The small town of Lunahuana is now experiencing many more visitors, due to the incredible activities available in this beautiful part of Peru, close to Cañete. From rafting class V rapids to impressive zip lines; haunted houses to wine tasting, there really is something for everyone in this small adventure hub called Lunahuaná in Peru. Lunahuana may be famous for its magnificent white-water rafting, however, there are many other things to do and many other attractions to visit and enjoy. It is a destination for adventure of course, but there happen to be other more cultural activities for the lesser adventurous also. On the plaza, there’s a fine colonial church with a cool interior and a sky-blue wooden vaulted ceiling. Close by there’s a Peruvian dressage school (Caballos de Paso), a traditional hanging bridge, plus rustic pisco haciendas, such as the Bodega Fidelina Candela. Read on for what to do in Lunahuana.
Of course, white water rafting is the main attraction that attracts people to Lunahuaná. Ask any outdoors enthusiasts in Peru and they’ll invariably recommend Lunahuaná, especially considering its proximity to Lima, making it only a day trip away. During the winter months (June, July, and August) the river is relatively calm when compared to the swelled river you’ll find during the summer months (December, January, and February). You’ll find a spot for whatever you want to do, even for the most experienced river rafters.
Lunahuana is not just about rafting, it is also home to a large vineyard, where excellent quality “uvina” grapes provide us with the national drink of Pisco. Is included in the Pisco Route which is part of a new tour circuit that is being promoted more and more to promote the local tipple.
In the Pueblito Catapalla, just outside of Lunahuana, is one of the region's oldest wineries called La Reyna de Lunahuana. Here, you can tour the grounds and participate in a tasting of pisco and their artisanal wine. Just remember that Peruvian wine is very sweet, so make sure to specify what type of wines you like. They might be able to find something that suits your palate. Pass through several small bodegas and see how the owners and producers are working with the passion that is a characteristic of those lovers of good drinks, like wine or pisco.
Along the south coast, there are a number of archaeological sites, most of which are not in the best condition, such as Cerro Azul. However, Incahuasi is one of the rare sites that is still largely intact. The site was a military base of the Inca king Túpac Yupanqui. These remarkable ruins date back to the 15th century and are located on the outskirts of Lunahuana.
Local villagers tell stories about the “Casa Encantada”, and that it was built and inhabited for a short time by their owners until they died in a very disturbing manner when during the Pacific War, soldiers marched into this house and brutally killed the house’s owner and his family. It is said that if approached at night, you can see apparitions and hear wailing inside the home which has given rise to a local legend that there are ghosts in the house. From the main room of the house, you can see through the window the wide valley of Lunahuaná. In the photos you can see parts of the interior of the house and can learn all about the fables and ghostly past of the famous haunted house and its inhabitants.
The ziplines at Lunahuana, are some of the longest in all of Peru and traverse over Rio Cañete. The five full lines cover over 2,500 meters. If you’re looking to get your adrenaline going again after river rafting, these lines are your best bet to soar over the river and surrounding countryside, for an eagle-eyed view.
If you are not afraid of heights, you can rappel and abseil, which consists of descending a wall, generally made of rock, sliding down a rope little by little. You control the speed with your arms because you have to let go of the rope, to gain more speed. Gloves will be provided and there is always a safety rope controlled by the guide so that no matter how much you let go, you won’t fall. In the hills of Lunahuana, there are rocky areas where they have installed a 32-meter-long rappel system. You’ll drop down the face of a cliff side and slowly descend, as you stare at the ground below getting increasingly larger.
Bike rides through the town of Lunahuana, and the surrounding area is the perfect way to see all that Lunahuana has to offer. You can ride through the plaza and check out all the buildings as you make your way to the Inca archaeological sites. You can rent bikes in town from agencies to explore the town to the full.
This activity can be done all year round, and besides rafting, is the most requested by all visitors to Lunahuaná. All the appropriate safety precautions are included and each group has its own instructor.
Lunahuana has purpose-built circuits for ATVs, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, which is another way to explore this marvelous adventure activity town.