The Futaleufu River is a world class kayak destination and Fundo Encantado is ideally situated to serve as a whitewater kayak base camp for a group of kayakers. Fundo Encantado provides a more luxurious accommodation experience than the usual campground, hostel or hotel provide. After a day’s kayaking you will be able to return to the Fundo where a hot shower and hearty dinner await you and not have to worry about a thing, except the following day’s paddling plans.
Fundo Encantado is located at the confluence of the Futaleufú and Espolon Rivers and it can serve as a take-out for kayak runs on the Espolon as well as a put-in point for the Class V Infierno Canyon. Its location on both rivers makes it an ideal accommodation to host groups of kayakers with mixed skill levels.
About the Rivers:
Rio Espolon – Class II/III (11 km, 18 ft / mi)
The Rio Espolon is a gentle class II/III tributary of the Rio Futaleufú, ideal for kayakers who are learning or new to the sport. The river has its origins in the sun-warmed waters of Lago Espolon and increases in difficulty as it gets closer to the Futaleufú confluence. Just outside of town there exists an excellent play wave, ideal for learning how to surf or for those wanting to hone-up on their rodeo skills. Further upstream there are a series of oxbow created lagoons that serve well for roll practice.
Rio Azul – Class III/IV (7 km, 60 ft / mi)
The Azul River is a challenging class III/IV river that joins the Futaleufú River at its midway point in the valley. It originates from a glacier high in the valley and is therefore colder than either the Futaleufú or Espolon rivers. The crux section of the river lies just above the route 238 bridge. Below the bridge is an awe inspiring granite slot-canyon that serves as the highlight of the run. There are a few play waves on the Azul as well, below the canyon. The take-out is the Futaleufú confluence with permission of our friends at Expedicones Chile.
Futaleufú River – Class IV/V – Big Water
The Futaleufú River is divided into five kayaking sections. From the top to bottom these are:
Inferno Canyon – Class V – The Infierno Canyon is the most difficult section of the Futaleufú River to kayak. The rapids are not any larger than elsewhere on the Futaleufú but have a three dimensional big water characteristic to them that make them more difficult and more dangerous to paddle. Inferno canyon can take swimmers deep and there are very few rescue points.
Las Escalas – Class III-IV – The Las Escalas section is a great introductory section of whitewater that includes the Class V rapids of Zeta and Throne Room that can be portaged by non-expert kayakers. The put-in for this section is about 5km downstream of Fundo Encantado.
Terminator Section – Class IV-V – This river section is a step up from the Bridge-to-Bridge section and includes the Class V Terminator, Class IV+ Khyber Pass as well as the Class IV Himalayas which are some of the biggest waves on the river.
Bridge-to-Bridge Section – Class IV-IV+ – This is the most popular section of the Futaleufú River and is rafted and kayaked almost every day by the outfitters in town. This section offers the most reward for the least risk and is the section that most outfitters start their people on. It includes the two large and powerful Class IV+ rapids, Entrada and Mundaca.
Casa de Piedra Section – Class IV-V – This is the final whitewater section on the Futaleufú. It comes right after the Bridge-to-Bridge section and contains the Mas o Menos and Casa de Piedra rapids. A great step up from the Bridge-to-Bridge section and is often kayaked as an add-on for experienced groups after the Bridge-to-Bridge section.
A downloadable guide to the Futaleufu River can be found here: Futaleufu River Guide
How to get on the river:
To kayak any of the above rivers, either for a single day or multiple days, contact Expediciones Chile at www.exchile.com or visit them in town at the corner of Bernard O’Higgins and Gabriela Mistral streets. They do kayak instruction, ducky trips as well as guided trips on the Futaleufú River.
Futaleufu Vacation Rental: KayakVacation Rental in Patagonia Chile 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 lodge or Futaleufu hotel can offer. © Fundo Encantado 2018.