Whitewater Guide to Rivers
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Kayak Chile:
Chile Rivers: A Whitewater Guide to Rivers in Chile & Argentina

As whitewater kayaking in Chile and Argentina becomes more and more popular the need for information about the rivers in Chile and the rivers in Argentina becomes greater and greater. With this in mind, we at Expediciones Chile developed this whitewater guide to Chile and Argentina for whitewater kayakers making the journey to Patagonia. One of the things we felt to be important was the incorporation of geographical information in any river guide, as people are not familiar with the Chile or Argentina and will have difficulty finding and getting to the rivers. We also wanted to keep the guide interactive by allow the kayaking community to contribute information to this page. Therefore our guide was developed in two parts. The first is a "Chile River's Locator" which will let you locate any river in Chile or Argentina and relate that to nearby populated places. The other is a user editable "Chile Whitewater River's Wiki" which contains information about the rivers themselves.

Chile Rivers Locator:

To find a river in Chile and Argentina click on the banner below. Use the drop down menus to bring up the river you are interested in and click enter. This will show you the river's location in Argentina or Chile relative to the major population centers. For information about the river, click on the displayed link which will take you to the Chile River's Wiki.

Chile River Locator

Chile Rivers Wiki:

To find information about a river in Chile or a river in Argentina you can access the Chile River's Wiki by clicking the banner below. Here you will find information about river difficulty, flows, water temperature, put-ins and take-outs, and the best places to stay or camp. If you are planning a trip to Chile or have paddled in Chile before please consider becoming a Chile River's Wiki Editor and help the rest of the paddling community by contributing your knowledge to the Chile rivers' guide.

Chile Rivers Wiki

Rivers in the Futaleufu Area:

The Rio Espolon

(Rafting, Kayaking, Floating, Fly Fishing, Adventure Trails: trekking, sea kayaking, mountain biking, hiking & horseback riding)

From the Lake Espolon to the confluence of the Futaleufu, this aquatic paradise is nothing short of spectacular in beauty. It runs from the Lake Espolon to the village of Futaleufu . From here the river continues its journey until it enters the Futaleufu River two miles downstream from town. In the summer this river runs between 800 and 2000 cfs. Imagine water the color and clarity of the ocean surrounding Tahiti . The Espolon originates in the pristine mountain lake, Lago Espolon and plunges through the awe-inspiring, un-runnable “Cascades of Espolon”. At the base of the falls, the river transforms into a tame Class 2 river for the next 5 miles heading towards the Adventure Center with numerous deep clear pools, white sand beaches and very manageable rapids. This is an excellent river for first time rafters or sit-on-top kayakers as well as for fly fishing. The water is so transparent it feels as though you were hovering over the river bottom on a magic carpet. A trail from our lodge winds through the trees near the river where you see the numerous swimming and fishing pools teeming with brown and rainbow trout.

The Rio Azul

(Rafting, Kayaking, Fly Fishing, Adventure Trail: trekking, mountain biking, hiking & horseback riding)

This river joins the Rio Futaleufu, 22 kilometers downstream from town under the shadow of the Tres Monjas peaks. The riverbanks are lush and green with ferns, which contrast with the soft, white-sandy beaches. This glacier-fed river can range between 600 to 2000 cfs, depending on rain and snowmelt in the mountains. This is a great warm-up for the Class kayak and raft 3/4 trips. The Azul is one of the great alternate rivers in Cjile when the Futaleufu is running too high. Technical and defined, the Rio Azul takes its name from the aquamarine water color.

The Rio Chico

(Kayaking, Fly Fishing, Adventure Trails: trekking, mountain biking, hiking & horseback riding.)

This tributary near the Argentina border runs through a national reserve for the Huemul which are small native deer. Mountain ike and horseback riding trails take you through this remote valley along the border. The small river enters the Futaleufu River near the border with Argentina upstream from town. We have walked sections of it and need to scout more before we plan a first descent with correct water levels. This is Class 3/4, with possibilities of unknown falls.

The Rio Palena

(Whitewater Kayaking, Sea Kayaking)

About one hour from the village of Futaleufu lies the Rio Palena. The Palena originates in Argentina and cuts a clear path all the way across Chile to the Southern Pacific Ocean . The entire river is traversable by expert sea kayakers and it contains mile after mile of class II/ III whitewater rapids. Whitewater kayakers will primarily be interested in the upper section which contains some significant class III/III+ rapids. This is a river we frequently visit with our class II/III trips and our kayak school students.

The Rio Tigre

(Whitewater Kayaking)

A tributary of the Rio Palena, the Rio Tigre lies to south of the village of Palena . Like the Palena, the Rio Tigre originates in Argentina with headwaters in some high alpine lakes. The class III section is about 10 kilometers long ending at the confluence with the Rio Palena. The upper section of the Rio Tigre is Class V where the river is known as the “Saltos de Tigre”. This is a river we frequently visit with our class II/III trips and our kayak school students.

The Rio Michimahuida

(Whitewater Kayaking)

Off the side of Volcan Michimahuida lies the class IV-V Michamahuida River . To kayak this river flows must be just right as it drops steeply through a narrow gorge. The river can be run in one day or over a span of two days with a bivouac between. Above the Class IV/V section is a class II/III section that is suitable for beginner kayakers at most water levels. Be sure to check out the Amarillo Hot Springs on your way in or out of the Michimahuida Valley.

Chile's Central River's

Aconcagua River , Achibueno River , Ancoa River , Cachapoal River, Claro River Seven Tea Cups, Colorado River, Duqueco River, Laja River, Lontue River, Lomin River, Maipo River, Maule River - Lower, Maule River - Upper, Melado River, Queuco River, Ralca River, Teno River, Tinguiririca River, Volcan River, Yeso River

Chile's Southern Rivers:

Azul River , Baker River , Bio Bio River - Lower , Bio Bio River - Upper , Cisnes River , Enco River , Espolon River , Futaleufu River , Fuy River , Gol Gol River , Liucura River , Manihuales River , Manso Chileno River , Michimahuida River , Neltume River , Nuble River , Palena River , Palguin River , Pasqua River , Petrohue River , Puelo River , San Pedro River , Simpson River , Teno River , Tigre River , Trancura River - Lower , Trancura River - Upper , Truful Truful River

Rivers of Argentina:

Alumine River , Azul River (Ar) , Foyel River , Limay River , Manso River - Upper ,Manso River - Middle ,Manso River - Lower , Traful River , Villegas River ,

Other Kayak Chile Itineraries: Class II/III Kayak Chile Week. Class III/IV Futaleufu River Valley Week. Class IV/V Kayak Futaleufu Week, Patagonia South Kayak School and Patagonia Kayak Safari

Contact Expediciones Chile

Futaleufu Whitewater Rafting Chile
Patagonia, Chile Adventure Travel. Chile Rafting & Argentina Kayaking.
Torres del Paine and FitzRoy trips.

Patagonia Travel Information
Argentina Chile & Patagonia travel information. Secrets of Patagonia Tour on our website.

Chile Rafting on the Futaleufu
Whitewater rafting in Chile from our weather proof Futaleufu lodge.
Patagonia Weather & Seasons
Information about Patagonia weather and seasons in Patagonia, Chile & Argentina..
Chile Sea Kayaking
Chile Sea Kayaking in Patagonia from the Andes to the Ocean. Fjords, hotsprings, temperate rainforest.
Yoga Travel Vacations Try your favorite multisport activities during a yoga travel vacation.
Patagonia Fly Fishing
Patagonia Fly Fishing, from our fly fishing ranch or lodge in Chilean Patagonia. Lago Yelcho trips.
EcoTours in Patagonia
Custom ecotours of the Futaleufu valley that include bird watching and nature treks.

Kayak Instruction, Roll a Kayak
Learn to roll a kayak at our kayak school. Receive world class kayak
instruction from our paddling school.

Rafting & Kayaking around the Globe
Expediciones Chile resource page to find other kayak outfitters around the globe.
Chile Trekking in Patagonia
Trekking Patagonia in Torres del Paine, Cerro FitzRoy and Los Glaciares National Parks.
University of Futaleufu
Checkout the instructional, large group and corporate programs we offer.

Equestrian Vacations
Horseback Riding Holidays and Equestrian Vacations with real Guachos & Hausos.

Travel Agent Commissions
Information on travel agent commissions and discounts from Expediciones Chile.
Chile Skiing Looking for summer powder? Try Chile Skiing in Patagonia and Argentina. Guide School Thinking about a guide job on the Futaleufu? Check out our whitewater guide school.
Patagonia Canyoneering and rappelling vacations.
Kayaking Jobs 
Outdoor employment opportunities in rafting, kayaking and fly fishing. Internships available.
Futaleufu Whitewater Guidebook
An online guidebook of the Futaleufu River. Descriptions, diagrams, photos and videos.
Kayaking Chile
Rio Futleufu whitewater Kayaking Chile in the spectacular Patagonia
Rafting en el Río Futaleufú
en Español

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