Kayaking in the De las Vueltas River
Explore from the water one of the most beautiful valleys of Patagonia!
This excursion will allow you to connect with deep emotions amongst the river, the mountains and the Andean Patagonian forest, enriching your visit to the El Chaltén area in a different, exciting and fun way. From a privileged perspective, very different from that seen from the trails, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Fitz Roy and its satellite spiers. This wonderful river is born in Lago Del Desierto and, as its name implies, descends towards Lake Viedma making numerous curves through lush beech forests and vertical walls. The kayak down the Río de los Vueltas is designed for both beginners and experienced kayakers. To do this activity you do not need to have previous rowing experience, but you must be in good physical condition.
Full day: 3 hours in the water, 6 hours in total, 20 km route.
Half day: 1.5 hours in the water, 4 hours in total, 10 km of route.
Minimum group: 2 people (maximum 20).
Minimum age: 6 years.
Level of demand: Moderate.
Recommended activity for people who make regular walks to the mountains or who regularly do aerobic sports and are in good physical condition for their age.
At 10:15 a.m. you must report to the travel agency office, located on the main avenue of El Chaltén. From there you will take the vehicle of the organizing company that will transfer you to “Laguna Cóndor” Mountain refuge, located about 20 km from El Chaltén, in the heart of the Del Río De las Vueltas valley. At approximately 11:00 a.m. you will be at the refuge, where the kayak guide will be waiting for you to give you a brief informative talk and directions about the activity.
Each participant will be assisted with the equipment test, the placement of appropriate clothing and safety elements (suits, boots and neoprene gloves, life jacket and helmet) provided by the company. With all the equipment in place, the guide will give you the necessary training to acquire basic rowing and safety techniques.
Now you are ready! All the participants get on their kayaks to get into the Laguna Cóndor, where the technique is practiced and if necessary corrected under the watchful eye of the guide before starting the descent itself. By noon everyone will be paddling downstream in one of the most beautiful valleys of Patagonia, surrounded by a landscape of native forest, mountains and glaciers, with unique views of the Fitz Roy massif.
Halfway through the tour, a stop is made in Bonanza campsite to have your lunch box and use the services, to recover energy and continue with the last part of the tour. The descent ends in El Chaltén and the tour ends at the company office where you will be able to change into dry clothes.
Level of demand: Low.
This option begins in El Chaltén at 10:15 a.m. with the same itinerary as the full-day option, but runs approximately half the way down the Río De las Vueltas to Bonanza campsite.
After paddling an hour and a half, at approximately 1:30 p.m. you will arrive at Bonanza campsite where they will be waiting for you with mobile changing rooms and your dry clothes.
With your dry clothes on, you can enjoy a coffee with a snack before returning back. The company's vehicle will take you to El Chaltén where you will arrive at approximately 2:30 p.m.
De las Vueltas river
It is one of the most important river in the area, since it carries the melting water produced by the region's glaciers, including the high-altitude glaciers of Cerro Fitz Roy.
Value of the excursion
Full day: US$ 195
Half day: US$ 135
Kayak guide enabled by the APN. Individual safety equipment (helmet and life jacket). Radio communication with El Chaltén. Transfer El Chaltén / Laguna Condor. Transfer Bonanza / Chalten (half day option). Snack and hot drink at the end. Long John Wetsuit, neoprene jacket and stockings. Satellite spot. First aid kit.
Does not include
Personal gear. Box Lunch. Tips. Transfers not previously specified. Any unspecified service.
Recommended personal equipment
Small 20-litre backpack. Extra clothing to change. Extra footwear to wear with neoprene stockings. Sunglasses. Sun hat. Sunscreen protection. A warm coat. Underwater camera.
All photos are courtesy of Fitz Roy Expeditions.