A Whitewater guide to the rivers of chile

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 […]


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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 […]


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Flying To Chile With Kayaks 2011

For 2010 – 2011 kayak season here is the latest information on flying with kayaks: (Thanks for Stacy Ann Mcbain and Jeff Robinson for collecting this info) Delta – not accepted American -not accepted Horizon – not accepted Air Canada – not accepted Continental, United and US Air have policies: Continental Kayaks Continental Airlines will […]


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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. […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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. […]


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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, […]


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Río Cajón

Volcanic ash and cinders blanket the Río Cajón basin, which lies downwind from Volcán Hudson (1369 m). After laying dormant for twenty years, Hudson erupted in August 1991 wreaking considerable property damage and environmental change in Chile Chico and western Argentina. Meter-thick ash deposits buried a 25 km section of the Carretera Austral. Spend the […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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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 […]


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