Extreme Rafting in Peru

A breathtaking view of the Cotahausi River Valley on the 14 kilometer hiking route to the put-in - photos by Jess Tuerk

Do you ever get tired of taking the same touristy trips that millions of people have already done? The worst part of traveling is feeling like you didn’t get anything out of it. Fortunately for GoNOMAD, Jess Tuerk found an adventure that is less often taken by tourists. Tuerk went whitewater rafting down the Cotahuasi River in Peru, which dumps out in the Pacific Ocean. Tuerk writes,

“The Cotahuasi River is higher that it has been in ten years,” I heard Peruvian river guide Gian Marco Vellutino remark in his Spanish-Italian accent as he gazed over the cactus-lined edge of a ravine that dropped 50 feet down to a very white, and very fast river.

His sun-reddened face looked tired but it was lit with excitement, like the face of an expectant child on Christmas Day. His shoulder length blond hair was wild and tangled.

“Coootaaaahuasseeeee!” he shouted, wildly waving his arms out to the side and looking to me to echo some of that enthusiasm back.

I was not as excited. In fact, I was downright scared.

Vellutino waited weeks for river levels to subside enough to safely paddle, and the time had finally arrived – but barely. It was as if the energy of the forceful Cotahuasi has recharged his body.

Read the rest of Tuerk’s amazing trip on GoNOMAD.