Futaleufu Adventure – Patagonia


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.

Day 1:
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)

Day 2:
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)

Day 3:
Warm-up day: 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)

Day 4:
Raft from camp to below the Casa de Piedra rapid – class V. Return to camp. (B+L+D)

Day 5:
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)

Day 6:
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)

Day 7:
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)

Day 8:
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)

Day 10:
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)

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Trip Details
Location: Chile
Duration: 9 Days
Grading: Moderate

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