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Kayakers and white-water rafters can challenge the rapids anywhere from the upper Cotahuasi, near the village, almost to the Pacific. The river is divided into four sections: the Headwaters, beginning upstream from Cotahuasi village, Aimaña gorge, Flatwater Canyon, and the Lower Canyon.
The Lower Canyon is a mix of Class III and V rapids, without much portage. Most rafting tour operators put in at the village of Velinga and use this part of the river for tours. These tours are done fairly frequently by operators from Arequipa. Depending upon skill level, adventure-craving kayakers tend to put in upriver and have to portage on several occasions.
Kayakers put in at Headwaters in the village of Chuela. Here the rapids ring in at a Class III, but by the time the Aimaña gorge starts in the waters tug at Class V. White-water season is June through November when the rapids are Class III to V. But the best time to go is mid-May to mid-June. The water is snowmelt, so wet suits are necessary.
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