The following guide is meant to serve as a short introduction to the rivers in our region of Chile.

Rio Trancura

Rio Trancura: Upper

Class: III, IV & V

Reference Location: Near Pucon Kayak Hostel

Put-in: The Upper Trancura put-in is just 6 minutes from the PKH base. There is an option for a lower put-in to make this a class III section.

Take-out: The takeout for the Upper Trancura is the Pucon Kayak Hostel riverside base. Walk the bank to the quincho bar for a cold beer. After a beer hop in the tree-house shower to refresh.

For: This section is great for kayakers with solid combat roll to pros seeking to run Marimon. There is an option for development kayakers with roll to put-in below Last Laugh. 

Best Time to Get It: All Year


The Upper Trancura is most renowned for the class V Marimon rapid which has only begain regularly attracting the local guides and pros in recent years. Both IV+ rapids Marimon and Last Laugh are easily portagable.

The Upper T is an excellent continuous section of whitewater with lots of boofs, challenging rapids, ferries, slots, freestyle, attainments, views of the volcano, and development sections. The section ends with a slalom gate course right at the PKH property. How cool is it to finish a run right at your home base?

Hot Tip – Ask David Hughes to show you the race-course and slots below Last Laugh.

Rio Trancura: Slalom Gates

Class: II – III

Reference Location: Near Pucon Kayak Hostel

Put-in: At Pucon Kayak Hostel base.

Take-out: Pucon Kayak Hostel base.

Great for: All kayakers seeking to improve their boat and blade control.

Best Time to Get It: All Year


Just seconds from Pucon Kayak Hostels hosteria along a trail passing the tree house shower and geodesic domes is a series of development slalom gates. The slalom gates annually are the site of the Chile National Slalom Championships. For PKH guests the gates are often a morning development workout for controllably practicing edge control, ferry angles, attainments, speed control, pivot turns, strokes, and high-speed eddy control.  Obviously, the gates aren’t just for beginners as some of the best kayakers in the world are seen at the PKH gates practicing. (45 seconds from your PKH bed.)

Rio Trancura: Upper (including Marimon & Last Laugh)

Class: IV+ to V

Reference Location: Upstream of Pucon Kayak Hostel

Put-in/Takeout: See Upper Trancura

Great For: Bad Asses seeking big volume class V.

Best Time to Get It: These days more and more are charging that stout. But it seems to break boats at low-water. And high-water seems intimidating. Bestimation is December – February.


Most portage Marimon but so many pros are attracted to challenge their skills we had to write about it. Marimon is high volume flow with fast trippy wave action approach toward solid gradient. The climax is the lip boof over the Marimon hole. The guru seems to be Aniol Serrasolses whom loves to lap this beast backwards, freestyle, slalom… You name it and Aniol is working it. This is a great rapid.

Immediately, after Marimon is the Rio Trancura’s Last Laugh. Last Laugh does have a leftside sneak route. But it also has a few variations of class V lines too. This is another great great big volume rapid with boofs, pushy currents, and trippy water. Come test your skills on our backyard Big Boy rapids.

Hot Tip: The rafter’s portage allows you to portage or hike back up for additional laps.

Rio Trancura: Lower

Class: II, III & III+

Reference Location: Near Pucon Kayak Hostel

Put-in: At PKH riverside base slalom gate course

Take-out: The Lower T Quelhue aka Pasarela (walking bridge) is 5 minutes from PKH base down the airport road to Quelhue. During summer months there is a Mapuche crafts market offering fresh squeezed juices, pastries, and food fair.

Great For: Intermediates, Ducky, Advanced

Best Time to Get It: December – May


The Lower Trancura is our favorite development stretch. We think even better than the more challenging Upper Trancura due to some of the rapids being more workable. Rapids begin slowly with a series of class II – III pourovers great for eddy hopping, boofing and ferrying. Topping our list of great features is the Fisherman’s (Pescador) Rapid. Pescador is a long rapid with several challenge eddies. The middle of Pescador offers several large eddies with fast currents offering great challenge lines. There’s even a wave with an attainment. If you just mastered the skills on this single rapid you could become great paddler.

Ski Boat Eddy – Another remarkable feature we love to work for at least 45 minutes is the ski boat eddy that is sure to spin you out on it’s fast eddy line if you’re not ready. This feature teaches how to control your boat angle whilst maintaining momentum, shoot across boily eddies, and how to hold an eddy angle in fast current.

The Lower Trancura has less of the big rapids than the Upper T, play on the fly, and multiple views of the volcanoes.

Hot Tip: Goto the Mapuche market at take-out for fresh juice and lunch. Ask PKH where to hop in on Liucura Confluence for the Ski Boat Eddy.

Rio Trancura: Delta to Lago Villiarrica

Class: II – II+

Reference Location: Near Pucon Kayak Hostel

Put-in: Quelhue Bridge/Lower Trancura Takeout

Take-out: Lago Villiarrica at Rio Plata Confluence

Best Time to Get It: January to March

Great for: Beginner Kayakers, Fly Fishing, Stand Up Paddle


This beginner whitewater section flows from the Lower Trancura takeout bridge into Lago Villiarrica with the majority of rapids at the beginning of the section. We stop early and often to use big eddy lines to practice ferrying, eddy catching and combat rolls. As the Trancura Delta fans out islands and channels form making eddy lines. Fishing and birdlife are abundant here. Our favorite is Pato Corrientoso or the Torrent Ducks. Finish the stretch in the warmer water of Lago Villiarrica with a rolling session right on a white sand beach staring across the lake at Volcan Villiarrica.  (8 min from PKH base.)

Hot Tip: Practice rolling at the lake.

Rio Liucura Whitewater River & Sections

Rio Liucura: Bridge to Wave

Class: II – III

Reference Location: Near Pucon Kayak Hostel

Put-in:  Liucura Bridge

Take-out: Liucura Wave

Best Time to Get It: January to March

Great for:  Beginner kayakers, Stand Up Paddle, Fly Fishing


With multiple views of three surrounding volcanoes the Liucura offers calmer blue water sections idea for ferrying, rolling, surfing and freestyle, eddy hopping, attainments, combat rolls, and rapid running. There’s even slalom gates to work on making moves. Section also great for fly fishing, inflatable kayaks, SUP boarding and expert freestylers. The section culminates at the areas best freestyle wave which is great for learning boat control. When beginners flip they have a good wave train to try their in-current combat rolls. Plus, advanced boaters can work on loops, cartwheels, surfing, and the latest freestyle moves. (5 min from PKH base.)

Hot Tip – Great fish to be caught in this section.

Rio Liucura: Wave to Lower Rio Trancura Bridge

Class: II – III

Reference Location: Near Pucon Kayak Hostel ask for directions to gate.

Put-in: Liucura Wave 5 minutes from PKH

Takeout: Quelhue Bridge 5 minutes from PKH

Best Time to Get It: January to May


After a surf at the wave the Liucura continues to pickup speed. There are numerous eddies, rock features, attainments and ferries to work. Our favorite feature is the Ski Boat Eddy which is such a fast eddy that your kayak can throw a spray as you zoom into the eddy. This teachable feature teaches kayakers to keep their momentum and how to not spin out. Also, exiting eddies into fast currents will teach the student how to hold that strong ferry angle. Soon the Liucura confluences with the warmer water Trancura and the volume doubles. Views of volcanoes abound.

Hot Tip – Get on this trip with PKH’s Pucon + Teacups Trip.

Rio Liucura: Play Wave

Class: II+

Reference Location: Near Pucon Kayak Hostel

Put-in/Take-out:  There are two access points. One requires a key from the kayaker owned land. The other requires an access fee.

Great for: All kayakers ranging from beginners to pro-freestylers.

Best Time to Get It: January to March


If you are good enough then the Liucura Wave offers a lifetime of kayak learning. We’ll start with the earliest development progressions.

  1. Swiftwater Ferry and Eddy Hopping – The wave has a fast current and will teach learning kayakers how to hold ferry angles as they ferry from bank to bank.
  2. Combat Rolls – As kayakers gain confidence ferrying and catching eddies they should also continue practicing their in-current combat rolls. The wave is great for this as it is a fast wave with a trough and it will often catch your edge and flip kayaks. Behind the wave are class II+ moving currents with an eddy idea for practicing your combat roll. We influence kayakers to try to surf the wave with the goal of flipping to learn the roll.
  3. Surfing and Cutbacks – Once a kayaker is getting good at ferrying across the wave and has gained combat roll confidence a whole world of adventure awaits. Now, the kayaker can begin surfing waves. Surfing waves is remarkable for development as it teaches – faster combat rolls, boat edging, cutbacks, balance, hip control, and how to make your paddling more aggressive.
  4. Freestyle – Once you’ve learned the above progressions there are numerous freestyle tricks like the loop, Phonix Monkey (named by one of our program guests), cartwheels, blunts, backstabs and more.
  5. River Running – Once kayakers are competently surfing and hitting every roll at the wave then you are ready to run the Lower Liucura and Lower Trancura sections.

Hot Tip – Get on this trip with PKH’s Pucon + Teacups Trip.

Rio Palguin Whitewater River & Sections

Upper Palguin

Class: III – IV

Reference Location: Near Pucon Kayak Hostel

Put-in: From PKH base drive toward Currarehue. Take signs to Palguin and drive until you see a bridge crossing the Palguin. Go up the hill until you see the closed café (location of Middle Palguin siphon). Keep going up road until you see a road to left that immediately crosses Palguin. Cross bridge and take first left. Drive until you come to a yard with kayak equipment (Ben May’s house).

Take-out: From just above the crack drop you can hike out on river right. Hike back to parking lot.

Great for: This section is great for any kayaker with a solid roll enthusiastic to try running waterfalls.

Best Time to Get It: All Year


The Upper Palguin may be South America’s most run creek. It is perfect for learning and training as the drops are clean, fun and safe. A cool part is the put-in which is at a land bridge with a view of 85 foot high Salto Palguin. First Drop is the most challenging rapid on the stretch and many kayakers lap it. For those too timid there is an option to put in below First Drop. First Drop is actually two drops. The first being a meter high drop with current banking on the left wall making for a slick and steep angled boof. There is a hole and a boily area of water for 10 meters prior to the second tier drop of about 9’. Stick your line or blow and you have to walk back up for another lap.

Second Drop is about a 4 meter high just off vert drop into a clean pool. At higher flows it can be sticky with cleaner lines on the right. At lower flows folks like the left light.

The Twenty Footer – has two sides to it. The left side is easier and better for novice huckers. The right side has a nice spout and enough character to allow great boaters to hone their waterfall tricks.

After the twenty-footer is Pescador and the quick run out. Hike out and do it again.

Hot Tip – Don’t park on the road.

Middle Palguin

Class: IV – V

Reference Location: Near to Pucon Kayak Hostel take the international highway toward Currarehue.

Put-in: From PKH base drive toward Currarehue. Take signs to Palguin and drive until you see a closed down looking café (site of Middle Palguin siphon) on the left. Just shortly past that pulloff there will be another pull-off on the left with fence that looks like kayakers pass through. Hike to river where you will find La Portacion. Most throw boats off cliff and jump in.

Take-out: At café. Or you can hike around and boat to bridge.

Great for: Expert kayakers seeking more footage and challenges. Hikers to Middle Palguin siphon.

Best time to get it: The Palguin runs a lot. We suggest notching this one when everything else is out.

Description: Ever since the collapse of the Middle Palguin 70 footer less folks run this section. The section is either class III+ or serious V. Shortly, after the put—in is Turbina. Turbina is a super solid class V rapid that likes to botch even the world’s best kayakers. Give it a look, portage or run. The section highlight is Boof to Swim. A solid 20+ cascade with a great boof. But the landing is a screaming fast hole.

Lower Palguin

Class: III+ – IV+

Reference Location: Near to Pucon Kayak Hostel take the international highway toward Currarehue.

Put-in: From PKH base drive toward Currarehue. Take signs to Palguin and drive until you see a small bridge on left crossing Palguin. Just 200 m upstream look for pull-off.

Take-out: Driving from put-in back toward Pucon take the first right. Follow road for 400 m to bridge.

Great for: Fly-fishing, waterfall hikes, experienced kayakers with solid boof and roll.

Best time to get it: The Palguin runs a lot. We suggest notching this on when everything else is out.


The Lower Palguin is the lesser known lesser run section of the Palguin. The section is short and has about six good drops and one mandatory portage. Triple Drop is the most famous rapid and has good scouting access on river right. The first drop is a solid IV+ boater’s puzzle. Second drop is easy but it’s right after first drop. And the third drop is a beautiful boof. But it scares us for commercial trips because the water feeds back in behind a cave. Take a serious look before running or portaging this drop.

Brennan Guth drown at the bottom of the portage in the cave. This is a beautiful series of class V basalt canyon slides and troughs similar to the Rio Claro. Too bad the last cascade is punctuated by a cave. Since, Brennan’s death practically no one runs this drop. The final drop just downstream of the portage we call a Mini Throat of the Devil. It has a nice bank and launch for a 14-footer.

Rio Nevados

Upper Rio Nevados (IV)

Reference Location: Near to Pucon Kayak Hostel on the road to Los Pozones

Put-in: Ask at PKH

Take-out: Ask at PKH

Great For: Creekers that love to boof and run waterfalls.

Best Time to Catch It: October – November. This run needs rain. It is common for it to run the entire month of October.


The Nevados is the local’s favorite playground run. There are 20+ waterfalls with well-defined corners for boofs ranging from 6 to 20 feet. The river is full of features with lots of character. If you like a run that requires a little skill, but is not intimidating with sweet slick lines then you’ll love the Nevados. There’s even a long Cali Slide with a launch ramp super for photos. This is one remarkably fantastic creek. If you’re getting solid with your boof then consider getting to Pucon in October or November.

Related: Demshitz Drop and Lower Nevados Canyon at takeout. Big step up.

Hot Tip – Don’t cross anyone’s land.

Rio Maichin

Rio Maichin: Upper Canyon

Class: III – IV with portage class V (runnable)

Reference Location: Near Currarehue

Put-in:  After passing through Currarehue take an immediate left crossing the Trancura. Follow this road until you cross the Maichin bridge. Continue along road until the river and road come back together. There you will see a pull off with Johnnie Kayaker stickers for put in access.

Take-out: From the put-in go back toward the bridge and turn right just prior to bridge. Follow the little dirt road until the road almost ends and actually turns into two logging trails at a creek. You should see a gate and across a field you can see the river. Ask owner for permission. 

Great for: Kayakers with a solid roll and beyond.

Best Time to Get It: November to February


Have you had a real canyon experience? This Patagonia gem at times is towered over by 80’ vertical walls with beautiful turquoise water. The run at times is playful with waves but also has plenty of continuous rapids. There are three bigger IV+ to V rapids with easy to access portages. One section feels similar to the slots section on the Upper Yough but easier. This is one of our must runs. Favorite is to hit the hot springs after the run. (45 min from PKH base.)

Hot Tip – Ask PKH about one of the nearby hot springs after the run. 

Rio Maichin: Lower Canyon

Class: II – III

Reference Location: Near Currarehue

Put-in: At takeout of Maichin Canyon. Ask owner permission for access.

Take-out: Just before Currerehue take the road to Panqui. Stop at bridge.

Great for: Beginner – Intermediate kayakers, Stand Up Paddle, Fly Fishing

Best Time to Get It: November to February


The Lower Maichin Canyon begins where the Maichin Canyon ends. Beginner kayakers love the canyon experience of floating clear blue water surrounded by walls covered in foliage. The rapids are easy with development waves and eddy lines. Development is idea for ferrying, beginner surfing, eddy hopping, combat rolls, and attainments. Also, great for fishing and family fun. A cool bonus is to hit the hot springs right after a Maichin lap. (45 min from PKH base.)

Rio Fuy 

Lower Fuy

Class: II – III

Reference Location: Near Choshuenco

Put-in: Taking the road from Choshuenco toward Neltume the put-in is at the first bridge. Which is also takeout for Middle Fuy.

Take-out: Taking road from Choshuenco toward Panguipulli the takeout is the first bridge. You may also opt to paddle down to Lago Panguipulli and takeout in Choshuenco.

Great for: Intermediate Kayakers, Fishing, Ducky, Raft

Best Time to Get It: January to March


The short lived Rio Fuy steeply flows 3 sections from Lago Neltume to Lago Panguipulli. The entire length is whitewater with the Lower being the easiest class III stretch. The bottom half of the Lower Fuy can be a class II beginner stretch. This one is unique in that the water is warm and you have views of a glacier. There are plenty of big wave trains with eddies to hop. Development skills focus mostly on read and run scouting, eddy hopping, piercing eddies, combat rolling, and holding ferry angles out of fast currents. (Favorite is to paddle to the lake and across to the beach. (2 hours from PKH base.)

Hot Tip – Paddling across the lake is beautiful and for many worth the extra effort.

Middle Fuy

Class: IV – V

Reference Location: Near to Neltume and Huilo Huilo

Put-in: As you approach Huilo Huilo there will be a big building and parking lot on right for La Puma viewing. Pay here and drive into parking area. As you hike into view La Puma you want to take the trail that goes through the bush arch walkway. Look for path down to river at base of La Puma.

Take-out: Takeout at the Fuy Bridge.

Great for: Solid kayakers who love action rapids and a 50 footer.

Best time to get it: This run actually stays high and is rowdy at high flows. We recommend notching this late season February to April we’ve ran it.


The Middle Fuy 50 footer is as clean of a 50-footer as you will find. Too bad the seal launch gets kayakers. This canyon is gorgeous with blue water, lots of temperate rainforest foliage, waterfalls and great rapids. The section begins with a series of mellow class IV rapids. Lots of fun moves and boofs. Prior to the big bird you’ll have a couple of portages. After running the big one the section picks up in intensity. Rapids are big and fast with lots of moves. A high water flow is not the place for a novice creeker.

Hot Tip – Preplan your video and photo team.

Upper Fuy

Class: III – IV

Reference Location: Between Neltume and Puerto Fuy

Put-in: On Lago Neltume at the bridge where lake turns into river.

Takeout: Below Hotel Baobab after the river becomes flat and the road is next to river look for the pull-off that goes down to river 100’.

Great For: Kayaker with solid boof ready to charge waterfalls.

Best Time to Get It: January


This is one of the greatest waterfall runs to be found anywhere. The entire area is a bit of a fairy tale. Really, the architecture in the area is like an Ewok Village, then there are waterfalls and glaciers, and lagunas. This 4 KM stretch is packed full of beautiful clean waterfalls. Gazing into the blue water you’ll be amazed by it’s remarkable clarity. Las Leonas being the most grand with a series of three cascades together. They too are lap-able for those who want more.

Hot Tip – Stop in at the Ewok Hotel for a beer and hike to the roof.

Rio Claro (aka Seven Teacups)

Twenty-two Saltos Section Rio Claro

Class: III – IV+

Reference Location: Nacional Parque Siete Tazas

Put-in: From the restaurant Flor de Canela at bridge crossing Rio Claro hike upstream. Cross 4 drainages and after fourth drainage find path down to river seal launch. There is an overlook of first 25 footer.

Take-out: At bridge.

Great for: Solid kayakers who love waterfalls. If you want more after the Teacups section then you’re ready for the Twenty-two Saltos.

Best Time to Get It: November – December


After a hot hike you’ll drop into the canyon via a seal launch. As far as creeking goes this section is relatively easy at proper flows. The first 25 foot drop is gloriously clean and beautiful. We are most intimidated by the thirty footer. You’ll know it when you come into an eddy on river right wall with blind horizon right next to you. At low water ride as tight to right wall as possible as there is a rock jutting out in the middle. This section is a whitewater phenom with clean cascade after clean cascade. We call one the ski ramp as it banks and launches like a 15 foot ramp. For experienced creekers this is the most popular section as it is not quite as intimidating as the Throat of the Devil Canyon and we think overall has higher quality clean drops.

Hot Tip – Get on this trip with PKH’s Pucon + Teacups Trip.

Entres Saltos and Cinco Tazas Sections

Between Falls and Five Teacups

Class: III with portages

Put-in: At Rio Claro Bridge next to Café Flor de Canela

Take-out: There are several riverside take outs on both right and left. Make certain to not drop into Throat of the Devil Canyon at Ski Ramp Drop. Hiking out of this section will require some work. We’ve brought groups out with rope kayak support and had a great section.

WARNING – Do not make the mistake of going over that beautiful 13 foot waterfall just below the bridge. Around the bend is a class V sieve with no out of canyon except up the walls.

Great For: Beginner and Intermediate Creekers. Advanced Creekers too as there are some more challenging drops in here too.


Few kayakers realize that there is a section below the bridge with some quality beginner and intermediate drops. But there are also some hefty portages so scout prior to putting on. Kayakers can get that cool canyon feel and still be able to hike out. The Five Teacups are especially clean and there are at least a dozen other clean drops. For kayakers happy on the Teacups stretch and do not want more this is a great section for more cascades with proper safety.

Hot Tip – Get on this trip with PKH’s Pucon + Teacups Trip.

Garganta del Diablo or Throat of the Devil

Class: IV+

Put-in: Many will putin at the Entres Saltos section or bridge or alongside the riverside camp sites.

Take-out: Along the road from Entres Saltos bridge to Seven Teacups you will see a road downhill to the left. If gate is open drive to the overlooks just upstream of bridge. From river takeout at the steps and walk to car.

WARNING: This run at high water has a potential drowning potential at the overhang below Throat of Devil. At medium to low flows the eddy is very manageable and easy to set safety. Avoid high water.

Great For: Any solid kayaker wanting the ride of a lifetime. Kayakers wanting remarkable footage. Boaters with solid boof experience.

Best Time to Get It: November – December


Less than a decade ago photos of an iconic waterfall with a 270-degree banking turn went viral in the kayak world. Everyone wanted to run this beautiful cascade. Just above Throat of the Devil is the 14 foot slide to Ski Ramp. Then above the Throat of the Devil lip is a big eddy. Above kayakers attached to ropes dangle from perches with cameras. If the flow is low enough you can walk out on the lip for shots. The ride is faster than you can prep for and hard to time any strokes. Friend Jon Clark took a boof stroke at low water and ended in back pain for weeks. So, no boof strokes. At the bottom awaits the best celebration of your life.

After Throat of the Devil are a couple of class III drops and the canyon walls tower over you in flatwater as you approach a side waterfall tributary. The canyon is letting you know how special of a place her bosom is. For the most part we say if you are good enough to run Throat of the Devil that you can figure out the rest of the drops. Which we think are comparable if not easier than 22 Saltos. Worth noting are a 50 – foot and a 70 – Foot Slot. Strategies vary with levels and kayakers. Best we’ve seen is placing the paddle over your should. We have seen multiple kayakers go upside down and make the ride inverted. It all flushes.

Hot Tip – Get on this trip with PKH’s Pucon + Teacups Trip.

Seven Teacups / Siete Tazas

Class: III+

Put-in: At Natioal Park Gate. Hike the catwalk and just prior to staircase take rough trail to left going upstream. Follow cairns and search for trail going down bank. Should be 15 – 20 minute hike. Might ask at gate too. Have ropes for boats at put-in.

Take-out: At National Park Gate. After seventh drop hike up stair case. Have ropes for boats at takeout.

Great For: Intermediate to Advanced Creekers. Bold SUP boarders. Tourists.

Best Time to Get It: November – December


The Siete Tazas National Park is the park’s namesake. Photos of the Seven Teacups are seen nationally on postcards, coffee table photo books and throughout the Internet. This section is simply breathtaking. The drops are 15 feet, 4 feet, 3 feet, 8 feet, 6 feet, 20 feet and 18 feet high. Bring your Go Pro and enjoy the run. We really like to do a great job setting up camera angles for this experience. So, be ready with your camera. And if you love it then hike back up and notch a second lap.

Hot Tip – Get on this trip with PKH’s Pucon + Teacups Trip.

Other Pucon-Area Rivers

Rio San Pedro

Class: II – III

Reference Location: Near Panguipulli

Put-in: Follow signs from Panguipulli to Hotel Rinimapu (directions online too). Just prior to Hotel Rinimapu is a free access path to the Lago.

Take-out: Take main highway until it crosses the river. There is also a lower takeout at the ferry about 4 miles downstream.

Great for: Intermediate to advanced kayakers, fishing, Expert Stand Up Paddle, Ducky, Raft, overnight camp trips

Best Time to Get It: January to May


Kayakers begin this trip with a short paddle out of Lago Rinimapu as it transitions from lake to riverbed. The water is clear, warm, deep and remarkable. Slowly, the rapids begin to appear more and more regularly and waves form. This is a great run to bring a play boat and fishing rod for trout. While, you can do this classic in a day our favorite is to camp under the stars next to a surf wave and beach. It really does not get any better than getting up for a morning coffee and surf. Favorite is the three giant Futa style wave train rapids. (2 hr from PKH base.)

Hot Tip – Best trip you can do is the San Pedro Overnight Raft Support Camp Trip.

Rio Tolten: Lago Villiarrica to Chicken Lady Beach

Class: II – III

Reference Location: Near Villiarrica

Put-in: Lago Villiarrica Estuary with Rio Tolten (Segunda’s Fishing Business)

Take-out:  Approximately 5 miles downstream. From the road look for the Johnnie Kayaker logo painted on a bus stop.

Great for:  Beginner – Intermediate Kayakers, Stand Up Paddle, Fly Fishing, Ducky

Best Time to Get It: January to March


The Tolten is one of our most popular beginner – intermediate runs and our instructors love teaching this section. The Tolten actually flows out of Lago Villiarrica like an overflowing tub. The blue water has been solar heated and it’s bigger volume currents are deep and faster making it a fun run with lots of wave trains. Intermediate kayakers can even try surfing mellow waves. There are plenty of eddy lines and rapids to run and we think this is the best section for in-current combat roll with spotter practice due to the deep water. There’s even some sweet cliff jumping for the more adventurous. This section is right at the base of Volcan Villiarrica and boasts over half a dozen photogenic vistas of Chile’s most famous volcano. Also great for SUP boarding, inflatable kayaks, family fun, and fishing. A favorite is stopping to buy fresh smoked salmon at the fish stand. (35 min from PKH base.)

Hot Tip – Ask PKH about the fisherman’s shuttle.

Rio Tolten Lago Villiarrica to Pacific Ocean

Great for: Stand Up Paddle, Sea Kayak, Fly Fishing

How cool would it be to create a Stand Up Paddle board and sea kayak camping trip from Lago Villiarrica to the ocean? If you are interested in this trip then let us know because we want to paddle this gorgeous path to the ocean. And then pickup some serious seafood.

Truful Truful

Class: III & Optional V

Reference Location: Near Parque Nacional Conguillio

Put-in: The fastest is to travel west up the Allipen Valley to Melipeuco. From here it is only few KM east to turn to Parque Nacional Conguillio and a few KM up to the park gate.

Take-out: The takeout is above the Trufulizer next to the road. Cross the main road bridge and take first left headed upstream.

Best Time to Get It: February to March – Note this run typically is too high and comes in late in the season.


Driving in you’ll cross a lava field with a towering volcano covered with a glacier. It’s easy to see where the lava flowed. The put-in is quite an anomaly too. As you start on a creek bed you may notice all the creeks coming in from the banks. Those are not creeks but rather water seaping and soon the riverbed doubles, triples, quadruples and becomes a river. The geologic strata is impressive. This river is mostly a series of class III continuous waves without too many features. Although, at the takeout is a series of solid class V rapids.

Hot Tip – Plan on a full day.

Rio Coilaco: Park + Huck

Class: IV

Reference Location: Near to Pucon Kayak Hostel going toward Tres Saltos or Los Pozones

Put-in/Takeout: Ask at PKH

Great For: Waterfall Lovers

Best Time to Get It: This run needs rain. October – November


We are torn about this 30-foot waterfall. It’s a beautiful waterfall but we have seen several kayakers hurt their backs at low water. Please make certain there is good water in the drop if you are going to run it. With that said Coilaco has appeared in many vids and is a great afternoon after rainy days.

Hot Tip – Avoid low water.

Rio Llancahue

Class: IV – IV+

Reference Location: Pass Thermas Geometricas near Lican Ray

Put-in: Drive past Thermas Geometricas until you see the takeout. Go past the takeout approximately 1.5 KM. You will pass a small wooden bridge going over river. There will be a road to left and a couple of hundred meters pass that is a field with river on right.

Take-out: Drive past the Thermas Geometricas turn. Drive along the Llancahue. There will be a small pull-off next to river about 10 meters away. You will see a small series of slides/rapids above.

Great For: Creekers and boof lovers.

Best Time to Get It: November – January


The Llancahue is the Palguin sister river just on the other side of the volcano. It has a basalt bedrock and often channelizes but does not have as many clean drops. In recent years the Llancahue has not been run as often due wood. The first significant drop is an easy 20 footer. Rapids are read or scout and run. We recommend scouting often due to wood.

Rio Turbio

Class: IV – V

Reference Location: Minutes away from PKH base. Ask.

Put-in: Coming from PKH cross the Turbio bridge and take left toward Canyon del Turbio. After crossing the sketchy wooden bridge take first right down to metal bridge. Hike 2 KM to put-in along riverbank.

Take-out: Same. With option to paddle to Rio Trancura.

Great for: Solid kayakers seeking to notch a 35 footer or run serious class V. Remarkable summertime low water hike and cliff jumping.

Best Time to Get It: November


Note- There are multiple near-terminal recirculation reports from a clean, innocuous looking 10-footer – beware at low water and portage at high water.


You can scout the entire stretch as you hike up. The basalt bedrock is often undercut on the sides and creates funny water at high levels. There are several slides and smaller boofs. Be careful on this run as it has a more dangerous want to hurt you nature about it.

Hot Tip – At high water research the 10 footer terminal hydraulic and walk it. Or have live-bait rescue in place.

Rio Puesco

Class: V

Reference Location: Along Currarehue Road to Argentina – Chile Border

Put-in:  Cross the Puesco bridge just prior to ranger station. You can put in at this bridge or take a left on Argentina side of bridge. Drive til you cross second log bridge.

Take-out: The Upper Puesco takeout is at the first bridge going over river. There is a Lower Puesco Takeout. A few kilometers below the Upper Puesco Bridge takeout you will see something that looks like a gravel mine. There are some near river access points along the road here.

Great For: Class V boaters whom love to go fast. This section can be aerobic and is only for solid kayakers.

Best Time to Get It: While, the Puesco continues to hold and channel for lower flows the optimal flows are in November.


The Puesco has recently gained international whitewater attention with the Puesco River Fest held each November. The Puesco Fest highlights an Extreme Downriver Race and attracts kayakers or all sorts. This is a breathtaking section of river. The rapids are super continuous and often have a nature of sprint to make the next drop or avoid a pour-over. For great kayakers this is a fun and exciting section. Hot Tip – Don’t run this section unless you are a solid kayaker with persons whom know the run. Try a dip in one of the nearby hot springs after your laps.