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Rafting and Adventure on the Manso River

 Estimated reading time: 2 min. Texts Marcos Rodriguez   Photos Palmiro Bedeschi
Rafting and Adventure on the Manso River

Several options to visit and enjoy one of the most beautiful rivers in Nahuel Huapi National Park.

The Manso River is well known for its plentiful volume, its incredible turquoise hue and because its rapids are the most coveted by lovers of rafting. Of course it is also one of the natural attractions protected by Nahuel Huapi National Park.

One alternative to tour around this spectacular river will take us down to the Chilean border. Another one will cover a stretch of the Lower Manso.

After crossing Lakes Gutiérrez, Mascardi and Guillermo, take a detour at the Villegas River which leads straight to La Pasarela camp site. At this spot, various guides from different companies will provide very interesting safety instructions and explain the basic rafting techniques.
Rafting and Adventure on the Manso River
The summits and the forests with their huge trees make up a stunning context to practice this adventure sport, which will start once the participants put on their life vests and helmets. Everything starts quietly, paddling softly downriver.

Towards the Chilean Border

Rafting is a safe activity. There are no reasons to feel afraid. In general, the RIB is escorted by a safety kayak whose responsibility is to study they river course carefully. At the beginning, the rapids are mild and they do not represent a great hazard to navigation. Thus, paddlers become gradually adapted to the situation.

The noise and the movements begin at the exit of the Terciopelo (Velvet) Ravine. The pulse accelerates considerably. At this spot, the Manso River leaves the calmness behind and gives way to class-I rapids, usually combined with violent class-IV torrents.
Rafting and Adventure on the Manso River
Amidst the euphoria and adrenaline, the guides encourage the paddlers to increase their activity to face the most complicated parts of the river –near the Chilean border- successfully.

The exploit culminates at a private venue, in the heart of the Argentinian-Chilean territory. The scenery confirms that the most violent rapids in the Manso River were totally worth crossing to reach such a paradise, where the river gets calm again.

Manso for Beginners

The lower Manso is ideal for those who wish to experience rafting for the first time. At this spot, the river is quieter and it provides an excellent opportunity to see the center of Nahuel Huapi National Park.

Once immersed in the park, Huala–Hue Pond and Lake San Martín may be visited. The agencies offering this tourist option reach the Steffen water body, where the lower Manso begins.

After a short safety chat which includes navigation techniques, the descent begins.
Rafting and Adventure on the Manso River
During the first hour of the tour, the Manso remains quiet. This is an ideal moment to get to know the tree species that dwell near the river: cypresses, maytens, Chilean myrtles, coihues, radales and chilcos, to name a few. Contact with nature is also provided by the local birds. Some of them include kingfisher, southern lapwing, buff-necked ibis and great bustards.

Amusement begins at the next stretch of the crossing with class-II and III rapids. After much effort, a pause lets adventurers enjoy a delicious and revitalizing picnic.

During the second part of the tour, the Uvasal, Banda de Billar and Diente de Hipopótamo (Hippo’s Tooth) rapids arrive and, afterwards, the RIBs go along an area called Montaña Rusa (Rollercoaster) and a great challenge known as Roca Magnética (Magnetic Rock).
Rafting and Adventure on the Manso River
Eventually, the Manso and the Villegas join quietly to give shape to backwaters where adventurers may dive in and freshen up in the summer.

To put an end to this exciting activity, the RIBs must cross the last rapids in the river and then, as they get to the valley, paddlers will learn that the rafting adventure is over. Once on solid ground, everyone celebrates the exploit with tea, coffee or a cool drink and delicious tortas fritas.
Useful Data
How to get here
70 km to the South of Bariloche, take National Route 258 up to the Villegas River. From that point, take a detour and go along 30km to the West up to the La Pasarela camping site, which is crossed by the Manso River.
ask at the various agencies.
this activity is advisable for children over 6 years old. However, kids under 12 should be accompanied by their parents. In the case of people over 60, it is important to be in good physical shape.
It is essential to wear sports clothes and footwear, to pack a complete change of clothes, bathing suit and sun protection.
Aguas Blancas Rafting
Morales 564 (8400) San Carlos de Bariloche - Río Negro - Argentina
Tel: +54 294 443-2799  Cel: 9 294 4601155  
Patagonia Rafting
San Martín 86 (8400) San Carlos de Bariloche - Río Negro - Argentina
Tel: +54 294 452-2438  Cel: 9 294 4558899  
Rolando 263 (8400) San Carlos de Bariloche - Río Negro - Argentina
Tel: +54 294 443-7527 / 443-3899  
Extremo Sur
Morales 765 (8400) San Carlos de Bariloche - Río Negro - Argentina
Tel: +54 294 442-7301  Cel: 9 294 4603309  
Punto Límite
(8400) San Carlos de Bariloche - Río Negro - Argentina
Tel: +54 294 452-5362  Cel: 9 294 4507000  
Inter Patagonia

Level of Difficulty
all day
Tour Kind
river rafting
Useful Data Useful Data


The Detail

The Manso starts at Mount Tronador and is fed by the Manso and Castaño Overo Glaciers. This is the reason why the color of its waters is milky turquoise. The river crosses the Andean Patagonian forests and the Valdivian rainforest and passes by Lakes Mascardi, Los Moscos, Hess and Steffen, which divide its course into three stretches: upper, mid and lower, each of them with various attractions, such as Los Alerces Cascade in the Mid Manso.

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