Sea Kayak
Price Lists
   Price Lists
  Canoe and
Floating Trips
  Rentals, Buy & Sell



Sea kayaking on the Cruces River Natural Sanctuary

Natural Santuary of  Cruces River in Valdivia



The history of the sanctuary started in 1960, when the biggest earhquake ever registered took place in Valdivia. Before the catastrophe, the Cruces River was a quiet river surrounded by fields and native forests. On this river sailed the "Collico", a steamship, and other small local boats that were used as a meaning of transportation by the inhabitants. The earth quake and its aftershocks carried out a huge collapse of the ground, and as a consequence great part of the lands and fields were flooded and lost.

amanecer en el santuario

This is how was created this wetland, which is nowadays a very relevant habitat for water birds and marsh plants. From the day when this place was flooded, it has been colonized by aquatic plants and emergent plants that created various kinds of habitats. A huge number of animals also elected this place to live and nest, such as a great number of birds. The Chilean Government declared this place as being a "Natural Sanctuary" and is now protected by the National Forestry Corporation: CONAF.

por el rio Cruces hasta el Fuerte San Luis de Alba


Level Beginner


Lake District

4 days

Options 6 days
Time of year August to April

Please ask

Price Please ask
Trip details Start and finish in  Valdivia
N Participants 6 persons
Lodging Camping
Itinerary See itinerary
Climate Weather in this region
Black-necked Swans, White-necked Herons, Olivaceus Cormorants, coots and more, spanish fortifications of the XVII century, amazing sunsets and sunrises
Fluvial excursion to Mancera, Corral and Niebla, Visit the Austral Museum , horseback riding crossing the Coast Range to the Pacific Ocean, hiking in the coast of Mehuin., Birdwatching tour
Activities Sea kayaking, wildlife watching, visit spanish fortification of the XVII century.
Suggested gear Please ask
Getting there Bus

The Carlos Andwandter Natural Sancturay on the Cruces River is almost 4,870 hectare wide and is one of the most important area as regards the presence and reproduction of Black-necked Swans, Snowy-crowned Terns, White-necked Herons, Buff-necked Ibis, White-faced Ibis, Olivaceus Cormorants, coots etc. One can also find there some semi-aquatic mammals, such as the Huillin, the Coipo, the Mink as well as nightbirds such as the Rufous-legged Owl (owl from the center south of Chile).


Day 1: disfrutando de los reflejos de las nubes
We will all meet in Vadivia at 08.30 am and check the last details of the trip. You will be given general instructions on safety rules and on the best paddling technics. We will prepare all the equipment and start our quiet navigation on this wetland and discover, little by little, all the lifeforms that exist there.

Day 2 to Day 4:
We will carry on our exploration of this wonderful place that hosts more than 100 species of birds as well as a great variety of wild flowers and some unspoiled areas of native forests.

Every night we will camp on the riverside and enjoy the silence, the sunsettings on the water, the reflects of the lights, the singing of the birds at dawn... until reaching our destination, the San Luis de Alba Fortification, built in 1647, that was part of the defensive system of Valdivia. Its mision was to control the sailings upstream and to protect the comunications with the settlements that were more in north. We will then go back to Valdivia, town created in 1552, and end our trip by visiting the Niebla Fortification (XVII century) if our shedule allows us and the weather enables it. End of our service at bus terminal or at the airport.

navegando entre cisnes de cuello negroDuring this trip we will be really independent since we will have all the equipment we need in our kayaks (camping equipment, food, clothes...). Each participant will have the opportunity to get really involved in the trip.

This program may suffer some changes at any stage of the trip, according to the weather or other elements that may present a risk for the security of the group. In this area, the rainfalls reach in average 2,000 mm per year, and originated thus an almost unspoiled luxuriant vegetation.

We will be sea kayaking in an area quite far from any medical care centre, so we advice people who want to participate that they must have a health state suitable for outdoors activity.

Day 5 to Day 6: (Optional)
Horseback riding crossing the Coast Range to the Pacific Ocean and hiking in the coast of Mehuin..

  • SMALL EXPEDITION GROUPS, maximum of 6 (security and impact) Fuerte San Luis de Alba (Siglo XVII)

  • Safety-talk before departure, about paddling and rescue maneuvers. 
  • Local transfers in our private van : Valdivia - San Luis de Alba Fortification - Valdivia
  • Food during the trip according to program (from lunch day 1 to lunch last day)
    B: breakfast ; L: lunch or box lunch (trail food) ; D: Dinner 
  • Navigation Equipment: Single and double sea Kayaks imported from the USA and Germany, expedition models, with original rudder, spray skirt, paddles, life jackets, paddling jackets. 
  • Camping and cooking equipment (2 person tents, tarp) 
  • Safety Equipment: 
    Marine Band Radio, rescue equipment, strobe light, flares, First Aid, towing equipment, tide tables, nautical charts and topographical maps. 
  • Entry fees to the Niebla and San Luis de Alba Fortifications.
  • English speaking sea kayaking guide with first aid course (Wilderness First Responder Course) , sea kayak rescue knowledge and N.O.L.S training.


  • Know how to swim
  • 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 is team activity in the outdoors and the participation of each person at each stage is fundamental.  
  • Understand that all activities performed in nature can indicate some risk. 
  • The program could be modified at any stage due to weather conditions or sudden incidents that could affect the security of the group 
  • Before the trip you must send signed the Release of Liability. form existing in our web site.
  • To have read and have a clear understanding of the Terms and Conditions section existing in our web site.
Saliendo de Valdivia
  • We must state that the success of this type of trips is subject to unexpected weather and personal situations, so adventurous spirit and good disposition will be fundamental.

  • Hospitals and Professional First Aid Care are far from the place where we will be navigating. Participants must be healthy and in good physical conditions


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

Home|Sea Kayak|MultiactivityWho We Are|Gallery|Yak in Chile|Useful Information|Articles

Not authorized to use the text and photos from this site without permission.
Exclusive property of  YAK EXPEDICIONES-AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES ®. All Rights Reserved. 
Telephone: (56-9) 9-8 3320574 or ideally by email to: info@yakexpediciones.cl