As anything goes down in the jungle, getting back to Cusco was an adventure in itself. The flight to Lima from Sepagua was canceled, but we managed to get a motorboat ride back to Ivochote. The ride took 2 days and 3 hours. We took off at 5 AM and cruised all day with an occasional stop on a village every hour or so. It was nice to get to see the...more
We left Kirigueti and headed to Sepagua, a village further downriver where we were told we could score a flight back to civilization. We cruised all day trying to reach Sepagua, but had to camp when nightfall fell on us. The next day it rained (poured) on us. It was a nice experience, but not the first for it had rained on us the third day as well....more
Since we had experienced the colono's side of life in the lower Rio Urubamba, we decided to stay the next night in a village of natives. So down we went until we got to the small village of Kirigueti. We stayed at a local teacher's house and their family. He was a native educated in a colono school so it was a good mixture. We just didn’t have luck...more
The fourth night, we met Don Porfirio, a friendly colono who owns Rancho Ben Hur. He not only gave us dinner, breakfast, and lunch, but also offered us a place to stay the night. The day we arrived we accompany him to look over his cattle in the jungle. Afterwards, we joined two of his workers on a fishing trip. We caught a mean looking, good...more
We camped on the side of the river during the first three nights. Usually, the ideal camping spot will be a small tributary connected to the river. We would tie the canoe to a tree trunk and just make up camp. The days were spent rowing downriver enjoying the lovely scenery (more like navigating the canoe while the river current did the hard work)....more
The Urubamba River starts in the highlands, at the Sacred Valley. At this stage, the river is known as the Upper Urubamba River. The Urubamba River makes its way down the mountains, past several stages of vegetation: from highland tundra, to pine trees, to forest, to tropical forest, to jungle. It is an amazing river! The lower Urubamba River...more
A natural gorge that marks the end of the upper Urubamba River and the begining of the lower Urubamba River. The river comes crashing down through the gorge as the water goes from a wide river to a narrow river. It's a beautiful sight that lasts no more than a few kilometers. The currents at this point can be deadly so make sure you are well...more
From Ivochote, we took a lancha to Pangoa,a small village downriver. Pangoa had no hotels so we stayed with a local family who fed us like kings. Unfortunately, my friend's watch got stolen there so we didn’t stick around for long. We did stay long enough to have a good time though. We even got to see the execution of a pig and the preparation of a...more
Our journey down the Rio Urubamba started in Ivochote. It is another small sleepy village that marks the end of land transport in the area. Ivochote has a picturesque bridge that crosses the lower Urubamba river. Ivochote counts with a guesthouse and one or two restaurants. From Ivochote, we took a lancha to Pangoa, a small village downriver.more
Return: Sepahua to Ivochote to Quillabamba to CuscoAs anything goes down in the jungle, getting back to Cusco was an adventure in itself. The flight to Lima from Sepagua was canceled, but we managed to get a motorboat ride back to Ivochote. The ride took 2 days and 3 hours. We took off at 5 AM and cruised all day with an occasional stop on a...more
The true adventure started past the Pongo. The first thing we did once we were past the Pongo with our canoe at hand was to name it. We named our canoe Arco, after a friend who couldnt join us on this trip (all we missed was the Champaign bottle to brake it on its maiden voyage). After naming the canoe, we started rowing downriver.more
We bought Arco, our canoe at Pangoa for 300 Soles (we would later find out it was highway robbery and the price should have been half of that; 3.5 Soles equaled $1 USD). At Pangoa, the river was fast and to make matter worse, there was a Gorge further down river called el 'Pongo de Mananique.' We took the advice of the lady we bought the boat with...more
There are two types of locals downriver: the natives who have lived in the area for hundreds or thousands of years; and the colones who have migrated from the cities to the jungle in search of work. More times then none, the colones were more friendly and inviting then the natives. Needles to say, the natives don't live primitive lives. They have adapted with the modern age and in some cases even have electricity, TV, radio, motorboats, etc. Long gone are the times were these interesting people dressed half naked and roamed the Amazon forest in primitive canoes. Today, the natives live simple lives, which echo their past heritage. Most still hunt, fish, and cultivate the land much like their ancestors. Others, however, have taken modern jobs such as motorists (boat driver), lumber cutting, etc.
Miscellaneous: If you plan on heading downriver, make sure you buy a map of the region. The topographical map (not showin) is a must as well. You can buy both maps in Lima.
Fondest memory: The whole trip is a fond memory of mine. The Peruvian Amazon jungle was beautiful! Got to see gators, parrots, guacamayas, exotic birds, and other animals. The people are so friendly as well (sure some are not, but those that are friendly were amazing). The adventure alone will last a lifetime :).