The fly fishing ranch is surrounded by nature, with hundreds of acres bordering the Río Futaleufu, Río Azul and Las Cruces. The Condor Nest is accessible by water, foot, horse or helicopter. You will travel by horseback and raft into some of the remotest regions of the Futaleufu River valley.
Day 1: Arrival & Introductions
Arrive in Santiago International Airport, clear customs, and transfer to a connecting flight to Puerto Montt Chile. In Puerto Montt, you will board a 40-minute charter flight to Chaitén, a flight back in time. We will meet you at the airport where we start our drive across the Andes.
On the journey you will see: volcanoes, temperate rain forests, fjord-like lakes, granite canyons, hanging glaciers and the turquoise rapids of the Futaleufu river. We arrive to our native wood lodge in Futaleufu, surrounded by majestic mountains, which will serve as our base-camp to raft the Futaleufu river. You'll unwind from your trip with a hearty welcome-dinner, an open fireplace and a cozy room.
Day 2: Upper Futaleufu - Floating & Wading
After breakfast we leave to fish the upper section of the Futaleufú river. We put in near the border with Argentina a fifteen minute drive from our village lodge. We drift down over the numerous gravel bars that characterize this stretch of the Futaleufu and fly fish the river's many eddies with weighted streamers. There will also be opportunities to fly fish with dry flies and use sight fishing techniques. We'll have a riverside lunch and continue fishing until we float back to the village. We'll take out just about the famous class V Infiernio canyon and head back to the lodge for a hearty dinner.
Day 3: Lago & Rio Espolon - Sea Kayaking & Wading
After an early morning breakfast we will head out to Lago Espolon and embark on sea kayaks to fly fish some remote but very productive coves and lagoons. There will be opportunities to wade and fish directly off of our two person sea kayaks. Our two person kayaks are comfortable and stable. Fly fishing from a a sea kayak is becoming popular in the Pacific Northwest. You will quickly get the hang of casting while closer to the water level.
We will also go over the technique of landing fish while in a sea kayak. You and your guide have control of the placement of the craft, the rudder is controlled by the person in the stern. On this day you will enjoy the exercise, the view, and thegreat fishing. During the afternoon, as the wind picks up on the lake we will head down the Rio Espolon which is more protected. We will float back to the lodge and do more wading and fly fishing on the way. The take out is a short walk from our lodge where a hot meal awaits.
Day 4: Futaleufu Class V Whitewater Section - Rafting & Horseback
As we prepare for our fishing day, we pack to move to our CondorNest Ranch at the confluence of the Futaleufu and the Azul rivers. On horse we descend to the Escalas valley right below the class V Infierno Canyon. We get on our raft and start our float fishing trip through rarely fished waters. As we approach the Class V Zeta, we walk around as we see our guides take the raft through the rapid. We fish on the stretch of rarely fished waters until the next Class V rapid, the Throne Room.
We portage again and let the guides negotiate the Class V whitewater. One hour on horseback will take us to our ranch where you will find luggage, comfortable beds, a cocktail on the terrace and a delicious dinner as you enjoy the sunset over the mountains. The more adventurous in the group have the option of whitewater rafting the "wild mile" section of the Futaleufu to the CondorNest fly fishing ranch.
Day 5: Futaleufu Class IV / V Whitewater Section - Rafting & Horseback
As we wake up to the beauty of the Futaleufu Valley, we will take a raft into the rarely fished terminator section. He we will spend the day floating and wading in one of the most inaccessible sections of the Futaleufu river. There will be a mandatory portage around the class V Terminator rapid and a few other optional class IV rapids that the group can either portage or run. The fishing here will be with streamers from gravel bars with opportunities for dry fly fishing in slacker areas. We take horses back to the CondorNest Ranch for dinner.
Day 6: Rio Azul Valley - Horseback & Rafting
We will go by horseback to the upper Rio Azul. This river is glacial fed and colder than the Futaleufu. Initially we will wade for brook, rainbows and browns. Then we will float the river with more opportunities for wading until we reach the confluence of the Rio Azul and Futaleufu Rivers. We will spend the rest of the day fishing the confluence or move further up the river on the Futaleufu. We'll return to our Tres Monjas eco camp for a where we will be treated to a sauna, hot showers and an appointment with our masseuse. Before dusk we hike back to our CondorNest Ranch for a good dinner.
Day 7: Lower Futaleufu - Floating & Wading
We drive down to the lower Futaleufu to the base of the thundering whitewater section. From there we will drift through a canyon of steep granite walls, the banks of which are covered with a dense bamboo forest. Numerous high waterfalls will accent this Yosemite like landscape. On this stretch we will fish with streamers and look for fish under the thick vegetation that populates the banks of the Lower Futaleufu. We'll have lunch streamside and continue fishing. Later in the day we will take advantage of the evening hatches with dry flies, then journey back to the lodge in town for a farewell dinner.
Day 8: 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 Outdoor: Water Drifter Fishing