The wild, frosty-mint waters of the Río Futaleufú have made this modest mountain town famous. Not just a mecca for kayaking and rafting, it also boasts fly-fishing, hiking and horseback riding. Improved roads and growing numbers of package-tour visitors mean it isn't off the map anymore – just note the ratio of down puffer jackets to woolen mantas (ponchos). It's a fun place, but if you prefer a peaceful visit, go on either end of the summer rush.
The town of Futaleufú, a small 20-block grid of pastel-painted houses 155km southeast of Chaitén, is mainly a service center to the Argentine border, only 8km away, and a bedroom community for boaters. Many visitors hop the border to the nearby Argentine towns of Trevelín and Esquel, and to Argentina's Parque Nacional Los Alerces.