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Patagonia Kayak School:
Introduction to Big Water

Our intermediate kayak school courses are designed for those with previous whitewater experience. Participants should have a reliable river roll on one side and be able to comfortably paddle Class III whitewater. Many of these kayak instruction programs are offered out of our kayak school eco-camp.

Slide Show, Interactive Map, Video, 3-D Trip Tour

Have you ever dreamed of paddling exotic big water, like the Colorado, Futaleufu, or the Zambezi? Do you want to make the leap from paddling Class III whitewater to paddling the Class IV-/IV+ or higher whitewater? If so, this kayak school week is for you and serves as our "Gateway to the Futaleufu" and the guided trips offered at our Campo Tres Monjas kayak camp. We take you step-by-step through the Ten rules of Big Water Paddling. You will come home with incredible experiences and skills. During this kayak instruction week we emphasize river reading skills, eddy hopping, rolling on both sides, boat scouting, boat piloting, boat momentum, and lateral moves - all designed to make river running precise and as effortless as possible. Here you will learn to safely harness the power of the river, and work with it, to put your kayak where it needs to be.

An introduction to big water paddling in Chile's spectacular Futaleufu River Valley. Learn to run the Futaleufu with our kayak school staff of expert kayak instructors and become a proficient big water paddler. This kayak school course is run from the Tres Monjas Eco-Camp.

Day by Day:

Day 1 Friday: Depart your home town
Fly to Miami and connect on an over night flight to Buenos Aires Argentina. Welcome to the warmth of the southern Hemisphere in summer.

Day 2 Saturday: Travel to Trevelin, Patagonia Argentina
Early morning arrival in Buenos Aires. Change airports and catch another flight to Bariloche, or Esquel Argentina. From Bariloche, a luxury bus will take you on a beautiful drive along the Patagonian lakes and mountains to Esquel. IF you fly direct to Esquel you can arrive in Trevelin with some time to enjoy the area. Trevelin, Argentina is a charming mountain village gateway just 45 minutes from Futaleufu River in Chile. Trevelin is serviced by ground transport (Bus or private taxi) from the Jet ports in Bariloche (4 hrs) or Esquel (40 min). Check into a hotel in this charming village and walk to one of several superb restaurants. Unwind, relax, and get a good nights sleep before the start of you trip 9:00 am the next morning.

Day 3 Sunday: Rio Espolon into the Futaleufu
After a delightful breakfast we take a short drive to the put-in of the spectacular Class II/III turquoise blue Rio Espolon. We warm up on the crystal-clear water, review your kayak techniques and continue to the confluence of the Rio Espolon with the Rio Futaleufu. This will be our first taste of big whitewater and the incredible power of the Futaleufu. We will begin our big water kayak instruction by modifying and adapting your kayaking techniques for big water paddling. We will take out just above the spectacular Class IV+ "Infierno Canyon". Our vehicle is waiting to return you to the comforts of our kayak school camp and our native wood sauna.

Day 4 Monday: El Macal Section
The entirety of this kayak instruction day will be spent "double running" the lower stretch of the Futaleufu known as the "El Macal" section. The "El Macal" section starts below the spectacular Class V "Casa de Piedra" section, which we will stop and see on our way to the put-in. The water here will be big and fast, providing the perfect introduction and classroom for big water paddling. Here we will learn the counterintuitive techniques of big water kayaking, such as learning to delay our eddy turns rather than accelerating them, dealing with large boils and whirlpools, crossing elevated and depressed eddy lines, and how to roll effectively in aerated water. After a tough day of big water kayak lessons, we return with sore muscles to the waiting hands of our camp masseuse.

Day 5 Tuesday: Rio Azul into the Rio Futaleufu
Today we are off to paddle the Class III+ Rio Azul and follow it to the confluence of the Futaleufu and beyond. The Rio Azul is a spectacular tributary of the Futaleufu that is not to be missed, being one of the most scenic and breathtaking rivers in the valley. We will continue our big water kayak instruction by noting the differences in technique that big water paddling requires. We will also get the opportunity to do some play paddling on the Azul. The last part of the day will be spent paddling the Class III "Schoolhouse" rapid on the Futaleufu in front of the Tres Monjas Eco-Camp. Here we will begin to put all of our big water techniques together. The eddy lines and boils of "Schoolhouse" rapid are serious stuff. We will learn about using the river to "pilot our kayaks" and about the "plate tectonics" and "sheer forces" that occur as currents of big water come together. This is the perfect introduction to the upcoming two days of big water kayak instruction.

Day 6 Wednesday: Terminator Section
On this paddling school day we will put in at Campo Tres Monjas and paddle through the "Schoolhouse" rapid to experience "Asleep at the Wheel", the "Kyber Pass" and the awe-inspiring "Himalayas". This will be our first day of really big Class III/IV whitewater. We will learn about boat piloting, using the river and not our paddles to get us where we want to be on the river. On this day we will introduce "river reading", like learning to tell the difference between explosion waves and hydraulics. The highlights of the day will be walking around the spectacular Class V+ "Terminator" Rapid and running the "Himalayas", which contain some of the biggest standing waves in the hemisphere.

Day 7 Thursday: Bridge to Bridge Section
This will be a day that combines guided kayaking and teaching. The Bridge to Bridge section contains one of the biggest and most continuous stretches of Class III-IV whitewater in the world. Today it will be our paddling instruction classroom. Before each drop you will discuss with your guides/instructors the best lines and strategies to run the rapid. It will be necessary to rely on boat piloting to get us from place to place on the river. After each drop the group will discuss what went right and wrong in each person's run. We'll run rapids like "Entrada", "Pillow", "Mundaca", "Last Wave is a Rock" and "El Tiburon"; this will be a day to remember! Afterward we'll head back to the lodge and celebrate this day's run over Pisco Sours at happy hour.

Day 8 Friday: Graduation Day on the Upper Futaleufu/on to Trevelin, Argentina
Today serves as our big water kayak school graduation day. We will put in below the Class V Infierno Canyon and paddle down to the Class V+ "Zeta" and "Throne Room" rapids. We'll discuss the big water strategies involved in running these monster chutes, but we use the well worn portage trail around each of them. If we are lucky we may even see some kayakers run these awe-inspiring rapids. Below the "Throne Room" lays another continuous section of whitewater known as the "Wild Mile"; it will be the last challenge we face before taking out on the white sand beach of Campo Tres Monjas. Our celebration dinner will be prepared at our kayak school eco-camp while you relax in our camp sauna or enjoy the spray of colors in the sky while the sun settles over the Tres Monjas peak. Afterwards, our vehicles will be waiting and our luggage will join us as we make our way toward the border on our way to Trevelin. Check into your hotel, take a shower and change clothes before enjoying your last night in Patagonia. There are several outstanding and reasonably priced restaurants in Trevelin that we can recommend. Relax, recover and look back on the exciting week of kayaking before heading back the following morning.

Day 9 Saturday: Return to Capital City
Depending on your connections you are now are in Argentina ready for an early departure in a cab from you hotel to the bus station in Esquel for the trip to Bariloche and your flight back to Beunos Aires. A private transfer can be arranged direct from your hotel to the airport in Bariloche. If you have a flight from Esquel you have the morning to enjoy and buy gifts in Trevelin before your 2 pm flight to Buenos Aires and the connection back to your home country.

Day 10 Sunday: Return home


Eco Camp Campo Tres Monjas

Wilderness Camping

Price per Person: $2195.00 USD

Special Flexibilities: Exchile will be flexible to make your trip a total success. The actual program for your custom trip mayl vary according to the desires and skill level of your group, weather, or other factors. Patagonia has constantly changing weather patterns that might affect what day is best for a certain activity. If a certain part of your trip is not possible due to danger risks and weather extremes, our experienced guide staff will work with you to figure out the best possible option to substitute for the weather complications. If you have any concerns, please feel free to ask us more about the situations and what is guaranteed on the trip.

Included:Your described trip, guiding, instruction, activity equipment, local transportation, shuttles, all meals, wine with dinner, accommodations at our eco-camps, cabins, ranches or lodges, from your trip pick up point to your trip drop off point. See the packing list of your activity, for the specific clothing that is required.

Not Included: En-route transportation, lodging, and food from your home town to the border with Chile and Argentina or other trip pick-up point. Laundry services, massage, additional alcohol are available but not included. You can reserve on our web page a pre-trip and post-trip hotel in Trevelin that includes the shared transfer to and from the border.

You can also ask our travel agent to prepay private ground transports between airport and from the airport to Trevelin, for an additional charge. Expediciones Chile is not financially responsible for your travel complications getting to your trip pick up point and from the drop off point, HOWEVER, we will be relentless allies in offering our services to help solve any issues that you may encounter.

Season: December 6th to March 15th
Off Season the first two days rolling practice in warm pools October 15th to November 15, March 30th to April 15th
Experience Needed: Previous whitewater experience
Physical Challenge: Moderate
Cultural Experience: Medium
Nature Experience: High
Comfort Rafting: Moderate to High
Max Trip Size: 10
Min Trip Size: 2
Region Visited: Futaleufu Valley
Lakes, Rivers, Sites Visited: Rio Espolon, Rio Futaleufu, Rio Azul
Sea Kayak Calendar Trip Itinerary
Direct Line, USA:
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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 paddling instruction.

Downloadable pdf: Kayak Instruction Program

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
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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