Trip Name:
Road to Futa
Skill Level:
III, III+, IV, IV+
Trip Price:
$2,250 (shared occupancy) — $1,950 USD (camping)
Trip Length:
9 Days
Trip Dates:
Road to Futa, Feb 21 – Mar 1
WANT MORE? Early Bird – Futa Trip Extension, Feb 15 – Feb 21
Stay After – Pucon Trip Extension, Mar 2 +PLUS
 
BOOK NOW

RESERVATIONS STEP 1 Select your trip with the BOOK NOW button. No financial obligation at this step. 

RESERVATIONS STEP 2 – PKH will followup with trip specifics and directions how to send deposit to gain your reservation space. 

RESERVATIONS STEP 3 – Send your deposit and secure your reservation. We’ll send you our Welcome to Chile Packet full of helpful travel tips, packing list and what to expect. 

Got Questions: Email David@puconkayakhostel.com. Phone before October 1 US 828-788-5135; After October 1 Chile +56 9 4247 2676. 

DescriptionItinerary: Feb 21 - Mar 1Futa Trip Discounted Extension, Feb 15 - 21Pucon Discounted Trip Extension, MAR 2 +PLUS
Chile’s Carretera Austral en route from Puerto Montt to Chaiten to Futaleufu passes along Gulfo de Ancud, Lago Yelcho, fjords, glaciers and volcanos. Keep your camera close.

The Road to Futa tops the list of ‘road trips of a lifetime’. It’s hard to know where to start describing the incredible journey to this sacred place. Imagine, for just a minute, going back in time to an era when living off the land prevailed over modern technology and convenience. A time when cell phones and Internet were replaced by sitting around fires and sharing family style dinners cooked using a sheep from your neighbor’s flock and vegetables from your garden. The Futaleufu valley is as wide as your imagination, with sweeping vistas dotted by jagged Patagonian mountain peaks and water in every phase of its lifecycle. There is beauty and heartbreak all around – signs of inevitable hardship born from the harsh environment are delicately balanced in a landscape so pristine and expansive it begs to be explored.

For anyone who has been fortunate enough to visit Futaleufu, it’s easy to understand how this remarkable place has remained so well insulated from development and westernization – it’s extremely remote. For kayakers, this isolation is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it’s easy to disconnect, live in the present moment, and focus on kayaking when you’re so far removed from your normal existence. On the other hand, the geography presents a series of logistical challenges that are tricky to solve, even for native Spanish-speakers. This trip is the culmination of our experience and the genuine belief that the journey is part of the destination.

The Road to Futa starts with the Carretera Austral. Also known as ‘The Southern Highway,’ the route was originally constructed in 1976 and designed to connect the mainland city of Puerto Montt to Chile’s southern territories. These communities had been historically isolated by the natural geography of the coastline; a series of archipelagoes, inlets, fjords, mountains, and bays characterize this region of Chile and much of it is considered inhospitable due to the terrain and violent weather – particularly in winter. As part of our route on the Carretera Austral our group will take three separate ferries beginning in Puerto Montt. The ferry rides are spectacular, with regular sightings of dolphins, penguins, elephant seals, sea lions, and whales – as well as uninhabited islands, salmon farms, pristine alerce forests, numerous volcanoes, and low-lying glaciers. We will arrive to our final port in the town of Chaiten after the third ferry. From here it’s only about 150 kilometers to Futaleufu, but this section of road – a relentless series of potholes, washboard bumps, and dust – takes approximately four bouncy-but-breathtakingly-beautiful hours to drive.

Once you arrive in the Futaleufu valley, you’ll immediately recognize that you are somewhere special. The remoteness is observable in nearly every aspect of life. The grocery stores have limited inventory and an even more limited stock of produce. The high cost of gas, equipment, and supplies – if they are even available – reflect the difficulty of transporting goods to the region. PKH trips are planned well in advance, and as a guest you will benefit from our experience and preparation. That means you can concentrate on soaking up the scenery, playing the guitar, building a fire, reading, telling stories, and perhaps most importantly – kayaking. Now is your time to enjoy the Futa and this is exactly the way to do it.

We will spend our first day in Futaleufu kayaking the river you traveled all this way to see. The Rio Futa offers sections for every skill level of kayaker – from beginners to class V pros and everyone in between. Our coaches will work daily with development kayakers on sticking combat rolls, gaining confidence in big volume water, and progressing through a set of challenges on specific river features – leading up to a descent of the “Wild Mile.” Experts will be challenged too as they learn a new arsenal of whitewater skills including big water freestyle, strokes and techniques for high volume rivers, extreme racing strategies, and new lines to classic Futa rapids in sections like Inferno Canyon, Casa de Piedra, Terminator, and Bridge to Bridge.

Come. Paddle. Explore. Experience Futa Life.

Trip Price:
$1,950 (camping) – $2,250 (shared occupancy lodging)
Arrival City:
Puerto Montt Airport (PMC) Night Prior
Departure City:
Puerto Montt Airport (PMC) Post 6 PM

Road to Futa Itinerary

DAY 1 (Feb 21): Puerto Montt to Chaiten Flight, Departs 10 AM.

This 30-minute flight is an experience in itself with aerial vistas over fjords amongst the Patagonian volcanos and Gulfo de Ancud. 

Logistics Notes:

  • Your short Patagonia flight is sure to be exciting as you pass volcanos, fjords and glaciers.
    Puerto Montt to Chaiten Flights: Guests will need to be at La Paloma Airstrip, Puerto Montt at 8:30 AM. Contact us to help you walk through logistics.
  • Most guests will arrive to Puerto Montt the day prior and spend the night in a local hotel. Flight costs are 40.000 for each way flight or about $US65. Which is not included in your trip costs. A PKH representative will meet guests in Puerto Montt on Feb 22.

Puerto Montt Things To Do: It’s a large seaport town making it have that busy working feel. Lots of containers, cranes, and fishing vessels. Our favorite thing to do is to visit the port fish and crafts markets. If we get up early then you can see the fishermen arriving by boat to clean and stock the morning’s catch. Choose your favorite likings and have it cooked right there. Or how about fresh ceviche in various styles? Or a typical Chilean dish is the Curante.

Driving the Carretera Austral: Every kayaker that has ever explored the Futa has experienced the world famous Carretera Austral. And it has only been recently that the Chilean government has invested in it’s road infrastructure to Chile’s southern Patagonia. The road promises multiple stops for vistas and photos of Lago Yelcho, Gulfo de Ancud, glaciers, volcanos, and Patagon peaks. The port town of Chaiten is a great little stop for last minute supplies during our 3.5 hour drive to the Futa Valley.

By mid-day you’ll be paddling the clear turquoise white waters of the Futa. Let the action begin. On this night our team will celebrate at our riverside base camp by campfire with the “Welcome to the Futa Feast.”

DAY 2 (Feb 22): Futa Time

First full day on the Futa. Will the water be high? Low? Which sections will be best? Where are the waves? The dangers? The boofs? Oh my. Relax. We’ve got you covered. Our instructor’s favorite things to do is studying, charging and recon on the Futa. We’ll start slow in order to assess each kayaker and get a feel for both your kayaks and water levels. Since, the Futa offers rapids ranging from class II to V there will be challenges for every skill level.

AM – Kayak Outfitting. Skills Assessment.

Development Group, Macal Section (III) – Building confidence. Big volume wave rolling with spotter. Boat control fundamentals. Ferrying and running rapids.

Stout Group, Casa de Piedra + Macal Sections – Just a fun day being led down the Futa’s most continuous sections.

PM – Learning Lines

Development Group, Macal Section – Building confidence. Big volume wave combat rolls with spotter. Boat control fundamentals.

Stout Group, Bridge to Bridge – Let’s begin learning the lines and who wants to accept some challenges?

DAY 3 (Feb 23): Lower Futa Sections

Do you love great food? Chef cooked fresh tuna and a copa de vino tinto after a day on the sunny Futa. Is this real life?

Kayak Theory and Coaching – Learn a series of progressive warm-up drills that teach fundamentals. New School Tricks from Old School Fundamentals. Timing and boof techniques.

AM – Development Group – Macal Section
Stout Group – Bridge to Casa de Piedra + Macal Section

PM – Development Group – Macal Section
Stout Group – Bridge to Casa de Piedra to Macal Section

Day 4 (Feb 24): Inferno Canyon and the Wild Mile or Rio Espolon

Futa Festivities – With the festival comes many activities such as racing against the pros. Or how about just watching them compete on giant slalom class V courses? To keep our day exciting we’ll boat our classic challenge sections. On this night we’ll make a group trip to the town of Futa to let anyone interested in the Futa Fest party enjoy that atmosphere too. We’ll have an early vehicle return to camp and a late vehicle stay with party-goers.

AM –Bridge to Bridge and Macal Sections

PM –   Development Group, The Wild Mile to Terminator Bridge or Rio Espolon – There are several big water rapids with the crux being the Wild Mile. Wild Mile is a mile long section of continuous big volume III+. It’s exciting due to it’s speed, length and size of crashing waves. The development group second option is to work on fundamental skills at the Rio Espolon slalom gates. The Rio Espolon is a nearby Futa tributary with mild rapids and clear waters idea for developing skills with confidence. 

Stout Group, Inferno Canyon + Wild Mile to Terminator Bridge or Rio Espolon – On this afternoon you will be surrounded by walls of the Inferno Canyon. Deep in the canyon you’ll scout rapids like Inferno, Zeta and Thrown Room from above and get a sense of how huge the Futa river is. As always the Futa provides the volume and speed for every kayaker’s challenge or portage. 

Day 5 (Feb 25): Futa Festival and Paddling

AM – Development Group – Macal Section
Stout Group – Bridge to Casa de Piedra + Macal Section

PM – Development Group – Macal Section
Stout Group – Bridge to Casa de Piedra to Macal Section

Day 6 (Feb 26): Sleep in and Inferno Canyon + Wild Mile

AM – Sleep in or morning Bridge to Bridge Section

PM –   Development Group, The Wild Mile to Terminator Bridge – is a next step up section from Macal. There are several big water rapids with the crux being the Wild Mile. Wild Mile is a mile long section of continuous big volume III+. It’s exciting due to it’s speed, length and size of crashing waves.
Stout Group, Inferno Canyon + Wild Mile to Terminator Bridge – On this afternoon you will be surrounded by walls of the Inferno Canyon. Deep in the canyon you’ll scout rapids like Inferno, Zeta and Thrown Room from above and get a sense of how huge the Futa river is. As always the Futa provides the volume and speed for every kayaker’s challenge or portage.

Day 7 (Feb 27): Total Futa Option

Want to paddle the total Futa in one day? We can make it happen. And with the speed of the Futa’s waters and our logistics coordination it’s very doable. Alternative Option – We’ll discuss and provide options for a group that does not want to do such a big day.

AM – After breakfast we’ll drive to the town of Futaleufu to let folks briefly restock their private supplies of snacks and beverages. Kayakers can geek out on communicating home while our guides set shuttles.

PM – Eat an early lunch prior to charging to notch a Total Futa day. Finishing a Total Futa day is something for every kayaker to be proud of.

Kayakers who want a less intense day will be offered shorter sections like Inferno Canyon, the Wild Mile or others.

Day 8 (Feb 28): Drive to Chaiten. Fly to Puerto Montt

PKH will arrange 11:00 am guest flights from Chaiten to Puerto Montt. Flight cost is 40.000 pesos or about $US65. Imagine a short hour flight over Patagonia’s Gulfo de Ancud surrounded by volcanos, glaciers, inlets, fjords and islands.

Departure Flights: Puerto Montt flights for after 4:00 pm.

Day 9 (Mar 1): Drive to Chaiten. Ferry or plane to Puerto Montt

Pucon Trip Extension: Kayakers whom want to explore Pucon will catch the 10 AM Chaiten to Puerto Montt ferry and ride with Team PKH to Pucon.

Post Trip Logistics Note:

  • Chaiten to Puerto Montt Flight will arrive to La Paloma Airstrip, Puerto Montt around 11:45 AM.
  • Puerto Montt Flights – may be arranged for 5 PM and after.

Pucon Trip Extensions – Kayakers will ride the ferry with Team PKH. Beds and rivers will be awaiting in Pucon. Email David@puconkayakhostel.com to sort your departure logistics. 

Trip Price:
$900 (camping) $1,100 (shared occupancy lodging)
Arrival City:
Email David@puconkayakhostel.com
Departure City:
Email David@puconkayakhostel.com
 

Futa Trip Extension – More Futa. More Patagonia. Less Price.

Discount offered only to Road to Futa guests as a gesture of appreciation. 

Many kayakers plan and save for a trip to Chile’s remarkable rivers only once in a lifetime. We often hear, “I’ve came all this way… let’s make the most of it. Can I stay longer?” Trip Extensions are offered exclusively to our trip guests offering 40% discounts on added on days. Kayakers can either meet us in Pucon for a few days in Pucon or Puerto Montt on Feb 15. Email David@puconkayakhostel.com sort your logistics. 

This trip is designed with our Team PKH staff to get kayakers on the river more and to save their budgets. 

What’s included in the Trip Extension? 

  • Whitewater Kayak
  • Lunch and Dinner
  • Bed or Camping. You choose. 
  • Daily Kayaking Trip, Transportation, Coaching and Safety. 
  • The Futa Experience. Good times by all. 

What’s not included? 

  • Personal gear. 
  • Alcohol. 
  • Dinner. We’ll do a group food shop and plan cook teams. 

Feb 16: Kayak Outfitting. Set base camp kitchen. Skills assessment and boating. Yes. We will arrive in time for an afternoon session to wash off the dirt road lag. And celebrate our arrival with an afternoon fire side meal and stories. 

Team PKH will Drive to Puerto Montt Fish and Crafts Market. Trip extenders have the option to meet staff in Pucon or Puerto Montt. After exploring Puerto Montt’s Gulfo de Ancud markets we’ll board the overnight ferry for Chaiten. 

Feb 17 – 20:

Daily we will assess each kayaker’s river needs and skills with the levels of the Futa. It’s a chill relaxing time with nothing better to do than kayak, explore, play games, and bond with games. This is Futa life. 

Feb 21: Our last day before the kayak group arrives. Group choice. Are you ready to step it up a notch? Or just want to get back on a super fun play run? Or how about a day off and taking a local hike or a trip to Futa town for internet and a break. Our bodies will tell you what to do. 

 

Trip Price:
$1,100 (shared occupancy) – $900(camping)
Arrival City:
Email David@puconkayakhostel.com PM
Departure City:
Email David@puconkayakhostel.com

+PLUS Pucon – More Kayaking. More Chile. Less Costs. 

Discount offered only to Road to Futa guests as a gesture of appreciation. 

Kayakers that want to kayak more than the Futa and “do Pucon” can. And will. Time permitting. We get it. You’ve saved up for the kayak trip of a lifetime and want to make the most of it. We make it easy for you to add a travel to Pucon leg to your Futa trip.

Price listed includes 5 days. Want more? Let us know. We’ve got nothing better to do than kayak. 

What’s included in the Trip Extension? 

  • Transport from Futa to Pucon. This is a big one as we have to reserve your ferry transport. 
  • Whitewater Kayak
  • Lunch and Dinner
  • Bed or Camping. You choose. 
  • Daily Kayaking Trip, Transportation, Coaching and Safety. 
  • The Futa Experience. Good times by all. 

What’s not included? 

  • Personal gear. 
  • Alcohol. 
  • Dinner. We’ll do a group food shop and plan cook teams. 
  • Travel meals during the travel day from Futa to Pucon. We’ll pack supplies for the ferry and they have a cafe too. But mostly we’ll eat at the cool port seafood cafes Chilean port dishes like seafood empanadas… ummmm. We can’t wait. 

March 1 – We’ll drop Road to Futa kayakers off at the Puerto Montt Airport after our ferry ride through Patagonia. Team PKH will continue driving another 3.5 hours to Pucon. Pucon Kayak Hostel will be ready with our hot showers, warm beds food and drink. 

March 2 and the days beyond… Daily, we’ll go out to notch the local rivers. About every third day we’ll do a day trip to a river a bit further away. This keeps us fresh without too much road time and the travel exploration real too. The activities are as awesome as the rivers. A few options include hike a volcano, do our famous fire (hotsprings) and ice (glacier) day trip, swim lagunas, SUP board, or just checkout the Pucon cafes and beaches. 

And if you want to stay longer… then heck. Let us know. We’re here ’til May. 

Keep Kayaking. 

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