Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout
Destination Type
Safari / Tent Camp
Fishing Style
Drift Boat, Dry Fly, Wading
November - April
Fishing Days
Why We Go
  • Experience guided whitewater rafting on one of the world's most exciting and beautiful rivers.
  • Relax in a deluxe riverside camp with a wood fired hot tub and sunset bar.
  • Enjoy private safari-style tent bungalows overlooking the turquoise waters of "the Fu".
  • Experience multiple adventures in one package, with mountain biking, horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, and yoga as components of every trip.
  • Become family with Bio Bio Expeditions' talented and experienced team of river-runners.

The Futaleufu Multi-Sport Adventure is based out of a deluxe riverside camp overlooking the turquoise blue waters of the Futaleufu River as it surges beneath Patagonia's snow-capped mountains. With whitewater rafting, inflatable kayaking, fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and yoga this southern Chile trip has something for just about everyone.

Once you arrive at the gorgeous adventure base camp you will realize that you have stepped into your dream adventure travel trip. This will become your home-away-from-home for your vacation week in Chile – your own "safari-style" tented bungalow nestled into the cliff overlooking the turquoise waters and complete with warm down comforters and mattresses for your lazing pleasure. Every morning, after being delivered a hot cup of coffee or tea to your door, you will look forward to another day of fun adventures on or around the Futaleufu.

Each day involves a new and customized mix of activities guided by some of the most accomplished and talented international outdoor guides. River-based fun includes whitewater rafting the famous, incomparable Futaleufu River, inflatable kayaking the aptly named Rio Azul, fly fishing (or spin) for Patagonia rainbow trout, or taking a lesson in whitewater kayaking. Land-based activities include horseback riding and hiking up pristine valleys and mountain biking a mix of ox-trails and single track.

Futaleufu athletic fun is rounded out by the luxurious amenities available back at Camp – relax in two riverside hot tubs, luxuriate with a professional massage, relax with daily yoga classes, enjoy our wood-fired sauna, savor the gourmet cuisine prepared by our professional chef, try wine tasting at the sunset bar and salsa dancing under the Southern Cross, or just chill out around the campfire with a cup of tea. Really, what could be better?


Day 1: Arrive in Santiago, Chile. Collect your luggage, pass through Customs and then re-check in for your domestic flight to Puerto Montt: gateway to Patagonia! In Puerto Montt please look for a BBX representative to transfer you 30 minutes to the beautiful town of Puerto Varas, located on the shores of Lago Llanquihue which is Chile’s second-largest lake! You may experience stunning views of Volcano Osorno, weather permitting. Also, enjoy strolling the streets, famous for its wooden homes built by German immigrants. Depending on your arrival time, rafting, fishing, or a tour to Lago Todos los Santos and Saltos de Petrohue can be arranged. (Not included in trip price) We will meet at 7:00 pm in the hotel lobby bar for introductions and a welcome briefing to be followed by a group welcome dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, where you can indulge in a steak off the Parilla or try Chile’s famous seafood! Overnight in the lovely Cabanas del Lago Hotel right on the lake.

Day 2: After breakfast, we will board our private vehicle for a 20-minute drive to the La Paloma Airport, where we will board one of the most scenic flights imaginable. In only 30 minutes we will arrive Chaiten, a small fishing village and a gateway to Patagonia. Here you will get an immediate sense of wild and scenic Patagonia! Depending on time, we will take a short hike in Pumalin National Park; one of the largest and most diverse conservation efforts in South America. The 715,000-acre Pumalín Park is located in the Palena Province of Chile and stretches from the heart of the Andes to the fjords of the Pacific Coast. Protecting a pristine Valdivian temperate rainforest, this is one of Doug Tompkins Conservation Initiatives. Along our 2 hour drive to Bio Bio basecamp, we pass beautiful Lago Yelcho, multiple hanging glaciers, jagged glaciated peaks, and temperate rainforests. Soon we’ll arrive at the Bio Bio Base Camp, where your private tent bungalows sitting upon raised platforms, complete with river views and comfortable beds, will be waiting for you. Our enthusiastic guides will lead you to your sweet new “home away from home” on the river! After a short hike or a swim, you may want to soak in the riverside hot tub or enjoy a hot shower. Then, we gather in the sunset bar for our first welcome happy hour. We will introduce the entire BBX crew and go over the week’s agenda. After happy hour, a hearty dinner will be served. It does tend to cool down quite a bit when the sun sets below the peaks so we dress warmly in the evenings.

Day 3: Awaken on the banks of the Fu and enjoy your first morning in camp! We rise with the warmth of the sun and have breakfast around 9 am. A pre-breakfast yoga class is available on our customized yoga platform with river views! Mornings tend to be crisp and dewy so prepare to dress warmly - a fleece is perfect. Today is a river day. We will launch our rafts from base camp after a thorough safety briefing. In a safe ‘eddy’, a short distance downstream, we’ll do a set of practice rescue drills. This allows the crew in each raft to hone their skills and prepare to raft as a team. We use a cataraft combined with ace safety-kayakers as part of our “safety net.” Each raft is captained by a highly trained and intuitive river guide, who guides the boat from a stern-mounted oar frame. Guiding with oars does not detract from the paddling experience. The advantage to the oar frame is greater control in pointing the bow straight through bus size holes and 15-foot high “haystack” wave trains. High siding is also an actively used “paddle” command. This style is consistent with any high volume, strong current river where rapids graded 4 to 5-plus rage on. This is the Futaleufú! The first section that we raft, from camp down to Puente Futaleufú (the Futaleufú Bridge), is only 10 km but offers more rapids per 1000 meters than anywhere else on the river. It is the perfect warm-up run and it is non-stop fun! The rapids of note are “El Cojín”, the Cushion, and “Mundaca”, a local family name. At take-out, we meet our vehicles for a 20-minute ride back to camp. Those who would prefer a “lower body” workout to complement their paddling are welcome to run back or ride one of our mountain bikes from take-out to camp. When we get to camp, you can choose to go fly-fishing, try out a kayak, practice yoga, nap in a hammock, enjoy the sauna, have a massage, go for a hike, or soak in the hot tub. Taking a hot shower, either indoors or under the big sky, feels very luxurious while camping in the remote wilderness of northern Patagonia! Of course, for the hardy, the river provides a cold bath and a refreshing swim. As the sun sinks behind the mountains, enjoy a game of chess or cards at the sunset bar. Every late afternoon is “Happy Hour” with an open bar stocked with beer, wine, soda, and fresh juice. Then, we gather together in the open-air kitchen/dining area, the “Galpon”, for a candlelight sit-down dinner featuring fresh locally grown produce and fresh-baked breads. After dinner, enjoy the campfire and the stars before retiring to your cozy tent on your private platform. The sound of the river will lull you to sleep and send you off dreaming of the next day of adventure in Chile.

Day 4: Officially day two of our rafting extravaganza. Our aim is to settle into a river rhythm that will be utilized in order to successfully raft the next few sections the Fu. After breakfast, we will launch our rafts from camp and have lunch on the river. After we pass the Puente Futaleufú (yesterday’s take-out), we immediately round the corner to meet a big stomping continuous cascade of waves known as “Mas o Menos”, translated, “More or Less”. This is a good stepping-stone towards our first true blue class V technical rapid, “Casa de Piedra” (House of Rock) which is right around the next corner. We will get out of our rafts to scout this massive boulder choked rapid from the banks of the Fu. It is formed like a series of water wheels that channel all of their fury into a final churning pit with a dragon’s back highway through it; that is if you hit it online. After this rapid, we will run the remaining class 3 and 4 rapids as our hearts resume beating at their normal rates. We will drift into a nice long calm section that offers perfect fishing from the rafts as well as a great place to get into some hard-shell kayaks. The next three miles we will have a floating happy hour and reach our take-out spot just above Lago Yelcho. Upon return to camp, we will continue to celebrate the day, enjoy the spa and get ready for another fabulous dinner prepared by our jovial crew and talented chef.

Day 5: Today we become experts at navigating our very own river crafts, known inflatable kayaks or IK’s. We venture up the canyon to the source of the Rio Espolon as it cascades out of the Lago Espolón to find gin clear water and gentle class 2 and 3 rapids that offer a perfect learning opportunity to become a great captain of your own boat. If there is interest before we paddle we will have a chance to stroll around the quaint little town of Futaleufú There is something deeply satisfying paddling your own boat down the river, knowing that your destiny is in your own hands. Of course, our highly trained guides will be there to coach you, watch over you and provide safety should you need to be rescued. The Rio Espolon is one of the major tributaries to the Futaleufu river and flows into the Fu right above the Inferno canyon which is where we take-out in the early afternoon. For those ready to try out a hard shell kayak, this is the perfect class 2-3 river to do it on!

Day 6: Surf and Turf up and down the Rio Azul valley! After breakfast, we take a short drive to the stables where we will find our trusty steeds saddled up and ready for adventurous riding. After a safety briefing, we ride alongside some local expert equestrians and our own river guides who will gladly join the posse up a glorious, pristine side valley where the Rio Azul flows unhindered from its glacial headwaters. After a 3 hour ride, we stop for a picnic lunch and then trade in our saddles for paddles to test our talents on the challenging and fun Class 3 and 4 Rio Azul, a significant step up in difficulty from the Rio Espolon. This is a full biathlon day and you will be glad to return to camp, enjoy the soothing hot tub, a cold beer or glass of wine as you wait your turn to get a well-deserved massage!

Day 7: We will have an early breakfast in camp then travel 25 kilometers up the road to Rio Espolon to launch our rafts for the Inferno Canyon day! On the Rio Espolon, we have a chance to warm up on this low volume river before it joins and helps form the mighty Futaleufu as it gets squeezed into the narrow Inferno canyon. This upper canyon requires aggressive class V paddling and is potentially the most intense section of white water on the river. Many other options exist for those who choose not to participate in Inferno Canyon. Five distinct rapids form a narrow sinuous river passage creating a wet surge and a “full on” adrenaline rush. The fourth rapid was until recently the smallest of the 5, but due to road building debris landing in the river, has now become nearly impassable at most water levels and requires a walk around and “lining” the rafts through it. As we come out of “Exit”, the last rapid, we enter into a long calm. The current remains swift and we cruise many miles downstream arriving at the mandatory portage around the fierce “Zeta” rapid. We have lunch on the rocks as the crew “ghost” boats the rafts through this treacherous rapid. After lunch, our first obstacle is “Throne Room,” a class V+ rapid for kayaks, a ghost boat rapid for rafts. By walking around this rapid, we get a great bird’s eye view of an almost ‘river wide’ hole that could destroy a raft. Back on board our rafts, we are dealt a Royal Flush; a continuous class IV corridor of rapids does not let up until we get to our take-out spot at the Rio Azul footbridge. The rafts are left for the night, tethered on shore. Early evening is spent in camp getting ready for the evening festivities. Blanca and her partner Umberto, locals from a nearby farm, prepare a very special treat for us. They merrily prepare a delicious dinner called “Curanto” that is typical of the south of Chile and the island of Chiloe. We spend the evening by the bonfire on the beach singing and dancing the night away.

Day 8: Today, we must be mentally and physically well prepared for the river. We call it the “summit day” as we aim to top our already great paddling days with the best day of white water in the world. After a nutritious breakfast, we head up river to the footbridge where we left the rafts yesterday. As our day on the river begins, the blue glacial run-off from the Rio Azul River merges into the Fu from the right. The views of the snow-capped mountain peaks and jagged ridges of the mountain “Las Tres Monjas” (translated, “the three Nuns”) are absolutely breathtaking. A six-kilometer stretch of warm-up rapids leads us to the longest and toughest rapid that we will raft, “The Terminator.” We scout and study our line, then we take the plunge and drop in. “Left turn, right turn, dig it in — hard forward!” are a few of the commands that might be heard. The next three miles are non-stop rapids. After an aerobic workout, we pump through the enormous haystack wave train known as the “Himalayas”. Just when we need it, a calm returns, we float gently into lunch, served at our base camp. After lunch, we return to the river to complete the last task for the day, tackling as much white water as possible. We raft the whole section of river from camp to below Casa de Piedra. At take-out, cold beers and tea are waiting. We make a triumphant return to camp to celebrate our days spent exploring Futaleufú valley and river. For the evening’s festivities, Rolando and Nelli will prepare a typical Chilean Asado — lamb roasted over a bed of coals, ensalada, potatoes, and farm fresh bread. We toast the river and give thanks for our safe passage. Under a bright starry sky, we will spend our last night together as a group on the banks of the mighty Fu with the guides and crew.

Day 9: We start early today. After loading up your personal gear, our bus and transport will take you to Bariloche or Esquel to catch your flight to Buenos Aires.

Rates & Details

2023 Rate: Per person based on double occupancy

8 night/7 day package: $4,500

Included: Airport transfers in Puerto Montt, 1-night hotel and orientation dinner in Puerto Montt, Charter flight to/from Puerto Montt and Chaiten, daily guided activities, accommodations and meals, beverages including beer and wine at the lodge.

Not Included: International and domestic airfare, fishing license, fishing equipment, flies, and gratuities.

Activities: Rafting, inflatable kayaking, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and yoga.

Season: December – February

Capacity: 18

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? This destination is best suited for adventurous couples, families, or solo travelers who are looking for an action packed, bucket list multi-sport trip to southern Chile. Whitewater experience is not required, but those with an appetite for moving water will enjoy this world-class river with rapids ranging from Class II – V+. The open-air deluxe camp in the beautiful Futaleufu River canyon provides comfortable, rustic accommodations with great amenities that have been fine-tuned from over 20 years of experience.

Where is the lodge? The deluxe riverside camp is located outside the rural town of Futaleufu, Chile in northern Patagonia.

How do I get there? To get to the Futaleufu Adventure Camp, you will fly into Santiago, Chile international airport (SCL), get your luggage, clear customs, and transfer to a domestic flight for the regional airport in the city of Puerto Montt (PMT). Upon arrival in Puerto Montt you will be greeted at the airport and transferred 30 minutes by vehicle to the nearby tourism-driven town of Puerto Varas, located on the shore of Lago Llanquihue – Chile’s largest lake.

You will be checked into your hotel in Puerto Varas (included in the package rate) and meet your group for a briefing, welcome cocktail, and then dinner with the week’s other guests staying with Bio Bio Expeditions (BBX). The next day you will make your way to the smaller La Paloma airport and board a charter plane (included and booked for you) for a scenic 30 minute flight to Chaiten, a small fishing village in the heart of Patagonia. From here, after a midway stop at Pumalin National Park, your group will make your final 3 hour drive to Bio Bio Expedition’s Multi-Sport Adventure BaseCamp just outside the frontier town of Futaleufu.

When should I go? During the austral summer, when the camp opens in mid-December and runs through mid-March.

How will I fish? In between your days of whitewater rafting on the Fu, you will fish primarily from a cataraft casting dry flies and streamers towards back eddies and riverbanks.

Is there wade fishing? Fishing is primarily by boat, but there are opportunities to get out and wade in between different river reaches and side channels.

Where will I fish? There are several sections of the Futaleufu River that you will have the opportunity to experience during the stay.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? It depends on the day and the stretch of river, but you can expect between 15 minutes and 1 hour to reach the fishing grounds. There is some limited fishing from the camp itself.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? Guests target rainbow and brown trout ranging from 14- to 18+ inch class.

How many fish will I catch? Fishing is one component of the overall trip experience, during those fishing focused days guests can expect to catch between 5 – 10 fish per day depending on conditions.

Will I see other anglers? There are other lodges and outfitters on the river, however, to reach some stretches the guides must navigate class III – V rapids to reach certain prime fishing pools and coves, limiting access for most people.

What are the guides like? The guides are passionate, professional, and accomplished river-runners from around the world. They are very team oriented and prioritize river safety first and service a close second. Each guide speaks great conversation, instructional, and fishing English.

What are the physical demands? The guides use stern frames on the whitewater rafts and to safely navigate the rapids requires coordinated team paddling from each crew member.

Are there any special skills required? Guests must be able to swim.

Does the lodge provide equipment? All the equipment for rafting and other activities is provided, including life jacket, splash jacket, wet suit, and helmet, as well as mountain bikes, inflatable kayaks and yoga mats. Fishing equipment is not currently available.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? 9-foot 6 weight with floating line set up.

What are the top flies? Medium to large attractor dry flies, including beetles, stimulators, and Chubby Chernobyls, as well as white and flesh colored streamers.

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? Expect the weather to change constantly, with wind, rain, sun, and sleet all possible in the same day! There are different stretches of the Fu to fish, but if the water becomes too high or colored there are plenty of other adventure activities to keep guests entertained.

What is a typical day like? Each morning you will have coffee or a latte brought to your tent by your guide. You can elect to stretch and practice yoga before you prepare for the day. At breakfast, you’ll learn the plan for the day and then head out to do the day’s activity.

Each day has a whitewater rafting focus, but they add in inflatable kayaking, horseback riding, and mountain biking or fly fishing to break up the different days. Over the course of the week, the level of difficulty of the rapids will escalate as guests build their team dynamics with their boat captain, and as everyone increases their confidence and coordination from time on the water together. After each day’s session, guests will return to camp for a wood fired hot tub, beverages, and appetizers before enjoying dinner and relaxing next to the fire.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere and style of the lodge? I like to think of the camp as “Summer Camp for Adults”. There is a great community feeling at the camp, and from the moment you land to well after you leave, you feel like you joined a close-knit family. The guides and cooking crew are all service oriented with a team focus, and very accommodating to the unique needs of its guests. Camp is very fun and relaxed, and you can choose to socialize in the wood fired hot tub, or find time to yourself in the library or walking along the scenic property.

Is there an on-site owner, manager or other point-person at the lodge? Yes, there is always a trip-leader onsite.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? Guests and guides all share meals family-style together in a main covered space with an open fire. Meals are freshly prepared and include homemade breads and organic greens from the local garden, as well as an assortment of meats, cheeses, and Chilean wines. A highlight of each week is the traditional barbeque, called Asado, where they slow roast a lamb and other meats over an open flame.

What is the alcohol policy? All beer, wine, and alcohol are included in the package. The Bio Bio special is the “Fu Brew”, which is different ales and lagers freshly brewed each season on-site.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? Accommodations are akin to a deluxe camping trip with flush plumbing and hot showers. Guests sleep in clean and comfortable, double occupancy private safari style tent bungalows overlooking the turquoise waters of the Fu.

Is there internet and/or cell service? There is no internet access or cell service at camp. However, there is a satellite phone if emergency messages need to reach you at camp. There is also no electricity in each tent, but there are a couple areas around camp for you to recharge your camera, tablet, or other electronics if needed.

Are there other activities? This location specializes in multi-sport activities that are included in the package, including horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, inflatable kayaking, and yoga.

Are there any other expenses? Guests can pay extra for a massage, which is able to be scheduled on-site and paid in US dollars.

Do I need a visa? No.

Are there any health concerns, dangers or annoyances? Any river activity has some inherent risk. While Bio Bio Expeditions takes every precaution to ensure safety is a top priority, there is always some risk involved with whitewater rafting and guests should be prepared by being physically and mentally ready for the trip.

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