Eating your hearty meals around the wood stove you will gain insight to a way of life that is similar to the frontier days of the American west. This cultural and natural experience cannot be matched anywhere. This trip is the Real Deal: a trip back in time. The valley contains lots of exciting history from the days the pioneers settled it and many are still alive. As the trip progress's you realize you are getting to understand this remote section of Patagonia and its people.
Day 1, Saturday: Arrival and introductions
Arrive in Santiago and connect to Puerto Montt. In Puerto Montt you board your 40-minute flight to Chaitén, a flight back in time. We will meet you at the airport where we start our drive across the Andes: volcanoes, fjord-like lakes, hanging glaciers and the turquoise rapids of the Futaleufu river. We arrive in Futaleufu and are taken directly to our cabin near the working ranch. You will be met with wine and cheese to eat around the fireplace.
Day 2, Sunday: Introduction to the Futaleufu Valley
Trek up the Rio Espolon (2-4 miles rt) we cross small bridges, view turquoise water, sand beaches, fishing and swimming holes. The climb starts a strong uphill with about a 900 ft vertical rise to Piedra de Aguila, the rock outcropping overlook. We will do another trek later in the day and tour the village of Futaleufu. We return to the Lodge for a snack and evening dinner.
Day 3, Monday: To the Devils Throat (9 miles rt)
We trek further up on a trail along the pristine Rio Espolon untill we get to a tremendous Class 6 cascade exploding in a white froth out of the upper lake into the valley blow. A sight to behold. This is the headwaters of Lago Espolon, a glacial fed alpine lake.
Day 4, Tuesday: To the Scales Valley Circuit (12 miles rt)
We trek along the Inferno gorge a black rock canyon of the Futaleufu River as we view the agitated turquoise water 500 feet below. The trail enters the open Las Escalas valley a trip back in time. We cross the Futaleufu River on a swinging bridge and trek up through an old growth forest of Coyhue trees up out of the valley and around a small lake back to the village of Futlaeufu. Trekking in Chile does not get any better than this.
Day 5, Wednesday: Optional multisport day
Or a trek to the Class 5 Throne Room along the Futaleufu River. You will trek along a wild stretch of whitewater on the Futaleufu. We traverse rolling hills in a deep valley. We feel some adrenalin as we cross a place called Las Dificultades, several hundred yards on a trail cut into a rock cliff along the river. We ford a small stream and we arrive at one of the most powerful rapids in the world, The Throne Room. A site to behold.
Day 6, Thursday: To Rio Chico (5-10 miles)
This Patagonia trekking day takes us upstream to a charming valley that contains the endangered Huemul a small deer like animal that resembles the fictitious jackelope of the American intermountain west. Only this is real. This is a National Reserve for this endangered animal and is completely undeveloped except the sign announcing your entry into the protected area. A real treat to spot one of these rare animals.
Day 7, Friday: Argentina Trekking: Parque Nacional Los Alerces (5-10 miles)
Bring your passports on this day. We are going to get on horses to ride to the border with Argentina. We will tie up our horses and go for a hike into Argentina in the Parque Nacional de los Alerces. Los Alrces is home to the endangered 3000 year old Alerce trees.
Day 8, Saturday: Farewell breakfast & departure
Wake up for an early breakfast and drive back to Chaitén. As you catch a final view of the Río Futaleufu; surrounded by hanging glaciers, take a moment to reflect upon all of the amazing sights and experiences of last week. After all these years we are still stunned that views like these exist. Fly to Puerto Montt, Santiago and onward towards home.
Included: Round trip airfare between Puerto Montt and Chaiten. All local transportation, food and lodging while in Futaleufu. All equipment and guides for the week of activities.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Chile Argentina Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking