A Whitewater guide to the rivers of chile

Rio Pichapinga or Llaima

Known as the Rio Pichapinga in it´s upper section and Rio Llaima in the lowers stretch this is a winter/springtime creek run in Chile´s 9th Region de la Aruacania. The river flows northwest of the flanks of Nevados de Solipulli into the Allipén drainage. Put in bridge Directions: It is a 2.5 hour drive from […]

Rio Mañio

This river also called the Rio Nalcalhue (and in its lower sections the Zahuil or Huanehue) is only boatable after extremely heavy rains or during winter high water season. The river is born in the Cordillera de Quinchilca whose largest peak (Cerro Colohue) is 1632 meters above sea level. The river flows from East to […]

Rio Huichahue

When the winter rains hit Chile there are a ton of rivers to kayak that are dry in the summer months…One of these is the Huichahue Ben May Rio Huichahue Located in the 9th region of the Araucania, the river flows out of the Cordillera Melo just west of the Llaima Volcano. It is a […]

Rio Llancahue (Lower)

Jared Seiler dropping the “Suavemente” aka “Purty Thirty” at the start of the Lower section. The Rio Llancahue located on the southeastern slope of Volcan Villarica is reached via Conaripe.  It is roughly an hour and a half drive from Pucon. It is easily found by following signs to the famous hot springs “Termas Geometricas”. […]

Rio Curacalco

A Native Mapuche word perhaps meaning ¨rock magic¨ Cura-rock, Calcu-witchcraft Located in the comuna de Cunco, Region de la Araucania, Chile´s 9th region… A low elevation run flowing off the north western flank of the permanent snowfields of Nevados de Solipulli with adequate water levels in the winter-early spring months from August to mid October […]

Rio Codihue

A fun creek run flowing off the Cordillera Huerere into the Northwestern corner of Lago Colico in Chile´s 9th Region de la Araucania. The roadside run is low volume with good gradient, and crystal clear water flowing through a still predominantly native forest. Codihue is a local Mapuche (Mapudungun) word meaning ¨place of rocks¨ Class […]

Rio Claro (Pucon)

The Rio Claro is a small creek in downtown Pucon..It is more of a novelty run for locals in the winter months or when everything else is too high.. Logistics are absolutely simple. The creek flows off the NE flank of Villarrica Volcano and is a source of Pucon´s drinking water. It is 3 KM […]

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 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 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 […]

Trancura-Lower

The lower Trancura is Pucón’s local playground and sports the most popular day raft trip in the country. This section of river is also popular with Kayakers, duckies, shredders and Hidrospeed river boards. On any given summer day dozens of raft trips will be challenging its class 3 rapids. Year round flows, a paved shuttle […]

Estero Coilaco

Another run in Pucon area this one is pretty small and is therefore called an Estero instead of a Rio. Apart from the Ojos de Carburgua and the infamous “MP” this is probably the most popular park and huck. From Pucon cross the Trancura over Puente Meterenehue and continue 8 KM and make the turn […]

Rio Llancalil.

This river, although interesting, is not worth going out of your way for. If you are in the Pucon area and more specifically up near the headwaters of the Liucura near the “Los Posones” or Termas de Huife hot springs you might want to check it out. Polk Deters on Llancalil portage To get to […]

Rio Sollipulli

Flowing off of the permanent snow fields of Sollipulli is an ice cold tributary of the upper Maichin. It is short, not very difficult but incredibly beautiful. I ran this with Zack “Del Sapo” Cowen in early December 2004 I would not go out of way to run this river but given its simple logistics […]

Rio Blanco (de Caburgua)

This novelty run is only for those curious folks who are in the Pucon area and have already done every river imaginable. It is one of dozens of rivers named Rio Blanco in Chile. I first looked at this river in 1994 but it was almost impossible to scout. Although there is a road above […]

Rio Puesco

Tumbling off the flanks of the magnificent 3717 meter Volcan Lanin are the headwaters of Pucon’s Trancura River. While lower sections of the river close to Pucon see hundred’s of daily visitors from the numerous rafting companies, the upper reaches of the river are rarely explored. At a distance of only 67 KM from Pucon […]

Rio Palguin (Upper)

The Upper Palguín is one of Chile’s premier waterfall runs. A partial first descent was made in February 1990 by John Foss and Christine Blask. Two years later John returned with Dave Black, John Mattson and Kurt Casey to complete the run. Today the river is a popular day trip with visiting kayakers to the […]

Ri­o Maichin

The crystal clear, iridescent waters of the Maichí­n are home to one of the Pucón area’s classic rivers. Set in an incredibly beautiful canyon the Maichí­­n has everything one could ask forsolid class 4/5 whitewater, excelent fishing, natural streambed, consistent flow, and easy access. Maichí­n in the local dialect of the Mapuche signifies “To make […]

Rio Panqui

The Ri­o Panqui is another Pucon springtime waterfall run. Although the river is referred to by local gringo boaters as the “Spank-me”, the orgin of the name is derived from the local Mapuche language and means Puma. The river comes froma relatively low drainage so only runs in winter and spring or during the summer […]

Rio Carhuello

This springtime gem is right in the Pucon area. It was first run until the winter of 1994 when locals Robby Dastin, Gigo Castillo and Rick Bravo made the initial exploration. Several days of rain are required make this small catchment runnable. The stretch that is commonly run is 4 km or less in length […]