ORDER AND CONFIDENCE. Dircetur identified 105 sites where you can safely practice ten types of adventure sports. While only 26 agencies are authorized to offer this type of service.
The Hispanic-Ecuadorian tourist Nathaly Salazar Ayala arrived in Cusco at the end of 2017 and, on January 2 of this year, went to zip line in Maras. Since that day his body is unplayable. That month the guide in high mountain cycling Luis Yépez Cama died when he lost control of his mobility and fell into the Lucumayu river. His body was found in the Vilcanota river.
Three months later, on April 1, Milushka Marisella Pacheco Colquicocha (29) died while practicing zip line. His bad luck was falling into the hands of the same unscrupulous agency that had responsibility in the disappearance of Nathaly: Peru Cusco Zipline. Next to it, the tour guide Vincer Quispe Reyes (23) also died.
Sixteen tourists have died in the last five years practicing adventure tourism in the Cusco region. These are figures from the Regional Directorate of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Dircetur).
At the beginning of 2018, none of the sports were regulated or authorized. Adventure tourism was beyond all control and the companies that provided the service were informal. “It was a sector without any regulations and without any authorized company,” recalled the head of Dircetur, Rosendo Baca.
The death of the tourists and guides forced to correct the deficiency. Dircetur, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism and tourism operators, developed and approved a couple of months ago the zoning that approves 105 sites where ten types of sports can be safely practiced. They are practicable canyoning, horseback riding, cycling, paragliding, bungee jumping, rappelling, zip line, climbing, kayaking and caving in 105 safe areas (see infographic).
Seven out of ten tourists arrive in Cusco to practice some kind of adventure sport. According to Dircetur, on average, 4 418 national and foreign tourists tread on the imperial floor every day. 70% always hires the services of companies dedicated to the provision of adventure tourism services.
The zoning shows that there are more places to practice certain sports. There are 26 declared areas suitable for cycling activity, 22 for horseback riding, 16 for zip line and 13 for kayaking.
The director of Dircetur, Rosendo Baca, highlighted that progress, because “that allows us to sell adventure sports with security”. He added that, unlike at the beginning of the year, when there were no companies authorized for this type of service, there are now 21 agencies with the respective permits. There is another group that started the procedures to obtain their permits.
Having this instrument will help ensure the safety of the thousands of visitors who come to Cusco not only to know the Machupicchu world wonder, but also to experience adventure sports.
Boating is a sport that has its own regulations for several years. It is practiced with more incidence in the Vilcanota river, in the provinces of Quispicanchi and La Convención, and in the Apurímac river in Espinar province.