Kayaking & Rafting in the Chilean Lake District

Sea kayaking, Reloncavi Fjord, Chile

Sea kayaking in the Chilean fjords

The Chilean Lake District offers fine opportunities to get on the water for both beginners and those with a little more experience.

Its many volcano-fringed lakes offer the perfect vista for exploration by kayak whether you're basing yourself in Puerto Varas or Pucón, with the added bonus of access in the south of the region to Chile's epic fjords, where you can take to sea kayaks to explore sea lion colonies, camp on the beach and paddle to other inaccessible hiking trails.

The region also has more than its fair share of rivers that become swollen by season snowmelt from the mountains, become adventure playground for whitewater rafting. The Petrohué, Trancura and Fuy rivers all offer great rapids to shoot, amid spectacular scenery. 

Kayaking & Rafting in the Argentine Lake District

Kayaking & rafting in the Patagonian Lake District

Rafting near Peuma Hue

There is no shortage of places to paddle in the Argentine Lake District, whether you choose to base yourself in Bariloche or San Martín de los Andes.

The many fingers of vast Lake Nahuel Huapi dominate the scene, but some of the best kayaking experiences are to be found on the smaller lakes where you feel like you can get away from the crowds, such as Lake Machonico or Lake Moreno.

Whitewater rafting is equally popular from the region's two main hubs. Rapids on the Manso river run through steep gorges and lush forest, as does the Hua Hum river near San Martín, while the vast snowy bulk of Lanín Volcano watches over those taking to the fast-flowing Chimehuin river in the north of the region.

Swoop Says background image

Swoop says

To see the lakes from both foot and the water, consider building a day's trekking and kayaking into your itinerary. From Bariloche, you might spend the morning kayaking in the hidden bays of Lake Nahuel Huapi or Lake Moreno, then after a relaxing lunch on the lake shore, swap your kayak for hiking boots and trek up to the panoramic viewpoint from the peak of Mount Tronador.

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