The 80km trip up the FUTALEUFÚ VALLEY is one of the most enjoyable diversions off the Carretera Austral. Heading east from the drab crossroads settlement of Villa Santa Lucía, south of Chaitén, you first skirt the southern shore of Lago Yelcho for 30km, before arriving at a fork in the road. The right turn goes to the quiet border village of Palena, while the left branch follows the turquoise Río Futaleufú for 17km through towering gorges, lush forests and snow-streaked mountain peaks to its namesake town.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Chile features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Why you should visit Chile in 2018

Why you should visit Chile in 2018

A slither of a country that somehow manages to encompass barren desert, knife-edge mountains and fertile river valleys, Chile has long attracted intrepid travel…

08 Jan 2018 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
Video: the 1 minute guide to Chile

Video: the 1 minute guide to Chile

Chile is an outdoor adventurer's paradise. From the parched peaks of the north's Atacama Desert to the storied wilderness of Patagonia in the south, the nature…

30 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
A postcard from San Pedro: finding life in one of the world's driest deserts

A postcard from San Pedro: finding life in one of the world's driest deserts

The unique landscape surrounding the Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama is one of the world's top stargazing spots – but, in recent years, it's also attrac…

22 Nov 2017 • Sarah Reid insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right