Yesojirca Narrows of the Rio Marañon, Peru

The Endangered Rio Marañon

Before we get into The Narrows, a word about the endangered Rio Marañon. “The Big Money” of South America and parts of the world want to dam this amazing river, the primary source of the Rio Amazonas. Not just one but many. This post and those to come are my effort to bring awareness to the problem. It’s not easy to overcome the power of “Big Money” especially in a country such as Peru. Now one of the river’s guardians has been murdered for his stance against the damming of the Rio Marañon. News article quote “Hitler Ananias Rojas Gonzales (34 years) was killed in the village Yagen district of Cortegana, Cajamarca region, Peru, on Monday, December 28, 2015. Rojas was a recognized defender of the Rio Marañon and opposition to the construction of the dam Chadin II Brazilian company Odebrecht”.

What can you do? You can share this post to get the word out. You can go see this amazing river, SierraRios will assist you with that. You can  support Paddling With Purpose, which believes the communities and ecosystems of the upper Amazon are too important to lose. Perhaps a contribution to Cool Earth, a charity that works alongside indigenous villages to halt rain forest destruction. You can find a way!

The Yesorica Narrows of the Rio Marañon came shortly after breakfast on Day 2 of our 28 day rafting adventure.

Our first day on the Rio Marañon was a wet one with intermittent rain showers throughout the evening and night. The inclement weather continued the next morning for our running of the Yesojirca Narrows.

(click on any image to enlarge and view in gallery)

Our day one camp on the Rio Marañon.

Camp #2 on the Rio Marañon.A close-up of our evening fire.

The nights fire.Barba tends the fire while Chef Luis tends the salmon.

Salmon and the menu.Yum!

Salmon for dinner.The morning launch on day 2 turned out to be a continuation of previous nights weather.

A rainy morning.The scout eddy was one not to miss. Here Barba and Pedro stand ready to assist Karl into the eddy. All four rafts made the eddy with little drama.

Don't miss this eddy.The kayakers, Barba and Nate, were the first to venture into the Yesojirca Narrows. Barba was staged on river right above the SQUEEZE, Nate continued through and remained in his kayak.

The kayaks enter first.Nate and the SQUEEZE.

Nate is the first through.Karl and Pedro in the 16 foot cataraft were the first to run the Yesojirca Narrows and found out that the low water conditions, approximately 1,500 cfs, had exposed some razor sharp fluted limestone. It was here that the right rear tube was cut.

The cataraft gets cut here.From the scout eddy, the entry was a solid Class III run between two holes. Kathy and Steve can be seen upstream, the second raft through.

Looking upstream from the scout.With the knowledge of Karl’s sliced cataraft, Barba releases air from Kathy and Steve’s raft before navigating the SQUEEZE.

Letting out air for the SQUEEZE!CJ’s entry. Left of the first hole.

The entry into the Yesojirca Narrows.Right of the second hole.

The entry into the Yesojirca Narrows.Things start getting narrow!

The gorge narrows.With Kathy watching from above, Zacarias fends off the right shore. This limestone is way sharp!

Slowing down at the Squeeze.CJ pulls into Barba’s eddy to soften the boat.

Slowing down for the move.CJ in THE SQUEEZE

CJ in the Squeeze.As I walk along the scout I see some of the most amazing fluted limestone.

Close-up view of the limestone.After all the rafts are safely through the Yesojirca Narrows, I hike upstream to capture some images. A good 40 feet above the present water level I find evidence of the high water flows, plastic trash.

All rafts through.Trash pile in the rocks.…….and a couple of soccer balls.

Soccer ball trash.An example of the tilted limestone layers.

Layered limestone.While readying ourselves for our run, Luis, Marian and myself spotted a Neotropical River Otter on the far shore. The only species of otter to live in the Andes. Note the high water trash in the vegetation.

Neotropical River Otter.Now that Karl’s cataraft has been repaired and all four rafts are through the SQUEEZE, it was lunch time. We had a small fire tucked in the rocks for warming and to facilitate the drying of our clothes. It looked like the weather was going to improve.

Now it's time for lunch.………and now for something completely different.

Go Pro video of my run through the Yesojirca Narrows.


Yesojirca Narrows of the Rio Marañon from Britt Runyon on Vimeo.

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If you would like to raft the Rio Marañon yourself , visit Rocky Contos here at

About Britt Runyon

A New Mexico based free roaming outdoor digital photographer, always on the qui vive for what Nature and humans provide.
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5 Responses to Yesojirca Narrows of the Rio Marañon, Peru

  1. steve miller says:

    Great work!!

  2. Cathy Jo Robison says:

    I never tire looking at your photos, and what a fun video as well!

  3. Pingback: Wasson's Landslide, Rio Marañon, Peru - Britt Runyon Photography

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