Darin McQuoid Blog Reviews Tutorials River Directory

Argentina & Chile

The Cochamo. We are hooked on doing this river after reading Evan Garcia's quote "The thing ws just so steep and stacked up. More so than Bottom 9 of the Kings, Golden Gate, or anything I can think of at this time. (sp)"  Later in the season is typical for the Cochamo, but with the low water everywhere else at the moment, we figure the Cochamo must be at the perfect water level. Kayaking optimism. Now we just have to get there.

Gas station camp ground.

Going to the Cochamo fits in the theme of our trip, it's 400km from Pucon. We make a stop in Puerto Varas to finish logistical planning and spend too much time in coffee shops.

Puerto Varas certainly is a modern town.

Rok Sribar enjoys waiting at a coffee shop.

From all the information we've gathered, getting into the Cochamo takes quite a bit of hiking and mules aren't too expensive. Not sure where to find the animals we drive as close to the trailhead as possible. With the Suran that's not as close as we'd like. The only operation near the trailhead is all booked, but they point us to a local outfitter back in the town of Cochamo, so back we go. In the process we check water levels at the take out bridge. It looks good, but beta says it's supposed to look low here where the river is wide. It's not raining, so it should keep dropping right?

I think this guy has what we're looking for.

In town we find Ciro Vivar who owns Cabalgatas Cochamó. We quickly find that his operation is perfect for us, because we can camp at his place as well as have our stuff packed in tomorrow.

The camping even comes with an alarm clock.

Relaxing at Ciro's places is a nice change, it's not raining and we have some time outside of the car to enjoy.

Cochamo is really a beautiful town, from grand vistas to flowers.

Ciro's house, he is kind enough to setup some tables for us to use too.

Ciro Vivar

It's a solid international showing.

We spend the afternoon making the kayaks as light as possible. Because I've replaced all the silly, multiple sized nylon lock nuts with simple wing nuts, I'm able to strip my Jackson Kayak Karma down to just the shell, dropping it from 40 some pounds to 20 some pounds. While mules will take kayaks into the Cochamo, the trail is often in deep ruts so each mule can only take one kayak and we don't want to spend that much money. Plus Ciro doesn't have that many mules, so it makes the decision easy.

Ciro's place is right on the inlet in Cochamo and has an inspiring view.

Fishing was a large industry here until it was over done and the population can't recover fast enough. Now they've moved on to do the same somewhere else and the Cochamo inlet is quiet.

We go to bed early knowing tomorrow will be a long day hiking in to the Cochamo. 

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