Teno River

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Quick Facts

  • Class: Class III/IV with Class V/VI in the upper canyon
  • Distance: 11 miles (17 km)
  • Average Gradient: 75 feet/mile (15m/km)
  • Maximum Gradient: saltos/waterfalls
  • Temperature: cold
  • Water Quality: good, usually silty
  • Character: saltos up top, narrow and constricted, then widening, gravel and rocks in the riverbed
  • Nearby Rivers: Lontue River, Tinguiririca River

General Description

The Rio Teno River flows north of the city of Curico, in Region VII, Maule. It is a tributary of the Rio Lontue and confluences with the Lontue to the west of the city. The principle kayak run is based out of the little resort village of Los Quenes which lies at the confluence of the Rio Teno and Rio Claro.

The Teno River begins as a complex of small lagoons (Lagunas de Teno) off of the northern slopes of Volcan Planchon – Peteroa, which last erupted in 1937. Steam can often be seen coming from its small crater lake. If one continues on Ruta J55 you will cross the Argentine border at Paso Vergara which leads to famous thermal baths, Banos de Azufre, and the Las Lenas Ski Resort about 50 miles (80 km) from the border crossing.

The Tino River itself is a Chilean class III/IV classic with some interspersed class V drops. Although less talked about than some of the more famous rivers of Chile it is worth the time if you are traveling through the area. Also of interest to paddlers will be the Rio Claro that joins the Rio Teno river at Los Quines.


If you put-in directly below the un-runable rapids in the river gorge area you will need to deal with some class V rapids with potential portages before getting to the calmer class III/IV section. In general, the farther you put-in up top the harder it will become, so scout your put-in well.

River Flows / Gauge Information / Season

Water levels on the Rio Teno River can vary wildly, from calm and tranquil to raging. It all depends on the season and precipitation in the area. The Teno river follows November to March season typical of most Chilean Rivers. Expect the levels to get lower as the melting snows recede. Fortunately there is a real-time streamflow gauge just upstream of the put-in to give paddlers the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Real-time Steamflow Data

Reporting Stations:

  • Upper Rio Teno: 07104002-K Teno después de Junta, Region VII

Rapid Descriptions


Put-Ins and Take-Outs

Rio Teno River:

  • Put-in: Put-in just below the unrunnable gorge about 10 miles (17 kms) to the east of the village of Los Quenes. The gorge squeezes between Cerro Cayetano and Cerro Las Lajas. It should be visible on most topographic maps.
  • Take-out: Take-out in Los Quenes or save yourself time and flatwater by taking-out at the bridge a few kilometers upstream of Los Quenes.


From the city of Curico head north on the Pan American Highway (Ruta 5) until you come to the junction with Highway J55 (Ruta J55). Head east toward the village of Romeral and onward to the village of Los Quenes. The total trip is about 30 miles (50 km). If you come in from the north of Curico and the town of Teno, via Ruta J25, you will need to cross over to Ruta J55 between the towns of Santa Blanca and La Laguna, otherwise you will end up on the wrong side of the river when you get to Los Quenes.

Maps & Outside Links

  • Maps:

Copyright & Terms of Use

  • Copyrights: (Copyright © 2006, Expediciones Chile) All photos, maps, diagrams, text and computer code is the copyrighted property of Expediciones Chile with all rights reserved.

  • Terms of Use: Any type of reproduction, republication, or re-transmission for commercial use is prohibited without the expressed, written permission of Expediciones Chile. Users of this Wiki guidebook may print copies of the text, images and diagrams for personal river running use only. Users may not alter the diagrams or text without expressed written permission of Expediciones Chile. Users must read and acknowledge the disclaimer before printing. Printing implies acknowledgment of the disclaimer.


  • Disclaimer: Under no circumstances should paddlers substitute the information and diagrams in this guidebook for their own sound judgment on the river and their collective experience running rivers. The diagrams, maps and descriptions found here are only approximations of what paddlers will find on the river once they get to Chile or Argentina. They are not to scale and nor are they completely accurate. Water levels change, rocks move around, landslide debris can enter the river at any time making the diagrams obsolete. Expediciones Chile also reserves the right to update these diagrams and descriptions at any time as we find better ways to illustrate and discuss the rapids. Use this guidebook at your own risk.

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