Could San Luis and the Rio Claro (not far from Medellin) be the best place to learn how to White Water Kayak in Colombia? Or even in the whole of South America? Here is why:
It's beautiful with a couple of natural pools to practice skills on both moving water and still water without drifting down the river.
When you are ready to move onto white water there are a number of rivers and locations in the area which are suitable for beginners.
I had Juanes teaching me, and he was also very happy to host me at his house. It all made for a unique and immersive experience in which I felt more like I was learning to Kayak with a group of mates.
San Luis has an amazing community of young people who are passionate about protecting their natural environment.
It's cheap - Prices coming soon, but I was blown away with the value of the tuition I received from Juanes).
The best and biggest white water in Colombia is without question the Grade five rapids Chicamocha Canon in Santander, not far from San Gil. If you just want to stick to rafting and you want the biggest rapids that the country has to offer that's where I would head. However, if you plan to learn to kayak there you will not be allowed on the white water.
If you haven't already watched my Vlog from my days learning to Kayak, please take a look here:
To go Kayaking with Juanes yourself, please drop him a message on Whatsapp: +57 312 697 7824 and let him know that you found him through me. Joshua and Fitpacklife. :)
Respect the river
Juanes also wanted me to stress that just because I made it on to the white water on my third day, there is no guarantee that that will be possible for everyone. I am fortunate that I have enough strength to make up for my lack of skill.
But it's also about taking it seriously and appreciating the river can be a dangerous beauty.
More fitness in San Luis
Unfortunately, there is no Functional Fitness Gym in San Luis, however, if you are looking for more fitness besides the time that you will spend on the water there a few options:
Trail running - San Luis is situated at the foot of a hill, the trail up to the top makes a good run and spectacular sunrise if you get up early enough.
Mountain Biking - There is a bike shop in town which you can rent mountain bikes from for a very reasonable price.
Swimming - Cascada Planta, which you can see in the video, has a huge natural pool at the base of a waterfall. The swim across must be in the region on 50 - 100 meters. A few lengths and you will quickly rack up some serious distance.