This tour is a great option for people wanting to visit these remote and unspoilt regions of Chile and Argentina. Due to the strength and durability of our vehicles we are able to visit these areas where conventional transport in unsuitable. Let us take the stress out of the journey while you enjoy the lakes, mountains and waterfalls of the region. Discover the Carretera Austral and explore the stunning landscapes of the Futaleufu Valley and the majestic Queulat Hanging Glacier. Finally discover the vast Patagonian steppe as we travel down Argentina’s infamous route 40.
Please note this trip operates in reverse from El Chalten to Bariloche on 10/02/2019, 07/04/2019, 07/02/2020. Contact us for more details.
Pre tour meeting: a pre tour meeting in Bariloche will be held at our joining hotel at approx. 6:30pm the night prior. Please ensure you are already in Bariloche.
This tour is operated under our group travel brand, Viva Expeditions. Viva specialises in guided small group tours to Latin America.
This morning we depart Bariloche, passing through the town of Esquel where the “Old Patagonian Express” still runs. We have a short stop in Trevellin, a small town with links to Welsh immigrants. In the late afternoon, we cross into Chile and the scenery will immediately change as we arrive into the quaint town of Futaleufu.
Today we turn onto the Carretera Austral (Southern Road) a remote, unspoilt region of intense natural beauty and is often referred to as one of South America’s best road trips. We stop along the way to take photos and admire the spectacular natural vistas. Wild rivers flow through lush forests, waterfalls tumble along steep cliff faces and the world is reflected in mirror lakes.
At lunch time, we arrive at the coastal fishing village of Puyuhuapi, located on the edge of the Chilean Fiords in a setting of incomparable beauty. In the afternoon, we get the rare opportunity to get up close and personal to a
spectacular hanging glacier in the Queulat National Park. Enjoy the park’s trails while being surrounded by virgin evergreen forests made up by species like coihue, tepa, and Chilean rhubarbs. Tonight we spend the night in cabins located on the edge of the Chilean Fiords.
In such a remote and rugged area, you might just like to snuggle up in your cabin, but today you’ll have the opportunity to hike to a nearby waterfall, take navigation to a personally owned island in the fjords or try a little sea kayaking (weather permitting).
A morning hike in the remote enchanted forest encompasses a short, steep trail with a variety of ecosystems from subtropical forest to glacial peaks. An afternoon drive along the Simpson River sees us pass lush pastures, mirror lakes and snow-capped mountains. We continue onto Coyhaique (considered the big smoke), where you can walk a viewpoint circuit around the city.
Today we have a wonderful drive through the Cerro Castillo Reserve with a chance to spot the rare Huemul deer. After lunch, we cross into Argentina and on to the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40). Travelling south through the vast Patagonian plains keep your eyes peeled for armadillos, rheas and guanacos.
Tonight, we stop overnight at a remote Patagonian guesthouse.
Today we make a special visit to the Cuevas de las Manos (Cave of the Hands) which one of the most important archaeological sites in South America. The caves feature paintings that are the most ancient artistic expressions of the
native people of the subcontinent. The paintings were done by the first settlers of these lands, ancestors of the Tehuelche people (or Patagones), and date back to different periods from 9300 to 3300 years ago. The site was
declared World Heritage by the UNESCO in 1999. We continue and spend the night in Gobernador Gregores, a small town with links the old caravan trail.
A morning drive to enjoy the landscapes of the Patagonian Steppe as we head south. Further on we will arrive in El Chalten, and the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. This ice field is the world’s 3rd largest reserve of fresh water. Enjoy
lodgings in our hotel nestled quietly under the imposing peaks of Mount Fitzroy, named after the captain of the Beagle, who navigated Darwin’s Expedition of the area in 1834.
In the afternoon, you will have time to take on one of the short hikes available in the area. You can climb up to the eagle and condor lookout points, stroll along the river to a wonderful waterfall or head up to the Capri lake through
the forest trail.
El Chaltén is a small mountain village that lies within the magnificent World Heritage Listed Parque Nacional Los Glaciares at the base of Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountains. ''Chaltén'' is a Tehuelche word that means “Smoking Mountain”, as they believed that Cerro Fitz Roy was a volcano, its summit enshrouded by clouds. Today El Chaltén is Argentina’s trekking capital. The towering granite spires and fissured glaciers of the Torre and Fitzroy groups offer some of the most stunning scenery and spectacular hiking and trekking in southern Patagonia. A network of world-class trails take you to viewpoints with breath-taking vistas including those of Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitzroy peaks. There are also tracks to Torre Glacier, Piedras Blancas Glacier, Laguna Capri, Laguna de los Tres, Chorillo del Salto and the remote Pasa del Viento (Windy Pass).
4 nights’ accommodation in stanard hotels; 2 nights in shared log cabins
Transport in our custom built all-terrain expedition vehicles
Approximately 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners
Service of an experienced western tour leader as well as local guides
Experienced western Driver/Mechanic
All National Park Entrance fees
Carretera Austral – South America’s Best Road Trip
Queulat National Park and Hanging Glacier
Waterfall Hike or Fjord Boat Trip
Enchanted Forest Hike
Cuevas del las Manos (Hand Caves)
We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Upmarket properties with above average facilities and service.
Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.
SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST
Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.
Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:
1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.
2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.
3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.
4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.
5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.