The road 40 from Bariloche to Futaleufu is paved, which made it a smooth easy ride. The last part driving forward to the border of Chile is an unpaved road in an amazing mountain range surrounding. Even that distances in Patagonia are time-consuming, the amazing landscapes make up for that fact.
The picture below shows a real smooth border crossing from Argentina to Chile that were done in 5 minutes. Usually in the more remote regions this is the time to plan in. Still, be aware that usually the border office has opening hour, generally 8 am to 7 pm – but it is different for each station.
Compared to Puerto Varas and Bariloche, Futaleufu is a small town in the middle of an amazing mountain range. The name of the town was given because of the river Futaleufu, which made the area popular for white water rafting. The river is integrated in an amazing surrounding and is called one of the most challenging river for rafting. The town has a couple of companies that offer rafting tours, that can be booked by arrival.
As September is way too early and cold for getting into a boat for rafting we choose to visit the Futaleufu National Reserve instead. The reserve offers a couple of hiking options that release amazing views over the area, with the river Futaleufu always in the middle.
Tips for Futaleufu:
- has a gas station that accept credit card
- has restaurants that accept credit cards
- driving in the Futaleufu National Reserve is better with a 4×4, no entry fees needs to be paid
- hikes that can be reached from the town center are mostly on private land and a small fee (in cash) needs to be paid