Rivers of Patagonia II-III

river-paddling

Sample Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrival San Carlos de Bariloche
Day 2: Azul or Foyel River, Argentina
Day 3: Manso River, Argentina
Day 4: Nanty Falls + Upper Corcovado River, Argentina
Day 5: Lower Corcovado River, Argentina
Day 6: Azul + Futaleufú Rivers , Chile
Day 7: Futaleufú River , Chile
Day 8: Return to San Carlos de Bariloche

The Rivers of Patagonia Class II-III paddling trip is a unique exploration of a variety of rivers in both Argentina and Chile. Travelling from the “Swiss-inspired” town of San Carlos de Bariloche through rural villages further south you will get a first-hand authentic Patagonia experience.   This trip is suitable for confident class III canoeists and kayakers with a solid roll.


Day 1:
Welcome to San Carlos de Bariloche the gateway to Patagonia! There are a few flights a day into Bariloche and once everyone has arrived we begin our journey south via the scenic “circuito chico” passing through the famous Lake District including Lago Nahuel Huapi and Lago Guillermo towered over by the Andes mountain range. Just before reaching the town of El Bolsón we will turn off the highway and start making our way down an exciting 4×4 road, arriving in time for some vino Argentino and a hearty dinner at our remote eco-lodge nestled in the mountains. Dinner is included.

Day 2:
After a hearty breakfast at the lodge we outfit our boats and head to the first river of the week – found right at the lodge’s doorstep. (We should mention that the doorstep is 163 stairs tall!) When we reach the crystal clear waters of the Azul at the bottom, we guarantee you will feel that every step was worth it. Here we put on for a fun warm-up class II-III section. At the end of this river day – and every day at the lodge – we come back for happy hour, an optional yoga class, wood-fired sauna and hot tubs overlooking the river gorge.

Day 3:
After breakfast this morning we will hop back into our 4×4 vehicle to get us out of the Azul River valley to head north to do some paddling inside the Nahuel Haupí National Park. We’ll paddle this high volume river, running class III lines in crystal-clear turquoise water with some good surfing opportunities. The river takes us right up to the Chilean border – but we are not crossing today because we’ve got a few more gems to show you in Argentina first! Lunch on the river and back to the lodge at the end of the day for happy hour, yoga, wood-fired sauna and hot tubs. Dinner at lodge.

Day 4:
Today we will leave the lodge and head to the Corcovado River. As we head towards Corcovado we will notice the transition between the “precordillera” mountains (the foothills of the Andes) and the Patagonian “Esteppe” (semi-arid flatlands). The small town of Corcovado is our last stop in Argentina before crossing to Chile. If water levels are right we will stop en route to try our hand at running the fun Nanty Falls waterfall, located inside a private “Estancia” – you can run it as many times as you like, we will give you tips but not to worry no waterfall experience is necessary! After lunch we’ll keep on moving so that we can fit in a short run of the class II+ Upper Corcovado River. This is a popular rafting river and we often come across fishermen casting for rainbow trout and salmon.

Day 5:
After an early breakfast and packed bags this morning we will head to the lesser-known lower section of the Corcovado River. This is a class II-III section that takes us into a beautiful class III canyon. At the end of this river we hop in the vehicles and head straight for the Chilean border, crossing at Palena. From here we drive to our cabin accommodations for the next few days at the hidden Campo Tres Monjas located at the confluence of the mighty Futaleufú and Azul Rivers. Lunch on the river, dinner at Campo Tres Monjas.

Day 6:
We’ll have a big breakfast at camp before heading out to do a short run on the Azul River where you will get to test your skills to the max! The Azul is a steep continuous class III run that takes us right back to Campo Tres Monjas for lunch. This is one of the most beautiful rivers of the entire week passing through two amazing gorges. After lunch we can choose to run the Azul again or try our hand at a section of the Futaleufú River. Afterwards we will return to camp for hot saunas and dinner in camp.

Day 7:
This morning we can try our hand on the high-volume Macal section of the Futaleufú River or choose to challenge another section! This is our grand finale of rivers for the week. Tonight we say farewell with a traditional “Asado” (barbecue) on the beach and toast each other and the week’s paddling adventures.

Day 8:
We breakfast at Campo before the drive back to San Carlos de Bariloche and lunch en route. We will drop you at your hotel in Bariloche. Breakfast and lunch are included in your trip but dinner is on your own. Alternatively, we can drop you off in Esquel or El Bolsón if you wish.

Please note that this is a sample itinerary only. Your trip will most likely be customized to your group and paddling conditions. Accommodation and river choices can vary from trip to trip!


Play hard, rest easy.
Most Paddle Patagonia trips stay in comfortable and clean lodges and cabins where you do not need to bring any bedding. There is no camping required although it could be an option if requested by your group. Some locations where you will stay have saunas and/or hot tubs which are a real luxury after a long day of paddling! Ask us about the accommodation options for your trip!


Weather
Paddle Patagonia’s trips travel through several different mountain terrains and at anytime the weather can change often and quickly. In general, the early season may see cooler mornings/evenings with hot days (20+ C°). As we get closer to Jan-Feb, the weather stabilizes into warmer summerlike conditions (25+ C°). The sun in Patagonia can be quite intense and a good sunscreen is advised.

Water
All of the rivers we paddle are crystal clear and clean. Water temperatures will range from 8-15C°. See packing list for details on what to bring.

Packing List

Required personal paddling equipment:

    • Helmet
    • Paddle
    • Lifejacket & whistle
    • Good footwear for paddling (we recommend something with thick soles that is supportive enough on rough terrain, a pair of sneakers will work)
    • Sprayskirt (for kayakers)
    • Water bottle

Some items may be available for rent – please inquire.

Recommended paddling layers:

  • Wool, polypro or neoprene tops (at least 2)
  • Wool, polypro or neoprene bottoms (at least 2)
  • Shorts
  • Canoers: Drysuit or wetsuit recommended
  • Kayakers: Longsleeve drytop recommended
  • Wool or neoprene socks

Suggested personal gear:

  • Spring/summer clothing
  • Long pants
  • Warm sweater or fleece
  • Rain coat
  • Baseball or Sun hat
  • Sunglasses with strap
  • Sunscreen
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Shoes for hiking (either running shoes or hiking boots will do)
  • Sandals or slip on shoes to wear indoors/off the river
  • Personal toiletries
  • Head lamp
  • Light pack towel or sarong for riverside changing
  • Ear plugs & Nose plugs
  • Kayak sponge
  • Throw bag (all of our guides always carry one but it is good practice to carry your own)

It is recommended to make photocopies of all your important documents prior to departure. Keep a separate copy in your checked luggage and carry the originals with you.

Documents:

  • Passport
  • Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Emergency Contact information

Getting Here:

Option 1:

Fly to Buenos Aires in Argentina, connect to San Carlos de Bariloche.

Most international flights fly into Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina (also known as Ezeiza), the airport code is EZE. If flying into Bariloche you will need to get to the domestic airport called Jorge Newbery Airport (also known as Aeroparque), the airport code is AEP. From there you can take a connecting flight to San Carlos de Bariloche (BRC).

How to get from Ezeiza (EZE) to Aeroparque (AEP):

  • Transport Bus Service: There is an official bus line called “Manuel Tienda Leon” that transports travelers to other locations in Buenos Aires. You purchase a ticket from their booth after clearing customs (they have one inside and one outside). The cost is approximately $16 USD per person and they have departures approximately every 20 minutes. (www.tiendaleon.com.ar).
  • By Taxi: This will cost approximately $50 USD per taxi. Upon exiting customs you will see several official taxi companies. You purchase a standard fare to Aeroparque from one of those stands by cash or credit card, they give you a ticket and you then take that to the official taxi line. This option is faster and one taxi will take up to 4 people. However if you have extra or oversized bags you may want to take the bus service.

Option 2:

Fly to Santiago in Chile, connect to San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina.

You may also choose to fly into Santiago de Chile. The international airport is called Arturo Merino Benitez and the airport code is SCL. From there you can get a connecting flight to San Carlos de Bariloche (BRC), usually via Aeroparque Buenos Aires (AEP).

Arriving into Argentina

THE RECIPROCITY FEE:
Some nationalities now need to purchase a “reciprocity entry fee” online ahead of time, namely Canadian, American and Australians. Most European countries do not have to pay but for the others the cost could be between $70 and $130 USD with varying validity. You must purchase this by credit card online in advance and may be able to choose a single entry or a multiple entry visa. You DO NOT need a multiple entry visa for crossing in and out of Argentina and Chile by land. Only purchase multiple entry if you plan on flying into the country again in the next 5 years. Please check with your local embassy to confirm the regulations for your country of origin. This was accurate at the time of writing but please double check as rules may have changed!

Here is the website link for purchasing your reciprocity fee: http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/accesibleingles/

Make sure you print out the receipt for your reciprocity fee and carry it with your passport.