A Whitewater guide to the rivers of chile

Rio Iculpe

A new classic flowing off the northern flanks of the Puyehue Volcano (2240 meters) in Chile’s Region de Los Rios. The river feeds into southern shore of Lago Ranco. Fields Marshall below first drop This small volume creek has easy access and requires little water to make it runnable. The volcanic riverbed provides for multiple […]

Rio Hueinahue

The Hueinahue makes a bold statement 7.5 KM before it enters Lago Mahuie. Here the river tumbles over a spectacular bedrock falls before joining the Rio Remahue and flowing into the lake. The Rio Remahue (which contains about two thirds of the combined flow) makes an even bolder statement plunging over 200 meters just above […]

Rio Pangue

Most people think of the Bio Bio River drainage and envision the three large dams choking a once magnificent river. While true, smaller volume, free-flowing, whitewater opportunities are still abundant in the Bio Bio watershed. Once such gem is the Rio Pangue which has remarkably easy logistics. This creek run flows of the Southern flank […]

Rio Las Truchas

The Rio Las Truchas is one of the few multi-day river trips in Chile and features both outstanding whitewater and spectacular scenery. It is an upper tributary of the  Ñuble River (see separate description) and needs to be run with spring and early summer snow melt so best from late September to mid/late November with […]

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 […]

Rio Caunehue

A short burst of paddling in the Futrono Zone. Best during highwater springtime run off or after periods of sustained rain. Caunehue whitewater This short class IV+ stretch is on the northern shore of Lago Ranco just east of the town of Futrono in Chile’s recently created Region XIV aptly called Region de Los Rios. […]

Rio Trafanpulli

A rumbling steep creek coming off the permanent snowfields of Nevados de Solipulli is the Rio Trafanpulli. In local Mapadungo language the meaning is “junction of the valleys”. French kayaker Valentin Grollemund I first started looking at this creek in 1995 but it was not until 2009 that I was able to get back to […]

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 […]

Rio Renegado

The Renegado is a seldom run creek that plummets off of Volcan Chillan (3186 meters). It is small so usually gone by beginning of December but might come up in summer months after several days of heavy rain. Mellow takeout on the Renegado The normal stretch is a class 4, 8 km section with ideal […]

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 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 Manso (Nahual Huapi)

Written by Greg Moore The emerald Río Manso flows through a wild canyon in Parque Nacional Nahual Huapi (Mapuche for “Tiger Island”) south of the ski resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. The river drains the southeast flank of Monte Tronador (3491 m) (‘Thunderer’ or ‘Anon’ in Mapuche, whose meaning is almost identical […]

Río Cisnes (Piedra del Gato)

Boaters migrating down the Carretera Austral inevitably flock to the Piedra del Gato overlook to check out the Río Cisnes. For good reason, this roadside canyon is a great place to unwind and stretch your legs after circumventing the southwest corner of Cordillera Queulat. If you decide to paddle the Cisnes, you’ll find some tough, […]

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 Blanco (Cerro Castillo)

The Río Blanco cuts through canyons of geology run amok in the northeastern sector of Reserva Nacional Cerro Castillo. The most prominent peak in the park, Cerro Castillo (2675 m), was so named because its craggy ridges and basalt turrets resemble a medieval castle. For the geology enthusiast, the river corridor offers a cornucopia of […]

Río Petrohué (Upper)

The Río Petrohué drains Lago Todos los Santos in Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales. It is the largest park in the Chilean Lake District and adjoins Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi in Argentina to form one of the biggest contiguous tracts of protected trans-Andean wilderness in South America. Established in 1926, it is the second oldest […]

Rio Cisnes (Upper)

Don’t be fooled by the low average gradient on the upper Cisnes. Its citadel rock walls reverberate with the roar of great whitewater rising from the abyss. Located east of the Carretera Austral, this precipitous canyon forms the southeastern boundary of Parque Nacional Queulat. Although off the beaten, dusty track, the magnificence of this canyon […]

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 Figueroa

Bordering the northern edge of Parque Nacional Queulat, the Río Figueroa flows through a beautiful valley of old growth forest. Cordillera Queulat and Sierra Negra peek above the horizon. Excluding some excellent drops in the gorge above Puente Figueroa (which is on Rio Pico), most of the run contains intermittent class II-III boulder garden rapids. […]