Chili River Basin, the green lung of Arequipa
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Chili River Basin, the green lung of Arequipa

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Chili River Basin, the green lung of Arequipa

The collective “Arequipa Environmental Productive Group of the Urban Basin of the Chili River (AGRUPA – CURCH)” proposed a project to recover sustainability and increase vegetation in the urban basin of the Chili River. This initiative will preserve the valley and allow the extraction of carbon dioxide, reducing pollution levels in the city.


One of the members of AGRUPA, Juan Francisco Melgar Begazo, emphasized that the coastal mountain of the Chili River guarantees stability and sustainability in Arequipa.


The initiative started 4 months ago. Coordination was made with the National Forestry and Wildlife Service (SERFOR), the National Water Authority (ANA) and the Ministry of Culture (Mincu). It was presented to the Arequipa Regional College of Architects to be published as a proposal to the Regional Government of Arequipa.


Melgar Begazo indicated that in the last 20 years, 20% of the area of ​​the urban basin of the Chili River has been lost. Among the reasons is abandonment and urban developments of different kinds, both formal and informal.



The word Chili derives from the Quechua word “Chiri” which in Spanish means “cold”, and the name is precise because this river is born in the icy heights of Arequipa as a result of the union of the Sumbay and Blanco rivers.

The origin of the Sumbay River, like that of others that arise behind the western mountain range, is not, as is believed, from the melting of snow caps or the derivations of lagoons that do not exist in the area; but rather, from the waters coming from an aquifer located in the Capillune formation, about 200 meters deep between the western and eastern mountain ranges. In the area at the foot of Cerro Chuca, on the border with the Salinas and El Frayle basins, the first traces of water are found, first only as humid terrain, then in small patches of vegetation and finally as outcrops of water that gradually increase. until forming small currents. These reach, at the height of Imata, up to 2000 liters per second, which represents their normal flow during the dry months.

At the source of the Sumbay River, there is a strange geological formation, where the rains and wind have produced whimsical silhouettes that together appear like an ancient petrified town. Curiously, this place is called “Mauca Arequipa” which in Quechua means “Old Arequipa”. It is significant to verify that the river that downstream will give rise to the Arequipa valley is born precisely there.


Where is the Chili River located?

The Chili River is located just 25 to 30 minutes from the Plaza de Armas of Arequipa, where the beautiful Chilina Valley is located, at the foot of the Misti volcano, a place where the Chili River flows free of pollution and in an area formed of impressive walls of volcanic rock. The Chilina valley has an approximate extension of 15 km, it is located between 2493 m and 2578 m in Cayma.


Canoeing in Rio Chili

The Chili is a river with little flow, but it offers a unique experience in the city of Arequipa. This river is ideal for hikers looking for a technical, fast and fun river with class II, III and IV rapids.


Rafting sections

In the Chili River you will find sections with rapids from level I (basic) to level III (intermediate) and 2 rapids of level IV (advanced).


Between Charcani - Carmen Alto: To practice this activity, go to the sector called the Grotto of the Virgin of Chapi in Charcani, located at the head of the Chilina Valley. You will receive an instructive talk on the correct use of the equipment and after taking all the necessary security measures for the development of the activity, begins the descent. The descent into the river is a 6km stretch, which lasts between 1:30 to 2:00 hrs. All in the Chilina Valley with an excellent view of Misti and Chachani, in addition to the volcanic rock formations on the sides of the river. with Class III and IV rapids.


Chachani Circuit: Located near the Misti volcano, this is ideal for those seeking quiet emotions, just 20 minutes from the center of the city of Arequipa. The descent is along a 6 km stretch, and is a fascinating tour in rapids. class I and II for approximately 1 hour and a half, appreciating a varied diversity of fauna and flora, culminating the tour in the Chilina valley 2 kilometers from the city.}


Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.


Going to the San Juan Bautista Waterfall allows you to walk along trails where you can observe the beautiful charm of the Peruvian jungle, scenarios where the flora and fauna seem immersed in a universe foreign to the modern world, and where the only intervention of man is It is manifested in rudimentary bridges that allow communication between the scenarios.


Due to the distance of the land from the nearby town, as well as the natural nature of the area, it is recommended that visits to the waterfall begin at dawn and conclude at 4 in the afternoon at the latest, when the weather is still clear. day.


As the terrain announces, visiting this waterfall is a good reason to bring a camera, trekking shoes, and all the desire to enjoy a unique experience in one of the many, almost virgin, settings of San Martín, and From Peru.

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