This river is for the paddler looking for the most challenging river in the most spectacular setting. The terrain, vegetation and mountain ranges provide a remarkable location for hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding and exploring.
However, above all, this is one of the best rivers in the world for kayaking and for aggressive rafting. The water is clear and warm. It flows from a chain of sunny lakes in Argentina into rugged glaciated mountains in southern Chile.
During February and March the river usually runs between 6.000 and 20.000 cfs. It is the Futaleufú, the crown jewel of South America, set in Patagonia.
The sections of the Futaleufú:
Upper Fu: here we pass through vertical basalt walls and into the gates of the Infierno Canyon with the rapids: Purgatorio, Danza de Los Angeles, Escala de Jacobo and Infierno.
Then we emerge to the beautiful Valle de Las Escalas. Here is the famous Zeta (Class V-VI) and the Throne Room (class V-VI). Both Zeta and Throne Room are portaged. This section finishes with the Wild Ride, a class IV whitewater until the take out point.
Middle Fu: From the take out of the upper Fu to the concrete bridge. Famous rapids as the half mile long Terminator (class V-one of the most intense run worldwide), the Himalayas (class III) -which hold some of the biggest waves in the hemisphere- and Mundaca (class V).
Lower Fu: From the concrete bridge to Casca de Piedra. This section includes mas o Menos (class IV), and the technically challenging Casa de Piedra (class IV-V).
You should be in good health and physical shape for this trip. To manoeuvre and propel the raft properly you will have to paddle strongly on some stretches, specially on the bigger rapids, although most of the physical effort is carried out by the guide. Oar-rigged (center and stern frame) rafts will be rowed by our staff.
The more aggressive paddlers will have the option to raft down on un-framed rafts on some stretches. More passive participants have the option of walking around any of the rapids.
This trip is considered to be suitable for people who have rafted and enjoyed before a river rated class V. The minimum age is 17 years
Arrive in Puerto Montt in the morning and take a charter flight (40 minutes) over the incredible rugged mountains and fjords at this part of northern Patagonia. We arrive in Chaiten and drive (180km) over the amazing and rudimentary “Austral Road” to Futaleufu where we find our permanent and comfortable base camp.
You will have the chance to walk/hike around, have a short kayaking lesson, maybe have a siesta, or just lie down with your favorite book. (L,D)
This will be the first day in the river. After breakfast, the head guide will give the technical/safety instructions. We practice these techniques in a large eddy before running the big rapids.Put in is above the concrete bridge.
We will raft this section as warm up and as a first taste of big water. (B, L-, D).
Insurance & Medical:
Everyone must have their own personal travel insurance. This must include: evacuation from remote sites, emergency repatriation and medical & hospital expenses.
Also it should cover cancellation & curtailment and personal effects.
Chile requires vaccinations for entry from any country.
Departure Dates (Saturdays)
Group Size & Staff: 25 maximum plus staff. The staff include raft guides, one kataraft, safety kayakers and drivers.