Palena Kayak Expedition , Palena River to Puyuhuapi (12 Days)
We invite you to particpate in this adventure-cultural expedition
... seakayaking across Chile till the Pacific Ocean experiencing
the Patagonia channels and fjords remoteness as few people ever
After meeting in Puerto Varas, very close to Puerto Montt airport,
our trip adventure will continue navigating by boat the Ancud Gulf
, drive the Northern Austral Road and start paddling downstream
Palena River until the Pacific Ocean to continue south through channels
, fiords and islands bordering Isla Magdalena National
Park , relaxing at Puyuhuapi Hot Springs and magnifiscent views
of Queulat Glacier.
We assure a unique and unforgettable experience to you, gigantic
cascades, deep and narrow fiords covered by the humid forest of
the Patagonia, colorful creeks of fishermen, dolphins and sealions,
probailities of whales and orcas, variety of sea birds, volcanoes,
contact with the people that inhabit these magical places, appreciate
the dawn floating in ours kayaks and the possibility of accesing
places seen by very few people.
* One of our focus is a cultural based-adventure and authentic experiences by interacting in the areas where we travel with the local people and their culture
We will navigate at night sometimes and on occasion, we must load
our kayaks onto wagons in order to cross certain paths. We will
be able to observe unforgettable sunrises on the sea, torrential
rains that immediately give way to impressive sun sets, only seen
by navigators at these distant latitudes. Enjoy hanging vegetation,
enormous waterfalls which fall directly into the sea, gigantic walls
that disappear into the water, imposing volcanoes (like Melimoyu
and it's natural hot springs) and much more...
The only way to access these areas is by water. We will be navigating
in an area very isolated, only some pioneers living, where
the weather plays a decisive role, in which the tides and winds
are fundamental elements to consider.
||* Intermediate and suitable for advanced beginner paddlers
||12 days APROX.
de Andes to the Pacific Ocean Palena River (10days)
| Time of year
|| March , April , May 2012
| Trip details
||Starts and ends in Puerto Varas
| N° Participants
||Hostel , pioneer´s houses
but mainly remote campsites
|Andes Mountains, Northern Patagonia Fjords of Pumalin Park, Palena
River , Melimoyu Volcanoe, hidden hot springs, Queulat Glacier
, condors, fisherman villages, fantastic fjords, dolphins ,
sea lions, possibilities of pinguins, orcas and whales and a
variety of sea birds
And if we are lucky, we might also see the worlds biggest
mammals: the Blue Whale .
||sea kayak Palena River , Patagonian
channels and fjords of Aysen region, ferry navigation of Reloncavi Fjord , ferry navigation of Pumalin Fjords, authentic contact
with the authentic pioneers of this area.
||Fly from your country
to the airport in Santiago-Chile and from there 2 alternatives
to arive in Puerto Varas:
1)Bus - aprox 12 hours from Santiago to Puerto Varas (www.turbus.cl)
2)Airplane - about 2 hours from Santiago to Puerto Montt airport.
and a taxi to Puerto Varas (40 minutes).
*About the area:
The area in Patagonia, specially once we reach the Pacific Ocean
is really very variable and changes extremely fast. We suggest this
is a trip for intermediate paddlers and campers
Weather in Patagonia is very variable . It rains,the sun appears,
it's foggy and it's misty all in the same hour.
We can expect many days of rain but also sun showing us some magic
views of the surroundinds, sometimes we will be paddling in windy
conditions and breaking waves , sometimes aprox.1.5mt (4.5 feet)
, remote campsites , start the days very early to avoid the strong
Also consider that if any emergency the evacuation will be extremely-
extremely slow or almost impossible , no hospitals in the area (please
read the conditions section).
About water tempetrature.. can be cold although in summer...it is very important that you
come with very good gear for your legs and feet because we will
have always to get out of the kayak and also get in the kayak in
the water to protect the kayaks from the rocks of the shore.
*About the Trip:
Although we open this route in 2000
for seakayak trips, in this ocasion we will try to explore a different
Because of that we have study the area with satellite photos, charts
, ask information. We use the word "expedition" due to
the nature you will encounter and the fact that all of the participants
will share and must be prepared to confront all of the personal
challenges that the the trip presents us, especially the climate.
promote safety, we will use doubles and singles kayaks imported
from the USA and Germany, and before the trips starts we will have
a complete safety-talk and practice some sea kayak paddling and
rescue techniques in Llanquihue Lake.
We will be travelling with satelite telephone and marine waterproof
VHF radio. We are not offering a race...and we will "try"
to complete the program of this totally self-supported expedition
(no boat with us, everything will go inside the kayaks) .
Please consider that the trip can be modified in any step of the
program, cancell, or just dont arrive to the end if the weather
doesnt allow us to continue in a safe way considering the paddlers
experience required or if the group is on risk and that means no
refunds. The duration of the trip is aproximate....
*About the food:
Will be according to the nature of a self-supported trip in a variable
area (breakfast, trailfood while paddling and a warm dinner)...plus
the always good surprise of the food that the locals will offer
At 10:00 AM we will meet in Puerto Varas.
This is a small pleasant city 20 km north of Puerto Montt, situated
along the shores of Llanquihue Lake, in front of Osorno volcano
and 1000km south of Santiago.
Here you will get to know the other members of the group and we
will talk about the logistics and trip details.
Lunch (not included).
After lunch we will have a complete safety-talk and practice some
sea kayak paddling and rescue techniques in Llanquihue Lake. Night
at hostel in Puerto Varas.
Day 2: Breakfast at the hostel (included)
. Our expedition is divided in 2 parts , the land section and the seakayak navigation.
We will start driving from the very beginning of the Northern part of the Carretera Austral , a spectacular road that goes inside Patagonia. Massive andean mopuntains totally covered by dense rainforest , huge clearwater rivers, ferry crossing of the reloncavi Fjord , the fisrt fjord in Patagonia , till Hornopirén town, the beginning of the Northern Patagonia Fjords of Northern Pumalin Park , where we will take another ferryboat that will navigate totally this fjords . Then we will continue by land driving the southern part of Pumalin Park, till the town of Chaitén, where was the eruption of Chaitén volcanoe. Night at a family hostel.
3: Early in the morning after arriving in Chaitén
we will continue travelling in our van towards the Andes on the
Northern Austral Road until meeting Palena River , a wide and flat
river of clear waters surrounded by dense rainforest ... and the
beginning of our journey to the Pacific Ocean. Lunch at a family
hostería in La Junta town , then the adventure starts loading
our seakayaks with all the equipment and inmediately paddling downstream ,
ideally till finding some hidden hotsprings . Campsite (B-L-D).
This day we can expect to find some currents in the first section
of the river (maninly if it has been raining).
During this expedition we will try to camp with local colonos
(ranchers) if we find some in order to learn more about the place
and their particular way of living in this isolated places.
The river widens and we choose a little river to continue our journey
till Raul Marín Balmaceda , a small fiord fishermen village
, only connected to the rest of the world by the Pacific Ocean or
the river. Here we will camp and hike on the sand dunes and beaches.
5: At this point Palena river meets the Pacific Ocean and
is totally open and exposed to the winds (this is the most exposed
stretch of the expedition) so we will probably use a local boat , if it is
necessary , to navigate this part. We will continue paddling throuh
Canal Refugio channels until we reach the tiny village of Melimoyu.
We will cross by land the Peninsula of Melimoyu using any alternative
available and camp at the other side next to the fiords. (B-L-D).
Day 6-11: The trip continue paddling
the next days close to Isla Magdalena National Park, stop for a
while at some hotsprings close to Puyuhuapi and continue paddling
bordering Queulat National Park...till Puyuhuapi town where we will
meet our van and drive to the town of Chaitén (night
at local Hostel if necesary). (B-L-D)
Day 12 (aprox): Early morning return driving the southern part of Pumalin Park to take a ferry navigating Northern Fjords of Pumalin Park till Hornopirén town, finally ending late our adventure in Puerto
Varas (night at hostal in Puerto Varas and breakfast included).
NOTE: This Itinerary is an estimation and the program can be
modify or cancel depending on the group and weather conditions
- SMALL GROUPS, maximum of 6 (security and impact)
- Authentic cultural experience with the real pioneers of this
- Safety-talk and practice of sea kayak rescue techniques prior
to the big trip (Day 1).
- Transportation in our van from Puerto Varas till Puerto Montt
, then navigate by ferry boat till Chaitén- continue driving
to La Junta - once the trip ends return from Puyuhuapi town to
Chaitén - Ferry boat till Puerto Montt and by private vehicle
to Puerto Varas.
- 2 nights stay at Hostal in Puerto Varas , 2 nights family guesthouse
in Chaitén town (if necesary).
- Visit hotsprings in Palena river and Puyuhuapi channel.
- Navigation in Ferry (Reloncavi Fjord , Pumalin Fjords)
- Food during the journey in kayak accoding to the program, except
food in restaurants
(B: breakfast / L: lunch (mainly trail food, sometimes provided
by local families) / D: cooked warm dinner)
- Navigation Equipment: single and double sea Kayaks imported from the USA and Germany,
expedition models, with original rudder, spray skirt, paddles,
life jackets, paddling jackets.
- Cooking equipment + group tarp.
- Safety Equipment: Satellite Telephone, Marine VHF Radio, tide
tables, nautical charts and satellite photos.
- Chilean Navy navigation permit requested.
- Bilingual Guide (English) certified as ACA Seakayak Instructor L4, certified by the British Canoe Union
as a BCU 4 Star Sea Award , with first aid course (Wilderness
First Responder Course) , sea kayak rescue knowledge and
NOLS sea kayak trainning.
- Swimming knowledge.
- Physical state and health compatible with the activity
to be performed.
- Previous indication of any illness or health problem
- Read carefully the program of the trip and ásk
us any doubt.
- Positive mental attitude in front of unexpected situations.
- You'll find your trip even more enjoyable if you remember
to bring flexibility and a sense of humor with you.
- Understand that this is team activity in the outdoors
and the participation of each person at each stage
- Understand that all activities performed in nature may
- The program could be modified or cancelled at any stage
due to weather conditions or sudden incidents that could
affect the security of the group .
- Understand that evacuation from this area is extremely
slow or almost impossible.
- Before trip you must send signed the Release
of Liability. form
- To have read and have a clear understanding of the Terms
and Conditions section.
- Send complete the RESERVATION Form and MEDICAL Form that
appears after you press the RESERVATION button at the end
of this program.
- About the participants:
-BE MEDICALLY 100% .
-Everyone has to be a real active participant in every
step of the trip.
-For the first day the particpant has to feel confortable
paddling class II rivers and deal with currents (curves,
difference of water speed, eddy)
-Feel confortable paddling in winds of 15 - 20 knots in
1.5 m (4.5 feets) breaking and surfing waves.
-Be confident with bracing strokes and very advisible to
have ideally a wilderness first aid course.
* Everyone must be ready to demonstrate before the trips
starts different alternatives of self-rescue and assited
rescue and we highly recommend to know how to roll a seakayak.
*We will have to deal a lot with expedition behaviour and
solve situations as a group requiring a lot of teambuilding
and positive attitude.
*Understand that this is an area where rains aprox 4 meters
per year so will raina lot ...but also amazing sunny days
. This is is a self-supported trip so we will have to travel
with the minimum equipment so we can have space inside
the kayaks for everything considering the lenght of the
must state that the success of this type of trips is subject to
unexpected weather and personal situations, so adventurous spirit
and good disposition will be fundamental.
* You can obtain your fishing permit in Puerto
Do you wish to accommodate this trip to you needs as a
Custom Trip (private trip) ?
AFTER you press the RESERVATION button, send us an email specifying:
- Your Name , age
Name of the trip you want (number of days)
Number of participants
Date of the trip you want (and your availability)
* we will send you a Reservation and Medical Forms that you have to send us back by email