We chose to do our Chilean whitewater kayaking with Kayak Pucon for a few reasons, but mostly because it was owned and operated by locals. We actually didn’t know it existed originally and walked into another whitewater shop in Pucon only to be turned off by the rather cold, business-like attitude of the proprietor. Had we not literally stumbled onto Kayak Pucon, we would have skipped kayaking in Pucon all together.
For starters their gear was some of the best we’ve rented in our travels, (we’ve had awful) complete with everything we could want for cold water paddling with the exception of gloves…but we didn’t want those anyhow. We had our choice of boats and aside from our guide we were the only ones on the river. Our guide, the owner, spoke his native Spanish as well as fluent English. We not only chose which river we wanted to run, but also which section and how much time for warm-up we wanted. In short, it was our own, privately tailored trip all for less money than that original gringo wanted to charge us. We had a great time on the river, no incidents to report despite the unusually high water, and hope to kayak with them again someday.
I do really want to stress the quality of the equipment. This was the first time we were in cold water and with were provided with farmer john neoprene wet-suits as well as dry suits. Several times on this trip we’ve kayaked in cold water with none of this made available to us.