Difficulty, whitewater Class III/IV & camping
The azure Futaleufu is still an undiscovered river legend that will
soon see many more paddlers. Be among the first to run this spectacular
fun river. (Our fourth season) This really is no ordinary river. It
is the most glorious combination of pristine wilderness, expansive
beauty and explosive untamed white water unparalleled anywhere in
the world. it is being considered by Endesa (Chilean energy company)
as a possible source of cheap hydro power and may be dammed. We need
your help to illustrate that this river should be preserved as a 'wild
and scenic" sanctuary to find its place amongst the World Heritage
sites. As the locals say "a place so lovely that it must have
been "Painted by God"
(Friday) PUERTO MONTT- PUERTO VARAS
in Puerto Montt. Our representative will meet you at the airport.
They will transfer you to the charming little town of Puerto Varas
and escort you to the Hotel Cabañas del Lago where you can
unwind from your journey. Puerto Varas is on the edge of Lake Llanquihue
and has a magnificent view across the lake of the perfectly cone shaped
Volcan Osorno. The afternoon can be spent swimming, walking around
town or going into the fishing village of Angelmo at Puerto Montt.
(Saturday) PUERTO MONTT-CHAITEN-FUTALEUFU
from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt airport where we will take a 17
seater Beechcraft airplane across the straight of Chiloe to the seaside
village of Chaiten (40 minute flight). A van will meet us and we will
travel on the Carretera Austral (Southern Highway) south towards Coyhaique
and Lago Yelcho. The drive is spectacular with magnificent granite
cliffs and steep glaciers flanking the lush temperate rain forest
valley that we drive through. The Rio Futaleufu flows into Lago Yelcho,
a world class trout fishing lake that is also home to the Coho Salmon
that swim unimpeded up the Futaleufu to Argentina or back down to
the Pacific at Chaitén. We pass a few small farms that are
carved into the ancient rain forest and get a glimpse of frontier
living Chileno style. We arrive at the base camp in time for a late
lunch and a swim in the Futaleufu River. We will hold a pre-departure
meeting during happy hour and go over camp procedures. We will be
based at this campsite for all but one night of our time in this region.
(Sunday) EXERCISES IN THE RIVER FUTALEUFU
morning to wake up on the banks of the Fu! The mornings tend to be
crisp and dewy and we rise with the warmth of the sun. After breakfast
we will launch from our base camp after a thorough safety briefing.
The first part of any rafting trip is very much a learning exercise.
Our guides will demonstrate carefully the safety and rescue procedures
we adopt while on the river. This learning exercise is not restricted
to the first day but is ongoing and you will become more confident
by the day. Each raft is captained by a highly trained guide who controls
the boat from a stern-mounted oar frame. The first section we raft
from camp down to Puente Futaleufu is only 10 km, but offers more
rapids per 100 meters than anywhere else on the river. It not only
is the perfect warm-up run, it is just non stop fun especially with
rapids like El Cojin and Mundaca. We will then meet our van and Land
cruiser for the 20 minute transfer back to camp. We gather around
the camp fire and enjoy Chilean wine or herbal tea as dinner is cooking.
After a sumptuous and hearty dinner was tire ready for the next day
of big white water.
(Monday) THE FIRST REAL WHITE WATER EXPERIENCE
settle into a rhythm that will be employed in order to successfully
raft our next few days on the Fu. We paddle past the Puente Futaleufu
and immediately around the corner meet a big continuous cascade known
as Mas o Menos (More or Less). This is a good step towards our first
class five technical rapid: Casa de Piedra which forms like a series
of water wheels. After this rapid we have a mellow raft to the Casa
de Empanadas - no hair raising white water here, just hot cocoa and
oven fresh apple "empanadas" prepared for us by Mrs. Ramirez
and her children. We then have a 30 minute drive back to camp where
dinner awaits us.
(Tuesday) DAY AT LEISURE
lay over day. After two days of intense rafting a day of catching
up is in order. There are a variety of optional activities available
for those wanting to keep on the move. We offer an introduction to
kayaking or rock climbing for those keen. Other activities available
are horse back riding, mountain biking, lake kayaking on Lake Espolón
or fishing. A guided option will be a day hike up one of gorgeous
side canyons. A rather exotic option (that requires a good deal of
movement) is going across the border into Argentina to visit a Welsh-Gaucho
dairy and horse farm. This can only be done by a small group, as the
border crossing can be slow going. Later in the day will leave our
base camp for a night and travel 35km up the road to visit the quaint
Pueblo of Futaleufu and we will spend the night in a typical Hostería-Inn.
We eat out in the town for dinner and stroll around the sleepy little
mountain village whose central plaza is richly fragrant with rose
bushes and cedar trees.
in town offers us the perfect launching opportunity early the next
morning on the Rio Espolón. This crystal clear river meanders
for four kilometers (2 miles) before it flows into the Rio Futaleufu
just above Inferno Canyon. This canyon can be walked around if necessary,
however, by this point, most people are eager to build on the previous
days paddling experience and look forward to this continuous stretch
of whitewater whole-heartedly. As we come out of the last rapid called
Exit we enter into a long calm stretch. The current remains swift
and we cruise further downstream to arrive at our mandatory portage
around the fierce Zeta rapid. We have lunch as the crew ghost boat
the rafts through this treacherous section for us. We continue on
until our next obstacle, an unraftable rapid named El Trono (The Throne
Room). We finish the day with a continuous corridor of fun grade IV
rapids that take us to our finishing point for the day at the Rio
Azul footbridge. Tonight we leave the rafts on shore and a quick van
ride returns us to our base camp early in the evening.
(Thursday) THE SUMMIT DAY OF RAFTING
day of rafting - The Summit Day. After breakfast we return to our
rafts and continue on downstream. We soon merge with a blue glacial
run-off from the Rio Azul. Our view of snow capped mountain peaks
and a jagged ridge continues to be absolutely breath-taking as we
pass far below. We have a six kilometer (4 mile) stretch of warm-up
rapids before we come to The Terminator - the longest and toughest
rapid that we will raft on this trip and which is then followed by
a continuous section of whitewater fun. The next enormous rapid of
the day is a wave train known as The Himalayas. After all the adrenaline
of the day the calm section that follows is welcome and we floating
gently our base camp where we shall have lunch. After lunch we raft
the entire section from camp to below Casa de Piedra. We make a triumphant
return to camp and celebrate our last night on the river with a typical
Chilean Asado - lamb roasted over a bed of coals, salad, potatoes
and farm fresh bread.
(Friaday) FUTALEUFU-CHAITEN-PUERTO MONTT
start to meet the van that will take us back to Chaiten for our flight
back to Puerto Montt.
January 7 & 21
February 4 & 18
Booking domestic flights Santiago-Puerto Montt-Santiago, can be requested
in advance to get better round trip rates. Not included in the program.
- Air and land transportation round trip Puerto Montt-Puerto Montt
- All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8
- 1 night accommodation at Puerto Varas & 6 nights in our
- Expert guides and camping personnel - Equipped vehicles for
- Camping and cooking equipment
- Professional equipment for whitewater rafting.
NOT INCLUDED :
- Any type of insurance
- Gratuities and personal extras as communications costs, laundry,
meals or alcoholic drinks or transportation out of the program
and other personal items
- Medical expenses in case of illness or injury
- Sleeping bag and pad.
OF DIFFICULTY AND PHYSICAL CONDITIONING:
be in good health for these wilderness trips. The minimum age for
the trip is 17 years. There is no upper age limit, but older guests
should be aware of the rigors of a whitewater expedition. Previous
experience is suggested. Oar-rigged (center and stern frame) rafts
will be rowed by our staff. You have the option of walking around
any of the rapids. Experienced safety kayakers will help to cover
all the safety aspects while we are in the river.
" 2 pairs of river shorts. (River shorts as quick drying, durable).
" Farmer John wetsuit. (required)
" Paddle Jacket. If you do not have one, we will supply you with
" Polypropylene long sleeve shirt, Polypro long underwear. They
will keep you warm when they get wet, and they dry out very quickly.
" River Foot wears. Check out the line of toe-protected river
foot wear. (Wet suit booties also work well)
" 1 hat, visor or large brimmed sombrero, with a string. (ole!!)
" Sun glasses with securing straps. (Chums)
" Hiking shorts with pockets, a belt. Shoes for camp, sandals
and light hiking boots.
" Toiletry kit, shampoo, soap, tooth brush etc.
" Flashlight and or head lamp, extra batteries.
" Sleeping bag: A 30 degree bag is warm enough. Sleeping pad:
This is very important, and not something you want to skimp on. Thermarest
makes a good inflatable pad. Thermarest Lounge chair cover, to turn
your pad into a great chair!
" Camera: A water proof camera is nice to have.
" Lotion and sun screen: Not much Ozone left in the southern
" Book: There is plenty of time for rest and relaxation, so bring
along a book or journal. A favorite poem to share around the campfire
" 1 fleece sweat shirt, 2 T shirts, Baggy pants or fleece sweatpants.
" Travel clothes. Rain jacket and pants.
" Towel: a swimmers chamois towel is used by some and saves space.
" Energy Bars: PRbars, Powerbars, Cliff Bars, pack a handful
of these great fuel boosters.
We recommend that you pack using a duffel bag or a back pack. We use
a base camp, so whatever you bring to camp will not travel down river.
See you in Chile!
The Futaleufu river valley attracts all types of weather all year
round. The Pacific Ocean feeds its moist climate with frequent storms.
The sunny months are usually February and March; however, when packing,
think of cold and wet weather as well as sunny and warm and you will
be a happy camper. Plan ahead and bring warm clothes and a good rain
shell. This also means that the river level can change dramatically
if an unusual "tormenta" or rain storm passes through. We
will only raft when the river is at an agreeable level. Let nature
be as nature does and we will heed the beat of our own drummer.
makes the Futaleufu so special?
Every once in a great while you come across a river that just blows
you away in terms of its magical powers. These powers enthrall you
and make you feel special and lucky to be alive. The Fu is just such
a river. If you have ever stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon, or
better yet, looked up at the rim from the Colorado river, or gazed
at the Granite Walls of Yosemite, or have sat in quiet revery by the
Snake river over looking the Grand Tetons and have been deeply impressed
by the magnificence of nature, then you can begin to imagine what
it will be like to find yourself in the Futaleufu river valley. It
is an amazing place. You might wonder how the force of nature in its
raw form can create such places of incredible beauty that you remain
stunned and think that we cannot possibly improve upon nature, but
can only quietly watch and then spring forth with such energy that
you want to sing out and, say 'yes, this is the most beautiful place
I have ever been.
& Medical: we hardly suggest having your own personal travel
insurance. This must include: evacuation from remote sites, emergency
repatriation and medical & hospital expenses. Also it should cover
cancellation & curtailment and personal effects.
Chile requires no vaccinations for entry from any country. There is
no malaria or yellow fever, the tap water in most cities is chlorinated
and the general standard of hygiene is one of the highest in South