Propel yourself down exhilarating whitewater rapids on this epic journey through Patagonia's Futaleufu River Valley. From your deluxe base camp on the shores of the Futaleufu, enjoy rafting and kayaking through aquamarine waters against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains, steep canyons, and the jagged peaks of Las Tres Monjas. Tackle Class II to Class V rapids with the support of highly-trained river guides. Add to your adventure with yoga, hiking, and horseback riding. And reward yourself each evening with a fun night at camp, complete with delicious meals, a hot tub, and festive libations. Join us on our one special 2019 departure, led by our star river guide Sage McDermott.
Enjoy breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and raging rivers in the Patagonian wilderness
Relax at a deluxe riverside camp with a hot tub, sunset bar, and nightly campfire
Take a horseback ride into the Rio Azul Valley and wake for sunrise yoga
Arrive in Puerto Montt, Chile, and meet your trip leader, Sage McDermott, at the airport. Continue to the beautiful town of Puerto Varas, located on the shores of Lago Llanquihue. Explore the town on your own, then gather in the evening for a briefing followed by a welcome dinner with the group.
Hop on a short but scenic flight from Puerto Montt to the small fishing village of Chaiten. Take a beautiful drive up to our basecamp - passing beautiful Lago Yelcho, multiple hanging glaciers, jagged glaciated peaks, and temperate rainforests - and enjoy a hike and picnic lunch along the way. Arrive at your basecamp in the early afternoon and go for short hike or a swim, followed by a soak in the riverside hot tub. Gather with the group for happy hour and a trip briefing, followed by a hearty dinner.
Start your day with yoga, if you choose, with inspiring views of the river. After breakfast, prepare for your rafting adventure in a safe eddy a short distance downstream. Later, put your skills to use by rafting from camp to the Futaleufu Bridge, a short stretch with plenty of rapids that makes the perfect warm-up run. In the afternoon, try fly-fishing, practice yoga, have a massage, go for a hike, or soak in the hot tub before an al fresco dinner at camp.
After yoga and breakfast, it's time to hit the river. After running yesterday's section again, continue on of a continuous cascade of waves known as "Mas o Menos" - a good stepping stone towards a more challenging (and optional) Class V technical rapid called "Casa de Piedra." Afterwards, downshift into Class III rapids, then swap your raft for a hard-shell kayak and take a scenic float. Enjoy a stop on one of Futaleufu's most beautiful beaches. After a hot lunch, continue floating a few miles to your take-out spot just above Lago Yelcho.
Get an introduction to inflatable kayaks ("duckies") then try one out on the Rio Azul, one of the main tributaries to the Futaleufu and one of the most scenic canyons in Patagonia. Challenge yourself on the Class II and III rapids, then take on the Class IV rapid known as the "Cheese Grater." (You may also walk this section if you'd rather). Return to camp where you can fish, mountain bike, or just relax around the camp.
Saddle up for a full-day horseback ride deep into the pristine wilderness of the Rio Azul Valley. Ride to a beautiful beach and enjoy an authentic Patagonian Asado picnic lunch. From there, take an optional 30-minute roundtrip hike to the beautiful 300-foot Cascada waterfall. Then get back on your horse and walk, trot, or gallop back to camp, where you can enjoy the soothing hot tub, a cold beer or glass of wine, or a massage.
After breakfast, set out for Rio Espolon, where today's rafting trip begins. Warm up on this low-volume river before it joins the mighty Futaleufu and gets squeezed into the narrow Inferno canyon. The upper canyon requires aggressive, Class V paddling and is potentially the most intense section of the river. After walking around a few impassable rapids, continue on a corridor of Class IV rapids to the Rio Azul footbridge. In the evening, enjoy a "curanto" dinner that is typical of southern Chile and relax in front of a beach bonfire.
Get ready for an exhilarating final day of whitewater rapids. Start with a warm-up paddle before tackling the longest and toughest rapid of your trip, The Terminator. After three miles of nonstop rapids, push through the enormous haystack wave train known as the Himalayas. Then, float gently back to base camp for lunch. In the afternoon, return to your boat for one last paddle from camp to below Casa de Piedra. Then gather in the evening for a farewell celebration that includes a Chilean asado feast of roasted lamb.
Transfer to Chaiten for your flight back to Puerto Montt. From there, you can catch your flight home or extend your South America adventure.
MT Sobek has been rafting the world's greatest rivers for over 40 years.
You'll be led by seasoned MT Sobek river guide Sage McDermott, who is best known for our Middle Fork of the Salmon River adventure.
This carefully crafted trip takes us back to our rafting roots and gives you the opportunity to paddle through epic Patagonian landscapes.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Rafting Class II to Class V whitewater rapids along the Futaleufu and Rio Azul, horseback riding, short hikes, and optional morning yoga.
Glamping in private tent bungalows on raised platforms, with 600-threadcount sheets, bathrooms, yoga, hot tubs, and a riverside overlook
Expect warm sunny days and cool, clear nights. Active activities provide chilly and wet environs
No. We do not have internet access at camp. However, emergency messages will get through to us if someone needs to find you.
There is not electricity in the tent cabins, however, there are a few areas around camp where you can charge your cameras, phones, and other devices.
No. This trip is a whitewater adventure of a lifetime with teal blue water but every rapid and every activity is optional.
No. Since we are staying at the same camp every night, there is an option to go rafting, horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, or just lounge around camp all day. The choice is yours.
Yes, there are full running water bathrooms at the camp that provide towels, hand soap and paper products. This is luxury camping at its finest.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"A prominent reason we have chosen MT Sobek as our favorite adventure travel company has been the excellent travel guides."
Carol & Burt D.
MT Sobek Guests
"I have taken 12 trips with MT Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me-widening my view of the world and its peoples."
MT Sobek Guest