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Patagonia Kayak School:
Why go with Patagonia South Kayak School?

Weatherproof Lodge:
Our beginner kayak school classes are run from the weatherproof comfort of our native wood lodge in the village of Futaleufu where you will return each evening after the day of kayak instruction. You will sacrifice none of the comforts of home in this remote region of Patagonia, Chile.

Cultural Interaction:
Experience the genuine culture of Chilean Patagonia from this spectacularly situated alpine village – a true cultural immersion experience awaits you. Imagine Telluride Colorado one hundred years ago!

Hot Springs Rolling Clinics:
Let the warm waters of the Volcan Michimahuida Hot Springs supercharge you learning process. With our expert instruction you will learn to roll faster here than in any other environment.

Top of the line Equipment:
Patagonia South only uses the highest quality up to date kayaks, paddles and equipment. Our gear allows our students to progress quickly and keeps everyone looking good on the water. We use Jackson, Liquid Logic and Wavesport Kayaks and AT and Werner Paddles.

Professional Instructors:
Most of our instructors are over trained for the positions they hold with us, but they keep coming back year after year to work in this spectacular location. Read more about them on our kayak instructor’s page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of guests go to your kayak school?
They come from all over the world to visit us, most often from: Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia. We get many beginner kayak school students as well as those looking for more advanced kayak instruction.

I am traveling solo.... do people come by themselves on your trips?
Our kayak school usually include an assortment of both single guests, couples, groups of friends and sometimes families. Trips with shared challenges bond quickly and you will quickly feel apart of the team. Before you know it you will be exchanging addresses at the end of the trip.

How do you pronounce Expediciones Chile? and Futaleufu?
The correct pronunciation is: "Ex-ped-ish-she-oh-nays". "Expediciones" is the Spanish version of the English word "Expeditions". In North America we are inclined to pronounce "Chile" the the same way we pronounce "Chili" but the correct pronunciation is "She-lay". Futaleufu is pronounced: "Foo-tah-lay-oh-foo". Futaleufu is a Mapuche indian word meaning Big Big River - the two "fu"s, one at the beginning and one at the end, connote this meaning.

What course should I take at your kayak school?
Check our website out to find out what course best fits your skill level. Our New Kayaker and Learn to Kayak weeks are meant for beginner kayakers. If you have more experience consider our Whitewater Tune-Up Week, where we develop a customized lesson plan specifically for you, or select a Playboating or Introduction to Big Water course. Don’t worry about getting in over your head or being held back by other students. We will find a learning pace that is right for you. During any given week there is a wide range of skill levels at our kayak school.

Do you recommend that I come for a week or a half week course?
We feel that a week is an optimal amount of time to absorb everything we want to teach. However, we do offer 4 day versions of some of our courses for those with a limited schedule. Most of our 1⁄2 week students wish they signed-up for the full week.

How physically fit do I need to be?
Learning a new sport like whitewater kayaking can be physically demanding, but you don’t need to be an athlete. We believe the fitter you are the more you will enjoy your course and the faster you will learn. We recommend a regular training program at the gym before you come visit us.

Do I need to know how to swim?
Yes, if you want to become proficient at whitewater kayaking you should be comfortable in the water and a proficient swimmer. We practice and emphasize wet exiting in all of our beginner paddling school classes as a safety precaution. If you have any doubts about your ability swim, practice before you come down for your class.

Will I be kayaking all day?
For most of our courses the answer is yes. Either you will be out on the river practicing basic kayak skills or your kayak roll in the hot springs. Whitewater kayaking is a participation sport so expect to be paddling a minimum of 4 to 5 hours a day. If you get tired or want a break there is always the option to take a day off and go whitewater rafting or participate in one of our many multi-sport activities.

What if I have a non-paddling partner who wants to come with me?
No problem! We have a full multi-sport menu from which you can assemble a customized vacation. You can each go off and do a separate activity during the day and rejoin each other at the lodge at night.

How are rapids classified on the Futaleufu?
The International Scale of Whitewater Difficulty is what we use to classify our rapids. The spectrum of difficulty lies between the easy Class I and the extreme Class VI. Classifications can change with water levels.

Class I - Minimal Skills Level: Small, regular waves, few obstacles, little maneuvering required.

Class II - Basic Paddling Skills Level: Easy rapids, eddies and bends, some maneuvering required.

Class III - Experienced Whitewater Skills Level: Numerous waves, narrow passages, maneuvering required, may require scouting.

Class IV - Advanced Whitewater Skills Level: Difficult rapids, abrupt bends, narrow passages, scouting often necessary, precise maneuvering required.

Class V - Expert Skills Level: Long rapids with wild turbulence and extremely congested routs, complex maneuvering, scouting is difficult.

Class VI - Expert Skills Level: Limits of Navigation: Nearly impossible and very dangerous, a definite hazard to life.

What is your student to instructor ratio?
We like to keep our paddling school classes small and interactive. We have an instructor to student ratio that never exceeds 5 to 1.

Is there any camping involved at your kayak school?
Yes. If you take our Playboating 101 course or our Introduction to Big Water course you will be staying at our Tres Monjas Eco-Camp at the confluence of the Rio Futaleufu and Rio Azul rivers. Here you will find deluxe platform tent camping , a white sand beach, a wood fired sauna, sit down gourmet dining and an on staff masseuse to soothe your tired muscles.

What if I’m a vegetarian or have other dietary needs or food allergies?
Our chefs specialize in preparing vegetarian dishes, and give appropriate advanced notice can accommodate most needs.

What is the water temperature and weather like?
Most of our kayak school classes take place on the Rio Espolon. The temperature of the Espolon River is moderated by a large lake, Lago Espolon, whose surface waters serve as its headwaters. Even though the Futaleufu River Valley is surrounded by glaciers and snow capped mountains the waters of the Espolon stay relatively warm coming from the sunny side of the Andes. The average temperature is between 14-20 C (55 – 70 F). More information about seasonal climate and temperatures can be found on our Patagonia Weather page.

Also offered at the Patagonia South Kayak School: Beginning Kayak Instruction, Intermediate Paddling Instruction, Advanced Paddling School Courses. How to Roll a Kayak clinics and private kayak lessons.

Contact Expediciones Chile

Rafting Chile on the Rio Futaleufu
Chile & Argentina Adventure Travel. Rafting Chile & Argentina Kayaking.
Torres del Paine and FitzRoy trips.

Patagonia Travel Information
Argentina Chile & Patagonia travel information. Secrets of Patagonia Tour on our website.

Chile Rafting on the Futaleufu
Whitewater rafting in Chile from our weatherproof Futaleufu lodge.
Patagonia Climate Info
Information about the Patagonia climate and seasons in Patagonia, Chile & Argentina.
Sea Kayaking Chile
Sea Kayaking Chile from the Andes to the Ocean on Lago Yelcho. Fjords, hotsprings, temperate rainforest.

Yoga Travel VacationsTry your favorite multisport activities during a yoga travel vacation.

Fly Fishing Chile
Fly fishing Chile, from our fly fishing ranch or lodge in Chilean Patagonia. Trips on Lago Yelcho.
EcoTours in Patagonia
Custom ecotours of the Futaleufu Valley that include bird watching and nature treks.
Chile Trekking in Patagonia
Trekking Patagonia in Torres del Paine, Cerro FitzRoy and Los Glaciares National Parks.
University of Futaleufu
Checkout the instructional, large group and corporate programs we offer.

Horseback Riding Vacations
Horseback Riding Vacations and Equestrian holidays with with Guachos & Criollo Horses.

Travel Agent Discounts
Information on travel agent discounts and commisssions from Expediciones Chile.
Skiing Chile Head south in July and August for summer powder in the Andes. Skiing Chile, Patagonia and Argentina. Swiftwater Rescue Training Thinking about a rafting guide job on the Futaleufu? Check out our whitewater guide school & swiftwater rescue training course.
Patagonia Canyoning and rappelling vacations.
Raft Guide Jobs 
Outdoor employment opportunities in rafting, kayaking and fly fishing. Internships available.
Kayaking Chile
Rio Futleufu whitewater kayaking Chile in the spectacular Patagonia
Mountain Bike Tour
Experience a genuine Patagonia mountain bike tour through Chilean Patagonia.
Kayak School
Learn to kayak and get world class kayak instruction from our kayak school.
Futaleufu Guidebook
Take a detailed and interactive tour of the rapids of the Futaleufu Valley with our online Futaleufu Guidebook.
Rafting en el Río Futaleufú
con las mejores aguas blancas de clase mundial (5,4,3,). Kayak de mar, mountain biking, cabalgatas, sit-on-top kayaking cayoning, caminatas, pesca con mosca y mucho más aventuras podrás encontrar en el corazón de la patagonia Chilena, y desde el comfort de nuestro nativo y caluroso Hotel. Rafting en lel Río Futaleufú en Español.

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Futaleufu River Rafting Patagonia Trekking Equestrian Vacations Mountain Biking in Chile Canyoneering in Chile Kayak Futalefu Whitewater Sea Kayaking in Patagonia Kayak Shool Raft Guide School Chile Fly Fishing Patagonia Eco-Tours Ski Chile Educational Programs Web in Spanish Kayak School Beginner Courses Intermediate Kayak Instruction Paddling School Advanced Couses Kayak School Playboating Classes Learn to Roll a Kayak