What is your opinion on bringing a kayak to Chile?

“What is your opinion on bringing a kayak to Chile?”

Asked PKH guest Marshall McQuillen. The question is so important and asked so often that we decided to share it as a blog. Unfortunately, Marshall and his paddling partner got the worst we’ve seen of shipping a kayak from Denver, Colorado. Last season Marshall shipped two kayaks at about $US650. That’s a horrible price and there are better options. When Marshall arrived to the hostel his kayaks had not arrived to Chile yet. So, they were forced to rent kayaks as they waited. Days turned into a week and the kayaks arrived to Santiago. But they got stuck in customs. So, Marshall hired a customs agent. More days turned into another week. Now, the customs department said they had to pay storage for the kayaks until they were cleared. Realizing the kayaks were stuck the pair of kayakers paid for a bus to Santiago. Invested two days. Paid for the storage. Paid for the customs agent. And now were forced to ship their kayaks from Santiago to Pucon. What a nightmare. Totals costs were approximately $US1250 just to get their used kayaks. New kayak price in Pucon = $US1150 to $US1200.

This blog will describe your best options for securing that you arrive to Chile with a kayak either in hand or awaiting you. We’ll illustrate costs so that you can decide your best option.

Link to PKH Kayak Rental Fleet.

Rule #1- DO NOT SHIP your kayak. Super expensive.

Popular Trips

Fly. Buy. Or Rent a Kayak in Chile.

Flying with Your Kayak to Chile

PKH invests thousands in annual shipping offering kayakers a reliable selection of rentals.

This is your most economical option. The challenge is that most airlines blacklisted “Kayak” from their acceptable baggage list. This leaves nomadic kayakers gambling with flying their kayak. There are lots of tricks and methods to attempt to get your kayak on-board your flight that “may be” successful. And no one can know for sure if an airline will accept or send you to Chile without your kayak until you arrive to the gate.

The Gamble:  If you get denied then you’ll arrive to Chile often with the best kayaks already rented or sold. This leaves you scrambling to find a quality boat and losing kayak days.

Flying with Kayak Tip:  Bring a new kayak and you can count on reselling it used at the end of your trip.

Buying a New Kayak in Chile

Flying with your kayak may save you money. Is it worth the risk and hassle?

Ian Garcia the owner of Rivers, Lakes and Oceans (ian@riverslakesoceans.com) sells new kayaks for around $US1200. And considering what he goes through to pass customs that price is impressive.

Reselling your Used Kayak:  Expect to sell a 1 to 2 month old kayak for $650 to $700. That’s the Pucon market value.

Buying a Used Kayak in Chile

Good Luck. Pucon Kayak Hostel sells more used kayaks than anyone in Chile and they go quick. The problem is to find a used kayak for sale. Most used kayaks get bought up quickly by the kayak schools and retailers for rentals. In Chile there is a high demand for used kayaks. In our opinion buying used is not a rational option unless you are arriving at the end of the season. March-ish.

Renting a Kayak in Chile

PKH rents kayaks for 10,000 pesos/day or approximately $US20. If you are a guest staying in Chile for longer than 3 weeks then we’ll be happy to offer you a discounted rate.

Let’s examine a cost analysis:

Trip Length:  20 days

Buying Kayak= $1200… resale vale= $700 = $500 expense and legwork to sell the kayak.

Renting 20 days = $US400

Above 21 days PKH offers discount rates.

Flight Tip-  “Fly direct to Temuco.”

If you are going direct to Pucon then we suggest you fly direct to Temuco. The Santiago bus station is a high high theft region. Why waste a day taking taxis, buses, and more buses when you could fly to Temuco for the same amount you’d spend on all those taxis and buses?

Link to PKH Kayak Rental Fleet.