The Futaleufu valley is perfect for exploring the natural beauty and culture that this region is famous for and the Valle Bonito Lodge is great base for a variety of hiking adventures. From the door we have several different walks that lead to waterfalls, rock pinnacles, high river gorges, condors’ nests, sandy beaches, isolated communities and high mountain lakes. Most of these are walks that you will rarely see other tourists on. Unlike overcrowded National Parks like Torres del Paine, this area offers a less crowded, equally spectacular and more adventurous alternative for all abilities and levels.
Along the course of the nearby Futaleufu River are trails that follow the river through it’s rugged canyons. One section named “la difficuldad” is an historic trail for the pioneers of the area who had to be resource full to negotiate the rivers steep and narrow canyons in this area. On this 5-6 hour walk we pass through the remote community of Las Escalas and wind our way down the river in forests of coihue and arrayanes trees. Further up the river a few miles is a small National Park to protect the huemul (a native deer). Here there are some nice trails that lead to a high rock overlook several hundred meters above the river. where stunning views of the Futaleufu River Valley and surrounding mountains await.
Using our semi rigid inflatable boat on Espolon Lake opens the door to a lifetime of hiking options. Our put in is 15 minutes from the Lodge at Puerto Espolon. At the head end of this seven mile long road less lake lies a remote valley with lush farmlands below and steep glaciers towering above. The Upper Espolon Valley is settled by about 200 people who live in this remote area year round. On a day hike up the valley we can visit some of the local farms and spend time with some of the original settlers of this secluded area. Along the lake shores numerous side valleys lead to glaciers, waterfalls, other lakes and high peaks. Most of these valleys have horse and cow trails that lead to the tree line and these are the paths that we follow. The lake has a trail on either side that passes through lovely farmlands and beaches along the lake shore and we can access many different trail segments by boat and tailor the hiking distance to how long you want to walk for.