Travel ▻ South America ▻ Chile8-Day Remote Trails Aysen and Patagonia Park
8-Day Remote Trails Aysen and Patagonia Park

8-Day Remote Trails Aysen and Patagonia Park

8 days

8-Day Remote Trails Aysen and Patagonia Park
from $3075 USD

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Chile's beloved Nobel Prize winning-poet Pablo Neruda once said, "He who does not know the Chilean forests does not know the planet." In addition to the vast old-growth forests, Northern Patagonia boasts glaciers, fjords, wild rivers, clear lakes, and waterfalls. The gateway to Chile's far south, with the Carretera Austral (Southern Highway) winding its way through the region, Aisen is an area of incredible beauty and remoteness that people expect from Patagonia, but won't find further south. With such wonders as the Futaleufu River, considered by rafters and kayakers to be South America's absolute best, and areas of quiet wilderness, Northern Patagonia attracts both adventurous travelers and those in search of solitude.

When to go: October-April

Full Itinerary expand all collapse all

Day 1: Flight to Balmaceda / Transfer to Coyhaique (D)

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Fly from Santiago (SCL) airport to the Balmaceda (BBA) airport in the Aysen region of Patagonia. From here you will begin your epic journey through unexplored regions. You'll spend the night in Coyhaique (a 50-minute drive from the BBA airport) at the quaint bed and breakfast, Pampa del Corral.

Meals included: Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Pampa del Corral

Day 2: Full Day Trekking Cerro Castillo / Transfer to Puerto Tranquilo (BLD)

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Enjoy a day of trekking with outstanding landscape in Cerro Castillo, with experienced trekking guide. Cerro Castillo sports its own distinctive jagged, rocky peak that adds to the spectacular backdrop on a blue-sky day. Continue on to Puerto Tranquilo and El Puesto, where you will spend the next three nights.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: El Puesto

Day 3: Kayaking in Lake General Carrera visiting Marble Caves (BL)

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General Carrera Lake is the second largest lake in South America and you'll spend the morning kayaking it and visiting the mesmerizing marbles caves, which reflect the different blue tonalities of the lake throughout the year depending on the sun. The lake drains into Lago Bertrand, which then forms the headwaters of the famous Baker River. It was here that after years of international protest, a massive dam project was eventually defeated.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Mid-Range Accommodations: El Puesto

Day 4: Full Day experience visiting Laguna San Rafael (BLD)

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Embark on a speed boat towards San Rafael Glacier which is part of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field and one of the largest glaciers in the world. Here begins a smooth and pleasant voyage down the Exploradores River, where we can take in the surrounding landscape. After about 2.5 hours we will arrive at Laguna San Rafael National Park. We will disembark on CONAFs dock and take a 20-minute for an up-close look at the flora and fauna of the Chilean fjords and visit the ruins of the historical Ofqui Hotel, built in the 1930s. Later we will return to the boat and motor towards the wall of the glacier, to gaze at the magnificent spectacle of the ice wall and the landscape that surrounds it.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: El Puesto

Day 5: Half Day Rafting in Baker River /Transfer to Patagonia Park (BD)

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We drive deeper into Patagonia where the landscapes continue to inspire. Passing through Puerto Bertrand we continue South along the Baker River until it merges with the Nef in an impressive confluence. This afternoon you will drive about 45 minutes outside of the Park to the docks of Puerto Bertrand where you will embark on your next adventure: rafting the Baker River. Prepare for an exhilarating adventure, with class II and III rapids in the six-kilometer stretch. Then, enjoy the evening at your leisure in Patagonia Park.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Luxury Accommodations: Lodge Chacabuco

Day 6: Selection of hikes at Patagonia Park (BLD)

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Recently opened, the Patagonia Park was created by Kristine and Douglas Tompkins to protect 2.2 million acres they purchased as part of their Conservacion Patagonica project. Located in the Chacabuco Valley, the park is home to the highest levels of biodiversity in the Aysen region -- you'll likely spot huemul deer, pumas, condors, and many endemic plants. The Park not only has a focus on environmental sustainability, but also on community engagement; many of the park rangers and conservation workers are former gauchos who have taken specialized training to develop these new skills. We will learn more about this straight from the source, in Parque Patagonia, from the rangers themselves.

Selection of hikes:

La Vega Trail (low difficulty)

Head out to La Vega Trail, which starts behind the Lodge and winds through the valley before arriving at the West Winds Campground, the first main campground of the park. You'll stop at the organic farm and greenhouse, and pass by the historic Valle Chacabuco cemetery, which contains the graves of several past residents (human and animal) of this area. You can return by the same trail or take the road that leads to the campground. The hike in its entirety is approximately 7 km (4.5 miles).

Lago Chico Loop (intermediate)

In the eastern sector of the Chacabuco Valley, the Lago Chico area has spectacular views of Lago Cochrane and Mt. San Lorenzo. Drive up the valley approximately 45 km (28 miles) until you reach the second road on the right (south) side of the road. Take this road up the hill to a parking area approximately 7 km (4.5 miles). From there, head out on the 12-km (7.5-mile)loop trail around Lago Chico or enjoy a shorter stroll to a scenic overlook.

Lagunas Altas (difficult)

The 23-km (14-mile) Lagunas Altas Trail starts at the West Winds Campground, just a short walk from the Lodge. The trail climbs up the hill, close to Tamanguito Peak, before winding around numerous alpine lakes and returning to the park headquarters. The trail is marked with rebar poles, and trail maps are available at the office. Allow at least six to eight hours to complete this route, and bring a picnic, water, warm layers, and sun protection.

La Confluencia (low difficulty)

One favorite spot, found where the Baker and Chacabuco Rivers meet, lies very close to the park's western entrance. Round-trip will take about three hours and is a 3 km (2 miles) trail. Drive to the crossroads of the main park road and the Carretera Austral, find a spot to park, and head down to the beach at the confluence. The walk down is approximately forty-five minutes. This is a great place to swim and relax.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Luxury Accommodations: Lodge Chacabuco

Day 8: Departure to Santiago (BL)

Return to the Balmaceda (BBA) airport in time for your flight back to Santiago(SCL). This drive is approximately 6-7 hours.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Pricing

8-Day Remote Trails Aysen and Patagonia Park
from $3075 USD

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

INCLUDES:
  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
EXCLUDES:
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)

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