Las Vegas, 110°, New York City, 92°, Washington D.C., 91°, Windsor, Ontario, 78°… Even the North Pole is a toasty 60°. Death Valley just had the world’s hottest month ever recorded for July with an average temperature of 108.1° Fahrenheit.
Oh, doesn’t 51 degrees sound lovely?
That is the temperature in Futaleufú, Chile now. Of course, June to August is winter time south of the Equator so it can be a bit cold and wet, yet still pretty mild with July temperatures averaging 38.5 °F. During this time, precipitation is very high, averaging 10 to 12 inches, with some snow most years, but so what – it is blessedly cool!
Futaleufú is a town and area in Northern Patagonia, specifically in Palena Province. This small frontier town is seven miles from the Argentinian border. A gravel road links the town to Trevelin in Argentina and to the Carretera Austral road in Chile. The town was named after the crystal blue and turquoise Futaleufú River, one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in the world. The river flows from Argentina through the town and empties into the fjord-shaped Yelcho Lake. The river’s name comes from a Mapuche word meaning “Big River.” It was known only to the traditional Mapuche people prior to the turn of the last century. The first European settlers arrived only about 80 years ago. Today, the town has a population of about 2,000 people, who work in the outdoor sports field as well as in forestry and cattle farming.
Honestly, the best time to explore this stunning environment is in the summer, November to mid-March, when nature shows off her most colorful outfits. This relatively lesser-known locale presents you with multiple adventure options including excellent rafting and kayaking as well as fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking and trekking. Futaleufú Valley also boasts ravines and waterfalls that are exceptional for canyoning and rappelling.
Two lakes, Lonconao and Espolón, are ideal for paddlers and fly fishermen and are close to town. Fly fishing is also possible on the Futaleufú River, the Yelcho River, largest river in the valley, and Espolon River, the largest tributary, which is home to brown and rainbow trout as well as salmon that are present in April and May.
Nearby, Pumalín Park was created by a private United States environmental foundation, The Conservation Land Trust, founded by a prominent American businessman and conservationist in 1991 to protect a tract of primeval rainforest. This was the largest private nature reserve in the country. In 2017, it was the park was gifted to the Chile and was consolidated with another large section of land. It then became part of South America’s largest national park. It has an extensive infrastructure of trails.
The Futaleufú region offers a rich tapestry of landscapes, traditional cultures and outstanding adventures as you will discover on our new President’s Pick An Adventurer’s Chile.
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The temperature of lava ranges from 1,292 degrees to 2,282 degrees Fahrenheit.
That’s pretty warm… Consider, water boils at 212 Fahrenheit, and a pizza oven is generally 500 to 600 degrees F.
Sounds dramatic, right? Well, it is, especially in the infamous Ring of Fire, a major area in the Pacific Ocean. In a 25,000-mile horseshoe, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and plate movements. It encompasses 452 volcanoes, more than 75% of the world’s volcanos, both active and dormant. Some 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of its largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.
Japan lies in that zone of instability and is home to some 10% of the world’s active volcanoes (kazan in Japanese). No place is this more visible and immediate than on Japan’s Sakurajima Island. In fact, one list ranked the top ten most active volcanoes globally and Sakurajima Volcano landed the number one spot.
You will not have to wait long to see this busy volcano in action. Thousands of small explosions occur annually, routinely throwing ash several thousand feet above the mountain.
The volcano began forming more than 13,000 years ago, with the first recorded eruption in 963 CE. The most powerful eruption in 20th-century Japan came on January 11, 1914. A large earthquake followed two days later, which killed 35 people and generated a large lava flow, rare in Japan due to the high silica content of the magmas. Lava engulfed several nearby islands and created a narrow land bridge between the island and the mainland. The lava flows continued for months.
In 1955, Sakurajima’s activity again became pronounced and the volcano has been erupting nearly continuously since. The Sakurajima Volcano Observatory was set up in 1960 to monitor the volcano.
Could an explosion like the 1914 event happen again? Experts from Bristol University and Sakurajima Volcano Research Centre suggested a major eruption could come within 30 years.
Sakurajima is designated a Decade Volcano, one of 16 volcanoes identified worldwide by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) as worthy of special study due to a history of destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. This is part of the United Nations’ International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.
Despite this incessant activity, you can enjoy this island. It is part of the Kirishima-Yaku National Park and its lava flows are a major attraction. The area around Sakurajima contains several hot spring resorts. While you cannot approach the crater, the island has beautiful hiking trails.
To explore this unique ecosystem and more, discover the newest President’s Pick Colorful Japan.
“Pictures cannot do it justice. Your friend’s first-hand descriptions of her fabulous vacation do not make it real. Only an up-close, one-on-one encounter will convince you that the true wonder and superb beauty… wasn’t made up in some storyteller’s mind. This is what you see in a James Bond flick.”
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