Futaleufú means “Large River” in Mapundungún, and the Futaleufú River has indeed earned its name: it’s considered one of the top three rivers in the world for rafting and an ideal river for kayak aficionados. It flows into Lake Yelcho and is known far and wide as a paradise for fly fishing as well.

Futaleufú lies in the ancestral territory of the Tehuelche people. The first settlers arrived from Argentina around 1912 and made their home in the mountainous countryside. The city was officially founded in 1929. Known for horseback riding, yerba mate, and “gauchos,” or Chilean cowboys––a rich local culture that can also be explored in nearby rural communities, including Espolón and El Azul, among others––this area has developed a strong tradition of rural tourism, with excellent options for visitors looking to trek or go horseback riding.

Lodging, Food, and Activities

In Futaleufú, you’ll find various amenities for tourists, including cabins, hostels, hotels, and restaurants, in addition to a variety of different activities. Get more information at:
https://www.futaleufu.cl/turismo/servicios-turisticos
http://serviciosturisticos.sernatur.cl
https://www.futaleufu.cl/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Atractivos-y-resena-de-Futaleufu.pdf

Region

Futaleufú

Province

Palena

Population

2.623

Climate and Rainfall

Rainy and temperate, 80 inches annually

Nearest National Park(s)

Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park

Corcovado National Park

Don’t Miss

  • Visit the Futaleufú National Reserve, part of the World Biosphere Reserve of the Temperate Rainforests of the Austral Andes. The reserve offers various trails for exploring the forest.
  • Raft on the Futaleufú River.
  • Kayak or boat on Lake Espolón.
  • Hike up the Piedra del Águila to get beautiful views of the valley.
  • Visit the Garganta del Diablo waterfall on the Espolón River.
  • Hike the Bandera peak for a panoramic view of Futaleufú.
  • Take pictures of Laguna Espejo wetland, located very close to town.
  • Fish for sport on the Futaleufú or Espolón Rivers, or on Lake Yelcho.
  • Go for a horseback ride in nearby rural areas, where you can learn about the local Andean culture.

How to get

Futaleufú is located 97 miles from Chaitén and 6 miles from the border with Argentina.
If you’re coming from Puerto Montt, you can arrive via the Bimodal Route (Ruta Bimodal). Take the Carretera Austral to Caleta La Arena, then board the ferry to Caleta Puelche (no reservation required). You can also get to Caleta Puelche from Cochamó and Puelo via Route V-69. From Caleta Puelche, continue to Hornopirén. At Hornopirén, you’ll need to board another ferry south, and the Hornopirén–Leptepu and Fiordo Largo–Caleta Gonzalo legs should be booked in advance. (You can make reservations at www.taustral.cl and http://www.barcazas.cl/.) From Caleta Gonzalo, drive 81 miles to reach Santa Lucía, then continue east 47 miles until you reach Futaleufú.

If you’re coming from Coyhaique, take the Carretera Austral 215 miles north to Villa Santa Lucía. From there, continue east 47 miles to Futaleufú.

If you’re coming from Argentina, drive to the town of Trevelin, then take Route 259 to the border. When you’ve passed Chilean customs and border control, continue 6 miles to Futaleufú.

Buses Kemel offers daily routes from Puerto Montt to Chaitén. There are also routes available between Chaitén and Futaleufú (Buses Cárdenas) and Coyhaique and Futaleufú (Buses Becker to Villa Santa Lucía and then connecting with Buses Cardenas to Futaleufú). Finally, ABSA and Río Palena also offer direct routes from Puerto Montt to Futaleufú, via Argentina, a trip of around 12 hours. Trans-Andean company Jacobsen offers routes from Futaleufú to Esquel.

Naviera Austral offers voyages from Puerto Montt and Quellón to Chaitén, though this service is only available certain days of the week. Prior reservations are required. From Chaitén, continue in car or bus to Futaleufú.

Pewen and Aerocord offer daily 35-minute flights from Puerto Montt to Chaitén. These flights leave at various times, depending on the day of the week, and are subject to change depending on weather conditions. Futaleufú also has a landing strip. Pewen flights directly to Futaleufú (you can book it in Puerto Montt).

Tips

  • Due to its proximity to the Andes Mountains, Futaleufú has relatively hot temperatures in the summer (an average of 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and relatively cool temperatures in winter (39 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • If you’d like to take a boat from Puerto Montt to Chaitén, or Quellón to Chaitén, as part of your trip to Futaleufú, don’t forget to make a prior reservation by contacting Naviera Austral (http://www.navieraustral.cl / phone: (+ 56) 65 2731011.
  • If you prefer to journey to Futaleufú via the Bimodal Route, you’ll also need to make a prior reservation, through Transporte Austral (www.taustral.cl) / phone: (+56) 65 2253530 or Somarco
  • Improvements have recently been made to the Futaleufú Aerodrome, including maintenance work on the landing strip, lengthening it by 3,200 feet to accomodate larger planes. Lights were also added to assist with landing on low-visibility days. To schedule a flight from Puerto Montt, visit http://www.pewenchile.com /.
  • To check the schedule and status of the border crossing, visit http://www.pasosfronterizos.gov.cl/complejos-fronterizos/loslagos/paso-futaleufu/.
  • In Futaleufú, you can find a currency exchange office and vendors who sell insurance to visitors crossing into Argentina.
  • The municipal library offers free internet.
  • The main square has free wifi.
  • Futaleufú carries out waste separation. You can find clean spots in the office of tourist information and in all tourist companies.
  • The Futaleufú river basin is a Tourist Interest Zone.
  • Buses Cárdenas has 2 daily departures to Chaitén/li>
  • Buses Jerry offer services between Palena and Futaleufú

Basic Services

  • Gas Station
  • ATM
  • Bank
  • Hospital
  • Auto Repair Shop
  • Bike Repair Shop
  • Cell Service
  • Police Station
  • Visitor’s Center
  • Aerodrome Chaitén
  • Conaf (Park Rangers)

Visitor’s Center

Address

Calle Bernardo O’Higgins #596 (in front of the plaza/town square)

Phone

(+56) 65 2237629

Email

infoturismo@futaleufu.cl / turismo@futaleufu.cl

Open year-round

Important Dates

In December the «Fiesta del Arriero» is celebrated in del Azul sector.

In January takes place the «Ruta de los Valles» competition for
cyclists (MTB).

In February «El Pilchero» festival takes place in Espolón sector, which will allow you to experience the gaucho culture.

In February, the week of Futaleufú is celebrated, a family event where tourists are welcome.

In February the «Futa XL» takes place, an international sporting event that gathers the best kayakers of Chile and the world.

Copyright 2018 Ruta de los Parques de la Patagonia

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