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REGION: Central Chile – Northern to Southern Patagonia.
ACTIVITY LEVEL: 1 (Easy) to 3 (Moderate).
SUMMARY: Customized 15-days Program Central Valley: Santiago, Maipo Wine Valley. North Patagonia (Lake District): Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Petrohue Watefalls, Osorno Volcano, Ferry crossing to Chiloé Penguin Colony and Hike at Route of Parks of Patagonia. South Patagonia (Magellan & Antarctica District) Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales; Gaucho Estancia Experience, Torres del Paine and Grey Glaciers; King Penguin Colony; and Route of Parks of Patagonia in Tierra del Fuego.

DURATION: 15 days (or as customized).
Min. / Max. PEOPLE:  2 – 12;  more by prior arrangement. Minimum age 12 or above.
SEASON:  Year round, weather permitting.
ACCOMODATIONS:  3 – 5  star (Can be arranged).

ITINERARY:
DAY 1: Welcome to Chile – Santiago – City Walk Tour – Wine tour (8 Hours)
Activity Level: 1 (Easy)
Meet in Santiago and what a city it is. Never have skyscrapers had to fight so hard to look tall. After all, snow-capped Andes ring the city and dwarf the man-made peaks. Whether you are just arriving from the Globe, or you are returning to civilization after summiting volcanoes and camping for the last several days, you’ll find Santiago a perfect spot to gather together as a family to start your explorations in Chile. Relax today, the next week is filled with epic adventures for everyone, along with mouth-watering cuisine, award-winning locally-grown wines, and perfectly-sited luxury accommodations. See for yourself immediately, as a lushly forested park in an elegant city neighborhood bounds your Santiago hotel. This morning you will walk and discover this sophisticated blend of classic and contemporary style city. Later, enjoy excellent Chilean cuisine with a selection of great “Chilean wines” at one of the famous wine valleys in Chile.

Overnight: Santiago.  Meals: L, D.

DAY 2: North Patagonia Lake District – Photography Hiking National Park Vicente Pérez Rosales (6 Hours)
Activity Level:
2 + (Easy)

Chile is spaghetti thin and just as long. And its entire backbone is the remarkable Andes Mountain range. You’ll begin to see all of that for yourself this morning on a flight south to Puerto Montt, the gateway to Vicente Perez Rosales National Park. The mountains loom everywhere in Chile, only here the environment is a temperate rain forest…and the terrain is an incredible mix of natural landmarks. You’ll drive through vast fields of black volcanic ash spewed by Osorno Volcano. At Petrohué Falls, whitewater plunges through narrow channels that an eruption threw across the river just for your cinematic enjoyment. A morning walk is across the black lava sands that cover the ground near Todos los Santos Lake. The photo ops here are fantastic.

 This afternoon, you approach the Osorno Volcano itself. Its steep-sided cone is about as perfectly symmetrical as they come. (The most recent eruption was in 1869.) The upper slopes are covered in glaciers. Hiking the slopes of the volcano gets you a close-up look at the lava formations, plants and animals that have slowly retaken the area over the last century and a half. Not to be missed: the reflection of Osorno in the smooth sapphire surface of Llanquihue Lake. The whole day is a fascinating look at the many ways volcanic activity shapes the environment. Continue your explorations tonight into the culinary pleasures of the lakes at one of the city’s fine seafood restaurants.

Overnight: Puerto Varas.  Meals: B, BL.

DAY 3: Chiloé Island – Penguin – Local Family Experiences (10 Hours)
Activity Level:
1 (Easy)

Chiloé is a world unto itself. South America’s second-largest island, it’s geographically close to the mainland, but home to a very different culture. You get there with the residents on their car ferry that crosses the Chacao Channel, home to sea lions and a tremendous number of sea birds.

Arriving on to Chiloe, hit the beach. But not the kind of each we visit at home. This one is windswept and dramatic. Hiking it you come across the Islotes de Puñihuil. These three rocky knobs jut out of the sea near to shore, and they are the only known shared breeding site for Humboldt and Magellanic penguins. Also in your view is your arriving boat, being beached on shore so that you can board and take it to go see the endangered birds up close as you circle the islets.

Midday joins our family friends from “Chilota” at their private country home for a curanto – a local social event built around a feast of shellfish, meat and potatoes that is cooked in a covered pit. If it feels something like a luau, that’s because this food tradition is believed to have migrated across the Pacific from Polynesia by way of Easter Island. You get a unique look at how the meal is assembled from mussels, smoked pork and some of the 150 kinds of potatoes that are native to the island. We love it because the whole afternoon is an incredibly unique opportunity to bond with this typical Chilota family. And the eating is exceptional, too! Afterward, walk off some of the lunch on a hike through the island’s countryside, or relax over a coffee or aperitif before ferrying back to the mainland.

Overnight: Puerto Varas.  Meals: B, L.

DAY 4: Multi day Adventure Horse Riding & Rafting or Full day Fishing (10 Hours)
Activity Level:
2 (Easy) to 3 (Moderate)

Option Horse Riding & Rafting :

Pick up from your hotel. Our two hours and a half horseback riding excursion takes us through rural paths and forests. We see the Petrohue River valley and its geological formations. Riding through these fields, we learn about cattle breeding and farming, while enjoying the view and safe and comfortable riding. Time for lunch here.  Then off to the next adventure: White water rafting in Petrohué River!

We drive to our base in Ensenada village (40 min distance of Puerto Varas). After a complete safety talk, we gear up and get ready in our changing rooms. After 10 more minutes in our private transport, we reach the put in of the Petrohué River in National Park Vicente Perez Rosales, the first park founded in Chile in 1926. The river flows out of Todos Los Santos Lago (All Saints Lake) and makes its way to Reloncavi fjord surrounded by snowcapped volcanoes such as Osorno, Calbuco and the antique chimney of Puntiagudo.

We put in on a calm section where we can practice our strokes before getting into the action with the first rapid called Ciao Seco (good bye to dry). From here, there are 13 kilometers of continuous fun-filled class III and IV rapids like the tricky ESE, Los Pollos, Queso Suizo and El Nadador and many more. There are a few places where we can stop, get down from the raft, climb on the cliffs and jump into this clear water. After 2 hours of rafting, we reach our take out and head to the changing rooms before driving back to the base. Once we get there, a “Pisco Sour” and some snacks are served while we enjoy the footage taken by our photographer who was in a kayak accompanying us on the river. Drive back to your hotel, dinner at your own. Overnight: Puerto Varas. Meals: B, L. Moderate Level.

Option Fishing :

Prefer to catch your own lunch? Then you’ll love the fly fishing waiting for you today. Board a McKenzie-style drift boat and set out on a stretch of about eight miles on the beautiful Río Maullin or Petrohué river. Experienced anglers will be right in their element, and first-time fishermen will receive all of the gear and instructions to make it a memorable day. You’ll use #5 and #6 weight rods with floating and sinking lines. Most of the fishing will be with streamers with big flies, including numbers 4 and 6; Wollys, Sculpins, Monkeys, Matukas). Sometimes in the afternoon, depending on the weather conditions and water temperature, you might want to switch to dry flies from the boat or wade in shallow water. And if the fish are rising and insects moving on the water, you might want to choose other flies like mayflies, caddis flies, or stone flies.

While passing dense and silent forests, you’re on the lookout for brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon.  Bring your catch back to town tonight and have your chef prepare it for you for dinner. Hotel accommodation.

Overnight: Puerto Varas. Meals: B, RL.  Easy Level

DAY 5: Hiking – Alerce Andino National Park – Route of Parks of Patagonia (8 Hours)
Activity Level:
3 (Moderate)

We depart early from your hotel in Puerto Varas, driving toward Alerce Andino National Park (39,255 hectares). This national park was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2007 and it is part of the Route of Parks of Patagonia Network.

The Park was named for the Alerce tree, an evergreen tree that reaches a height of 45 meters and a diameter of 4 meters wide. These trees were declared natural monuments in 1976 and cutting any of these living trees in the Chilean Territory is prohibited.

Our excursion takes us through the Pacific Coast Reloncavi Sound by the Southern Road. We pass by quaint fishing villages and then, after an hour, reach the Chaica part of the river in Alerce Andino National Park. The Calbuco Volcano and all the beautiful Andean-Patagonian Mountain range are alongside us in this stunning journey!

The beautiful native forest wows us with its intense green, where we can see and identify species of local flora and fauna. After half an hour we arrive at a beautiful waterfall.   As we continue, we can see or hear birds, such as the black woodpecker, the Huet-Huet, Kingfisher, the Peuco, Pato Real, the Canquén, the Cachudito and Torcaza. We reach a 2,000-yr.-old redwood, and then we continue to Lake Chaiquenes where we rest and take pictures. We now proceed for an hour’s hike to reach our final destination, the Laguna Triangle. Time to relax, take photos and eat to regain our energy before heading back!

The return trip takes us to some sectors of the Carretera Austral with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, salmon and shellfish farms and Puerto Montt. Return to your hotel. Dinner at your own.

Overnight: Puerto Varas.  Meals: B, BL.

DAY 6: South Patagonia Magellan & Artarctica District – Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales. (8 Hours)
Activity Level:
1 (Easy)

The quest to the southern ends of the earth continues this morning on your flight to Punta Arenas, the gateway to South Patagonia. Short sightseeing tour will be done on this city.  Optional lunch here.  Your destination of the day is Puerto Natales, founded as a port for the sheep industry in a region called Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope). Your luxury eco-resort is nearby.  It’s your choice to head right to the resort to take advantage of its spa, or to relax by the enormous fireplace in the lounge with its incredible views and deep leather sofas. Or, follow a waterside trail for a hike that leads ultimately to your luxury lodgings. Dinner and accommodation.

Overnight: Puerto Natales.  Meals: B, D.

DAY 7: Patagonian “Gaucho” Estancia (6 Hours)
Activity Level:
2 (Easy)

Your day in between ocean, pampas and mountains yesterday could leave you with the feeling that it would be nearly impossible to live in this region of Patagonia. In fact, there’s a hardy population who live and work here, and you’ll meet them today. You’re off to a working estancia, a vast ranch where the sheep, cattle and horses drastically outnumber the gauchos who tend them.

Once again, you can choose your adventure for how you want to get a firsthand look at life on the pampas. If you like, climb into the saddle for a guided look at the land on horseback, led by one of the gauchos who work the land daily. If you prefer to keep both feet on the ground, join your host for a guided hike to explore the estancia on one its scenic trails. Either way, you’ll see how the gauchos go about their work with demonstrations of sheep shearing and the way they team up with shepherd dogs to control their flocks in the wild terrain. You’ll especially love this time at the estancia because it is an unforgettable glimpse into how man and nature coexist in ways that are unimaginable back home.

 The day is capped with a gaucho barbecue, and the centerpiece is succulent lamb grilled over open fires. It’s a traditional feast that perfectly captures the rustic, natural spirit of the day. This evening dinner is at your own. Accommodation.

Overnight: Puerto Natales.  Meals: B, L.

DAY 8: Torres del Paine National Park – Photography Hiking (10 Hours)
Activity Level:
2 (Easy) to 3 (Moderate)

This is the morning for a hearty breakfast because the day to come is all about exploring the wilds of Patagonia. You’re visit famous Torres del Paine National Park. The Torres – soaring, spikey “towers” of granite carved by ancient glaciers – are one of the signature sights of Chile. You’re headed to part of the park that was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and it is part of the Route of Parks of Patagonia Network.

We’ll depart from your hotel in Puerto Natales to enjoy this photographic journey into the Torres del Paine National Park and allow you to marvel at the beauty of its topography and its abundant flora and fauna. Some of the attractions that you will visit will be Laguna Amarga area where you can see the peaks of the Torres del Paine, Laguna Azul and also you will visit Cuernos del Paine lookout, Salto Grande, Pehoe lake, Nordenskjöld lake, Mirador Cerro Condor, and other places to enjoy moments in this World Biosphere Reserve.

This is the natural habitat of the guanaco, long-legged rheas, endangered Andean deer, and the Andean condor. And you’re likely to spot them during your hiking throughout the day. There are lagoons, too, that are breeding and feeding grounds for a variety of birds. Right from the trails, the views of the snow-capped mountains are stupendous, and you can take your time to absorb it all as you linger over a picnic lunch. Back at the hotel, you’ll have free time this evening to wander the grounds, schedule a spa treatment, or soak in the heated infinity pool. Dinner and accommodation.

Overnight: Hosteria Lago Grey.  Meals: B, BL, D.

DAY 9: Grey Glacier Navigation – Kayak (10 Hours)
Activity Level:
2 (Easy) to 3 (Moderate)

There are very few hotels where you can watch icebergs float past the windows or see a crystal blue glacier from your room. Wake this morning to see just how stunning your location is, as the floor to ceiling windows mean you can really drink in the scenery. This morning, you’re headed for a completely different view of Torres del Paine. At the entry to the park, Laguna Amarga, whose waters are intensely turquoise, signals the theme of the day: water, both liquid and frozen.

As with so many of your days during the expedition, you can choose your adventure for how you want to experience the glacier. Today’s choice is by comfortable expedition catamaran, with indoor and outdoor seating and viewing locations, restrooms, food and beverage. Choose this option and let your captain and crew do the work of propulsion and navigation for you. Or, get down to water level in kayaks to paddle your way to discoveries.

If you choose the catamaran, start with a scenic hike to “Playa Grey” where we going to catch our Catamaran. With an experienced captain at the helm, take to the water for an unforgettable cruise that puts you just a short distance from the sheer face of the glacier. We’ve all heard how glaciers carve landscape, move mountains and scour out fjords, but it’s only from this perspective that you can truly appreciate their awesome scale and power. Lounge on the deck—maybe with a pisco sour chilled by glacial ice—and take it all in.

For the kayakers, get ready to really immerse yourself into Chile. You are going to explore about 18 miles of Chilean waters today. Starting from the shores of Grey Lake, you’ll meet your kayaking guides, who will give you an explanation of safety and instructions for paddling efficiently. With them, you’ll navigate the lake for approximately one to two hours, all the while paddling through floes of ice that have descended from Grey Glacier. These icebergs are scattered throughout the lake and are sculpted into incredible shapes by the wind and sun, before being pushed to the shores of the lake.

After paddling in Grey Lake, begin the descent of Grey River. The river serpentines through deep canyons with steep rock faces, creating sections of rapids that are exciting and entertaining. Continue, paddling next to the Paine Massif for 15 miles, the length of River Grey, until it joins with the clear water of the Serrano River. After paddling for three to four hours, you arrive at Serrano Village, before returning to your luxury lodgings for one final night.

Overnight: Puerto Natales.  Meals: B.

DAY 10: Torres del Paine – Tierra del Fuego (10 Hours)
Activity Level:
1 (Easy)

Enjoy one final hardy breakfast, before making the drive to Tierra del Fuego. Today will be a driving day crossing mountains, lakes, and pampas to catch up on our ferry to Tierra del Fuego.  Dinner and accommodation.

Overnight: Tierra del Fuego.  Meals: B, D.

DAY 11: Penguin Colony – Photographic Overlanding (8 Hours)
Activity Level:
1 (Easy)

This morning, we will do a great guided visit to the only Rey Penguin colony in Sudamerica.   The king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is the second biggest out of 18 penguin species around the world. It is a migratory bird that moves foraging for food, from its breeding grounds in sub-Antarctic islands to the circumpolar Antarctic waters.  This penguin species is characterized by a silvery gray coloration from the nape to the tail (dorsal area) and mainly whitish coloration in the ventral. In the throat, chest, jaw and aural area highlight the yellows and oranges, and its intensity depends on the age state. The head is black like its long-pointed beak and legs, they have a webbed adapted for swimming.  

After this great visit, we will continue our Overlanding by Tierra del Fuego to south passing through historical places such as Estancia Cameron and posada Ruffin.  After a couple of hours driving around pampas, dusty routes, and forests, we will arrive at lake “Deseado”, where our lodge is located.   Dinner and accommodation.

Overnight: Tierra del Fuego.  Meals: B, BL, D.

DAY 12: Hiking Karukinka Natural Park (8 Hours)

Activity Level: 2 + (Easy)

Breakfast. Following breakfast, we drive to Karukinka Natural Park, a wonderful nature reserve remains an area unspoilt by human presence. The trail is of an easy-medium difficulty level of challenge covering an overall distance of 13km or 8 Miles (round trip) and the walk take around 6h, 30min. The walk follows a gentle sloping path that crosses steppes, sub-Antarctic forest and other Andean’s flora and fauna. The trail will lead us up to Lookout La Lenga and to Lookout Laguna del Cura 466 m above sea level with a beautiful view and finishes at the lake. During the trek everyone will be able to enjoy the experience of seeing the local wildlife, pristine forest, lake and breathtaking landscapes. Dinner and accommodation.

Overnight: Tierra del Fuego.  Meals: B, BL, D.

DAY 13: Navigation – Kayak Almirantazgo Sound (5 Hours)

Activity Level: 1 (Easy) to 3 (Moderate)

Breakfast.  After breakfast, we begin our day of the expedition with a navigation through the “Almirantazgo Sound”, up to the glaciers of the Parry Fjord. This navigation can be done by Seakayak (according to weather conditions) or by Motorboat.

We will sailing from Caleta Maria in the direction of Jackson Bay, to observe the colony of elephant seals that remains in this place. After a moment observing the flora and fauna of the environment, we sail between Tres Mogotes Island to observe the Black-browed Albatross in their nests. Then we go towards Parry Fjord, where our next stop is in Parry Bay, in this place is the first imposing wall of this Glacier. This will place is part of the third-largest park in Chile, Alberto de Agostini, which is part of the Patagonian National Park Networks.  Dinner and accommodation.

Overnight: Tierra del Fuego.  Meals: B, BL, D.

DAY 14: Tierra del Fuego – Magellan Strait Navigation – Punta Arenas (8 Hours)

Activity Level: 1 (Easy)

Early breakfast departure. Early check out. We will say goodbye to the wonders of this island. From Lodge we will travel towards Porvenir. Drop off at ferry terminal and crossing the Magellan Strait(2.30 hours).  Arrive at evening to Punta Arenas, dinner, and rest after long day. 

Overnight: Punta Arenas.  Meals: B, D.

DAY 15: Punta Arenas – Santiago (3.5 Hours)

Activity Level: 1 (Easy)

A morning or noon flight takes you to Santiago to make late-day connections for return flights back to your Home or keep traveling around Chile.    End of the Adventure Program in Chile.

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