155km (96 miles) SE of Chaitén; 196km (122 miles) NE of Puyuhuapi
Futaleufú is one of the prettiest villages in Chile, a town of 1,200 residents who live in colorful clapboard homes nestled in an awe-inspiring amphitheater of rugged, snowcapped mountains. Futaleufú sits at the junction of two rivers, the turquoise Río Espolón and its world-renowned cousin, the Río Futaleufú, whose white-water rapids are considered some of the most challenging on the globe. Every November to April, this quaint little town becomes the base for hundreds of rafters and kayakers who come to test their mettle on the "Fu," as it's colloquially known, although just as many come to fish, hike, mountain-bike, paddle a canoe, or raft the gentler Río Espolón. Futaleufú is just kilometers from the Argentine border; it's possible to get here by road from Puerto Montt by crossing into Argentina, a route sometimes preferred for its paved roads.
There are no banks or gas stations here in Futaleufú. However, residents do sell gas out of wine jugs and other unwieldy containers; just look for signs advertising BENCINA. Note that ash did blanket the town and surrounding area during the eruption of the Chiatén volcano in May 2008, though the minor damages have been dealt with and tourist operations are back to normal.