Our journey begins in Santiago, the cosmopolitan capital of Chile, from there we head south to explore Chile’s wine region, with its wonderful vineyards that produce some of the world’s finest wines. We continue travelling south through the Chilean and Argentinean Lakes Districts taking time to discover the endless forests, alpine lakes and startling waterfalls that are abundant throughout the area, and spend time in two of Chile and Argentina’s premier adventure destinations.
Please note this trip is also available in reverse from Bariloche to Santiago, 16/02/2019, 13/04/2019, 13/02/2020. Please contact us for more information.
Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city, lies in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Andes and the Chilean Coastal Range. Founded in 1541, Santiago has been Chile’s capital since colonial times. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city and although it features many colonial buildings, it has grown into a modern metropolis and the cultural centre of the country.
An early departure from Santiago towards the south via the Panamerican Highway sees you pass the city of San Fernando onto Santa Cruz (178km/110mi), located at the shores of the Tinguiririca river, nowadays located in the heart of the wine zone.
Once we arrive you will visit the Colchagua Museum, known today as one the most complete Museums in South America. The Colchagua Valley, famous for producing some of Chile’s finest wines, in particular Carmenere, a grape that was thought to be extinct until rediscovered in Chile in 1994. Their Cabernet Sauvignon variety also thrives during the grape growing season due to the hot sunny climate in this part of Chile.
During this day, you will visit the winery, with wine tasting and wine making included.
Settle into our comfortable custom built truck as we journey south along the
highway. Passing orchards and plantations of fruits and vegetables, as well as a big timber industry. We’ll pass picturesque lakes and mountains to arrive into Pucon, located in the heart of Chile’s Lakes District. On the way we will stop for lunch at the impressive Salto del Lajas waterfalls.
Today we combine a wonderful natural environment with a cultural experience unique to this area. In the morning, we will visit either the Villarrica National Park or one of the surrounding national reserve parks, all of which protect thousands of hectares of rivers, waterfalls, alpine lakes and forest. In the afternoon, we visit a traditional Mapuche family and enjoy a traditional meal. We are invited to learn and experience the Ruka of the Mapuche people, the heart of their culture. You will learn about their daily life, musical instruments and enjoy a game of Palin, a game similar to hockey.
Enjoy a day at leisure here where it is possible to organise numerous outdoor activities such as a one day hike up the Villarica Volcano to reach the smoking crater or take the bus out to Huerquehue National Park and experience the amazing lakes trail. You could enjoy kayaking, mountain biking, horse riding, fishing, white water rafting and even sky diving, or simply relaxing by the lake admiring the beauty of your surroundings.
Crossing our first border we pass the gigantic Volcano Lanin (3737m) as we make our way through the Lanin National Park. Once we cross into Argentina you’ll see the landscape change. After lunch sit back and marvel along the scenic seven lakes drive to Bariloche, Argentina a resort town nestled peacefully on the shores of the Nahuel Huapi Lake.
San Carlos de Bariloche lies on the southern shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi in the foothills of the Andes surrounded by mountains and forests. Its location is stunning, surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park, the oldest National Park in Argentina. With its Alpine-styled architecture, its picturesque lakeside setting overlooked by mountains and forests as well as numerous boutique chocolate shops and St. Bernard dogs, the city has a Swiss-like atmosphere.
A free morning allows you time to head up to Cerro Otto via a gondola where you can sit in the revolving café with a 360 degree view. You can also explore the forest at the top spotting condors and falcons as you go.
In the afternoon, we take time to explore the scenic Circuito Chico in the Nahuel Huapi National Park following the road along the lake. We learn about how Bariloche got started, head up the chairlift to Cerro Campanario, stop at various lookout points and discover a hidden lake. We finish off this lovely afternoon at Argentina’s most famous resort, Hotel Llao Llao, where we will enjoy High Tea over-looking the lake.
A day at leisure here gives you time to pursue interests such as sailing on the massive Nahuel Huapi Lake stopping at Isla Victoria and visiting the Arrayan Forest, horse riding on a local estancia, taking a tour to see the monstrous Tronodor peak, playing golf or hiking one of the many trails available in the area.
8 nights’ accommodation in standard hotels
Transport in our custom built all-terrain expedition vehicles
Approximately 8 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Services of an experienced western Tour Leader as well as Local Guides
Experienced western Driver/Mechanic
All National Park Entrance fees
Colchagua Valley Vineyard Tour and Wine Making Experience
Hiking Villarrica National Park or Local Reserve
Traditional Mapuche Ruka Experience including meal
Seven Lakes Scenic Drive between Pucon & Bariloche
Circuito Chico Tour
Cerro Campanario Chairlift & Viewpoint
High Tea at Llao Llao Resort
*Reverse itinerary also available please contact us for more details.
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.