|kayaking Chile -
preparations for kayak trip to Chile
This page is not much of an official site of any kind..
this is just one way of looking at going kaykaing in Chile, hopefully
to succeed in spending more time boating
than searching for boating while in country.
list - maps of Chile
Who to go with? Expediciones
120 miles wide, and runs 1800 miles long.
Chile is the land of sik rivers, tasty wines, and wonderful people.
|The rivers of Chile
unlike any in the world.
In Chile's Central Region, you will find a major whitewater river every
The rivers of Chile are winding their way from the Andes to the Pacific
Ocean all up and down the country.
(From Los Andes to Los Angeles there are about 12 major rivers.)
Puerto Montt is a common gathering place - near camping and
accomodations in Puerto Varas.
When traveling to the Rio Futelefu, most travel from Puerto Montt to
Chaiten by small aircraft.
Rio Palena - Class 3 section on the Argentine border.
40 miles of runnable
- surf birds
cerca a Santiago, rio grande, large volume river, brown with glacial
The Rio Maipo is near the town of Santa Barbara - Three hour run
Three runnable tributaries to the Rio Maipo: Rio Colorado, Rio Yeso and
Rio Claro - Los
- just outside Santiago
North out of Santiago:
Andes and Rio
Aconcagua - good at +/- 800cfs
|East of San
||Rio Tinguiririca - grand canyon
like, but with more rapids - best at/near 8000cfs
x location to Puente Negro - 15 mile run done in about two hours
has about 55 miles of whitewater
section one: Rio Portillo 125ft/mile- cacti, desert climate, hot
|south of Santiago
near Los Quenes
|Rio Teno: one drainage south of
Tinguiririca, smaller and more mild than Tinguiririca, begins Class V,
braided section Class III with Class IV at the end - good three hour
run finishes at Los Quenes
Rio Claro: small
tributary of Rio Teno, crystal clear
Rio Lontue: guilded
by private land, great whitewater run, must deal with private land
owners, excellent Class III-IV run, unspoiled and clean, great
playspots, outstanding scenery.
(sometimes driving into Argentina to get to
headwaters runs of the Pucon is necessary)
|Trancura Alto Alto: 6
miles long, Class IV and V-, portage involved
Rio Alto Trancura:
Class IV-V with portage
Rio Bajo Trancura:
(heavily rafted) Class III - Pool drop 1000cfs
* fun fact: Volcan Villaricca lurks above spewing smoke and fire.
taxi to put-in and take out
15 foot seal launch put-in and ropes required for portage
Upper Palguin - short, popular creek run near Pucon
Middle Palguin - (1km) - less-frequently run (3 Major drops)
Lower Palguin -(2km)
Upper Rio Fuy - two hours from Pucon
Rio San Pedro:
somewhere between Los
Lagos and Osorno
III , 10 miles, big water, pool drop from Lago Rinihue to Pucono.
*Notes: warm water from Lake Riñihue, (2 hours out of Pucon)
Rio Cisnes: class
Rio Gol Gol HW 215
from Osorno to near the Argentine border.
Notes: jungle boating all the way, lots of scouts,
big drops and consequences for the unprepared
The Lakes District
camping: Cara Del Indio
(owned by the family of Louis Toro)
town of Choshuenco - base for the Rio Fuy
returning: express bus to Chaiten, a small plane from
Chaiten to Puerto Montt, another plane to Santiago, and then the
international flight home.
located 66km NE of Puerto Montt
run is from town of Petrohue to Saltos del Petrohue
Great views of Volcano Orsorno
Rio Alto Petrohué
Puerto Varas) Class IV
Rio Bajo Petrohué (near Puerto Varas)
Rio Alto Fuy begins
on Lake Pirihueico near town of Puerto Fuy, smaller river than the Rio
Bajo Fuy. Technical and junky. Final three miles: 30' waterfall, 15'
ledge, and 15' ramp, 12' ledge and 15' waterfall.
Good place to do laps and spend time.
Rio Bajo Fuy about 5 miles long, fairly continuous -
putin at the meadow above main bridge.
Loads of fun IV/V drops. Good
(south of Puerto Montt)
volume: 15,000cfs +, big drops with long and involved Class V +/-
The most difficult Class V Inferno
Canyon - about a mile long vertical canyon, no hiking out, followed by
Zeta, the Throne room (usually portaged)
Swift moving flatwater to the Terminator (Class V left-hand
sneak), followed by a big drop, the the Himilayas (20' breaking waves),
easy water, the Kitchen (long Class IV+), Pipeline, Mundaca, Mas o
Menos, and Casa de Piedra.
Journeys to the Rio Futaleufu can take three days
from Pucon. (three busses and one ferry)
note: Rio Futaleufu joins the Rio Azul
Base towns: Esquel and Bariloche
Rio Azul: a great river in a beautiful region.
December can be rainy - making camping difficult
January is high water month with lots of big water Class V
In the Bariloche area, there is a great five day selfsupport kayak trip
on the Rio Manso.
From Hullflyer on Mountainbuzz:
"The magic carpet should be in by
early Feb. and
usually stays around until it starts raining again in March. May I
suggest instead of using expediciones Chile that you call on the
services of Aren and Sara Rane who happen to have the best access to a
play wave, only a mile from the put-in for the Terminator stretch and
Aren is the best kayak guide on the Futa. He's got a great camp way
sunnier than Spe's camp a real house to cook in and hot showers on
demand and a homemade stone hot tub that absoulutely rocks!
If you are interested in the Futa these are the locals to call
upon. Aren and Sarah have been down there for 7 seasons and know the
area and if the Futa is too big they will find another river to paddle
like the Michamuida or the Azul which is in their front yard.
Your call, but good beta either way.
||Rio Bio Bio (near Santa
Barbara) runs North-South
volume: up to 20,000cfs +
Upper Bio Bio Section - 3 days
Nireco Canyon Section - drops: Jugbuster, Lost Yak, and Lava South
(Class V, pool drop)
Cien Saltos Section - 100 Waterfalls, big water Class IV thru beautiful
This section is threatened by dams! The Royal Flush gorge is no longer.
9km above the hotsprings (takeout) is the start of the Class IV
sections above this are Class I~ III
|Ocean Kayak Surfing at
Pichilemu - point break
|Rio Laja - 300cfs creek
with 300 feet/mile - Good Class IV+
Kayak Pack List
paddles, skirt, helmet,
pfds, pin kit, earplugs, throw rope, lighter colored paddling gear, cam
straps, ropes, sunglasses, sleeping bag, bivy sack, mountain gear,
cash, passport, cold weather paddling gear and a good handle on spanish
When to go:
Different rivers have varying seasons, so the estimates for best
paddling season according will vary according to latitude/region.
For most of Chile,
December through January will be good to go, extending into Feb /early
Rio Futelafu might be best to plan visiting in late February and early
- be warned of the Colihuachoes - (large hoorseflies) -
they are attracted to dark colors. These flies can make life
February is the Chilean summer, making it
Traveling from Puerto Montt to Santiago (12 hours of travel) -
get tickets on a sleeper bus
There is a freight arm of the bus company that can ship boats from
Puerto Montt. (Easy enuff to find - talk to anyone in Puerto Montt.)
rain 300 day/year -population 1000 - wide gravel roads, simple
office of ChaiTours - which is the bus to the Futaleufu
Chaiten Hospedaje: Casa de Rita
bring your own cam straps if you're traveling with your boat, will need
Temuco to Pucon - two hours
Rio Azul or Cara del Indio campground - popular gathering point for
Hiring a driver: can host $135~$150/day - including gas and road tolls
- Gas prices avg: $2.11/gal