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Discover the Carretera Austral

15 Days FROM USD 4,295

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Overview

Get off-the-beaten-track and explore the Carretera Austral, Chiles hidden paradise and a region of unspoilt beauty. Visit the magical Marble Caves, hike in the Enchanted Forest, witness Queulats magnificent Hanging Glacier and spend a time by the Chilean Fjords. We will then continue north into the Pumalin National Park, a reserve of forest area that Douglas Tompkins protected for many years. Cross on a barge ferry to the Island of Chiloe we see the cultural differences of the Chilote people and feel as though time has stood still. This is a truly incredible adventure! 

Trip Code: LATSDCA

Location: Argentina, Chile

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

Enjoy the landscapes of the Patagonian Steppe as we head north on the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40). Stop overnight Lago Posadas where we spend the night in a remote guesthouse with true local hospitality.

El Chalten - Route 40

Crossing the border into the remote southern region of Chile we see the landscape change dramatically. The dry arid Patagonian steppe gives way to lush green forests with an abundance of trees to highlight the natural beauty of the area.

Route 40 - Puerto Bertrand

Today we explore the local area. Hike to Devil’s Slope for a wonderful lookout point and take a short hike to see the confluence of the Baker and Nef rivers. This mix of milky blue and turquoise brings together waters directly from the local glaciers.

Puerto Bertrand

Travelling around the massive Lago General Carrera we will visit the spectacular marble cave. From here we can see the effects that calcium carbonate deposits have made on the rocks, leaving a marble effect on the cave walls.

Puerto Bertrand - Puerto Rio Tranquil

Continue north along the Carretera Austral, stopping at Villa Cerro Castillo as we make our way to Coyhaique.

Puerto Rio Tranquil - Coyhaique

Hike in the enchanted forest on our way to Queulat where we spend the night in a lovely lodge located on the edge of the Fiords.

Coyahique - Queulat National Park

Get up close and personal to a spectacular hanging glacier in the Queulat National Park. Nature at its finest!

Queulat National Park

Enjoy the fabulous scenery of the Carretera Austral and visit the fishing village of Puyuhuapi on the edge of the Chilean Fiords.

Queulat National Park - Lago Yelcho

After a stop in Chaiten we arrive the the famous Pumalin Park. Although no longer with us, Douglas Tompkins’ legacy of protecting large biodiversity parks for us and future generations to enjoy (at present more than 2 million acres in Chile and Argentina) means we will get an amazing encounter with nature at its best.

Lago Yelcho - Pumalin National Park

With more than 10 different trails to choose from today we will stretch our legs along a variety of tracks. The trail of Alerce Trees meanders through an ancient Alerce grove full of 3000 year old trees providing a quiet and contemplative atmosphere amongst these giants. Or perhaps take the Hidden Waterfalls loop , the Lake Negro track or the great Interpretation Trail is a 3km loop that introduces you to many distinct species found in the temperate rainforest.

Pumalin National Park

Cross be ferry to Chiloe Island, take in the amazing view and possibly do a little whale spotting at the same time. Chiloe’s history starts with the arrival of the first inhabitants more than 7000 years ago and continues through to the Spanish stronghold that influences many aspects of the island today.

Pumalin National Park - Chiloe Island

The beautiful town of Castro is known their Palafitos, traditional stilt houses that are built over the waters edge. It is also known for its vibrantly painted churches. After a walk around town we head out to the Chiloe National Park where we’ll enjoy the El Tepual and Lahuen hikes. Later, we head out towards the beach and enjoy the trail of the dunes while taking in the salty air.

Chiloe Island

Visit Ancud with its historical Spanish fort and take boat ride to see both Magellan and Humbolt penguin colonies nesting and breeding together before we cross back to the aminland in the afternoon and arrive to beautiful Puerto Varas.

Chiloe Island - Puerto Varas

Explore to spectacular region around Puerto Varas. We will take a drive around Lake Llanquihue absorbing the breath-taking views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Heading up Osorno Volcano we take the chair lift up the mountain for beautiful panoramic views of the region.

Puerto Varas

Today you finish your tour and take home with you memories of the amazing, unspoilt region of Patagonia.

Depart
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WHY TAILOR-MADE?

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Pricing & date

Discover the Carretera Austral from USD 4,295
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Important Information

  • 11 nights accommodation in tourist class hotels or guest houses
    3 nights in comfortable cabins
    11 nights accommodation in tourist class hotels or guest houses
    3 nights in comfortable cabins
    Experienced tour leader as well as local guides
    Experienced Driver/Mechanic
    All National Park Entrance fees
    Fully escorted in South America

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

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.

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.

Sustainability

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.