The actual program for your individual trip will vary according to the desires and skill level of your group, weather, or other factors.
Day 1, Saturday - Arrival & Introductions in Puerto Montt
Arrive in Puerto Montt, Chile on the early afternoon flight where you are welcomed by the Expediciones Chile staff. It will be a four-hour drive to the small village of Panguipulli, known as The Village of Roses, on the shores of Lago Panguipulli. Our hotel this night is a quaint lodge located lakeside providing awe-inspiring vistas.
Day 2, Sunday - Rio San Pedro
We drive outside town and put in at the Rio San Pedro. This clear and warm river is our introduction to big white water. After getting our first taste of rafting in Chile we drive two hours on a winding gravel road to the remote lakeside town of Choshuenco. The village takes its name from the volcanic snow capped peak overlooking Lago Panguipulli. Our comfy cabanas and inn is situated on the sandy beach of this sparkling warm lake. We have dinner on the porch overlooking the beach.
Day 3, Monday - Rio Fuy
Our put in is at the bridge on the lower Fuy. This class 4 section starts off with instant whitewater frenzy. The most difficult rapid is with-in 500 yards, a 8-foot ledge ramp followed immediately by more class 4 action! As we approach Lago Panguipulli, the pace eases up and you find yourself in a scenic river valley surrounded by volcanic peaks. Rafting in Patagonia doesn't get better than this. The river swirls into Lago Panguipulli from where it is only a short paddle across the warm lake back to our black sandy beach and our lodge and cabins.
Day 4, Tuesday - Trekking the Volcano
After a hearty Chilean breakfast we are bound for the complete ascent of the snowcapped Volcano Choshuenco The view is stunning, overlooking the valley, lakes and rivers below. Departing at 8:00 am you will be back on your lakeside lodge by 4:00 pm.
Day 5, Wednesday - Trekking & Hot Springs
After a relaxing Chilean breakfast we go for a easy hike to walk the soreness out of our legs and visit a local hot springs. An alternative is a day at the beach and paddling around on Sit on top kayaks on the lake.
Day 6, Thursday - Crossing the Andes
We pack up the safari mobile and trailer as we depart early to a remote ferry crossing of Lake Pirehueico high in the Andes. After getting our passports stamped we drive down off the mountain into San Martin de Los Andes an Andean resort town. Here we eat lunch and take a turn on to a rarely traveled gravel road through a desert in the rain shadow of the Andes. The bizarre eroded formations will make you get your camera out. Departing the desert we arrive on the shores of Lago Nahuel Haupi home of the sparkling city on the lake, San Carlos de Bariloche. We check into our Hotel in the city center and eat at one of the best restaurants in town. This night experience the Argentinean night life.
Day 7, Friday - Argentina Rafting: Rio Manso & National Park Nahuel Haupi
After breakfast we drive south to the Rio Manso in National Park Nahuel Haupi. This class 3/4 gorge has engaging whitewater action making for an excellent day of Patagonia rafting. We traverse the national park where we will see ancient Alerce trees. We take out on the border of Argentina and Chile. Here we have an early dinner at a real working ranch. We load up our safari mobile and drive deeper in to Patagonia to the artist community of El Bolson. Here we can visit the world famous arts and craft fair for which Bolson is famous. We lodge here and eat dinner in town.
Day 8, Saturday - Patagonia and National Park Los Alerces
After breakfast we drive south towards Parque Nacional Los Alerces. It is this area (Cholila) that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid hung out in when they were on the lam. Parque Alerce is in a snow capped mountain range with a series of pristine lakes interconnected with rivers. It is known for its ancient Alerce reserve. We take a short hike and continue onward towards the Futaleufu River Valley arriving at our Adventure lodge shortly before dinner.
Day 9, Sunday - Sit-on-Top Kayaking & Mountain Biking
We'll have a great start to this Futaleufu rafting week with a beautiful moderate mountain bike ride alongside the pristine waters of the upper Río Espolon. Then over the river on a footbridge and up to Devil's Throat, a breathtaking and still un-run Class VI cascade at the watershed of the Espolon River. Below the falls, we'll enjoy lunch and then trade our mountain bikes for sit-on-top kayaks and paddling gear. In double or single crafts, we will tour the Espolon and enjoy its transparent waters, ideal swimming areas, and easy rapids - the perfect introductory run. The trip is one big loop that brings us to our take-out, minutes from the lodge, where pisco sours and dinner await us.
Day 10, Monday - Trekking & Rafting El Corazón of the Rio Futaleufu
In the morning we will raft Chile's most action packed section of whitewater - a virtual whitewater power storm! This section, from the Zapata swinging bridge to the Puente Futaleufu, 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. Futaleufu river rafting at its best. In a calmer section below the rapids, we will do some swim training in preparation for the more intense rapids of the coming days. Spend the afternoon soaking up the chilean culture in this secluded alpine village or participate in one of the numerous multisport activities from our lodge.
Day 11, Tuesday - Chile Rafting - El Corazón to El Macal
This morning we head back to the river. This rafting run begins with a repeat of the adrenaline charged "Corazón" section. At the end of the "Corazón" 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 find "Más o Menos" (Class IV+) and our first optional and authentic Class V rapid of this raft trip, "Casa de Piedra".
Day 12, Wednesday - Raft Chile's Infierno Canyon
This is the most demanding, committing, and dangerous section of the Futaleufu. To raft this section safely, the river levels must be right, you must have previously rafted the "Corazón" section with us and met all of our safety requirements. We put in at the bridge on the Río Espolon and soon arrive at the confluence with the Río Futaleufu. At the "Gates of Infierno", we enter the "Infierno Canyon" with several serious and continuous Class V drops. After an exciting morning of rafting in the canyon, the river widens with spectacular views of the Las Escalas Valley.
After a section of gentle water, the river returns to its wild side and we encounter "Zeta" and "Throne Room", two of the most ferocious rapids on the Futa. We will portage both. After the portages, we get into the action section called "The Wild Mile Home", which contains continuous Class III and IV rapids. We arrive at the Río Azul under the sentinel of the Tres Monjas peak. This is the take out for the "Inferno Canyon" section. 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 13, Thursday - Rafting the Terminator & Trekking
More of this fantastic white water. You must have previously rafted the "Corazón" section with us and met all of our safety requirements. After a morning trek, we put in at the confluence of the Futaleufu and the Río Azul, and enjoy a warm up on a spectacular stretch of river that winds around the Tres Monjas peaks.
Then, the river takes on an extremely powerful nature, with the longest and greatest rapid on the Futaleufu, the "Terminator" (Class V). 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. 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 14, Friday - A La Carte Multisport Day
Today you have the option of horseback riding or canyoneering. These 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.
Day 15, Saturday - 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 whitewater gear while rafting in Patagonia with us, round trip transportation between Futaleufu and Puerto Montt or Esquel.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Chile Argentina Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting