A Whitewater guide to the rivers of chile

nublefest 2010 in chile

A river festival to help save and protect the nuble river is taking place in San Fabian de Alico November 18-20 Jon Clark has just setup a blog here —http://www.nublefest.blogspot.com/ The nuble is one the most beautiful ( big warm blue water ) and friendliest (safe ) rivers in Chile and is currently under threat […]

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 […]

Rio Dillo

To reach the put-in from Curracautín go west on the paved road towards Victoria and you will cross Puente Dillo in 4-1/2 kilometers (first you will pass over Puente Amantible). After crossing the bridge immediately turn right and drive up a private road until you reach a locked gate. We were given permission from landowner […]

Rio Captren

The Captren flows off the snow-covered, north western flank of Volcan Llaima (3125 meters) and has it’s headwaters within The Parque Nacional Conguillio at Laguna Captren. The river, however, is not runnable in its upper reaches but instead provides the right combination of gradient and flow for it’s final 3 km descent to the confluence […]

Rio Blanco (Cautín)

The Rio Blanco is an easy access, class 3 run flowing off the snowfields on the southern flank of Volcan Tolhuaca. Tolhuaca Volcano view from put in The run is best done during peak spring runoff or after extended periods of heavy rain. The water is ice cold. It is perhaps the only run in […]

Rio Calbuco

Draining the South Western flank of Volcan Llaima (3125 meters) is the deceivingly innocent Rio Calbuco. After meandering thru braided debris flows coming off the flanks of the volcano, the river tightens up at Puente Calbuco for it’s thundering 8 km descent to the confluence with Rio Quepe below town of Cherquenco. Fields Marshall at […]

Río Fuy (Lower)

Flowing warm and transparent out of Lago Pirehueico deep in the heart of Chile’s Lake District, the Fuy’s astonishing clarity is a sight to behold. With a dense canopy of coihue trees overhanging its banks, the river has an exotic, even ethereal, Gondwanaland feel to it. Michael Shields crashing thru the wavetrain below Puente Huilo-Huilo […]

Río Petrohué (Lower)

The lower Petrohué is a popular commercial raft trip and a good run for intermediate kayakers. Its wide-open rapids require a minimum of maneuvering to negotiate safely. Surfing the warm, azure waves entail backing down and stroking hard because there are few convenient eddies. Calm interludes allow ample time to gaze at the lofty heights […]

Río Claro (Tinguiririca)

This tributary of the Tinguiririca features great views of the Cordilleras Rubiana and Huemulina, good class III whitewater, and a wealth of desert wildflowers in the spring. Aspiring intermediate boaters will enjoy this river. On our only run, we had a scratchy flow of 7-10 cms. With more water, its pool-drop rapids would undoubtedly get […]

Rio Cachapoal (Lower)

The lower Cachapoal flows into the Coya industrial zone. None of the rapids are very difficult, and all are boat-scoutable from eddies. Beware of a collapsed bridge on river left approximately 1 km upstream from the take-out. Because of all the dams. Diversions and mining activity the river does not live up to the standards […]

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 […]

Río Simpson (Lower)

The lower Simpson flows through a glacially scoured valley that forms the northern boundary of Parque Nacional Río Simpson, and the southern extant of Reserva Nacional Coihaique. Vertical crags, plummeting waterfalls, virgin temperate rainforest, and a lush floral carpet of colorful wildflowers provide a picturesque panorama while driving through the valley. The mellow whitewater sports […]

Rio Clarillo (Tinguiririca)

This description was written by Greg Moore The Clarillo’s clear water, fun class III pool-drop rapids, and lack of flat water make for an enjoyable run. This small drainage only has boatable flows in the spring when the desert is in bloom. For the ambitious boat hiker, numerous other clear water tributaries of the Tinguirririca […]

Rio Teno

Like a cement truck, the Teno’s cold, gray torrent churns through a short, sheer-walled canyon 22 km above Los Queñes. This mini-gorge sharply contrasts with the glacially-carved valley above and below it. Virtually the entire run is visible from the road that parallels the river. Portage around an ugly combination of sieves, logs, and a […]

Rio Mañihuales

At low water, the Mañihuales sports several good play spots amidst a few class III–IV rapids that can be partially scouted from the road that parallels the river. Clear, green water courses through a spacious, pastoral valley offering great views of distant peaks. Its wide riverbed indicates a potentially good big water run in the […]

Río Jeinemeni

The Rio Jeinemeni flows through a very unique part of Chile. Located in Aiysen in the 11th Region of Southern Patagonia, the Jeinemeni is one of the upper tributaries of the Baker and empties its waters into South America´s second largest lake Lago general Carrera at 202 meters above sea level. Born in the glaciers […]

Río Machín (Upper)

The best stretch of boating on the upper Maichín consists of a section of a class III-IV rapids above Puente Basas. Approximately 1 km below the put-in, the river flows through a 1.5 km long-columnar basalt gorge. The drops are straightforward and boat scoutable from eddies. The cold, clear river flows through a bucolic countryside […]

Rio Cautin

This is a 9 km run with a drop of 124 meters or average of 16 m/km (80 FPM). Best run in spring or early summer when flows exceed 700 CFS but can also be run well into summer at lower flows. The river originates from the snowfields on Volcan Lonquimay 2865 meters so the […]

Rio Queuco

Lying on the doorstep of the lower Bío-Bío, the Río Queuco is one of the most overlooked, easy-access rivers in Chile. Flowing beneath the towering granitic heights of Cerro LaPepa (1853 m) and the Cordillera Tricauro, the Queuco sports a 15 to 25 km stretch of continuous, boulder-garden rapids normally runnable until mid-January. Plan on […]