Futaleufu Rafting Adventure


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9 Days of Camp-based Multi-Sport


per person based on double occupancy

*Plus return airfare from Puerto Montt to Chaiten (additional $300 but we book this for you.)

2024/2025 Dates:

January 7 – 15, 2025

February 6 – 14, 2025

February 25 – March 5, 2025

March 5 – 13, 2025

Deposit: $1000  Meeting Place: Puerto Montt  Gateway City: Santiago  River Rating: III-V  Age Range: 14-72

The Futaleufu River starts at the border of Argentina, in Los Alerces National Park, and ends in Patagonia, Chile, flowing into Lago Yelcho. The Futaleufu has four defined whitewater sections of varying difficulty. Our rafting adventure covers the Futa from top to bottom. For a whitewater rafting river it is relatively short, but extremely intense and concentrated. The whitewater section of the Futa is 44km or 27 miles long. If we add in the tributaries of the Espolon and Azul, we have 45 miles of easily accessible whitewater.

We start rafting on the most popular “Bridge to Bridge” section to build your skills and your team’s confidence – before rafting the more difficult sections like Inferno Canyon and Terminator. This “rafting centric” trip is based out of a large riverside base camp that accommodates up to 36 guests overlooking the turquoise blue waters of the Futaleufu River as it surges beneath Patagonia’s snow capped mountains. Similar to our “Multisport” adventure, you will sleep in comfy “safari” tents complete with warm down comforters and mattresses. Our river-based fun includes whitewater rafting the world-famous Futaleufu River and inflatable kayaking the aptly named Rio Azul. There are also options for land-based activities such as horseback riding and mountain biking.

Watch Un Paraiso Aparte – Futaleufu, Chile – a short film by The Journal of Lost Time

Futaleufu’s fun is rounded out by the apres rafting amenities – relax in two riverside hot tubs, a wood fired sauna or enjoy a professional massage and daily yoga classes. You’ll savour international cuisine, 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!



Itinerary at a Glance

  • Arrive in Santiago,Chile and transfer onto a domestic flight to Puerto Montt.  Shuttle to Puerto Varas on Lago Llanquihue for welcome dinner
  • Transfer back to Puerto Montt for a short scenic flight to Chaiten. Enjoy a picnic lunch in Pumalin National Park before arriving early afternoon at camp
  • Start the day with a Yoga class then get ready to raft the Futaleufu river’s famous Bridge to Bridge section. In the afternoon, go mountain biking, hiking, or try a river kayaking clinic
  • Step-up the rafting on the Class V Mas o Menos and  Casa de Piedra rapids. Take the level II kayak clinic, fish or just drift into lunch on a remote island. Scenic mellow float before driving back to camp for hot tubbing, massage and dinner
  • Short drive up the Rio Azul side valley for an exciting class 3 descent in inflatable kayaks
  • Horseback ride up to mountain view
  • Raft the Class V Inferno Canyon then paddle the “Wild Mile “- four miles of Class IV fun rapids. There is the option to only run the Wild Mile
  • Raft the Rio Azul and the Futaleufu with optional hiking and mountain biking available as well. Chilean “asado feast” and wine tasting
  • Early morning drive back to Chaiten and 45 min. flight back to Puerto Montt for connecting flights home


What to Expect on the Futaleufu Multisport

Upon Arrival in Chile:

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 favourite restaurants where you can indulge in a steak off the parilla or try Chile’s famous seafood!   Overnight in the lovely Hotel Cumbres overlooking the lake.

Day Two

After breakfast we will board our private vehicle for a 30 minute drive to the La Paloma Airport, where we will board one of the most scenic flights imaginable. In only 40 minutes we will arrive Chaiten, a small fishing village and a gateway to 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.

It’s a 2 our drive to camp, where your guides will lead you to your tent cabin. After a short hike, you may want to soak in the riverside hot tub before 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.

Day Three

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 your first river day. We will launch our rafts from 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 catarafts 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 juice.  Then, we gather together in the open-air kitchen/dining area, the “Galpon”, for a 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.

Day Four

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.

Day Five

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.

Day Six

After breakfast we take a short drive to the stables where we will find our horses and local guides. We ride alongside the Fu for a few miles before slowly climbing up the mountain for some glorious views. 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!

Day Seven

We will have an early breakfast in camp then travel 25km 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” boat 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.

Day Eight

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, we 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.

Day Nine

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 onward. You may also choose to spend another night in Puerto Varas on your own.

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!!


Your Accommodations in Chile:

You will stay on the river overlooking one of the most beautiful canyons on the Futaleufú Riverin platofrm tents. Amenities include: a 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. The 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 rafting and less driving time.

Meal times are always festive occasions with guests welcome to join in the culinary spirit. Tasty Chilean 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 flavours including the Peruvian specialty Aji de Gallina, fajitas, a traditional Argentinian parrillia, 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.

Cultural Exchange

This 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). 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, we prepare a traditional Chilean Asado, lamb roast, over an open fire to celebrate a wonderful trip.


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 multi-sport 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.