The actual program for your individual Futaleufu Rafting trip will vary according to the desires and skill level of your group, weather, or other factors.
Day 1, Saturday - Arrival & introductions at the lodge
Arrive at either of our entry points in Puerto Montt, Chile or Esquel, Argentina, the gateway to Patagonia. Connect with our company representative and travel to the remote riverside village of Futaleufu, surrounded by majestic mountains. You will find your accommodations at our comfortable lodge, and unwind from your trip with a hearty welcome dinner at the Futaleufu Adventure Center. Here you will spend the week enjoying the comforts of our native wood lodge while rafting Chile's greatest whitewater river.
Day 2, Sunday - Introduction to Kayaking and Mountain Bikes
We'll have a great start to this Patagonia rafting week with a beautiful moderately challenging mountain bike ride alongside the pristine waters of the upper Espolon River. Then over the river on a footbridge and up to Devil's Throat, a spectacular and still unrun Class 6 cascade at the watershed of the Rio Espolon.
Below the waterfalls, we'll enjoy a riverside lunch and then trade our mountain bikes for sit-on-top kayaks and paddling gear. In double or single kayaks, we will tour the Espolon River and enjoy its transparent waters, inviting swimming areas, and forgiving rapids - the perfect introductory run. The trip is one great loop that brings us to our take-out, minutes from the lodge, where pisco sours and a hearty dinner await us.
Day 3, Monday - Trekking & Rafting the Heart of the Futaleufu
In the morning we will raft Chile's most action packed section of whitewater - a virtual whitewater power storm! This section, from the Entrada swinging bridge to the Futaleufu stone bridge, includes five miles of Class IV+ rafting action. Rapids such as "Entrada", "Pillow", "Tiburon", and "Mundaca" with its must-see explosion hole, will keep you on your toes. Chile rafting at its best!
In a calmer section below the rapids, we will do some swim practice drills in preparation for the more intense whitewater of the coming days. You can spend the afternoon soaking up the warm Chilean culture in this secluded alpine village or participate in one of the numerous multisport activities from our lodge.
Day 4, Tuesday - Rafting the Heart of Futaleufu to El Macal
This morning we head back to the Futaleufu river prepared for another action packed day of whitewater rafting. This rafting run begins with a repeat of the adrenaline charged "Heart" section. At the end of the "Heart" section, however, we'll raft past the previous day's take out to where the river picks up energy as the canyon walls turn into vertical cliffs and huge glacier crowned peaks rise above. Here, we will find "Más o Menos" (Class IV+) and our first "optional" and authentic Class V rapid of this raft trip, "Casa de Piedra".
Day 5, Wednesday - Raft Chile's Upper Futaleufu
This is the most demanding, committing, and hazzardous section of the Futaleufu. The highlight of our Patagonia rafting program! To raft this section safely, the river levels must be correct , you must have rafted the "Heart" section with us and met all of our safety requirements. We put-in at the Río Espolon bridge and raft to the the confluence with the Futaleufu River. At the "Gates of Infierno", we enter the "Infierno Canyon" with several consequential and continuous Class V drops.
After an exciting morning of rafting in the Inferno canyon, the river widens with spectacular views of Las Escalas Valley. After a section of mild class II water, the river returns to its wild side and we encounter "Zeta" and "Throne Room", two of the most challenging (Class V+) rapids on the Futaleufu. We will portage both. After the portages, we get into an action packed section called "The Wild Mile", which contains a continuous stretch of Class III and IV rapids. Futaleufu river rafting does not get any better than the whitewater we have just experienced!
After the Wild Mile we arrive at the Río Azul under the sentinel of the Tres Monjas peaks. This will be our take-out for the "Inferno Canyon" section of the upper Futaleufu. After a snack and beers on the beach, we hike up a short trail and drive back to the lodge and all of its comforts.
Day 6, Thursday - Rafting the Terminator Section & Trekking
More of this incredible whitewater is in store for us today offering another challenging day of rafting in Patagonia. You must have previously rafted the "Heart" section with us and met all of our safety requirements. After a morning trek, we put in at the confluence of the Futa and the Río Azul, and enjoy a warm up on a beautiful stretch of river that winds around the Tres Monjas peaks.
Then, the Futaleufu river takes on an extremely powerful nature, with the longest and largest rapid on the Futa, the "Terminator" (Class V). Rafting in Chile does not get better than this! Just below, we'll have to negotiate the hole filled "Kyber Pass" (Class IV+) and the Himalayas (Class IV), with perhaps the biggest standing waves in the hemisphere.
Day 7, Friday - Multisport A La Carte Day
Today you have the option of canyoning or horseback riding. These two activities are the highest rated in our Raft Chile program. Go back in time and horseback ride through the 'Trails of Neighbors'. It is a network of narrow roads that locals travel on foot, oxcart or horse, that lead to the valleys and isolated villages in the region. A full day out in the'Last Frontier' in Patagonia.
The second option is to rappel, hike and swim your way through a unique micro-environment of Canyon Gelves and Canyon Palenque. Few eyes have ever seen this paradise. For those that request it, other multisport options are available such as trekking, mountain biking or sea kayaking. We take out and return to our accommodations at the lodge or camp, for our going-away dinner 'fiesta', live local music, and a video review of our raft Chile week.
Day 8, Saturday - Futaleufu Valley Departure
Wake up for an early breakfast and drive back to Chaiten, Chile and your flight to Puerto Montt, or relax for a couple of hours and take our shuttle to Esquel, Argentina. As you catch a final view of the Río Futaleufu; surrounded by hanging glaciers and snow capped mountains, take a moment to reflect upon all of the amazing sights and experiences of this past week. After all these years we are still stunned that views like these exist.
If you think you'll be itching for another adventure, a very popular alternative way to get to Chaiten is to travel it by water! We offer a 6-day guided sea kayaking trip that takes you from the end of the whitewater all the way down to Chaiten via the Lower Futaleufu, Lago Yelcho, Río Yelcho, and the Pacific Ocean. Two rivers, one large lake, and the enormous ocean, all surrounded by pristine Wilderness and unlimited postcard views.
Included: all meals, lodging, transportation, rafts, guides and river gear while rafting in Chile with us; round trip transportation between Futaleufu and Puerto Montt or Esquel.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Chile Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting