Before You Go
Futaleufú Rafting Multi-Sport
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, and sometimes the weather. Please refer to your confirmation letter for the exact dates of your trip.
|MEETING PLACE:||Hotel Cumbres in Puerto Varas|
|MEETING TIME:||7 PM the evening of itinerary day 1|
|RETURN TIME:||In time for flights departing from Puerto Montt after 2 PM on day 9|
|RIVER RATING:||Class IV-V (Class V is optional)|
|TRIP LENGTH:||9 days/8 nights|
|ACTIVITIES:||Whitewater rafting, inflatable kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, biking, and fishing|
Arriving in Santiago, pass through customs and then walk upstairs to the third floor of the airport for your flight to Puerto Montt (this flight is not included in your trip price).
Upon arrival at Puerto Montt’s El Tepual Airport (PMC), take a taxi to our hotel in the lake-side resort town of Puerto Varas.
Your afternoon is free to explore the area before we meet at 7 PM to discuss logistics and enjoy our first dinner together.
Days 2 – 8
Refer to the trip page for a more detailed sample itinerary.
After breakfast on the last day, we’ll drive three hours to Chaiten Airport to catch our flight back to Puerto Montt. In Puerto Montt, the OARS representative will assist you with arranging a transfer to Puerto Montt’s El Tepual Airport (for a flight to Santiago or elsewhere) or a transfer to your next destination in/around Puerto Montt. A departing flight out of Puerto Montt should be scheduled for after 2 PM in case of delays out of Chaiten, often due to weather.
Included in Your Trip Cost
- Skilled, professional guide service provided by our affiliate operator
- 1-night hotel accommodation in Puerto Varas (based on double occupancy)
- 7 nights deluxe camp accommodation (based on double occupancy)
- Return to Puerto Montt Airport on day 9 (extra cost to other destinations)
- Roundtrip ground transport from Chaiten to camp on the Rio Futaleufu
- Meals from dinner on day 1 through breakfast on day 9
- Drinks from the camp bar including beer, wine, and a selection of liquors
- Activities, instruction, and related equipment as outlined in the itinerary
- Expedition equipment including personal flotation device, helmet, wetsuit, and splash jacket
- Lodging amenities including linens, towels, and hand soap
- 27-oz Klean Kanteen water bottle
Not Included in Your Trip Cost
- International roundtrip flights to & from Santiago, Chile
- Roundtrip flights to & from Puerto Montt, Chile
- Roundtrip flight from Puerto Montt to Chaiten (arranged by OARS; itinerary days 2 & 9)
- Pre- and post-trip accommodation and meals
- Single supplement fee: hotel only is always available; single occupancy at camp is per availability only
- Puerto Montt Airport arrival transfer on day 1
- Day 9 transfer to destinations other than Puerto Montt Airport
- Shampoo & conditioner and bath/body soap (at camp)
- Massage – $1/minute
- Video of your trip (provided by an independent contractor who accompanies the trip)
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan or mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage
- Items of personal nature (a suggested packing list is below)
☐ Purchase Travel Protection: In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. This can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can learn more about the plan we highly recommend and get a quote for this type of policy by entering a Trip Cost amount of $0.
Please note: By entering a Trip Cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.
☐ Trip Forms: Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms within two weeks of making a booking. Refer to your confirmation email for the link to the online forms. If you prefer to fill out paper forms, please let us know right away. If you are reserving within 90 days of departure, your forms must be completed immediately to ensure we can properly plan for your trip.
☐ Reserve flights, shuttles, and lodging: Verify with your adventure consultant that your trip has met minimum numbers prior to booking flights and/or reserving overnight lodging for the night before and after your trip, if applicable. It is important to make reservations early as rooms may be limited during peak travel periods.
☐ Whitewater Orientation: To increase your safety, we expect everyone to watch our Whitewater Orientation video before joining us.
☐ Physical Requirements: Your outdoor adventure will be an active participatory trip. Please inform us of any physical limitations you may have as soon as possible. If you exceed 260 pounds, please give us a call. Make sure you are exercising frequently in the months leading up to your trip and can meet our Essential Eligibility Criteria.
☐ Payments: Final payment is due in our office 90 days prior to your trip (refer to your invoice for final payment date). Please let us know if you would like us to automatically charge your credit card on file when final payment is due.
River Runners’ Responsibility Code
1. Read the pre-trip literature and arrive at the meeting place on time.
2. Understand the risks: your safety is ultimately your responsibility.
3. Treat your fellow guests and guides with respect and courtesy; harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.
4. Wear clothing and personal protective equipment suitable for the current conditions.
5. Listen to and follow the guides’ instructions.
6. Abide by the managing agency’s rules.
7. No drugs or alcohol prior to, or during, your trip.; alcohol is allowed in moderation in camp on overnight trips.
8. Minimize your impact on the environment.
9. Wear the OARS-issued and properly–fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times when in the boats or swimming. Wear a helmet when required.
10. Your children are your responsibility!
Essential Travel Documents
U.S. citizens entering Chile must have a passport in good condition, valid for the period of their stay. If you hold a passport from another country, it is your responsibility to check with your embassy for entry requirements and details. If you don’t have a passport, apply for one immediately because the process can be lengthy. If you do have a passport, find it and check the expiration date. Make a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the local consulate speed up authorization for replacement.
U.S. citizens do not need a visa for Chile for stays up to 90 days. For citizens of other countries, please check with the Chilean consulate.
On your flight to Chile, a Tourist Card (Tarjeta Unica Migratoria) will be issued for a stay of up to 90 days. The Tourist Card must be surrendered upon departure. Failure to submit this card upon departure may result in delays until a replacement is obtained. If lost or stolen, the Tourist Card must be replaced by the International Police at their nearest headquarters or the international airport prior to departure.
Traveling With A Minor
Chile has strict requirements for the entry/exit of minors under the age of 18. Even when the minor is traveling with both parents, the parents will be required to show evidence of their relationship to the child when departing the country. Please carry an original birth certificate or a certified copy of the original. A minor entering Chile as a tourist will generally not be required to present a written notarized authorization from the non-traveling parent(s) at the time of departure if the minor leaves with the same adult companion with whom the minor entered Chile. However, we recommend traveling with a written notarized authorization from the non-traveling parent in order to avoid misunderstandings and ensure a smooth exit out of the country. More information can be found on the U.S. State Dept. website.
Guests will take a taxi to the Hotel Cumbres in Puerto Varas. There is a taxi stand to arrange a taxi, and the cost is approximately US$30.
If you are delayed, catching up can be not only inconvenient but very costly. You may have to overnight in Santiago or Puerto Montt, and you will need to purchase a new ticket to Chaiten and hire someone to drive you from Chaiten to the river. You will be responsible for these additional costs. Remember, a full coverage travel protection policy (as opposed to the minimum required medical evacuation coverage) may cover additional expenses due to travel delays.
FLYING TO PUERTO MONTT VIA SANTIAGO
The name of the airport in Puerto Montt is El Tepual Airport (PMC). Airfare to Puerto Montt is not included in the trip price and must be arranged independently.
From North America, United, American, Delta, and LATAM Airlines offer service to Santiago. LATAM, Chile’s largest airline, and other domestic (Chilean) airlines like Sky and Jetsmart, offer flights to Puerto Montt.
Let us know if you’d like assistance arranging your international flight logistics. Our partners at Exito Travel specialize in international destinations and we’d be happy to obtain a quote from them on your behalf.
Please do not purchase airfare until your trip has been confirmed by the minimum number of required guests.
AFTER YOUR TRIP
Services provided by OARS end on itinerary day 9 upon arrival at the La Paloma regional airfield in Puerto Montt. The arrival time is dependent on variables such as weather, the drive from our camp to Chaiten, and the flight from Chaiten to Puerto Montt. Once in Puerto Montt, our local representative will assist you with arranging a taxi to your next destination – to El Tepual Airport (PMC) for a flight to Santiago, or to your hotel if you’re extending your stay. Transfers to a destination other than PMC are not included in the trip price.
If you’re returning to North America on the last day, your flight from Puerto Montt to Santiago should depart after 2 PM to ensure you catch the flight. In Santiago, your luggage will need to be collected if you change airlines or may be checked through to your U.S. destination if you’re continuing with the same airline.
During the summer months in Chile (winter months in the northern hemisphere) the time is 2 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast and 5 hours ahead of the West Coast. (UTC/GMT -3 hours)
The Chilean Peso ($CLP) has common banknotes of $500, $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, and coins of $1, $5, $10, $50, $100, and $500.
Generally, US$500 (in cash, small notes) will be adequate for any shopping and a gratuity. If you’re planning any side excursions, you’ll want to bring more. Remember, Chile is not inexpensive and most things are similarly priced to the U.S. ATMs are available at the airports and in towns. Check with your bank regarding fees you may incur. You will be able to exchange money when you arrive in Santiago.
While at camp you will have the opportunity to buy handmade goods, souvenirs, and massage services. We are unable to accept credit cards at camp. Cash is preferred for these items, either U.S. dollars or Chilean Pesos, but we will also accept personal checks.
Credit cards are widely used and accepted. The most commonly accepted cards are Visa, MasterCard, and Diners Club. In medium-sized to large businesses, American Express is also honored. Exchange rates for credit cards are very convenient but check with your bank regarding foreign transaction fees. Some small, rural towns function solely on a cash-only basis, so have cash handy.
Health & Medical Info
Currently, if you fly direct between North America and Chile, no vaccinations are required. However, regulations and recommendations change frequently, so please check with the Centers for Disease Control for up-to-date information.
If you are taking any prescription drugs, be certain that you bring a sufficient supply to last through the trip. Do not pack these medications in your checked luggage. You will not find common American drugs in Chile.
The trip leader is responsible for the safety of all trip members, and he or she may evacuate or disqualify a trip member in the field if anyone’s safety is jeopardized. No refunds are given if a trip member has to leave the trip. Please be aware that hospital facilities for serious medical problems may at times be a long way away, that a doctor may not always be available, and that evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive.
Guides will carry a basic first-aid kit for emergencies, but you must bring your own personal first-aid supplies. Please discuss this matter with your doctor, as well as medications you should bring with you, such as antibiotics, painkillers, allergy medicine (EpiPens for allergic reactions to bee stings), etc.
If you require the use of a CPAP machine and intend to bring one with you, be sure to alert your OARS Adventure Consultant prior to your trip to let us know the dimensions of the machine, description of battery(s), and any protective case(s). Travel-sized CPAPs are readily available and often come with a battery kit. You must assess the power needs of your CPAP and bring the battery(s) needed to operate it for each night of your travels. We’re typically able to accommodate the transportation of your machine and accessories on the trip; however, please understand that despite efforts to protect your equipment we can’t guarantee your machine and accessories won’t suffer water or impact damage and therefore we recommend additional protective case(s) for your machine & accessories.
We need to know as soon as possible about any dietary restrictions we must consider in planning your trip. If you have food allergies or restrictions, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Beyond our standard menu, we can provide options for vegetarian, vegan, and many allergy-restricted diets without applying a fee. However, we cannot always provide the same diversity or sophistication for restricted diets as we do for our regular menu. Similarly, certain allergen-free snack foods are difficult or impossible to source in our locations, so feel free to bring your own favorite snacks to supplement our provisions. Please let your Adventure Consultant know if you intend to do so.
We cannot guarantee that cross-contamination from allergens will not occur during meal prep, and reserve the right to refuse service to anyone as it relates to safety, including the potential for a medical emergency caused by a severe food allergy. Also, due to the constraints of cooking for a large group in a wilderness setting, the availability of ingredients or specialty items in remote locations, and limited packing space, we are unable to cater to dietary preferences (likes or dislikes).
You will find some of the purest water on Earth flowing freely in the Patagonia Andes. The water at camp is treated at all faucets. In the cities, we recommend that you drink bottled water which can be ordered at all restaurants. Ask for “agua mineral, sin gas” (non-carbonated), or “con gas” (carbonated). Diet sodas are usually referred to as “light.”
Fine Chilean wine (for which the country is well known) and beer is provided in the evening. Often our camp even offers home-brewed beer, brewed on-site. Non-alcoholic beverages are abundant, as well.
TOILETS & BATHING
The luxurious camp on the Rio Futaleufu has flush toilets, hot showers (indoor and outdoor), and a hot tub.
There is no electricity in the tent cabins at camp; however, there are several areas around camp with outlets where you can charge batteries, cameras, phones, and other devices.
Chile is on the 220V AC system. If you plan to use a device that requires 110-120V, you may need a power converter. Power sockets are type C, I, and L, therefore it is likely your devices will require an adaptor.
Bringing the right camera equipment will determine the quality of your photographs. If you are an avid photographer, we recommend bringing a good digital or 35mm SLR camera to be used on land. If you wish to bring your camera in the boat, you’ll need a soft waterproof case, a small Pelican case, or you can bring a disposable waterproof camera to use while on the water. (In the more aggressive stretches of the river there will be little to no opportunity to take pictures.)
If available, an independent contractor will shoot video and photos and offer them for sale at the end of the trip.
Electronics & Technology
The use of electronic devices, especially music players and flying drones, on your trip may represent an intrusion into the wilderness experience of your fellow guests. We ask that you please be mindful of the impacts on others and respect the wilderness nature of the trip. Please bring headphones if you intend to listen to music during the trip and leave your drone at home.
Many of our guests travel with their smartphones even though there is no cell service. On a trip like this, there is always the risk of water damage to smartphones and other electronic devices, even when they are stowed in a dry bag. If you intend to take your phone with you on the river, consider investing in a small, waterproof case just for your phone.
Once you are on the river, there is limited communication with the “outside world.” Cell phone service is not available. Our guides carry a satellite communication device for emergency use. They can call out, but we cannot call them. If you have someone that needs to contact you about an emergency at home, they should call the OARS office (800-346-6277) and we will relay the message to you. Keep in mind it could be several days or longer before the message actually reaches you. For your family at home, you should define for them what you consider an emergency and provide them with instructions to call our office in the event one occurs during your vacation.
The Rio Futaleufu is home to Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and Salmon. Guests are welcome to use the fishing gear at camp, but serious fishermen are encouraged to bring their own gear. Fishing can be done from the shores of camp or by boat if there is time – speak with your guides if interested. If you’re interested in a dedicated, guided day of fishing be sure to let us know in advance. There is an additional cost for arranging a guide and associated gear for a day.
Avid fishermen may want to consider a fishing supplement, or add-on, that will provide a personal fishing guide, boat, and shuttles while also allowing us to craft an itinerary around particular needs and levels of experience within our already action-packed adventure week.
A fishing license can be arranged online or obtained in Puerto Varas if you have time.
We recommend checking one week before your trip for an up-to-date weather forecast for the town of Futaleufu. Being properly prepared for weather variations is an important factor in fully enjoying your trip.
|Air (High) °F||Air (Low) °F|
The Rio Futaleufu is in Northern Patagonia and although December through March are mild months, the weather can vary from sunny in the mid to upper 80s, to rainy in the 60s and even upper 50s. The nights are generally in the low 50s but can go into the 40s and on occasion upper 30s. You will get wet from running rapids or possibly rain and although the river water is 60 degrees, all participants must wear a wetsuit. (We will supply you with a sleeveless Farmer John wetsuit.) The camps have hot tubs and excellent shelter in case of rain.
We want you to be prepared and comfortable for your trip. Below you’ll find some general tips for how to dress and what to pack and a comprehensive packing checklist. The need for warm weather or cold weather items should be based on a reliable weather forecast leading up to your trip.
Clothing for physical activity should be quick-drying and made of synthetics or merino wool. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives of this outline. Weather conditions can vary considerably. It’s important to dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature no matter what Mother Nature may have in store. The inner base layer should move perspiration outside, where it can evaporate. The intermediate layer should insulate while the outside layer should act as a barrier to wind and rain.
For more helpful information about what to wear and how to pack for a river expedition or to view our packing video, please visit our packing essentials page.
During the day (on the river)—A wetsuit and paddle jacket (splash top) are provided. You’ll want a swimsuit for under the wetsuit and synthetic or Merino wool layers under the paddle jacket. Additional layers (tops & bottoms) can be added and subtracted depending on the weather, temperature, and how wet you’re getting in the rapids. Warm socks (neoprene or wool) are important to wear inside the footwear you bring for the river. Consider neoprene gloves and a tight-fitting beanie (skull cap) for under your helmet if you’re prone to being cold.
In camp—After a long day of activities, you will want to refresh and change into clean, comfortable clothing. Soft, loose-fitting shorts or pants, t-shirts, etc. will allow you to truly relax in the evening. You will want to have something dry and warm such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and fleece or down.
During the day—Make sure you have good shoes for the river with a substantial sole and adequate foot protection. They should stick well to wet rocks and should not come off in a strong current. You will want neoprene, wool, or synthetic socks for warmth. River sandals are fine around camp but are not suitable river shoes because they do not protect your feet and may be difficult to swim in should you unexpectedly find yourself in the water. An old pair of sneakers, depending on their condition, may work well. Find professional-grade options made by Chaco®, the official footwear sponsor of OARS guides.
In camp—We recommend wearing shoes in camp due to the risk of kicking a rock buried in the sand or stepping on a sharp stick. The athletic shoes or light hikers you bring for hiking can double as your camp shoes. It’s nice to put on dry socks and shoes after a day on the water. Flip flops or similar are OK for wearing in camp, too.
If you buy new shoes or sandals for the trip, make sure you break them in first!
During the day—Ball caps are nice since they fit under helmets, which are required attire when on the river. Wide-brimmed hats are nice while hiking, but you’ll have limited opportunity to wear one. A tight-fitting beanie (skull cap) can be worn under your helmet.
In camp—When the weather is cool or cold, you’ll want a beanie-style hat to wear in camp. They are the perfect remedy for bed-head as you rise from your bed to secure your morning cup of coffee or tea, or for retaining warmth in the evening hours after the sun sets.
To Avoid Being Cold
Synthetic or Merino wool long underwear is a must-have on river trips. It can be worn under shorts, rain gear, T-shirts, etc., then stripped off when the chill of the morning has worn off. It keeps you warm even if it’s wet (which can happen easily), dries quickly and it’s compact enough to be stuffed into your small waterproof bag or daypack after you take it off. It can be layered under your rain jacket and pants. Be aware that cotton items do not insulate when wet; only synthetic and wool materials will keep you warm when wet.
Something warm for your top & bottom: Although the weather will probably be pleasant, you need to be prepared for inclement weather. Bring a good insulated or fleece top and bottom, along with a warm hat and gloves.
Rain gear is one of the essential items that all passengers should have no matter what time of year they are traveling. Look for a jacket and pants that are 100% waterproof or high-quality water resistant. A hooded jacket is recommended as well as good secure closures around your head, neck, wrists, and ankles.
Rain gear may be used in camp and on excursions. Ponchos are ok but tend to be clumsy and not adequate. It is important to have high-quality rain pants so the water does not run down your rain jacket and soak your pants.
Protecting yourself from the sun should be taken very seriously! In many cases, a long-sleeve shirt is the best method for preventing sunburn on your upper body. Lightweight long pants may also be appropriate to protect your legs. A hat, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are also a must.
A good headlamp is a valuable tool because it leaves your hands free. It is especially helpful for evening visits to the hot tub or toilet.
Bugs & Mosquitoes
Bugs and mosquitoes vary depending on location and time of year. It’s a good idea to come prepared with insect repellent. Long-sleeved shirts and pants may be desirable at times.
Even if you aren’t anticipating your menstrual period, come prepared for it. We recommend you bring some sandwich-size Ziploc™ bags. These bags can store products during the day while you are on the river. Used pads or tampons can be disposed of in the trash at lunch or at camp. We provide some menstrual products on most trips for emergencies.
Equipment and Personal Items
☐ 1-liter water bottle: durable and reusable
☐ Locking carabiner (for clipping a water bottle or personal dry bag into a raft or inflatable kayak)
☐ Headlamp (or flashlight) with batteries
☐ Polarized sunglasses with securing strap (consider bringing a spare)
☐ Toiletries, including bath/body soap for the showers
☐ Sunscreen and lip protection: waterproof & SPF 30 or higher
☐ Moisturizing lotion or cream
☐ Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, moleskin, eye drops, etc.)
☐ Small daypack or hydration pack
☐ Insect repellent
☐ Spare pair of glasses and/or contacts (water and sand can cause problems for contact wearers)
☐ Cash for gratuities and souvenirs
☐ River shoes (such as those made by Chaco®). “Aqua socks” strongly discouraged; old sneakers work well.
☐ Lightweight hiking/running shoes
☐ Flip-flops or similar for camp (or you can use the shoes listed above)
☐ Socks for hiking
☐ Neoprene or wool socks for the river (at least 2 pair)
☐ Swimwear: tankinis and board shorts are a great option
☐ Synthetic (polypro or Capilene) or merino wool tops: 3 of varying weights
☐ Long-sleeved shirt (quick drying and light-colored to reflect the sun)
☐ Synthetic long underwear bottoms: 1-2 light to mid-weight
☐ Medium to heavy-weight insulated or fleece jacket
☐ T-shirts and/or lightweight quick-dry tops: 2-3
☐ Undergarments: quick-drying
☐ Pants for camp and horseback riding (jeans or similar are preferred for horseback riding)
☐ Rain jacket & pants: waterproof (not water resistant)
☐ Socks for hiking and in camp: 2-3 pairs
☐ Synthetic pants (fleece, pile, etc.) to be worn around camp
☐ Warm hat & gloves
☐ Paddle jacket: we will supply you with one, but you may prefer your own
☐ Wetsuit: we will supply you with one, but you may prefer your own
☐ Neoprene paddling gloves (for warmth and sun protection)
☐ Baseball cap or visor to fit under a helmet
☐ Sarong: useful for sun protection, evaporative cooling, changing clothes, etc.
☐ Small bags: stuff sacks, zip locks, or similar for organizing items in your luggage
☐ Camera and accessories
☐ Binoculars: small
☐ Pocket-size Spanish-English dictionary
☐ Reading and writing materials
Packing Your Gear
We recommend traveling as light as possible without compromising your preparation for inclement weather and cool temperatures. On your international flight you may be allowed two pieces of luggage, but please check your airline for current guidelines—it changes from carrier to carrier.
From Puerto Montt to Chaiten and return, we will be taking a small air taxi and there is a baggage weight limit of 35 pounds (about 16 kg) per person, including any carry-on item. Exceeding the baggage weight limit will require that you pay extra fees or leave items behind at the hotel in Puerto Varas. We recommend traveling with a duffel bag, as some types of luggage are heavy and will add to the overall weight of your belongings.
Each season about two percent of travelers arrive without their belongings. By the time the baggage is located and returned by the airlines, the trip is nearly over. We suggest you pack all necessary river gear—fleece, rain gear, river shoes, etc.—into a carry-on bag. Pack everything else in your travel luggage. If you become separated from your checked luggage, you will have the essential items for the bulk of the activities on the river.
We recommend that you leave valuables at home. Once you reach the river we can collect necessary items such as a wallet, passport, and credit cards and safely store them until the end of your stay.
- Find all the gear you need for your trip online in the OARStore and 15% of your purchase helps provide under-resourced youth with outdoor adventure experiences.
- Shop for the latest in top-quality clothing, footwear & outdoor gear at REI.
- Recommended Reading: The Best Patagonia Books to Read Before You Go
Tipping is optional, but appreciated by our staff. If you are wondering how much to tip, you may consider that we operate in a service industry with a host of behind-the-scenes contributors in addition to the guides on your trip. In general, we suggest a gratuity based on 10 – 15% of the trip cost. It is customary on OARS trips for gratuities to be given to the Trip Leader, who will then distribute appropriately amongst all the guides and support staff. You’ll want to plan ahead and have cash – either US Dollars or Chilean Pesos.
In reviewing your statement, you’ll note a $1 per person per day donation to Futaleufu Riverkeeper, a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to ensuring the free flow of the Futaleufu River and protecting the natural resources of its watershed. These funds allow Futaleufu Riverkeeper to continue to serve the community and the environment through capacity-building seminars, educational activities, and monitoring programs. One hundred percent of these funds go directly to Futaleufu Riverkeeper and your contribution is tax-deductible. This donation is voluntary and may be removed from your invoice if you choose not to participate. Please notify our office if you would prefer to remove the donation from your balance.
Reservations and Deposits
An $800/person deposit is required at the time of reservation. Deposits may be made by check, money order, or Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency.
Canceling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 80 days before the departure date will be canceled without exception.
Cancellations and Refunds
Your deposit is fully refundable, less a 3% processing fee, for 7 days after you book when you submit a deposit 7 days or more before the final payment due date.
If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We regret we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.
|DATE OF CANCELLATION||CANCELLATION FEE|
|121 or more days before your trip||$400/person (50% of deposit)|
|120 to 91 days before your trip||$800/person (deposit)|
|90 days or less before your trip||100% of the trip price/person|
Requests to transfer a date will be treated as a cancellation, per the terms above.
OARS International and the outfitter Bio Bio Expeditions reserve the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip.
If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less a 5% service fee plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers, however, we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.
Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS International trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.
Because there are costs that you will incur if you cancel the spaces on this trip that we’re now holding for you, or in the event you need to be evacuated during the trip due to an unforeseen illness or injury, we strongly encourage our guests to purchase an optional travel protection plan. A travel protection plan may help reimburse the cost of your pre-paid, non-refundable payments in the event you are prevented from taking your trip for a covered reason. Trip participants must understand that in the event of an illness or injury on a wilderness trip, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Learn more about the plan we recommend.
Please note: To be eligible for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your initial trip payment and you must be medically fit to travel at the time you pay for the plan.
In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. This can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can get a quote for this type of policy by entering a Trip Cost amount of $0 when getting a quote.
Please note: By entering a Trip Cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.
Liability Release / Assumption of Risk
Everyone is required to sign a standard liability release/assumption of risk form before the trip, confirming awareness that there are inherent risks associated with the trip. Due to the nature of the activities, a condition of your participation is that you will sign this form and return it to our office before the trip begins. Anyone who refuses to sign the form will not be allowed to participate, and consistent with OARS International’s cancellation policy, there will be no refund of the trip fees at that time.
Responsibility – An Important Notice
O.A.R.S. International, Inc., Bio Bio Expeditions, and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services and assume no responsibility however caused for injury, loss, or damage to person or property in connection with any service, including but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, pandemics, strikes, theft, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the participants, including cancellation due to water fluctuation, insufficient bookings (this trip requires a minimum of 4 guests), and other factors. There is risk in whitewater rafting, particularly during high-water conditions. Rafts, dories, and kayaks do capsize. You could be swept overboard. Your guide will make every attempt to assist, but you must be strong and agile enough to “self-help” and “float-it-out” without further endangering yourself or others. We reserve the right not to accept passengers weighing more than 260 pounds or with a waist/chest size exceeding 56 inches. We may decide, at any time, to exclude any person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. We are experienced in accommodating people with various disabilities. Please give us an opportunity to make you feel welcome. We need to discuss any special requirements ahead of time.
OARS trips occur in areas where unpredictable environmental conditions are to be expected. To moderate dangerous situations for our guests and guides, all travelers must obey the rules and regulations as determined by the managing agencies and the Trip Leader and demonstrate reasonable consideration for other guests and OARS employees. We reserve the right to remove any guest from a trip if, in our opinion, that guest’s actions or behaviors pose a threat to the safety of her/himself or others, or if those actions or behaviors compromise the enjoyment of the trip for others. Should a guest be asked to leave a trip, there will be no refund for the unused portion, nor will OARS be responsible for additional expenses incurred by the guest for accommodations, return transport, change fees, etc. Prices subject to change without notice. OARS is an equal opportunity provider.
Bio Bio Expeditions
Bio Bio Expeditions, a travel partner of OARS. International, is the operator of this trip. Upon arrival, Bio Bio Expeditions staff will meet you and escort you throughout the program. These American and Chilean staff members are the very best and will strive to ensure your complete satisfaction.