Note: this trip can be easily combined
with Trekking in Torres del Paine (starts and ends very close to
Puerto Montt airport, and from there you can fly for 2 hours to
Punta Arenas) , if you want we can help with it.
This 6 day sea kayaking expedition took us through several fjords in the Gulf of Ancud, at the northern end of Chilean Patagonia. Our hopes for a wilderness paddling experience with a taste of local culture were far exceeded. Our guide, Juanfe Zuazo, is a truly multidimensional person, with excellent technical, leadership and logistical skills to bring our diverse group of paddlers safely through the fjords. Equally important, over his several decades of guiding and exploring this region, he has truly become a part of the local environment and culture, a fact which brought us into the homes of local settlers for meals and conversation, and gave us a more intimate experience of the natural world in which we were immersed. The natural beauty of this region is awesome and seemingly limitless: we feel we've just scratched the surface of one of the world's finest treasures. And, we hope to return one day to join Juanfe to venture further.
Ron and Barbara
Mount Shasta, California (February 2013)
Cutting deep into the granite peaks of the coastal Andes, the Quintupeu,
Cahuelmó and Comau Fjords that make up the Pumalín
National Park provide the most spectacular sea kayaking experience
in Northern Patagonia. Hot springs, sea lion and dolphin colonies,
lush temperate rainforest and hundreds of cascading waterfalls are
all features of our journey.
When the Spanish arrived in Chiloé in the 16th century, they
found the islands and continental fjords populated by a seagoing
people known as Chonos, who paddled canoes known as dalcas. Fabricated
from three sewn boards, these dalcas held 10 or 12 people and were,
in according to early chroniclers, the most seaworthy craft in the
This option has been developed especially
for those who want to visit ALL the Northern Patagonia Fjords in Pumalin Park and relax in ALL THE HOTSPRINGS in this area.
Our trip starts from Puerto Varas, a city located 1,000 km south
of Santiago. We will travel through the Northern Austral Highway,
with it's picturesque fishermen's villages and we will cross the
Reloncaví Estuary by ferry here at the first fiord of Patagonia.
To the south of Puerto Montt, Chile breaks up
into a number of islands with deep fiords which allow the sea to
touch the Andes ”
Magnificent views of the Hornopirén Volcano with the snow covered
summits of Yates volcanoe in the background. To the south, breathtaking
views from many islands and dense rainforest hanging from steep
walls as the Pacific Ocean penetrates deeply into the Andes .
Finally, the Comau Fiord appears in front of us cleared by tall
mountains and rugged riversides, the place where we are going to
board our kayaks and start the adventure through the Comau, Quintupeu
and Cahuelmó fiords, inserting ourselves in the spectacular scenery
of the Hornopirén and Pumalin Parks,
considered to be the last virgin forests in Southern Chile
...The only way to access these area is by water.
We will paddle through unforgettable places. Hanging forests, enormous
waterfalls that fall directly into the sea, gigantic walls of rock
disappearing into the water, fumaroles and natural hot springs,
endless cliffs, pioneers and their histories, hidden lagoons, variety
of seabirds, dolphins, sea lions and incredible hiking trails crossing
rivers to arrive at hidden lagoons...
What makes this holiday different?
** Our focus is in cultural based-adventures and authentic experiences by interacting in the areas where we travel with the local people and their culture
* Your trip leader , and owner of the company , will make his best effort to offer the best expefrience possible and safe , certified as a BCU 4Star by the British Canoe Union of England and certified as by the American Canoe Union as a ACA Seakayak Instructor Level 4 with more than 15 years guiding seakayak expeditions in Patagonia and more than 120 trips in the area of the Fjords of Pumalin Park.
* We will have the opportunity to visitALL THE HOTSPRINGS in the area of the fjords (3 different, 4 days enjoying them)
Our SMALL group size - maximum of 6 - ensures this is a low
impact trip . Our main concern is group safety but also a great
respect for the local people we will visit during the trip.
* The trip is totally self-sufficient - meaning that we have to carry all inside the seakayaks, totally loaded, no support boat always close to us, but we have a good network of fishermen friends
in the area of the fjords.
* Our guide holds informal talks with groups to inform about and
discuss with them all aspects of local life. This helps understanding
of the area and appreciation of the people who live there.
Consider also that this is a good opportunity to practice your
spanish with our local guides and the local people we will meet
during our trips.
* We use locally produced and fresh products as much as possible
and always in preference choose local over imported goods.
* We pack out all waste and minimize this by using products
with minimum packaging, leaving no litter and keeping all water
We are supporting the community by providing books for children
of the local school of the Northern Patagonia Fjords , our main
We are pioneers in offering self-sufficient sea kayak trips in this region , this means no support boat so all the gear required
will be inside the kayaks (food, camping equipment, stove, security
equipment, our clothes) offering us freedom of movement and the
possibility to vary our program at any given moment.
This is a true sea kayaking expeditions where our participants
will learn exactly what that means. We are going to be paddling
in an aerea where the weather plays an important role and the tides
and winds are elements that has to considered. This is an active
trip where every participant will have to share duties and have
a positive attitude.
Scenic driving, Yates, Hornopirén and Michimahuida Volcanoes, big waterfalls, rock walls that dissapear in the sea, untouched dense vegetation, 3 different hot springs, variety of seabirds, dolphins and sea lions.
Consider that although is spring or summer in Chile...we have to
be prepared for the rain. The summer months, middle December , January
, February middle March are generally pleasant, although it
could rain at any given moment. The temperature of the sea
has an average of 12-13 centigrades.
The area we will be paddling in can have a tide change of up to
6m (18 feet), which implies that the sea may withdraw several hundred , offering variable landscapes along the day. This also
requires a very complex logistic to be combined with the wind schedule
and steep shores, which involves night or pre-dawn paddling but
mainly an adventuroues spirit, possitive attitude and lots of teamwork.
The Ancud Gulf is relatively a small body of water between Chiloé
island and the continent, approximately 42°15"S,
73°W. This area makes up the northern part of the Chilean Patagonia.
The fiords are along the continental side of the gulf, before the
Huequi peninsula, while the islands are found on the east margin
What do we offer ?
Our trips not only will take you through
an inspiring scenery , but you will go home with fond memories of
the time you spend with the local fishing pioneers families getting
to meet them in their own surroundings and how they live , plus
first hand experience of the local fishing industry.
Our knowledge of running trip in the area since 1998 with more than
10 trips per season plus a local fishermen radio contact net that
can help if we have an emergency give us the safety support to travel
totally by our own.... so we offer a self sufficient sea kayaking
trip... a real sea kayaking trip through Patagonia... which
combines true adventure, security, freedom, challenge and multicultural
experiences amongst a spectacular scenery: the Northern Patagonia
A cultural based-adventure and authentic experiences
by interacting with the local people and their culture of the areas of the fjords
" We invite to live the history of this place more than
just reading it ".
V I D E O S OF PUMALIN PARK SEAKAYAK EXPEDITION
(check the 2 Photo Galleries to understand better the trip)
Day 0 :
(Puerto Varas - Pre-trip Meeting - Trip Logistics)
At 20:00 we will meet in the hotel in Puerto Varas town. This
is a small and pleasant city 20 km north of Puerto Montt (just 30 minutes from the airport) , located
next to Llanquihue lake and in front of Osorno Volcano (2652m) and
1,000 km south of Santiago.
The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the members of the
group and to receive a complete explanation of the trip, it´s
logistics, check the gear, information
about the tides and winds and their influence in our navigation,
potential hazzards, emergency plans , rescue procedures, isolation,
group and personal requirements, team work requirement and answer last minute
... Driving Carretera Austral road to the area of the Fjords ...
1: Puerto Varas - Seakayak Comau Fjord - LLancahue Hotsprings
Pick up at your hotel in Puerto Varas at 9AM and drive the Northern
Carretera Austral , taking a ferry boat navigating Reloncaví
Fjord with nice views of Yates Volcanoe, the first fjord of Patagonia
and continue driving to Hornopirén town , close to Hornopirén
Volcanoe and Hornopiren National Park.
From this day ahead we will be always paddling in between 3 volcanoes (north: Yates and Hornopirén Volcanoes and south , Michimahuida
In order to avoid the afternoon winds , we will have our lunch in Hornopirén town , continue driving close to the fjords and set up our campsite in the property of a family of pioneers (colonos) before the rain comes , a general safety talk
, and inmediately start paddling part of Comau Fjord, crossing to an island , till we find Llancahue hotsprings (family guesthouse with 2 pools with a superb view of the sea an islands , filled with the water of the hotsprings source , located under the sea), if weather allows . Some time to enjoy and relax and continue paddling for 1 more hour to our campsite . Dinner with a fisherman family of pioneers.
Breakfast , a short visit to the children of a small local school (if possible) , then continue paddling Comau Fjord.
After some hours, the vertical Quintupeu fiord will appear.
It is here where
the Dresden, a 3,600-ton light cruiser, one of the fastest ships
in the German Imperial Navy , was hidden during the World War I.
We will be entering to our favorite fiord.....huge waterfalls coming
directly to the sea, dense vegetation everywhere, enormous walls
dissapearing in the water.We will stop for a short
hike , walking to reach the place where
the waterfall borns.
4-5 hours paddling with stops in between / (B-BL-D)
Day 3 :
Sea kayak trip to Cahuelmo Fjord - Sealion colony -Cahuelmo Hotsprings
(5-6 hours aprox.)
We will start paddling very early if requiered, because this is
the day we will need to paddle for some hours in a section more
exposed to the influence of Ancud Gulf .We will paddle close to
the coast to enjoy the dense vegetation until the entrance of the
as we enter Cahuelmo fiord, a surprise... a colony of sea lions
in front of us. We will pass by without making a noise so that we
can get close and take pictures without bothering them.
The best of the day is yet to come...since we do not have much further
to paddle we will be able to paddle slowly and take advantage of
the opportunity to explore the coastline of the fiord.
We will enjoy the view of the mountain's walls falling directly
into the sea and later, rewarded with the Cahuelmó hot springs at
the end of the fiord.
" Imagine arriving to a beach where you can see vapor rising
directly from the pools ".
This hotsprings are a A group of pools of different sizes and depths, made in petrified shells.
This will be a moment to relax ourselves and forget about everything...while
enjoying the sunset, with a glass of wine and a camera in hand.
(Cahuelmo Hotsprings again and Hike)
After enjoying our breakfast we will be ready to start the next
adventure…..hiking towards Abascal lake….if we can find the trail
existing in this thick vegetation or go for another wet hike towards a waterfall.
It will be necessary to cross some branches of the river and walk
considering the tides otherwise all that we walk through at the
beginning will be covered by the sea. The rewards …..a new perspective
of an untouched area where few people have been before. We will
return on time for lunch and for a relaxing bath at Cahuelmo Hot
springs . Campsite.
Sea kayak Trip to the end of Comau Fjord - Porcelana Hotsprings (6 hours aprox.)
Depending on weather conditions and group performance , we will use our sails. (first and only company in Chile that uses them because of the stability of our fiberglass seakayaks) .
After a very early breakfast we will start paddling before the sunrise
or at night if requiered, navigating towards the main fjord and
then turning south paddling to the hot waters of a river known as
Porcelana Hot springs, a very particular creek of natural hot water
emerging from the temperate rain forest.
This is a long day but we will stop for lunch with a family of colonos or pioneers. Probably campsite or stay in a local family house , before visiting and and enjoying thisd natural hotsprings (B-L-D)
Day 6 :
(Northern Patagonia Fjord navigation
-Scenic driving returning to Puerto Varas)
Early breakfast and return by local fisherman boat or ferry navigation to the put-in enjoying from a differrent perspective the magnifiscent area of the Patagonia Fjords . Lunch probably in Hormopirén town and return to Puerto
Varas late .
*Consider an additional day for your bus , airplane reservations for possible
problems with the weather/road or any situation that could postpone the
arrival to Puerto Varas.
SMALL EXPEDITION GROUPS, maximum of 6 (safety and respect
for the local people we visit)
Authentic interaction with the local people of the area.
Safety-talk before departure, about paddling and rescue maneuvers.
Transportation in our van from Puerto Varas (close to Puerto Montt
airport) , traveling the northern Carretera Austral until the
point where we will initiate our adventure at Comau Fiord and
return to Puerto Varas.
Reloncaví Fiord navigation (ferry boat).
Food during the trip according to program , sometimes provided by local fisherman families (from lunch Day 1
till lunch Day 6) /
During the trip (B: breakfast ; BL : sandwich , fruits , chocolate / L: box-lunch / D: Dinner with fruits, vegeatbles , cheese and wine or with a local family)
Navigation Equipment: Single and double sea Kayaks imported
from Canada, and Germany, expedition models, with original rudder,
spray skirt, paddles, life jackets, light paddling jackets.
Cooking equipment and Group Tarp.
Short hike during Day 2, day 4 and Day 5.
Visit ALL the hotsprings in the area of the fjords (4 days enjoying 3 different hotsprings during the trip: LLancahue, Cahuelmó
and Porcelana hotsprings, ig group performance and weather conditions allows).
Local fishing boat or ferry boat , just for returning to the put-in (day
Group safety equipment: Satellite telephone, Marine VHF Radio
tide table and satellite photo.
Guide: Juan Zuazo - Director of YAK EXPEDICIONES , certify
by the British Canoe Union as BCU 4 STAR Sea Award , ACA Seakayak Instructor Level 4 , english speaking,
first aid and rescue knowledge (NOLS trainning and Wilderness
First Responder certification.).
Limited insurance while seakayaking (chilean company)
Read carefully the section Terms and Conditions below (mainly the section " About our Trips and what we expect from our Participants "
Positive attitude people and team players on adventures.
Don’t expect everything to be perfect or predictable, but do expect to have a great time!
Always try to do your share of the work in a group.
You'll find your trip even more enjoyable if you remember to
bring flexibility and a sense of humor with you.
Physical state and health compatible with the activity to
LEVEL: adventurous travellers , previous experience in kayaking
(bracing and rescue), camping experience required , we will also
use double seakayaks for safety reasons and if someone is less
experienced. NOTE: probably you will have to demonstrate your
skills (strokes and rescue) before start paddling.
Previous indication of any illness or health problem (send
complete the Resewrvation and Medical Form by email , send the
Release Form signed by fax). Team members should have the mindset
that they are responsible for themselves and the other members
of the team while in the backcountry and around camp.
Understand that we will travel using weather windows meaning that
sometimes we will have to paddle at night for calmer conditions
but also consider that while paddling conditions can change, or
, considering always the safety of the group not paddle and wait
modifying the program.
Previous indication of any illness or health problem
Positive mental attitude in front of unexpected situations
Understand that this trip requiered a lot of team work
and the participation of each person at each stageis
Understand that all activities performed in nature can indicate
The program could be modified at any stage due to weather conditions
, guide decision that could affect the safety of the group
To have read and have a clear understanding of the
Terms and Conditions section existing
in our web site.
Every participant must send the Reservation and Medical Form.
Pay the trip
This kayak trip has been planned with the consideration
of those with previous experience BUT before we begin our
trip we will have a general safety talk covering rescue techniques
so that our participants feel more
comfortable during the trip and can really enjoy the beautiful
views that they encounter.
Please read our Conditions Section about "What we expected from our participants" , Cancellation,Modification
and Evacuation protocols.
To improve the enjoyment of our customers, we use both
double (fiberglass) and single kayaks (rotomolded). Our kayaks are expedition
models from USA , Germany and Canada , very comfortable
and stable , all of them with rudder.
As an average we will paddle 5 hours/day with some stops.. Expected paddling speed: 3-3.5 miles/hour (5.5 - 6.5 km/hr)
Hospitals and Professional First Aid Care are very far
from the place where we will be navigating. Evacuations
are very slowly and participantes must be healthy and in
good physical conditions
You have chosen Patagonia , a place where the weather
is unpredicatble, so we can have sun but also rainny days
, very relaxing days but also windy conditions....so if it rains we get wet , smile ,and keep enjoying as one of the few lucky persons that had visited this area.
The itinerary of the program can be modified according to weather conditions, group performance or just to offer a better experience to our participants.
We provide what is included in the section " Included" in the program you choose.
AFTER you press the RESERVATION button, send us an email specifying:
- Your Name , age
Name of the trip you want (number of days)
Number of participants
Date of the trip you want (and your availability)
* we will send you a Reservation and Medical Forms that you have to send us back by email
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