I just returned from Argentina/Chile. I have been to Chile four times now and keep feeling the call to return. I used to go straight to the Rio Futaleaufu and spend my days floating down the big wave trains the Fu boats. (I’m from the Ottawa – I’m used to wide deep rivers).
But this trip, I wanted to see more of Chile and venture into Argentina. We flew into Buenos Aires – the Paris of South America. I’m not one for cities, but this was amazing. Tango shows are everywhere in old beautiful theatres. Great wine, and amazing restaurants. You can easily order a steak that is 1 Kg!!!!
After a fine fix of the city, we fly to Bariloche. An amazing Alpine town along the Chile/Argentine border.
This is an amazing town to visit full of activity and a great night life. The RIO Manso is located here and for a small fee, you can run the class III section with one of the local rafting companies.
We then crossed the border into Chile making our way to Pucon. Pucon is a resort town in Chile that has all kinds of rivers in a two hour drive radius from town. It’s a beautiful place, especially with all of the volcanoes in the area.
When we first arrived into town, we went to the one and only kayak shop in town for local beta, “Kayak Pucon”. The owner Rodrigo Tushner was incredible to us. He gave us a map of the surrounding area and highlighted the put-in and take outs for a bunch of rivers. Hopefully, he is working on the Guide Book to that area because it is desperately needed.
A must have for a proper paddling tour around here is a truck – we rented Kayak Pucon’s truck and headed out with our map. Here are some highlights of my road trip.
Ole’ Faithful. There is great accommodation in Chile. Beautiful Cabanas, hotels and very nice camp grounds. We first found the SAN PEDRO. It’s a beautiful class III run with some cool beaches to hang out on along the way. There is a very nice hotel right at the put in and some from the hotel will meet you at the take-out with your truck.
We then ventured to the RIO FUY area. This was my favorite area. There are 3 sections of this river. The Upper section has a lot of vertical drop to it. Lots of scouting – very fun. It leads up to 5 beautiful waterfalls. They were stunning to see. The Middle section is un-runable. The National Huilohuilo Park (Huilohuilo is a type of bird) surrounds this area and it’s worth the small fee to walk along their trails to see more amazing waterfalls.
After running the Upper Fuy, we stubbled into the most amazing hotel I have ever stayed in. It’s along the Fuy’s Middle section near the Huilohuilo Park and was inspired by all of the area’s volcanos and rivers.
It’s the closest thing to a Hobit House I have ever seen. You feel like you are in “The Lord of the Rings” movie. Everything was so beautiful about the place. It was all around style! That was a great night.
The Lower Fuy awaited us the following morning. Continuous and deep – my idea of river running!
After a couple of weeks in the Pucon area enjoying some of the more classic runs, I decided I needed to go back down to the Rio Futaleufu once again. On a bus down to Puerto Montt we went in style: 80’s music all the way!!!! Too funny.
After a way to short week on the Futa, I had to start making my way back to Bariloche to catch my multiple flights back to “The Ice Box” (Canada). I luckily found a ride a fellow paddler (as all paddlers do)! But he was going to El Bolson, first for some “parapente”. I had to try! A great way to end a great trip.
Story by Cindy Jamieson