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REGION: Central Chile – Northern to Southern Patagonia with Austral Highway areas till Caleta Tortel with optional extension to Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego.
ACTIVITY LEVEL: 1 (Easy) to 3 (Moderate).
SUMMARY: Customized 17-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 (Aysen District & Carretera Austral “Austral Highway) Pumalin Douglas Tompkins National Park, Chaitén volcano, Puyuhuapi, Quelat National Park, Cerro Castillo National Park hiking, Marvel Chapel at General Carrera Lake, San Rafael National Park Glaciers navigation, Exploradores Glacier Ice hiking, Patagonia National Park Wildlife observation, Baker river, Montt Glacier navigation at Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, Coyhaique and Balmaceda.
DURATION: 17 days (or as customized).
Min. / Max. PEOPLE: 2 – 12; more by prior arrangement. Minimum age 12 or above.
SEASON: Seasonal from October to April.
ACCOMODATIONS: 3 – 5 star (Can be arranged).

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. Drive back to Santiago, and rest. Tonigh dinner is at your own.

Overnight: Santiago.  Meals: L.

DAY 2: North Patagonia Lake District – Chiloe Island – Penguin Colony – Local Family Experience (10 Hours)
Activity Level: 1 (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 of North Patagonia.  Welcome by our Representative and drive to Chiloe Island. 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, Ancud city.  Midday joins our family friends 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 our next Adventure…The Penguin Colony “Puñihuil”.

Driving around typical countryside of the “Comarca of Chiloe”, we will arrive to our destination, 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, before ferrying back to the mainland.  Drive to your hotel. Dinner at your own.

Overnight: Puerto Varas.  Meals: B, L.

DAY 3:  Hiking – Alerce Andino National Park – Route of Parks of Patagonia Begin (8 Hours)
Activity Level: 2 (Easy) to 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 4:  Hiking at National Park Vicente Pérez Rosales & Osorno Volcano (10 Hours)
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)

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.  The whole day is a fascinating look at the many ways volcanic activity shapes the environment.  Spectacular vistas of Picada hill, Puntiagudo, Tranador and Calbuco volcanoes, Lakes Llanquihue and Todos Los Santos sorrounding by the great Andes Mountain range. Arrive to Petrohue beach and get backt to your hotel at Puerto Varas. Continue your explorations tonight into the culinary pleasures of the lakes at one of the city’s fine seafood restaurants. Dinner included this evening.

Overnight: Puerto Varas.  Meals: B, BL, D.

DAY 5:  Lake District – Austral Highway – Pumalin Douglas Tompkins National Park (10 Hours)
Activity Level: 1 (Easy)

Breakfast.  Today, we start early and drive to the south to the Carretera Austral, surrounding the “Mar de Puerto Montt”.   Three different ferries take you across the fjords always close to the Andes Mountains. The trip takes around 10 – 12 hours according to weather conditions, including a short stop in Hornopirén town, You can take the opportunity to spend some time in town and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see the magnificent Yates, Hornopirén and Corcovado Volcanoes, part of the Patagonian National Park Networks.   Arrive in Caleta Gonzalo in the afternoon by ferry, the heart of Pumalin Douglas Tompkins National Park.  Dinner and rest.

Overnight: Pumalin Park or Chaiten.  Meals: B, D.

DAY 6:  Pumalin Douglas Tompkins National Park – Austral Highway – Puyuhuapi (10 Hours)
Activity Level: 2 (Easy)
to 3 (Moderate).

Breakfast.  Today, we start our adventure doing short hiking in this National Park “Los Alerces”.  Old native Alerce trees (Red Wood – Fitzroya Cupressoides) – A trail that winds through an impressive forest of Alerces, offering close-up views of trees that are nearly 3,000 years old.

We continue to the town of Chaitén in the direction of the active volcano Chaitén.  The Chaitén volcano is a caldera-type volcano located 10 km northeast of the city of Chaitén, capital of the Province of Palena, in the Los Lagos Region. On May 2, 2008, it erupted after centuries of inactivity, which produced massive evacuations of the population of the city of Chaitén and its surroundings. During this hiking of 5 Km/3.2 Miles, we will have great vistas of Pumalin Park and Chaitén grater.  The day ends in the nearby town of Puyuhuapi or Las Juntas.  Dinner and rest.

Overnight: Puyuhuapi or Las Juntas.  Meals: B, BL,D.

DAY 7:  Puyuhuapi – Hiking Queulat National Park (5 Hours)
Activity Level: 2 (Easy)

Queulat means «Sound of Waterfalls» in the Chono people’s language. This Park was first seen in the eighteenth century by Jesuits searching for the mythical City of the Caesars. Today, Queulat National Park, near Puyuhuapi, is admired by thousands of visitors each year, who are attracted by its beautiful evergreen and Andean Patagonian forests, its waterfalls, fjords, jagged rock walls, abundant rivers, and famous hanging glacier or “Ventisquero Colgante” which can be spotted from the Carretera Austral. 

Our half day hiking will visit one of the best-known trails in the park, which ascends the glacier’s moraine, offering views of the lagoon and glacier.  If hiking is not your activity per this day, optional kayak is available or just relax at “hot springs” around the area.   Back to the hotel, dinner at your own and rest.

Overnight: Puyuhuapi or Las Juntas.  Meals: B, BL*At hiking.

DAY 8:  Puyuhuapi – Austral Highway – Cerro Castillo (5 Hours)
Activity Level: 1 (Easy)

Breakfast. Today the journey continues south along Carretera Austral or Route N° 7.   Exuberant vegetation, and beautiful views of the fjord and the Ventisquero Colgante (hanging glacier).  We will pass through small villas such as Amengual, Mañihuales, and Ortega villages(lunch optional).   Rainforests and mountains make way for the rough southern Patagonian landscape such Lago Las Torres National Reserve, Mañihuales National Reserve, Esponja lagoon, and Colmillo hill.  Our overland trip goes through the Mañihuales river and the Simpson valley, to reach the Cerro Castillo into Cerro Castillo National Park.  Leisure time at afternoon. Dinner, and rest.

Overnight: Cerro Castillo.  Meals: B,D.

DAY 9:  Hiking at Cerro Castillo National Park (10 Hours)
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)

Early Breakfast. The Cerro Castillo National Park was created on June 19, 1970, and has an area of 138,164 hectares. It is made up of three independent sectors called: Lake Elizalde, Lake Paloma, and Cerro Castillo. In 2018, it was re-designated as one of the new national parks of Chile, as one of the principal jewels of the new “Route of Parks of Patagonia”.

On this National Park, you’ll find a trekking circuit that has been named one of the most beautiful in all Chile. The Lenga and Ñirre forests are home to Huemules (South Andean Deer). The hanging glaciers made lagoons with bright turquoise waters, giving even more color and life to a unique landscape that already captivates visitors from around the world.  Today we will hike the beautiful Cerro Castillo “Castle Peak”  (2.320 masl/ 7,611 feet).

The hiking circuit starts in Las Horquetas and travels around the massif to Laguna Cerro Castillo (1.676 masl / 5499 feet), then ascend to above sea level along the lateral moraine, where you’ll have impressive views of the Ibáñez River Valley and all Patagonian mountains. The hike to the lagoon surrounded by the Cerro Castillo peak above it takes approximately 6 hours total, the hike’s length is 15 km round trip or 9 miles.  Back to Cerro Castillo, dinner and rest.

Overnight: Cerro Castillo.  Meals: B,BL,D.

DAY 10:  Cerro Castillo – General Carrera Lake – Puerto Tranquilo (6 Hours)
Activity Level: 2 (Easy).

Breakfast. Today we continue your journey south on the Austral Highway or “Carretera Austral”. After driving along the magic landscape of Patagonia, we will arrive at Chile’s largest lake, General Carrera Lake.  Enjoy the photo stops on the route and marvel scenario around you.  Arrive to Puerto Tranquilo village, lunch.

Afternoon, continues our adventure, kayak or motorboat around Marvel Chapel or “Capillas de Marmol”, located on the pristine shore of Lake General Carrera.  One of the most isolated natural treasures of Chile, the Marble Caves (Capillas de Mármol) is a series of sculpted caves in the General Carrera Lake in the heart of Patagonia. The Cathedral, the Chapel, and the Cave are the three formations that make up this natural spectacle that will certainly leave you breathless. Keep your eyes wide open to admire the black and white columns reflected on the blue waters. A true dream for photography lovers.  Back to Puerto Tranquilo lodging, dinner, and rest.

Overnight: Cerro Castillo.  Meals: B,D.

DAY 11:  Puerto Tranquilo – San Rafael Glacier Lagoon – Puerto Tranquilo (12 Hours)
Activity Level: 2 (Easy).

Early Breakfast.  Today we will explore and visiting Laguna San Rafael National Park, which is one of the most spectacular sites in southern Chile. The national park was declared world biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1979, , the park is the main port of entry to Chile’s Northern Icefields and it is part of the Route of Parks of Patagonia Network.  Charles Darwin, Fitz Roy, and Alberto de Agostini are just a few of the historical figures who have helped spread the word about this wonderful hidden corner of Aysén.

Glacier “San Rafael” descends from the northern Patagonian ice field into a Pacific fjord. Although it has decreased considerably in the past decades, it still stretches for about 120 kilometers and reaches up to 60 meters in height and 3 kilometers in length.

We will navigate for a couple hours to meet the San Rafael Lagoon and Glacier. In this place we will contemplate the great wall of ice and its icebergs.   We will be around 2 hours navigation tasting a glass of whiskey with millenary ice, and then return by the same route. Arrival at “Bahía Exploradores”, where we will take our transportation to return at Puerto Río Tranquilo village.  Dinner and rest.

Overnight: Puerto Tranquilo.  Meals: B,BL,D.

DAY 12:  Puerto Tranquilo – Exploradores Glacier Ice Hike – Puerto Tranquilo (8 Hours)
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)
to 4 (Hard).

Early Breakfast. The great mass millenary ice that descends from Mount San Valentín, the highest mountain in Patagonia (4,058 meters above sea level,) is the northeastern part of Campo de Hielo Norte or Patagonian Northern Ice Fields.

This walk on ice takes 6.30 hours, over the Exploradores Glacier which is 52 km (31 miles) west of Puerto Rio Tranquilo and General Carrera Lake, along the Exploradores Valley. Here, you will enjoy visiting different caves, crevices, lagoons and various millenary ice formations.

The “Exploradores Glacier” is part of the Laguna San Rafael National Park and is imposing from any point of view. It is 23 kilometers long and about 3 kilometers wide.  Drive back to the Hotel, dinner and rest.

Overnight: Puerto Tranquilo.  Meals: B,BL,D.

DAY 13:  Puerto Tranquilo – Patagonia National Park – Baker River Valley (8 Hours)
Activity Level: 2 (Easy)

Breakfast and check out.  Today we continue your journey south on the Austral Highway. We will drive along Lake General Carrera, eastwards towards the “Patagonian National Park”, the heart of this part of Patagonia.

We’ll depart from the “Chacabuco Valley, the center of this park, where expansive grasslands are home to a unique diversity of native species, including guanacos, Andean condors, pumas, vizcachas, and Chilean flamingos. Our hike today will be “Lagunas Altas” the park’s famous hike with spectacular panoramic views. The park’s new Visitor Center and Museum is a must-see facility, highlighting the area’s natural and human history as well as the broader topics of conservation and the Park’s creation.  Vast valleys sculpted by the Chacabuco River form a natural corridor that, since ancient times, has been used for travel both by nomadic peoples and a large diversity of fauna. Once the site of big cattle ranches, today the grasslands have begun to recover after a century of overgrazing and are now home to one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the Aysén region. This is Patagonian steppe in all its splendor––mountain ranges, Lenga and Ñirre forests that burst with red in fall, active wildlife, and dozens of spectacular lagoons and lakes, such as Cochrane and Jeinimeni, which nourish these landscapes of overwhelming beauty.   This Park was founded by the Tompkins Foundation, today named Rewilding Chile Foundation. The land was then officially donated to CONAF (National Forest Corporation), which has the Administration today.  Drive back to Baker valley or Cochrane town, dinner and rest.

Overnight: Baker River Valley or Cochrane.  Meals: B,BL,D.

DAY 14:  Baker River Valley – Caleta Tortel (4 Hours)
Activity Level: 1 (Easy)

Breakfast. Today we will drive, to south always looking the follow the course of Baker River through rough Patagonian landscape. Several photo stop on route. We reached out to Caleta Tortel. This village located at the estuary of Baker River and surrounded by Patagonian fjords, in the southern portion of the Aysén Region. Is a town built on water, its roads are wooden bridges as well as its houses, the beach and the town merge into one. In its surroundings you will find a wild flora featuring native forests, resistant to humidity and extreme temperatures. The Guaitecas cypress, coigüe, Chilean firetree, and plum pine forests dominate the area.  Its location in between of the Northern and Southern Patagonian Ice Field, one of our planet’s largest masses of ice outside of the poles, certainly owes to its remoteness.  Leisure afternoon to discover this village completely made of wooden boardwalk.  Dinner and rest.

Overnight: Caleta Tortel.  Meals: B,L,D.

DAY 15:  Caleta Tortel – Montt Glacier Navigation – Caleta Tortel (10 – 12 Hours)
Activity Level: 2 (Easy)

Early Breakfast. Jorge Montt Glacier, located in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, found in the section of the South Patagonian ice field – This is the third largest extension of continental ice in the world, after Antarctica and Greenland. 49 glaciers descend from it, some of which you can visit by boat from Caleta Tortel. The navigation trip last from seven to 8 hours with photo stops and hiking near to the Glacier.  Also, you’ll spend exploring the fjords, navigating around icebergs and even walking on the ice at some of the places, according to weather conditions.  Back to Caleta Tortel, dinner and rest after this wonderful exploring day.

Overnight: Caleta Tortel.  Meals: B,BL,D.

DAY 16:  Caleta Tortel – Patagonian Fjords – Puerto Natales (44 Hours) or Coyhaique town (8 Hours)
Activity Level: 1 (Easy).

Breakfast. Today, our trip through Chilean Patagonian wilderness continues by two options.   Navigate for 44 hours by ferry navigation through the Fjords, contemplate the beauty of this inhospitable landscape of glaciers and icebergs while crossing through the canals and fjords of Bernardo O´Higgins National Park.  Arrive to Puerto Natales and then continuous to famous Torres del Paine National Park and the “End of the World” Tierra del Fuego.  You have to extension option according to your time and how adventure you are.

Adventure & Cultural Route of Parks of Patagonia Chile Program. Enjoy this travel program from day 6 to 15 or as customized.

Torres Del Paine “W” Circuit & Dientes de Navarino Hiking Circuit Program.  Enjoy this travel program from day 1 to 15 or as customized.

Second option is by land to Coyhaique town.  Stop for lunch on route, photo stops till our destination. Dinner and rest after this wonderful overlanding day.

Overnight: Coyhaique.  Meals: B,L.

DAY 17:  Coyhaique – Balmaceda – Santiago (3 Hours)
Activity Level: 1 (Easy).

Breakfast. Leisure time to walk around Coyhaique or get the last souvenirs from this town. According to our timetable, we will drive to the airport of “Balmaceda” and flight to Santiago airport.

End of the Adventure Program around the Carretera Austral and The Route of Parks of Patagonia, Chile.

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