To climbers, there is the challenge and allure of Everest or K2. Surfers dream about Cloudbreak, Jaws, and Maverick. For river runners, there's the Zambezi in Africa, the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, several Nepalese gems - and of course, there's "The Fu."
Fed by pristine glacial lakes in the high Andes of Patagonian Chile, the stunning blue-green waters of the Futaleufu River offer world-class challenges for river runners as it flows through mind-boggling landscapes and past a culture which feels timeless and exudes kindness and acceptance. From the first time we set eyes on this river and the valley that surrounds it, we were madly in love. We couldn't imagine leaving...and when the time came to do so, we couldn't wait to return.
In 2018, GOALS is offering a pair of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to explore this unique region of South America from one of it's greatest lodging options to 2 small, selective groups. We're organizing an adult expedition from March 4 - 12, and a youth expedition from 14-22.
Both expeditions will feature opportunities not only to explore this iconic river in boats, but also it's surrounding valleys on foot and horseback. The youth group will also connect with local kids for part or all of their expedition to experience a true cross-cultural immersion that teaches what it would be like to be a teen in another part of the wold.
Do whatever you must to join us on this journey to a region of South America that magically combines a reputation for sitting solidly atop every river runner's bucket list with a sense of somehow remaining untouched and undiscovered. Take advantage of the chance to experience the Fu as it is meant to be explored - before the damming threat re-emerges; before pavement reaches the region; before you look back and wish you had.
FUTALEUFU Itinerary INCLUDES:
- Ground transportation from the airport at Puerto Montt to the scenic town of Puerto Varas in the Lakes District of south-central Chile. A fun afternoon exploring local artisan market and fish markets in Puerto Varas, then a group dinner and comfortable accommodations which will make the travel required to get there a distant memory.
- A scenic small-plane flight the next morning to Chaiten, followed by a scenic drive through temperate rain forest, driving past waterfalls and under hanging glaciers atop jagged granite peaks. We'll pause for a hike and picnic lunch in Pumalin National Park (created in partnership between the Chilean government and a foundation backed by Yvon Chouinard - founder of Patagonia and the late Doug Tompkins - founder of The North Face), then arrive at our "Swiss-family-Robinson-esque" camp on the banks of the Futaleufu early afternoon for camp orientation, hot tub, swim, and an official welcome from the world-class guides we'll be under the care of.
- Refreshing mornings of yoga on the inspirational deck overlooking the river before a nutritious breakfast of fresh fruit smoothies, home made breads, etc.
- Exciting, personalized days of choose-your-own-adventure activities, from rafting different sections of the famous blue-green Rio Futaleufu to hiking, mountain biking, fly-fishing, kayaking in hard shell or inflatable kayaks, horseback riding, or just relaxing in camp with no schedule whatsoever.
- Inspiring afternoon discussions and activities guided by the GOALS curriculum aimed at strengthening connections to one other, to the planet, and to self.
- Social afternoons feasting on gourmet appetizers in the wood-fired, riverside hot tub before cooling off on the rope swing into the river or an outdoor shower to get ready for another unique, culturally or geographically inspired dinner (we'll enjoy "Chilean night, Argentinian night, Indian night, Italian night", etc. - and even a traditional Chilean asado BBQ on our final night).
- Rejuvenating nights sleeping to the sounds of the river in your comfortable safari-style tent bungalows featuring comfortable beds, soft linens, and fluffy comforters - as well as robes and towels. This is admittedly a bit more "glamping" than the traditional GOALS experience.
- Guidance from local experts, whose knowledge of the area, relationships with locals, and river navigating skills are truly world-class. The caliber of care you are under is absolutely second to none.
NOT INCLUDED IN EXPEDITION COST:
- Airfare to/from Puerto Montt, Chile.
- Massage services at camp - available for $1/minute.
- Guide gratuity
AVAILABLE DATES IN 2018:
2018 YOUTH CHILE EXPEDITION
SUNDAY, MARCH 11 - SATURDAY, MARCH 24
9 days. $2,870 / person