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Quick Facts


A detailed sketch illustrating the key kayak lines of Puma
A detailed sketch illustrating the key kayak lines of Puma

After Dos Rocos Dos Hoyos comes Puma. The most noticeable feature of Puma will be the landslide debris field that blocks the river-right side of the rapid creating numerous pour-overs, channels and froth. This debris is somewhat deceptive upon first seeing it because it does not seem that extensive - however it extends all the way out to the center of the river. On the river-left side is a smooth v-tongue that leads to a wave-hole and wavetrain behind it.

Low and High Water

At high water the river-right debris field turns into a maze of dangerous pour-overs. At low water the rapid becomes friendlier and the Cats Paw play-wave is better developed.


Boat scout from the center-left of the river.


Overview of Puma from below.
Overview of Puma from below.

Stay clear of the right-side debris field. There is a dangerous steep hydraulic, called the Maw Hole, that forms mid-river at the top of the drop. The Maw Hole is the "Mouth of the Puma" and it needs to be avoided. Not being river-left enough is a real problem because of this hole. There is a large Sentinel Rock on river-left that can be used as a beacon to keep you away from this dangerous hole.

Play Opportunities

The Cats Paw playwave lies to river-right of the Sentinel Rock. You can eddy-out behind the Sentinel Rock and catch the Cats Paw or catch it on-the-fly when coming down the v-tongue.

Where to Swim

Swim to the left away from all the landslide debris on river-right.

Where to Rescue

If a swim occurs on this rapid it will probably be the result of not being left enough and dropping into Maw Hole. Rescue kayakers should position themselves with this scenario in mind.

Entering Puma with the Maw Hole and rocks to river-right.
Entering Puma with the Maw Hole and rocks to river-right.

Where to Portage

Portage on river-right if necessary.

Running the Rapid

On your first time down paddle toward the Sentinel Rock until you see the v-tongue. Head down the v-tongue and into the wave-hole and wavetrain below. This route most easily cleans the river-right landslide debris field and avoids all the major hazards including Maw Hole. Depending on the water level you may be able to eddy-out behind the Sentinel Rock and surf the Cats Paw play-wave.

Copyright & Terms of Use

  • Copyrights: (Copyright © 2006, Expediciones Chile) All photos, maps, diagrams, text and computer code is the copyrighted property of Expediciones Chile with all rights reserved.

  • Terms of Use: Any type of reproduction, republication, or re-transmission for commercial use is prohibited without the expressed, written permission of Expediciones Chile. Users of this Wiki guidebook may print copies of the text, images and diagrams for personal river running use only. Users may not alter the diagrams or text without expressed written permission of Expediciones Chile. Users must read and acknowledge the disclaimer before printing. Printing implies acknowledgment of the disclaimer.


  • Disclaimer: Under no circumstances should paddlers substitute the information and diagrams in this guidebook for their own sound judgment on the river and their collective experience running rivers. This guidebook is based on Expediciones Chile's twenty years of experience running the Futaleufu River. However, the diagrams and descriptions found here are only approximations of what paddlers will find on the river once they get here. They are not to scale and nor are they completely accurate. Water levels change, rocks move around, landslide debris can enter the river at any time making the diagrams obsolete. Expediciones Chile also reserves the right to update these diagrams and descriptions at any time as we find better ways to illustrate and discuss the rapids. Use this guidebook at your own risk.

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