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Whitewater kayaking on Rio Chilli, Arequipa

In middle of October, Chasi, the white water instructor of Soca Rider traveled with two other kayakers, Kicsi (Attila Bagi) and Bivi (Attila Hubik) to Peru for a whitewater kayaking expedition. A Peruvian kayaker, Carlos Viscarra was waiting for them in Peru. The goal of the expedition was to paddle down in the Cotahuasi canyon (3300m deep gorge), to paddle the Apurimac river, to attend the first Machu Michu kayak festival, and paddle in the Santa Teresa region as much as it possible. For the Rio Cotahuasi, Hunter, another Peruvian kayaker joined to the group.

They were carrying the kayaks on the plane from Europe and on the bus from Lima all the way on the expedition. With luck, fight and adventure, after long long traveling hours the three kayakers and the three kayaks arrived to Arequipa, where Carlos was waiting for them on the bus station. Two hours later, the they were sitting in their kayaks on the nice rapids of Rio Chili.

Rio Chili is just outside of Arequipa, a perfect training for the Peruvian rivers. It was perfect and refreshing to be on the water after 62 hours of traveling. The river is Class 3 creeking, with normally constant flow due to a dam. The locals told, the water temperature is cold, but it was just like Soca in summer. The Cusipata Rafting company helped for our kayakers to reach the river, where Hunter worked as a safety kayaker. He could show the line on the first run. Training the boofs on nice drops was useful.

Our kayakers stayed in the center of Arequipa, in Hostal Solar, where kayakers are always welcome! From here is possible to discover all center of Arequipa by walk, to buy artworks, eat good food, change money, or visit museums, to breath the good atmospher of Arequipa with empresive vulcans in the background. They had only two days in the town, before they left to paddle the Cotahuasi river. It was also short time to organize everything for the expedition.

Logistic is always important on a kayak trip, but you will dye without thinking in advance on such a place, like Peru. Luckily Carlos had a lot of experience, how to organize the kayaks, gears, where to buy food, where to stay or stop for a day to have a rest, everything. The five kayaks they had to send on five buses to the town of Cotahuasi. Arequipa has big market where they could buy the most of the food for the 5 days of paddling on the river. Everything, what they brought had to fit in the kayak, so take only the minimum with you!