Futaleufu River, Chile
Chile’s Futaleufu River is a must for all white water river rafters
If you are up to grades four and five rapids, then Chile’s Futaleufu River is the place to go white water river rafting. It is, without doubt, one of the world’s top ten white water rafting locations and the reason is not very hard to see.
After flying to Santiago and connecting to Balmaceda, your journey will begin in the central region of Patagonia’s Quelat National Park. Travellers are prepared for what is ahead in grade two rapids and, after a day on the water, you can sit back and relax, looking out onto Lake Risopatron.
The true adventure starts when you launch and soon find yourself facing the rapids of the Inferno Canyon. The Escala de Jacoba and the Purgatorio are only two of the rapids you will face in the Inferno.
Due to this river’s sheer roaring power, you will have to hike as well. Those that arrange these particular trips have become creative and you will traverse, Tyrolean-style, the grade six rapids, known as the Zeta Rapid. This particular rapid cannot be taken on.
Hiking also comes in handy as the lush, grown forests that surround the river have their own, hidden secrets. You will visit the spring-fed lake known as Laguito Azul, where you will be able to see the trout through the clear, blue water.
A natural granite hot tub awaits in the form of a three foot deep pothole carved by the mighty river itself and fed clean water each day.
Numerous views of the snow-topped mountains that surround the area can be stared at in awe. The Tower of the Winds is only one of the many majestic views you will encounter.
Rock climbing allows you to reach the Knife’s Edge, where you will be able to look out onto the flora and the roaring river below. Again, you will be able to see the Zeta Rapid.
After facing numerous adventures and hiking through verdant forests, you will find yourself face to face with the Terminador Rapid, the first of many to come. Rapids such as Mas o Menos and Casa De Piedra are waiting to challenge you. These rapids are amongst the most commercially run rapids in the world and, after taking it on and testing your strength, you will be able to say that you survived.
The whole trip lasts 10 days and the minimum age requirement is 12 years. The rapids of Chile’s Futaleufu River can be taken on in the months spanning from November to April.
The white water river rafting trip shouldn’t have to be the only reason for visiting the area. Patagonia’s Quelat National Park is well worth exploring, as is the small town of Coihaique. Here you can visit, amongst others, the Simpson and Coihaique Rivers, as well as Happy Rock.
Balmaceda boasts with a world-class meteorological station and, by extending your trip, you can sample local cuisines and throw yourself into in a culture you are not familiar with.
(Image by Flickr user Northwest Rafting Company)