Technically this is not South America. But it an’t the lower 48 ether. Anyhow Tutuaca is one of the Northern most of the 22 Canyons that make up the Copper Canyon Region. We explored it in March during low water. It ended up being more of a canyoneering trip. Alpackas were definitely useful. Many sections were filled wall to wall with water. In other sections the abundant cactus would have made it very uncomfortable to walk around. The river drainage is characterized by pool and drops. After the monsoon in November and December it would be flowing at about Class III with a few potential Class IV drops and at least one mandatory portage around a sieve.
The trick with Copper Canyon Rivers is to hit them soon after the monsoon when they are flowing. But don’t go too early. High water might be the least of your worries. There are lots of pot fields guarded with AK 47’s. The harvest is on October and after that you are unlikely to have any trouble.
To see our picks from Tuatuaca go to: http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=155088586/a=25662137_25662137/t_=25662137