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The Aluminé Rapids

 Estimated reading time: 2 min.Texts Karina Jozami   Photos Aluminé Rafting
River Rafting in the Aluminé River

We enjoyed river rafting in the Aluminé, a fantastic river that crosses one of the most beautiful and less explored sceneries in the mountain range area in Neuquén.

Long before reaching Aluminé, a district in the mountain range area in Neuquén, the river after which this villages has been named winds around the scenery from the Andean Patagonian forest to the steppe.

This impetuous jade-colored water course starts at Lake Aluminé, which along with Lake Moquehue, represents the first water mirrors of the well known "Lakes Corridor". The large volume of the Aluminé offers stretches featuring degrees from II to IV, a condition that has caused it to be a privileged river among the best in the country for the practice of river rafting and kayaking. This is the reason why the main competitions regarding these aquatic sports are organised in these waters.

River Rafting in the Aluminé River
The river rafting ride has become a kind of baptism for those visiting this place. There options for all tastes and sizes, from the most intrepid to those searching to enjoy adventure with the family.
In order to have this experience, we reached Aluminé on the first summer days willing to grasp the paddles and have fun.

To the Rafts!

At three o'clock in the afternoon, when the sun would not give us a rest, Ricardo from Aluminé Rafting was expecting us at the base, 2 kilometers away from town, with a group of tourists and the rafts ready. As the river level was low at the time, we could not practice this activity in the upper Aluminé, where the hard rapids which require mores skilled techniques are located. Instead, in the area known as Abra Ancha, which spreads between kilometer marker 6 and 8, the river is navigable all year round and features a class II skill level.
River Rafting in the Aluminé River
We reached a beach lying 8 kilometers from town by truck. The guides conditioned the rafts and distributed the life jackets, helmets and paddles. With all the equipment, we gathered on the shore to listen to the technical instructions. After exercising some of the maneuvers in this area, we started navigating the river, which is very quiet at this spot. This let the guides encourage a small battle between the rafts, after which we were all wet.

After a while, we got deep into the ravine known as Curva del Ciprés (the Cypress Bend), which features beautiful walls of rock to one side and cypress woods on the other. Every now and then, we could spot white sandy beaches among the trees. The river and its surroundings could not be more attractive and all of us were enjoying the ride. But soon relax was over and the first rapids called us into action. We surpassed these stretches without efforts and continued onto long pools where we dived in for a swim.

River Rafting in the Aluminé River
But the most interesting parts were still ahead, such as "the flume” or the "whirlpool", where we could test our skills with the paddles. We succeeded, more due to the guide's expertise than to the skills of own team. We celebrated anyway, feeling joyful for having shared such an adventure. Near the end, almost all of us ended up in the water letting ourselves be carried away by the current.

On our way back, Ricardo's invitation to go down the upper stretch of the river gave us a very good reason to visit Aluminé in October.
River Rafting in the Aluminé River
Useful Data
The best season to enjoy river rafting class III and IV in Aluminé are from October to December, when the river volume is optimum for sailing throughout all its length.

Aluminé Rafting
Conrado Villegas 610 (8345) Aluminé - Neuquén - Argentina
Tel: +54 2942 49-6322  Cel: +54 9 299-695331   
Inter Patagonia

Level of Difficulty
3 hours approximately
Tour Kind
Useful DataUseful Data


The Detail

The upper Aluminé goes along a 14-kilometer stretch approximately and features class III and IV rapids, which require more technical experience, both for kayaking and river rafting. The best season to practice these activities is from October to December, and after that, its volume decreases considerably.
The next stretch spreads along 35 kilometers and is ideal for family rides as it features long pools. These tours usually start at La Querencia Bridge or at the Ceferino and Aluminé is reached after a three to four hours' navigation, according to season.

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