Patagonia Hiking & Whitewater Rafting in Chile
Chilean Patagonia is filled with outdoor adventure at every turn. Far beneath the spires and snow-packed crown of the Andes, the Futaleufú River (aka “The Fu”) is one of the Earth’s premier whitewater destinations. Further south, Torres del Paine National Park is home to some of the most impressive sights and hiking in the Southern Hemisphere.
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Adventures in Patagonia, Chile
One of the most beautiful, pristine places we have ever been. It's a bit of a commitment to get there, so if you can, allow extra days because there is plenty to see and do. We were a bit nervous about class 4 and 5 rapids, but WOW! What a thrill! There is definitely the possibility of a raft flipping, or someone falling out. It did happen several times during the week. But you are well prepared to know what to do, and the guides are excellent.Lizzie OARS Futaleufu Guest
Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the whitewater like on the Futaleufú?
The Fu boasts intense stretches of Class IV-V rapids and turquoise blue water, unlike any other river in the world. Rafters have the option of hiking on a beautiful Chilean trail around some of the more difficult and intense sections, but even the Class IV rapids of the Fu will get your adrenaline pumping.
When is the best time to visit Patagonia?
OARS Patagonia adventures in Torres Del Paine run October through March, with rafting on the Fu from December through March. For hiking excursions in Torres Del Paine, trip pricing increases depending on seasonal demand. The best weather conditions are often in December and January.
What are the accommodations like in Patagonia?
Experience an exclusive riverside camp with hot tubs, a sauna, and a sunset bar on our Futaleufú Rafting Multi-Sport. Enjoy daily yoga classes, massage, or wine tasting before a candlelight dinner featuring fresh local ingredients. Raft the incomparable Futaleufú, inflatable kayak, hike, mountain bike, and horseback ride among some of the best multi-sport adventure terrain on the planet. Stay in refugios along the W Trek and basecamp in the ultra-cool eco-domes.
How popular is hiking in Torres del Paine?
Around 300,000 adventurous travelers come to Torres del Paine annually, many for its extensive hiking infrastructure. By comparison, Yosemite National Park often sees over 3 million visitors each year. Though Patagonia often ranks among the world’s best hiking and trekking destinations, expect many moments of solitude and quiet in the otherworldly landscape.
Among the most rewarding and the most popular hikes is the park’s challenging 48.5-mile W Circuit, a 7-day adventure that takes hikers from the granite spires that give this park its name to the shorelines of Nordenskjold and deep into French Valley. Peak season runs from December to February, when the route will be most crowded. Hikers staying in the eco-domes, refugios, or outfitted camps along the route often form a community, bonding over hearty meals and discussing the day’s miles. Patagonia’s W Trek is most certainly a bucket list adventure.