Flanked by arid mountains, the Río Cañete cuts a swath of green inland to reach the tiny but charming town of Lunahuaná, the center of Peru’s white-water rafting.
Suitable for beginners most of the year, white-water rafting season is from December to March when the water is at its highest. The rapids can reach up to class IV. Rafting companies offering trips line Calle Grau in town.
Lunahuaná is also known for its wines and piscos and its freshwater prawns straight from the river.
The opening of the grape pressing season is celebrated in March at the Fiesta de la Vendimia. The rest of the year, join the locals and while away the afternoon trying a variety of cocktails from the pisco stands dotted around the flower-filled main plaza.
If the cocktails, the sun, and the lazy atmosphere don’t get the better of you, just down the road from Lunahuaná lie the Incahuasi ruins—an Inka site said to have been the military headquarters of Túpac Yupanqui.