Futaleufu Multisport- Chile
We have blended a delightful mix of multi sport activities for you to try and enjoy on this action-packed vacation in southern Chile. Our Futaleufu adventure is based out of our beautiful riverside camp overlooking the turquoise blue waters of the Futaleufu River as it surges beneath Patagonia’s snow capped mountains. Enjoy the best in Chile rafting and multi-sport fun on this signature adventure vacation.
Once you arrive at Futa Camp, you will realize that you have stepped into your dream adventure travel trip. Your comfy “safari-style” tent – nestled into the cliff overlooking the turquoise waters and complete with warm down comforters and mattresses for your lazing pleasure – will become your home-away-from-home for time in Chile. Every morning, after being delivered a hot cup of coffee or tea to tent bungalow door, you will look forward to another day of fun adventures on or around the Futaleufu. Each day involves a new and customized mix of activities guided by some of the most accomplished and talented international outdoor guides. River-based fun include whitewater rafting the famous, incomparable Futaleufu River, inflatable kayaking the aptly named Rio Azul, fly fishing (or spin) for Patagonia rainbow trout, or taking a lesson in whitewater kayaking. Land-based activities include horseback riding and hiking up pristine valleys and mountain biking a mix of ox-trails and single track.
Futaleufu athletic fun is rounded out by the amenities available back at our deluxe Base Camp – relax in two riverside hot tubs, relax with a professional massage, relax with daily yoga classes, enjoy our wood fired sauna, savour the gourmet cuisine prepared by our professional chef, try wine tasting at the sunset bar and salsa dancing under the Southern Cross, or just chill out around the campfire with a cup of tea. Really, what could be better?
Leave the cold, dark North American winter behind and join us for the adventure vacation of a lifetime in the heart of Patagonia at the Futaleufu River in Chile!
|Trip Length||9 Days|
Jan 7-15, Jan 16-24, Feb 3-11,
|Price||$3600 plus air from Puerto Montt to Chaiten ($200). We book this for you.|
|Meeting Place||Puerto Montt|
- Itinerary at a Glance
Arrive in Santiago,Chile. After completing customs, transfer onto a domestic flight to Puerto Montt. Transfer to the scenic town of Puerto Varas on Lago Llanquihue. Overnight in Cabanas Del Lago Hotel. (D)
Drive to Aerodromo Marcel Merchant in Puerto Montt to take your short scenic flight to Chaiten. We drive through the temperate rainforest, passing countless waterfalls and hanging glaciers surrounded by jagged mountain peaks! We will pause for a short hike and a picnic lunch in Pumalin National Park. Arrive early afternoon at camp; camp orientation, swim, hot tub, and welcome happy hour. (B+L+D)
Start the day with a Yoga class, or catch up on some sleep after long international travel. Breakfast of champions and get ready to raft the Futaleufu river! Todays introduction and “warm up” is complete with safety briefing and paddle training on the famous Bridge to Bridge section. In the afternoon you may choose from mountain biking, hiking, fly-fishing class and our popular intro to hard shell, river kayaking clinic. (B+L+D)
Step-up the rafting today! Raft from camp through Bridge to Bridge again and add on class V Mas o Menos and Casa de Piedra rapids – class V. After the tough rapids, we switch gear and Kayak Clinic part II starts, you can fish or just ” booze cruise “ as we drift into lunch which is served off the grill on a remote island where we will relax. After lunch resume the kayaking and a most scenic mellow float for 5 kms to Puerto Ramirez take out. Short drive back to camp for hot tubbing, massage, relaxing and dinner! (B+L+D)
Short drive up the Rio Azul side valley for an exciting class 3 descent in inflatable kayaks! (doubles and singles!) (B+L+D)
Horseback ride deep into the pristine wilderness of the Rio Azul Valley. Stop for lunch and you will enjoy a quick hike to La Cascada – a beautiful multi stepped 200 ft + waterfall! (B+L+D)
Drive to the Pueblo of Futaleufú. Raft the class V Inferno Canyon from the Rio Espolón to Rio Azul. A three mile canyon of class V whitewater, Entrance, Wall shot, Dynamite, Flight of Angels and Exit rapids!! Then float down to Zeta and Throne Room rapids which we walk around, only to resume paddling the exciting “Wild Mile “- four miles of class IV fun rapids. There is the option to only raft the rapids below Inferno Canyon. (B+L+D)
Summit day! Raft from the Rio Azul through the Terminator, Kyburz, and Himalayas rapids. Lunch at camp. Raft from camp again to below Casa De Piedra. Optional hiking, mountain biking or fly-fishing activities available as well. Last night in camp: lamb roast/Chilean “asado feast” and wine tasting! (B+L+D)
Early morning drive back to Chaiten and 45 min. flight back to Puerto Montt. Take connecting flights home or to next destination!
- Detailed Itinerary
Arrive in Santiago, Chile. Collect your luggage, pass through Customs and then re check in for your domestic flight to Puerto Montt – gate way to Patagonia!Please look for our representative to transfer you 30 minutes to the beautiful town of Puerto Varas, Located on the shores of Lago Llanquihue which is Chile’s second-largest lake! You may experience stunning views of Volcano Osorno weather permitting. Enjoy strolling the streets, famous for its wooden homes built by German immigrants. Depending on your arrival time, rafting, fishing, or a tour to Lago Todos los Santos and Saltos de Petrohue can be arranged. (Not included in trip price)We will meet at 7:00 pm in the hotel lobby bar for introductions and a welcome briefing to be followed by a group welcome dinner at one of our favorite restaurants where you can indulge in a steak off the parilla or try Chile’s famous seafood! Overnight in the lovely Cabanas del Lago Hotel right on the lake.
After breakfast we will board our private vehicle for a 20 minute drive to the La Paloma Airport, where we will board one of the most scenic flights imaginable. In only 30 minutes we will arrive Chaiten, a small fishing village and a gateway to Patagonia. Here you will get an immediate sense of wild and scenic Patagonia! Depending on time, we will take a short hike in Pumalin National Park; one of the largest and most diverse conservation efforts in South America. The 715,000-acre Pumalín Park is located in the Palena Province of Chile, and stretches from the heart of the Andes to the fjords of the Pacific Coast. Protecting a pristine Valdivian temperate rainforest, this is one of Doug Tompkins Conservation Initiatives.
Along our 2 hour drive to Futa Camp, we pass beautiful Lago Yelcho, multiple hanging glaciers, jagged glaciated peaks, and temperate rainforests. Upon arrival, your enthusiastic guides will lead you to your sweet new “home away from home” on the river!
After a short hike or a swim, you may want to soak in the riverside hot tub or enjoy a hot shower. Then, we gather in the sunset bar for our first welcome happy hour. We will introduce the entire crew and go over the week’s agenda. After happy hour, a hearty dinner will be served. It does tend to cool down quite a bit when the sun sets below the peaks so we dress warmly in the evenings.
Awaken on the banks of the Fu and enjoy your first morning in camp! We rise with the warmth of the sun and have breakfast around 9 am. A pre-breakfast yoga class is available on our customized yoga platform with river views! Mornings tend to be crisp and dewy so prepare to dress warmly – a fleece is perfect. Today is a river day. We will launch our rafts from base camp after a thorough safety briefing. In a safe ‘eddy’, a short distance downstream, we’ll do a set of practice rescue drills. This allows the crew in each raft to hone their skills and prepare to raft as a team.
We use a cataraft combined with ace safety-kayakers as part of our “safety net.” Each raft is captained by a highly trained and intuitive river guide, who guides the boat from a stern-mounted oar frame. Guiding with oars does not detract from the paddling experience. The advantage to the oar frame is greater control in pointing the bow straight through bus size holes and 15-foot high “haystack” wave trains. High siding is also an actively used “paddle” command. This style is consistent with any high volume, strong current river where rapids graded 4 to 5-plus rage on. This is the Futaleufú!
The first section that we raft, from camp down to Puente Futaleufú (the Futaleufú Bridge), is only 10 km, but offers more rapids per 1000 meters than anywhere else on the river. It is the perfect warm-up run and it is non-stop fun! The rapids of note are “El Cojín”, the Cushion, and “Mundaca”, a local family name.
At take-out, we meet our vehicles for a 20-minute ride back to camp. Those who would prefer a “lower body” workout to complement their paddling are welcome to run back or ride one of our mountain bikes from take-out to camp. When we get to camp, you can choose to go fly-fishing, try out a kayak, practice yoga, nap in a hammock, enjoy the sauna, have a massage, go for a hike, or soak in the hot tub. Taking a hot shower, either indoors or under the big sky, feels very luxurious while camping in the remote wilderness of northern Patagonia! Of course, for the hardy, the river provides a cold bath and refreshing swim.
As the sun sinks behind the mountains, enjoy a game of chess or cards at the sunset bar. Every late afternoon is “Happy Hour” with an open bar stocked with beer, wine, soda, and fresh juice. Then, we gather together in the open-air kitchen/dining area, the “Galpon”, for a candlelight sit-down dinner featuring fresh locally grown produce and fresh-baked breads. After dinner, enjoy the campfire and the stars before retiring to your cozy tent on your private platform. The sound of the river will lull you to sleep and send you off dreaming of the next day of adventure in Chile.
Officially day two of our rafting extravaganza. Our aim is to settle into a river rhythm that will be utilized in order to successfully raft the next few sections the Fu. After Yoga and breakfast, we will launch our rafts from camp and run the Bridge to Bridge section one more time. When we get to the 2nd bridge, you have the option to hop out and ride the bus around the next two big rapids, or if you are feeling up for it you can continue down river. We pass the Puente Futaleufú (yesterday’s take-out), we immediately round the corner to meet a big stomping continuous cascade of waves known as “Mas o Menos”, translated, “More or Less”. This is a good stepping-stone towards our first true blue class V technical rapid, “Casa de Piedra” (House of Rock) which is right around the next corner. We will get out of our rafts to scout this massive boulder choked rapid from the banks of the Fu. It is formed like a series of water wheels that channel all of their fury into a final churning pit with a dragon’s back highway through it. Its great fun!
After this rapid, we will run the remaining class 3 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 is a time relax, and enjoy our stop on one of Futaleufu’s most beautiful beaches. Here we enjoy a hot lunch over the grill, play games, siesta, swim and take in the tranquil afternoon along side the Futaleufu. Later in the afternoon we continue our float a few miles, and reach our take out spot just above Lago Yelcho. Upon return to camp, we will continue to celebrate the day, enjoy the spa and get ready for another fabulous dinner prepared by our jovial crew and talented chef.
Today we become experts at navigating our very own river crafts, known inflatable kayaks, IK’s or duckies. We venture up canyon to the Rio Azul, one of the main tributaries to the Futaleufu and is one of the most scenic canyons in Patagonia.Challenge yourself on the class II and III rapids and depending on your comfort level, either walk or take-on the Class IV rapid, ‘Cheese Grater’.
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. Fishing, mountain biking or relaxing around camp are always options in the late afternoon.
After yoga and breakfast we take a short drive to the stables where we will find our trusty steeds saddled up and ready for adventurous riding. After a safety briefing, we ride alongside some local expert equestrians and our own river guides who will gladly join the posse up a glorious, pristine side valley where the Rio Azul flows unhindered from its glacial headwaters. We ride about 2 hours to a beautiful beach on the Rio Azul and enjoy an authentic Patagonian Asado picnic lunch. Then you will have the chance to take a 30 minute, round-trip, hike to the 300 ft Cascada waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls you will ever set eyes on. After relaxing and a short siesta, you will have the chance to trot or gallop back to camp. This is a full day and 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!
We will have an early breakfast in camp then travel 25 kilometers up the road to Rio Espolon to launch our rafts for the Inferno Canyon day!
On the Rio Espolon we have a chance to warm up on this low volume river before it joins and helps form the mighty Futaleufu as it gets squeezed into the narrow Inferno canyon. This upper canyon requires aggressive class V paddling and is potentially the most intense section of white water on the river. Many other options exist for those who choose not to participate in Inferno Canyon.
Five distinct rapids form a narrow sinuous river passage creating a wet surge and a “full on” adrenaline rush. The fourth rapid was until recently the smallest of the 5, but due to road building debris landing in the river, has now become nearly impassable at most water levels and requires a walk around and “lining” the rafts through it. As we come out of “Exit”, the last rapid, we enter into a long calm. The current remains swift and we cruise many miles downstream arriving at the mandatory portage around the fierce “Zeta” rapid. We have lunch on the rocks as the crew “ghost” boats the rafts through this treacherous rapid.
After lunch, our first obstacle is “Throne Room,” a class V+ rapid for kayaks, a ghost boat rapid for rafts. By walking around this rapid, we get a great bird’s eye view of an almost ‘river wide’ hole that could destroy a raft. Back on board our rafts, we are dealt a Royal Flush; a continuous class IV corridor of rapids does not let up until we get to our take-out spot at the Rio Azul footbridge. The rafts are left for the night, tethered on shore.
Early evening is spent in camp getting ready for the evening festivities. Blanca and her partner Umberto, locals from a nearby farm, prepare a very special treat for us. They merrily prepare a delicious dinner called “Curanto” that is typical of the south of Chile and the island of Chiloe. We spend the evening by the bonfire on the beach singing and dancing the night away.
Today, we must be mentally and physically well prepared for the river. We call it the “summit day” as we aim to top our already great paddling days with the best day of white water in the world. After a nutritious breakfast, we head up river to the footbridge where we left the rafts yesterday. As our day on the river begins, the blue glacial run-off from the Rio Azul River merges into the Fu from the right. 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.” We scout and study our line, then we take the plunge and drop in. “Left turn, right turn, dig it in — hard forward!” are a few of the commands that might be heard. 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, a calm returns, we float gently into lunch, served at our base camp.
After lunch, we return to the river to complete the last task for the day, tackling 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 tea are waiting. We make a triumphant return to camp to celebrate our days spent exploring Futaleufú valley and river.
For the evening’s festivities, Rolando and Nelli will prepare a typical Chilean Asado — lamb roasted over a bed of coals, ensalada, potatoes and farm fresh bread. 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.
We start early today as we have to travel back down to the coast to catch the puddle jumper flight from Chaiten back to Puerto Montt for connecting flights either home or to your next destination. You will want to leave a comfortable “window” to make it back in time, so book connecting flights from 14:00 hrs onwards. You may also choose to spend another night in Puerto Varas on your own. (See below if you are interested in the Torres Del Paine Extension.)
We hope that when you board the airplane you will look back upon your time in Patagonia and think of the friends you have made and the beauty of the Futaleufú River and Patagonian wilderness. Ciao amigos! Ciao Ciao Chile!!
Stay on the river in the most exquisite adventure base camp imaginable! Overlooking one of the most beautiful canyons on the Futaleufú River, our base camp proves that camping can be luxurious. Amenities include: our riverside sunset bar where we enjoy Chilean wines, a wood sauna, 5 hot showers, flush toilets, 2 massage studios, a stone riverside hot tub, a handcrafted wood hot tub, a fireside sit down dining area where we enjoy delicious meals made with locally grown produce, and indoor and outdoor yoga decks with spectacular river and mountain views.
Enjoy private, spacious safari-style tents with amazing views of the river. You will fall asleep in a comfy bed with soft linens and fluffy comforters to keep you warm as the river lulls you to sleep and into sweet dreams.
Our camp provides natural areas of private, quiet reflection and beautifully hand built structures such as the open-air library or tranquil yoga pagoda.
We are ideally situated for river access and smooth shuttle logistics – jump in a raft and float down to the famous “bridge to bridge” whitewater section just a mile downstream from camp. We are right in the middle of the most continuous whitewater on the river! This translates into more river time and less driving time.
The deluxe facilities at our Futaleufu River Camp include:
- Open sunset bar overlooking the river with unlimited drinks, relaxing, dancing and good conversation
- A hand-crafted wood sauna
- All water is treated and potable
- 2 private spa/massage rooms and professional masseuse
- Free daily yoga classes with mats on a cliffside yoga deck or the new indoor yoga loft with stunning mountain and river views
- River rock hot tub with beautiful river, mountain, and sunset views
- Hand crafted wood hot tub with river views situated downstream from our main camp to offer a place for private soaking and relaxation.
- Hot showers (can even shower outside, under the stars!) and flush toilets
- Private tent bungalows with roofs for shade, or rain, complete with roomy, walk-in, safari-style tents with river views, coffee table, shelving, real mattresses, pillows and sheets, down comforters
- Morning wake-up with coffee service by your own personal “tent captain”
- Cozy robes and towels
Our camp includes areas for private, quiet reflection, such as our peaceful open-air loft library and cozy yoga pagoda, or join your fellow adventurers in one of the group gathering places for games, sit-down dinners, and happy hours.
Your adventure vacation on the Futaleufu River also includes:
- Free use of our fleet of mountain bikes, whitewater kayaks and catarafts, and a variety of fishing equipment
- Yoga classes every morning and private yoga sessions on request
- A full range of multisport adventures…
- Fly fishing on the Futaleufu River – either from shore, or from a cataraft in the calm canyon in front of camp. First timers and experts welcome!
- Gourmet cuisine including freshly baked bread, fresh vegetables from either our organic garden or an adjacent farm and dinner always start with housemade soup
- We can cater to many dietary needs: pescatarian, vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, carnivore
- Candlelight dinners in our “Galpon”; a covered, open air log structure hand-built by our good friend and talented Chilean carpenter, Rolando.
- Inflatable kayaking on the Azul River and Espolon River – the Futaleufu’s two largest tributaries
- Horseback riding
- Unlimited use of hammocks in the open-air library
- An evening of Chilean wine tasting, including some wine made by a couple of our guides in Mendoza, Argentina
- A sunset “float” downstream to a beautiful beach for a riverside BBQ and campfire
- Visits to local farms to soak in the Patagonian culture
- Farewell Asado – traditional Chilean feast
- Mountain biking or hiking on nearby scenic trails
- Stand-up paddleboard in the calm waters around camp or rapids up river
- And, of course, whitewater rafting one of the most exciting, beautiful rivers in the world!
- About the Region
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 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+. Our riverside camp offers the best location for maximizing river time as well as other activities. We can put-in at camp and run the Bridge-to-Bridge section of continuous, fun whitewater – known as the “Heart of the Futaleufu”. 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.
Your Patagonian home-away-from-home will be a spacious safari-style tent custom-designed in South Africa, complete with beds and down comforters, Peruvian rugs and morning coffee delivery. The camp has a number of structures specifically designed to provide areas of private, quiet reflection, such as the peaceful, cozy “yoga pagoda”, as well as group gathering places for games, family-style dinners, and camaraderie. You will be pampered while breathing in the Patagonian mountain air and admiring the sea- green Futaleufu River float by just feet away from you. Amenities include the sunset bar, wood sauna, 5 hot showers, 2 massage rooms with professional masseuse, gourmet river cuisine with a professional chef, and inviting riverside hot tub
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.
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.
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.
Professional Chilean chef, Cristian Vargas, will thrill you with delicious, abundant meals. Meal times are always festive occasions with guests welcome to join in the culinary spirit. Tasty Chilean red wine flows freely as we gather around our hand-made wooden dining table to enjoy delicious meals by candlelight. 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. Our final meal of the trip is a traditional Chilean 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. In front of the dining area is our cozy campfire, surrounded by benches, where you can relax and enjoy hot tea or coffee.
Chilean Wine Tasting
We include a fun, informative evening of wine tasting on each trip. We will compare and contrast the wonderful wines of Chile and Argentina while learning the history of wine making in South America.
The base camp shares some of the land with a wonderful Chilean family, the Diocares. This warm, friendly family has extended an open invitation for our guests to visit with them and share a mate (traditional tea) in their rustic kitchen. Enjoy a tour of their abundant greenhouse (the source of our delicious fresh produce). Rolando, the senor of the house, is always up to something interesting whether it be making apple cider from their apple orchard or driving his ox cart. He always enjoys sharing his culture with our guests. The Diocares also make us fresh bread everyday and are more than willing to take care of all your laundry needs for a small fee. And, on the last night of the trip, Rolando prepares a traditional Chilean asado, lamb roast, over an open fire to celebrate a wonderful trip.
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 play boating 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.
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.
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 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.
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
* 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
* 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
* 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
* 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.
* 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.
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.
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.
(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
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
(in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires)
Street Address: Moreno 376, San Telmo, Buenos Aires
Telephone: (54-11) 60-91-20-00
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
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
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
After Your Trip
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.
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.
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).
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)
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.
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.
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.