You will immerse yourself in Chilean Patagonia from north to south on this active adventure trip. Patagonia in Chile stretches from the Lakes District in the north to Punta Arenas and Tierra del Fuego in the south. The differences between north and south are quite distinctive which you will see on this itinerary. The Lakes District to the north is home to a striking range of volcanoes, richly-forested countryside, beautiful lakes and fjords, extensive national parks: Alerce Andino National Park and Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park among them. Puerto Varas makes a perfect base for exploring the northern end of Chilean Patagonia. This small and quaint town is located on Lake Llanquihue with the Osorno Volcano as a backdrop. An extensive list of optional activities and excursions will be provided and will include: kayaking, cycling, rafting the Petrohué River, fly fishing, full-day trips to Chiloe Island. The magical island of Chiloé with its distinct cultures, traditions and UNESCO Heritage Sites. The island is the second largest archipelago in South America after Tierra del Fuego. We offer a variety of day trips to the Chiloé Archipelago that focus on different areas and places. Trips to Chiloé may include the small village of Chacao; the fishing village of Caulin; the city of Ancud, famous for its market; the picturesque village of Dalcahue; Castro, the third oldest city in Chile, founded in 1567. One of our Chiloe tours includes a sailing excursion to the Islands in Puñihuil, from where you may observe a penguin colony. Transfer back to the airport in Puerto Montt and head south to the southern reaches of Patagonia. The natural and varied wonders of the southern Andes becomes apparent as you approach Punta Arenas. (Be sure to assign a seat on the left side of the aircraft flying south, the right side on your way back north.) You will fly past the Southern Patagonia Ice Field as the starkly magnificent granite spires of Torres del Paine comes into view. After landing in Punta Arenas you will be met and transferred to Torres del Paine National Park. Your time in Torres del Paine will be based at one of the comfortable park lodges. All-inclusive packages include transfers from and to Punta Arenas Airport, accommodations, all meals and a menu of daily guided excursions. Daily excursions feature easy walks to the lakes, waterfalls and viewpoints scattered around the park. Other activities include more strenuous hikes, horseback riding, glacier tours, wildlife tours, photo safaris. After your tour of the Patagonias, fly back to Santiago and connect with your overnight flight home. Or, travel overland to El Calafate on the Argentina side and go from there...
Arrive Santiago. Airport reception and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight at the Cumbres Lasarria, breakfast included.
The Cumbres Lastarria Hotel is located in the Lastarria district – a slightly eclectic district known for its bohemian vibe and superlative cultural attractions – the Cumbres Lastarria boutique offers visitors comfort, style, and service. The hotel has 70 modern designed rooms and suites, and other amenities including a fully-equipped fitness center and a seasonal outdoor pool, and an eighth-floor restaurant, Punto Ocho, where you can gaze out at the Santiago skyline.
This morning you will transfer to the airport for your flight to Puerto Montt.
Upon arrival in Puerto Montt you will be met at the airport and transferred by your private driver to your hotel in Puerto Varas. Driving time about 45 minutes.
The Los Caiquenes Boutique Hotel is located on the shores of Lake Llanquihue just minutes from downtown Puerto Varas. All rooms are over 25 square meters, offer panoramic views and equipped with a king-size bed or two full beds, wifi, safe, television. Hotel facilities include an open-kitchen restaurant. Daily breakfast included - 3 nights.
A wide selection of guided excursions can be arranged. Here are just a few possibilities:
Alerce Andino National Park
Chiloe Island: Castro, Dalcahue, Ancud, Caulin Bay, Lacuy, Puñuhuil bay penguin colony
Cycling Vicente Perez Rosales National Park
Osorno Volcano & Petrohue Falls
Petrohue River Rafting
Frutillar & Puerto Octay
Reloncavi's Fjord sea kayaking
Hotel pickup and transfer to the Puerto Montt Airport for your flight to Punta Arenas.
Pick up at the Punta Arenas Airport and depart on your transfer to Torres del Paine. From Punta Arenas the drive takes about 2 1/2 hours to Puerto Natales, and another 2 hours from Puerto Natales to Hosteria Las Torres. En route you make a couple of stops: first in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of "Seno de Ultima Esperanza", where you enjoy a hearty local lunch; second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890’s. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen. The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon. National Park entrance fee is included. Transfers are operated on a set regular schedule for all guests of the EcoCamp.
Your Patagonia Wildlife Safari program includes all meals and specified guided excursions operated on fixed days of the week and offered to all guests of the Domes. Private excursions can be arranged on any day of the week at an additional charge.
Located in the heart of Torres del Paine, the EcoCamp consists of tented igloo-type domes built to minimize the environmental impact while providing a comfortable setting and maximum exposure to nature. Food at the EcoCamp has the same quality as the one you will have on a family dinner at your home, this means it is plenty and delicious!
Your overnight accommodations are in EcoCamp's Superior Domes (with optional upgrade to Suite Dome or Suite Dome Loft), spacious 23 sq. m./250 sq. ft. igloo-type dome equipped with comfortable Queen-size or twin beds, propane heater in bedroom, private fully-equipped bathroom with state-of-the-art composting toilet.
The EcoCamp offers the following excursions (on set days of the week):
Western Lakes and Grey Glacier* - We drive across the Park, admiring the view of Paine Grande and its snowy peaks, and Los Cuernos with its black, granite horn-like spires. Walking along the shores of the stunning Lake Pehoe, we see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls where the water from Lake Nordenskjold cascades down into Pehoe. The walk continues over the gentle Nordenskjold trail until until we reach its spectacular lookout point. Later, back at Lake Pehoe, we are driven south to a beach along the shores of glacial Lake Grey. Here we enjoy a tasty box-lunch by the lake before embarking on a boat ride across the icy waters to the towering blue walls of Glacier Grey. After this incredible sight of the glacier up close, we drive back to EcoCamp.
*During Shoulder Season (October and April) the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be cancelled as the boat requires a minimum of 8 passengers to sail, which might not be reached in some cases. If this is the case we will plan an alternative excursion in the Park.
Laguna Azul and Fauna Trail - We start the day driving to Laguna Azul, on the north-eastern side of the Park, stopping at various points en route to admire the local flora and fauna and the mighty Paine Waterfall. Once at Laguna Azul we hike to a sightseeing point with a panoramic view of both the lagoon and granite towers. We then drive down to the shores of Sarmiento lake, home to many limestone formations and herds of guanacos, and walk northwards along the Fauna Trail past the small Goic lagoon and various types of fauna. After around 5km we reach the Laguna Amarga ranger station from where we are driven back to EcoCamp to relax and enjoy the evening meal.
Mirador Condor - We drive towards Laguna Amarga Park Ranger point and then head southwest across the Park, with stunning views of Paine Grande and Los Cuernos. We stop at different points to admire the local landscape and hear from our wildlife expert guide. We arrive at Pehoe camping zone, the starting point of the Condor Trail, and begin walking through a small Lenga forest, climbing a soft slope up to the sightseeing point on the hill. During the spring it's possible we’ll experience strong winds in this zone, but there's nothing to worry about if we follow our guide's instructions on how to be safe and enjoy strong wind flows. When we reach the summit we have a spectacular sight of the Paine Massif's northern front, in all its splendor, with the beautiful Pehoe Lake at its feet. Then we make our way back down to Pehoe Camping and are driven back to EcoCamp.
Laguna Inge & Botanical Safari - We start our adventure in the Park with a pleasant walk through the curly Cuernos trail located beside beautiful Lake Nordenskjold. During this excursion we witness the park’s charming flora and fauna, its strong wind and the curious, fast-changing weather. As we walk along the trail we have magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and the Paine’s Horns, majestic black horn-like peaks of slate atop gray granite, crowning the center of the Massif. Once we reach Laguna Inge we enjoy the breathtaking view of Lake Nordenskjold, and then return to EcoCamp for lunch and a well-deserved rest.
Western Lakes and Pingo Trail - We drive across the Park, admiring the view of Paine Grande and its snowy peaks, and Los Cuernos with its black granite horn-like spires. Walking along the shores of the stunning Lake Pehoe, we see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls where the water from Lake Nordenskjold cascades down into Pehoe. The walk continues over the gentle Nordenskjold trail until we reach its spectacular lookout point. Later, back at Lake Pehoe, we are driven south to a beach along the shores of glacial Lake Grey where we walk to reach the start of the beautiful Pingo Trail taking us through a fairytale Magellan forest full of local fauna and flora. As we walk, huge rock formations in nearby hills and the strong Patagonian wind give us a good idea of just how wild Patagonia is! We reach a small sightseeing point with splendid views of the Massif’s west face, and then walk back to Grey Beach to meet our fellow travelers coming back from the boat ride. Together, we all head to Ecocamp to enjoy dinner and relaxation time.
Trek Towers Base - We walk from Ecocamp towards Hostería Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us towards one of the world's most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,900 m/ 9,400 ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to EcoCamp.
Lake Pehoe and French Valley - After breakfast, we start our day driving towards Pudeto dock, located on the shores of Pehoe Lake. We board the catamaran that’ll take us to the north-western sector of the Lake where we’ll begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that goes into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How deep we go depends on our groups’ rhythm - An active walk leads us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the south-eastern face of the Massif, where there is a truly wonderful view. Then we continue up the trail to the upper section of the valley where we admire the valley's entire group of geological formations: Hoja (Blade), Máscara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburón (Shark’s Fin) and the magnificent Fortaleza (Fortress). Here we picnic and rest for a while. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available as well, if the group isn't keen on resting. Then, we descend through a rippling terrain of grassland and light forest until reaching the Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. From here the catamaran takes us back to Pudeto and we're driven back to EcoCamp.
*The excursion to French Valley varies throughout the season depending on the catamaran connecting Pudeto and Refugio Pehoe
Days to explore the park on guided excursions.
Transfer to the Punta Arenas Airport for your flight to Santiago. Int'l Departure.
|Price from||$3,115.00 per person, based on double occupancy|
1 nights Cumbres Lastarria Hotel, breakfast included
3 nights Los Caiquenes Boutique Hotel, breakfast included
4-night EcoCamp Patagonia Wildlife Safari package (included Punta Arenas Airport transfers, Superior Dome accommodations, meals and guided excursions)
Torres del Paine National Park entrance fee
International and domestic airfare