Chile

Excellent variety of paddling in an area with good travel infrastructure; a popular kayaking destination.

When to go

The paddling season is the South American summer from December to March. Oct/Nov is possible but the rivers will be high which will limit your options, and after March the rivers will be too low and the weather cold and wet.

How to get there

Pucon is the most popular base from which to explore chilean whitewater: alternatively fly into Santiago and head south. You can hire kayaks from the rafting outfits based around Pucon if you want to fly without your boat, but such kayaks are of variable quality.

Transport

Public transport is an option with plenty of buses, etc -- although not advised if you are planning on heading to southern Chile. It is easy to hire a vehicle, for longer trips buying an old banger is possible but difficult.

Language

It is a good idea to have at least a basic working knowledge of Spainish, the national language. In the southern areas it will be your only choice, but elsewhere English will be understood by some.

Money

The Chilean currency is the peso, although American dollars are also widely accepted. In the south currency exchange is difficult and it is recommended to carry enough pesos for the duration of your stay; in the north things are much easier with plenty of ATMs and banks willing to cash travellers cheques.