Arrive to Puerto Montt, and transfer to the scenic town of Puerto Varas on Lago Llanquihue where you will check into your hotel. At 7pm, there will be a meet and greet followed by dinner. Overnight at hotel in Puerto Varas. (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.
Start the day with a Yoga class, or catch up on some sleep. Today’s 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 or our popular intro to hard shell, river kayaking clinic.
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. After the tough rapids, we switch gears and opt for the Kayak Clinic part II, fish or just ” booze cruise “ as we drift into lunch which is served off the grill on a remote island. After lunch, resume the kayaking and a most scenic mellow float for 5 km to Puerto Ramirez take out. Back to camp for hot tubbing, massage, relaxing and dinner!
Short drive up the Rio Azul side valley for an exciting class 3 descent in inflatable kayaks! (doubles and singles!)
Horseback ride deep into the pristine wilderness of Northern Patagonia. Our ride takes us to a local refugio where we have lunch and enjoy some of the most dramatic views of the Futaleufu valley
Drive to the Pueblo of Futaleufú. Raft the class V Inferno Canyon, 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.
Summit day! Raft 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!
Early morning drive back to Chaiten and 45 min. flight back to Puerto Montt. Transfer to larger domestic airport for flights home or to your next destination!
Some of the activities can be interchanged depending on your preference for the day.
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 next river day we will launch our rafts from camp and run the Bridge to Bridge section again. 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 continue downriver. If you continue downriver, we pass the Puente Futaleufú (yesterday’s take-out), and we immediately round the corner to meet a big stomping continuous cascade of waves known as “Mas o Menos”, translated, as “More or Less”. This is a good stepping-stone towards our first 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 furies into a churning pit with a dragon’s back highway through it. It's great fun!
The next river day is on the Rio Azul.
We become experts at navigating our very own river crafts, known as inflatable kayaks, IK’s, or duckies. We venture up the canyon to the Rio Azul, one of the main tributaries to the Futaleufu and one of the most scenic canyons in Patagonia. Challenge yourself on 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 about paddling your own boat downriver, 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 in a hot tub at camp are always options in the afternoon. A fun game of corn hole in front of our very own Microbrewery producing our own Fu brew is also a popular afternoon activity!
Inferno Canyon day! An early start and making box lunches for the day are part of our biggest logistical day. We drive 45 minutes towards Argentina to begin our river journey west of the border. We enter the Futaleufu as it gets squeezed into the first Canyon as a warm-up for the real deal, the narrow Inferno Canyon. This upper canyon requires eager class V paddling and is potentially the most intense section of white water on the river. There is an option to be taken by vehicle to the other end of the canyon and jump on the rafts for the class 3 and 4 remainder of the rafting day.
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 the biggest and most explosive rapid of them all! As we come out of “Exit”, the last rapid class V rapid of the Canyon, we enter into a long calm stretch. 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, and 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 just beyond the confluence of the Rio Azul. The rafts are left for the night, tethered to shore.
The next day we call 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 upriver 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, as “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 the river from camp to below Casa de Piedra. This time we run it “Blue Angel” style meaning we stay in the current and run all the rapids Bonzai! At take-out, we are treated to cold beers and sodas and toast the mighty Fu!!. We make a triumphant return to camp to celebrate our days spent exploring Futaleufú Valley and the river... We will have time to hot tub, one more rope swing, shower, enjoy our sommelier led wine tasting, and then go right into the final night Lamb roast asado Patagonia style! Salud!!
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 trail towards the Tres Monjas. We ascend about 1500 ft to a local refugio to enjoy our lunch. From this high spot on the mountain, we have a 290-degree view of the entire Futaleufu valley, including an eagle-eye view of the huge class V rapid "Throne room." After soaking up the views we descend from our perch and return to river level where we trade in our horses for the Bio Bio vehicle that will take us back to camp. This is a dry day and you will be resting your paddling muscles and giving your legs and glutes a workout! You will be glad to return to camp to enjoy a hot shower and the soothing hot tub and or Sauna! Our staff will gladly serve you a beverage of choice! Professional massage is available upon request!
YOGA - STRETCHING
A pre-breakfast, non-judgemental yoga class is available on our yoga platform with breath-giving river views! If it rains we have a beautiful indoor yoga room! Mornings tend to be cool and crisp, so you will layer up and then down as the sun warms us!
No experience necessary! It has been called by many "the most spectacular yoga space on the planet!"
A WILD PATGONIAN DUCKY RIDE!
We become experts at navigating our very own river craft known as inflatable kayaks, IK’s or duckies. We venture up the Azul river canyon, one of the main tributaries to the Futaleufu. Challenge yourself on the class II and III low volume and technical rapids.
There is something deeply satisfying about paddling your own boat down a river knowing that your destiny is in your own hands. Of course, our highly trained guides will be there to coach you and watch over you while providing safety. Back in camp, you will be relaxing in the hot tub or Sauna, perhaps trying your luck at the rope swing into the river! In any event, a deep cleanse will feel good! Sleep will come easy after a sumptuous dinner!