Our Beginner Kayak School Courses
Kayak Rolling Instruction - Volcanic Hot Springs
Let the hyperthermic waters of Volcan Michimahuida supercharge your learning process. We have found the perfect location for teaching beginners how to roll a kayak- protected from cold water and weather. Our hot spring classes go rain or shine keeping our kayak school students in total comfort. The waters are so inviting you will want to roll without hesitancy - which is the single most important factor in learning the kayak roll. With these warm tranquil waters and our expert instructors there will be no time lost. You will learn more in three days than in three years of trying to learn the kayak roll on your own in a local river. Better than the swimming pool because the warm waters help in muscle relaxation and recovery. The hot springs of Michimahuida are nestled in a deep valley off of the dormant Volcan Michimahuida. Steaming mist, flowering bushes, giant ferns, and native coihue trees make up a virtual botanic garden surrounding these hot springs...
|Learn to Roll Video
Beginner Kayak School Courses
Although the Futaleufu is world famous for its technical big water, there are many tributaries and sections of the Futaleufu which are ideal for paddling school classes and beginner kayak lessons. For beginning whitewater kayakers and sea kayakers, our kayak school offers three types of paddling courses that vary in intensity. Our New Kayaker Week focuses exclusively on kayaking, with a single day off for a multisport activity of your choice. Our Learn to Kayak Multisport Week combines kayak lessons with a greater emphasis on multisport activities. Lastly, for those who want to intensify their time on learning how to roll a kayak, or improve their kayak roll, we offer kayak rolling clinics from our paddling school...
Intermediate Paddling School Courses
We have many people call our office each year who are worried that the Futaleufu might be beyond their skill level. While the Futaleufu does have a world-class reputation, not all of the river is Class V whitewater; in fact, most of it is within reach of the a solid Class III+ paddler! With that in mind we developed three intermediate kayak instruction courses that will allow you to comfortably experience one of the most majestic paddling destinations in the world. Our most popular paddling school course is our Whitewater Tune-Up, which is a kayak instruction course that specifically focuses on the weakness that you want to address in your paddling style. Our Introduction to Big Water paddling class will help you develop the river skills necessary to paddle the tougher sections of the Futaleufu. And our Playboating 101 course will give you the solid foundation you will need to progress as a playboater...
Advanced Kayak Instruction
The bread and butter of our paddling school are the beginner and intermediate kayak instruction courses. However, from time to time we do offer more advanced kayak lessons and courses. We also feature our guided Futaleufu whitewater trips on this page. Almost all of our guided trips offer an instructional aspect, if our guests request it...
Professional & Rescue Classes
This uniquely challenging environment is a great place in which to get professionally certified for swiftwater rescue training, raft guide training, or ACA kayak instructor certification. This year we are offering a week-long River Guide School, Rescue III Swiftwater Rescue Technician (Level 1) and the ACA Instructor Development and Certification Classes. You will leave the Futaleufu Valley with one of the most respected certifications in the world. Very few raft guides, rescue professionals or kayak instructors will be able to make the claim that they earned their certification on Chile's Rio Futaleufu...
Throughout our kayak school season, which runs from November 1st to April 15th, we follow the optimal water levels for each river and river section. Thus our kayak school itineraries may vary from week to week. Below are some selected descriptions of the rivers at the Patagonia South Paddling School that we use for kayak instruction.
Upper & Middle Rio Espolon: Class II+
Take a magic carpet ride! The water is so clear it looks as if you are flying over the bottom of the riverbed. With numerous white sand beaches and swimming holes, this is a perfect introduction to paddling for people of all ages. Make your first eddy turns and learn how to navigate your way down the river. For those learning to kayak we may pick a sandy shallow beach to introduce the kayak roll.
Lower Río Espolon: Class II/III
As an extension to the introductory upper and middle run, we continue on to the take-out just above the confluence of the Futaleufu. Enjoy the challenges of the Class III rapids and surfing lessons on the "Espolon Surf Wave!"
Río Azul: Class III/III+
Kayak from the Rio Azul school to the Rio Futaleufu confluence. We paddle a mini-gorge with mind-boggling beauty and glacial blue water. The Tres Monjas Peaks tower overhead as you descend this beautiful river. You will have the opportunity to practice your rolls at the confluence beach. The Rio Azul is usually reserved for more advanced kayak lessons and instruction.
Río Palena: Class III/III+
With an oxcart put-in, this run sometimes serves as a kayak school graduation for our "New Kayaker" week. A full day paddling on a remote river on the border of Chile and Argentina. This is most definitely Patagonia cowboy country.
Rio Tigre: Class III
Out of the village of Palena lies the spectacular Class III run of the Rio Tigre. We will put in just below a section of river known for its unrunnable Class V waterfalls. The Rio Tigre empties into the Rio Palena about ten miles from our put-in. This run is somewhat water dependent so we will hit it earlier in the kayak instruction season.
Río Futaleufu: Upper Limite Section: Class II
This section of the Futaleufu starts at the Argentine border and flows past the village of Futaleufu before it empties into the Class V "Infierno Gorge" section. This section provides us a great opportunity to experience the big water feel without having to contend with any major rapids, a great section for introductory kayak lessons.
Río Futaleufu: El Macal Section: Class III/III+
We put-in for the easiest stretch of the whitewater Futaleufu, the "El Macal" section. Big water eddy lines, the "Everyman's (and Woman's) Surf" Wave, and wave-trains culminate in a basic kayak piloting move at "Freighter Rock" Rapid. This is often another kayak instruction graduation day run.
Río Futaleufu: Terminator Section: Class III/IV-
We put in at Tres Monjas Eco Camp and paddle the Class III side of "Asleep at the Wheel" Rapid. We walk the legendary "Terminator" Rapid giving us a safe view of a real-world Class V rapid. We sneak the "Khyber Pass" and we prepare for a down-the-throat kayak run of the "Himalayas", into the big pool below, as your advanced kayak school graduation ceremony. These are perhaps the largest waves in the hemisphere. We then relax on the flatwater to the take-out.
Kayak Instruction Schedule:
High season is December, January, February and March. Call the office for River Guide School and Certification Course dates, which run less frequently. Private kayak lessons and learn to roll clinics can be scheduled on custom basis.
All kayak instruction and multi-day trip prices include ground transportation, river shuttles, lodging, meals, wine with dinner, instructors/guides, kayak lessons/instruction, use of a kayak, and kayak equipment needed for your described trip. We provide kayak equipment for students enrolled in our Beginner Kayak School Courses. Students taking Intermediate Kayak Instruction Courses and Advanced Paddling School Courses should bring their own personal equipment. The kayaks and playboats will be provided for all of our students.
Kayak School Prices:
All kayak school courses are $1995.00 USD. Call our office to inquire about group packages. Private kayak lessons and kayak instruction are also available.
Also offered at the Patagonia South Kayak School: Beginning Kayak Instruction, Intermediate Paddling Instruction, Advanced Paddling School Courses. How to Roll a Kayak clinics.
Downloadable pdf: Kayak School