Explore the La Leona River on this full-day kayaking and hiking tour from El Calafate. Kayak down the river for an hour, then pull in to land and hike for a few hours among the petrified forest, where you can stop to see dinosaur bones. Along the way, learn about the flora, fauna, and geology of the Patagonian steppe from your nature guide. Picnic lunch included.
Kayaking and hiking tour along the La Leona River from El Calafate
Kayak on the pristine waters with a guide in the lead, all equipment provided
Hike through the petrified forest, looking for dinosaur bones
The tour itself was great and an amazing and unique way to see this part of Patagonia the guides were all friendly and helped us get ready and suited up in all the gear necessary and provided great commentary in English and Spanish during the tour. This tour was a highlight of my trip to Argentina.
My girlfriend and I - both in our late 30s and relatively fit and active - have kayaked several times before, but not typically in a two-person kayak. I would recommend that you have kayaked at least once before taking this tour so you have some idea of what kayaking is about. This was not a leisurely float down the river. We expected a challenging ride and we got it. The weather was great but the water was running fairly hard.
There were a couple of uncomfortable moments for us during the tour:
1 Maybe it was the time of year October 2017 but there were at least three spots on the river during the tour that did have moderate rapids for beginner/intermediate kayakers that we were not warned about prior to getting in the river although the extensive what-to-do-if-you-capsize instruction before we started was a clue. We managed and did not capsize but my girlfriend was pretty stressed out. Exhilarating, but also scary.
2 Once we got out of the kayaks to go for an amazing hike in the badlands, we weren't informed beforehand that we would be doing fairly steep climbing on loose dirt and soil and as a result, we did not have proper shoes for the hike we went on. You bring everything with you in a dry bag on the kayak, but we only packed light runners for weight and space as we were not advised that we would be walking along ridges with no solid footing and climbing large hills of loose dirt and soil. Had we been informed we would have brought more suitable footwear and felt more stable and less like we were going to slip off a ridge and/or roll down a very large hill, many of which were often spotted with large rocks, as we hiked through this beautiful and haunting landscape.
Overall, the tour was unique, exciting and eye-opening and would've been perfect had we received just a little bit more of a heads-up in terms of what we were in for so we could have prepared properly.
We had two wonderful guides for our small group of seven. All the gear - including dry suits which are necessary was included, and plenty of instruction was provided. The river is tame - I would think anyone could handle it. If you're looking for a lot of white water and rapids, this may not be the tour for you. However, the scenery is stunning every second feels like you're looking at a postcard, so if you like kayaking at all, or are interested in trying, I would absolutely recommend. You also take a hike into the badlands which is very unique topography and provides amazing panoramic 360 degree views. Had a great time and would wholeheartedly recommend.
I am so happy I took this excursion! Affordable while giving me a huge taste of the area from the water to the hills. I truly feel I got to see the area in ways I otherwise may not. Guides were thoughtful, lovely and educational.
Definitely worth the experience and time. Explore Patagonia in a unique way.
Eduardo, Rubin and our driver created a really fun, relaxed and informative experience. The kayaking is good for everyone from beginners to experienced level. The small group dynamic allows persons who are strangers at 8am to be friends by lunch time. Gracias Chicos!!!