We hear it all the time… I really want to do my dream Chile kayaking trip but the airfares are expensive. Mostly, North America to Temuco flights range from $US1000 to $US1400. Many of our savvy nomad kayak travelers can find fares for as low as $US600. If a lower airfare is your decision maker for a Chile kayak trip then review our tips. And send us an email as we often have an updated gauge on pricing. We are here to help you.
Advantages of Following These Tips
By following these tips you will be a well-informed consumer.
If you learn just one new airfare purchasing gem you’ll save money.
You may find yourself buying a ticket to your dream kayak vacation.
Tips for Cheaper Chile Airfares White Water Kayakers Use
Browse incognito to avoid bait and switch pricing.
Airlines say they don’t raise prices by leaving and returning to their sites. But we have seen this happen. Each time you search incognito you are in effect resetting your cookies and hence not allowing the sites track your site hits.
Some known cheap US ports.
Try to route through these ports to save your budget.
DC Dulles has a super cheap Copa Airlines flight routing through Panama. JFK surprisingly had the lowest national airfares to Santiago. Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Houston, Toronto, and Dallas are all international airports that route direct to Chile.
Know the cheapest day to fly.
Use sites like Google Flights and Sky Scanner’s “Whole Month” feature to see cheapest flights by date. As a rule of thumb Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are cheaper than weekend flights. Google.com/Flights – We suggest beginning your research with Google Flights because you can easily see the cheapest days to fly. It’s cool to see the costs illustrated on each day of the calendar. SkyScanner.com – Maybe the best comprehensive booking site for finding low fares. The “Whole Month” feature allows you to compare prices by the day equaling hundreds of dollars in savings. Easy to use and fast.
Now that you know the cheapest days to fly use the data to search on other cheaper booking engines.
Use price alerts and price bidding.
Many booking sites have either price alerts or bidding. You can bid your price or by requesting alerts watch prices drop during the following weeks.
LowFares.com – searches Travelocity, Kayak, Expedia, One Travel, Cheap Flight Now, and Trip Advisor. CheapFlightNow.com and CheapOAir.com – Also searches multiple engines. SkyAuction.com – While, Priceline.com recently killed their name your own price option SkyAuction still offers a similar service. You have the option to pay the price they publish or why not try naming your price.
Annually, Pucon Kayak Hostel upgrades demo kayaks with the kayak industry latest and greatest designs. We are proud to announce our shiny new plastic from brands Jackson Kayak, Pyranha Kayaks, Waka Kayaks, and Zet Kayaks. We believe a commitment to new kayaks is a commitment to our loyal kayaker guests. Plus, we love to paddle the new designs.
22 New Whitewater Kayaks 2018 – 2019 Pucon Chile Season
Pucon Classics (II to III+), DEC – MAR. Now beginner to intermediate kayakers can explore over 15 class II to III+ sections of rivers. Claro PLUS, (III+ to IV+), NOV. This advance kayak program takes kayakers to the world’s most iconic runnable waterfalls. Explore a 57,000,000 year old basalt waterfall wonderland. Pucon Creek Week, III+ to IV+, NOV – DEC. Pucon Creek Weeks compliment our Claro trips allowing kayakers to explore Chile’s two best waterfall regions. Road to Futa PLUS (III to IV+), FEB – MAR. Target the Futa’s optimum season for sunny days, glorious turquoise waves, and the road trip of a life time.
As the leaders of NOC Paddlesports and Pucon Kayak Hostel we are avid promoters of kayaking Chile’s rivers. Funny enough we more often than not hear a series of objections why to not kayak Chile. We’ve decided to address the most popular objections to never kayak Chile.
#5 – “Why go to Chile to paddle with other Americans?”
Hahaha… Tip – You might want to refer to yourself as a North American when in Central or South America.
“It’s common to see 8 different countries represented having dinner together around the fire after a day on the river.” – Pro Kayaker Clay Wright observing dinner at PKH
Pucon Kayak Hostel attracts kayakers from around the globe including Japan, Russia, Germany, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Austria, Spain, France, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the list goes on. It’s a whitewater hub of excitement, logistics coordinating, story swapping, booty beer chugging, and international kayaker games and bonding. And yes, kayakers from the US come too.
#4- “I’m not good enough to kayak Chile’s rivers.”
Most kayakers realize Chile’s rivers and turquoise waterfalls attract pro kayakers like flies to a porch light. But beginner and intermediate kayakers may not know that Chile’s Lakes and Rivers District is congested with rivers full of excellent development features flowing from the Andean and volcanic peaks to the Pacific. We would even go far as to say that the rivers reliably guarantee year round flows and Pucon has the world’s best development rivers for beginners and intermediates. Heck. If it’s too cold we’ll just go do a roll session in the hot springs.
“We chose Chile over destinations like Ecuador and Costa Rica because of the number of remarkable development rivers. Our (NOC) kayakers are middle aged seeking great instruction on safe beautiful rivers. Chile has it all.” – Tosh Arwood, NOC Kayak Program Director
#3- “Chile cost more than Ecuador or Costa Rica.”
“If it weren’t for Pucon Kayak Hostel’s economical options I don’t think our program would be able to do Chile.” – Capo Rettig, Director World Class Academy
What if we get creative and give kayakers options that make Chile affordable? Here are a few options that make Chile trips affordable.
Regular trip guests can opt for a DISCOUNTED Trip Extension at 40% DISCOUNT.
Refer a friend and group organizer discounts make it so cheap that we’ve seen organizers earn a free trip.
Choose the camping option and save even more on any of our trips. Campers get all the trip benefits of 3 meals/day, daily kayak instruction, select kayak usage, transport to world’s best rivers, and access to the ambiance and community of PKH.
Email to discuss DISCOUNT options.
#2- “It’s not easy to find cheap Chile airfares.”
It’s true that Chile, for US kayakers, is twice the distance as destinations like Costa Rica and Ecuador. But we’ve learnt a few budget saving airfare tricks of interest. We’ve seen Chile tickets as low as $US700. Some budget saving tips:
Know the cheapest airports to get to Chile. US cheap ports include: Washington Dulles -Copa Airlines, JFK, Houston, Dallas, and Miami.
Try Air Canada. Shocking. Flying through Air Canada can be cheaper than US routes.
BEST TIP – Try our recommended travel agent. After researching online for hours, being frustrated by the airlines bait and switching prices we reluctantly went to our travel agent. She first locked in lowest airfares giving her time to research even more.
“Mary Jo got my ticket for $300 less than I found and I didn’t have to do a thing. +PLUS, she knows kayaker travel needs. So, I’ve got a lifeline if I need to change ticket or anything happens.” Email – email@example.com for travel agent referral.
#1- “We’re going to kayak Chile next year.”
Really? Why does it take some kayakers 2 to 3 years, if ever, to make the mental leap? Why not advance your passion for kayaking, desire to become a better paddler, and attraction to explore beautiful rivers with great people? Come on… this is your invite with everything setup for your kayaking vacation.
Could this be your new attitude? “I promised myself I’d become a better kayaker. I’m going to make Chile happen this January. Kayaking is my craft for exploration, adventure and meeting kayakers from around the world. I’m going to email my friends and rally…”
Is this the year to kayak Chile?
PKH offers several discount promotions for the 2017-2018 season. Email or call to learn more. David@puconkayakhostel.com or +1-828-788-5135.
Most Popular Pucon Chile Whitewater Kayak Trips
Teacups +PLUS (III+ to IV+), $US1200 Camping/$US1500 Lodging, November – This waterfall road trip for advanced kayakers explores the world’s most iconic waterfall destination.Rio Claro’s Seven Teacups National Park has 70 +PLUS clean waterfalls in a 57,000,000 year old polished basalt canyon. Make that five canyons +PLUS one of other river valley.
Pucon Classics (II to III) and (III to IV+), $US1950 Camping/$US2250 Lodging, January and February – This trip offers more rivers and private instruction. Kayakers really wanting to improve their skills and explore lots of rivers love this trip.
Week of Rivers Chile for Clubs (II to IV+), $US1950 Camping/$US2250 Lodging, January 13 to 23 – We took our most successful Pucon Classics model and tweaked it just for clubs and schools. Now, whitewater groups can bring every skill and receive members discounts.
Road to Futa, (III to IV+), $US1950 Camping/$US2250 Lodging, Feb 21 – Mar 1 – Maybe our guides favorite trip is to drive the Patagon roads to the world famous Futa Valley. Based right in the middle of the Bridge to Bridge section our daily tasks are to eat, drink, kayak, play games, sleep, repeat. We have 50 +PLUS miles of river to explore ranging from beginner to all-you-can-eat. While, some are scared of big water we time for the lowest time of year when the Futa is at playful levels. Still big and exciting making for the kayak road trip of a lifetime.
The best time to whitewater kayak Chile depends on two things: the type of kayaking you want to do and the Chilean season. First, Chile being south of the equator the seasons are opposite to North Americans and Europeans. As you travel north it is hotter and more arid. To the south is more water and the climate is colder. So, think about to kayak Pucon and north for October to December. Then as Chile rivers dry up think of kayaking Pucon and south from January to April. Pucón, which is located in the aptly named Araucanía (or ‘Rivers & Lakes’) district. And what about the world famous Futaleufu?
Chile Kayak Trips Determined by Weather and Season
This is the Chile’s best kayaker destination for waterfalls. The past few years more canyons have been opened as kayakers explore away from the normal playgrounds and access roads are managed. We used to advertise more than 70 clean waterfalls. That number approaches 100 for expedition kayakers.
What to Avoid. Avoid December low-flows. Located in Chile’s arid central wine valleys the low volume is typically dry by early December. We’ve even seen a global warming shifting of water levels.
Best Chile Kayak Deal. Make the most of your Chile kayaking trip with a week of kayaking in Pucon with the Kayak Pucon Creek Week.
Best Time – Kayak early to mid November.
For whom? Class IV Kayakers with excellent rolls and fit conditioning.
Kayak Chile’s Pucon Whitewater Epicenter
Pucon Chile is located on the flanks of the Andes within a temperate rainforest where rivers flow based on both rain and snowmelt to the nearby Pacific Ocean. Imagine placing a string of volcanos which multiply the number of drainages, canyons, rivers, and waterfalls. Volcanos, glaciers and tectonic events also formed numerous lakes. It’s a whitewater anomaly with whitewater recreation for all levels from family to expert, and fisherman to rafter.
Know when is best for your kayak skills.
October to November Chile Kayaking. The late spring season Chile’s rivers are flowing with lots of waterfall and river options.
December to March Chile Kayaking. These are the core summer months of the Chile kayak season offering everything including beginner, intermediate, and advanced kayaking adventures. The sun is shining, its warm with long days and the rivers are inviting kayakers. The northern rivers tend to dry up and kayakers migrate to Pucon for the many options and adventures. Pucon Kayak Retreat offers kayak trips based on skill levels.
Anyone whom has ever dreamt to whitewater kayak the Rio Futaleufu will enjoy the Road to Futa road trip of a life time. Road to Futa not only embraces the challenge of just getting to Patagonia’s world famous Futaleufu River we highlight every kayaker’s mission to get to the remote Futa Valley. PKH arranges logistics via Chile’s famous Carretera Austral, Southern Highway, taking kayakers along a series of ferries, fjords, volcanoes, glaciers, and Patagonia magnificent en route to the Futa. Once there kayakers fall in love with one of the world’s most magical rivers. Ultimately, kayaking the Futaleufu is every kayaker’s dream come true.
Best Time – With rugged Patagonia weather we recommend late January to mid March for best levels and sunny days. Pre-season the Futa is often dangerously high and flushed out and kayakers are smattered by heavy weather.
For Whom? Most kayakers think the Futa is only for experts. And the river certainly keeps the best kayakers in the world happy. But it also has remarkable sections for beginners and intermediates.
Tips – Bring your camera, good coffee, and winning attitude. Ask about adding a Pucon leg.
Know Chilean Geography
As you travel north to south you go from the warmer arid regions to the cooler temperate rainforest regions. Keeping these facts in mind, the ideal kayak adventure can be planned allowing you to hit rivers at their optimum flows with optimum weather conditions. And in Chile, water levels make all the difference. Basically, you’ll be moving from north to south OR from south to north — depending on what time of year you plan to travel (more on that in a second).
Santiago lies at the northern end of Chile’s central valley and wine district. There is notable whitewater to the west of Santiago, in the Maipo Valley, but 99% of Chile’s whitewater remains to the south. The Andes spine has annual snowmelt flowing west to the Pacific. Traveling south from Santiago looking east to the Andes it’s hard not to imagine what rapids lie hidden upstream. As you travel south, the weather cools and moisture increases, meaning the snow pack lasts longer into the season. Pucón has one of the longest whitewater seasons in Chile, with quality rivers running year-round.
Chile Kayaker Tip: Pre-December you’ll find the rivers in Pucón and anywhere to the north offer warmer climates and plenty of water in smaller creeks and classic, larger volume rivers. River flow becomes less and less reliable throughout December, with many tributaries running dry by new year. Guides from the Futaleufu and surrounding area travel north to Pucón, and even the central valley, during this time of year. We recommend the Maipo, Seven Teacups National Park, Nuble, and Achibueno Valleys.
Pucón Whitewater Kayak Epicenter
Geographically, Pucón is the epicenter of Chile whitewater kayaking. It lies to the south of Santiago and just north of the famous Rio Futaleufu. The summer vacation destination was originally established as a military trading route to Argentina, making it extremely accessible. Pucón is close to the Pan American highway (Ruta 5) and near a major Argentinian border. During early development the town — surrounded by lakes, rivers, and volcanoes — developed as an elite head-of-state fishermen’s destination. The perfect location with breathtaking beauty makes Pucón one of Chile’s top summer vacation destinations – for locals and foreigners.
Pucon Chile’s Kayaker Heaven on Earth
For kayaker’s, Pucón is Heaven on Earth. Tourism, infrastructure, highways, and roads to river put-ins and take-outs provide something many other countries simply cannot deliver — access. The high annual precipitation and gradient between the Andes and the Pacific make this region one of the most congested whitewater locations on the planet. Now, imagine the Andes slopes speckled with volcanoes, each with their own glacial drainage. Chile’s volcanoes were formed separate from the mountain range, during different geological events — and they exponentially multiply the number of waterfalls and runnable rivers. In Pucón, for example, the Rios Turbio, Palguin, Truful Truful, and Llancahue are all volcano drainages. Surrounded by more rivers than you can possibly paddle in an area that also offers convenience, night-life, grocery stores, infrastructure, medical facilities, restaurants & cafes, and the opportunity to socialize with other travelers or just as easily seclude yourself far off the grid — it’s easy to see why Pucón has become one of the top kayak destinations in the world.
Pucon Kayak Tip – Pucón has one of the longest kayak seasons in Chile. October and November are rainier periods great for notching lots of class IV+ and big drops. Everything is running. December may be the most popular month due to the holidays. The peak months of summer, from January thru March, see many of Chile’s rivers dry up, but Pucón continues to hold flows and attract kayakers. The sun is shining and the rivers are running.
Weather is King!
North is hotter. South is cooler. The weather gets almost unbearable near Santiago from January to March. Chile even takes a month-long national summer break to beat the heat. Chileans flock south to the cooler weather and any sources of water in forms of creeks, rivers, lakes, and lagunas. This is one reason why you see so many tourists in the south of Chile during February. As the weather gets hotter the rivers get lower.
The opposite is true of the south. Even Futaleufu guides avoid the Futa during October to December months due to dangerous high flows and extreme cold weather. But as the rivers of the north get low during summer months the Futaleufu Valley offers the perfect summer climate and an unlimited number of river cooling spots. During these months the river is at perfect flow, attracting kayakers from around the globe.
Chile Kayaking Tip – Go with the flow of Chile’s river levels and enjoy the Patagonia summer weather. Plan your Futa trip for the months of January to March. Since many rivers are dry by this time, many kayakers arrive to Pucón seeking to get on reliable runs like the Palguin, Liucura’s play wave, Trancura, San Pedro or Truful Truful.
You are warmly invited to white water kayak with Pucon Kayak Retreat. Email David@puconkayakhostel.com to learn more.
It was the summer of 2003 when I knocked out two front teeth. Numbers 9 and 10 I would soon learn were worth more than a good used SUV at around $US12,000. Ouch! As a nomadic toothless kayaker that desired to have a full smile I soon began asking about international dental pricing. The discoveries were perspective changing.
Here are a few international dental practices that many kayakers may not know.
IMPLANTS – are one of the worst to experience and expensive dental eprocedures you never want to have. I was more scared getting my second one than my first.
“I’ve got dental insurance. I’m covered.” WRONG. I discovered, “Implants are a cosmetic surgery under the same category as a face lift, boob job, tummy tuck…” WHAT? I was toothless and not covered.
Practically, every country in the world has cheaper dental services than the US. But is the quality as good? Please. Don’t ask a Chilean that.My US dentist let me in on a little secret and shared some Chile dental websites.
Simple dental improvements and applications like whitening, crowns, and cavity services are a fraction of the cost of US services.
US implant services come with a menu of ways you can get your implant. Basically, you have 3 pain options ranging in menu of price points: laughing gas, local anesthetic, and “don’t be stupid… we’re drilling into your face.”
Chile does not offer laughing gas but does naturally include local anesthetic. Which is all you need. “Is this real life?”
Dental Services Price Comparison – Chile v. USA
With 20 +PLUS years of leading international kayak trips just in Chile I’ve seen a few broken teeth get crown work, cavities filled, caps replaced, teeth whitening and a personal implant based on demand. I’ve personally been impressed with how quickly Chilean dentists will open their offices and complete work. Here are a few price comparisons based on my experience and according to https://memberbenefits.com/dental-costs-with-and-without-insurance/.
Service Chile USA
Fillings $50 – $75 $50 – $250
Implants Less than half US Rate My first implant was $6,000+
Whitening $100 – $250 $650*
*According to www.yourdentistryguide.com.
Take Away Points
Are you covered? Check to make certain big cost procedures like implants are not categorized as “cosmetic surgery.”
What health care procedures could you save your budget and put back into your kayaking trip?
Even if you are covered you may want to research purchasing a traveler’s insurance plan for your kayaking trips.
In Pucon we recommend our local resident dentist kayaker Anita Diaz seen in photo.