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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