Rio Baker – Cochrane to Caleta Tortel – Spectacular Journeys on Patagonia Aysen’s Wildest River

So Puerto Bertrand is situated at the start of the Rio Baker. The Baker River is one of Chile’s largest free flowing wild rivers. The hydro company, HidroAysen and the Chilean government want to build 5 major hydro electric dams, 2 on the Baker and 3 on the Rio Pascua further south. They then want to build power lines all the way from the Aysen Region of Chile north of Santiago to help power big mining projects that run the economy. The people of Chile and the Aysen region have been going through countless struggles and protests. They have created the “Patagonia Sin Represas” (Patagonia Without Dams) movement to try to stop this project. Please click here for more information and recent news. From my understanding it is still under negotiation. If and when it would happen is still unknown.

Rolando’s most popular kayak trip with AguaHielo Expediciones is running 4-5 day trips from the Balsa Baker 9km from the town of Cochrane to the ocean in Caleta Tortel.

I had the privilege to help out, participate and guide a few of the trips this past Austral Summer on the Baker.

Here are some pics from a little Outward Bound Staff trip with folks from the Bariloche Argentina base who connected with Rolando and we all paddled the Baker in 3 days. (click any pic below to link to full album)

view of the confluencia of the Rio Nef with the Rio Baker
proposed dam site #1 on the Rio Baker

Mount San Lorenzo 3706m (second highest peak in the Patagonian Andes)


#2 site of Dam on Rio Baker


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