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USA Today about H2O Patagonia

December 7, 2006

Adventure meccas of Latin America

Whitewater rafting Chile
Central and South America have long drawn adventure enthusiasts to their mountains, jungles and rivers. Latin America is ripe with adventure opportunities, with options that appeal to both hardcore and "soft" adventurers looking for either day trips or multi-day vacations.

I've researched countless adventure trips in Latin America, and selected 10 of the best, from kayaking in Mexico to extreme mountain biking in Bolivia, to illustrate how Latin America has an adventure for every traveler.

Chile: White-water rafting on the Futaleufu River:

futaleufu river rafting

Located in remote northern Patagonia near the border of Argentina, the Futaleufu River boasts some of the best waters in the world for white-water rafting. Its Class III, IV and V rapids provide a wild ride for rafters as they wind through temperate rainforest and glacier-capped mountains. While the Futaleufu draws many experienced rafters, adventurous beginners can also enjoy a rafting trip. But, as Mitch Sasser, co-founder and expedition leader of H2O Patagonia notes, "Futaleufu is not a river for the faint of heart. You need to have a 'go get it' attitude."

"[The Futaleufu is] a large-volume river with Grand Canyon-size waves and obstacles, but pitched into a much smaller and steeper river canyon," says Sasser. "The water of the Futaleufu is a translucent turquoise blue that will blow you away ... Expect to be pounded with enormous amounts of whitewater, paddle blind into the next wave and come out loving it (hopefully inside the raft)." Most trips hit the Bridge-to-Bridge section of the river for Class III and Class IV-plus rapids.

Seven-night trips with H2O Patagonia start at $3,800 per person.

By Jessica Labrencis, SmarterTravel.com
Read the full article on USATODAY.com

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