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Sea kayaking Northern Patagonia Fiords Pumalin Park (6 days )

sea kayak Patagonia Fjords of Pumalin Park

More photos here



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) , we can help with it).

The Area :

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. Contact real pioneers, Hot springs, sea lion and dolphin colonies, lush temperate rainforest and hundreds of cascading waterfalls are all features of our journey.

This area known as Pumalín Park...is one of the largest, untouched private parks in the world and also known as the Northern Patagonia Fjords, considered to be the last virgin forests in Southern Chile

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 islands.

"...a unique piece of untouched land, an unforgettable adventure and a fascinating cultural experience to the east of the Ancud Gulf. " 

....The only way to access these places is by water..... 

Hornopiren Volcanoe

Our trip starts from Puerto Varas city , 20km north of Puerto Montt. We will travel through the "Carretera Austral,” the only road running north to south through the Chilean Patagonia, completed in 1983, with it's picturesque fisherman villages and we will cross the Reloncaví Estuary by ferry here at the first fiord of Patagonia. 

naviganting Reloncavi Fiord

On our journey we will see antique wooden ports covered by larch and we will enjoy the view of the Hornopirén Volcano (1572m) with the snow covered summits of Yates volcanoe (2111m) in the background. To the south, in front of the town of Hornopirén and in the midst of the fiord you will be able to appreciate the  isla de los Ciervos (Deer Island) .We will continue our trip deep into the fiord, crossing the turbulent waters of the Blanco River, to continue on our journey passing by a cliff with an imposing rock wall and an estuary. 

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, one of the largest private park in the world. 

paddling Patagonia Fjords

“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 ”.

Dense rainforest while paddling the fjords

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, seabirds, dolphins, sea lions and incredible hiking trails crossing rivers to arrive at hidden lagoons...you could be our companion on this exciting trip through the Chilean Patagonia. 

What makes this holiday different ?

* Our trips not only will take you through unforgettable scenery , but you will go home with fond memories of the time you spend with the local fishing pioneers families.

** Our focus is in cultural based-adventures and authentic experiences by interacting in the areas of the fjords with the local people and their culture

* We are pioneers in offering self-supported 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. Our experience of running as an average of 10 trips per season here since 1999 and a powerful network of fishermen friends in the area of the fjords gives us the confidence to offer this alternative of trips.

Please note that this is a true sea kayaking expedition 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.

* 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.

* Before beginning the trip we will have a complete safety talk about tides, winds, weather, trip logistics. Also will be offered a general practice of paddling stokes and rescue that will be donelater in the sea. While offering this new tools , transforming you into a more skilled and confident paddler, we hope that you will enjoy more the trip.  Our idea is to travel more than just as a group of paddlers .... it has to do to develop a Team of Adventurers that will enjoy together the beauties of the Patagonia Fjords.

* Our SMALL group size - maximum of 6 - ensures this is an intense experience for each participant , low impact trip while visiting the local peolple and low impact in the nature (average 3-4 participants)

* 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 sources clean.

* Our guides hold 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 are supporting the community by providing books for children of the local school of the Northern Patagonia Fjords , our main destination

" We invite to live the history of this place more than just reading it "

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.

Our knowledge of running seakayak trips 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 Fjords. 

Get to meet the local people (colonos) in their own surroundings and how they live , plus first hand experience of the local fishing industry.

While appreciating  the attractions you realize an intense and surprising experience with the beautiful nature of the Chilean Patagonia.

Before beginning we will have a safety talk about winds, tides, logistics, communications in the area and also everyone will participate in a rescue practice in the sea ...although it rains.

paddling  to Cahuelmo Fjord

click here 1

click here 2
In summer , with rain

More photos in our Facebook page

*Suitable for any level
including active beginners.
(includes practice on day two)
* Positive travelers.



6 days


4 days
10 days

New Trip !!
6 Days Full Fjords Expedition

Time of year October to May


Price Please ask
Trip details Start and finish in  Puerto Varas.
N° Participants 6 participants
Lodging Camping
Itinerary See itinerary
Min Temperature  : 4°C
Max Temperature  : 20°C
Weather in this area
Yates, Hornopirén and Michimahuida Volcanoes, huge waterfalls, steep rock walls dissapearing in the sea, torrential rivers and massive temperate rainforests, LLancahué and Cahuelmó hot springs, dolphins, sea lions, sometime Humboldt pinguins , variety of seabirds..
(not included , optional)
Puerto Varas : Trekking, canyoning, Floating Petrohue river, canoeing Maullin river, climb Osorno Volcano.
- Trekking in Torres del Paine (this trip starts and ends very close to Puerto Montt airport, from here you can fly to Punta Arenas and continue to Torres del Paine)
Highlights * SMALL GROUPS (safety ,more participation and less impact while we visit local families)

* 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.

* Complete safety talk and sea kayak practice .

* Seakayak navigation paddling completely the Northern Patagonia Fjords

* Paddling between 3 volcanoes

* Night paddling

* Huge waterfalls falling directly in the sea

* Dense untouched rainforest

* Variety of seabirds.

* Hiking (Day 1 , Day 4 and Day 5).

*Sealion colony and probably some dolphins.

* Visit Llancahué and Cahuelmó Hot Springs
Suggested gear Please ask
Getting here ? Fly from your country to Santiago-Chile airport and from there 2 alternatives:

1)Bus - aprox 10 hours from Santiago to Puerto Varas town

2)Airplane - about 2 hours from Santiago to Puerto Montt airport and then 30 min. by taxi to Puerto Varas.
Related info
Satellite photograph
Nautical chart (226 kb)

Revista Outdoors

"En Kayak de Mar por los Fiordos de Chiloe y Parque Pumalin"

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 - and start your trip to Torres del Paine)

early paddling at Cahuelmo Fjord

Paddling Comau Fjord

kayak Quintupeu Fjord

We will paddle although it rains



Day 0 :
(Puerto Varas - 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, 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 and it´s logistics (winds, tides, campsites, isolation, ..) , so everyone will understand why we are making some decisions during the trip and what we expect from our participants in terms of team work.

Day 1:

(Puerto Varas: Trip Logistics - Carretera Austral scenic driving- basecamp in Comau Fjord - Hike)

Reloncavi Fjord  ferry navigation
At 9 AM we meet with the group in a hotel in Puerto Varas , and inmediately after we will start driving the Carretera Austral , the only road that goes to the Patagonia area.

As we travel we will see pcturesque fishermen villages and will have to cross by ferryboat the Reloncavi Fjord, the first Patagonian fiord. In our way, we will enjoy some vistas of the Hornopiren volcano with the snowcapped Yates Mt. on the background.  To the South, in front of the Hornopiren village, you will see the Isla de los Ciervos (Deer Island).

kayaking Quintupeu Fjord
The road will lead us to a 3rd class dirty crossing the turbulent waters of the Rio Blanco, to continue across the foothills of a sheer rock wall. 

Finally the Comau fiord will show up,  amidst high mountains and steep shores, introducing us to the spectacular scenario of the Hornopiren and Pumalin Parks.

Then, what we offer will start ...

A real opportunity to see and experience how people of this remote locations live probably have the opportunity to share with them a good conversation . This day, after lunch , we will go for an easy hike around the area and enjoy the views of the fjords. Camp at Comau Fiord (L-D)

Day 2 :
(Seakayak practice - Llancahué hotsprings - camp in Comau Fjord)

paddling in the  cloudsAfter breakfast we will start with an intense general sea kayak practice of paddling strokes and rescue techniques that we will practice then in the sea. After that will continue navigating west to LLancahue Island (if the weather allows), habve a boxlunch at the beach and arrive to a place where exist a basic family hotel with two pools filled with the hotwaters that come from under the sea, facing a wonderful view of the islands of the Pacific Ocean.

In the afternnoon we will return to opur campsite , probably we will share dinner with this colono´s family and explain the logistics for the next days of our expedition. Camp at Comau Fiord (B-BL-D)

Day 3 :
(Comau Fjord till Cahuelmó Fjord , sealion colony and hotsprings)

sunrise at   Quintupeu fjord In order to decrease the possibilities of wind, our day will start very early in the morning or almost at night. We will load the kayaks with all the gear for this self-supported trip paddling south in the Comau Fjord.

From this day ahead we will be always paddling in between 3 volcanoes (north: Yates and Hornopirén Volcanoes and south , Michimahuida volcanoe).

After some hours, the Quintupeu fiord will appear.

Once in the entrance , if the weather allows, we will continue to Cahuelmo Fiord . The navigation from Quintupeu till Cahuelmó fjord is is the exposed section of the trip so we will paddle close to the coastline , enjoying the dense vegetation. At the entrance of Cahuelmó fjord exist a sealikon colony that we will visit in an organized way , without making noise , so we dont disturb them and probably take some photos.

visiting the sealion colony at Cahuelmo Fjord The best of the day is yet to come while paddling slowly and taking advantage of the opportunity to explore the walls that fall directly into the sea...
..Imagine arriving to a beach at the end of a fiord 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... soothing hot springs will be our reward.

relaxing at  Cahuelmo hotsprings
Local people had carved many rustic tubs in rock at the water edge years ago. Each one is a different size and all have very hot water, easily regulated by simple and natural methods to attain the temperature desired for an extremely pleasant bath  .

Dinner and campsiteat the Hotsprings. (B-L-D).

Day 4 :
(Cahuelmó hotsprings and trekking)

exploring After enjoying our breakfast we will be ready to start the next adventure…..hiking heading to Abascal lake….if we can find the trail existing in this thick vegetation. Otherwise we will have other options.

It will be necessary to cross some branches of the river and walk considering the tides otherwise 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 .

Dinner and campsite at the Hotsprings.(B-L-D)

Day 5 :
(Cahuelmó Fjord paddlling north till Quintupeu Fjord)

Dresden German Destroyer - World War IVery early in the morning we will start paddling north till the Quintupeu fjord, our favourite fjord. s is very steep and narrow, huge waterfalls and vertical walls that dissapear in the sea, and also was here were the
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.

After some time , we will stop for a boxlunch and enjoy a short hike to a big waterfall where we will be just below it. We continue paddlling this time to explore the southern shore where we will be almos just below a huge waterfall that brings tons of watr to the sea.

Then we continue till the end of the fjord where is a river that we will try to explore by kayak, depending on the tides. At night, we will camp with a marvelous view of the Andes... just in front of us. (B-L-D)

Day 6 :
(Quintupeu Fjord - goodbye lunch with colonos - Puerto Varas)

just enjoying the freedom
This is a long day so we will start paddling at night just to avoid the possibility of wind, and enjoy this particular experience of paddling waiting for the sun to show up, heading to our colonos friends.

After enjoying a lunch , hopefully with our local friends , we will return to Puerto Varas in the afternoon (aporx. 5-7pm) (B-L)
(end of our services)

* Consider an additional day in case the weather or any other unexpected situation delays our return to Puerto Varas.

November, December, January, February and March, are generally very pleasant, although it could rain at any given moment. The temperatures in this months fluctuate, according to the weather, between the 8 till 20 centigrades . The temperature of the sea has an average of  11 to 13 centigrades during the summer. 

The area where we will be paddling has a tide variation of up to 6m (18 feet), which implies that the sea may withdraw several thousand meters, 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 and a lot of teamwork.

Walls dissappearing in the seaLocation
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 of Chiloé. 

  • SMALL EXPEDITION GROUPS (safety, less impact and more participation) 
  • Intense opportunity to interact with the local colonos of the area (colonos = pioneers)

  • Complete safety-talk , paddling and rescue practice before departure (day 2)
  • Transportation in private van from  Puerto Varas, travelling the Northern Austral Highway (Carretera Austral) until Comau Fiord, where we will initiate our adventure, and return to Puerto Varas. 
  • Reloncaví Fjord navigation (ferry boat)
  • Food during the trip according to program (from dinner day 1 till lunch day 6)
    (menu considering B:breakfast ;L: lunch (box lunch (trail food)..depending on the day) ; Dinner )
  • Navigation Equipment: Single and double sea Kayaks imported from Canada, USA and Germany, expedition models, with original rudder, spray skirt, paddles, life jackets, paddling jackets. 
  • Camping and cooking equipment (2 person shared tents, tarp) 
  • Hiking (day 1 and day 5)
  • 3 days of hotsprings: Llancahué (D2) and Cahuelmó Hotsprings (D4 and D5) 
  • Safety Equipment: Satellite Telephone, Marine Band Radio, rescue equipment, tide table and satelite photo of the area. 
  • Guide: Juan Federico Zuazo - Director of YAK EXPEDICIONES , BCU 4 STAR Sea Award , english speaking, first aid and rescue knowledge  (NOLS Course and Wilderness First Responder Course).
  • Limited insurance once the seakayak trip starts with Interamericana Insurance Company (chilean company).
  • Swimming expertise.
  • Previous experience in kayaking and camping recommended.
  • 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.
  • 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 be performed
  • Previous indication of any illness or health problem 
  • Strictly abide by the indications of the guides during the trips 
  • Positive mental attitude in front of unexpected situations
  • Understand that this trip will requiere active travellers , a lot of teamwork and the participation of each person in all the stages of the trip .  
  • Understand that all activities performed in nature can indicate some risk also death. 
  • The program could be modified at any stage due to weather conditions or sudden incidents that could affect the security of the group . Please check the section "Conditions" for our Cancellation, Modification and Evacuation Protocols.

    If you want to participate in this trip:

  • Please send by fax and signed the  Release of Liability  form that appears in this link...before the trip starts.
  • To have read and have a clear understanding of the Terms and Conditions section.
  • Press this button to send your Reservation and Medical Form.

kayak Quintupeu fjord
  • The trip has been planned with the consideration of those without previous experience. Before we begin our great trip, on Day 2 we will have a complete discussion and practice session covering rescue techniques and paddling maneuvers so that our participants feel more comfortable during the trip and can really enjoy the beautiful views that they encounter. Our 2nd day will be developed paddling in a protected area... with a destiny of soothing hot springs. 

  • 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 smile and enjoy as one of the few persons that have visited this area by yourself.

  • Hospitals and Professional First Aid Care are very far from the place where we will be navigating. Participantes must be healthy and in good physical conditions.
  • As an average we will paddle 4-5 hours .

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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