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Whitewater Rivers in Central Chile  

Whitewater Rivers
in Central Chile

Central Chile provides wilderness waters that have hardly been explored, with lots of sunshine, athletic challenges of all kinds, and varied landscapes. However, you better not base your expectations on experiences made in Europe or North America, Chilean waters are a totally different matter. This is especially true for kayaking; you will find only very sketchy descriptions of Chilean bodies of water. In exchange for that, you will be travelling on some of the most beautiful, unaltered, unpolluted, and uncrowded rivers. Considerable and constant changes in water levels make sure that an old saying holds true: You never get on the same river twice.

In the central region, every 30 to 40 kilometers a major whitewater river makes its way from the Andes to the Pacific, altogether about two dozen between Los Andes and Los Angeles, not counting the many small tributaries. Only two of them are run regularly - Río Maipo near Santiago and Río Bío Bío.

Whitewater only exists east of the Panamericana; the higher up in the mountains, the wilder and more rugged. Another rule of thumb: The further south you go, the cleaner the river and the greener the environment.

Our descriptions are intended to help you choose and plan trips, but they definitely cannot replace knowledge of local conditions and a thorough prior exploration of the river's run. Places are listed from north to south.

More detailed information in our Adventure Handbook Central Chile.




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