Cajón del Maipo is located in the Andes Mountains just over an hour’s travel southeast of Santiago. Situated in between the world’s largest mountain range lies an oasis for those hoping to escape Santiago’s summer heat and enjoy some peace and tranquility, or rather some adrenaline crazed sports. The region offers a wide range of outdoor activities, making it a popular destination for adventure seekers and enthusiastic explorers of nature.
On Friday January 23, a group of 30 students from the University of Delaware set off on a three-day trip to Cajón de Maipo. The trip was organized by World Wide Chile, a company that offers various programs and weekend excursions for people looking for an authentic experience of what Chile has to offer.
By 9 a.m. the little blue bus was on its way, offering beautiful scenic views throughout the hour and a half journey. On arrival, the excited group of students eagerly hopped off the bus one by one, to immediately breathe in the fresh mountain air and take in the green surroundings of trees and plants, which lead as far as the eye can see.
After choosing their cabins and placing their belongings, the students were ready to go, with the choices of rafting or horseback riding. Only two girls opted for the horseback riding, whilst almost everybody chose rafting. The hour to kill before the activities begun passed by quickly and was spent by playing with kittens, lounging on nearby hammocks and snacking on fresh water melon.
Each student was handed a wetsuit and water shoes. As they struggled to put on their wet suits and strap on their shoes, the rafting guide explained the rules of rafting. Once the group was all geared up, they piled in to another bus and were on their way to the starting location. They separated in to four groups of about six people per raft. Soon after, group by group they piled into the rafts only to be hurled down the rapids of the roaring white waters of the Maipo river.
An afternoon of rafting and cliff jumping was sure to make the group of students work up an appetite and lucky for them, by the time they got back to the lodge, a full meal was prepared and waiting for them. The menu included corn, mashed potatoes and salad, with a choice between rabbit or fish for entrée. The hungry students ate away as they laughed and chattered about their rafting expedition.
Towards the end of their meal, the raft guide turned on the outdoor television to show the GoPro footage from the rafting trip. The GoPro was placed on the front of each raft, which created some pretty impressive footage of close-up terrified faces.