Frommer’s guidebook calls the village of Futaleufú “one of the prettiest villages in Chile.” The town of Futaleufú is situated on the banks of the Espolón River about five kilometers from Fundo Encantado. During the year it has a population of about 1800 people, which can double during the high tourist months of January and February. Futaleufú is a world- renowned Mecca for whitewater enthusiasts but offers numerous other outdoor-oriented activities for adventure seekers.
The village itself was established in 1929 by pioneer families who decided to settle the area. Because of its inaccessibility, Futaleufú has as much in common with Argentina as it does Chile. Eighty-five years ago access to Futaleufú was primarily through Argentina as Chile’s famous Southern Highway, the Carretera Austral, had not been built yet. The first inroads made by pioneers to the area were by boat across the lakes, and the towns here in the Andes still bear the names of their maritime past, like Puerto Cardenas, Puerto Ramierez and Puerto Espolón.
The town itself has about dozen restaurants and pubs that serve everything from local home-style Chilean to gourmet fare. In town you will also find an equal number of adventure tourism companies offering trekking, whitewater rafting, and kayaking. The town also has a cultural center which hosts shows of local artists and is decorated with artifacts and historical photos from Futaleufú’s past. On the north side of town is the media luna (half moon) where local huasos compete in the traditional, annual Chilean rodeo at the end of January.
The town also has a bank (with ATM), filling station, and numerous small grocery shops.
Chile Vacation Rental: Luxury Vacation Rental in Chilean Patagonia at Fundo Encantado, located just outside the picturesque village of Futaleufú. For families or groups desiring a more private and exclusive experience than the typical hotel or Futaleufu lodge can offer. © Fundo Encantado 2018.