Chile Rivers Series- Upper Fuy reported by Patagonia Gap Year

For high school grads and university students.  It’s easy to APPLY to Patagonia Gap Year. 

Fall Semester for Advanced and Intermediate Kayakers: October 15 to December 17

Spring Semester for Beginner and Intermediate Kayakers:  February 5 to April 9

Feature River in this Edition:  Upper Rio Fuy, IV

Skills Required:  Must be a solid class IV boater ready to progress to class V and waterfall running.

Not a Class IV Kayaker… Consider our Beginner Intermediate Spring Semester.

rio fuy Leonas cascadas

Emily Meredith and Megan Harpam take photos at Rio Fuy's Las Leonas aka the Lions cascades.

As the logistics coordinator of New River Academy trips and now proud owner of Pucon Kayak Hostel exploring the Andes drainages for 14 years has been… well, perspective enhancing and life directional.  Annually, seeking another tour gem and later sharing the beauty offers great pleasure. Whether it is Doña Tato’s riverside camp in Patagonia’s Rio Nuble, watching huaso’s (Chilean cowboys) herd flocks of goats to the highlands in the Achibueno Valley, competing at the Rio Nuble Fest, networking a new homestay, or paddling with the gap year students on Pucon’s Upper Nevado these tried and tested logistics are now available to you as part of Patagonia Gap Year’s itinerary.

Upper Rio Fuy Location:  Two-hours southeast of Pucon, Chile.

Imagine paddling across crystal water peering down to the moss and logs, turn a bend to the white view of a towering glacier.  Magically, the water is warm, clear and blue.  The feeling is surreal as you approach the first warmup class III rapids on this 4 KM stretch of continuous clean cascades.  This is a Chilean must, welcome to the Rio Fuy.  The Upper Fuy much like a bath tub over-flows out of solar heated Lago Neltume.  Lago Neltume is a long stretch of lake that has a ferry to the Argentina border.  This is the heart of Chile’s Rios District.

Las Leonas is a stacked series of three cascades. The clear blue water + gradient makes the Rio Fuy a must destination.

Why is the Upper Fuy so popular?  The 4 KM section offers over 20 clean cascades with the largest being at Las Leonas, aka the Lions.  Photographers can stack their shots and catch a 23’, a 12’ and a 6’ cascade all in the same shot.  While, the run is not for beginners it can be a safe and trip highlight for class IV boaters with experienced guide.  Expert experienced creekers love the run too as provides the vid and photo shots and enough challenging lines.  The drops are well-defined with balanced boof corners to soft landings in pools.

3 Classic Rio Fuy Sections:

Upper Fuy, IV:  This is the favorite stretch by kayakers seeking new cascades.  It’s a 4KM non-stop stretch of easy to navigate clean drops with road access.

Middle Fuy, V: The crux of the Middle Fuy is a must run 50-footer.  As far as big drops go it’s as easy of a 50-footer as you can find.  DO NOT get into this canyon unless water is low and everything else is dry.

Lower Fuy, III:  The lower is a commercial rafting section spectacular in beauty.  At higher flows theirs a wave for play-boaters.  Still a must on any New River trip based on beauty alone.

Pro Note-  Aniol Seriolsoles first descented 100’ La Puma in spring of 2012 located within Parque Huilo Huilo on the class V Middle Fuy section. 

Rio Fuy Trip Highlights and Suggestions:

  • Parque Huilo Huilo has some of the best swimming lagunas on the planet. This is Chile at it's best.

    Puerto Neltume- is at the put-in and worth driving the extra 100 m to checkout the ferry port to the Argentina border.

  • Hotel Baobab or the Peterman Brewery-  You’ll be nothing less than shocked when you see these structures that would fit into the Starwars Ewok village.  Plan time to enjoy a beer after your run.  Hike to the 8th floor roof for 360 degree view.
  • Jumpers at Las Leonas can get sweet Go Pro shots as the kayakers fly next to them.
  • Parque Huilo Huilo, where Serriolsolses first descented La Puma, has some of the most spectacular swimming lagunas on the planet. Just above the part are several runnable drops.

Patagonia Gap Year Itinerary- Read below to follow an exceptional exploration itinerary of Chile.

October 18 to November 21, Pucon Kayak Hostel base: Stay at the world’s best kayak destination designed for kayakers.

Some Pucon Whitwater Rivers:  Rio Nevado, Rio Palguin, Rio Fuy, Rio San Pedro, Rio Puesco, Rio Trancura, Coilaco Park and Huck, Turbio Park and Huck, Ojos del Caburgua Park and Huck, Rio Maichin.

November 22 to 25, Rio Nuble Fest- Over 50 miles of free-flowing beauty.

NOC’s Jon Clarke began the Rio Nuble Fest to helo protect over 50 miles of free-flowing river from hydropower threats.  International kayakers join the San Fabian township in promoting eco-tourism and saving the Rio Nuble.   Thank you Jon Clarke.

November 26 to December 6, Siete Tazas National Park, 10 Days at Seven Teacups National Park

Rio Claro has over 100 clean cascades and is the most photogenic cascade run on the planet. You'll have ten days to master your media and creek skills here.

The Rio Claro drainage is the most photogenic cascade river in the world with over 100 clean waterfalls.  For over 3 million years the volcanic basalt desert earth crack has been milled, carved and polished to kayaker perfection.  This is waterfall heaven and will be a highlight for anyone on this trip.  You’ll spend ten days off the grid capturing the best shots of your life.

December 7 to 12, Gappers Independent Logistics Trip

How cool is the ideal of planning and executing your own trip.  Not just winging it but doing your research and making it happen.  During this week gappers will be prepped to research, plan and negotiate a 6-day trip.  Students are trained with the same negotiation skills New River admin have been trained for years.  You’ll have a challenging budget you’ll have to meet.  Researching and knowing price points for the Big 3 Logistics:  transportation, lodging and food will be learnt and practiced.

December 13 to December 20, Maipo Valley

Here gappers will experience the Upper and Lower Rio Maipo plus it’s Upper tributary Rio Yesso.  This area is full of beauty and culture as you’ll learn as you get to know your Astorga-Moreno Family hosts.

Want to learn more about Patagonia Gap Year?  Email- and we’ll warmly answer your questions.

For high school grads and university students.  It’s easy to APPLY to Patagonia Gap Year. 

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