CANCELLATION INSURANCE:Many of our Futaleufu trips fill up and it is often difficult to fill a spot that is left vacant by a cancellation, especially at the last minute. If there is any chance you may have to cancel your trip, you must purchase travel insurance for your protection. Insurance will cover every aspect of your trip including: your deposit, lost baggage and unforeseeable medical emergencies and evacuation. It will also cover additional transportation costs in case you have to be caught up to the expedition due to delays with your international flight. Travel insurance information and an application form can be found under the Travel insurance information heading on the Futaleufu general information section of the hidden link section of the site. Any questions concerning trip insurance please call their office at 1-800-243-3174. Important note: NOTE: Completed travel insurance applications should be sent to: Travel Insured International, 52-S Oakland Avenue, P.O. Box 280568, East Hartford, CT, 06128-0568.
GETTING THERE:YOUR RESPONSIBILITY: International flight from your country to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Transfer by taxi from international airport to National airport (2 hrs.) Flight south to Bariloche (1.8 hrs.). Take taxi to hotel in Bariloche (1/2 hr.)EARTH RIVER'S RESPONSIBILITY: Bus to river & two border crossings (7 hrs.)Note: 75% of road is paved.
WHAT’S INCLUDED:Overnight stay at lake front Hotel in Bariloche, meals, (wine & beer with dinner), guides, instruction, use of a kayak or raft and other equipment required for your described trip. Note: Occasionally on small trips a masseuse or videographer will not be present. Because this is a possibility it is important for people to bring their own cameras if they want a guaranteed record of the trip.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Name and address of Bariloche hotel will be sent to you a few months before trip departure.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:International airfare to Buenos Aires, R/T taxi from international airport to national airport, inner country air to Bariloche, taxi from Airport to lake side hotel and other travel related expenses such as, but not limited to: add. hotel expenses, *country entry reciprocity tax, insurance, visas, passports, medical costs, airport taxes or other transportation costs resulting from a deviation from our itinerary are not included. End of trip gratuities to the guides are also not included as well as professionally shot trip DVD and masseuse. If you are delayed for any reason (missed flight) and unable to reach Bariloche by the set meeting time causing you to miss the land transportation to the river, we can catch you up but you will be responsible for the cost of the taxi from Bariloche to the Chilean border near Futaleufu and and all meals up to the point you are met by an Earth River representative at the border. In case you are delayed, the Earth River office will help you catch up and make arrangements to have someone meet you at the border when you arrive. (1-800-643-2784 or 845-626-2165).Note: Trip masseuse and trip video are also separate charges. The professionally shot trip video is $185 and the masseuse is $45 an hour.Important Note: The Argentina Government is now requiring that travelers pay the $160 reciprocity country entry tax on line, from the U.S., before you arrive in Argentina.
AIR TRANSPORTATION: Airfare from the US to Bariloche, Argentina is not included in the trip price and must be arranged independently. Flights from the U.S. to Buenos Aires range from $1,200 to $1,800 depending upon the time of year, availability and departure city. The portion of the ticket from Buenos Aires to Bariloche is generally between $600 and $700. (When booking your flight you will need to arrive in Bariloche anytime on day 2 (remember to leave a minimum of two hours to travel between the international and national airports in Buenos Aires.) On the return (at the end of the trip) you will be back in Bariloche by 4:00 PM so book your flight back to back to Buenos Aire at the latest possible time that ensures you can catch your flight back to the U.S. from the international airport . You will need at least four hours between your arrival time at the national airport in Buenos Aires and your departure flight back to the U.S. from the international airport due to the minimum 2 hour commute between the nation and international airports.
*Important note: If you are delayed on your international flight and unable to make the national flight on the planned arrival day, you will still be able to do the trip but you may have to overnight in Buenos Aires. The Earth River office will advise you how to catch up to the trip on your own. You will be responsible for any additional expenses incurred. Remember, travelers insurance should cover the additional expenses due to a delay in flights.
NOTE: It may be possible to fly back to Buenos Aires at the end of the trip from Esquel, Argentina which would save four hours of driving. The Esqel flights are once a day, three or four days a week. This is a worthwhile option if it fits your schedule (possibly by spending an additional night in Esquel and then flying to Buenos Aires the following day) Please beware, however, that there is only one flights per day and that they are often canceled with the airlines switching the passengers over to the flight out of Bariloche. Bariloche is certainly the sefest bet due to the fact that there are multiple flights leaving for Buenos Aire every day.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As soon as you have secured your flights down to Buenos Aires and connecting flight to Bariloche, please e-mail this information down to Earth River’s Santiago office at
MEETING PLACE AND TIME:When you arive at the Bariloche Airport, get your luggage, go outside and take a taxi to the lake side Hotel where a room will be waiting in your name. The Earth River guide will be meeting the group in the hotel lobby at 7:00 PM . The group will then go out for a welcome dinner in town. IMPORTANT NOTE: Name and address of Bariloche hotel will be sent to you a few months before trip departure.
ACCOMODATIONS:The first night of your trip with us will be at a comfortable lakeside hotel near the city of Bariloche. The seven river nights will be at the spectacular Mapu Leufu Cliff Camp. This gorgeous property has a 5 mile river view and includea a hot tubs, flush toilets, hot showers and a private, manuel cable car crossing accessing miles of biking and hikng trails on the other side of the river. Participants will be sleeping in hand hewn wooden cliff dwellings* with beds. When the camp was designed we sited the cliff 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 outside noise. A professional masseuse accompanies most trips and a cook with the help of the guides prepare the meals.*Important Reminder: * Due to the relatively dry summer weather on the Futaleufu, it is important that no one urinates near the cliff dwellings or tree houses or off their decks. Pee buckets (like the old hotels used) are supplied at each cliff dwelling and are emptied each day by our camp workers.
CONDITIONING:Although paddling and other multi-sport activities you will be partaking in on this trip are as demanding as you choose to make them, Being fit will improve the quality of your experience. Even people not running any of the big rapids should be in relatively good shape.
EXPERIENCE * Because half a day is dedicated to raft training, it is not necessary to have any previous whitewater experience. All the big rapids are optional as well. We have had many first time rafters paddle the entire Futaleufu (a number of articles on web site were written by first time rafters), but this is up to the guides and the individual. *Note: Anyone not wishing to do any planned activity will have the option of doing something else. *Note: Because Earth River can not screen the paddling ability and physical condition of participants prior to the expedition, the guides will ultimately decide who paddles and where. We ask you to respect their professional opinion not only for your own safety, but also for the safety of others. The results of your flip drill and swim test will help the guides with this determination.
PASSPORTS:You will need a current passport for traveling in Argentina and Chile. You do not need a special visa for Chile or Argentina. If you plan on visiting Brazil, a visa must be secured before leaving the USA. If you are planning a side excursion and renting a car, you should consider acquiring an International Drivers License. The Automobile Club of America (800-222-4357) issues them for a nominal fee. It takes about one month to receive your license by mail.
ADDITIONAL TRAVEL WITHIN CHILE AND ARGENTINA:If you have an additional week we highly recommend combining the Futaleufu with a spectacular trip to Torres Del Paine national Park. If you have less then a week there are a number of excellent possibilities for side trips through the Chilean or Agentine Lake Dostricts. For help in arranging an extension trip contact the Earth River office.
FINAL PAYMENT:The final trip balance is due 75 days prior to the trip’s departure. Those people who paid their deposit with a credit card will be automatically billed for the balance on the card we have on file unless you call the office 75 days before the trip’s departure with another credit card or send in a personal check. If you would like the final payment handled another way please call our office.
SINGLE SUPPLIMENT FOR SOLO TRAVELERS:There is no single suppliment fee unless you specifically request a single room at the hotel in Bariloche hotel the first night. If you request a single room for the first night the fee will be $150. We will attempt to pair you up with someone of the same sex. If this is not possible (by an odd number of clients) and you end up with a single room without specifically requesting it, there will not be an additional charge. Depending upon the number of single travelers and the number of people on the trip, it may be possible for single travelers to end up with a private cliff dwelling for most of the river nights but this will depend entirely on the size of the trip. If there is no one of the same sex to place you with it is possible to end up with an individual cliff dwelling and you will not be charged. On smaller trips, solo travelers have a better chance of securing a private dwelling.
GEAR:Earth River provides sleeping bags, flannel sleeping sheet liners, pillows, thick sleeping pads and wetsuits. For a list of all additional gear you will need to bring for the expedition please see the gear list.
RECIPROCITY TAX:Please be aware that upon entering Argentina, U.S. citizens will be required to pay a reciprocity tax of $160 (credit cards and U.S. dollars are accepted). This fee must be paid on line before leaving the United States and can not be done when you arrive in Argentina. This is in addition to the airport departure tax of $18 you will be charged upon leaving the country.
ADDITIONAL MONEY:Generally, $600 per person will be adequate for the reciprocity tax, any shopping, airport taxes, and river guide tips. The DVD can be paid for back in the U.S. when you return. If you are planning a side excursion you will want to bring considerably more. Remember, Chile is not inexpensive and most things are similarly priced to the U.S. Car rentals and gasoline are considerably higher while public transportation much lower. You will be able to exchange money at the airport when you arrive in Santiago or at the airport in Bariloche. The exchange rate at the airport is similar to what you will find at a bank, and much more convenient (banks often have long lines).
GRATUITIES:Gratuities for the guides and help are not included. If you think the guides and help have done an outstanding job, 8 percent (approx. $250) of the expedition cost per person is considered a generous tip. Usually a member of the group will collect the tip and hand it to the trip leader (head guide) who will distribute it evenly among the guides and employees.
*IMPORTANT PACKING TIP:Each season a few people (approx. 2 %) end up in Argentina without their belongings. By the time they receive them from the airline, often the trip is nearly over. Because this is a real possibility we highly recommend the following steps to protect yourself. Pack all necessary river gear (fleece, paddle jacket, river shoes, hat, sun glasses, bathing suit, etc.) into the largest legal carry on bag you can find and don’t check it. Pack everything else in a regular suitcase. This way if you become separated from you checked bag you will have the most important things for the river as well as the clothes on your back for camp.
GEAR STORAGE:Because space and weight are limited, you will be allowed up to 35 pounds of gear and clothing for the trip. Any additional things needed for extension trips and the personal bag you flew down with can be left with the Earth River representative and safely stored until you return to the airport at the end of the trip. Remember unless you’re spending additional time in Chile before or after the expedition, pack only what’s on the Earth River gear list. Once you reach the river, we can collect your passports and other valuables and safely store them until the end of the river portion of the trip. NOTE: Upon your return to Bariloche at the trip’s conclusion, your extra bags that were left will be waiting for you at the airport with the Earth River representative.
WEATHER:The Futaleufu is in Northern Patagonia and although December, January, February, March and April are mild months, the weather can vary from sunny in the low to mid eighties (on occasion even nineties), to rainy in the sixties and even fifties. The nights are generally in the low fifties but can go into the forties and on occasion upper thirties. You will definitely get wet from running the rapids or possibly rain and although the river water is 60 degrees, all participants must have on either a wetsuit or dry suit (We will supply you with a sleeveless, farmer John wetsuit.). You must also have high quality paddle gear and a good rain jacket with a hood. is not a bad idea in case it rains (see gear list). The camps have hot tubs and excellent shelter in case of rain. Note: It is not possible to get an accurate current or future picture of the weather for the Futaleufu area via the internet. Often what you will be seeing is the weather for the Puerto Montt area, which is far cooler and wetter. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU BRING ALL THE WARMS THINGS INCLUDED IN THE PACKING LIST IN CASE WE HAVE SOME COLD WEATHER WHEN YOU ?RE DOWN THERE.
HEALTH INFORMATION:There are no required shots or health precautions that you need to take when traveling in Chile with the exception of a current tetanus booster, which is a good idea for any international travel. Although the water in the cities is generally safe to drink, we recommend that you drink either bottled water or soft drinks during the land portions of the trip. We boil the drinking water on the river. If you should need medical attention, there are modern clinics and hospitals throughout the country.
EMERGENCIES:We carry a satellite phone and a vehicle can get someone to a modern hospital in Esquel within two hours from the Mapu Leufu Camp. On the more remote sections of the river a helicopter may need to be called.
EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION:In case there is an emergency at home while you are away the following phone number should be given to a relative or friend: 845-626-2165 or 845-626-4361. The person should ask for Troy or Eric. In most cases we will be able to get important Information to you within a few hours. Remember, these numbers should only be used in case of an emergency. If you have a problem with a delayed flight while still in the U.S. contact Troy or Eric at the above number. Once you arrive in Argentina if you have any problems you should call the Earth River numbers listed above.
Contact FormTel: 1-800-643-2784
Virtual Tour of the Futaleufu