Rio Coilaco (Coilaco Falls)
|Put-in:||Pool above the falls|
|Take-out:||Pool below the falls|
|Shuttle:||0.0 miles, 100 yards of walking|
|Season:||October? – January?|
|Featured in Video #35, Chile 2010 Episode Three|
On Christmas Day we decided we would like “A Very Park-n-Huck” Christmas. So we set out in the morning for Coilaco Falls. This falls lays on a larger run that is run less frequently than the falls itself. The run is apparently class IV in nature with occasional wood. From the pool above the falls, I would imagine the wood is a real threat as there was a nasty log jam leading to the pool that would require a portage if you were putting in upstream.
As it were, we were putting into the pool at the lip, and taking off in the pool at the base of the falls. The falls itself is about as easy as a 25” falls can be. Landmarks at the top to line you up, a small flake to time your tuck off of, and a nice calm pool downstream to roll up in or get your boat to shore in. The downside though is that it is far from the softest waterfall I have run. Speaking with some other folks, they actually said the hit on Coilaco was worse for them then the hit on Medio Palguin which is 70 feet tall. As I am afraid of heights and had no interest in Medio Palguin, I only have their words as opposed to the experience myself.
Many of the guidebooks out there give directions for the river left access point to the falls, recently however the land owners have changed for the worse and now you must access river through private property from river right (this is about when I realized I was happy we had a Chilean with us in case a land owner decided to confront us). The challenge with this is that most of the road all looks the same, and you can’t see the river from the road. It makes it a challenge to find the falls so we scouted several meadows and fences until we found the correct meadow to cross to end up at the falls.
All in all, this is a great falls that can be the highlight of a trip to Chile for a class IV boater who may not be up to some of the harder creeking runs or waterfalls in the area. Its proximity to the road, its brevity, and its pool to pool nature allows for even novices to run this falls with minimal risk. Oh, and the forested scenery will disappoint no one.
Thanks to Rodrigo of KayakPucon for his contribution of photos.
- Coilaco Falls (IV to IV+). A straight forward drop, just head down the left. You can hike up on the right with minimal difficulty or up the trail on the left downstream 20 yards. Though this is near a house and a land owner who apparently is not very friendly to boaters. As we were there on Christmas, the owners were no where to be seen, probably with family or something.
Put-in / Take-out: Drive toward Huife (same as the Upper Liucura and the Nevado). When in doubt, follow signs towards Tres Saltos. Eventually you will cross the bridge over Coilaco. If you choose to do the entire run, this is it. Not far past it, turn towards Coilaco Alto / Bajo. This road climbs briefly then runs along some large meadows with barbwire fence. There is a tree at the joint of two plots of land (read dived by barbwire), if you turn off your car you will be able to hear the falls. We hiked along the divide the 100 yards to the river. You can also continue up another half mile or so and you will come to the bridge over the river which can be your put-in if you want to do the full run.
Nearby are also the hot springs, some more expensive than others. The ones we went to were very nice, however I can't remember their name. KayakPucon would certainly know where the good ones are...
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...