Learn to Whitewater Kayak Chile Rivers – Beginner Lessons

View Pucon Kayak Retreat Trip Advisor 5 STAR Reviews for BEGINNER CHILE KAYAK LESSONS AND TRIPS.

Who is Rolls & Rivers, Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Chile, for?

Anyone with a sense of adventure keen to learn the sport of whitewater kayaking giving your vacation purpose and challenges. Not to mention the friends you will meet while exploring rivers daily. Beginner kayak lessons is your ticket to join a community of friends that tend to migrate to festivals, events and exploring down by the river.

Think about it. All of those waterfalls, creeks, rivers, and lakes exit the Andean gradient right at our Pucon location (elevation 1500 feet). Newly formed rivers must make their way to the Pacific within a short distance. Heck, within an hour radius of the retreat we have more than a dozen beginner to intermediate kayak sections with features excellent for learning to combat roll, ferry, catch eddies, surf and play, and develop your skills safely. Did we mention it’s gorgeous?

“I’m not good enough to kayak Chile rivers.” WRONG. That’s like saying I’m not in good enough shape to goto the gym when your goal is to get into shape. Few beginner kayakers realize that Pucon is one of the world’s best destinations for beginner and intermediate kayak development. 

Kayak or Inflatable Kayak (IK) Options.

Kayak Option. The whitewater kayak (plastic composite) is whitewater’s highest performing craft classically known for ability roll when you capsize. Kayaks are faster, durable, and highly dynamic to rapids. Yet, they are tippier and the learning curve to master the roll takes longer.
Inflatable Kayak Option (IK). Duckies and pack rafts (IKs) are more stable crafts akin to an individual raft. Wider hulls (bottom) and broad tubes make them stable and fun. No rolling is necessary because if you flip you can upright the boat and get in yourself or with assistance. The IK option means beginners can paddle more exciting whitewater with less experience. 

Kayak equipment orientation, outfitting & safety.

You’ll learn the key pieces of equipment and various styles of kayaking. Safety concerns, history, and applications of the world’s most dynamic water craft. What other craft can plunge waterfalls, surf waves, run rapids, and roll upright when it flips? The essential five pieces of kayak equipment are: paddle, personal flotation device (PFD), kayak, skirt, and helmet. Soft gear includes river shoes such as neoprene booties or sandals, fleece liners, and splash or dry tops. Wet suits are also common. The retreat provides all of your gear. Many guests bring their own river shoes and underlayers.

As your skills progress so will the rivers.

Learning to whitewater kayak takes time and practice. Each day your skills will progress as will your daily new challenges. Rolling in whitewater is unnatural in the beginning. But with great instructors and team support each progression and failure is celebrated as a progressive advancement. We’ll keep the adventures and rivers coming, and you keep the good attitude.

What Is Included

  • Breakfast, lunch, appetizers & dinner.
  • Kayak rental.
  • Airport transfer *per published times found on registration page. 
  • Riverside communal ammenities & lodging.
  • Industry leading guides and Team Buena Onda.
  • Daily kayak and adventures.
  • River and town transports.
  • Two house bottles of vino or pisco sour nightly.  
  • KEEP KAYAKING shirt.
  • New friends for life. 

Not Included

  • Team Buena Onda Tips. Recommend 9% to 15% of trip cost to be split across team participants.
  • 1 meal out per week at local culinary adventure.
  • Personal provisions. There are markets within walking distance of retreat.
  • Some optional multi-adventure activities such as massage therapy and hot springs.
  • Airport transfers outside of scheduled times.

Got Questions. Email or give us a call. [email protected] or +1-828-788-5135.


Tentative Trip Itinerary

*Due to water levels, climate conditions, individual skills, and group needs the following itinerary is subject to change.

DAY 1, SAT. Bienvenidos a Pucon. 

ARRIVALS. Arrival schedules are subject to change pending individual times of each group. A travel day plan is sent to each group just prior to your arrival day. 

  • Plane. Arrival to Temuco Airport (ZCO) between 11 AM to 5 PM
  • Car & Bus. Guests arriving by car or bus should arrive at 2 PM for afternoon lunch and kayak session.

Boat outfitting, orientation, and welcome dinner.
Potential afternoon paddling session on Lago Caburgua or Middle Trancura pending time.

DAY 2, SUN. Rio Liucura Bridge to Waterwheel or curve below wave (II to II+)

AM/PM (Full day). Kayak orientation, goals, fundamentals, rolls and rivers. Retreat class and Rio Liucura.

DAY 3, MON. Lower Maichin Canyon or Trancura Delta to Lago Villarrica (II to III)

AM/PM Full Day.  Kayak fundamentals review. Pending water levels and group will kayak the Lower Maichin or Trancura Delta. Both sections offer safe beginner whitewater features idea for ferrying, roll practice, and basic river running skills development. Day is often combined with a fun multi-sport activity such as Lago Villarrica appetizers and cocktails beach front vista of Volcan Villarrica.

DAY 4, TUE. Rio San Pedro (II to III+)

AM/PM – Full Day. Raft or Inflatable Kayak options for safe Rio San Pedro experience. 

Yes, beginners get to experience the world renowned turquoise rapids of kayaking or rafting Chile’s Rio San Pedro. Often, a trip highlight beginner kayakers are given the option of an inflatable kayak or to raft with a guide because rapids are too big for beginners. The river is simply gorgeous with warm water and playful waves. 

DAY 5, WED. Multi-Sport Day – Lagos Andinos Trek & Cerveceria + Pucon Culinary Experience

AM/PM Full Day. Now, guests get to experience a day committed to one of the regions best multisport activities. A favorite option is to drive to the Argentina border and hike the National Park Villarrica Lagos Andinos trail. Hike through old growth forest along the slopes of Volcan Lanin in between a series of Andean lakes (Lagos Andinos). After this spectacular hike we stop at a remarkable cerveceria right on the Rio Puesco (Trancura headwaters) where the best tasting beer in Chile is made from natural spring water. 

Pucon Culinary Experience. We select a favorite decadent or culturally rich dining experience as a relaxing night on the town. A walk it off Pucon tours along the streets lined with cafes, live musicians, desert and artesan ice cream shops, and to the peninsula with vistas of  Volcan Villarrica sunset and lake front. 

DAY 6, THU. Lower Rio Fuy (II to III) 

AM/PM Full Day. The short lived Rio Fuy begins at the Argentina border from solar heated Lago Pirihueico and flows through class III, IV and V basalt waterfall canyons before gradient subsides with the Lower Fuy section. The Lower Fuy with two access put in locations gives beginners and intermediates another unique glimpse of Chile’s Lake District and the rivers that drain one lake and flow into another. The whitewater features are as good as the vistas adding yet another epic day to your adventures. 

DAY 7, FRI. Lower Trancura or Group Option & Celebration Asado. 

AM Group Option. Final Friday is often determined by specific individual skills with flexibilty. Some groups want to return to a favorite development section. Others a climax Lower Trancura lap. Heck, we’ve even hiked individuals in to inflatable kayak a clean ten foot waterfall. 

PM – Celebration Asado. The farewell asado BBQ is a celebration to cherish and remember your accomplishments and not so great moments too. Laugh and reminisce with your new kayaking community. 

DAY 8, SAT. Pack, Activity Option, Departure Transfers

Schedule Temuco Airport (ZCO) Departure Flights Between 11 AM to 5 PM.

AM – Flexible Options. Pending departures paddlers have options for packing, a short morning lap, or airport/bus terminal transfers. 


Lodging Options

River Suite (pp dbl occ)

Hosteria Cabañas (pp dbl occ)

Treehouse Dorm (pp shr occ)

Camp (pp)

Skill Level: No experience required.

Deposit: $US750 Deposit. Read Payment Guarantees

Arrival City: Temuco Airport (ZCO) – 11 AM to 5 PM

Departure City: Temuco (ZCO) – 11 AM to 5 PM

Trip Length: 8 Days

ADD a Second trip option: DISCOUNT Available. 

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