Chile’s Most Iconic Whitewater Waterfalls
Seventy PLUS clean waterfalls within five basalt canyons the Claro +PLUS is for advanced kayakers keen to explore Chile’s waterfall anomaly +PLUS another river valley. Known by its Chilean namesake the Siete Tazas (Seven Teacups) Parque Nacional, the action commences with the class III+ assessment Seven Teacups section. Seven perfectly formed waterfalls dropping into a teacup pool. Kayakers hike the arid land to trek into a 66 million year old basalt chasm, or earthen crack that is polished, milled and carved perfectly banking waterfalls. Guests on this trip will explore the Claro by spending several days paddling sections like the infamous Garganta del Diablo (or “Throat of the Devil”), notorious for the 180-degree two-tiered waterfall of the same name that drops you into one of the lower canyons.
Five Rio Claro Sections – Top to Bottom
Veintidós aka Twenty-two Saltos Section, IV. Underrated and 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 will hike one hour up river from camp into the desert sun. After a canyon rim scout we’ll seal launch lower ourselves 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.
Entres aka the Between Saltos, III to V. Our camp is based next to the Between Falls and we usually keep our beers cold there. there are a dozen or so excellent drops here ranging in skills and heights from 3 feet to 15 feet. There are two mandatory class V hikes.
Cinco aka Five Tazas, III. Like a kayaker fairy tale book lie five perfectly photogenic easy drop-pool cascades offering a playground lap just below our camp.
Garganta del Diablo aka Throat of the Devil, III to IV+. 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.
Seven Teacups aka Siete Tazas, III to IV. The Seven Teacups serves as our warmup and skills assessment section. This section with its trails and overlooks is the easiest to stage group photo shoots and multiple lapping. Run it. Repeat.
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.
+PLUS Rio Maipo or Nuble
While, the Claro represents the world’s most iconic waterfalls few kayakers realize the beauty and value of Rios Maipo and Nuble. Both rivers threatened to be dammed we have committed to sharing these natural wonders while we have them. These river valleys add to the total travel and cultural experience and allows kayakers to get to paddle more diverse whitewater and valleys.
About +PLUS 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.
- Breakfast and Lunch daily;
- Logistics for any required PCR testing such as appointment;
- Choice Kayak Rental;
- Airport Transfer;
- World’s Best Kayak Instruction;
- Daily River Transports.
- Paddle and personal equipment;
Arrival City. Santiago Airport (SCL)
Departure City. Santiago (SCL); Or Pucon Creek Week Trip Extension Departs from Temuco (ZCO)
Price & Lodging Options
Claro Cabins (pp dbl occ)
Prices are per person
Skill Level: III+ to IV+
Deposit: $US1. Read Payment Guarantees
Arrival City: Santiago International Airport (SCL) prior to 10 AM
Departure City: Santiago International Airport (SCL) after 7 PM
Trip Length: 7 Days
Claro PLUS Nuble Trip Extension Option: Travel south for Pucon Creek Week to notch two weeks of Chile’s best whitewater. Option available within registration form.