Rafting the Atuel Rive

An exciting adventure over the rough waters of the Atuel River. The famous river rafting of the Grande Valley captivates visitors with its beautiful scenery.

San Rafael has a special invitation to experience adventure travel: rafing the Atuel River. This whitewater descent on board inflatable boats attracts thousands of enthusiasts of all ages who wish to experience the thrill of being both the protagonists and a part of the scenery.

To enjoy this activity, it is necessary to head for the Grande Valley area, located approximately 40 km from the city center. When traveling along the winding road, the murmur of the river inviting to feel the adventure starts to be heard.

Near the action zone, it is possible to see how the rafts from the various outfitters operating in the area are carried downstream by the power of the river. This is the point where adventurers must decide what tour to hire. Once the guide has been chosen, participants are provided with all the necessary safety elements to enjoy the descent. Life jackets, helmets and dry jackets are some of the items handed out by the specialists.

  • Whitewater descent

    Whitewater descent

  • The rough waters of the Atuel River

    The rough waters of the Atuel River

  • Atuel River may be sailed all through the year

    Atuel River may be sailed all through the year

  • Safety kayaks

    Safety kayaks

  • An unforgettable moment

    An unforgettable moment

The Atuel River may be sailed all through the year. Its volume decreases from April to September, whereas it enjoys its maximum splendor from November through March. The Atuel has II and III grade difficulty (in a scale ranging from I to VI, I being the easiest challenge and VI referring to areas where navigation is impossible). These conditions make this kind of rafting suitable for all ages.

Given the geological features of the river course, tour distances and durations may vary. The shortest stretch is 6 km long, the intermediate one is 10 km long and the longest is 16 km long. Descents take from 1 to 2 hours.

Once everything is ready, participants listen to the safety instructions and, after a few seconds, they are ready to feel adrenaline flowing through their bodies. Each raft can accommodate eight passengers.

Adventure begins immediately. The plentiful river of turquoise waters presents ups and downs and peculiar sounds. By then, everything turns to fascination. Meanwhile, the rafts are escorted by safety kayaks and an external support team.
The picturesque inflatable boats go across rock formations of various colors and shapes. Participants are already part of the scenery. The water makes them wet, they laugh, scream and forget about time. “Paddle hard!” the guide yells when they come across the most difficult rapids.

Expert guides know the torrent like the back of their hands. They force participants to paddle across the deepest rapids so that the raft does not lose balance. The good thing is that a pool follows immediately after a rapid and thus energy can be recovered and comments on what has just occurred may be made.

It is soon understood that river rafting is a team sport. Everyone has to paddle, balance their weight and coordinate moves over the rapids so as to keep the raft afloat. Once that is clear, participants just need to enjoy and wish adventure would never end.

Thus, in Southern Mendoza, on the rapids of the Atuel River, an unforgettable moment is enjoyed with friends or family. Big boys and girls feel like children and children feel they are big.

Autor Marcelo Sola Fotografo Marcelo Sola

DifficultyDifficulty: II and III
DurationDuration: From 1 to 2 hours, according to the stretch chosen.
Opening hoursOpening hours: To be arranged with the guides.
How to get hereHow to get here: To reach the area where river rafting is practiced in the Atuel, take Route 143, which leads to the area of the Grande Valley, 40 kilometers away from San Rafael.


Activities and tours in San Rafael

Hotels and accommodations in San Rafael

Organiza tu viaje con: interpatagonia.com | welcomeuruguay.com | welcomechile.com