A Whitewater guide to the rivers of chile

Rio El Tigre

Located near the Argentinian border in the Patagonian province of Palena in Chile´s 10th Region de los Lagos, The Rio El Tigre serves as a major tributary of the Palena. The run features good road side class 2-3 boating with outstanding fishing and scenery plus a more challenging class 4 stretch accessible only by boat […]

Rio Corcovado

The headwaters of Chile´s Rio Palena are found in the Chubut region of Argentina where the river is called the Corcovado or the Carrenleufú . Kayaker Eva Luna Ramirez There are three distinct sections to the river. The upper, seldom run class 4-5 stretch requires permission to enter Estancia Tecka 7 KM below Sectional Caridad […]

Rio Curaco

Draining Lago Colico in Chile’s 9th region is a continuous, friendly class 2-3 whitewater river best run in winter or early summer only when lake is full at peak snowmelt. Since the river is lake fed its volume changes very little in summer even after large rainfall. The river is very clear and not so […]

Río Bío-Bío (El Nacimiento)

The famed Bío-Bío, Chile’s second longest river, originates in the heart of Mapuche-Pehuenche territory. The nacimiento, or birthplace of the river, is primeval and unforgettable. Araucarias, one of the Earth’s three oldest surviving tree species, stand sentinel along a shore framed by distant peaks straddling the border between Chile and Argentina. Float this headwater run […]

Río Bío-Bío (Lower)

Although the upper canyons now lay dormant under man made reservoirs, the lowest section of the Bío-Bío still offers intermittent whitewater, easy access, and pleasant scenery and a reminder of what was lost upstream. Its class II-III rapids will challenge, terrify, and delight the novice. During the mellow interludes, you will have plenty of time […]

Río Palena

The Palena is a beautiful, although blustery, multi-day trip with nary a trace of whitewater. A dense pall of fog clings to Volcán Melimoyú (2400 m), the lofty summit that overlooks the lower river west of the Carretera Austral. Much of the forest is uncut, having escaped the fire-ravaged scenarios in other parts of Patagonia. […]

Río Simpson (Cajón de Farrellones)

Cajón de Farellones is a good run flowing through Reserva Nacional Río Simpson. This section courses through a secluded canyon featuring some occasional pool-drop rapids and playful holes between all the of flatwater. More class II-III rapids lie upstream of the put-in, with access from a bridge on the road to the Coihaique airport. The […]

Rio Baker (Lower)

Following description was provided by former Sobek river guide Monty Becker In contrast to the tumultuous whitewater upstream, the lower Baker is a beautiful, muy tranquilo, multi-day float through the heart of central Patagonia. The first descent of the river in 1983 by Francisco Valle and Luis Ortega was part of their epic, month-long circumnavigation […]

Rio Enco

Like the beads of a lapis lazuli necklace, Lagos Riñihue, Panguipulli, Neltume and Pirehuico are linked together by the Rios San Pedro, Enco, Neltume, and Fuy. For beginning kayakers, the Enco is a good place to practice the basics of ferry angles, eddy turns, bracing, and rolling, with little manuevering required in the wide-open rapids. […]

Rio Tolten

The Rio Tolten is a scenic float and a fisherman’s paradise. The river has no big rapids but has very continuous current with some pushy turbulent whirlpools and eddy lines. It is a great river to do with children and on family outings. The put in is at the exit of Lago Villarrica (213 meters […]

Rio Espolon

The Espolon is a mellow float with some occasional play and spectacular water quality. For 20 years the river has been a favorite training run for beginner kayakers visiting the Futaleufú area. With easy roadside access and close proximity to the town of Futaleufú the river sees a surprising number of visitors in the summer […]

Rio Futaleufu (Macal section)

The Futaleufú river is known globally for its big volume and furious rapids. Until people visit and get to know the area they are often unaware that more mellow sections of the river exist. For those groups traveling with children, fishermen, or beginning boaters the lower Macal stretch makes for a nice float. Pablo, Diego, […]

Rio Azul

The Azul is a nice class 2-3 run to do in the Futaleufu area. Access is relatively easy for put in and take out. The run is best done with water in early season (November/December) or after a heavy rain. Local rafting outfits often take their clients on Ducky trips of the river and several […]