Along the Río Grande Chaitén – Futaleufú route
Founded in 1933, Chaitén (www.munichaiten.cl) was known to the world after the eruption of the Chaitén Volcano in May 2009. At present, tourist activity is back to normal; even witnessing the devastated zones can also be a moving experience. The city has cabins, lodgings, restaurants, and grocery stores, as well as the tourist services, gas stations and government offices. To the south, following the Carretera Austral, you could cross the Yelcho River accompanied by dense vegetation and the snowy summit of the Corcovado volcano, Cerro la Cruz, and Cerro Vilcún. Before you arrive at Puerto Cárdenas, there is an entrance towards the almost unknown El Amarillo Hot Springs (km 24). They are waiting for you with waters that gush from a crater of the Michimahuida Volcano. From Puerto Cárdenas you can transfer to Puerto Ramírez, on the other side of Lake Yelcho, to continue your way up to Futaleufú along Ruta 231, surrounded by native forests, waterfalls, and scrublands.
Another honorable mention is the beauty of Lake Yelcho and its environment, which may be one of the most beautiful landscapes in Chile, surrounded by native forests and glaciers that shows a breathtaking spectacle. Lake Yelcho is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts and fly fishing as well. RUTA LOS LAGOS / PATAGONIA VERDE Futaleufú (www.futaleufu.cl) is a picturesque town in the middle of the Andes Mountain Range, 10 km from the Argentine border. It charms whoever visits its countless natural attractions and recreative activities held there. Rafting and kayaking on the Futaleufú river stand out because, according to experts, it is one of the three best rivers in the world for these adventure sports. It is also possible to enjoy hiking and horseback riding by different paths, mountain biking, floating, and kayaking the Espolón river, canyoning on gorges and canyons, sea kayaking on lakes, fly fishing, mountaineering, and flora and fauna watching in the Futaleufú National Reserve created for the protection of Ciprés de la Cordillera (Austrocedrus chilensis). A tradition in this town is to hold several sporting events, such as rafting and kayaking, because of the exceptional characteristics of these waters.