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Chile Rafting: Futaleufu River Trips
with Expediciones Chile
 
 
 
 

The Futaleufu River is known in whitewater circles as one of the most stunning and challenging rivers in the world. It is an exhilarating whitewater power storm with a life force of turquoise, champagne-like water. Riding the spine of this river as it flows through this isolated portion of the glaciated Chilean Andes is an unparalleled experience. In this magical place, glacial lakes are connected by the pristine Futaleufu River, which cuts through the most dramatic part of the Andean Mountain range. Be enchanted by its natural rhythms, where condors soar in southern thermals high above massive rapids thundering through rarely seen granite canyons. This is one of the top river experiences in the world and one of the top experiences in South America.  Put this on your bucket list.  Once you feel the direct connection with this incredible power of Patagonian nature you will understand why it has earned its reputation as “The Greatest Whitewater on Earth”! The river's name is derived from a local Tehuelche Indian word meaning "big big river" and it lives up to its namesake in every respect.

(70 sec)
(5 min)




Our trips allow you to run this entire river - or simply the portions you choose -  while staying at a destination of your dreams. The strategic location of our River Eco Campo allows you to experience one of the most wild, exciting, and demanding rafting runs in the world while staying at a luxury camp site nestled within the Patagonian countryside. You will be staying in the heart of the rafting action - at the confluence of the Rio Futaleufu and the Rio Azul - and you will be starting and finishing rafting days at our pristine beach overlooking the Tres Monjas peak.

Rafting and multisport options are family friendly. For the whitewater, 8- to 14-year olds can join the family on Class 2-3 rapids, while 15-year-olds can start to paddle Class 4-5 rapids.

From our Eco-Camp, you can also experience a multi-sport rafting vacation, which includes options such as trekking, sea kayaking, mountain biking, and introductory whitewater kayaking. With prior arrangements and an additional charge, fly fishing, horseback riding, and canyoning could also be arranged.

(1 min 22 sec)
(1 min 21 sec)



Patagonia Eco-Camp
The Eco Campo Tres Monjas interactive map

Eco Campo Tres Monjas (82 secs), or your accommodation during the trip, is located on a white sand beach at the confluence of the Rio Futaleufu and the Rio Azul. The RiverNest Cabins are hidden between the river bank and the riparian forest, and each cabin is accessed by a private sand trail and surrounded by exotic Patagonian trees. After dinner, you can enjoy a campfire on the beach as you watch the moon rise between the impressive spires of Tres Monjas peak. At camp we have a sauna, flush toilets, a drying room for your river clothes, a dining lodge, and a selection of hot showers - including an exotic outdoor shower masterfully hidden between natural boulders. On this week-long trip, you will be able to play hard during the day in the Patagonian wild and return to the comforts of sit-down dining, a cozy stove, a sauna, and a warm bed. Groups of up to 6 who would like a private trip can also choose to stay at our exclusive CondorNest cabin. If you want a little more refinement, you can stay in a lodge in the village of Futaleufu. Rafting in Chile does not get any more exciting, wild, and comfortable than this.





Raft Chile: Our Futaleufu Rafting Trips




Futaleufu - Rafting Multisport Week
(Class 3/4/5)

The Futaleufu Multisport Chile Rafting trip descends the entire whitewater portion of the Futaleufu river. This 6 day schedule gives you the best possibility of running all of the sections in case of water level fluctuations. Over four full rafting days, we descend from 1056 feet above sea level near the Argentine border to 160 feet above sea level at our take-out near Lago Yelcho. In addition to rafting the entire Futaleufu, you will have the option of scheduling two full days of multisport activities in this spectacular section of the river valley. From Campo Tres Monjas, there are four trailheads that allow you to venture out on foot or on mountain bikes to explore this magical paradise. You can also sea kayak on nearby lakes, sit on top kayak, or learn to whitewater kayak on the easier Rio Espolon.  If you are an experienced kayaker, you can kayak along with our raft trips or in groups that match your experience level.

(8 Days in Patagonia, Chile / 7 Overnights / 6 Active Days)




Futaleufu Rafting Fast Track
(Class 3/4/5)

On the Rafting Fast Track trip we descend the Futaleufu River in four action-packed days (water levels permitting). This trip is for those who have limited time to see and experience the Futaleufu River.  We know that you will not want to leave after just four days, however in that time you will have the opportunity to see the entire Futaleufu River. This is full-on rafting, as we do at least two sections of the river each day. During your stay, you will descend from 1100 feet above sea level near the border with Argentina to just 210 feet above sea level near Lago Yelcho.

(6 Days in Patagonia, Chile / 5 Overnights / 4 Active Days)




Futaleufu Executive Rafting
(Class 3/4/5)

The Futaleufu Executive Rafting trip is ideal for private groups, VIPs, and family reunions. You will save time with a charter flight that awaits your group when you arrive early in the morning at the airport in Puerto Montt, Chile. An hour-long flight over the spectacular Andes takes you to a remote airport just minutes from the put-in on the Futaleufu River. After the end of your fourth rafting day, a late afternoon charter flight awaits to return you to Puerto Montt for your connection to Santiago and the overnight flight to your home country. This set-up drops two days of travel time and has you boarding your raft on the Futaleufu less than 24 hours after departing your home town. This trip gives you four full days on the Futaleufu and keeps you  from work and family for only five days. For the executive trip, we also offer the custom filming of your group in this spectacular setting. Our team is equipped with drones, GoPros, and shore-based cameras and we can make your group a 20 to 30 minute film that will be a keepsake memory forever.

(6 Days in Patagonia, Chile / 5 Overnights / 4 Active Days)



Futaleufu Rafting Lite
(Class 3/4 with one optional Class 5)

The four day Futaleufu Rafting Lite is family friendly and for those who want to raft "The Greatest Whitewater on Earth" but who are not certain that they want to do the most difficult Class 5 sections. On this trip, you will also have the opportunity to engage in multi-sport activities such as sea kayaking, trekking, mountain biking, or introductory whitewater kayaking lessons.

(6 Days in Patagonia, Chile / 5 Overnights / 4 Active Days)



Futaleufu Rafting Express
(Class 3/4)

For our guests with limited time, the Futaleufu Rafting Express trip allows you to experience the Futaleufu River in the most concentrated fashion. This is full-on rafting, as we do at least two sections of the river each day. In just three action-packed days, we descend the best whitewater portions of the river minus the Class V Inferno Gorge.

(5 Days in Patagonia, Chile / 4 Overnights / 3 Active Days)




Whitewater Rafting on the Futaleufu

(70 sec)
(5 min)



The Futaleufu River is located in northern Patagonia, Chile. For a whitewater rafting river it is relatively short, but extremely intense and concentrated. From top to bottom, the whitewater section of the Futaleufu River is 44 kilometers - or 27 miles - long. If we add in the tributaries, we have 45 miles of easily accessible whitewater. The Futaleufu starts at the border of Argentina, in Los Alerces National Park, and ends in Patagonia, Chile, flowing into Lago Yelcho. The Futaleufu River has four defined world-class sections of varying difficulty. At Expediciones Chile, we always raft on the easiest sections of the river first - to build your skills and your team's confidence - before rafting the more difficult sections. You and your team can decide to continue on to more difficult water, or you can choose to continue rafting on the easier stretches. If you think you’ve had enough Futaleufu rafting, there are numerous other activities awaiting you in this spectacular region of Patagonia, Chile.

The Sections of the Futaleufu

(5 min)
 
 
 

(See our Patagonia guidebook for more general river details.)

Day 1 Sunday: Las Escalas Wild Mile: (15 miles 5.5 hours): Our first whitewater rafting run starts near the border with Argentina. After a short dramatic drive along the Inferno gorge, we arrive at our put-in for the Las Escalas valley. After an introduction of whitewater and paddling skills,  we encounter a section of mild class II water flowing through the Las Escalas valley.  A couple of hours later, the river shows its wild side and we encounter Zeta and Throne Room, two of the most challenging (Class V+) rapids on the Futaleufu. We will study and portage both rapids.  After the portages, the action starts with a section called "The Wild Mile," which contains Tres Islas (III), Roller Coaster (III), Honorable Mention (IV minus), Wild Mile (IV minus), and the climatic “Thing.”   We then enter a black wall granite gorge, which opens into a remarkable scene. On our left, the Tres Monjas peak towers soar overhead as the Las Cruces creek drains its snowfields into the Futaleufu. On the right, the Rio Azul enters along a huge white sand beach at the ExChile campo. We take out at a beach just above another rapid, which you will listen to as you fall asleep in your RiverNest cabin.

Day 2 Monday: Rafting: Terminator Section and the Heart of the Futaleufu Today has to be one of the most fun and action packed days of rafting anywhere on Earth. We take off from our sand beach at camp and head downstream to a couple of warm up rapids before the river takes on an extremely powerful nature with the longest rapid on the Futa, Terminator (Class V). Just below, we'll negotiate the hydraulic hole-filled Khyber Pass (Class IV+) and the Himalayas (Class IV), which has perhaps the biggest standing waves in the hemisphere. After lunch, we run another complete section - Bridge to Bridge - which is the heart of the Rio Futaleufu. This section, from the Zapata swinging bridge to the Puente Futaleufu, includes five miles of Class IV+ rafting action. Rapids such as Entrada, Pillow, Tiburon, and Mundaca - which has a must-see explosion hole - will keep you on your toes. The action is non-stop and the calm between the rapids is short. This is world class rafting at its best! Even our most experienced river runners tell us that they have never seen such continuous non-stop action.

Day 3 Tuesday: The Earth of the Futaleufu: Bridge to Bridge plus Casa de Piedra: Bridge to Bridge plus Casa de Piedra: (9.4 miles, 5.5 hours): Another day of two sections. This day we will repeat the Bridge to Bridge section (4.9 miles, 2.5 hours) and enter a brand new section called the Casa de Piedra section, which is a Class 5 section (4.5 miles, 2.5 hours) . Usually people enjoy Heart of the Futaleufu more the second time that they run it. Near the end of the run we give people the option of entering the Class 5 section of the Casa de Piedra section, which is the most challenging section we have run yet. If everyone is excited to run the section, we paddle into the Mas o Menos (Class IV+) and Casa de Piedra (Class V) rapids. If you are not comfortable then you can get out on a nearby dirt road, and the willing group members will continue on through Casa de Piedra. As we raft this section, those that have opted not to raft can watch and photograph from shore.

Day 4 Wednesday: Upper Futaleufu - Inferno, Las Escalas and Wild Mile: (19 miles, 8 hours) Infierno Canyon is the most demanding, committing, and hazardous section of the Futaleufu, and it is the highlight of our Patagonia rafting program! (It is also optional.) To raft this section safely, the river levels must be ideal. You must also have rafted the "Bridge to Bridge" section with us and have met all of our safety requirements.  We put in at the Río Espolon bridge and raft to the the confluence with the Futaleufu River. At the Gates of Inferno, we enter the "Infierno Canyon" with several consequential and continuous Class V drops. After an exciting morning of rafting in the Inferno canyon, the river widens with spectacular views of Las Escalas Valley. After a section of mild class II water, the river returns to its wild side and we encounter Zeta and Throne Room.Hopefully you will be able to see and film one of the safety guides kayaking these incredible, world-class rapids. We will portage both. We repeat the action-packed section called "The Wild Mile". This time you will be relaxed enough to observe the incredible scenery from the river. Our day of Patagonia rafting culminates at our riverside Tres Monjas Eco Camp at the confluence of the Azul and the Futaleufu Rivers. By the end of this day, you will have run the entire whitewater stretch of the Futaleufu River. We offer you the best rafting not only in Patagonia but also one of the best whitewater stretches in the world!



Downloadable pdf:Chile Rafting


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Adventure Travel in Chile, Rafting
Patagonia Adventure Travel in Chile. Rafting in Chile & Argentina Rafting .
Torres del Paine and FitzRoy trekking.

Traveling in Chile & Patagonia
Information on traveling in Patagonia Chile. Secrets of Patagonia Tour on our website.

Rafting in Chile
Whitewater rafting in Chile. Rafting from our weatherproof Futaleufu lodge and our comfortable whitewater eco camp.
Weather in Patagonia
Information about the weather in Patagonia Climate in Chile & Argentina. Weather forecasts.
Sea Kayaking in Chile
Go Sea Kayaking in Chile from the Andes to the Ocean on Lago Yelcho. Fjords, hotsprings, extinct volcanos, temperate rainforest. Experience the Glaciers and Fjords of Tierra del Fuego.

Raft Guide School Thinking about a rafting guide job on the Futaleufu? Check out our whitewater guide school & swiftwater rescue training course.

Fly Fishing in Chile
Go fly fishing in Chile from our ranch or lodge in Chilean Patagonia. Fly fishing trips on Lago Yelcho. Fly fishing trips on Rio Grande.
Custom EcoTours in Chile
Custom ecotours through Chile’s Patagonia and the Futaleufu valley that include bird watching and nature treks.

Kayak School
Learn the eskimo kayak roll at our kayak school. Receive world class kayak instruction from our paddling school.

Group Conferences in Patagonia
Checkout our large group, instructional and corporate team building programs offered every year.
Futaleufu Information
Information About the Futaleufu River in Patagonia Chile. Futaleufu guidebook of river sections.
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Patagonia Horseback Riding
Patagonia horseback riding vacations and holidays with genuine Huasos & Corralero Horses.

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Our CondorNest Ranchito is the perfect honeymoon cabin located beneath the Tres Monjas towers.
Snow Skiing in Chile Snow skiing in Chile in the spectacular Andes Mountains during the summer months. Office Internship Jobs  
Office internships and employment opportunities in rafting, kayaking and fly fishing & adventure travel offfice.
Canyoning Vacations
Chile canyoning and rapelling day added on to your custom trip.
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Experience genuine Chilean Cultural Immersion on our adventure travel horseback riding and trekking vacations.
Kayak Chile Whitewater
Kayak in the spectacular Patagonia
Andes. Kayak Chile whitewater from our spectacular kayak eco camp.
Patagonia Mountain Biking
Experience a genuine Chile Mountain Biking tour through Chilean Patagonia and Argentina.
Rafting en el Río Futaleufú
con las mejores aguas blancas de clase mundial (5,4,3,). Kayak de mar, mountain biking, cabalgatas, sit-on-top kayaking cayoning, caminatas, pesca con mosca y mucho más aventuras podrás encontrar en el corazón de la patagonia Chilena, y desde el comfort de nuestro nativo y caluroso Hotel. Rafting en lel Río Futaleufú en Español.

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