Five Star Futaleufu – Patagonia Multi-Sport

Patagonia …. The Futaleufu River flows to the Pacific through an extremely remote valley in Chile.  The “Fu” is a spectacular waterway and home to our regular Chilean-based multisport adventure we operate with our friends at Futa Camp.  New for 2018, and if camping is not for you, ROAM is offering a unique blend of 5 star boutique lodging combined with hiking, kayaking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, yoga and river rafting on both the Argentine and Chilean sides of Patagonia.  Half of the trip is based in the decadent setting of Peuma Hue Lodge just outside of scenic Bariloche.  The second half includes horseback riding, fishing and two days of world-class river rafting in the Futaleufu river valley all based out of the new boutique lodges that have sprung up the valley.

The journey to the Futaleufu is also an integral part of any Patagonian adventure.  The river starts in Argentina so we suggest you should as well. Flying into Buenos Aires and then making your way to Bariloche gives you a real sense of the land, people and remoteness of wild Patagonia. Both of these cities beckon some pre and post trip exploration if you have the time.

Evenings allow us to indulge in chef-prepared meals, relaxing spa facilities and enjoying the eclectic cellars of the respective facilities.  The main reason you visit this part of Chile is for the scenery, mountains and the breathtaking waterway, however it is the friendly staff, warm hospitality and outstanding lodgings and service that will keep bringing you back.

Trip Length 9 Days
Dates
Dates Register
Price $3800 USD
Deposit $1000
Meeting Place Bariloche, Argentina
Gateway City Buenos Aires, Argentina
River Rating Class IV+
Age Range 16 and up
Itinerary at a Glance
  • Fly into Buenos Aires (ask us about the optional extension) and transfer to domestic flights to Bariloche
  • A ROAM representative will transfer you to Peuma Hue over looking Lago Guitierrez in Nahuel Huapi national park
  • see kayak, horeseback ride, hike, kayak and fish
  • Dinner at a local Paraillia and go over trip details for early morning departure to Chilean border
  • Visit the market in El Bolson, lunch is Esquel and late afternoon arrival to our boutique Chilean hotel nestled in the Futaleufu Valley
  • Check into our deluxe lodging  and join the group for welcome cocktails, hot tub and/or sauna
  • River raft from “Bridge to Casa” on the Futaleufu and return for afternoon cocktails and riveside views at dinner
  • Inflatable kayak (duckie) the Azul River, mountain bike country roads and single track
  • Horseback riding up the Azul Valley, learn to fly fish or spin cast for trout
  • depart for Esquel or Bariloche and return flights to Buenos Aires
Detailed Itinerary

Sample Itinerary

We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips in the area, and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like:

Day 1

Arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina for your flight connection to San Carlos de Bariloche.  A ROAM representative will meet you at the Bariloche airport and escort you to the “Switzerland of the South” and check you in at Peuma Hue.  Tonight we will gather for a group welcome dinner and go over the events which lie ahead.

Overnight Puema Hue

Day 2 and 3

The activity choices are virtually endless.  Hike to the Frey Hut high up in the Andean alpine, horseback riding, kayaking, visiting a chocolate museum, shopping,

Day 4 

After breakfast we will board our private vehicles and begin the drive south to the Futaleufu as it flows into Chile. This is a beautiful drive down the east side of the Andes and is nothing short of breathtaking. We will drive through the frontier gaucho towns of Esquel and Trevelin that were settled a century ago by Welsh farmers (this region of Patagonia was made famous by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). The terrain alternates between lush forest and emerald green valleys, aquamarine lakes, and the windswept plains of the Patagonian steppe. In the afternoon we will reach the remote, rugged outpost that serves as the border between Argentina and Chile where you will get another stamp in your passport as we enter Chile. The dry, rugged scenery of the Andean rain shadow quickly gives way to lush, green temperate rainforest as we get our first glimpse of the Futaleufu River and then follow it downstream to hotel. A short hike or a swim may be in order or you may want to soak in the hot tub before we rendezvous for appy’s and an exquisite meal overlooking the river.

 

Fu valley

Day 5

After breakfast, we will launch our rafts from Futa Camp and challenge the Bridge-to-Bridge rapids.  For those seeking some class V excitement, there will be an option to run two back-two back drops, “Mas o Menos” and the technical “Casa de Piedra”.  After this rapid, we will run the remaining class 3 and 4 rapids as our hearts resume beating at their normal rates.  We will drift into a nice long calm section that offers perfect fishing from the rafts as well as a great place to get into some hard shell kayaks.  The next three miles we will have a beachside lunch, floating happy hour and reach our take out spot just above Lago Yelcho. Upon return to the hotel we will continue to celebrate the day, enjoy the spa and get ready for another fabulous dinner prepared by our chef.

Day 6

Today we become experts at navigating our very own river crafts, known inflatable kayaks (duckies or IK’s). We venture up canyon to the source of the Rio Azul as it cascades out of the Azul valley. The gentle Class II and III rapids that offer a perfect learning opportunity to become a great captain of your own boat. There is something deeply satisfying paddling your own boat down river, knowing that your destiny is in your own hands. Of course our highly trained guides will be there to coach you, watch over you and provide safety should you need to be rescued.

Day 7

After breakfast we take a short drive to the stables where we will find our trusty steeds saddled up and ready for riding.  After a safety briefing, we ride alongside some local expert equestrians and our own ROAM guides who will gladly join the posse up a glorious, pristine side valley where the Rio Azul flows unhindered from its glacial headwaters.  After a 1.5 hour ride, we stop for a picnic lunch and then trade in our saddles for a great hike up to a waterfall. For those not wishing to horseback ride, we have both mountain biking and hiking options available. In any scenario, you will be glad to return to camp, enjoy the soothing hot tub, a cold beer or glass of wine as you wait your turn to get a well deserved massage.

Day 8

Today is “summit day” as we’ll raft from the Rio Azul through the Terminator, Kyburz, and Himalayas rapids, have lunch at Futa Camp, then continue all the way to below Casa De Piedra.  The views of the snow-capped mountain peaks and jagged ridges of the mountain “Las Tres Monjas” (translated, “the three Nuns”) are absolutely breathtaking.  A six-kilometer stretch of warm-up rapids leads us to the longest and toughest rapid that we will raft, “The Terminator.”  This rapid is optional as we will take time to scout and study our line.  The next three miles are non-stop rapids.  After an aerobic workout, we pump through the enormous haystack wave train known as the “Himalayas”.  Just when we need it, calm returns and we float gently into our lunch spot.

After lunch, we return to the river to tackle the “Kamakaze Run” and challenge as much white water as possible. We raft the whole section of river from camp to below Casa de Piedra.  At take-out, cold beers and hot tea are waiting.  We make a triumphant return to the hotel to celebrate our days spent exploring Futaleufu valley and river.  Tonight we toast the river and give thanks for our safe passage.  Under a bright starry sky, we will spend our last night together as a group on the banks of the mighty Fu with the guides and crew.

Day 9

Drive to Esquel or Bariloche to catch your flight to Buenos Aires.   There are alternative exit strategies that involve flying out of Santiago via Chaiten.  Check with our office for details and possible extensions.

 

Accommodations

Estancia Peuma Hue is an enchanting hotel and Eco-lodge nestled within the grounds of the first and largest national park in Argentina, Nahuel Huapi National Park, in the Northern Patagonia Lake District.

Peuma Hue’s 500 acres of wilderness are located at the southern end of Lake Gutiérrez, only 25 minutes south from the town of Bariloche, 35 minutes from Mt Catedral and 45 minutes from its international airport. Bariloche is the gateway to the northern Patagonian Andes and an internationally renowned mountain resort, famous for its wonderful skiing in winter and its unique beauty in spring, summer and fall.

Estancia Peuma Hue is easily accessible, but still maintains a peacefulness and majestic nature found in few other locations. Our Estancia and boutique hotel provides a gorgeous setting to explore this slice of heaven on earth.

About the Region

The Patagonian Andes are one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Western Hemisphere, augmented by fascinating archaeological sites. Numerous large lakes fed by glacial run-off reflect the majesty of the snow-capped peaks. The mountainsides are covered by primeval forests of sub-Antarctic southern beech forests, many of which change colours spectacularly in autumn. A chain of Argentine National Parks protects this natural beauty, having been classified by UNESCO as a World Reserve for the Biosphere in 2007 for its uniqueness and endemism. Lanín National Park to the north and Los Alerces National Park to the south are easily visited from Peuma Hue.

Bariloche is the most important tourist village in Patagonia and represents the second main hub for the air transportation system of Argentina, only after Buenos Aires, also with international connections.

Further south in Southern Patagonia is Los Glaciares National Park, rising steeply above the steppe. The Andes have sharp, un-eroded mountains due to the very recent receding of glaciers. They are still covered by the world’s most extensive area of glaciers outside the polar regions. The Patagonian Ice Field is the third largest ice-covered area in the world. Huge glaciers spill off into enormous turquoise lakes. Of the 350 glaciers sliding down from the Ice Field, the Perito Moreno Glacier is the most famous.

Continuing past the ice fields of Los Glaciares National Park is Tierra del Fuego, literally the end of the line. Tierra del Fuego contains the southernmost cities in the world, and is comprised of a sweeping archipelago divided between Argentina and Chile. Home to stunning landscapes only found at the end of the world. Colonies of Penguins, 20 different species of mammals, 90 plus species of birds, and diverse marine life make this a nature lovers’ paradise!

Spanning southern Argentina and Chile, and reaching from the Pacific to Atlantic coasts and down to the Straights of Magellan, Patagonia is a huge swath of mostly untouched land, ripe for exploration. To the north, the fertile Alto Valle of the Río Negro River offers wineries, orchards, farms and paleontologic sites. With world renowned sites such as the Lake District from Bariloche; Torres del Paine in Chile; Mt Fitz Roy from Chaltén and Perito Moreno Glacier in Santa Cruz province and Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia is the ultimate destination for lovers of adventure and nature alike!

Chile’s long and narrow territory, located on the western side of the southern tip of South America, stretches for 4200 km from north to south between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Chile has an area of 756,096 km on the South American continent and 1,250,000 km in Antarctica. Easter Island, Juan Fernandez Island (of Robinson Crusoe fame), and numerous other islands are also part of the National territory.

The current population is just over 15 million, with more than a third concentrated around the capital Santiago. Chile has a highly varied geography as well as numerous climates. In the far north, between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific coast, lies the Atacama Desert, the most arid desert in the world. This area is characterized by its mineral wealth, fishing, and industry, all of which have given rise to its main cities and ports. Its cities and warm-water beaches, the high valleys and towns of the Andes, and old nitrate offices lend this region its greatest tourist attractions. From the city of La Serena south, the countryside begins to get greener due to the sporadic rains that fall over the small transversal valleys that run from east to west between mountain ranges that reach from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean. The beautiful city of La Serena, with its beaches, resorts and other sites of interest, attracts thousands of tourists every year, and has become an important tourist center.

The central valley is born slightly north of Santiago, Chile’s capital, and extends south between the Andes Mountains and the Coastal Mountain Range for approximately 1,000 km to the city of Puerto Montt. Most of the country’s population and economic activity is concentrated in this long valley. Tourism is of great importance throughout the central valley, and is centered on its beautiful beaches, lakes and volcanoes, rivers with outstanding fishing, and lovely cities where visitors receive a warm welcome and excellent service. Chile’s geography changes markedly to the south of Puerto Montt, where the continent breaks up into countless islands, channels, rivers, and glaciers, all amidst exuberant native vegetation that reaches to the very ocean shore, offering ideal surroundings for adventure tourism or for simply enjoying an intimate contact with nature. This is the area where we find the Futaleufu.

Finally at the southernmost tip of continental Chile, and reaching across all of Tierra del Fuego, lies the Patagonian Pampa. The city of Punta Arenas, with its old mansions and unique attractiveness, is the natural point of departure for places of particular interest and beauty such as Torres del Paine, Fuerte Bulnes, and the Antarctic continent.

The Fu

The Futaleufu River is what draws most people to this part of Chile. This famous river is one of the most sought after whitewater destinations in the world. From December to March the Futaleufu offers adventurers a one-of-a-kind rafting and multisport experience. Continuous, big hydraulic flows offer all levels of rafters and kayakers rapids rated Class III to Class V+.  The section of the Fu we raft is less than 40 miles long but when combined with the Rio Azul and all of the other incredible adventures, you’ll be amazed that we can fit it all into one action-packed week.

Fly Fishing

Situated at the end of a long, narrow, tranquil canyon, our base camp hosts some of the best fishing opportunities imaginable. We have all the gear necessary for both fly and spin fishing and our specially designed catarafts, with tractor seats on the front, are perfect for casting. From our camp you can launch a cataraft, with an expert oarsman, just steps from your tent and fish one of the most beautiful canyons of the river. We can get to sections of river that the fishing lodges can’t reach because you have to run big whitewater to reach them.

Mountain Biking

We have a fleet of well-tuned mountain bikes at the camp. Ride from camp, in any direction, or from the take-out for some of the best vistas and riding found anywhere. We can also ride a fun loop of oxen cart roads and single track with amazing views of the Azul Valley and the Tres Monjas peaks.

Horseback Riding

Our Chilean neighbors “up the river” have a full stable of well-cared for and well-trained horses available for our use. One day of our itinerary includes a beautiful ride into the Patagonian countryside and up into the incredible Rio Azul valley. Additional riding can be arranged at any time. You can ride for an hour or spend the entire day on one of the many scenic trails touring the Chilean countryside with your guide. We have plenty of sheepskin-covered saddles and helmets for your comfort and safety.

Meals

Meal times are always festive occasions and tasty wine flows freely as we gather around and laugh abou tthe day’s adventures.  The gourmet menus were designed to incorporate a range of Latin American flavors including the Peruvian specialty Aji de Gallina, fajitas, a traditional Argentinian parillada, fresh salads, and homemade desserts every night. You will also experience a traditional asado, or lamb roast, prepared by a local farmer over an open fire. We are happy to accommodate any dietary requirements. Vegetarians will love the abundance of fresh vegetables harvested daily from the garden.

Kayaking Program

The Futaleufu River is ideal for beginners, intermediates, or advanced kayakers and we can tailor a whitewater kayaking trip to meet your needs. Our international kayaking staff are happy to coach you along and help improve your playboating moves or just show you the best lines. Leave shuttle worries to us and forget about the hassle of flying with your boat. We have a huge selection of kayaks to choose from, from the latest play boats to classic big water river runners.

Trip Planner

Planning Your Trip

We have prepared this trip planner to help you get ready for the adventures ahead in this truly unspoiled part of the world. We have tried to anticipate questions you might have concerning travel arrangements, what to bring, and getting in shape. We are also providing some basic information about these diverse regions. If any of your questions remain unanswered, please don’t hesitate to call. We strive to fully prepare you for what to expect on your trip so you can spend your vacation hiking, exploring, indulging and relaxing rather than wondering whether or not you brought the right pair of shoes.

Getting in Shape

Our trips are designed for people who enjoy the out-of-doors, rather than for fitness fanatics. Still, they are active holidays. Age is unimportant when it comes to your ability to do the rafting, walking, and/or hiking-the more important consideration is your physical condition. If you haven’t attempted the kind of exercise levels required by our trips within the last couple of years, please be aware of the sort of trip you’re taking. It’s an active one, and you’ll enjoy it more if you’ve been doing some exercise before you go. No previous river experience is required.

Your guides will give you an orientation to expedition practices and teach you all the basic skills that you’ll require to enjoy the different aspects of the trip. Our prime consideration is to provide you with a trip that is as safe and comfortable as possible while still maintaining the integrity of a wilderness experience. Activities that involve aerobic conditioning, such as swimming, walking, jogging, squash, and tennis are great for overall physical conditioning. Keep in mind the relative topography of where you live compared to the region you will be visiting. If you live in flat country, for example, consider supplementing your training with artificial hill training on a treadmill or stair-master.

A Thumbnail Training Program

  • Two-three months before the trip starts: try to do exercises that involve aerobic conditioning three times each week-swimming, walking, jogging, squash, cross-country skiing, tennis, biking.
  • One month before the trip: go for a couple of longer walks each week.
  • The week before your trip: try to go for three long walks.
  • Be sure to stretch after exercising-it reduces the chances of injury, muscle pain, stiffness, and fatigue.

Expedition Equipment

On the Futaleufu, we utilize state-of-the-art self-bailing rafts. The rafts have been designed with rear-mount oar rigs and allow participants the option of paddling or just soaking up the views. Wetsuits and paddling jackets are provided along with PFD and helmets (for both rafting and biking). To ensure your comfort while in camp, our trips utilize spacious safari style tents with comfortable beds and shower houses with flush toilets.

Fishing

For the fly fisherman, the Futaleufu is one of Chile’s best-kept secrets. You can fish pristine clear waters for massive rainbow trout. Rods are provided but if you plan on fishing a lot, you may want to bring your favorite 5- to 6-weight rod with case. An assortment of appropriate dry and wet flies are available at the base-camp.

The Weather

The Futaleufu Valley is a mountain environment so variable weather is to be expected. Daytime highs can reach 85 degrees F but the temperatures will drop quite a bit during the evenings. While we don’t expect rain, it is always a possibility so be sure to follow our recommended equipment list, as our experience suggests a multi-layering approach with a range of temperatures and conditions in mind.

What to Take

While we encourage you to travel light, you’ll also want to be sure you pack all the essentials and prepared for both land and water environs. The personal equipment list will address what you will need to wear in conjunction with our gear. At the same time, weight and volume restrictions come into play so please follow our recommendations closely.

Equipment Notes

The personal equipment list we provide you with has been developed through years of practical experience. It is important that the clothing you bring will withstand the rigors of the trip. Your personal equipment should not weigh more than 40 pounds and all clothing should be quick drying and be made of synthetics or wool. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives with this outline. Weather conditions can vary considerably so it’s important to dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature no matter what Mother Nature may have in store. The inner layer should move perspiration outside, where it can evaporate. The intermediate layer should insulate while the outside layer should act as a barrier to wind and rain.

Personal Equipment List

Footwear
* 1 pair of hiking boots with appropriate number of socks
* Casual shoes for town and lodges
* 1 pair river sandals (Tevas) with neoprene socks and/or wetsuit boots
* 5-7 pairs warm wool socks

Upper Body
* 2 T-shirts
* 1-2 collared shirts for lodge nights
* 2 long underwear tops (synthetic or wool)
* 1 pile or fleece jacket (100-200 weight)
* 1 high quality waterproof rain jacket

Lower Body
* 1-2 pairs long underwear bottoms (synthetic or wool)
* 2 pairs of light shorts (quick-drying)
* 1-2 pairs of quick-dry pants
* casual slacks for lodge nights
* 1 pair high quality waterproof rain pants
* Undergarments (ideally 1-2 of them synthetic)
* 1 swimsuit

Head & Hands
* 1 sun hat or visor
* Fleece hat (for early or late departures)
* 1 pair lightweight fleece gloves

Some Extras
* Binoculars: Many people like to have a pair for those great vistas or for bird or animal watching.
* Compass: A fun thing to have for the avid map-reader. We carry a full set of topographical maps on the trip.

Additional Gear

* 1 day pack (20-35 litres)
* 2 1-litre water bottles (or camelback) with securing strap
* Toiletry kit (personal medications)
* Sunscreen, lip salve, insect repellent
* Sunglasses with safety strap and extra prescription glasses (if necessary)
* Small flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
* Notebook, journal, reading material
* Camera (don’t forget to bring lots of film/memory and store gear properly)

Please pack your gear into soft duffle bags (NO SUITCASES). The gear you’re should weigh less than 40 pounds in total. The airline may charge you for excess baggage or even, in rare circumstances, refuse your bags.

Getting Insured -Trip Cancellation Insurance

R.O.A.M. strongly recommends that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. You risk forfeiture of all monies paid, if you cancel your trip. You have the option of purchasing an insurance policy that meets the specific needs of our travellers. http://www.travelinsure.com/what/imedhigh.htm?32931.

Please make sure you understand what the insurance will and will not cover. Please consult the policy for exact coverage, details of other risks insured, and for other benefits and limitations of the insurance.

Making Your Travel Plans

The following may help you get to the start of your R.O.A.M. trip with a few pleasant adventures along the way. Your trip starts and ends in Bariloche, Argentina.

Flight Arrangements

Since most international flights arrive in Buenos Aires, this will most likely be your point of arrival, unless you have pre-trip plans elsewhere in Argentina. Your flight reservations should be made as far ahead of time as possible. As with all popular destinations, space on flights can be limited at peak times, and fares tend to increase as you near the departure date. If you are planning to use a frequent flyer program or other discounted fare, please take extra precautions to make your plans in advance, as airlines allocate a limited number of seats for this type of travel, and may impose restrictions or extra costs on changing travel arrangements.

There are three airports in Buenos Aires. They are the J. Newbery Aeropark Airport, the Comandante Espora Aerostation Airport and the Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini International Airport. Ezeiza International Airport is located at a distance of 34 kilometers from the city. Be sure to give yourself 3 hours for a “legal connection” to Bariloche or other domestic destinations as it may take up to 1 hour to taxi between airports.

Buenos Aires

One of the most spectacular cities in South America, and you should plan to spend some time here, either before or after your trip. There are many ways to get downtown from the airport. The easiest way is by taxi, which takes about 30 minutes and costs between $50-70 depending on traffic. There is also a regularly scheduled airport shuttle that goes to all major hotels and costs less. It is less expensive to arrange pick up through the hotel you are staying with.

Recommended Hotels in Buenos Aires

* Tipping is common in Argentina. Of course, there are some exceptions, which we have noted.
* Taxis – 5% is appropriate for good service and 10% is generous.
* Porters – $2 per bag.
* Restaurants – It is appropriate to leave 15% before tax.

The following hotels have been selected based upon research, guest feedback and represent the best value. Prices do not include 21% tax.

Art Hotel
(in the Barrio Norte/Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires)
Street Address: Azcuenaga 1268, (between Beruti and Arenales)
Barrio Norte/Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (54-11) 48-21-47-44
Website: http://www.arthotel.com.ar

Hotel La Cayetana
(in the Montserrat neighborhood of Buenos Aires)
Street Address: Mexico 1330, Montserrat, Capital Federal, Argentina
Telephone: (54-11) 43-83-22-30
E-mail: info@lacayetanahotel.com.ar
Website: http://www.lacayetanahotel.com.ar

Moreno Hotel
(in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires)
Street Address: Moreno 376, San Telmo, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (54-11) 60-91-20-00
E-mail: info@morenobuenosaires.com
Website: http://www.morenobuenosaires.com

Krista Hotel Boutique
(in the Palermo Hollywood neighborhood of Buenos Aires)
Street Address: Bonpland 1665, Capital Federal, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (54-11) 47-71-46-97
E-mail: info@kristahotel.com.ar
Website: http://www.kristahotel.com.ar

Hotel 562 Nogaro
(in the Capital Federal neighborhood of Buenos Aires near Plaza de Mayo)
Street Address: Avenida Julio A. Roca 562, Capital Federal, Buenos Aires
Website: http://www.epoquehotels.com/h.php/buenos-aires-hotels/boutique-hotel/h/nogaro/l/en/

Melia Recoleta Plaza Boutique Hotel
(in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires)
Street Address: Posadas 1557, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (54-11) 53-53-40-00
E-mail: melia.recoleta.plaza@solmelia.com
Website:http://www.solmelia.com/solNew/hoteles/jsp/C_Hotel_Description.jsp?codigoHotel=5951

Rendezvous

Your trip starts in Bariloche, Argentina at the Villa Huinid. Any taxi can take you from the airport to the hotel. A reservation will be there in your name and we will meet in the lobby at 7pm and go for the first of many outstanding meals.

Villa Huinid
Av. Bustillo 2,6 – CP (R8402AAY) Bariloche – Patagonia – Argentina
Phone (+54 2944) 523523 Fax (+54 2944) 441776
http://www.vhhotel.com.ar/ubicacion_i.php

Additional room nights can be booked by contacting the ROAM office at 888 639 1114 or email

After Your Trip

After your trip, you will be dropped off in Bariloche. Weather permitting, you should arrive in time to make connecting flights that depart late afternoon/evening. However, we highly recommend you overnight in Bariloche and fly back to Buenos Aires the following day.

Currency

The monetary unit is the Argentine Peso which is approximately 3.5 to 1 US dollar. Credit cards are not as widely accepted as they are in North America (especially AMEX). Traveller’s checks, where accepted, are exchanged at rates that thieves envy. Cash is king – so use a money belt. When converting American to pesos, you’ll get the most favourable rates at banks. Most banks are open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday to Friday. ATMs are everywhere but often only allow $300 AR Pesos per day.

Carrying Valuables

Argentina is very safe for travelling, but still there is no point in carrying lots of valuables when travelling. Regrettably, tourists are among the most easily targeted, so please exercise some caution. We also recommend that you check your personal insurance policy before travelling to ensure that you are covered for theft and loss while travelling. As a safety precaution, do not travel with excessive amounts of cash or jewelry if it is not necessary.

Language

Argentina and Chile are officially Spanish speaking. A bilingual ROAM guide will be with the group from start to finish – unless you are traveling with Brian (he generally butchers the Spanish language but will keep you safe and well liquored).

Travel Documents

Please make sure your travel documents and passport are in your carry-on luggage. Do not check them with your bags. Americans and Canadians do not require a visa to enter Argentina or Chole, however, there is a processing fee required to enter Chile ($131 US for Americans and $125 US for Canadians)

Etiquette

On our trip we’ll be travelling through some environmentally and historically sensitive areas. Our excursions are designed to promote an understanding of the delicate ecosystems while preserving their fundamental integrity. We ask participants to share our concern for the environment by practising low-impact touring in this sensitive area.

R.O.A.M. operates on a “leave-no-trace” policy as we believe the survival of the natural environment and the wildlife it supports depends on establishing an economy beyond simple resource harvesting. Our goal is to immerse our clients in vast natural beauty, which, in turn, supports eco-tourism as a viable, economic choice.

Emergency Phone

Our trip leader carries a cell phone and satellite phone for emergency purposes. Should you need a phone at your disposal, you should make arrangements for your own satellite communication. Because of our remote locale, cellular phones are not always an option.

R.O.A.M. Guides

Our guides are as impressive as the scenery; passionate about their work, they are delighted to pass on their knowledge and skills. They have an intimate knowledge of a region’s wildlife, natural history, culture and folklore. Trained in wilderness first aid and professionally certified to the highest provincial level in British Columbia, our guides are eager to please and will ensure you have a memorable experience.

Tips and Tipping

The tipping of R.O.A.M. guides is entirely discretionary, and we feel strongly that gratuities should not be offered to them if they lead anything less than a great trip. However, we expect that our guides will do a great job in making your trip memorable and, when they do, it is not uncommon for our travellers to offer a gratuity. The guides very much appreciate it. We are often asked what is appropriate. In general, we have found that when our travellers offer a gratuity, it is in the range of a “thank you” to 15% of the trip cost per person. But again, tipping is entirely at your discretion.