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Futaleufú is a Chilean town and commune located in Northern Patagonia. Located at the confluence of the Espolon and Futaleufú river valleys, the town is approximately 10 kilometers from the Argentinian border. Futaleufú is the provincial capital of Palena Province, Los Lagos Region. Futaleufú, known locally as “Futa,” is a frontier town with a growing tourism industry based on adventure tourism—most specifically whitewater rafting—but also fishing, mountain biking, trekking, and canyoning. Due to its proximity to the Argentinian border, Futaleufú is most easily accessed from airports in Esquel and Bariloche, Argentina. Other tourists access the town through the Northern Patagonia Airport in Chaiten, or vía a system of ferries that leave from the provincial capital in Puerto Montt.
The town is named after the crystal blue Futaleufú River, widely considered to be one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in the world. The name Futaleufu derives from a Mapudungun word meaning "Big River".
The town has a population of about 2,000, growing slightly during the summer rafting and kayaking season. The main income for the community is whitewater kayaking and rafting, together with fly fishing and other associated outdoor sports. Many original residents raise sheep, cattle and practice small scale subsistence farming. A gravel road links the town to Trevelin in Argentina and to the Carretera Austral. It is served by Futaleufú Airfield.
Following the eruption of Chaitén Volcano and the subsequent destruction of Chaitén, Futaleufú has been the administrative capital of Palena Province since March 2009.
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