.

Can you adapt the food for restrictions/allergies?

Of course, just let us know in advance so we can prepare for it. We always make an effort for giving decent food and not just “fix” the usual menu.

General questions

For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!

Reviews
Your Hosts
"We like to help people. We love to explore, no to exploit. We want everybody to benefit from travelling through a country; from tourist to operator, from guide to local communities". Stefanie & Gilder

Stefanie Van Erps

organization and administration

Stefanie studied to become a primary school teacher at the Erasmus University College in Jette, Belgium. She has been teaching since January 2007, mainly in special primary education for children with speech and language problems and children with autistic spectrum disorder. She combined work and study in 2009 and obtained an additional Bachelor’s degree in Special Education. After a couple of years working in Belgium, Stefanie decided to go and teach abroad. She followed a postgraduate course on North-South Relations and Development Cooperation in Kortrijk. 

Afterwards, she went to Peru to work in an educational project in Cuzco, which is where she met her husband, Gilder. Following him back to his roots, she discovered the town of Curahuasi, south of Machu Picchu, where she founded the educational project Oye LENA and co-founded the travel agency Casa Lena with Gilder. Together they have two children: Sofia and Elliot.

Gilder Anaya & Victor Mendivil

main guides

Gilder was born and raised in Cconoc, a small place located on the Apurimac River banks about 30 minutes away from Curahuasi and known for its natural thermal baths. Growing up along the grand Apurimac, Gilder and his cousins Victor and Cesar fell in love with the river.  When they were 16 years old, they had to stand on their own feet and decided to train to become certified raft guides in Cuzco. Since that day they have worked together as raft guides for almost 10 years, becoming the best team in the country. 

They became members of the “Peruvian Class V Rafting Guides Association” and followed many courses in first aid and White-Water Rescue by both national and international entities. During this time, they also spent many seasons working in Norway, Chile and Argentina. In 2013, Victor and Gilder moved back to their hometown Curahuasi to settle down after many adventurous years. Gilder dedicates all his time to the projects Oye LENA and Casa Lena, offering many outdoor activities to tourists. When Victor is not working at Casa Lena, he guides for other agencies in Cuzco and runs a small company organizing events together with Stefanie.

Map