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Old 08-24-2011   #1
Mmcquillen's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 267

I think that I'm going to take a year off after high school and want to go to chile.I was wondering;
1.What is the boating season in chile?
2.Roughly, How much would a trip cost for that entire season?(Flight, lodging, food, gas, etc.)
3.Should I bring my boats or rent down there?
4.Is there a decently sized crowd so that I could boat with them?
5.Where is the best place to be?(Pucon, Futa, etc.)

Any info would be great. Thanks

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Old 08-24-2011   #2
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 16

Call RMOC in Salida and ask for Josh. He goes there every winter(our winter, thier seasons are opposite of ours), and he can give you all the details.


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Old 08-25-2011   #3
Pucon Chile Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 133
Chile season and stuff

First, I'm the owner of a kayaker's hostel in Pucon. Pucon Kayak Hostel was designed to put lots of kayakers under one roof and provide logistics solutions.

1.What is the boating season in chile?

Nov/Dec is best creek season. Futa will be high then. But norther stuff like the Seven Teacups National Park is perfect. There are over 70 clean waterfalls including Garganta del Diablo (whirly bird drop aka Throat of the Devil). Pucon guarantees clean waterfalls and multiple sections to run.
Jan- sunny, northern region is drying but Maipo is always good. Pucon still has lots of options, and by Futa region is getting better by the day.
Feb- Pucon is in peak-season with tons of travelers. It's like July but since Pucon is so plentiful there are still the base runs: Palguin sections, Trancura, Maichin, Liucura (III), Fuy, San Pedro...
Futa- is optimal.
March- is great for Futa and most people are gone. Some of the base runs around Pucon are gone but two others open up at lower levels: Middle Fuy and Truful Truful.
If you an advanced intermediate i think Jan Feb is your time. If you're a creeker you're probably going to like December best.

2.Roughly, How much would a trip cost for that entire season?(Flight, lodging, food, gas, etc.)
Flight- check expedia. Fly closer to Pucon via Temuco and cut out northern bus rides. About $1700-1800 to Temuco from Denver.

You can click to look at the Pucon Kayak Hostel lodging and kayak rental rates.

Chile has nice restaurants slightly cheaper than Colorado and mom pop empanadas and fried eggs places for around $3 a meal. If you shop around you can find cheaper hostels than PKH but the cool part is being able to show up and hang with international kayakers.

3.Should I bring my boats or rent down there?

Boats rent for $20/day. Flying can be done and can miss. It's getting tougher and we're currently investing thousands to ship 12 new creek boats for this reason. If you can get a new kayak down there then you can sell it or I'll even bartar your lodging and food at the end of your trip (if it's in good shape).

4.Is there a decently sized crowd so that I could boat with them?

Yes. Pucon (anytime) or Futa in late Jan to Feb
5.Where is the best place to be?(Pucon, Futa, etc.)
I'll recommend my own

Futa for all-inclusive RxRivers is great. Or do it yourself goto Cara del Indio.
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Old 08-26-2011   #4
Mmcquillen's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 267
Thanks, so Middle palguin would be in feb?
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Old 10-15-2011   #5
Pucon Chile Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 133
Middle Palguin has a long season

Most class V boaters have left Chile by Feb or: A. working for an outfitter, B. gone to Futa, or C. gone to work on Maipo.

But yes people run the Middle in Feb. I'd recommend Nov to Dec for optimum creek flows. I got on the Middle Fuy (has a classic 50 footer) in early April and was excited to learn when other runs are low in area there are others that come in like: Middle Fuy and Truful Truful. It's a cool place to paddle. I'm actually typing from the Miami Airport en route to Pucon.

Here's a cool report and vid of the Middle Palguin.

Keep Kayaking.

Owner Pucon Kayak Hostel
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Old 10-16-2011   #6
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 43

I was thinking about doing the same thing but I was maybe going to do it with NRA, so I was wondering what would the difference be for a gap student and and a high school student and also vs just going down there on my own?
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Old 10-16-2011   #7
Athens, Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 19
I'm in the exact same boat as you Peelsauce and mmcquillen. I've been working my ass off to pay for my year off since June and I'm headed down to Pucon kayak hostel in late December for a month. I looked through a bunch of options and PKH is definitely the easiest and least expensive option for you. You don't have to fly with a boat, rent a car, or worry about 2 meals a day. I'm really looking forward to it. You might be surprised with how cheap it is.
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Old 10-17-2011   #8
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Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
This is relevant to my interests. I'll be in Futaleufu in early December. How is she at "high"?
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Old 10-18-2011   #9
Pucon Chile Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 133
Futa at High and NRA, Gap or do Chile yourself...

Dan... It's Patagonia and December is a little early. You'll experience some weather, it's beautiful, bring cold gear, down jacket and dry suit will be your best friends. I always plan my Futa trips for Feb. Pucon and areas north are optimal in December. If you haven't seen the shots of Garganta del Diablo near the Teacups then check it out... amazing place.

Peelsauce- Regarding gap year, NRA high school or Pucon Kayak Hostel. I founded all of these and they all have similar philosophies of living life to it's fullest via the river aka Huge Experiences.

If you can afford it then the gap year and New River Academy are a privilege. You'd be experiencing 12 years of Chile exploration, logistics, networking, discoveries, and infrastructure. Meaning we've discovered all the cool cool gems like the best hotsprings you'll ever experience, staying with the Astorga's (true Chilean eco-tourism family in the Maipo Valley), cultural experiences, and incredible kayaking.

Fall 2012 Gap Year will run the northern creek trip to the classics. That trip has less academic demands than the high school and will experience all the same and more with more time in Chile.

Pucon Kayak Hostel- While, I own the hostel it simply can not compare to the high school or gap year. But if you are a do-it-yourselfer and have adult needs like partying (not-allowed in high school program) then you'll want the hostel. Since hostel goers are doing it themselves don't have structured cultural guides and extensive exploration trip throughout the country (equivalent to East coast US to Cali) you just will not get the cultural or educational parts. Learning Spanish in Chile is pretty sweet and motivational.

Although, hostel goers will do more paddling than the high school. Your entire day is dedicated to just having fun. There are tons of runs in Pucon.

So, it really depends on what you want:
A. Party lifestyle and lots of kayaking- Pucon Kayak Hostel. Not everyone comes to party... but the school does not allow it.
B. High school and kayaking and excellent life experiences- then go New River Academy.
C. Want to have more freedom but still get an educational component, meet the culture, and explore more the country. Then let the gap year program teach you how to do it-yourself for your nomad year.

Feel free to email me anytime with more questions.
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Old 02-16-2012   #10
Concord, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2
Don't wait until after high school to go to Chile, do it during high school, that's what I did. I did it through the Alzar School, they took me and other kids in high school to Chile for the best times of our lives. We also got to meet a lot of Chileans and we stayed in small towns (A town called Los Quenes for example, look it up on Google Maps, it's tiny) that allowed us to camp literally right on the river and it allowed us to stay away from tourist spots. I'm not saying Pucon isn't good for kayakers, because it is, but it is more of a touristy area. Check out the website for there semester program, I promise if you go it will be the best thing you have ever done.
Alzar School | When we need a classroom, the world awaits.

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