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Fuy-Futaleufu Kayak Safari - Chile
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Fuy-Futaleufu Kayak Safari - Chile

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 15 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 16 people
Destination(s): Chile  
Specialty Categories: Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting  
Season: December - April
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 2495 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2495 US Dollar (USD)

This safari trip focuses on the Lakes District of Chile and the Futaleufu River Valley. Spend the first week kayaking the Rio Fuy and San Pedro followed by a second week on the Rio Futaleufu. This trip offers some classic steep creeking on the Rio Fuy and classic big water kayaking on the Futaleufu.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and introductions

You arrive in Puerto Montt, Chile on the early afternoon flight where you are welcomed by our representative. After the arrival of the rest of your group, you are transferred to the town of Puerto Varas, a charming German-founded town at the southern end of the Chilean Lake District. Depending on your time of arrival, you can spend this day any number of ways – hiking on the flanks of Volcan Osorno, fly-fishing on the Petrohue or simply enjoying the town and the splendid views across the lake. In the evening, the group meets for a welcome dinner before retiring to our comfortable guesthouse.

Day 2: The Rio Neltume

On our first day, we have an early breakfast and rush off on our four-hour drive to the lakeside town of Choshuenco. The village takes its name from the volcanic snow capped peak overlooking Lago Panguipulli. Our comfy inn is situated on the sandy shore of this sparkling warm lake. You ease into paddling by warming up on the Class III Río Neltume.

At the confluence with the lower Río Fuy you continue downstream through a Class III+ boulder garden with eddies to catch and waves to surf. As we approach Lago Panguipulli, the pace eases up and you find yourself in a scenic river valley surrounded by volcanic peaks. The river swirls into Lago Panguipulli from where it is only a short paddle across the warm lake back to our sandy beach and the Choshuenco Lodge.

Day 3: The Lower Fuy

We begin at the pasture put-in on the lower Fuy. This Class IV section starts off with a bang. The put-in is within sight of the most difficult rapid, a 10-foot ledge drop followed immediately by more Class IV action. From here to the wooden bridge take-out, there is plenty of fun eddy hopping Class III/IV action.

Day 4: The Upper Fuy

After a relaxing Chilean breakfast we are bound for the Upper Fuy’s steep creek like drops. This action-packed day kicks off with a series of clearly defined Class IV drop-pool rapids that will keep your adrenaline pumping. You will take-out above the 30 foot, Las Leonas Falls. If the water levels are right and some people in the group are up for it, the guides may take them through the falls. After paddling Las Leonas Falls, you visit the un-run Huilo Huilo Falls and then drive to Panguipulli where you get a chance to check out the local nightlife before drifting off to sleep.

Day 5: A La Carte Kayaking - Repeat & Play More!

The group takes its pick for the day’s run. Return to the upper or lower section of the Fuy, or take it easy and paddle across the lake to the Rio Enco and its Class II/III rapids. Maybe after these days of paddling you are ready for a hike up the Volcan Mocho Choshuenco, or a horseback ride around the Fuy Valley? How about a day lounging at the beach, or reading a book? This day is yours to enjoy!

Day 6: The Rio San Pedro

We put-in on the Río San Pedro for some Class III/IV big water action. This run is set amongst some unusual geology, creating a spectacular backdrop. The clarity, warmth and turquoise color of the water will inspire you. After paddling we drive four hours to Puerto Montt where you will spend the night.

Day 7: Fly to Chaitén and run the Michimahuida

After a good night’s sleep in Puerto Montt you head to the airport for your flight to Chaitén and the Río Futaleufu. From the airplane you will catch breathtaking views of southern Chile’s rugged coastline. After arrival, we quickly ride to the upper Michimahuida for a late run. The Michimahuida is a not to be missed steep creek that originates off the side of a Strato-Volcano (dependent on water levels). Numerous waterfalls plunge into the Michimahuida gorge making it a spectacular place to paddle.

Day 8: Arrive at Campo Tres Monjas and the meet the Schoolhouse

Today you have the option to sleep in late and relax. We load into our mini-bus for a three-hour drive through some amazing scenery, complete with hanging glaciers and finally arriving to our Futaleufu base camp, Campo Tres Monjas. When we arrive at camp, you will have time to select one of the many private campsites as your own. Afterwards, your guide will introduce the Futaleufu to you, with an introductory run of the “Schoolhouse” rapid for your first taste of the Futaleufu.

If time allows, we will make a quick run of the Rio Azul, putting in at the bridge and taking out at camp. Take a break, go off on several of our local trails, or enjoy a sauna and hot shower before sitting down to a hearty meal prepared by our chef and served in the main dining lodge. With a sauna and masseuse to return to each evening, life just does not get any better than it does at Campo Tres Monjas!

The following Futaleufu itinerary is scheduled for Class IV-V Paddlers. Class II/III paddlers will follow the Kayak Chile Week itinerary. Class III/IV paddlers will follow the Futaleufu River Valley itinerary.

Day 9: Terminator Section.

You wake to the brilliance of life along the shores of the Futaleufu, with the jagged Three Nuns (Tres Monjas) peaks standing sentinel over the river and camp. After a delicious breakfast, you outfit your kayak and put-in at our beach for your first taste of the big water of the Futaleufu, the “Terminator” section. You will have the opportunity to warm up on numerous Class III rapids, and then have the option of walking, sneaking (IV+), or running the huge and impressive Class V “Terminator” rapid.

From the Terminator, we will continue downstream on the Futaleufu to the Class IV “Kyber Pass”, and on to some giant wave action in the Class IV “Himalayas”. Here you will surf some of the biggest standing waves in the hemisphere! We will return to camp to relax in the hot sauna or on the naturally formed white sand beach.

Day 10: El Corazón - Heart of the Futaleufu

This day is filled with the big exploding waves for which the Futaleufu is world famous. We put-in at the “Zapata’s” swinging bridge and run the “Corazón” – the Heart of the Futaleufu - previously named "The Continuous Section". Here you will find plenty of Class IV big water action, including “Entrada”, “Pillow”, and “Mundaca”, one of the largest breaking wave holes in the world. This nonstop Class IV section will keep your adrenaline pumping and the evening air filled with good cheer.

Day 11: El Corazón, Más o Menos & Casa de Piedra

Like the previous day, we put-in at the swinging bridge at “Zapata,” but we will pass the Futaleufu Bridge take out and continue on to the Class IV+ “Más o Menos”, and the technical Class V “Casa de Piedra”. Finally the river eases off for the beautiful and playful Class III “El Macal” section. After a big day on the river you will be ready to slip into the wood-heated sauna and ease your tired muscles. Our camp masseuse will be available for any of your sore muscles and joints.

Day 12: A La Carte Kayaking - Repeat & Play More!

The group takes its pick for the day’s run. Return to “Pillow Rock” and “Terminator Wave” for some surfing and flat spinning? Or go back to the exploding chaos of “Mundaca”? Maybe after so many days of paddling you are ready for a hike up to Tres Monjas, or a horseback ride to the Upper Futaleufu? How about a day lounging on the beach, or reading a book? This day is yours to enjoy!

Day 13: Kayak the Río Azul

Today, if water levels permit, we take a break from the big water of the Futaleufu and explore a spectacular side canyon. We drive to the footbridge put-in on the Río Azul—a tight, crystal clear creek that runs through a lush micro canyon. Here you get a chance to relax and paddle the technical drops, surf and cartwheel at some excellent play spots, and enjoy the scenery. We take-out at the Tres Monjas Camp, where the Río Azul meets the Río Futaleufu.

Day 14: Upper Futaleufu & Infierno Canyon

For an exciting finale, we head to the remote and spectacular upper section of the Futaleufu. Those paddlers who are ready for the committing Class V Infierno Gorge will put-in above the mini-gorge just outside of the town of Futaleufu, or on the Río Espolón. Others will take a spectacular shuttle drive and enter the river below the Gorge. This visually spectacular section of river includes the Class V rapids “Zeta” and “Throne Room”, which will test even the strongest of kayakers.

Or, take the well-worn footpaths around the two rapids, and head into the “Wild Ride Home”: four miles of continuous whitewater action, which takes us right back to our tents and dry clothes at camp. After a full day on the river, you can begin to pack up, and enjoy a farewell barbeque and fiesta arranged by our chef, specialized in international cuisine.

Day 15: Departure

Wake up for an early breakfast and drive back to Chaitén, 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.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Included: All meals, lodging, transportation, guides and kayaks while paddling with us. One way transportation between Futaleufu and Puerto Montt or Esquel.

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