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“In 1990 Eric Hertz and I, working with the Natural Resources Defense Council, local environmental groups and the Pehuenche Indians, fought Endesa’s plans to dam the Bio-Bio, Chile’s other great white-water treasure. We ultimately lost that battle. The first of the Bio-Bio dams was already under construction, and Chile’s burgeoning white-water community thoroughly demoralized, when Eric discovered the Futaleufu, in 1991. His first descent by raft that year opened up the possibility of running commercial trips on the FU, and this reinvigorated Chile’s rafting community. Now the Fu is also threatened. “

-Robert Kennedy Jr., Town and Country Magazine



“The Earth River Futaleufu trip is an astonishment. There was an incredible variety to the week, the amazing camps, all different from one another, but all surprisingly and ingeniously comfortable—from the Arcadian, lost-Boys hideaway at Cave Camp, to the soaring views at the Cliff Camp, to the truly fantastical dwellings up in the canopy of the forest of the Tree House Camp—the food and hot tubs were great. David Rakoff, author, Fu Fighters, Outside Magazine, October, 2003



"Multi-lodge" trip

Cost: (excluding air): $4,500

Total days U.S. to U.S.: 11 (Thurs. - Sun)

Days with Earth River: 9

Group size: 12

Guide/client ratio: 1 - 3

Season: Dec. - March

Meeting place: Puerto Varas, Chile

Accomodations:  7 nights in three spectacular, remote Lodges in Futaleufu Valley including: Espolon Lodge, Uman Lodge,  & Yelcho Lodge. 1 night in Cumbres Puerto Varas Hotel at start of trip.

Activity level: Moderate/active (optional strenuous hike uo to Lago Obesssion)

Suitable ages: 6 - 80

Percent rafting vrs. multi-sport activiites: 50/50 (percentage varies depending upon individual client preference)

Multi-sport activities: Rafting class 4 (class 5 optional), class 3 whitewater inflatable kayaking (Espolon and Azul Rivers), horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, canyoneering, standup Paddleboarding and fishing.

Private departures: Custom groups of 6 or more participants are welcome.

Note: Depending upon the individual, trip emphasis can be on rafting, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fly fishing, kayaking or any combination.


"Multi-camp" Wilderness expedition

Cost (excluding air except commuter flight): $4,500

Total days U.S. to U.S.: 11 days) (Thurs. - Sun.)

Expedition days: 9

Group size:  18

Guide/client ratio: 1 - 4

Season: Dec. - mid April

Meeting place: Puerto Varas, Chile

Accomodations: Exclusive Earth River camps with hot tubs, hot showers (most nights)  Hotel 1 night in Puerto Varas at spectaular Cumbres Puerto Varas Hotel & exclusive Earth River Camps 7 nights)

Activity level: Moderate/active

Suitable ages: 6 - 75

Percent rafting vrs. multi-sport activiites: 50/50 (percentage varies depending upon individual client preference)

Multi-sport activities: Rafting (class 4 option), whitewater inflatable kayaking (Espolon and Azul Rivers), beginner whitewater kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking/trekking, rock climbing, canyoneering, cliff jumping, rappelling, zipline, fly fishing.

Private departures: Custom groups of 6 or more participants are welcome.

Note: Depending upon the individual, trip emphasis can be on rafting, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fly fishing, kayaking or any combination. We also take trekkers who do not raft.



Nights: 2 (Thurs. & Fri.)

Type: Remote, on 100 foot cliff with sweeping river views.

Arrival Time: 2:00 PM Thursday & 4:00 PM Friday

Access: River & hiking/horseback trail

Size: 1 Mile private river front.

Brief Description: The Mapu Leufu Camp is perched on a 100 foot cliff with dramatic upstream views of Teton like towers rising from turquoise water. The dining area, hot tub, cliff dwellings and toilet have a sweeping five mile river view that will take your breath away. An aerial manual cable car river crossing accesses an extensive trail system and the camp’s many multi-sport activities.

"We found ourselves at the first of Earth River's private camps, Mapu Leufu, 300 acres of meadow and forest perched 100 feet over the Fu, dominated by the imposing Tres Monjas, a seven thousand vertical - foot mountain topped with three towering granite spires. The camp comes equipped with showers, a kitchen and a wonderful wood-burning hot tub, but once I crested the bluff and saw the view, nothing else seemed to matter. The river was a deep blue-green - like the crayon color a child might imagine for water.”

- American Way (American Airlines Magazine)

NOTE: Beginning in December of 2013, the Earth River "base camp" trip will operate out of the Mapu Leufu Cliff Camp..


Rio Blanco slot canyon: An enchanted world of crystal clear blue pools, waterfalls and white, sculpted boulders enclosed within sheer 300 foot granite walls.

Cliff hot tub: 16 person, hand-hewn hot tub and deck on the edge of 100 foot cliff over river with five mile view of turquoise river and Teton like towers rising from it.

Cliffside dining area: Dining tables on a 100 foot bluff over the river with 360 degree views of dramatic 6,000 foot Teton like towers rising out of the turquoise river one way Alp like peaks the other.

Ordeurve & camp fire area: Campfire area on 100 foot cliff with five mile river views where ordeurves, beer and wine are served. Dinner is sometimes served here when the cliffside dining area is windy.

Cable car river crossing: The camp’s manuel cable car across the river gives our clients access to canyonering and miles of single track mountain bike and horse trails. The downstream view, perched above the river, is worth the ride alone.

Kayak pond: 20 foot deep spring-fed pond is the perfect place to learn how to paddle and even roll a kayak.

Pinella Creek: Side stream with swimming holes and waterfalls.

Cliff dwellings: 14 hand-hewn, wooden dwellings perched on a 100 foot bluff with stunning upstream views of the turquoise river. Hand-hewn wooden sky bridges and stairs connect the dwellings.

"When I saw the Mapu Leufu Cliff Camp, I didn’t think it was possible to find a more comfortable, beautiful place. The asado that final evening was a wonderful way to cap off an amazing week."

- Anne Ehlers, Futaleufu guest 2002


Canyoneering: Accessed by the camp cable car, the Rio Blanco slot canyon takes us into a world of waterfalls, clear blue pools and giant, river sculpted, white boulders. A combination of hiking, climbing and swimming is the only way to explore this enchanted place.

Mountain biking: Miles of wonderful single track riding on oppiste side of river accessed by camp's manuel cable car crossing.

Horseback Riding: Marvelous riding through fields and forests on opposite side of river accessed by manual cable car.

Hiking: Camp trails lead to secluded lakes, side streams with waterfalls and swimming holes and the Rio Blanco slot Canyon. A mile above camp there is a beautiful lake. Whether on horse, bike or foot, the trail extensive trail system is a wonderful way to experience the area's local culture.

Kayak lessons Guides teach paddling techniques and roll lessons in the camp’s 20 foot deep, spring fed pond.

Fishing: A guided cataraft with fishing platform is the best way to take advantage of the camp’s rarely fished pools.

"The final camp, Mapu Leufu, with that incredible 360 degree view from the top of the cliff where we ate dinner of the Grand Teton like towers rising out of the turquoise river one way and the Alp like, snow capped peaks the other, will be with me the rest of my life."

- Dennis Thompson, Futaleufu guest 2006 & 2007



Nights (1):1 (Tues.)

Type: Wilderness/Remote lakeside & old growth forest

Arrival Time: Tues. 1:00 PM

Access: A dramatic Tyrolean river crossing over class 6 Zeta Rapid, followed by a gorgeous 3 mile trail, connects the Tree House Camp to the Cave Camp.

Area: 250 acres.

Brief Description: A primeval wonderland tucked into a fold in the Futaleufu Canyon, with thousand foot walls, impressive waterfalls and an intimate, miniature lake shrouded in a vast expanse of ancient, Coyue trees. Perched high in the trees, overlooking the lake and snow-capped mountains are 8 hand-hewn tree houses for sleeping.

"There was also a great variety to the week, the camps all different from one another, but all surprisingly and ingeniously comfortable-from the arcadian, lost-boys hideaway of Cave Camp to the truly fantastical dwellings up in the canopy of the forest of the Tree House Camp - the food was great."

- David Rakoff, Outside Magazine


Tree House Camp Trail: Hand constructed 3 mile trail with wooden sky bridges and steps that connects Cave Camp to Tree House Camp. At times cut into the side of the canyon, dramatic river vistas await around every corner.

Condor Falls: Observed from the Treehouse Camp trail, a 100 foot waterfall spilling from Lake of the Frogs.

Lake of the Frogs: 10 acre, 70 foot deep spring-fed swimming and kayaking lake. This intimate body of water is cloaked in an old growth hardwood forest on three sides with snow-capped mountains on the fourth. Cut by the glacier, in a wind-free natural bowl, the glass smooth water reflects the trees and mountains while never missing a sunrise or sunset. At dusk each evening, when the final rays of color fade from the lake, almost on cue, a chorus of frogs welcomes in the night.

Tree Houses: 8 hand-hewn tree houses, perched 50 feet up in the old growth giants, Each tree house has a commanding view of the lake and surrounding snow-capped peaks. The houses were hand crafted by a Chilean master carpenter and no nails were placed in the trees.

Lakeside hot tub: 16 person hand-hewn hot tub and large deck for dining, with lake and mountain views.

Ancient Forest: Hundreds of acres of old growth hardwood forest with trees as old as 500 years and up to eight feet in diameter.

Condor Mountain Overlook: A towering bluff overlooking the Futaleufu Canyon, Cave Camp and Zeta Rapid 2,800 feet below in one direction and Lake of the Frogs and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the other.


Hiking: Gorgeous 3 mile hike to Tree House Camp. An additional mile hike to the the canyon rim on top of Condor Mountain affords 360 degree views of snow-capped peaks, lakes and often condors soaring in the Canyon’s thermals.

Swimming: Sensational swimming in 70 degree Lake of the Frogs with a wonderful transition from the 70 degree lake to the 105 degree hot tub.

Kayaking: Flat water kayaking on Lake of the Frogs

Tyrollean River Crossing: Used to cross river to access Tree House Camp but actually located at Cave Camp (See Cave Camp Activities).

"Only Earth River offers multii-day/multi-camp expeditions that involve wooden hot-tubs, five star meals and a night spent high above the forest floor in hand crafted tree houses."

- Ryan Krough, Outside Magazine



Nights (2):(Mon. & Wed.)

Type: Wilderness/Remote centered around Zeta Rapid

Arrival Time: Mon. - 3:00 PM & Wed. - 10:00 AM

Access: River (rafting) and hiking/horse/bike trail

Area: 1 mile private river front in upper canyon

Brief Description: Located at the Futaleufu’s most spectacular rapid, Zeta, this magical, wild landscape is the most diverse and wondrous river camp in the world. A myriad of gorgeous trails and aerial wooden sky bridges connect a rugged landscape of striking natural features like native stone shelters, river carved hot tubs and granite towers with the camps amenities and nearly a dozen, diverse adventure activities. Because an afternoon and night are not enough to take in all the camp has to offer, we stay there an additional day and night. The view of the camp from the Tree House Camp trail looks like a scene from Avatar.

"The Cave Camp is a natural, adult-size playground. Like a grown-up version of a tree fort, it's the type of never-never land that would make Peter Pan and Lost Boys jealous. Aside from the novelty of a hot tub naturally carved into the granit ledge around Zeta Rapid, the camp also boasts miles of trails, stone shelters, hand-hewn wooden cliff dwellings and beautiful crystalline pools. Not to mention a 300 foot granite tower climb, two-stage rappel and a giant stone shelter"

- American Way (American Airlines Magazine)


Zeta Rapid: Scenic heart of camp where entire river slices through narrow, z shaped granite mini canyon.

Stone tub: River carved, heart shaped, 10 person hot tub along side Zeta Rapid.

Casa Piedra (House of Stone):: 1,600 sq. foot native stone shelter with natural sky lights that is used for dining in inclement weather. The fireplace drafts ther smoke through a natural chimney in a fifty foot crack in the roof.

Tower of the Winds: 00 foot granite climbing/rappelling tower, requiring a three part technical rock climb. The view from the top of this gigantic natural tri-pod is one of the grandest on the river.

Knife’s Edge: arrow granite ridge jutting out from Tower of the Winds, offering the river's most spectacular view. Participants clipp in to a cable in order to safely venture out on the sheer 300 foot granit flake.

Laguito Azule: Deep, translucent azure/teal colored, Japanese garden like pond/lake set within sheer walls with kayaks, multiple cliff jumps. A Huck Finn raft crossing across Laguito Azul connects the Tower of the Winds with the sleeping and dining areas.

Lost Beach: Beautiful, secluded beach on a calm, deep inlet within a bowl of giant white boulders.

Cliffside Dinning Area: Giant, natural stone terrace with tables, benches and stunning views of Tower of the winds and Zeta Rapid.

Sky bridges: Hand hewn aerial bridges that connect camp amenities, activities and natural features.

Cliffside hot tub: 16 person hand-hewn hot tub and deck, with breath taking view of Zeta Rapid.

Cliff dwellings: 14 hand-hewn, wooden dwellings with stunning views of Zeta Rapid. Each dwelling looks at the river's most spectacular rapid from it's own unique angle.

"I couldn’t believe all the things there are to do at Cave Camp! Someone asked me which activity I liked the best. I enjoyed the tyrolean and zip line but climbing the tower and seeing the panoramic view from on top was the highlight."

- Anne Ehlers, Futaleufú guest 2002


Rock climbing: 3 stage, 300 foot, technical rock climb on rope up Tower of the Winds.(beginner to expert).

Rappelling: Two stage (with mid station ledge), 300 foot rappel off sheer 300 foot north wall of the Tower of the Winds. A guide (wearing red in next photo) waits on a ledge to swich participants to a second rope.

Cliff Jumping: 10 to 45 foot cliff jump into the deep, aerated (soft) pool below Zeta Rapid. There is also a 20 foot jump into the translucent blue water of Laguito Azul.

Tyrollean River Crossing: Rope river crossing over class 6 Zeta Rapid (first part of hike to Tree House Camp)

Zip Line: The final leg of the return from Tree House Camp, is a downhill, high-wire glide over the river and a plunge into the Turquoise pool below Zeta rapid.

Hiking:Miles of remote hiking trails, linked by hand-hewn wooden sky bridges and signs to Lost Beach, Tower of the Winds, Laguito Azul and the camp's other unique features.

Kayaking: Flat water paddling beneath the sheer 300 north wall of Tower of the Winds on Laguito Azul.

Fishing: Marvellous fishing at Lost beach and the rarely casted area between class 6 Zeta and Throne Room Rapids.

Swimming: In Laguito Azul (Blue Lake) and at Lost Beach.

"Forbes Magazine & Yahoo recently co-wrote a story on the world's ten most beautiful rivers. The Futaleufu was one of two whitewater rivers included. Both photographs selected for the Futaleufu were the heart of the Earth River Cave Camp, Zeta Rapid, where our guests spend two days and two nights.



Nights: (Sat. & Sun.)

Type: Remote, 30 foot bluff over mile long Terminador Rapid.

Access: River and gorgeous hiking trail through open fields with mountain views. Ox cart transports personal gear into camp.

Arrival Time: 4:00 PM Saturday & 4:00 PM Sunday

Area: 1 mile river front

Brief Description: Hidden in a forest, along mile long Terminador Rapid, the camp’s broad 50 foot bluff affords a birds eye view of the surging Futaleufu river as it spills over giant, sculpted, white granite boulders creating over a dozen waterfalls in a mesmerizing arrangement of colors from turquoise to white.

"Terminator Camp overlooks the churning 1.5km long, class 5 Terminador Rapid and features hand-built wooden cliff dwellings, flush toilets, hot showers and possibly the world's most welcome sight after a day on the river: an 18 person wood-fired outdoor hot-tub. Shortly after slipping into the soothing, 100 degree water, a guide appears with cold Escudo beers, a Chilean cab sav and a plate of home-cooked pizza slices. It sets the scene for a week of indescribably good food that's miraculously conjured up in the middle of the wilderness."

- Rob Mcfarland, "Rafting rush in Patagonia" Escape Travel, Oct. 2011. (Australia's most widely read outdoor adventure magazine)


Peninsula Point: Natural vista area

at bottom of camp with breathtaking upstream views of Terminador Rapid and great fishing.

Cliffside hot tub: 16 person, hand-hewn hot tub. The hot tub deck, scribed around trees, overlooks mile long Terminador rapid.

Stone Couch: River carved stone couch with an unparalleled river level view.

Cable car crossing: Spectacular high aerial river crossing connecting camp to miles of gorgeous single track mountain bike and horse trails.

Cliff dwellings: 4 hand-hewn, wooden dwellings with porches, beds, matress pads, pillows and bedding. Each dwelling has a stunning view of class 5 Terminador Rapid.



Hiking: Trail the length of Terminador rapid and to nearby creek with waterfalls and swimming holes.

Mountain biking/Horseback riding:Miles of single track and horseback riding on both sides of the river connected by an aerial cable car crossing.

Fishing: Excellent fishing in the pool below Terminador Rapid, from Peninsula Point.

"From a photographer's perspective the stone couch is extraordinary. You feel almost like you're suspended in a boat above the ensuing chaos below, yet there's a strange and wonderful tranquility within the contours of the smooth marbleized granit."

- Carr Cliffton, Professional Phoptographer


Camp Stats:


Nights: 7 nights; 8 days (Sat. - Sat.)

Access: Linked by rafts/river and hiking/biking/horse trails.

Combined area: 5 miles of private river front.

Brief Description: Four of the most exotic and diverse private river camps in the world. On multi-camp wilderness expeditions, camps are exclusive to 16 Earth River guests at a time. These remote properties are far from roads, cars, electricity, internet and cell service. We believe a vacation and a sound sleep should be synonymous. When the camps were designed we sited the sleeping dwellings far away from each other and from communnity gathering areas like campfires which allows our guests to drift off to the sound of the river and never be disturbed by people talking, music (guitar playing), barking dogs or early morning crowing roosters. Each camp combines comfortable amenities like river carved stone hot tubs with world class multi-sport activities , wonderful trails and striking man made and natural features in a wilderness setting. These spectacular camps are so diverse that one feels like they are on a different river and vacation every day. You can view these stunning properties in great detail by going to each camp individually on the camp spotlight menu.  The vegtables served at our camps are organically grown in the company greenhouse. 

"Earth River owns four stunning camps along the Futaleufu, which allows them to run the only top to bottom, multi-camp wilderness trip on the river.

- Rob Mcfarland, "Rafting rush in Patagonia" Escape Magazine


Hot tubs, cliff dwellings with beds & bedding, tree houses, cliffside dining areas, wooden sky bridges, riverside campfire areas, native stone shelter with fireplace, indoor dining when raining, hot showers, flush toilets and wonderful meals served with Chilean wine.

"Earth River's camps are about as plush as you can get and still call it camping."

- David Noland, "Travels Along the Edge"

Camp ethic:

Although amazing views abound from camp dining areas, cliff dwellings, tree houses and hot tubs, a tremendous amount of thought and energy was put into carefully hiding constructions to protect the wild nature of this irreplaceable river resource. You can float by our camps and never know they’re there.

"The creative power and ingenuity behind the camps was extraordinary. It´s not just the beautiful wooden structures and wooden bridges but how they enhance what nature put there."

- Dennis Thompson, Futaleufu guest

The challenge in creating the only multi-camp, wilderness river expedition in Patagonia. (A brief history)

When Earth River discovered the Futaleufu in 1991, the river presented a unique challenge; how to run a week long commercial rafting expedition that was too challenging for baggage boats? We decided to run a series of “day trips” relying on dirt road access points in order to return each evening to a centrally located, road accessible, comfortable “base camp” with amenities like running water, a hot tub, toilets and hot showers. These trips were successful but the lack of an access point in the wild upper canyon necessitated running half the river in a long, harried day. Purchasing the Cave Camp and Tree House Camp solved this problem. Soon, however, guests began mentioning how wonderful it would be It there were amenities like hot tubs, cliff dwellings and hot showers at these remote camps. To accomplish this, all the building materials had to be rowed through rapids down the river. A few years later, the Teminador Camp was added completing the first multi-camp, wilderness journey in Patagonia which we refer to as "The World's Wildest, Most Comfortable River Trip".

“Eric Hertz has devoted his life and his company’s resources to saving some of the world’s last great white-water, wilderness rivers.".
"Earth River is the premier river runner in the world. Their staff includes the finest guides to be found."
“Earth River is more than a great whitewater outfitter. Their contributions have made a real difference in our efforts to preserve some of the world's most beautiful rivers in Chile and Canada."
"I want to personally thank Earth River for helping us stop the hydro-electric projects on our land preventing the destruction of one of North America's last great wildernesses.
“I’ve rafted with Eric Hertz down some tough rivers—the Futaleufu in Chile, the Colca in Peru. He's one of the best in the business—obsessed with safety."
“Earth River runs the only continuous, top to bottom, multi-camp, wilderness expedition on the Futaleufu. A week without roads, electricity or cell phones.”
“I’ve been on nearly all the commercially run rivers in the world and Earth River and the Futaleufu stand out as the very best of the best.”—Fred Wiedemann, Co-founder
"Earth River is the premier river runner in the world. Their staff includes the finest guides to be found."
“Earth River’s conservation effort on the Futaleufu is Herculean and represents the single largest river land trust endeavor ever initiated by a commercial outfitter."—Ronald Dodson, Pres."
"I want to personally thank Earth River for helping us stop the hydro-electric projects on our land preventing the destruction of one of North America's last great wildernesses.
“Earth River’s Futaleufu trip is an astonishment. The amazing camps, all different from one another, but all surprisingly and ingeniously comfortable”—David Rakoff
"I want to personally thank Earth River for helping us stop the hydro-electric projects on our land preventing the destruction of one of North America's last great wildernesses.
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