DAY 1. THE LAKES DISTRICT: PUERTO VARAS AND THE NATIONAL PARK VICENTE PÈREZ ROSALES
Our team will be waiting for you at the local airport of Puerto Montt to drive along a wonderful road of 20 kilometers through grassland fields and small ranches to reach the charming town of Puerto Varas. After a quick check in at the hotel we will walk to the head quarters of Tompkins Conservation to have a briefing about the trip and know more about the Route of the Patagonian Parks and the efforts to preserve the natural wonders of this lands for the future generations. Lunch will be this a local restaurant to later reach the National Park at the base of the Osorno Volcano to enjoy a rafting afternoon along the Petrohué River with stunning views of volcanoes while we descends rapids of class 3 in a 2 hours navigation.
// Lunch & Dinner included. Overnight in Puerto Varas at Hotel Mero Gaucho (Small Local Boutique Hotel)
DAY 2. PARK PUMALÍN, EL AMARILLO
After breakfast we will be transferred to the local aerodrome to board a 45 minutes flight to the Patagonian Fjord region where we will be exploring the two different sections of the Pumalín Park. This park was the first to be open by the environmental philanthropist Douglas Tompkins and preserve a large area of primary forest of Nothofagus and South American conifers being probably the best-preserved temperate rainforest in Patagonia. At the arrival our team will be waiting for us with the bikes prepared to start pedaling to Chaiten. The entire circuit of 20 kilometers (2 hours app.) will be on a paved road, with very soft elevations along a spectacular road of evergreen forest, mountains and small farms run by local families of pioneers. The ride will be assisted by our vehicles given to everybody the choice to stop and jump in at any time. We will be arriving to the town of Chaiten located at the coast of the Gulf of Corcovado. This settlement of 8.000 people was severely affected by the eruption of the Volcano Chaiten on 2008 after hundreds of years of no activity of this Andean cone. The town still has visible the effects of that event and the population 10 years after is still on a process of reconstruction of their past lives. ASfter a short drive of 18 kilometers and upon the arrival to the entrance of the Park we will have time to refresh ourselves and get a balanced snack to start the second part of this active approach to the Park with a hike of 20 kilometers r/t (6 hours app) to the Ventisquero El Amarillo (El Amarillo Glacier) and end the day at the comfortable and cozy cabins of Caleta Gonzalo (Gonzalo Bay) at the fjord Reñihue
// Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Caleta Gonzalo
* Hike El Amarillo 20 kilometers r/trip. 6 hours app.
* Bike from Chaiten aerodrome to the town 19 kilometers, 2 hours app.
DAY 3. PARK PUMALIN, CALETA GONZALO
A day of spectacular hikes in the park first ascending more than 600 meters to reach the summit of the active volcano Chaiten. This cone is still active since the eruption that suddenly surprised the locals on 2008 after more hundreds of years of no significant activity. The landscape along the hike changes while we advance to the highest point where the volcanic dome was formed. We will be advancing on a graveled and hard terrain that will be physically demanding. After a picnic lunch near the base of the mountain we drive a few minutes to the shore of the fjord of Reñihue to start another hike this time through the dense and exuberant temperate rainforest to reach a spectacular waterfall. The path through the forest will be on a graveled trial with many roots and vegetation that quickly colonized the path due the high precipitation level of this area. At the end of the path will be crossing a river and depending of the water level we will probably need to take out our shoes and advance barefoot to the other shore. In the evening we will return to our cabins and enjoy a well-deserved dinner made of local products cultivate and produced at the farm of the Park Pumalín. //Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Caleta Gonzalo
- Hike Volcano: 5 kilometers, Ascending 600 mts. Difficulty Level: Medium/High
- Hike Cascada: 6 kilometers, Ascending 150 mts. Difficulty Level: Low
DAY 4. PUYUHUAPI FJORD AND NATIONAL PARK QUEULAT
Early morning departure to cover 250 kilometers of the scenic Carretera Austral and reach the Puyuhuapi fjord. The driving along this portion of this southern road is an experience itself with panoramic views on the turquoise waters of the Lake Yelcho, the snowy sharp peaks of the Corcovado Volcano that look like an immense gothic cathedral and fast flowing rivers of crystalline and pure glacier water. After the check in our lodging we will start one of the most spectacular hikes of the area to the suspended glacier at the National Park Queulat, another protected area part of the Route of the Parks of Patagonia. The stunning views of this glacier seems suspended on the mountains will be the point of arrival of the walk. We will finish the day enjoying the hot springs at the shore of the fjord Puyuhuapi part of the more than 84.000 kms of coastal areas of the spectacular Patagonian fjords region.
//Breakfast, box Lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Posada Queulat.
* Hike Park Queulat: 6 kilometers, Ascending 300 mts. Difficulty Level: Low
DAY 5. PUYUHUAPI FJORD – COYHAIQUE
After breakfast we will start the journey of 160 kilometers to Coyhaique with a section of this road that we will cover pedaling (possibility of E-Bike) for 30 kilometers. We will start to ride our bikes at Villa Los Torreones, only a few kilometers from the intersection between the Route 7 and the Route 240. The road is all paved and surrounded by exuberant vegetation and crystalline waterfalls, a great way to arrive to our nicely located lodge La Pasarela at the shore of the River Coyahique.
//Breakfast, box lunch and dinner (Lamb barbecue) included. Overnight in Hotel Pasarela Lodge
- Lamb Barbecue: Lamb cooked for three hours as Patagonian style require. The dinner will be assorted with organic vegetables of the area, red wine and water.
DAY 6. HIKE CERRO CASTILLO
One of the most spectaculars hikes of this region is the one from Cerro Castillo to Laguna Duff. This full day trail will take us through stunning remote lagoons and valleys along the peaks of Cerro Castillo. We will return to the starting point by the end of the day.
// Breakfast, box lunch and dinner included. Overnight at La Casona Cerro Castillo
* Hike Laguna Duff 20 kilometers, 8 hours
* Dinner cooked by our camp chef using local ingredients, variety of meat and vegetables
DAY 7. CERRO CASTILLO – PARK PATAGONIA
We head south to Park Patagonia with a stop to visit the stunning marble caves at Lago General Carrera, the second largest lake of Southamerica. This lake has an extension of 1.850 km2 of which the 50% is in Chilean territory and it is well famous for its cold waters of an average of temperature of 8 celsius. The lake is 850 meters deep and it was formed by the massive ice blocks that used to cover the area until the last glaciation that had its peak 15.000 thousand of years ago.. We will explore these formations on a boat ride. After the box lunch at the village of Bahia Mansa we will continue our route to Park, Patagonia arriving in the afternoon.
// Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included. Overnight at Lodge Valle Chacabuco
* Kayak to the marble Caves, 2 hours, weather permitting after checking the wind speed.
DAY 8. AYSÉN REGION, PATAGONIA
We’ll dedicate the morning with the staff of the Park Patagonia to learn about their conservation efforts specially focus on mammals and birds. We’ll visit the station of rewild located at the border with Argentina where there is a scientific program developed to reintroduce populations of Darwin’s rheas to the region. In the afternoon we will hike the Sendero Chico trail (weather permitting). This spectacular trail of 12 kilometers (6 hours) makes a loop with great views over the Mountain San Lorenzo, the Avilés valley and the Oportus Hill. The trial is completely surrounded by crystalline lagoons where you can even fill your water bottle and great areas of naturalist interpretation of flora and fauna.
After dinner we’ll explore the park with the last light of the sun for felines as the Puma that concentrate their activity at dawn. The Puma concolor is the largest mammal of the Andes, a secretive species that was hunted for years due the consequences of their activity to the cattle ranches. Once the area was taken over by the Tompkins Foundation and the park was created Pumas get back to the territory and even if it is very difficult to spot them it will be a great experience to go out and discover the nocturnal activity of the local fauna while we look for this elusive and spectacular feline.
// Breakfast, Box Lunch and Dinner included. Overnight at Lodge Valle Chacabuco
* Hike Trail La Vega, 7 kilometers. Difficulty: Low
DAY 9. PARK PATAGONIA HIKE OR GLACIER CALLUQUEO AT MOUNTAIN SAN LORENZO (OPTIONAL)
Early morning departure to enjoy a spectacular hike known as “Lagunas Altas”. This trail of 21,6 kilometers goes around high Andean lakes that offer a spectacular views over the Northern Ice-Fields (together with the Southern Ice -fields, the second largest reservoir of fresh water in the world), Jeinimeni mountain range and the valley of Chacabuco. This trail can be covered in about 6 to 10 hours (depend of the pacing). Our vehicle will drop us at the beginning of the circuit and pick us up at the end.
DAY 10. END OF THE JOURNEY
Early breakfast at sunrise and then transfer to the local airport of Balmaceda (400 km – 6 hours) for your flight