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Old 05-18-2011   #11
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 78
I was on the Tambopata 5-6 years ago and can vouch for mukunig's reports/recommendation. I was there in late-sept/early oct and the rapids were pretty straightforward for both kayaks and rafts. If anything, the broad basin made for too slow a pace as we got farther downstream and wound up a day late for our rendezvous with a boat shuttle to get us to the research center. The bivouac was particularly wild with tapir galore and jaguar tracks throughout the camp. Saw much wildlife throughout. I'd also add that I hit my bug threshold there.
It's a big, wild trip no matter what though, so make sure your kids are up to it. The jungle there is considered the most biologically diverse in the world, but it's Amazon hot and although I'm usually pretty sturdy, I got as sick as I've ever been on a river trip from something that passed through me for a couple days on the water. The guys at Apumayo will take great care of you though. Really top notch international guides that know this river and how to design a great trip for you.
The research center is also a real gem and worth trying to visit for a couple days if you can. The clay lick is amazing. Not good if you're scared of large, furry spiders however.

willoughby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011   #12
Ft Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 38

I safety/video boated on the Apurimac for a couple of months a decade ago--spectacular scenery, magnificent whitewater, and real potential for accidents. As noted above, there have been some, and there are very few user daysrelative to commercial runs in the US. Have to say I was NOT impressed with the way I saw companies manage risk on the river. Some guides were very, very good, and some were in over their heads, and I didn't see the attention to detail and consistent decision-making that creates an atmosphere of safety. A lot may have changed in the last ten years. If you go that route, though, I'd take any recs on companies pretty seriously. Should also mention that much of the clientele for the Apu in the fall is Israeli kids, fresh out of the army. Nice folks, but not exactly a family vibe. Pretty sure it's different other times of the year, though. The Apurimac's a GREAT trip, and you'd base out of Cusco, which in itself is the experience of a lifetime.

Never paddled the Tambopata, but what I've heard jibes more with the 3-4 good fun and natural beauty descriptions. Maybe a better fit for a family?


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