Boiling River of Amazon

This post is a part of A-Z Challenge for bloggers, that takes place every year in the month of April. Bloggers take part in this challenge for self improvement and to overcome the “writer’s block”. Each one of us writes one article everyday, starting from the alphabet ‘A’, right up to ‘Z’. My theme for this year’s challenge is – mind-blowing facts and theories.


We’ve heard about stationary geothermal springs / hot springs holding naturally hot water due to nearby volcanic activities. But, ever wondered of a flowing hot river with no nearby volcanoes? Yes, such is the Boiling River of the Amazon river system that flows through Peru!  The total river system is about 9 kilometers in length, but it is the 6.24 kilometers on the lower part of the river that are hot, as hot as 200 degree Fahrenheit or 94 degree Celsius! Another interesting fact about it is that the nearest active volcanic center is over 700 kilometers away!

With maximum temperatures of over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the Boiling River is hot enough to poach your egg—and kill anything that falls into it.

So, what causes the river to be steaming hot? Well, geoscientists are yet to confirm the actual reason(s) behind this boiling hot river, but one of the theories stated by Andrés Ruzo, a geoscientist says ‘Imagine Earth is like a human body, with fault lines and cracks running through it like arteries. These ‘Earth arteries’ are filled with hot water, and when they come to the surface, we see geothermal manifestations – like the boiling river.’

According to local traditions, the Boiling River is a place of tremendous spiritual power. Here, a shaman plays a song to the Spirit of the Vapor, which he believes “carries the prayers of the rocks, jungle, and all creation to their Creator.”

The water gets so hot that when animals fall in it, they are boiled from inside! It could give you third degree burns in less than a second. However, the locals residing in the nearby villages use the water for various purposes such as drinking, cooking & even in making medicines. The water is said to be very clean & consumable.

Wondering if you could visit the hot river? Of course you can! All you need to do is coordinate directly with either of the two healing centers: Mayantuyacu ( or Santuario Huistín ( Each of these groups supplies tourists with their own internal travel tips and recommendations, which should be followed. However, you should also be prepared for very hot (both from the sun and the river) and humid conditions, lots of hiking, bug bites, no air conditioning, no internet or mobile reception. Furthermore, there are many poisonous spiders, scorpions, venomous snakes and poison dart frogs in the area, so please watch your step and stay on hiking trails!






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