Chile, Rio Futaleufu
Looking for some of the best whitewater in the Western Hemisphere? Join us for a week of rafting or kayaking on the world famous Futaleufu and nearby rivers. The clear-azul waters flow through deep, granite canyons in an incredibly beautiful valley. Make no mistake, these are BIG rapids – some say among the best in the world.
By participating on this trip of a lifetime, you will be helping to preserve this river from being dammed. You will also get to know the friendly locals (several staff members are Chilean) and take home something more than photographs. Trip participants must be 18 or older, in good physical condition.
This trip will be run in-conjunction with Futaleufu Explorer, though you will be accompanied by the owner of 4 Corners Whitewater Matt Wilson who has spent 4 season guiding on the Futaleufu.
Aqua Blue water of the Rio Futaleufu
Mundaca Rapid on the Futaleufu
Rafting the Futaleufu in Chile
Day 1- Friday- Leave home and take an overnight flight to Santiago de Chile.
Day 2- Saturday- Arrive in Santiago, and connect with your flight to Puerto Montt(1 1/2 hour), the gateway to Patagonia. This is the end of the road, as the coast line is too rough for roads, and a small plane will bring you across the fiords to Chaiten, where we will have a lunch of local seafood before the 2 hour drive to our lodge on the banks of the Rio Futaleufu. The ghost town of Chaiten is very interesting because it was mostly destroyed as a result of Volcan Chaiten, which erupted a few years ago after 9,000 years of dormancy. The town is now recovering and people are moving back in.
Glaciers, mountains, lakes and rivers abound on the drive through the Andes Mountains. The biodiversity of this temperate forest is incredible, with some leaves more than 1 meter across, and a huge variety of trees, vines and flowers. Arriving at our lodge, we will have time for a short warm up rafting excursion followed by a delicious welcome dinner after you have settled into your comfortable rooms and have had a tour of the grounds. Our lodge and base camp are located at the put in for the Bridge to Bridge section, a perfect central location on the Rio Futaleufu, with a very nice beach that is great for swimming, sun bathing, fishing, or learning a bit of kayaking. It sleeps 12 comfortably, wrelax and enjoy with top quality mattresses and bedding, great views of the river, and endless hot showers. A professional masseuse is available, as well as a sauna to help you enjoy your stay.
Day 3 – Rafting- After a wholesome breakfast we will get ready for an intro to the Rio Futaleufu, launching our rafts from the large beach in front of the lodge. Following a complete safety and paddle talk, we’ll raft the Bridge to Bridge section of the Rio Futaleufu. This is the perfect introduction to the river, with 2 hours of continuous rapids, starting out with Zapata, Pillow, and Mondaca, plus about 12 more rapids. At the second bridge, you will have the option of continuing downstream through two class V rapids, the big waves of Mas o Menos, and the breathtaking Casa de Piedra, a slalom between house size boulders and huge holes and waves, plus several class III rapids.
Day 4- Kayak- Today we will take kayaks down the beautiful crystal clear water of the class II-III Rio Espolon. Many people are inspired by our safety kayakers dancing on the waves, and want to try it out. we will have a selection of hard shell kayaks for the more adventurous, and inflatable kayaks which are more forgiving. This easy river is perfect for learning and practicing your balance and paddling techniques. The first part is flat water with long pools and a few small rapids. After we pass under the bridge, the action picks up, with several fun rapids, intersperced with calm pools where you can take the time to enjoy the incredible scenery. Guiding your own craft down this easy river will give you a sense of intimacy with the river.
Day 5- Hiking and Rafting- A morning hike along the river to check out the huge rapids of terminator and the Himalayas, that we will be rafting later. This will give you a chance to enjoy the scenery that you missed while you were concentrating on staying in the raft. After lunch on the beach, we will return to our favorite section of the river, Bridge to Bridge through Casa de Piedra. this will be tons of fun and help you prepare for the bigger rapids that we will be paddling later. After the last rapids, you will have the chance to kayak again, row the r