Over the course of a week you will learn the basics of kayak eddy turns, peel-outs, ferries, and the fundamentals of edge control. During the middle of the week we usually take a rest day that will allow you the opportunity to take advantage of the numerous other optional multisport activities in this spectacular Patagonia wilderness. The last two days of our kayak school are devoted to day-long kayak river trips, where we will put all of the paddling fundamentals together.
Day 1: Arrival and introductions
Arrive at either of our entry points in Puerto Montt, Chile or Esquel, Argentina, the gateway to Patagonia. Connect with our kayak school representative and travel to the remote ocean-side town of Chaiten, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and majestic mountains. You will find your accommodations at our comfortable inn and town cabins, settling in with an early snack. Before dinner we meet for introductions and a classroom session to become familiar with your kayaks, equipment, and river safety procedures. Unwind from your trip and your first day of paddling instruction with a hearty welcome dinner at our Chaiten hosteria.
Day 2: Termas del Amarillo - Hot Springs
Early wake up call and breakfast. Introductions to getting in and out of your kayaks and rolling. We drive 30 minutes to the Hot Springs of Volcan Michimahuida and spend the morning laying the foundations for your kayak roll. An explanation of each kayak roll, and which roll best suits you, will be the focus of the day. See our Kayak Roll Identifier for a preview. In the afternoon, we put in on the Rio Negro on a flat-water section to learn the basic stroke techniques. After a couple of hours of paddling, return to our hosteria to refresh, and a trip around Chaiten and its cultural museum.
Day 3: Back to the Hot Springs
Another early morning, and return to the hot springs for more roll practice and kayak instruction, and have lunch in this idealistic setting. In the afternoon, return to the Rio Negro to continue your instruction on paddling skills. The more adventurous and quick learners have the option to try out thier kayak rolling skills on moving water. After another couple of hours of paddling, we return to our hosteria and offer this evening an optional visit to the Santa Barbara beach just on the outskirts of Chaiten.
Day 4: Termas and Introduction to the Futaleufu Valley
Our last early morning, we return to the hot springs to strengthen our rolls before setting off to the town of Futaleufu. By this session our students will be rolling and we will adjust techniques and add the finishing touches to your moves. In the early afternoon, we pack up and head off to Futaleufu. As we arrive to the valley, we try our skills on the lower section of Futaleufu, a first taste of calm, big water, where your skills will be tested.
This section introduces you to your first Class II moving water with waves that will come over the bow of the kayak. All of you will get to try your roll in the calm water section of the river. After paddling this section, we drive on to town and check into our kayak school Lodge. Dinner will be waiting for you, as well as Pisco Sours and our staff.
Day 5: Rio Espolon and an Introduction to River Features
After a well deserved late morning wake up, we head off to a secret blue lagoon located on the edge of the pristine Rio Espolon. We will practice our rolls in the comforts of the lagoon and once our confidence is built up, head off into the Class II/III moving water, our first real rapids that will test your skills for the next 3 days. We will practice the ferrying technique, crossing the Espolon several times, as well as strengthen our ability to identify river features such as tongues, waves, holes, and eddies. We will get our first chance to surf our first standing wave, on a completely safe part of the river.
Day 6: Rio Espolon Repeat
Today is a repeat of Day 5, but this time, we are putting more emphasis on surfing, and the skills necessary to stay on the wave. You will be implementing all of the skills that you have learned these last 5 days, in real situations. Another day to test your skills.
Day 7: Graduation Day
Today is our graduation day for our New Kayaker Course. We will let you loose, and go paddle the entire Rio Espolon, allowing for students to practice their skills in more radical environments, following their own lines, but having a professional safety net serving as a back-up. Each student will be monitored and advised on better techniques to emphasize in the future. After today, you will have the skills necessary to kayak Class II/III whitewater, as well as have the experience of having kayaked the Futaleufu. Not many can say that. A farewell dinner, and a ceremony welcoming you to the kayak community await you at the lodge.
Day 8: Departure
Wake up for an early breakfast and drive back to Chaiten, Chile and your flight to Puerto Montt, or relax for a couple of hours and take our shuttle to Esquel, Argentina. As you catch a final view of the Río Futaleufu; surrounded by hanging glaciers and snow capped mountains, take a moment to reflect upon all of the amazing sights and experiences of this past week. After all these years we are still stunned that views like these exist.
Included: All meals, lodging, transportation, kayaks, guides and river gear while paddling with us. Round trip transportation between Futaleufu and Puerto Montt or Esquel.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Chile Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting