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CHILE & ARGENTINA: LAKES DISTRICT ADVENTURE

USD$ 4,700 / 15 days

Summary

Day 1: Santiago de Chile – Leisure Day.
Day 2: Santiago to Conguillio National Park – Truful Truful Hike.
Day 3: Conguillio National Park to Pucon – Sierra Nevada Hike.
Day 4: Pucon – Lagos Andinos Hike & Indigenous Community Visit.
Day 5: Pucon to Puerto Varas – Scenic Drive.
Day 6: Puerto Varas – Alerce Andino National Park Hike.
Day 7: Puerto Varas – Two Volcanoes Hike.
Day 8: Puerto Varas to Castro – Chiloé Penguin & Culture.
Day 9: Castro – Chonchi & Chiloé National Park Hike.
Day 10: Castro – Tantauco Park Hike.
Day 11: Castro to Puerto Varas – Leisure Day.
Day 12: Puerto Varas to Bariloche – Lake Crossing.
Day 13: Bariloche – Big Circuit.
Day 14: Bariloche to Buenos Aires – Leisure Day.
Day 15: Buenos Aires – Leisure Day.

Overview

This is Chile and Argentina’s Lakes District; straddling the border of the two countries, this vast region is full of spectacular wildernesses, local wildlife, and unique multicultural communities of native indigenous tribes and the descendants of German and European immigrants. On this 15-day trip, you’ll experience all the wonders of this sprawling paradise, traversing forests, circumnavigating volcanoes, sailing on lakes, exploring towns, meeting locals, and much more.

After spending the first day exploring Chile’s capital city of Santiago, we’ll fly down to start our adventure among the prehistoric forests and vistas of Conguillio National Park, which is famous for its native Araucaria trees and amazing views of the Llaima Volcano. We’ll explore this often-overlooked national park and nearby Villarrica National Park on several hikes, as well as visiting a nearby Mapuche community to learn more about the history and culture of this native group. After spending a few days here discovering the town and hiking through temperate rainforests that are home to ancient conifers and beautiful waterfalls, we’ll go to the magical Chiloé archipelago: an isolated group of islands off the coast where we’ll visit penguin sanctuaries, explore the main island’s richly biodiverse nature parks, and learn about the archipelago’s unique architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Site churches.

Then it’s time to head across the border to discover the Argentinean side of the Lakes District in beautiful Bariloche.Passing through the Andes mountains, you’ll be amazed by the forest-covered peaks and gorgeous lakes of this part of the world, which you’ll become intimately familiar with during hikes and scenic drives around the lakes and forests of the area’s national parks.


Itinerary Details

DAY 1
SANTIAGO DE CHILE

Bienvenidos a Chile! Welcome to Chile! A representative from our company will greet you at the Santiago International Airport upon arrival. During the drive to your hotel, our representative will tell you more about your upcoming itinerary, as well as answer any questions you may have. 

During the afternoon, you’ll have free time to explore the city, relax, and have dinner before returning to your hotel for the night. The adventure starts tomorrow!

Meals: None.

Overnight: Eco Boutique Bidasoa Hotel.

DAY 2
SANTIAGO DE CHILE – TEMUCO – CONGUILLIO NATIONAL PARK

At a pre-arranged time, you’ll be picked up from your hotel to head to the Santiago airport for your 1.5 hour flight to the town of Temuco. From there, you’ll be taking a transfer to the nearby Conguillio National Park. 

Conguillio National Park, located in the Araucania region, is often left off the tour itineraries of international visitors because of its remote location, but its ancient forests, glistening lakes, native wildlife, and spectacular volcano are among the most beautiful anywhere in Chile. The park and its surroundings form part of the Kütralkura UNESCO Global Geopark, whose iconic peaks are mostly active volcanoes. Plus, thanks to its status as a hidden gem, we will have the park practically all to ourselves! You’ll get to see the Llaima Volcano, a still-active volcano that dominates the landscape and whose lava flows are major landscape features in the park, as well as the famous Araucaria or “monkey puzzle” trees, which are instantly identifiable thanks to their bare trunks and arching crown of spiky branches. 

After arriving in the park, we’ll stop for our first activity: hiking along the Truful-Truful Canyon and waterfalls trail, where we’ll witness great geological formations and panoramic views of the Llaima Volcano.  We’ll then drive on to visit the Arcoiris and Verde Lagoons. With its blend of green, deep blue, and turquoise waters, Rainbow (Arcoiris) Lagoon is one of the most wonderful sights in Conguillio, formed a few hundred years ago by a volcanic eruption. After stopping to admire these lagoons, we’ll head to the hotel for the evening.

Meals: Breakfast.

Overnight: La Baita Ecolodge.

DAY 3
CONGUILLIO NATIONAL PARK - PUCÓN

Waking up surrounded by Araucarias and volcanoes, today our hike will take us to explore a different area of the park. Starting from the shores of Conguillio Lake, we’ll embark along the Sierra Nevada trail. As the trail ascends, we’ll enter groves of the Araucaria trees, which we can admire up-close. Along the way, we may also have a chance to encounter some of the park’s wildlife, like the Magellanic Woodpecker, the Chucao, or even the Slender-billed Parakeet (yes, there are parakeets in Patagonia!). The trail ends at a beautiful lookout point that offers panoramic views of the lake, forest, and the imposing Llaima Volcano. After pausing to soak up the view and eat lunch, we’ll head back along the same trail to the trailhead. We’ll then depart Conguillio to head to the town of Pucon, Chile’s adventure travel capital, where we’ll be spending the night.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight:  Casa Solaria Hotel.

DAY 4
PUCÓN

With near-instant access to nearby national parks, reserves, and other wilderness areas, the adventure hub of Pucon is a magnet for outdoor lovers the whole year round. To avoid the crowds, today we’ll be exploring a lesser-known part of Villarrica National Park, which is located around and includes the mighty Villarrica Volcano. Heading to a sector of the park that borders on Argentina, we’ll go for a hike through an Araucaria forest at the base of the Lanin Volcano, a stratovolcano that sits on the border of Chile and Argentina. After almost three hours of heading along the narrow forest trail, we’ll reach Escondida Lake and Huinfuica Lake, which offer amazing views of the surroundings. 

After the hike, it’s time for some cultural immersion. We’ll pay a visit to a nearby Mapuche community that has opened its doors to visitors for cultural education and exchange. Our hosts will teach us all about the culture, history, beliefs, and lifestyles of the Mapuches, as well as preparing us a traditional lunch that we get to enjoy. We’ll then head back to Pucon for the evening, where you can walk around town and admire the sights.

Type: Private Tour.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Overnight: Casa Solaria Hotel.

DAY 5
PUCÓN – PUERTO VARAS

Leaving Pucon, today will be a day of leisure and pleasant views as we drive south to our next destination, Puerto Varas. For this four-hour drive, we’ll be taking the scenic route, passing by seven different lakes including Villarrica, Panguipulli, and Llanquihue. Along the drive, we’ll stop for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Rancho Espantapájaros, which is located in Puerto Octay and has beautiful views of Llanquihue Lake and Osorno Volcano. We’ll arrive in Puerto Varas, located on the shores of Llanquihue Lake, in the afternoon. The rest of the afternoon and evening will be free to explore this scenic town, which is also full of historic German houses and architecture. 

*Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Overnight: Mero Gaucho Boutique Hotel.

 

 

 

DAY 6
PUERTO VARAS

Chile’s Lakes District is characterized by its volcanoes, forests, and, of course, lakes. Today, you’ll get to discover all three in Alerce Andino National Park. Located a short drive south from Puerto Varas,  this national park is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna, as well as Alerce conifer trees that have lived for thousands of years. We’ll spend several hours hiking around the park through the temperate rainforests, passing rivers, waterfalls, and lagoons squeezed between steep mountains covered in ancient forests. Along the way, our guide will tell us all about the various plants and animals that live here. On the drive to and from the park, we’ll also be heading along Patagonia’s most northern oceanic fjord; keep your eyes peeled for Chilean dolphins and other local wildlife! We’ll spend the night in Puerto Varas again, giving you more time to explore this charming town.

Activities:

  • Hike.
  • Photo opportunity.
  • Flora, fauna, and geological observation.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight:  Mero Gaucho Boutique Hotel.

DAY 7
PUERTO VARAS

Ready to hike on a volcano today? Well, not just one volcano: two volcanoes! Today, we’ll spend the day hiking among the foothills of two of Chile’s most active and beautiful volcanoes, both located near Puerto Varas. In the morning, you’ll be fetched from your hotel by your naturalist guide, who will take you to the site of the first hike on Calbuco Volcano. This 2.5 hour, roughly two-and-a-half mile hike will pass through landscapes that have seen recent eruptions and are covered in black lava and basaltic rock formations, as well as the temperate rainforests that encircle the base of the volcano. During the hike, the guide will tell you all about the geology of the volcano and landscapes, pointing out how local flora and fauna have adapted to live in such a harsh, unpredictable environment. 

After finishing this hike, we’ll head to the trailhead for our next hike, with a break along the way for lunch. This second hike heads along the Osorno Volcano, heading about 3.5 miles along the base of the volcano with unparalleled views of the cone and the surrounding area which consists of lava flows, forests, and lakes. The hike will last between 3-4 hours depending on how fast the group is, with pauses to learn about the flora and fauna, before returning to Puerto Varas for a relaxing evening. 

Type: Private Tour.

Activities:

  • Wildlife Observation.
  • Photography.
  • Hiking.
  • Geological and naturalist interpretation.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight:  Mero Gaucho Boutique Hotel.

DAY 8
PUERTO VARAS – CHILOÉ ISLAND

We’ll pick you up from your hotel in the morning to head to the main island of Chiloé, located in an archipelago of the same name. Accessible from the mainland only by ferry, this string of islands is one of the most fascinating places in the Lakes District, home to a distinct culture and way of life, incredible plant and wildlife, and magical tales about ghost ships, mermaids, and warlocks. Crossing over onto the main island, we’ll head to a penguin colony at Puñihuil, where we’ll be able to observe Humboldt and Magellanic penguins. We’ll then explore local communities and towns to learn more about these islands. The Chilote people are extremely welcoming and open, so we’ll have chances to meet and chat with locals for a more immersive, authentic experience. We’ll then head to the capital of Castro, where you’ll get dropped off at your hotel and will have time to explore this charming bayside town.

Type: Private Tour.

Activities: 

  • Trip to Puñihuil Penguin Colony.
  • Fauna Observation.
  • Flora, Fauna & Geology Interpretation.
  • Cultural Immersion.
  • Meeting with Locals.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Overnight:  Hotel Palafito 1326.

DAY 9
CHILOÉ ISLAND

After spending the night in Castro, today we’ll explore the nearby Chiloé National Park. The drive to the park passes by the quaint village of Huillinco and through the countryside, allowing us a glimpse of local life. We’ll also pass by Huillinco Lake and Cucao Lakes before reaching the village of Cucao on the outskirts of the park. We’ll be exploring the park via the El Tepual Trail, which passes through a variety of landscapes and offers some of the best examples of the rich and important plant species that live here. Part of the trail is on an elevated boardwalk through the dense forest, so as not to disturb or harm the plant life. 

After the hike, we’ll then head to the indigenous community of Quilque for a light lunch before continuing on to the town of Chonchi, which is home to one of the island’s famous wooden churches. We’ll stop here to visit and learn more about the church before returning to Castro for the evening.  

Duration: 6-7 hrs (approx. 2 hrs of hiking) 
Difficulty level: Easy.
Type: Private Tour.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Overnight:  Hotel Palafito 1326.

DAY 10
CHILOÉ ISLAND

Located at the southern tip of the main island, the privately-owned but open to the public Tantauco Park boasts of some of the most pristine examples of temperate rainforest to be found in the region, as well as unspoiled coastline, peatlands, and a variety of endemic wildlife. With tens of boardwalk trails through the park’s 118,000 hectares, you’ll get to appreciate some of the park’s landscapes and wildlife as we hike the “Sendero Rio Yaldad” trail. After leaving Castro early in the morning to arrive at the trailhead, we’ll start walking along the trail, heading into a dense forest that is full of Tepú, Mañio, and Coigues trees. 

After about two hours of walking through this scenic landscape, we reach the visitor’s center on the banks of Yaldad Lagoon, where we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch before heading back along the main road towards the car. We’ll then return to Castro for the evening. 

Duration: 7-8 hrs (2.5 hrs hiking) 
Difficulty level: easy – medium.
Type: Private Tour.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight:  Hotel Palafito 1326.

DAY 11
CHILOÉ ISLAND - PUERTO VARAS

After several lovely days on Chiloé, it’s time to head back to the mainland. After a scenic drive to the northern tip of the island, followed by a ferry ride across the Chacao channel, we’ll arrive in Puerto Varas for the night, where you’ll have the chance to further explore town and get dinner.

Meals: Breakfast.

Overnight:  Mero Gaucho Boutique Hotel.

DAY 12
PUERTO VARAS - BARILOCHE

Today is sure to hold some of the most spectacular sights you’ve seen yet on the trip as we sail past volcanoes and lakes through the Andes to reach the town of Bariloche in Argentina. Including several boat rides, we’ll navigate three beautiful lakes along the way, combined with overland rides through the most scenic parts of the route.

The trip starts with a visit to the iconic Petrohue Falls near Puerto Varas, where you can see volcanic rock formations bathed in emerald green waterfalls. We’ll then navigate across Todos Los Santos Lake, enjoying breathtaking views of the Osorno and Puntiagudo Volcanoes and Tronador Mountain. We’ll pause at Peulla, an ecological lodge and nature-lovers paradise, for lunch, before continuing overland to Puerto Frías, where we’ll cross the border into Argentina. We stop for a short sailing trip across Lake Frías to Puerto Alegre, where we’ll take another transfer onward to Puerto Blest and our final boat ride across the beautiful Nahuel Huapi Lake. Then, it’s just a short drive onward to Bariloche, a popular Germanic city that attracts visitors throughout the year thanks to its ski centers and incredible landscapes. We’ll be based here for the next few days, giving you time to explore the town as well as the wildernesses nearby.

Type: Shared Tour.

Meals: Breakfast.

Overnight:  Design Suites Bariloche.

DAY 13
BARILOCHE

Surrounded by mountains and lakes, Bariloche offers unparalleled access to nature and adventure, which we’ll take advantage of today as we discover many of the area’s most beautiful lakes. Leaving town in the morning, we’ll head north to Villa Traful, a mountain village located inside Nahuel Huapi National Park that’s extremely popular among salmon fisherman. We’ll head along the Traful River until we reach a natural balcony called Piedra del Viento (Wind Stone), from which we’ll have an outstanding view of Traful Lake. We’ll continue onward, passing Puerto Arrayanes and heading upwards until we reach El Portezuelo. Here we’ll connect with the Seven Lakes Route, which passes many of the area’s most beautiful lakes, including Correntoso, Bailey, Willis, and Espejo. Finally, we’ll take National Route 231 to Villa La Angostura, where you’ll have the option to do a short option boat ride to Bosque de Arrayanes (Arrayanes Forest). We’ll finish the day back at Nahuel Huapi Lake and then Bariloche, where we’ll be spending our final night in the Lakes District.

Type: Private Tour.

Meals: Breakfast.

Overnight:  Design Suites Bariloche.

 

DAY 14
BARILOCHE – BUENOS AIRES

On your last day in the Lakes District before heading to the capital of Buenos Aires, you’ll have free time to relax or explore the town. You’ll then be picked up and driven to the airport in Bariloche for your flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, you’ll be taken to your hotel in downtown where you’ll have the rest of the evening free to explore and get dinner.

Meals: Breakfast.

Overnight:  Urban Suites Recoleta.

 

DAY 15
BUENOS AIRES

It’s time to say goodbye to South America! At a pre-arranged time, you’ll be picked up from your hotel in Buenos Aires for the drive to the airport, where you’ll board your international flight back home. Safe travels!

Meals: Breakfast.

End of EcoChile Services.

 


2020 – 2021  SEASON RATES

Land Portion Pricing: Group of 4 People

Price per person
>> USD 4,700 (High Season)
>> USD 4,460 (Shoulder Season)

* Please note that international and domestic flights are not included in this price.


Land Portion Pricing: Group of 2 people

Price per person
>> USD 6,020 (High Season)
>> USD 5,800 (Shoulder Season)

* Please note that international and domestic flights are not included in this price.


Why is this trip sustainable?
  • The food provided is locally prepared with regional products. 
  • You will travel plastic-free throughout your trip! We use reusable or glass bottles, as well as recyclable containers.
  • Our top recommended hotels include sustainability policies as part of their mission and operations.
  • We work in collaboration with local suppliers and communities in each location.
  • We keep our tour groups small, both to improve the experience for you and to reduce the impact on the places we visit.
  • We respect and value the lifestyles, beliefs, and traditions of the local communities we visit.

Our Health and Safety Promise

As the world continues to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that travelers, while eager to once again get out and explore the world, also want to be careful and only travel where and when it’s safe to do so. Just as you take your health and safety seriously, as well as the health and safety of the destinations and communities we visit, so do we. That’s why, in compliance with national and international health and safety regulations and recommendations, we’ve optimized our operations and tour itineraries to provide you with the safest itinerary possible.

This tour was specifically designed with social distancing in mind, avoiding overly crowded places without sacrificing the experience of discovering the destination. We only partner with hotels and tour operators that are similarly committed to putting their clients’ health first, frequently using cleaning and sanitizing services, and only offering tours and excursions when it’s fully safe to do so. All this and more are just some of the ways we’re innovating travel itineraries for a healthier, safer future. 

If you have any questions, concerns, or requests regarding the health and safety procedures of this and other EcoChile tours, please let us know so we can answer your question or accommodate your request. Your safety is our top priority.

CHILE & ARGENTINA: LAKES DISTRICT ADVENTURE

Duration: 15 days

Price: USD$ 4,700 / person

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