Lakes District Multisport – Chile
The Lakes District of Chile never ceases to amaze travelers with its awe-inspiring vistas, incredible hospitality and spectacular natural wonders. Our trip is based in the Pucon and San Pedro valleys and offers a plethora of rafting (II-V), kayaking (beginner to expert), SUP-ing on the lake or rivers, canyoning gorges and waterfalls, horseback riding (epic or easy), mountain biking, zip lining canopy tours, hiking to glaciers and volcanoes, yoga sessions, and soaking in remote hot springs. Guests are accommodated in deluxe waterfront dome accommodations with full en suites, decks and french doors opening to the river. There are additional accommodations in the hosteria for larger groups if necessary.
The packages are all-inclusive of accommodations, sumptuous meals, drinks, and guided activities with optional climbing (via ferrata or rock) and mountaineering options for those keen on summit opportunities. Guests of all abilities can be accommodated with raft, IK and kayak options on the various rivers. This program offers the Upper and Lower Trancura, Tolten, Middle and Lower Maichin, Fuy and San Pedro Rivers for kayak, raft, SUP and IK’s.
|Trip Length||8 days|
Trips operate Saturday-Saturday. Five and Four day options are also available.
|Gateway City||Santiago Chile|
|River Rating||I-V optional|
- Itinerary at a Glance
- Fly to Santiago & connect to Temuco on Day One, transfer to our retreat for afternoon activities, welcome cocktails
- Learn to kayak and roll in a warm lake, or SUP and test your skills on class I-II moving current
- Stretch with a riverside yoga session, soak in natural hot springs, unwind with a massage
- Hike to a glacier, plunge in a waterfall, mountaineer to the top of an active volcano
- Challenge a mountain bike course, or test your mettle on single track, or meander a country road
- Ride a horse in the mountains, raft a raging river or mellow out on a scenic float
- fly fish or spin fish for salmon or trout
- Enjoy canyoning into spectacular gorges, zip line through lush forest canopies, learn to rock climb
- Huck waterfalls, surf huge waves, paddle technical canyons on the Maichin, or unwind on warm class II waters
- Launch on a tandem paraglide, rock climb the Andes or scale a 1000 foot wall (via ferrata)
- Indulge at organic certified restaurants, sample craft beers, taste Chilean wines, experience a traditional Asado
- Detailed Itinerary
Today you will arrive in Santiago, Chile, and connect to Temuco, where a ROAM representative will meet and transfer you to our spectacular retreat along the banks of the Trancura River. After checking into your deluxe Riverside Dome or funky Garden Suites, we will have time for an afternoon activity before welcome cocktails and the first of many delicious meals.
ROAM multisports are designed to allow you to craft your own unique Chilean experience. Each evening at dinner we go over the adventure options for the following day. Most activities will be half-day affairs, while others require the full-day in the field or an occasional early start. One thing for certain, we have organized the absolute best things to do in this adventure paradise and food and drink will always play a major roll!
Here’s a sample of the activities available:
Rafting/inflatable kayaking: Our camp is situated at the take-out of the Upper Trancura River and the put-in for the Lower Trancura, which joins the Liacura River. It doesn’t get any better than this as participants can choose class II-IV by raft, IK or hard shell kayaks. We also have the Tolten, Maichin (upper and lower) and options for the ultra technical and steep Rio Fuy or the warm and friendly, Rio San Pedro, whose large volume Futa-like rapids (in size and colour) can be challenged in a variety of craft.
Kayaking: we have some of the best instructors on the planet for beginners or experts. The paddle school is associated with NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center), which is the largest kayaking school in North America, if not the world. Dedicated and highly skilled instructors are there for you and will allow paddlers to get the most out the what the region has to offer in rivers. Our fleet of kayaks is second to none and we can provide spray skirt, paddle, pfd and helmet but feel free to bring your own.
Stand Up Paddle boards: being in the heart of the Lakes District allows us a plethora of places to SUP and the warm and friendly Tolten River draining Lago Villarrica is also a great venue to hone your fast moving river skills while soaking up views of the volcanoes.
Canyoning: this exciting activity is suitable for beginners or experts and involves exploring amazing volcanic terrain through a series of controlled descents off a vertical drops into canyons along with different small slides, jumps, swims and unique zip-lines. Its active and wet, but you will go to beautiful places many never get to see!
Rock climbing: there are wonderful climbing area and routes 10-15 minutes out of Pucon. We also have a 250 metre via ferrata climb which is a technical climb where you are attached to a cable and anchors for safety. Guest can also opt for a mountaineering day that includes a crampon and ice axe climb of Volcan Villarrica. It’s a full day climb that will leave many exhausted but is often the top of visitors bucket lists in this part of the Andes.
Hiking: we are situated between tow natre reserves and Huerquehue National Park so the hiking opportunities are endless. However, the guides will always suggest our Fire & Ice route, which is ideal for all abilities and hiking speeds. This involves a shuttle up a scenic valley to a trail head that leads to volcanic views and an ice cave where you’ll celebrate with pisco sours poured over 10,000 year old ice.
Horseback riding: get your inner gaucho on by trying a horseback ride in the Andes. Nothing is more Patagonian than a day on a horse with outstanding vistas. We offer a variety of rides that may incorporate a traditional Chilean Asado in some spectacular countryside. Happy trails are waiting.
Paragliding: take a tandem flight and see the region from a bird’s eye perspective. This requires no pervious experience but will certainly leave you buzzing with excitement like a triple espresso with a Red Bull chaser.
Canopy Tours: participants are provided with safety helmets and harnesses as they are guided by highly qualified staff through the 900 meter long circuit of ziplines, Tyrolean traverses, rope ladders, cable walks and rappels. No experience is necessary for this ecological experience among massive Coihue and oak tree forests.
Yoga: join our instructor for a delightful stretch on platforms over looking the lake or river.
Wine & Beer Tasting: sample a selection of Chile’s incredible varietals in inspiration settings. Discover your favourite regional microbrew or local craft beers.
Asado: enjoy a traditional Asado, ROAM style, but be very careful of Ashley’s pisco sours.
We depart after a hearty breakfast and have time for souvenir shopping en route to Temuco and Santiago. For those wanting to arrive to Santiago early or stay longer, we have an Argentine extension at Estancia Peuma Hue, 5 hours away in Bariloche on the Argentine side of Patagonia.
Guests will be accommodated in deluxe riverside domes or in the funky Garden Suites in the hosteria. The domes are situated on the banks of the Trancura river and have private ensuite facilities and french doors that open onto a private deck. The Garden Suites also have private en suites, gas heaters, and offer either king beds or two doubles. There is a communal dome that serves as a cosy lounge, a riverside bar and a large fire side pagoda for dining and socializing. The retreat is located 10km outside of Pucon. The camp was developed originally as a whitewater mecca for kayakers. This part of the Andes boasts user-friendly waterfalls and river runs from Class I-VI and our location offers the perfect combination of but has been re-developed in conjunction with ROAM for our multisport adventures.
- About the Region
Don’t judge a district by its name. The Lakes District, Los Lagos in Spanish, only tells part of the story. While turquoise, blue and green glacial lakes dominate the landscape, they’re hardly the only attraction. Play on towering, perfectly conal, snowcapped volcanoes. Visit charming lakesides and hot springs. Admire the green umbrella of national parks like Parque Nacional Huerquehue. A long list of outdoor adventures and a unique, German-influenced Latin culture make for a cinematic region that appeals to all. Pucón is firmly positioned on the global map as a center for adventure sports; its setting on beautiful Lago Villarrica under the smouldering eye of the volcano of the same name seals its fate as a world-class destination for adrenaline junkies.
Huerquehue National Park is located in the foothills of the Andes, in the Valdivian temperate rainforest of the La Araucaníaregion in southern Chile. It lies 145 km southeast of Temuco and 33 km east of Pucón, between the Villarrica National Reserve to the west and the Hualalafquén National Reserve to the east. The park encompasses 125 square kilometres (12,500 Ha) of mountainous terrain east of Caburgua Lake, and has an elevation range of 720 to 2,000 meters above sea level. Huerquehue is a Mapudungun word (the language of the Mapuche people) that means “the messenger’s place”. One of the most noteworthy features of the park are its ancient Araucaria forests, the tree commonly known as “monkey puzzle”. These are the backdrop for the clear lakes and lagoons that dot the park, including Tinquilco Lake, which lies in the lower portion of this protected area.
Pucón boasts the best small-town tourism infrastructure south of Costa Rica. That means hundreds of activities and excursions, vegetarian restaurants, falafel, microbrews and hundreds of expat residents from the world over. Its popularity can be off-putting to some but benefit by the services available while our retreat is based outside of Pucon on a tranquil acreage on the banks of the Trancura River.
This region is teaming with rivers. Here’s a few that we may explore, depending on participants ability levels:
Maichin: The best stretch of boating on the upper Maichín consists of a section of a class III-IV rapids where the river flows through a long-columnar basalt gorge. The drops are straightforward and boat scoutable from eddies. The cold, clear river flows through a bucolic countryside of small farms, well-grazed hillsides, and araucaria trees standing sentinel over the valley floor. The lower Maichin is equally as impressive in its beauty rather than technical rapids and ideal for paddlers wanting to work on skill development or simply enjoy the canyon.
Upper & Lower Trancura: The Trancura river is the main drainage for the snowpeaks of Parque Nacional Villarrica. Given clear weather the three volcanos Quetrupillan, Lanín and Villarica can be seen while descending the river. The lower Trancura is Pucón’s local playground and sports the most popular day raft trip in the country. This section of river is also popular with kayakers and inflatable kayaks (a.k.a. duckies). Mostly read and run class II-III, the notable rapids are “El Pescador” which has pushy wave train at entrance leading into a river wide hole at hi flows. Below the Confluence (“ La Junta”) with the Liucura River the flow doubles and the largest rapid of the trip is encountered called La Leona. The Upper Trancura is class III-V and has some mandatory portages but is a stout backyard run of no parallel.
Rio Palguin: There are four distinct drops on this classic waterfall run. The first is called “Tres Huevones” and consists of 3 drops with part three ending in a 3 meter falls. The second rapid, “Eva Luna” is a 5-6 meter falls at the end of a slot canyon. The third rapid is another falls called “Ecstasy” and has a 7 meter vertical drop with runs on on either the left or right of the center rock island. The fourth drop is called “feet first” and is run in the center slot which is a sloping 6 meter sluiceway whose width is slightly more than that of a kayak.
Rio San Pedro: About 1.5 hours away from our base, this is a wonderful outing for those doing the full 8-day program. Draining Lago Rinihue and flowing out the Pacific the San Pedro has crystal clear turquoise waters and offers trout and salmon in addition to 16 kilometres of fun roller coaster rapids that remind us a lot of the Futaelufu in both colour and style.
Rio Fuy: Flowing warm and transparent out of Lago Pirehueico deep in the heart of Chile’s Lake District, the Fuy’s astonishing clarity is a sight to behold. With a dense canopy of coihue trees overhanging its banks, the river has an exotic, even ethereal feel to it. In the Chilean spring, the river’s continuous, eddy-hopping, boulder-garden rapids get big and pushy, offering quite a contrast to the waterfalls upstream. Kayakers love this run, although for some unknown reason, we are the only rafters to rarely drop in on this beauty. Since the Fuy is threatened by hydroelectric development, get to know this river before ENDESA takes it away from you. More on this later…
- Trip Planner
Planning Your Trip
We have prepared this trip planner to help you get ready for the adventures ahead in this truly unspoiled part of the world. We have tried to anticipate questions you might have concerning travel arrangements, what to bring, and getting in shape. We are also providing some basic information about these diverse regions. If any of your questions remain unanswered, please don’t hesitate to call. We strive to fully prepare you for what to expect on your trip so you can spend your vacation hiking, exploring, indulging and relaxing rather than wondering whether or not you brought the right pair of shoes.
Getting in Shape
Our trips are designed for people who enjoy the out-of-doors, rather than for fitness fanatics. Still, they are active holidays. Age is unimportant when it comes to your ability to do the rafting, walking, and/or hiking-the more important consideration is your physical condition. If you haven’t attempted the kind of exercise levels required by our trips within the last couple of years, please be aware of the sort of trip you’re taking. It’s an active one, and you’ll enjoy it more if you’ve been doing some exercise before you go. No previous river experience is required.
Your guides will give you an orientation to expedition practices and teach you all the basic skills that you’ll require to enjoy the different aspects of the trip. Our prime consideration is to provide you with a trip that is as safe and comfortable as possible while still maintaining the integrity of a wilderness experience. Activities that involve aerobic conditioning, such as swimming, walking, jogging, squash, and tennis are great for overall physical conditioning. Keep in mind the relative topography of where you live compared to the region you will be visiting. If you live in flat country, for example, consider supplementing your training with artificial hill training on a treadmill or stair-master.
A Thumbnail Training Program
- Two-three months before the trip starts: try to do exercises that involve aerobic conditioning three times each week-swimming, walking, jogging, squash, cross-country skiing, tennis, biking.
- One month before the trip: go for a couple of longer walks each week.
- The week before your trip: try to go for three long walks.
- Be sure to stretch after exercising-it reduces the chances of injury, muscle pain, stiffness, and fatigue.
We utilize state-of-the-art self-bailing rafts and inflatable kayaks. Our hard shell kayak selection is the best available in Chile. Wetsuits and paddling jackets are provided along with PFD and helmets.
You can fish pristine waters for massive rainbow trout. If you plan on fishing, you may want to bring your favourite 5- to 6-weight rod with case along with an assortment of appropriate dry and wet flies.
The Lakes District is a mountain environment so variable weather is to be expected. Daytime highs can reach 90 degrees F but the temperatures will drop quite a bit during the evenings. While we don’t expect rain, it is always a possibility so be sure to follow our recommended equipment list, as our experience suggests a multi-layering approach with a range of temperatures and conditions in mind.
What to Take
While we encourage you to travel light, you’ll also want to be sure you pack all the essentials and prepared for both land and water environs. The personal equipment list will address what you will need to wear in conjunction with our gear. At the same time, weight and volume restrictions come into play so please follow our recommendations closely.
The personal equipment list we provide you with has been developed through years of practical experience. It is important that the clothing you bring will withstand the rigors of the trip. Your personal equipment should not weigh more than 40 pounds and all clothing should be quick drying and be made of synthetics or wool. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives with this outline. Weather conditions can vary considerably so it’s important to dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature no matter what Mother Nature may have in store. The inner layer should move perspiration outside, where it can evaporate. The intermediate layer should insulate while the outside layer should act as a barrier to wind and rain.
Personal Equipment List
* 1 pair of hiking boots with appropriate number of socks
* Casual shoes for town and lodges
* 1 pair river sandals (Tevas) with neoprene socks and/or wetsuit boots
* 5-7 pairs warm wool socks
* 2 T-shirts
* 1-2 collared shirts for lodge nights
* 2 long underwear tops (synthetic or wool)
* 1 pile or fleece jacket (100-200 weight)
* 1 high quality waterproof rain jacket
* 1-2 pairs long underwear bottoms (synthetic or wool)
* 2 pairs of light shorts (quick-drying)
* 1-2 pairs of quick-dry pants
* casual slacks for lodge nights
* 1 pair high quality waterproof rain pants
* Undergarments (ideally 1-2 of them synthetic)
* 1 swimsuit
Head & Hands
* 1 sun hat or visor
* Fleece hat (for early or late departures)
* 1 pair lightweight fleece gloves
* Binoculars: Many people like to have a pair for those great vistas or for bird or animal watching.
* Compass: A fun thing to have for the avid map-reader.
* 1 day pack (20-35 litres)
* 2 1-litre water bottles (or camelback) with securing strap
* Toiletry kit (personal medications)
* Sunscreen, lip salve, insect repellent
* Sunglasses with safety strap and extra prescription glasses (if necessary)
* Small flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
* Notebook, journal, reading material
* Camera (don’t forget to bring lots of film/memory and store gear properly)
Please pack your gear into soft duffle bags (NO SUITCASES). The gear you’re should weigh less than 40 pounds in total. The airline may charge you for excess baggage or even, in rare circumstances, refuse your bags.
Getting Insured -Trip Cancellation Insurance
R.O.A.M. strongly recommends that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. You risk forfeiture of all monies paid, if you cancel your trip. You have the option of purchasing an insurance policy that meets the specific needs of our travellers.http://www.travelinsure.com/what/imedhigh.htm?32931.
Please make sure you understand what the insurance will and will not cover. Please consult the policy for exact coverage, details of other risks insured, and for other benefits and limitations of the insurance.
Making Your Travel Plans
The following may help you get to the start of your R.O.A.M. trip with a few pleasant adventures along the way. Your trip starts and ends in Temuco, Chile which is accessed easily through Santiago.
Since most international flights arrive in Santiago, this will most likely be your point of arrival, unless you have pre-trip plans elsewhere in Chile or Argentina. Your flight reservations should be made as far ahead of time as possible. As with all popular destinations, space on flights can be limited at peak times, and fares tend to increase as you near the departure date. If you are planning to use a frequent flyer program or other discounted fare, please take extra precautions to make your plans in advance, as airlines allocate a limited number of seats for this type of travel, and may impose restrictions or extra costs on changing travel arrangements.
Surprising, cosmopolitan, energetic, sophisticated and worldly, Santiago is a city of syncopated cultural currents, madhouse parties, expansive museums and top-flight restaurants. No wonder 40% of Chileans call the leafy capital city home. It’s a wonderful place for strolling, and each neighbourhood has its unique flavour and tone. Head out for the day to take in the museums, grand architecture and pedestrian malls of the Centro, before an afternoon picnic in one of the gorgeous hillside parks that punctuate the city’s landscape. Nightlife takes off in the sidewalk eateries, cafes and beer halls of Barrios Brasil, Lastarria and Bellavista, while as you head east to well-heeled neighborhoods like Providencia and Las Condes, you’ll find tony restaurants and world-class hotels. With a growing economy, renovated arts scene and plenty of eccentricity to spare, Santiago is an old-guard city on the cusp of a modern-day renaissance.
Recommended Hotels in Santiago
* Tipping is common in Chile. Of course, there are some exceptions, which we have noted.
* Taxis – 5% is appropriate for good service and 10% is generous.
* Porters – $2 per bag.
* Restaurants – It is appropriate to leave 15% before tax.
The following hotels have been selected based upon research, guest feedback and represent the best value. Prices do not include 21% tax.
Casa Sur – With extremely helpful staff, lavish cooked breakfasts and personalized service right down to the nameplate welcoming you to your light and airy room, Casa Sur is just as charming as it claims to be. The location on a quiet Barrio Italia side street is equally ideal. Book ahead as this fantastic B&B is rightly popular.
Hotel Boutique Tremo – For those looking for a boutique experience on a realistic budget, this is your best bet. The lovely converted mansion on a quiet Bellavista street has a terrific patio lounge, fresh art deco stylings, decent service and a chilled-out air.
Hotel Magnolia – No two rooms are exactly alike at this artfully designed boutique hotel, which masterfully intertwines old and new within the confines of a restored 1920s office building. Checkered tiles, marble staircases and stained-glass windows pop alongside playful modern light fixtures, geometric furnishings and vertigo-inducing glass floors. Head to the rooftop bar for views over Cerro Santa Lucía and Santiago Centro
Our trips start in Temuco which is a short flight connection from Santiago. Upon arrival in Temuco, our representative will meet you outside of baggage and transfer you to Pucon.
After Your Trip
We will transfer you to Temuco for homeward flights. Most of our trips end on Saturdays so there is time for souvenir shopping en route to the airport.
The monetary unit is the Chilean Peso . I US dollar equals approximately 600 Chilean Pesos. Credit cards are not as widely accepted as they are in North America (especially AMEX). Traveller’s checks, where accepted, are exchanged at rates that thieves envy. Cash is king – so use a money belt. When converting American to pesos, you’ll get the most favourable rates at banks. Most banks are open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday to Friday. ATMs are everywhere but often limit withdrawals.
Chile is very safe for travelling, but still there is no point in carrying lots of valuables when travelling. Regrettably, tourists are among the most easily targeted, so please exercise some caution. We also recommend that you check your personal insurance policy before travelling to ensure that you are covered for theft and loss while travelling. As a safety precaution, do not travel with excessive amounts of cash or jewelry if it is not necessary.
Chile is officially Spanish speaking. A bilingual ROAM guide will be with the group from start to finish – unless you are traveling with Brian (he generally butchers the Spanish language but will keep you safe and well liquored).
Please make sure your travel documents and passport are in your carry-on luggage. Do not check them with your bags. Americans and Canadians do not require a visa to enter Chile.
On our trip we’ll be travelling through some environmentally and historically sensitive areas. Our excursions are designed to promote an understanding of the delicate ecosystems while preserving their fundamental integrity. We ask participants to share our concern for the environment by practising low-impact touring in this sensitive area.
R.O.A.M. operates on a “leave-no-trace” policy as we believe the survival of the natural environment and the wildlife it supports depends on establishing an economy beyond simple resource harvesting. Our goal is to immerse our clients in vast natural beauty, which, in turn, supports eco-tourism as a viable, economic choice.
Our trip leader carries a cell phone and satellite phone for emergency purposes. Should you need a phone at your disposal, you should make arrangements for your own satellite communication. Because of our remote locale, cellular phones are not always an option.
Our guides are as impressive as the scenery; passionate about their work, they are delighted to pass on their knowledge and skills. They have an intimate knowledge of a region’s wildlife, natural history, culture and folklore. Trained in wilderness first aid and professionally certified to the highest provincial level in British Columbia, our guides are eager to please and will ensure you have a memorable experience.
Tips and Tipping
The tipping of R.O.A.M. guides is entirely discretionary, and we feel strongly that gratuities should not be offered to them if they lead anything less than a great trip. However, we expect that our guides will do a great job in making your trip memorable and, when they do, it is not uncommon for our travellers to offer a gratuity. The guides very much appreciate it. We are often asked what is appropriate. In general, we have found that when our travellers offer a gratuity, it is in the range of a “thank you” to 15% of the trip cost per person. But again, tipping is entirely at your discretion.