Whitewater rafting trips got their start in Chile in the late 1970's, when a team of North American boaters ran the first descent of the río Biobío. What they found amazed them: day after day of huge, powerful rapids, deep basalt canyons with waterfalls cascading down on either side, old growth Araucaria forest on the surrounding hills, steaming riverside hotsprings, a living Pehuenche Indian culture, and a smoking volcano presiding over it all. The Bio Bío immediately became the world's premier wilderness rafting trip, and Chile's place on the map of international whitewater destinations was assured.
This came as no surprise to geographers. A simple look at the Andes, paralleling the Pacific coast for thousands of miles, is enough to devise that this country was made for the whitewater boater.
In the past twenty years, over a hundred rivers have been run in Chile, from Santiago south to Punta Arenas. Water temperature, peak season, substrate, difficulty and hazards vary hugely from one region to another, and water levels fluctuate from year to year. However, water levels within specified dates are dependable, and local guides are well trained and certified.
Thanks to the Tourism Promotion Corporation of Chile : 202-530-4109