RIVER RAFTING

Some would say, the Best rafting in South America is found on the Futaleufú in Patagonia!
Others might say, I’ve rafted all over the world and it doesn’t get any better than the mighty Futaleufú!

Neither would be wrong…

The first section that we raft, from the Bio Bio base 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!

About The Terrain

On 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 can hop out and ride the bus around the following 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), 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!

Did you know?

In the afternoon, you can fish, mountain bike, or relax in a hot tub at camp. 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  Futaleufú 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, it 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 reach our take-out spot just beyond the confluence of the Rio Azul. The rafts are left for the night, tethered to shore.

SUMMIT DAY

On Summit Day, we aim to top our already great paddling days with the best day of white water in the world. 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 in “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 triumphantly 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 Patagonian style! Salud!!

MORE ACTIVITIES

Kayaking

Hiking

Fly fishing

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Horseback
Riding

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