have thought that people would want to practice watersports on
what runs through Santiago like a dirty and smelly cesspool. Above
the capital, however, Mapocho's waters are still clean, and they
form a few interesting eddies. However, unless you have the lofty
goal of "doing" all Chilean rivers, this is one you can skip.
While its upper reaches are very rocky, lower down it has been
altered hopelessly, and it is lined by fierce dogs.
via the road to Farellones. From its confluence with Río
San Francisco, the Mapocho drops over 5 km at a rate of about
28 m/km and with Class IV-V rapids all the way to the bridge for
the road. Below, there's another 5 km of Class IV until you get
to El Arrayán bridge.
river for rafting and kayaking in the Central Region owes its
popularity to its proximity to Santiago rather than any special
attractiveness. The upper Maipo valley has long been densely settled,
and there are more and more fences making access to the banks
difficult, and the brownish-grey glacier water does not look especially
San José de Maipo further up the valley. The uppermost
sections of the river are only for daring experts: Below El Manzanito
hydropower station, there is an 8 km Class V section which is
easy to scout out from the road. Do not overlook the Class VI
spot in the "death gorge"! The most popular put-in is at
the confluence with Río Yeso, which is crossed by a bridge
a little ways beyond the police station. This bridge is where
a 35 km Class III to V with a gradient of about 14 m/km starts.
Beware: At the railroad tunnel, there is a difficult Class V+
spot, and soon after, another one. Take out at San José
at the latest.
tributary offers little water, lots of rocks, and Class V+ rapids
between Baños Morales and the town of El Volcán. Further
below, it runs for about 4 km at Class IV and a gradient of 20-25
tributary is more like a "wet gravel pit". The road to Yeso
lake starts at the road into the upper Maipo valley. This river
is hard to get to; it runs for about 4 km at Class V and drops
25 m/km to the bridge. Only for hardcore extreme types.
also a Maipo tributary, can only be used with permission from
the Military. From the checkpoint on the road to Maitenes, this
river races at Class IV and with a gradient of more than 20 m/km
back towards the main road through the Maipo valley. Its steep
gorge makes it practically impossible to get out anywhere on the
way. According to some reports, some sections cannot be run anymore;
make sure to check it out thoroughly before you go!
Hang in there!
rivers described here are an extract from the guidebook.