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ROUTE OF PARKS CLASSIC

USD$ 5,380 / 13 days

Summary

Day 1: Santiago de Chile – Leisure Day.
Day 2: Santiago to Puerto Varas – Leisure Day.
Day 3: Puerto Varas – Osorno Volcano and “El Solitario” Hike.
Day 4: Puerto Varas to Hornopirén – Alerce Andino National Park Hike.
Day 5: Hornopirén to Caleta Gonzalo – Pumalin National Park Hike.
Day 6: Caleta Gonzalo – Pumalin National Park Hike.
Day 7: Caleta Gonzalo to Puyuhuapi – Queulat National Park Hike.
Day 8: Puyuhuapi to Coyhaique – Leisure Day.
Day 9: Coyhaique to Puerto Rio Tranquilo – Leisure Day.
Day 10: Puerto Rio Tranquilo – Ice Hike on the Exploradores Glacier.
Day 11: Puerto Rio Tranquilo to Cochrane – Kayak to Marble Caves.
Day 12: Cochrane – Patagonia National Park Hike – Chacabuco Sector.
Day 13: Cochrane to Santiago de Chile – Leisure Day.

 

 

Overview

Travel along the famous Carretera Austral to get to know Patagonia’s Route of Park and observe how the landscapes change as you get down south from the Lakes District to the remote Aysen region. From snow-capped volcanoes, stormy fjords, abundant temperate rain forests to impressive glacier forms, deep blue lakes and rivers and the dry Patagonian steppe: all of this you will explore on this 13-day journey through some of the most iconic national parks of this recently-launched conservation project.


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 to welcome you 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: Bidasoa Hotel or similar.

DAY 2
SANTIAGO DE CHILE – PUERTO MONTT – PUERTO VARAS

Time to head to Southern Chile – the Lakes District! You will get picked up at your hotel in Santiago and brought to the airport where you will board a flight down south.  After arriving in Puerto Montt and being taken to your hotel in Puerto Varas, you’ll have the chance to explore town on your own and get dinner.

Meals: Breakfast.

Overnight: Mero Gaucho Boutique Hotel.

DAY 3
PUERTO VARAS

Today we’ll be exploring closer to Puerto Varas along the base of the nearby Osorno Volcano. Leaving town early to avoid the crowds, we’ll drive toward the volcano, located on the far side of Llanquihue Lake from Puerto Varas. Arriving at our first stop, we’ll do a one-hour hike up to the rim of the volcano, getting to see the crater and panoramic landscape views. Heading back down, we’ll go to the Petrohue Waterfalls, which pass over black lava rocks in spectacular torrents of water. The falls are reached via a short walk through a section of temperate rainforest; we’ll take our time on this walk so the guide can offer information about the plant life and geology we’ll be passing. After reaching the falls and pausing to take pictures and appreciate the view, which features the volcano in the background, we’ll drive to the El Solitario trailhead. As this trail passes through a variety of landscapes, from forest to lava flow to watershed, it’s a perfect chance to see and learn about all the different microhabitats of this region on just one hike. After the hike, we’ll return to Puerto Varas for the night.

Type: Private Tour.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight: Mero Gaucho Boutique Hotel.

DAY 4
PUERTO VARAS - HORNOPIREN

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. Heading from Puerto Varas down toward the start of the Carretera Austral, we’ll veer off to visit Alerce Andino, a national park that 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 about five 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; many are wholly endemic to the region. 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 will then continue on the Carretera Austral in direction south. After crossing on a ferry and driving along fjords and forests, we will arrive in the small town of Hornopiren, at the foot of the volcano with the same name, where we will spend the night.

Type: Private Tour.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight: Hostería Catalina.

DAY 5
HORNOPIREN – CALETA GONZALO

In the morning you will take the first ferry from Hornopiren to your next destination – Caleta Gonzalo, where the fascinating Pumalin National Park is located. This journey will be a combination of ground transportation and ferries. After 3 hours and 30 minutes on the ferry we arrive to Leptepu, drive 15 minutes to Punta Larga where we will take the ferry that will take us to Caleta Gonzalo (45 minutes). In the afternoon we will do soft walks along the trails in the area around Caleta Gonzalo.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight: Cabañas Caleta Gonzalo.

DAY 6
CALETA GONZALO

A day of spectacular hikes in the park, ascending more than 600 meters to reach the summit of the active volcano Chaitén. This cone is still active since the sudden eruption that surprised the locals in 2008 after several 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. After lunch we can choose other trails of different lengths and difficulty level through the abundant rainforest to waterfalls and ancient trees.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight: Cabañas Caleta Gonzalo.

DAY 7
CALETA GONZALO - PUYUHUAPI

Early morning departure to cover 250 kilometers of the scenic Carretera Austral and reach the Puyuhuapi fjord. The driving along this part of the southern road is an experience by itself with panoramic views of the turquoise waters of Yelcho Lake, the sharp snow-capped peak of the Corcovado Volcano that looks like an immense gothic cathedral and fast flowing rivers of crystalline and pure glacier water. 

After the check in to our lodging we will start one of the most spectacular hikes of the area to the hanging glacier at Queulat National Park, another protected area of the Route of Parks. The viewpoint of this glacier hanging on the mountains will be the highlight of the hike. We will finish the day enjoying the hot springs at the shore of the Puyuhuapi fjord.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight: El Pangue Lodge.

DAY 8
PUYUHUAPI - COYHAIQUE

After breakfast we will start the journey of 160 kilometers to Coyhaique. The road itself is a highlight, surrounded by exuberant vegetation, glaciers, mountains, rivers and crystalline waterfalls.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight: Nómades Boutique Hotel.

DAY 9
COYHAIQUE – PUERTO RÍO TRANQUILO

Today we will continue along the Carretera Austral down south, discovering the region of Aysén, a pristine and remote area full of nature treasures to explore.

A stop in the village of Cerro Castillo will allow us to look for the Andean deer, endemic to Patagonia and take our time to enjoy the great views of the mountains and lakes along the road.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight: Hostal El Puesto.

DAY 10
PUERTO RIO TRANQUILO

Glaciers are one of the most astonishing feats of nature, and today, you’ll get up close and personal with one on a hike that will actually take you on top of the glacier itself. The excursion today will visit the Exploradores Glacier, a colossal river of ice found inside Laguna San Rafael National Park. To reach the glacier, which is about 32 miles west of Puerto Rio Tranquilo, we’ll start by driving through the beautiful Exploradores Valley. Near the base of the glacier, we’ll stop at a refugio cabin to get outfitted in all the technical equipment we’ll need for the glacier hike and to hear the safety and instructional talk from the glacier guides. We’ll start heading toward the glacier through an evergreen forest where you can observe local flora and fauna, gradually ascending upwards along the rocky front moraine of the glacier. At the top of the moraine, there’s a stunning panoramic viewpoint of the entire glacier in all its majesty, as well as Bayo Lake and Monte San Valentin, the highest mountain in Patagonia. We’ll then descend the other side of the moraine toward the glacier; the first ice we’ll be walking on will be covered in stones and dirt, as evidence of the front wall of the glacier churning up the earth below it as it moves forward. 

 

We’ll continue on for another hour and a half to two hours to reach the pristine, clean ice further up the glacier, where we’ll pause for a break and refreshment. Here, we’ll spend a fair amount of time using the specialized glacier gear to explore the surroundings: walking across the icy flat plains, going down into little ice valleys where there are meltwater streams and pools, marveling at the deep blue colors of the glacial ice, and even going into ice caves. The guides will be on-hand the entire time to ensure you only walk in safe areas and to answer any questions about the glacier. We’ll then head back down the glacier to the cabin; the entire ice walk will take around six to six and a half hours. After returning the glacier gear, we’ll drive back to Puerto Rio Tranquilo for a night of well-deserved rest.

Type: Private Tour.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight: Hostal El Puesto.

DAY 11
PUERTO RIO TRANQUILO - COCHRANE

The Marble Caves are truly a once-in-a-lifetime sight: over time, the mineral-rich waters of the lake have eroded the rocks and islets along the shore to form caverns, with stone walls covered in multicolored swirls of blue, turquoise, azure, and navy. We’ll set out from Bahia Mansa on kayak, paddling along the shoreline of the lake until we reach the caverns and rocky pinnacles that make up the Marble Caves, where we’ll kayak around and even through the passages in the rock to appreciate this marvel from all angles. We’ll then head back to Puerto Rio Tranquilo for the night. 

In the afternoon we will drive around 120 kilometers to the town of Cochrane.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight: Hotel Último Paraíso.

DAY 12
COCHRANE

Today we’ll head to the heart of Patagonia National Park, the Chacabuco Valley, to discover the beautiful grasslands, hills, forests, and marshes. Up until a few decades ago, this area was used by ranchers as grazing fields for livestock, which decimated native plants and forced away wildlife, completely altering the ecosystem. Luckily, Doug and Kris Tompkins of the Tompkins Foundation bought the land for conservation purposes, intending to restore it to its original splendor. The ecosystem restoration project was a runaway success, with flora and fauna returning in abundance and thriving. When the Tompkins donated this and other lands to the Chilean government as part of a million-acre land gift, their Patagonia Park was merged with the preexisting Jeinimeni and Tamango National Reserves to create the new Patagonia National Park. 

Today, to learn more about this historic land gift and the geology and history of the valley, we recommend you start with a visit to the park’s visitor center and museum. Afterward, you can avail yourself of one of the many trails in this sector; one of the best is the Lago Chico trail which offers great views of Lake Cochrane and Mount San Lorenzo. After the hike, we will return to Cochrane.

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch.

Overnight: Hotel Último Paraíso.

DAY 13
COCHRANE – BALMACEDA – SANTIAGO DE CHILE

It’s time to say goodbye to Patagonia! After an early breakfast at sunrise you’ll get a transfer to the local airport of Balmaceda (400 km – 6 hours driving) for your flight to Santiago.

Meals: Breakfast.

End of EcoChile Services.

 


2020 – 2021  SEASON RATES

Land Portion Pricing: Group of 4 People 

Price per person
>> USD 5,380 (High Season)
>> USD 5,200 (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 7,670 (High Season)
>> USD 7,510 (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.

ROUTE OF PARKS CLASSIC

Duration: 13 days

Price: USD$ 5,380 / person

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