Kayaking Chile Waterfalls Rio Claro Basalt Canyons

Imagine kayaking Chile waterfalls within Rio Claro’s multiple basalt canyons. More than seventy waterfalls for intermediate, advanced and expert kayakers. Known by its Chilean namesake, Siete Tazas (Seven Teacups) Parque Nacional. Few tourists will ever see nor explore the basalt canyons by dropping off them in a kayak.

The waterfalling action commences with the second easiest class III+ assessment section, the Siete Tazas section. The Siete Tazas are perfectly formed waterfalls dropping into a teacup pool. Lower your kayak down into a 66 million year old basalt chasm, Go Pro check, game time. The earthen crack has been polished, milled and carved by glacial and volcanic activity to make perfect banking waterfalls. Kayakers will explore up to five Claro canyons depending on your skills and mindset. Most famous to kayakers is the iconic Garganta del Diablo (or “Throat of the Devil”) curling 20 foot to another 20 foot drop. It’s notorious for the 180-degree two-tiered waterfall. Or not… we’ll help you assess if you are ready or prefer the milder sections.

DISCOUNT TRIP EXTENSION.  This trip logistically aligns with Kayaking Chiles Pucon Creek Week.

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VIDEO of our 2013 Kayaking Chile Waterfalls Claro Trip


Kayaking Chile Waterfalls Twenty-two Saltos Canyon – Class III to IV+

Overshadowed by the Throat of Devil Canyon the Twenty-two Saltos section is often considered the highest and best action section of the Claro. Kayakers hike one hour up river from camp into the desert sun. After a canyon rim scout we lower boats into the basalt chasm for the epic waterfall experience of a lifetime. Drops range from 3 feet and swirly curves around banking walls to the biggest 30 foot drop. The second largest drop at 25 feet spouting off a perfect lip into a giant pool of celebrations. Some drops require strokes, tucks, body protection, and moves. While others offer the advancing and progressing kayakers opportunity to explore. For example, Ski Ramp’s unique banking allows kayakers to charge the highest corner and stomp their bows down.

Kayaking Chile Waterfalls Between Falls Canyon – Class III to V

Our camp is based next to the Between Falls and we usually keep our beers cold in the river. There are a dozen or so drops here ranging in skills and heights from 3 feet to 15 feet. There are two mandatory class V hikes. This section offers the opportunity to hike out prior to commiting to the Throat of the Devil Canyon.

Cinco aka Five Tazas – Class III 

Like a kayaker fairy tale book lie five perfectly photogenic easy drop-pool cascades offering a playground lap just below our base camp. The section actually lies within the Entres Saltos. Surprisingly, few people have even heard of the Five Teacups. Possibly, because they are too much work for class III kayakers, and lie amongst bigger rapids.

Kayaking Chile waterfalls in the Rio Claro basalt canyons.

Kayakers wait their turn on Rio Claros Between Falls section. Moments before enter or exit Throat of the Devil Canyon.

Kayaking Chile Waterfalls Throat of the Devil Canyon – Class IV to V

Just prior to entering the Devil canyon kayakers have a last chance to hike out on river left steep wall. We most often paddle the Entres and Cinco Tazas sections from camp into Throat of the Devil Canyon. You’ll spend some time scouting at the lip and of course beforehand from the more dangerous above cliffs. This is the last section we run and often run it multiple times. Kayakers typically self-assess and know by this time if they are ready for the whitewater celebration of a lifetime. At proper flows rescues and manageability at bottom are easy.  What can we say about whitewater’s most iconic waterfall? Keep your bow down. We’ll have a few things to cover. Notable are the 50 and 70 foot crack drops, handful of 6 to 8 foot boofs, and vistas of canyon entering waterfalls.

Kayaking Chile Waterfalls Siete Tazas Canyon – Class III to IV

The national park is named after the Siete Tazas. For decades kayakers hardly paddled anything but the Teacups. andthe Twenty-two Saltos sections. The Seven Teacups serve as our warmup and skills assessment section. As well, we setup media days on this playful canyon that promises spectators from the overlooks. This section with its trails and overlooks is the easiest to stage group photo shoots and multiple lapping.

Other Canyons. Just last year two new sections opened up. Aniol Serrasolses notched a first descent of Leona just below the Teacups canyon filmed by PKR’s very own Tino Specht. Same time frame Tino got in with a crew to explore canyons above the 22 Saltos section adding another 20 or so drops. There is also talk of exploring easier sections below the canyons. Why don’t we explore those? Truth is that the canyons we paddle are so remarkably good and easy to access that we have not taken the harder trekking effort for the more dangerous or harder to access canyons.

Kayaking Chiles Rio Teno, Maipo or Nuble 

While, the Claro represents the world’s most iconic waterfalls few kayakers realize the beauty and value of Rios Teno, Maipo and Nuble. Our experience also taught us that more than four days on the Claro waterfalls proves to beat up kayakers too much. So, exploring nearby more playful section of rivers and interacting with those communities has developed into lasting lifetime bonds. Which additional valley you explore is often dependent upon water levels.

About Kayaking Chiles Rio Nuble

Circa 2001 PKRAMA owner David Hughes sat down with NOC’s Jon Clarke. Jon had began teaching the San Fabian / Nuble Valley community about the treasures of the Rio Nuble. Jon along with the mayor and a group he was teaching to raft guide and kayak began the Nuble Festival. Nuble Fest was an effort to protect the slated to be dammed over 50 miles of free flowing whitewater Nuble. Today, families have already been displaced. While, the Nuble Festival continues to fight against giant hydro projects the dams are under construction. PKRAMA has taken a stance to goto the Nuble annually while it continues to flow freely.

It’s like Big Sky Montana with giant open skies, snow covered peaks, and turquoise water. It’s a granite bedrock playful in nature with excellent triangular rocks for boofing. The upper valley gets more and more remote and a bit steeper. The Nuble is a true Chilean rustic experience we cherish annually.

Nuble Bonus. Jon Clarke’s Spirit. Those youth Jon taught to kayak we now continue to coach and some day hire. Their families are contracted to host us, prepare a true Chilean asado, and Javier and Juan Pablo paddle show us the latest and greatest boofs and trout holes.


What’s Included.

  • Breakfast and Lunch daily
  • Logistics for any required PCR testing such as appointment
  • Choice Kayak Rental
  • Airport Transfer
  • Lodging
  • World’s Best Kayak Instruction
  • Daily River Transports

Not Included.

  • Airfare
  • Guests are responsible to pay for 2 travel day dinners out of pocket
  • Paddle and personal equipment
  • Alcohol

Price & Lodging Options

Claro Cabins (pp dbl occ)

Claro Camping

Prices are per person

Trip Details

Skill Level: III+ to IV+

Deposit: $US750. Read Payment Guarantees

Arrival City: NOV 2 Santiago International Airport (SCL) before 10 AM. 

Departure City: NOV 8 Santiago International Airport (SCL) after 7 pM; OR ride with group to Pucon Creek Week.

Trip Length: 6 Days

JOY KAYAKER TIP – ADD Pucon Creek Week with $200 DISCOUNT OFFER. Travel south for Pucon Creek Week to notch two weeks of Chile’s best white water kayaking. 

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