Photos by Ricardo Barera
Photos of Río Marañón by
Remoteness has long kept the magnificent character of this run under the radar of the average paddler, but the Marañón offers number of trips that are truly world class. The “Grand Canyon” and “Jungle Pongos” sections in the Andes have over 400 miles of continuously raftable Class III and IV whitewater river, boast clean, giant beaches along their length, and offer boatable year-round flows. In addition, the Marañón has unique and varied ecological habitats, and it provides the bulk of the nutrient-rich silt to the Upper Amazon River. So why would anyone would want to plug it up in every conceivable location with up to 20 huge dams?
A number of organisations held a meeting mid-August in Celendín, Cajamarca, in northern Peru to share strategies of resistance to the hydroelectric project Chadin II. In addition to the serious environmental and social impacts represented by damming the river Marañón, they claim that its purpose is to satisfy the energy demands of the huge Conga mining project. Luis Manuel Claps describes the meeting and its context for LAB.
The majestic Marañón River, the source of the Amazon, descends from the high Andean Mountains, picking up waters from dozens of tributaries carving spectacular canyons until it reaches the flatlands of the Amazon. The Peruvian government calls it the country's "energy artery" as it plans to harness the river's hydropower potential by building more than 20 dams on the mainstem Marañón in order to power mining projects and export electricity to Brazil.
April 22, 2013
The United Nations Climate Conference is being held in Peru, which is now the world’s fourth most dangerous country for environmental defenders. Four were killed in September alone. In a brutal incident in a remote region of Peru’s Amazon rainforest, leading indigenous activist Edwin Chota was ambushed as he traveled to neighboring Brazil for a meeting on how to address the region’s illegal logging crisis. Illegal loggers allegedly killed and dismembered Chota along with his colleagues Jorge Ríos, Francisco Pinedo and Leoncio Quinticima. Chota is among at least 57 environmental activists who have been assassinated in Peru since 2002. The Peruvian government has recently passed legislation that rolls back forest protections, which has increased the pace of such murders. We are joined by Chris Moye, the environmental governance campaigner for Global Witness and author of their new report, "Peru’s Deadly Environment."
The Upper Amazon River (Río Marañon) in the Andes offers the finest raft-support trip in South America. Join our raft/kayak expedition as we paddle 499 km (310 miles) through the scenic and arid Grand Canyon section, with exhilarating class III-IV rapids, soothing hot springs, amazing side hikes, beautiful clean beach camps, and Incan ruins. Spread the word about the consequences of ~15 planned dams and help us SAVE RÍO MARAÑON!
You also might have the option of continuing into the Jungle Pongos where the river goes through lush jungle.
The Marañón River is one of the most important water sources in Peru and a key Amazon tributary. With its source at the Nevado de Yapura glacier high up in the Andes mountains, the Marañón runs northwest through Peru along the eastern base of the Andes before it turns eastwards to flow into the Amazon plains. The Marañón meets the Ucayali River and together they form the Amazon River.