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Patagonia South Kayak School
Patagonia Kayak School:
Patagonia South Kayak School

World-Class Instruction in a World-Class Setting! Whitewater Kayak Instruction at at our Paddling School in the Spectacular Futaleufu River Valley.

Whitewater kayak instruction and lessons based out of our eco-camp in the remote, world famous Futaleufu River Valley in Patagonia, Chile. The Exchile Kayak School was founded by U.S. Olympic Team paddler and internationally acclaimed kayak instructor, Chris Spelius. Whether you want to Learn to Roll a Kayak or sharpen your paddling skills, you will receive expert kayak instruction from our experienced team of instructors in a setting that is beyond your imagination.

Our kayak school lodge is located in the remote alpine village of Azul Limte, Chile, near the confluence of the pristine, turquoise-waters of the Azul and Futaleufu Rivers. All this amidst spectacular glaciers, towering granite canyons, scenic volcanoes, and temperate old-growth rainforests. As our paddling school guest, you will receive the finest kayak lessons and instruction available in this spectacular region of the world.

What makes the Patagonia South Kayak School unique, in addition to its spectacular location, is the individualized instructional approach we provide to our paddling school students. Our student to instructor ratio never exceeds 5 to 1 and our attention is fully focused on safely improving your kayak paddling techniques.

Experience more! In addition to the natural beauty of the area, inviting culture, and premier lessons and kayak instruction you will receive, you may also participate in our many multisport activities pioneered by Expediciones Chile over the past twenty years in the Futaleufu River Valley. Experience the famous Class IV/V Futaleufu whitewater from a raft! Sea kayaking, trekking, horseback riding, fly-fishing, mountain biking, climbing and canyoning can all be incorporated into your paddling school vacation.

Surf our website to learn about our riverside eco-camp, cuisine and get a glimpse of the spectacular setting that has made Expediciones Chile and the Futaleufu River Valley a world-class kayak destination for the past twenty years.

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...

Kayak Rolling Instruction - 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...

Beginner Kayak School Courses

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...

Intermediate Paddling School Courses

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...

Advanced Kayak Instruction

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...

Professional & Rescue Classes

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.

What's Included:

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

Expediciones Chile Contact

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
Andes. Kayak lessons and kayak instruction from our padddling school.
Mountain Bike Tour
Experience a genuine Patagonia mountain bike tour through Chilean Patagonia.
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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Chile Rafting Trekking Chile Horseback Riding in Chile Mountain Biking in Chile Patagonia Canyoning Futaleufu Kayaking Sea Kayaking in Chile Kayak Instruction River Guide School Fly Fishing Chile Patagonia Eco-Tours Skiing in Argentina Educational Courses Web in Spanish Learn to Roll a Kayak Beginner Kayak School Courses Intermediate Kayak Instruction Advanced Paddling School Courses Playboating Courses