Futaleufu Adventure – Patagonia
The Futaleufu river starts in Argentina & so do we, it then flows to the Pacific through an extremely remote valley in Chile. We want you to get a real sense of the land, people and remoteness of wild Patagonia and feel this is the way to do it!
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeFamily, Rafting
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Medium Group
The Futaleufu river starts in Argentina and so do we. We want you to get a real sense of the land, people and remoteness of wild Patagonia and feel this is the way to do it! The Futaleufu River flows to the Pacific through an extremely remote valley in Chile. The journey to the Futaleufu is definitely an integral part of your Patagonian adventure. We have chosen the Argentine ski resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche as your gateway into the expansive region known as “Patagonia”. When you get off the plane in the new airport of Bariloche, look out over the vast open plains to east and see the jagged peaks of the Andean Cordillera to the west, you know that this can only be the famed Patagonia!
Your first night in Bariloche you will stay at the luxurious lakefront Hotel Villa Huinid and have a chance to unwind from your trip halfway around the world. The next morning we travel 380 km in a comfortable bus from Bariloche to the Fu with snacks, drinks and good music. Planes tend to insulate us from the smell, tastes, sights and sounds of the landscape. This is why we have chosen this leg of your travel to be overland.
The travel time to our destination camp in Chile is approximately the same whether through Argentina or Chile (if you include waiting time in airports), yet, arriving via Bariloche you will see the landscape change from barren pampas to fertile valleys and finally turn into the Valdivian temperate rainforest of the Futaleufu. By traveling to Chile via Argentina you will experience two cultures that are quite different despite their proximity.
A breathtaking drive through one of Argentina’s most beautiful national parks with time to stop and take pictures is a natural way to “slow down” and smell the roses. You will really enjoy this journey! We highly recommend extensions to Chiles famous national park, Torres del Paine or the Fitzroy Spires in Argentina either before or after your trip.
Arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina – transfer to domestic terminal for flight to Bariloche. Overnight in Hotel Villa Huinid on Lake Nahuel Huapi and enjoy a group welcome dinner. (D)
Drive to Camp in Chile
Beautiful drive 300 km south through deep valleys and open pampas, passing the headwaters of the Futaleufu. Cross the border into Chile and arrive early afternoon at camp. Camp orientation, swim, hot tub, and welcome happy hour. (B+L+D)
Raft from camp to Futaleufú bridge. Training includes self-rescue, raft flip drill, throw rope use, cataraft and kayak rescue. Fun, continuous rapids – class IV and one class V. Return to camp. (B+L+D)
Raft from Camp till Casa de Piedra
Raft from camp to below the Casa de Piedra rapid – class V. Return to camp. (B+L+D)
Introduction to Inflatable Kayaking and visit to Futaleufü town
Introduction and training for the inflatable kayaks on the class II + III Rio Espolon, a half hour drive east from camp. Visit the quaint little town of Futaleufü that lies on the Rio Espolon. (B+L+D)
Horseback Ride & Inflatable Kayaking
Horseback ride deep into the pristine wilderness of the Rio Azul valley and return by inflatable kayak to our main base camp on the Futaleufü. (B+L+D)
Rafting the Inferno Canyon from Rio Espolón to Rio Azul
Drive to the Pueblo of Futaleufú. Raft the Inferno Canyon from the Rio Espolón to Rio Azul. A five-mile canyon of class V whitewater, walk around the Dynamite, Zeta and Throne Room rapids, four-mile class II float, then five miles of class IV. Return to camp from the Azul and enjoy a traditional “curanto” for dinner. (B+L+D)
Rafting and Party at Camp!
Raft from the Rio Azul through the Terminator, Kyburz, and Himalayas rapids. Lunch at camp. Raft from camp again to below Casa De Piedra. One of the biggest days of whitewater being run anywhere in the world! Last night in camp: lamb roast/Chilean “asado feast” and party. (B+L+D)
Flight to Buenos Aires
Drive to Esquel or Bariloche to catch your flight to Buenos Aires. We recommend an extra night in Buenos Aires, as flights out of Esquel can be delayed. If you decide to do the Torres Del Paine Extension, you will choose between driving to Bariloche and staying overnight.
Optional Extension: Extend your trip by visiting the world-renowned Torres Del Paine National Park. Enjoy breath-taking vistas while trekking the numerous trails that have made this a top outdoor destination.
(Legend: B = Breakfast included , L = Lunch included, D = Dinner)
We believe that along with the privilege of adventure in the Himalaya comes a serious responsibility, the responsibility to protect and contribute to its ecology, cultures and its tremendous beauty. The “Leave No Trace” philosophy is followed to the letter and we work to minimize the environmental impact of our trips. We are scrupulous in our camping, cooking and sanitation practices; we limit the number of trekkers we allow to join us on our trips and the number of trips we lead in a given area.
In wilderness, commercial agreements between service provider and client require a depth of understanding that is more than what is routinely attached to similar agreements elsewhere. In the outdoors, we have to balance pursuit of stated objective and risk. We try to overcome risk and deliver the objective promised in the agreement between client and service provider. But that does not mean that we ignore risk altogether to chase an objective. We wish you to be informed on what makes a trip safe for you and everyone else.
Please take a few minutes to read the following:
The nature of wilderness
By definition wilderness implies remoteness. It means that response to any accident or mishap takes time. Timely intervention is a life saver. Working back from this, it becomes imperative that any commercial adventure in wilderness be conservative in terms of the risk it courts. Yet adventure means there will be risk. The way out is to manage the risk involved in such a fashion that a safe experience is provided. There are a few things that the client can do.
Prepare in advance
Commercial expeditions entail strain even if others are carrying your load and doing the team’s work. Prior physical conditioning – particularly of the cardiovascular sort contributing to improved endurance – helps. Please invest time and effort for that before embarking on the trip. It will help you in the field.
Be honest, speak up
We encourage clients to be honest about how they are feeling on expedition days; voice any personal difficulties they may be experiencing. This helps the team make relevant decisions for clients’ well being, something crucial when venturing into altitude. Not all of us are meant for altitude. If your physiology rebels, there is nothing to be ashamed of it. Speak up. Make sure that your disclosures about self are not biased by an objective you are feverishly trying to achieve like getting to the summit of a peak or crossing a high pass at any cost. Don’t let summit fever and similar instances of extreme personal ambition, consume you. It puts you and your support team at risk. Stay with the team’s assessment of risk. Go with the resultant decisions. If you think you have a point to make by all means do so. We will hear you out. But risk assessment and decisions, will be by the team leaders as the onus of a safe expedition primarily rests with them.
Let the leaders work
You may be familiar with rivers, mountains and altitude. We don’t wish to question that. But there are reasons why many of us choose to go as clients. One of them is that our primary vocation is something else, while those working in the mountains as guides have chosen to make that their primary vocation or at the very least, dedicate time to it. More than us, they are in the mountains. They are alive to it. That’s why we entrust our passage to them. So, please let them work free of interference. Please don’t influence their judgement. Your expedition needs their best work and best judgement. In any expedition, leadership style will vary with the risk being tackled in a given situation. There will be times when we can travel easy in a very consultative fashion. There will be times when that is not advisable and a more directive style may be adopted by your guides. Please comply.
Be open to alternatives
We can set up the best safety systems possible, checking and double checking to make sure that nothing is left to chance. But we don’t control or totally overcome variables like weather and terrain / river conditions. They impact expedition’s progress. If team leaders review / alter plan citing concerns on any front, we request that it be respected and not viewed as money’s worth denied even if it dims prospects for achieving an expedition’s original goal. Such challenges are frequent in the outdoors. Seasoned trekkers and climbers, when they realize that a particular objective does not seem achievable on a given trip, learn to be happy with other pursuits to compensate – like staying camped and enjoying the mountain environment or attempting more doable hikes from wherever they are. We request you to stay aware of these possibilities. Be open to them. Decades ago when exploration and first ascents were happening in the Himalaya, the explorers / mountaineers / hikers devoted months to their work. Committed outdoorsmen still do. They wait out unfavourable circumstances by having a lot of time and patience. Time is what the modern world does not have even as the mountains remain the same, posing the same challenges; the same risk, the same unpredictable circumstances. An exceptionally lucky circumstance may deliver success. But luck isn’t commonplace. We should be mentally prepared for the above mentioned alternatives.
If you don’t achieve your objective it isn’t the end of the world. Be patient, another chance will emerge. There is a simple reminder, climbers often tell their colleagues leaving for a summit: “ the mountain will always be there; make sure you are there.’’
In other words – be safe.
Our expedition trips are designed for energetic and flexible people who have the spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Previous experience in the outdoors and camping helps, though is not a must. These trips are participatory in nature, and everyone is expected to pitch in, set up and break down their own tent, clean their own dishes. Look up our trip grading before you sign up.
Grading of Trips
We have graded our trips in four different categories and you should choose one that suits you the most. Grading of each trip has been done keeping in mind a lot of factors like the trip duration, the altitude, the terrain, the no. of hours of activity everyday, temperatures and conditions encountered, and the level of fitness needed. Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more.
- Easy : Most of our camp based trips, with easy activities, that are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding whitewater trips with easy support and myriad options.
- Moderate : Active trips involving hiking over reasonable terrain, within vehicular access, upto elevations less than 4000 meters, or trips with long walking days, multiple rafting days, wilderness camping. Includes more demanding whitewater trips with Class III rapids.
- Demanding : Hiking and trekking to elevations exceeding 4000-5000 meters, away from vehicular access, over multiple days. Encompasses demanding whitewater with Class IV rapids.
- Challenging : Our most demanding trips include climbing at high elevations in excess of 5000 meters, in remote and extreme conditions with no access to roads; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips, and demanding whitewater trips with Class IV-V rapids.
The Next Step
Ready to go? Email us at email@example.com to book your place and we will guide you through the booking process. Please sign and scan/email us your booking form and inform us about the status of your payments at the time of confirming the trip (Booking form and Payment details below).
Why travel with Aquaterra Adventures?
We are a pioneer in active adventure travel, and run the most number of rivers in India, having opened them up over the past several years. We set the standard and have a strong reputation for excellence. We have a lot to live up to and we ensure we provide the safest, quality trips for our guests.
Should you wish to contact any of our past guests for a trip reference, write to us.
In remote regions, we often use local suppliers who provide services that may include vehicles for transportation, equipment, logistical support, hotels, guest houses etc. We do not own or operate these independent services or suppliers. We work with them as they share our commitment to service and quality.
Tips & Gratuities: Our recommendation is a minimum 5-10% of your trip cost for tips to be distributed amongst the team that makes your adventure safe and successful. This includes drivers, guides, cook, kitchen team, porters and horsemen. Of course, this remains a personal choice.
If it becomes necessary to cancel your tour, you must notify Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. immediately in writing. Once we receive your notice, cancellation will take effect. Please note that the following charges will apply on cancellation:
- if cancellation takes place more than 45 days prior to departure, your full deposit
- will be returned except a processing charge of Rs. 5000 or US$ 77 ; (60 days for Brahmaputra trip)
- if cancellation takes place between 45 and 30 days prior to departure, 50% of the
- tour price will be forfeited (between 60 and 30 days for Brahmaputra trip); and
- if cancellation takes place less than 30 days prior to departure, 100% of the tour price will be forfeited.
Some trips attract a minimum processing charge – please check.
The tour price is quoted as a package. No partial refunds or credit will be given for services not used. We recommend that you obtain travel insurance upon booking.