A Whitewater guide to the rivers of chile

Rio Huepíl

  Meaning rainbow in local language the Huepíl is nailbiting run through an overlooked part of Chile´s 8th region… The river would normally have paltry flows in summer months but due to hydrological rerouting water from both the Rio Molcho and Rio Laja are diverted into the Huepíl to supply the agricultural needs of central […]

Rio Polcura

A classic multi-day run in Chiles South Central Andes which has all the good stuff you want in a river trip. The river flows basically south through the Reserva Nacional Ñuble in Chile´s 8th region. Towering snow peaks provide for good snowpack and longer boating season than many nearby rivers. Packing it in For years […]

Rio Ñiblinto

The Ñiblinto is a newly found classic flowing of the NorthWest flank of the Chillan Volcano in Chile´s Central Andes. The class 4-5 run features crsytal-clear, cold water and a mature granite streambed. Apart from one misplaced tree all drops were runnable on the Nov 2, 2011 first descent where we estimated a very manageable […]

Rio Cato

The Rio Cato is mellow, class 3, low elevation drainage in Chile´s south central Andes located immediately to the south of it´s more famous neighbor the Rio Ñuble. The beautiful valley makes up for the lack of challenging whitewater and boat hiking is the only means to get up the river. To arrive from Chillan […]

Rio Chillan

The crystal clear water flowing of the Western Flank of the Nevados de Chillan Volcano (3212 Meters above sea level)are perfectly matched with basalt sluiceways, making for fun class 3-4 kayak run. The Rio Chillan is a winter and early spring run in Chile´s 8th Region. We ran the river in late October with around […]

Rio Ñirementum

The Rio Ñirementum is a journey deep into Chile´s traditional Mapuche culture. The river is within the boundaries of the Cañicu Indigenous clan, one of several in the Queuco valley in the country´s 8th Region. The name means ¨place of foxes¨. Puente Ñirementum This walk in creek is only runnable in winter or early spring […]

Rio Quillaleo

One of many overlooked tributaries of the Bio Bio in Chile´s 8th Region. The Quillaleo (pronounce Ki-yah-leh-yo) is an upper tributary of the Huequecura, which enters the Bio bio downstream of the Queuco confluence. Rio Quillaleo The Quillaleo has its headwaters in the Cordillera Tricauco with the most outstanding peak being the snowcapped behemoth Cerro […]

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 […]

Río Llanquén

While paddling down the still free flowing stretch of the Upper Bío-Bío, the magnificent view of Volcán Callaqui (3050 m) first comes into view at the confluence with the Río Llanquén. This little drainage offers a fun, short, steep creek run. . The tight moves in the narrow streambed require precise boat placement to avoid […]

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 […]

Rio Malleco

Accumulating first in a lake on the flanks of Volcan Tolhuaca, the Rio Malleco then plunges off a breathtaking 50 meter (165′) falls before starting its western journey towards the Pacific Ocean. It is at the base of Salto Malleco that the whitewater journey begins. Nathan Sullivan first ran this in early December of 2004 […]

Rio Diguillin

The Diguillín River (pronounced Dee-Gee-Yin) is a low volume winter/spring run in Chile’s 8th region. Having a granite streambed, crystal clear water, and fun pool-drop rapids, makes the Diguillín an attractive springtime option. Nestled into a canyon at the base of the Chillan Volcano (3212 meters), the Diguillín receives it’s water from the peaks located […]

Rio Nuble

Rio Nuble near Chillan, Chile. Class three and four. 16km upper section. Class 3 and 4 with long stretches of flatwater.