You'll be amazed at just how many adrenaline-inducing activities you can fit into a 6-day itinerary in Northern Patagonia. Float down serene rivers and hurtle over rapids; jump from cliffs and zip-line over the water; stay in comfortable camps and soak in riverside hot tubs. This area of Patagonia is an adventure wonderland, and you won't want to waste a minute.

Highlights

  • Raft Class 5 rapids at Inferno Canyon
  • Cross the raging Futaleufú River by pulley
  • Soak in hot tubs overlooking the river
  • Try rock climbing, rappelling, and cliff jumping

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Santiago de Chile
Day 2 Flight to Puerto Montt - Chaiten - River Training
Day 3 Rafting Inferno Canyon - Tyrolean - Zip line - Cave Camp
Day 4 Rock Climbing - Rappel - Cliff jumping - Cave Camp
Day 5 Rafting to Terminator Camp
Day 6 Flight to Santiago - Departure 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Santiago de Chile

Hike or take a gondola up to the top of Cerro San Cristobal
Hike or take a gondola up to the top of Cerro San Cristobal

Welcome to Chile! Upon arrival at Santiago International Airport, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. You'll have the rest of the day to explore the city at your leisure. 

Suggested activities include:

  • Hike to the top of Cerro San Cristobal, where you can get your bearings by surveying the area from a high vantage point. Pathways lead 2,788 feet (850 m) up this central hill to a series of lookouts that offer wraparound views of Santiago. If you aren't the hiking type, not to worry: catch a scenic gondola instead.

  • Stroll the cobblestone streets of Barrio Bellavista. On the north side of Santiago, you'll find this trendy enclave, at once fashionable and bohemian. Stroll past colorful houses adorned with graffiti art and choose between an eclectic array of eateries and bars—great for people watching. 

  • Visit the Plaza de Armas, a stone plaza located in Santiago's historic center dating to 1541. There's also the impressive Catedral Metropolitana, a neoclassical church dating to 1748 whose towering twin bell towers dominate the north side of the plaza.

  • Snap pics in front of the Palacio de la Moneda. Chile's opulent Presidential Palace (known simply as "La Moneda") is a short stroll from the Plaza de Armas. It was here in 1973 that Chile's armed forces, backed by the U.S. government, overthrew President Salvador Allende, kicking off a brutal right-wing military dictatorship that would last for 17 years. Visitors are welcome.

For dinner be sure to get out of the hotel and enjoy a culinary adventure in the city. In recent years Santiago has emerged as a global foodie destination. Chilean chefs are reinventing traditional dishes like empanadas, cazuelas (stews), and seafood with ingredients harvested all the way from the northern deserts and southern Patagonian regions. You can find great restaurants and wine bars not only in the Bellavista neighborhood but also in the revitalized historic barrios of Yungay and Italia.

Day 2: Flight to Puerto Montt - Chaiten - River Training

Rafting the Futaleufú
Rafting the Futaleufú

After breakfast in Santiago, get ready for an exciting travel day! First, you'll fly to Puerto Montt. From Puerto Montt, board a plane for a spectacular flight to the town of Chaiten. From there, head to Futaleufú on a scenic road that leads from the ocean to the mountains. Along the way, see how the landscape changes as you travel into the heart of the Andes. The contrast between the snow-capped peaks, green vegetation and crystalline water of the river is an impressive spectacle.

After arriving at Futaleufú you will have your training day. A very exciting section of the river with several rapids of different levels of difficulty will allow you to train for the challenges of the rest of the adventure. Once you've got the hang of everything, head to camp, which is located alongside one of the most famous rapids of the river. There you can relax and enjoy a good meal and take a soak in the hot tub.

Day 3: Rafting Inferno Canyon & Zipline

Ziplining over the river
Ziplining over the river

On your second day, enter Inferno Canyon, one of the most challenging portions of the river. This striking canyon has impressive Class 5 rapids. From there, continue floating down the river to your next destination, Cave Camp. Cross the Futaleufú River on a pulley system suspended over the most dramatic rapid of the river: Zeta Rapid. Here the Fu' narrows and is forced between two rock walls. Zip your way across the river - it'll almost feel like you're sliding over the water! 

Tonight, relax in a hot tub overlooking the Futaleufú and have a large meal to recover your strength.

Day 4: Rock Climbing, Abseiling & Cliff Jumping

Rappelling
Rappelling

In the morning,  take part in a rock climbing excursion, eventually reaching the top of a tall formation from which spectacular 360º views of the landscape can be enjoyed. Then, rappel down a 300-foot granite wall. This morning's climbing and rappelling activities have been carefully designed so that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy them successfully. In the afternoon there's plenty of free time, so you can enjoy any number of activities in and around the camp like jumping into the river (from as high as 40 feet!) or simply chilling out at the little blue lake, sandy beach, or either of the luxurious hot tubs.

Day 5: Rafting to Terminator Camp

Enjoy floating down the river
Enjoy floating down the river

Start early for a full day of water activities. In the morning, raft an entertaining section of the river with Class 4 and 4+ rapids until reaching the lunch spot. From there, continue rafting until coming across the famous Terminator Rapid, which runs for an entire impressive kilometer. It's also one of the most challenging on the trip. After the adventure, return to camp to relax at the hot tub, listening to the sound of the rapid rushing past. Enjoy a well-deserved Patagonian asado (lamb barbecue).

Day 6: Flight to Santiago - Departure

Farewell to Patagonia
Farewell to Patagonia

It's time to say goodbye to Patagonia! From Terminator Camp, you'll make the scenic transfer to Chaiten Airport where you'll catch a flight back to Puerto Montt. Once you've arrived, fly to Santiago to catch another flight for your departure home. 

Map

Map of Caves & Waves in Northern Patagonia - 6 Days
Map of Caves & Waves in Northern Patagonia - 6 Days