Peru's rivers are a source of life, beauty and fun. There is a river for everyone, Dry riverbeds which only receive water during the El Niño phenomenon; there are rivers that are black, ruddy, white and cloudy; salty and bitter; navigable and torrential; tranquil and romantic, or sweeping like the Ucayali and the Amazon Rivers; and even sacred rivers like the Vilcanota, which flows through the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Many of Peru's rivers are born in the Andes. Water trickles down from the glaciers and frigid highland plains, swelling into streams and rivers as it flows ever further from its source. The water that brings life to Peru's territory flows down to the two oceans that surround South America. Before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, some rivers link up with the Amazon River, which features the world's greatest flow-rate (over 170,000 cubic meters per second) and the greatest diversity of fish species (over 2,000 species).
The beauty of Peru's river waters can be found in the canyons they have carved out over the course of centuries, in the waterfalls, in the teeming surrounding plantlife and the variety of fauna species that thrive in their waters.
Some of the most important rivers in Peru include:
The Colca Canyon and Valley - Arequipa
The Cotahuasi Canyon and Valley - Arequipa
The Apurimac Canyon and Valley - Apurimac