The Futaleufú originates in Argentina in a series of translucent turquoise lakes in Los Alerces National Park. The river then flows into Chile through a rare break in the Andes. From the Argentina/Chile border it flows west through Chile, emptying into Lago Yelcho. Below Lago Yelcho, it becomes Rio Yelcho and flows 25 more miles reaching the Pacific Ocean near the town of Chaiten.The river is an extensive fishery with German Brown Trout and Salmon.Tourism is the area's main source of income and employment, followed by livestock and agriculture. Tourism is primarily designed around the world class whitewater of the river. Employment with the tourist companies varies from carpentry and cooking to the renting of horses.The Futaleufu River is a unique place with a worldwide reputation. It is considered by many experts to be the finest whitewater rafting and kayaking river in the world. It nearly always makes magazine and media's list of the top five whitewater destinations in the world and along with the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon is considered to be among the finest multi-day rafting expeditions. Along with its world renowned whitewater, the Futaleufu Valley is one of the world's top multi-sport destinations with activities that include; rafting, kayaking, fly fishing, mountaineering, horseback riding, canyoning, mountain biking, rock climbing and trekking all on a world class level. The tremendous variety of multi-sport activities, scenery, bug free weather, relatively warm, translucent teal water along with the local people and culture help make this unique valley the finest adventure sports destination in Patagonia and one of the finest in all of the Americas.Future dams are the principal threat to the Futaleufu River. Multinational hydroelectric corporations have their eyes set on the river for years. The damming of the Futaleufu can still be avoided with proper preparation and participation from environmental organizations and communities to be impacted. Moreover, there are roads and bridges being built along the Futaleufu River with the help of local governments. In past years, the Futaleufú watershed has been under threat from Canadian and American mining . Despite the existing laws, the Futaleufu River is threatened by overfishing, constant violations that go unnoticed, the lack of a local governmental body that oversees fishing and the compliance with the laws.
As of March 2016, Ms. Rocío González is the Executive Director and Riverkeeper at Futalefufú Riverkeeper. She holds a degree in Social Work from the Universidad de Los Lagos and is fluent in English and Spanish. Since 2015 and as part of her community work, she serves in the town of Futaleufú’s Comité Ambiental Comunal (Community Environmental Committee) as its first President ever. Ms. González is a native of Chile’s Los Lagos Region and has lived in the Futaleufú watershed since 2013. Before moving to Futaleufú, she worked for 7 years as a government official in the city of Puerto Montt. During her tenure there she supervised over a hundred international volunteers. She first began working with Futaleufú Riverkeeper in 2014, most recently serving as Project Director overseeing local zoning efforts and organizing community events. As the Riverkeeper, Rocío is responsible for monitoring the health of the waterway and documenting threats to the environment.
Futaleufú, Provincia Palena,, Región de los Lagos, Patagonia