We offer the only continuous, top to bottom, multi-camp, wilderness river expedition in Patagonia. We limit our "multi-camp" wilderness trips to 16 clients and individual travelers get private camp accommodations at no additional cost. Using rafts and trails rather than buses and roads allows our groups to experience the magnificent Futaleufu canyon in a way only Earth River can show you. Each day brings a new, exclusive wilderness camp destination complete with every conceivable multi-sport activity including; canyoneering, mountain biking, horseback riding and climbing as well as amenities like wood fired hot tubs, flush toilets, hot showers and tree houses. By staying at three of the four private wilderness camps multiple nights there is half the packing an unpacking associated with a regular multi-camp expedition like the Salmon or Colorado Rivers. We also offer a "base camp" trip based out of the spectacular Mapu Leufu Cliff Camp.
Our four, fully outfitted camps offer everything from tree houses and stone shelters with fireplaces to river carved stone hot tubs. The unique combination of an expedition style trip with fully outfitted private camps, affords our guests the unique experience of being in the wild while still enjoying the comforts of beds, hot showers, flush toilets, hot tubs, a masseuse, Chilean wine, and incredible food. These camps are the exclusive use of each group of 16 guests on our multi-camp expeditions. The remote and secluded Mapu Leufu Cliff Camp, used for our base camp trips, sits on a 100 foot offering an unparalleled river view.
We have made first descents and pioneered commercial rafting on a number of now classic rivers around the world including Quebec's Magpie, Peru's Yavero, Tibet's Po Tsangpo and Patagonia's Futaleufu. Not only was the Futaleufu considered unraftable when we did the first complete raft descent in 1991, but no one in the whitewater community believed the rapids could ever be safely negotiated with commercial guests. We literally had to invent special boats and a saftey system that is still being employed on the river today. We were running the river for three years before another outfitter began running the river.
Earth River introduced the rafting safety techniques currently being used on the Futaleufu including the use of oar-paddle hybrid rafts, a class 4 training day including swim test and flip drill and the use of safety catarafts (the first time they were employed in this fashion anywhere in the world). We also figured out the safest raft routes in the rapids, set up the river’s original water level gauges and the corresponding high water safety cuts offs for the different sections of the river. Our 3-1 client/guide ratio on the Futaleufu is the highest in the industry and we are the only company in the world that uses 2 safety catarafts (rather than one). In 23 years of rafting the Futaleufu and other challenging rivers around the would, our safety record is impeccable. Earth River guides are hand picked and among the most accomplished in the industry. Beyond their honed river skills and sound judgement, they are unique individuals as demonstrated in the "Personal Reflections" link beneath each guide's bio.
Since 1990, Earth River has been leading or participating in conservation campaigns to protect wild rivers in North and South America. We have planned, funded and run over a dozen environmental awareness trips on the Bio Bio and Futaleufu Rivers in Chile, the Great Whale and Magpie Rivers in Quebec and Yosemite like Headwall Canyon in British Columbia. We have made a concerted effort to hire and train (from scratch) local guides on the Futaleufu. Three of our past Chilean guides have moved on to start their own day trip rafting companies on the Futaleufu.
Since our conservation work is self funded, it is actually our guests and their patronage who by joining our trips have helped us fund important river conservation work including the Earth River Land Trust on the Futaleufu which has already preserved over 15 miles of this irreplaceable treasure.