If adventure sports are your thing then Peru certainly has a lot to offer. With beautiful coastline, jungles and mountains, it’s a paradise for those with an adventurous disposition. Outdoor activities include river-running, paragliding, rock climbing and scuba diving. Here’s our short guide to some of the best adventure sports locations to for holidays in Peru.
Surfing in Lima
Lima, the capital of Peru, has 250 kilometres of beaches with great surf break. For beginners, Redondo and Makaha beaches are perfect. More experienced surfers may prefer La Herradura and experts will want to hit up the waves at Pico Alto, if the swell is big it produces one of the largest, most terrifying waves in South America. Caplinas, which is right next to the city, is a very rapid wave and again only very experienced surfers should attempt – however owing to it being close to shore – this break is perfect for watching pros strut their stuff.
Altogether, Lima has surfing options for everyone from beginners to the pros and while something of a tourist trap, Waikiki, a beach near Miraflores is perhaps the best place to start out, as it welcomes inexperienced and experienced surfers, has regular waves and a sandy bottom.
Rafting on the Urubamba River
The winding Urubamba River is a headwater of the Amazon River and a great rafting spot. Guided options included one, two and three day trips that cover the three most exciting sections of the river.
A trip will usually start with easy rapids, which are good for gaining experience or retraining beginners. However, during the dry season, the rapids will be low and can be a bit too slow for those with more experience – despite this it is always important to get to know the people in your raft and ensure that you have confidence in them with the bigger stuff to come.
The Urubamaba’s second section is the most popular section, as it has some fast rapids. However, individuals who are new to the sport should still be able to handle the trip, particularly after they’ve acquired some experience on the easier rapids upstream. Here, you can hit rapids that range from bumpy grade two to a foaming grade five monster, depending on how far down you go.
Another section of the river can take participants closer to Machu Picchu and is only available to experienced white water rafters, as near constant, fast white-water and very large rapids should not be attempted by inexperienced rafters.
If possible it’s really worth making a trip on the Urubamba River during the wet season, when the water is higher so the rapids are faster but not necessarily more dangerous. If you travel with a guide, you may hike to notable locations nearby.
Hiking the Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon is the deepest canyon in the world, at about double the depth of the Grand Canyon in the United States. While it may not have the sheer sides of its US counterpart, it is a superb location for hiking. There are a number of guided tours but it’s worth bearing in mind that the hikes are tough, the ascents and the descents are hard on your body – so you need to be in good shape. The Colca Canyon is also the prime spot for seeing the Andean Condor, as it will often soar on thermals created by the canyon in the early mornings – although unfortunately it is now considered to be a near threatened species – in part due to loss of habitat.
Adventure sports are at their finest in Peru. The country’s varieties of settings make it ideal for people who enjoy the exhilaration of a thrilling, breath-taking sport.
Jonathan is a keen travel blogger who enjoys nothing better than writing about his holidays in Peru and elsewhere