We went to Cuñumbuque a few days ago, a small town about half an hour away from Tarapoto. The plan was to go swimming in the river before watching the motonauticos. To be honest, I wasn’t too sure what that meant, but it sounded strangely like jet skis….
Jet Ski Tarapoto, Peru
Cuñumbuque is a nice little town and the river there is wide and good for swimming, at least in parts. You need to be a bit careful with the current or you could soon end up 10 miles downriver. Anyway, we were swimming and talking and eating giant juanes as you do on these occasions. The fabled motonauticos (which were indeed jet skis) were running about 5 hours later and people were beginning to question their existence.
So, having had a few beers and forgotten about the jet skis, everyone down by the river was nice and relaxed. Until, that was, 5 jet skis came shooting round the bend in the river, forcing everyone to flee to the banks (kind of like in Jaws when the shark is sighted).
The jet skis shot up and down the river, pulling a few tricks and occasionally wiping out, much to the enjoyment of the gathered crowd. It was a surreal sight, sat there in the jungle watching these things fly by. But you have to give the riders credit; they put on a good show and even took people for rides at the end.
A Regular Tarapoto Event in Cuñumbuque and Beyond
Apparently, these guys do this quite often on various stretches of river around Tarapoto. Sometimes there is an admission fee to go watch them, but otherwise it’s free. I’d seen a jet ski before in the grounds of the Punta Verde resort – it turns out that the owner of the resort (or a family member, I’m not sure) was one of the guys at Cuñumbuque. It doesn’t seem to be advertised or anything, so if you want to see them putting on their show it might be best to head down to Punta Verde and ask about it.
It may not make for the most tranquil jungle river experience, but it’s a good excuse to head down to the river for the day.
Hi, Tony nice comments abouth my hometown…regards from Denmark..We miss Tarapoto so much..
Hey Tony! I’m from the United States, and my Peruvian girlfriend and I are looking at visiting Tarapoto in March. I came across your blog and am hoping that you might be willing to offer us some suggestions regarding our trip.
What are some must-see places to visit in or nearby Tarapoto or things that we should definitely do when we visit?
Would you recommend that we stay at a resort and have them organize everything through one of their vacation packages (3 days/2 nights, all-inclusive, etc.) or would it be easy enough to try and organize everything on our own when we arrive in Tarapoto?
Thanks in advance for your help!
I’m trying to find the time to write more about the various sights around here but I keep on getting side-tracked with other writing commitments. However… I’m heading to Lima in a couple of days because my entire family are coming to visit; I’m planning on taking them to all the best places (some of which I haven’t even made it to yet), taking photos and then writing about them all here – so stay tuned.
There are loads of spectacular waterfalls (Tununtunumba, Ahuashiyacu) and lakes (Laguna Azul in Sauce) to visit nearby and small towns/villages like Lamas and Chazuta. There are plenty of good swimming spots, either at the resorts/recreos or in the rivers.
I’m not too keen on resorts in general, but that really is just a personal preference. There are plenty of nice looking hotels in town and they’ll give you all the advice you need about where to go and how to get there. Everything in and around Tarapoto can be seen independently using public transport or by hiring a motorbike. I guess you both speak Spanish (your girlfriend for sure!) so arranging trips independently won’t be a problem. There are tour operators in town who can set up any trips (including river rafting), but for most things you can do it alone.
If you are really pressed for time then it could be worth considering tours etc, but overall I’d say it’s not necessary.
Anyway, you’ve got me itching to get some more info up on this blog, so I’ll do my best in the next few weeks to cover some of the best places to visit.
Thanks for the advice Tony!
Enjoyed the visit to your site, the jet ski photographs and enjoyed the tips on web writing,
sounds like a great day to me – I enjoyed this article – nice picture