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Old 01-03-2011   #1
Creswell, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 67
More questions about Chile

A few friends and I are headed to Chile for a couple weeks the first part of February to check out their rivers and what else Chile might have to offer. As this is our first trip down there, we are totally ignorant as what to expect, other than what I've read on the Buzz. I was hoping somebody could help me out with some advice. We are going to start out in Pucon for the first week and then head to the Fu for the rest of the trip. Any recommendations on places to stay whether they be hostels or campgrounds? How about places to rent kayaks, rafts or horses? How friendly is the environment? Do I need to take bug spray, how about poison oak? Should I take a dry suit, dry top or just a hydroskin top? Should I drink only bottled water? Does Visa work down around the Fu or is it only Mastercard, how about travelers checks? Where is the best place to rent a car for the Fu, and how accessible is gas or food for that matter? Does anybody Know of any Chilean river running books? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-04-2011   #2
River Gypsy
Swannanoa, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 255
There are plenty of places to stay around Pucon, and several around the Fu. We drove toward the town of Futa from the river and stayed at a great place called Camping Loncanao. It had refugios (indoor places to cook and even sleep), they provided firewood, and it had hot showers all for something like $3 per person per night.

Environmentally, bugs can be bad - especially giant mutant horseflies.

I don't remember any poison oak.

It snowed on the tops of the mountains while we were at the Fu late last January, and sleeted a bit at river level. Although the water wasn't super cold, I was glad to have a drysuit.

We drank the water most everywhere and it was fine.

Cars and kayaks are available for rent in Pucon.

I wouldn't count on paying for anything with a credit card at the Futa - bring cash. There are no working gas pumps in Futa or Chaiten, so fill up before you go down there, and maybe carry some bottles with extra. You can buy small bottles of gas in Futa, but they don't always have it in stock and it's crazy expensive that way.

Good luck, and have fun down there!

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Old 01-06-2011   #3
Creswell, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 67
Hey Leland- Thanks for the info. Sounds like gas could be an issue around the Fu. That's good to know ahead of time.
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