Rio Futaleufu rafting holiday in Chile
Description of Rio Futaleufu rafting holiday in Chile
The Rio Futaleufu runs from Argentina's Los Alerces National Park west through Chile to the atmospheric coastal fishing town of Chaiten. Its clear untamed waters race through a pristine wildnerness of snow capped volcanoes, deep canyons and rich rain forest.
Begin your journey into Patagonia in the beautiful town of Puerto Varas, a distinctive place of wooden houses built by German immigrants by the shores of Lago Llanquihue, Chile’s second-largest lake. From here, transfer by small plane over stunning landscapes to Chaiten to drive to your base camp, taking in the multiple hanging glaciers, jagged glaciated peaks and temperate rainforests that ring Lago Yelcho.
Your white water adventures on the Futaleufu offer variety and unforgettable experiences each day. Adrenaline peaks include the stomping continuous maelstrom known as Mas o Menos (More or Less) and the class V rapid Casa de Piedra (House of Rock), while hardcore rafters can pit themselves against the intense white waters of the Inferno canyon – think aggressive class V paddling. Here too are Class V+ rapids like Zeta and the Throne Room best viewed from riverside!
A day on the Rio Azul uses inflatable kayaks to carve through one of the region's most scenic canyons with a mix of class II and III rapids plus the Class IV ‘Cheese Grater’. The final day's rafting offers stunning views of Las Tres Monjas peaks, as well as two of the trip's toughest rapids - The Terminator plus the haystack wave train known as The Himalayas. Alongside the white water battles, there are hours spent drifting down calm river stretches too.
There are brilliant activities from the base camp too. Take a two-hour horseback ride to a beautiful beach on the Rio Azul for an authentic Patagonian barbecue picnic lunch or a short hike to the 300ft Cascada waterfall. Other options include fly-fishing, mountain biking, yoga, sauna, massage and hiking - or just soak in the hot tub beneath vast Patagonian skies. The hardy can even go for a bracing dip in the river! Each night there are candle-lit al fresco dinners using local produce, plus music and dancing - if your tired limbs are up to it!
PlanetIn the office here, we only use recycled paper and envelopes, we recycle all cardboard, envelopes, waste paper and other recyclable materials i.e. milk cartons, and we all cycle to work, and have taken advantage of the cycle to work scheme. We print on the reverse side of paper we receive from suppliers to save paper, we only have two energy saving light bulbs in use in the winter (none in the lighter summer days) and always drink fair-trade tea and coffee.
We are environmentally-friendly in as many small ways as possible, eg in our indoor office we prefer emailing instead of letter-writing, recycling everything we are able to recycle, and to make up for anything we cannot recycle (because the recycleman won’t accept it), and for this trip we plant one tree for every client. On our trips we do not leave anything behind where we camp – all rubbish is carried out and dealt with at the end of the trip, same with human waste. We leave places like we found them, (sometimes even nicer than when we found them!) Let’s face it, rafting is an environmentally sound way to travel, the only energy needed to propel the boats forward is provided by the river and your arms!
PeopleSince 2006 we have been supporting the Huchuy Yachaq community project in a marginalised neighbourhood of Cusco. We set up the web site for no cost and donated USD 3000 in 2006 & 2007, USD 5000 in 2008. We send volunteers. The money we raised has refurbished community building, installed toilets and washing facilities, pays for a volunteer teacher, school materials for 120 kids, a part time psychologist & holiday workshops. We contribute USD 1000 a year for school materials for the community where the porters we work with in Peru come from. We are members of IGTOA and LATA. Both support charitable projects in destination countries. IGTOA is active in conservation, preservation & promotion of responsible tourism, in Galapagos. LATA has a foundation to support tourism related projects in Latin America, promoting a responsible and sustainable tourist industry.
To support the local communities, we buy our produce from them along the way, sleep and eat in locally-run establishments where possible, and interact sensibly with tribes on the riverbanks as we believe in positive cultural exchanges so as not to change their lives – this means trade not aid. Our camp in Chile uses only local people to run it (apart from some of the guides) we use only solar and wind power to generate power for the lights at camp, and toilets are the New Zealand composting type.
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