Rio Renegado

24 Nov

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 flows of 300 to 700 CFS. Most everything is boat scoutable but an occasional scout or portage may be required due to logs or mini box canyons.

Fields Marshall Rio Renegado

To reach the takeout follow the main road from city of Chillan on Ruta 5 eastwards towards the ski center and hotsprings of Volcan Chillan. The takeout bridge is at Puente Renegado in town of Los Lleques elevation 700 meters. The adjacent Restuarant Renegado provides good cheap hot food and cold beer at the takeout.

To reach the put in continue 8 KM upstream and turn left 300 meters before reaching the entrance to Cueva Los Pincherias. There is a wooden bridge over the river here elevation at 975 meters.

The river drops 275 meters in 8 km or average of 34.5 MPK or 175 FPM. The consistent gradient and mature volcanic streambed makes for good whitewater the whole trip. the rapids towards the end are slightly more difficult than anything in first 6 km.

Hairboaters and waterfall junkies take note: Below the takeout bridge there remains an as yet unrun 2.5 KM stretch down to the Diguillin river at elevation 425 meters with average gradient of 110 mpk or whopping 550 FPM. Puente Blanco lies halfway down this radical stretch providing for good bailout and/or scouting options. We have walked from Puente Blanco on a good trail down to the Diguillin where the river makes it’s boldest statement with first a 5 meter falls into a moving pool followed by final 35 meter plunge into the Diguillin river.

Lower stretch of Renegado viewed from Puente Blanco

35 meter Renegado Falls

While running the Renegado or nearby Diguillin a cool place to stay is the boater friendly Mission Impossible Lodge. the owner is a French kayaker named Bertrand Deschamps. Lodge is located about 15 km up stream of takeout in the Valle Shangri-La. Apart from excellent food the lodge features an indoor climbing wall and skateboard ramp, WIFI internet, 3 hot tubs, views of the Chillan volcano, and a cool form of zipline unique to Chile. Info at or

Topo map of region is 1:50,000 scale titled Recinto 3645-7130

Other nearby rivers include Diguilin, Rio Chillan, Ñuble, Los Sauces, Laja, Perquilaquen

2 Replies to “Rio Renegado

  1. my friend mike elam and I (Joe Cutrer) ran the steep final section from restaurant renegado in los lleuques to Rio Diguillin this past November (2018) !we found a canyon with big waterfalls and ridiculous beauty but we needed slightly more water so as to not have to portage the big ones.the last big one could be good to go if you are a stoutmaster!good luck!

  2. My friend mike Elam and i (joe cutrer) ran the lower renegado below los lleuqes n mid November of last year.2018 It was a class 5-5+ and extremely steep w ish a thirty footer and a bigger one over 50 feet with a lot of good but slightly sketchy steep creeking w occasional tricky portages. We called the 50 ftr throw n gringo because portaging only had one option.a huge throw n go.

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