With so many adventure activities available in Pucón it can be hard to choose! The hardcore take on the one day ascent of the Villarrica volcano. Others prefer a more tranquil Mapuche culture experience day. Some are keen to see the foothills of the Andes on horseback, others want to get lost in the forests with a half day canopy trip. What cannot be omitted by anyone as it is an activity appropriate and open to all is a half day white water rafting trip!
Yes, you can river raft in other parts of the world, but the added bonus in Pucón is that every curve of the river affords glimpses of the omnipresent Villarrica volcano and other surrounding mountains making the whole experience perfectly unique!
White water river rafting is one of the most traditional excursions around Pucón, and Sol y Nieve was the first company to commercialize the activity over 30 years ago. The Trancura and Liucura rivers are home to some of the best white water in the world, and the proximity to the center of Pucón, just 30 minutes away, is another reason why these waters have become a highly sought after rafting and kayaking destination on the planet.
Why chose Sol y Nieve for your river rating experience? The sheer passion of the Sol y Nieve guides. Their love of the water is evident; you can see it in the shine in their eyes. And when they begin handing out equipment and giving instructions, they do it with a joke and a smile that is simply contagious. They seem to live for the river and they just love sharing that passion with you. Read on for other reasons to choose white water rafting in Pucón.
There are a couple of river options which are dependent on the time of year. The Trancura Alto (Upper Trancura), the high river, is a high adrenaline Class IV+ option available between October/November to May/June usually. During the season when the water rushes down from the mountains, the Alto becomes a torrent of rapids which turn it into true white water and therefore it is even off limits for those with heaps of experience. During those months, the Liucura, or Trancura Bajo (Lower Trancura) offers a year-round option with rapids which range between Class 2 and Class 3.
The lower river is also a great option for families as you don't need any prior experience. The only restrictions are a minimum age of 14 years old, and you also must be able to swim to participate. Each descent will run with a minimum of 4 and maximum of 6 people per raft.
Regardless of which option you choose, you will spend around an hour on the water itself, paddling your way through sections of rapids, drops and curves. The guides shout out instructions as you descend the river so that everyone knows when to paddle, when to rest, which side to jump to etc, always with raft stability and client safety of paramount importance.
An added extra on these excursions is the presence of various bird species that feed from the river and nest in the trees on the banks. The surprisingly large Ring-Necked Kingfisher can often be seen gliding gracefully across the surface of the river in search of a fresh catch.
Rafting these rivers provides a fast, furious and action fueled experience. The noise of the approaching rapids mixed with the adrenaline rush you feel will surprise you when you are on the river and stay with you afterwards in your memory.
Included in the activity is return transport, a wetsuit, neoprene boots, life jacket, helmet, paddle, bilingual guide, insurance, coffee and snacks at the end of the trip. All you need is a change of clothes, swim gear, sun protection and a towel.
So, when you are wondering what to do during your stay, first check out our "How to make the best of 3 days in Pucón" blog, then drop us a mail here and let Sol y Nieve help work out how to fit in your white water experience according to your interests, budget and of course the season of your visit.
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