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Kayaking in Patagonia - An Introduction

Patagonia is a magnet for adventure sports enthusiasts who flock to the region to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the theatrical geological features in beautiful surroundings. Here we focus in on just one of the many options, kayaking in Patagonia!

Why kayak in Patagonia?

Surrounded on three sides by water and threaded with glacial rivers and fjords, kayaking makes perfect sense in Patagonia. From the earliest times, the native inhabitants of these lands at the end of the Earth used kayaks to get around, some of them even spent most of their lives in their boats, using them to sleep and even cook in! Whilst hiking in Patagonia is the classic way to explore, travelling by kayaking in patagoniakayak will give you a different perspective on this unparalleled landscape and take you to places that aren’t accessible on foot. Kayaking is also a great option for anyone with knee or leg problems, as it takes the weight off your feet and transfers the hard work to your torso and arms.

What to wear for kayaking in Patagonia?

When choosing a base layer, you’ll want to opt for fabric that is lightweight and dries easily if it gets wet, so that means no cotton. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon and Lycra are much better options. Even during the summer, temperatures in Patagonia can get cold so make sure the clothes you choose are warm and layered. That said, if the sun does come out it is stronger in Patagonia than in other parts of the world so make sure to wear plenty of sunblock, sunglasses to protect your eyes and a hat. You’ll also need a top layer consisting of a neoprene suit, gloves and shoes, but when booking with Cascada these are provided at no extra cost.

Where can I kayak in Patagonia?

Futaleufú riverAs we mentioned above, there’s plenty of water to choose from in Patagonia, so it really depends on what you’re looking for. Some routes will take you up close to sparkling blue glaciers or floating alongside small icebergs. Others wind past towering mountains or along the coast where you’ll be in with a chance of seeing penguins, seals, dolphins and even whales. The Futaleufú River with its world-renowned rapids is popular with experienced kayakers looking for a thrill. For those looking for a gentler run, kayaking on the Serrano River is a really popular option since it sets out from Torres del Paine National Park, the jewel in the crown of Chilean Patagonia before taking kayakers on through a second National Park.

How much experience will I need to kayak in Patagonia?

Again, this very much depends on where you choose to kayak within the Patagonia region. With such a wealth of waterways on offer, there are opportunities here for everyone from complete beginners to extreme adventure sports enthusiasts. As with any adventure balmaceda glaciersport, you’ll need to be fairly fit and it’s a good idea to work on your arm and torso muscles before setting off on an extended trip if you’ve not spent much time in a kayak before. Cascada’s Patagonia Sea Kayaking 3 Day Explorer is designed for individuals in good physical condition with basic kayaking experience. There is an area of white water en route but this part of the journey is covered by land.

Got more questions about kayaking in Patagonia? Let us know using the comments section below!

If you enjoyed reading about kayaking in Patagonia look out for our upcoming introduction to Fly Fishing in Patagonia!