Huallaga River

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Huallaga River
Huallaga River.jpg
A view of the Huallaga
Country Peru
Regions Huánuco Region, Loreto Region, Pasco Region, San Martín Region
Mouth Marañón River
Length 1,080 km (671 mi) [1]
 - average 3,800 m3/s (134,196 cu ft/s)
Map of the Amazon Basin with the Huallaga River highlighted

The Huallaga River is a tributary of the Marañón River, part of the Amazon Basin. Old names for this river include Guallaga and Rio de los Motilones. The Huallaga is born on the slopes of the Andes in central Peru and joins the Marañón before the latter reaches the Ucayali River to form the Amazon. Its main affluents are the Monzón, Mayo, Biabo, Abiseo and Tocache rivers. Coca is grown in most of those valleys, which are also exposed to periodic floods.


Although it runs for 700 miles (1,100 km), it remains unnavigable for most part.[2] For nearly its entire length the Huallaga is an impetuous torrent running through a succession of gorges. It has forty-two rapids (pongos) and it crosses the Andes, forming the Pongo de Aguirre gorge. From this point, 140 miles (230 km) from the Amazon, the Huallaga can be ascended by larger river boats (lanchas) to the port city of Yurimaguas, Loreto.

Although there are no defined boundaries, the river is commonly divided into two or three sections. From the town of Tocache in San Martin to the source of the river is generally referred to as the Upper Huallaga. Regions of the river are also referred to as central Huallaga (usually from Tocache or Juanjui to Chazuta), and the lower Huallaga (usually from Chazuta to Yurimaguas where the Huallaga meets the Marañon). These divisions are for general reference, and are independent of the "highland" and "lowland" jungle regions of the Amazon Rainforest.

Between the Huallaga and the Ucayali lies the famous "Pampa del Sacramento," a level region of stoneless alluvial lands covered with thick, dark forests, first entered by Christian missionaries in 1726. It is about 300 miles (480 km) long, from north to south, and varies in width from 40 to 100 kilometers. Many streams, navigable for canoes, penetrate this region from the Ucayali and the Huallaga. In addition to peasants, it is still occupied by many indigenous communities, such as the Cocama-Cocamilla.


The Huallaga River supports a myriad of wildlife and vegetation. The river is especially rich in amphibian life. A total of 18 species of frogs have been recorded from it, including the Prostherapis femoralis, Phyllodromus pulchellus and Dendrobates reticulatus.[3]

Dendrobates reticulatus
Dump Truck Dumping Toxic Medical Waste.png

Unfortunately, the Huallaga River is the site of marine dumping of toxic medical waste from the local hospital.

The OEFA verifies that garbage Tingo Maria is thrown into the Huallaga river by the Provincial Municipality of Leoncio Prado • The municipality OEFA recommendsthe immediate closure of the dump located one kilometer from the city of Tingo Maria. • Also, the OEFA communicate the facts to the Office of the Comptroller General of Colombia and lodged a criminal complaint for environmental crimes to the Public Ministry. Tingo Maria, March 20, 2014.- The Agency for Assessment and Environmental Control (OEFA) will report to officials of the Provincial Municipality of Leoncio Prado and those responsible for severe disease that has been causing to the environment as a result of massive courage solid waste in the dump known as "the Moyuna" located in the district of Rupa Rupa, city of Tingo Maria, province of Leoncio Prado, Huanuco department. Located just one kilometer from the city of Tingo Maria, it is estimated that this landfill has a history of more than 30 years and received a total of approximately 30 to 34 tons of garbage daily. During the special supervision by the OEFA, the presence of informal recyclers accompanied by children and older adults who engage in segregation without protective measures, which seriously jeopardizes their health checked. In this highly hazardous hospital waste dump containing waste from the Hospital biocontaminated of Tingo Maria, which are arranged directly on the Huallaga river by garbage trucks of the municipality they are also deposited. Office of Communications and Citizen CACO – OEFA Source

Lima, March 22, 2016.- The President of the Board of OEFA, Maria Luisa Egúsquiza, was presented today to the Commission on Consumer Protectionand Regulatory Bodies of Public Services of Congress to report on the environmental audit work performing at 42 district municipalities of Lima on solid waste management. During her presentation, Maria Luisa Egúsquiza explained that the OEFA, as governing body of the National System of Evaluation and Environmental Control (Sinefa), oversees that and entities nationwide (Digesa) Local (municipalities) meet and supervise the handling and management municipal solid waste management in the scope of its powers. In addition, the Chairman of the Board of OEFA said the agency regularly publishes the results of supervisions performance of entities environmental audit (EFA) on the management and solid waste management, and informs the public prosecutor or the Comptroller General the Republic facts corresponding, detected in the exercise of supervisory role to the EFA. The highest authority of OEFA noted that currently there is no proper management and management of district municipal solid waste in Lima and most municipalities only meet their formal obligations, such as having the Comprehensive Environmental Management Plan Solid Waste, among others. Finally, Maria Luisa Egúsquiza noted that during 2015 were monitored at 42 district municipalities of Lima, finding deficiencies observed during supervisions carried out in 2013 and 2014 and stated that during 2016 the OEFA continue with this task and gradually informing the public about the environmental performance of their local authorities. Office of Communications and Citizen CACO - Organismo de Evaluación y Fiscalización Ambiental – OEFA Source


Since the 1980s, the primary coca growing and drug trafficking activities in Peru have been in the Upper Huallaga Valley. [1]

The coca is flown to Colombia, where it is used to create cocaine, which is subsequently shipped to the United States.

Vladimiro Montesinos, ex-head of Peru's intelligence service, is reported to have received $50,000 for every plane laden with drugs allowed to leave the Huallaga Valley. [2]

Notable deaths[edit]

Eric Fleming who played trail boss Gil Favor in the long-running Western TV series Rawhide was killed in the Huallaga River. During the shooting of location shots for an MGM film titled High Jungle on the Huallaga River on September 28, 1966, Fleming fell from a capsized dug-out canoe after paddling it beyond the rapids. His body was lost in the turbulent water and was not recovered until three days later.[4]

See also[edit]

Toxic Medical Waste Dumped into the Huallaga River for Over 30 Years


  1. ^ Ziesler, R.; Ardizzone, G.D. (1979). "Amazon River System". The Inland waters of Latin America. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 92-5-000780-9. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Huallaga River". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  3. ^ BOULENQER,, G. A. "On a Collection of Frogs from Yurimaguas, Huallaga River, Northern Peru". Zoological Society of London. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  4. ^ TV Actor Eric Fleming is Drowned, St. Petersburg Times. October 1, 1966

Coordinates: 5°13′33″S 75°44′53″W / 5.22583°S 75.74806°W / -5.22583; -75.74806