Paddling Futaleufu River

The Futaleufú River is located in the southern part of Chile’s Lake District, in the northern reaches of Patagonia. The river winds from Lago Futaleufú in Argentina through a narrow forested valley before emptying into the lakes near the Golfo Corcovado.

Futaleufu is one of the most beautiful river in the world and is a top destination for water adventurers. Luscious rainforest landscapes combined with the awesome whitewater make Futaleufu the ultimate rafting destination. Rafting trips to the Futaleufu occur for limited period (mostly during December and January months, when the weather is warm and water condition is great).

Futaleufu River Rafting

The river’ surrounding scenery offers a blending of California’s Yosemite with the rapids of the Grand Canyon and the water colour of the Caribbean. Futaleufu crosses through the Andes mountains on its way to the Pacific Ocean from the Chile-Argentine border.

While the upper Class V+ section of the river has humbled paddlers from across the world while an easier lower stretch is considered one of the best paddling site in the world.

Futaleufú rafting is an excellent summertime activity. Adventurers can leave behind the winter of the northern hemisphere and paddle the azure waters of Futaleufu during summer. The expedition features plunging through thundering rapids, relaxing at the base camp in the evening for hot showers, having fresh meals and watching the magnificent sunset.

The base camp is a multi-activity destination. Apart from the whitewater of the Futaleufú River, other activities here include: fly-fishing, horseback riding in Rio Azul valley, whitewater kayaking, lake kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, local farm visits, hiking, exploring the town of Futaleufú.

Kayaking at Futaleufu:

Kayaking at Futaleufu is another grand attraction. Those prefer kayaking more than rafting the river can opt for Futaleufú Kayaking in Patagonia. Kayaking instruction is also available as an add-on to this expedition.

Futaleufu: Section by section:

Upper Futa Límite:
On one side of the Futaleufu river is Argentina ‘s Parque Alerces while on the other side one can spot Chilean national huemul, a small South American deer.

Infierno Gorge:
A trail leads to the vertical black basalt walls from the Centro Aventura Futaleufu. The trail reaches the Inferno Canyon and to the overlook of ‘Zeta’ and ‘Throne Room’. This is the most demanding section of the Futaleufu. Just beneath the canyon, the river widens and offers a spectacular view of the Las Escalas Valley. While the Tres Monjas mountain looms over the valley to the left of the river, the turquoise water of the Rio Azul flows from the ice-capped peaks on the irght.

The Río Azul:
Azul river flows into the Futaleufu on river right shore. This glacier-fed is an ideal warm-up for Class 3/4 kayaking activities. Azul serves as an alternate river when the Futaleufu is too high. Río Azul gets its name from the aquamarine colored water. This is a habitat for the native rainbow trout fishes.