Fundo Encantado is situated along the border of the Futaleufú National Huemul Reserve a pristinely conserved park that harbors the endangered Huemul, a small deer-like animal that is Chile’s national symbol. Because of its location near the park, Fundo Encantado is in the position to offer four spectacular low altitude treks directly from the property.
The Futaleufú river valley lies deep in Southern Andes mountains at an elevation of 1150 feet. It is surrounded by glacially carved snowcapped mountains that rise six to seven thousand feet above it. It is also located only 85 km (53 mi) from the Pacific Coast. Because of the rapid elevation change over such a short distance, the Futaleufú valley is dominated by rain shadow microclimates which offer trekkers a wide variety of different types of ecosystems to explore. The southern part of the Futaleufú valley, near Lago Yelcho, is dominated by the Valdivian temperate rainforest, which yield to less rain dependent vegetation as one nears the Argentine border and the arid Pampas beyond.
Treks from Fundo Encantado:
Rio Chico Circuit (33 km / 20 mi)
Starting at Fundo Encantado, this all day trek involves climbing a pass between the Futaleufú and Chico river valleys. The hike will take you through the Nacional Huemul Reserve and between two mountain peaks. You will experience a spectacular variety of different forests types ( Coihue, Mañio, Cipres, and Lenga) on your way up and down as the altitude changes.
El Mirador (The Overlook) (16 km / 10 mi)
Starting from Fundo Encantado, this out and back trek goes to the National Forest Service (CONAF) Overlook in the Futaleufú Nacional Huemul Reserve . This hike offers spectacular views of the Upper Futaleufú River valley and the Argentine border.
Las Escalas Circuit (24 km / 15 mi)
This trek goes down the Upper Futaleufú River Valley, crosses over an old swinging bridge in the Las Escalas Valley and then back to town and Fundo Encantado from the north side of the Espolon river. The beginning of the hike overlooks the famous Class V Infierno Canyon section of the Futaleufú River.
Throne Room Trek (28 km / 17 mi)
This hike heads down the Futaleufú valley past the Class V Infierno Canyon section and ends up at one of the most impressive rapids on the Futaleufú River, the Class V Throne Room. On the way to the Throne Room hikers can stop off at the Los Tres Amigos organic farm run by Don Benedicto to pick up artisanal gifts and organic produce.
Treks from Futaleufú Village:
Laguna de Espejo Overlook Loop (4.5 km)
This is an hour-long walk that takes you to a rock outcropping overlooking the town of Futaleufú and then finishes by going around the Laguna Espejo; a great opportunity for an evening stroll or to take photos above the town. The names means “mirror” in Spanish due to the near perfect reflections of the nearby mountains off its surface.
Piedra del Aguila (Eagle Rock) (12 km)
This is one of the most popular hikes from the village of Futaleufu, this trek goes up the Espolon river valley and detours midway, to a large conical shaped rock called “Eagle Rock” that peers across the valley. Look for Andean Condors and other raptors cruising aloft on the nearby thermals when you approach the top of the switch-backs.
Garganta del Diablo Circuit (Devil’s Throat) (20 km)
This hike ends at the awe inspiring 200ft high cataract known as “The Devil’s Throat” where the waters of Espolon Lake enter the Espolon River. Have lunch at the viewing platform overlooking the most awe inspiring waterfall in the cascade.
Expedition & Away Treks:
Espolon Lake Ferry Boat Excursion (10 km 6 mi)
On specific days of the week it is possible to ride a ferry across Lago Espolon to the pioneer village of Espolon at the far side of the lake. After debarking, trekkers will have the opportunity to explore the little settlement of Espolon on foot before returning on the boat in the afternoon. Espolon village is “off the grid” giving visitors a real feel for what it was like for the early pioneers in the Futaleufú Valley. The lake crossing takes about 1.5 hours each way and it is a 5 km hike to the village.
Cerro Teta Expedition (25 km, 5850 ft)
Snowcapped year round, Cerro Teta is the highest mountain peak overlooking the village of Futaleufú and offers breathtaking views of the entire upper Futaleufú and Espolon valleys. While not the longest trek in terms of distance, this is the most difficult and demanding trekking route from the town of Futaleufú because of the 5000 foot altitude gain. It is essential to begin the trek as early as possible to avoid being caught out after sunset.
Cerro Tres Monjas (18 km, 6360 ft)
This trek starts at the confluence of the Azul and Futaleufú rivers and climbs one of the most iconic peaks in the Futaleufú Valley, Cerro Tres Monjas. Locals say that the mountain is the remains of an extinct volcano and is capped by three spires, the remains of the lava conduit that reached the summit. This is a very demanding all day climb. Trekkers should leave at sunrise and expect to return just before nightfall. Spectacular views of the Futaleufú Valley await all summiters.
Chaiten Volcano (6 km, 3160 ft)
This climb makes for a great day-away hike and affords trekkers a spectacular experience of recent volcanism. This volcano last erupted in 2008 and was one of the strongest eruptions in the past century. The nearby town, Chaiten, survived the eruption but was later destroyed by lahars that swept down the Rio Blanco after a season of heavy rains. Much of Chaiten is still in ruins and in the process of being rebuilt. Spend an hour walking through the ruins and then contract a local guide to take you up the volcano. A landscape not to be missed! Pictures here: Chile 2014
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 lodge or Futaleufu hotel can offer. © Fundo Encantado 2018.