La Gringa Carioca Hostal is perfectly situated to serve as a central starting point for numerous low altitude treks in the Futaleufú Valley. (interactive map)
Because of the rapid elevation change over such short distances, typical of the Andes Mountains, the Futaleufú valley is dominated by microclimates which offer trekkers a great variety of different types of ecosystems to explore. The western part of the Futaleufú valley, near Lago Yelcho, is dominated by Valdivian temperate rainforests which give way to less rain dependent vegetation as one approaches the Argentine border and the arid Pampas just beyond.
The altitude of the bed and breakfast is 1148 feet with the highest glaciered mountain peaks in the area topping out at 6400 feet.
Day Trekking Routes
Laguna de Espejo Overlook Loop (4.5 km)
This is an hour-long walk that takes you to a rock outcropping overlooking the town of Futaleufú and then finishing by going around the lake; a great opportunity for an evening walk or to take photos of the entire town.
El Mirador (The Overlook) (14 km)
A local favorite is the trek to the National Forest Service Overlook (Conaf) in the Futaleufú Nacional Huemul Reserve . This hike offers spectacular views of the Upper Futaleufú River valley and the Argentine border.
Piedra del Aguila (Eagle Rock) (12 km)
One of the most popular hiking routes from town, this trek goes up the Espolon valley and detours midway to a large spire-shaped rock called “Eagle Rock” that peers across the valley. Look out for Andean Condors and other raptors cruising aloft on the nearby thermals when you approach the top.
Garganta del Diablo Circuit (Devil’s Throat) (20 km)
This trek ends at spectacular 200ft high cataract known as the Devil’s Throat where the waters of Espolon Lake enter the Espolon River. Have lunch at the viewing platform overlooking the most awe inspiring waterfall.
Las Escalas Circuit (22 km)
This trek takes you down the Upper Futaleufú River Valley, crosses over an old swinging bridge in the Las Escalas Valley and then back to town from the other side of the river. The beginning of the hike overlooks the famous class V Infierno Canyon section of the Futaleufú River.
Cerro Teta Expedition (25 km, 5100 ft)
The snowcapped Cerro Teta is the highest mountain peak overlooking the village of Futaleufú and offers spectacular views of the entire valley. While not the longest, this is the most difficult and demanding trekking route from La Gringa Carioca Hostal because of the 4000 foot altitude gain. It is essential to begin the trekking day as early as possible to avoid being caught out in the dark.
Rio Chico Circuit (33 km)
This is an all day hike that involves traversing a pass between the Futaleufú and Chico river valleys. The trek will take you through the Nacional Huemul Reserve and between two mountain peaks. You will experience a spectacular variety of different forests types ( Coihue, Mañio, Cipres, and Lenga) on your way up and down as the altitude changes.
Espolon Lake Ferry Boat Excursion
On certain days of the week it is possible to catch a ferry boat across Lago Espolon to the pioneer town of Espolon at the far side of the lake. After debarking on the other side you will have the opportunity to explore little settlement of Espolon on foot before returning on the ferry boat in the afternoon. The village is “off the grid” giving visitors a real feel for what it was like for the early pioneers of Patagonia. The lake crossing takes about 1.5 hours each way and it is a 4 km hike to the village.
Remote Trekking and Hiking Routes
There are numerous trekking possibilities away from La Gringa Carioca Hostal for those wanting a multiday experience, like the: Azul Valley, Cerro Tres Monjas, Espolon Valley. See our rural tourism page for these descriptions.