Recognized as one of the best places in the world for kayaking and rafting, it also offers other possibilities to practice sports such as Canyoning, trekking and mountain biking.
In the middle of the Andes Mountain range in Chilean Patagonia is Futaleufú, a town famous for the beauty of its forests and the emerald-colored river that give it its name. Recognized as one of the best places in the world for kayaking and rafting, it also offers other water sports such as Floating, Canyoning in gorges, kayak in lakes and fly fishing.
In the Valley of Futaleufú it is possible to walk among giant trees and get lost in the forest thickets doing trekkig, mountain bike or horseback riding that go through fairy tale paths and culminates in viewpoints with amazing landscapes.
Rafting in Futaleufú
The name Futaleufú comes from the Mapuche language and in Spanish it means "big river". This intense body of water is considered one of the three best in the world for kayaking and rafting. In its strong currents it is possible to go from class II rapids to class V +, the maximum difficulty of rafting worldwide. This has made it one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Chile to carry out this sport.
The river is divided into sections according to their level of difficulty.
- Section 1 / Puente-Puente: It is between the Zapata bridge and the Futaleufú and is the most popular because it does not require previous experience. Includes class III and IV rapids.
- Section 2 / Puente- Macal: The intense waters that pass through this part of the Futaleufú are level V and require a little more courage and experience than the one mentioned above.
- Section 3 / Río Azul - Macal: Its rapids are class V +, the maximum difficulty in rafting, that is why it is reserved only for experienced athletes.
If you are looking for a more easyl and pleasant route, it is possible to do rafting in class II waters.
Trekking trails in Futaleufú
In the Futaleufú Valley there is a variety of microclimates that make hiking the ideal sport to explore the different ecosystems of the area. The vegetation includes from temperate Valdivian forest, in the western part of the valley, to arid plains, on the border with Argentina.
- Laguna de Espejo (4.5 km): One hour trail. From there you can see the entire town of Futaleufú.
- El Mirador (14 km): this hike is inside the Huemul reserve of the Futaleufú National Reserve. From its viewpoints you can have spectacular views of the upper part of the Futaleufu Valley and the border with Argentina.
- Piedra del águila (12 km): it is one of the most popular trails in Futaleufú, you can go walking, mountain bike or horseback. Its two highlights are the Piedra del Águila and the waterfalls of Espolón lake where you can do floating or swimming in summer.
- Blue River Circuit: from Lago los Cedros to Lago Azul, this path passes through beautiful places that culminate in two lakes of pristine waters.
How to get to Futaleufú
- From Santiago by plane or bus to Puerto Montt. Then take a bus from Puerto Montt to Futaleufú crossing through Argentina (9 hours and a half).
- It is also possible to hire private flights from Puerto Montt to Futaleufú (2 hours) to avoid the trip by land.
- From Puerto Montt take a boat house to Chaitén (from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.). From Chaitén you can take a bus to Futaleufú (4 hours).
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