Rio Bueno: location, map, and everything you need to know

You may be wondering where the Río Bueno is, but this slow-moving but mighty river will surprise you with all the things you can do on it.

Location and map of Río Bueno

The Río Bueno is located in southern Chile and is part of the Río Bueno river basin. It originates as an outflow from Lake Ranco and flows into the Pacific Ocean. It has a length of 200 km, a surface area of 17,210 km² and an average flow of 760 m³/s. (see Santa River).

In its upper course, the Río Bueno has a steep slope and several rapids, running from east to west. In its lower course, it reaches Trumao, after having travelled about 140 km; at its mouth in the Pacific Ocean, Punta Dehuio or the sector commonly known as La Barra, located to the north, is a sand bar where navigation from the river to the sea and vice versa is possible.

Its main tributaries are the Pilmaiquén and the Rahue; the former joins the river 15 kilometres downstream in the town of Río Bueno, and the latter 40 kilometres before it flows into the Pacific Ocean. These are the tributaries that enter from the south. Those that come from the north bank of the Río Bueno are small estuaries, and the only river is the Llollelhue, which feeds the Contra.

With regard to the topography of the River Bueno, it can be said that in the west it has low elevations on its surface, which results in glacial and fluvial style modelling. The glacial modelling creates smooth and undulating hills in some sectors, while the fluvial modelling creates terraces in others (see the Cinca River).

The climate in Río Bueno

The climate in Río Bueno is temperate, warm and rainy on the west coast. The average annual temperature is 11.2 ºC and the annual thermal amplitude is 5.2 ºC. This behaviour is caused by the puelches winds that come from Argentina; they are called puelches because it is a dry and warm wind that comes from the Andes and blows towards the valleys. The average rainfall is 1,200 mm.

Tourism in Río Bueno

In the municipality of Río Bueno, located in the Chilean province of Ranco, there are many tourist activities that may interest you, from the most adventurous to the most peaceful. This is possible thanks to the characteristics of its relief, which allows its inhabitants to take economic advantage of the area. Some of the activities you can do are

  • Bird watching: It consists of admiring the birds and their plumage, the predominant species are the choroy parrots, the torcazas and the chucaos.
  • Kayaking: if you like to practice this activity, the Bueno River is ideal for you, you will be able to travel its 200 km and enjoy its beautiful landscapes while navigating in its calm waters (see Besaya River).

  • Boat trips: if you prefer a quieter trip, you can take a boat trip and admire the architectural constructions of great patrimonial value in the municipality of Río Bueno, or the areas dedicated to the conservation of fauna.
  • Trekking: Since the municipality of Río Bueno is located in the foothills of the Andes, it is ideal for expeditions and walks in the mountainous relief.
  • Hiking: you can practice this activity in the Peumayén Park, in the Rucatayo sector, where you can interact with the flora and fauna of the region and admire the beautiful landscapes.

  • Canopy: it consists of sliding from the top of a tree to another by means of a rope, which can be done in the Nalcahue sector.
  • Sightseeing: you can visit the San José de Alcudia fort, built in 1778 by the Spanish to protect the area from possible invaders. It is located 50 metres above the Bueno River, which gives you a strategic and beautiful view. Inside the fort, you can see Mapuche pools and what the interior of the buildings looked like in colonial times.

Rafting in Rio Bueno

And, of course, rafting. The steep slope of the Río Bueno makes its 200 km perfectly manageable from start to finish. Its jumps add to the fun and keep you on your toes the whole way.

Rafting on the Rio Bueno is a low-intensity activity, ideal for families. The first part of the trip will take you through the calm waters of Ranco Lake, then you will descend through type III rapids and after a swim you will arrive at Puerto Lapí, from where you will go to Puerto Nuevo to get your equipment.

Flora and fauna

The fauna that inhabits the Río Bueno includes the Hued hued, the Chucao, the Torcaza, the Carpintero Grande, the Choroy and the Perdiz del sur. Mammals include the pudú, the guiña, the southern puma, the grey fox, the southern coypu and the wild cat. As for fish, we have trout, puye, carmetita, river silverfish and introduced trout such as rainbow, brook, brown and European trout (see Torío River).

The flora is mostly forested, but can also include scrubland, steppes, grasslands, marshes, swamps, peat bogs and dunes. Forests dominate the southern part of Chile.

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