Students Kayak Chile Waterfalls and Rivers

The dream holiday student kayaking trip running Chile waterfalls and rivers is open. With Chile’s recent reopening to vaccinated travelers students can easily have the holiday experience of a lifetime kayaking some of Chile’s most famous rivers. River destinations include:

Los Quenes Rios Teno y Claro. A little known whitewater gem is the confluence of the Rios Claro (not the waterfall one) and Teno. At the foothills of the Andes the group can advance higher into the Andes to bite off more or less rapids. Plus, this section is just one hour away from the world famous Rio Claro Seven Teacups section. While, the Seven Teacups is expected to be too low by December we are right there just in case.

Rio Nuble. The Nuble valley remindds travelers of Montana’s Big Sky country with giant open ranges and peaks. The clear blue whitewater is playful. The higher canyons provide endless granite boofing to make this Chile’s best play run north of the gulf.

Pucon Rivers. Known as the adventure capital of Chile Pucon is one of the most congested whitewater regions of the world. Your base is right on the Trancura River with waterfalls and rivers in every direction.

About Kayaking Chile Rivers and Waterfalls

This is the fun part. Chile rivers are famous for clear blue colors, quality features, and clean waterfalls. We mix river running and waterfalls to practice a diverse range of skills. Bring your camera and elbow pads… this is gonna be fun.

River Running Skills. Scouting and setting safety; piercing and controlling eddies; boofing; aggressive ferrying; catching challenging eddies; extreme race techniques; downriver play.

Waterfall Skills. Assessing lines; protection positions; art of kayak flight; pitch degree control; boofing; stomping; freestyle.


Who should apply? Intermediate to advanced student kayakers keen to master river running and waterfall techniques.

Am I good enough? The great thing about Chile rivers is the diverse range intermediate to advance features idea for development. Students with a growth mindset to accept failures as opportunities for learning will progress in this safe learning environment. So, your roll is not bombproof. We’ll help you get there.

Can non-students apply?  Yes. This Chile Rivers and Waterfall tour is open to non-students keen to learn and explore. Due to holiday break timing the trip is most popular with students.

Can families do a trip?  Let your family know they can enjoy a vacation too with a multi-sport or kayaking week long holiday. 

Gift your student a Trip. Ask your family for this trip to be your holiday gift? Could be your best present ever. Read more “Gift a Trip.” 

Is it Safe? Your host, David Hughes, is a swiftwater rescue instructor adement to teach rescue training skills to young kayakers. Rescue training changes molds the decision making process of young kayakers.

What about covid travel? In short travelers with both vaccinations are welcome to enter Chile with a mobility pass. If you are interested in this trip contact David Hughes to discuss logistics and read the following helpful blog. Chile Mobility Pass Directions 

What about lodging? During the travel leg student will be camping at river base camps. In Pucon students wills stay riverside in treehouse dorms at the kayaker world famous Pucon Kayak Retreat. Students will need personal camping supplies such as tent and sleeping bags. Tents are available for rent.

Need Logistics Help. Contact or +1-828-788-5135

Tentative Trip Itinerary

*Due to water levels, skills, and group needs the following itinerary is subject to change and is a best prediction of the itinerary.

DAY 1, DEC 18. Welcome to your Chile Kayaking Riverside home. 

Arrival to Santiago (SCL) prior to 10 AM. Vehicles will meet you at the Santiago airport. Immediate PCR test and expect results prior to Los Quenes arrivals.

DAY 2, DEC 19 – Rios Teno and Claro Laps 

DAY 3, DEC 20 – Drive to Rio Nuble in San Fabian 

Pack for Rio Nuble. Drive. Afternoon play run.

DAY 4 y 5, DEC 21 y 22 – Rio Nuble Laps y Dave’s Birthday Asado

Students will experience an authentic Chielan asadon on Dave’s brthday. Trip highlight will be the adventure near to Argentina on the Upper Upper Nuble full of granite boofs and rapids.

DAY 6, DEC 23 – Drive to Pucon Base 

Afternoon Trancura lap. Settle into your new Pucon riverside home. Christmas shopping time permitting.

DAY 7, DEC 24 – Rio Maichin & Elephant Christmas Party 

AM – Rio Maichin Canyon. Experience your first Chilean basalt canyon.

PM – Elephant Christmas Party. Required cheesy Christmas costume: elf, Santa beards, antlers, Rudolph nose, sweaters.. we love them all. Everyong will go shopping for an economical gift. C’mon. Join the fun.

DAY 8, DEC 25 – Christmas Stouts – Salto Blanco 33 Footer

Travel north to the Volcan Lonquimay Valley and Conguillio National Park for a day of lapping the prettiest blue 33 foot waterfall, Salto Blanco. This waterfall is so clean intermediates love it and advanced kayakers try out their skills.

DAY 9, DEC 26 – Fire and Ice Tour (Volcano and Glacier) Optional Hot Springs

Students will drive to the Villarrica National Park passing Monkey Puzzle Araucania forests. Glacier Pichillancahue gives vistas of three volcanos and 100,000 year old ice sculptures. Hot springs are optional pending time. Optional Trancura lap.

Day 10, DEC 27 – Rio San Pedro Plus River Sustainability 

Students will drive 180 degrees around Volcan Villarrica to where Lago Rinimapu overflows into the San Pedro Estuary. Observe spectacular views of volcanos and clear blue water as you paddle from lake to whitewater. The river builds in speed and is playful in nature with surf waves galore. The climax is five giant Futa style rapids to challenge everyone. Because Rio San Pedro is threatened to be dammed we include a sustainability lesson component to the trip. Read more Kayak Chiles Rio San Pedro.

Day 11, DEC 28 – Palguin Day (Upper and Lower) 

Lower Palguin is lesser paddled than its more popular sister Upper Palguin primarily because logistics are less convenient. The Lower Paguin begins with a series of class III+ to IV basalt mini canyon drops. There are two mandatory portages. The climax is a drop we like to call Mini Garganta due to its spiraling ramp boof 12 footer.

Upper Palguin is Chile’s most popular waterfall creeking run due to its clean waterfalls and easy basalt canyon access. We even built a ladder so you can lap the waterfalls. After seal launching off a land bridge kayakers can learn to creek or practice their waterfall freestyle within this beautiful and safe canyon of clean waterfalls.

Day 12 & 13, DEC 29 & 30 – Student Logistics Two Day Fuy Roadtrip Optional  

Students will research and plan a two day road trip to the Rio Fuy and Huilo Huilo Valley. Read more Chile kayaking Rio Fuy.

Day 14, DEC 31 – New Years Eve Student Choice

DAY 15, JAN 1 – Shopping, Palguin Laps and Celebration Asado

AM. Pucon Shopping – cafes and last chance souvenirs.
PM. Palguin Waterfall Laps.

DAY 16, JAN 2 – Temuco Airport (ZCO) Departures between 11 AM to 5 PM. 



  • Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
  • Kayak Rental
  • Airport Transfer *per scheduled times
  • Riverside Community & Lodging
  • World’s Best Kayak Instruction
  • Daily River Transports

Not Included.

  • Two meals/week out at group chosen favorite cafe, or travel meal
  • Personal camping and kayak gear
  • Optional multi-adventure options such as massage therapy or hot springs
  • Snacks and souvenirs


 Lodging Options

Cabins (pp dbl occ)

Treehouse Dorms


Trip Details

Skill Level: III to IV+

Deposit:  $1,200 deposit. Read Payment Guarantees

Arrival City: DEC 18 Temuco Airport (ZCO) – 11 AM to 5 PM

Departure City: JAN 2 Temuco Airport (ZCO) – 11 AM to 5 PM

Trip Length: 16 Days

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