Trip Plan: Rio Palguin River, Chile


Rio Palguin River, Chile



Fly to Temuco Airport (ZCL) then drive 80 minutes to Pucon 


Home base:

Pucón Kayak Hostel (PKH) offers daily shuttles, equipment rentals, kayak welding, gear lockers, communal kitchen, beds and meals all designed for kayakers. It’s the spot for boaters to gather and share shuttles. PKH offers a variety of prices for beds with hosteria, dormitory, domes, Gypsy Wagons and camping options.


Gear guidance:

You can buy kayaks through local retailer Rivers, Lakes and Oceans or Pucón Kayak Hostel has over 50 of the latest creek boat designs for rent.


Recommended ride:

Creek boat



Upper, Middle and Lower sections all have access along the Palguin Road. 


Shuttle plans:

Drive to the put-ins and you can walk the shuttles. For an Upper and Middle Palguin combo you’ll want a shuttle plan. 


River Beta:

The Upper Palguin lies just below the 90-foot Salto Palguin. Only the best of the best take their shots at Salto Palguin. The most popular Upper Palguin has approximately six clean cascades great for first time creekers and pros seeking to hone their skills. The Middle Palguin is a big step up for solid class V boaters. Even the best in the world consistently botch lines like Portage. Try your luck on the Middle Palguin 70-footer. If you like that you might try Stout 10, a solid 10-footer immediately above the 70. The least run Lower Palguin has another half dozen excellent drops but unlike the cleaner safer Upper there are serious consequences. A worthwhile quick run with proper safety and river knowledge.  


Why go?

The Palguin is South America’s most run creek for good reason. It’s always running and it offers something exciting for kayakers ranging from intermediates to pros catching publishable footage. Paddlers wanting a safe run can experience exciting cascades on the Upper Palguin’s half dozen waterfalls and easily walk back up to lap the run. Class V huckers wanting to notch big or challenging drops take their shots at the Middle Palguin section or the 70-footer or Salto Palguin’s 90-footer. Kayakers come to the area for the variety of the world’s best creek boating. You’ll always have a river to run with peak creek season being in October and November.


Don’t go without…

Your GoPro, throw rope, elbow pads, and a good boof.


Watch out for…

The crack on the Upper likes to break boats. There are caves on the Lower. Turbino and Portage rapids on the Middle are a roll of the dice even for the best paddlers in the world.


For more information:



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