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Explore an island battered by the wild Pacific. Hike under granite peaks and over open steppes. Drift through marble caves on a turquoise lake in remote and beautiful Aysen. This is an in-depth, tailor made journey thorough Chilean Patagonia’s wild beauty.
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Fly overnight to Chile. Please note: international flights are quoted separately for this holiday.
Land in the Chilean capital this morning. Transfer to your comfortable hotel where you spend tonight. The rest of today is yours to relax and recover from your journey.
Fly south today to island of Chiloe. From here you are collected by your guide who takes you to Caulin, a beautiful bay where you can sample Chiloe’s delicious oysters. Your guide sets the historical scene of the island over lunch, and talks through the possibilities for the next few days. Your time is flexible here, but you will have time to explore Chiloe’s culture and nature in depth with your expert guide.
Set out later to explore the rugged Pacific coast of the island. Here is where Chiloe is at its wildest and most beautiful, a land of empty beaches and coastal forest. Visit the unique penguin colony at Punihuil, the only one in the world where the Humboldt and Magellanic species nest together. You have the chance to explore some of the smaller islands off Chiloe by boat, before you turn back north to a bay a few kilometres outside Ancud.
Spend this morning getting to know Ancud, the town on the northernmost tip of the island. Explore the museum, market, and small fort – the last Spanish stronghold in all of Chile. Enjoy a final island lunch before heading back to the mainland by ferry. From here, you drive the short distance back to the airport in Puerto Montt to catch your flight south to Punta Arenas, gateway to Chile’s southern Patagonia.
It’s a fairly leisurely start today, as your exploration of Chile’s far south starts as you are collected from Punta Arenas, along with other guests of the lodge. Your destination today is EcoCamp Patagonia set inside the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park, looking up at the Torres. As this is a five hour drive, you will make a couple of stops along the way.
Each day you have a choice between a wildlife-focused hike, usually quite gentle, or a more active ‘classic’ trek in Torres del Paine. On certain days it may also be possible to head out on bikes, and explore the park on two wheels. Today you have your first chance to admire the park’s exquisite flora and fauna, with a hike and botanical safari around the Nordenskjold Lake. Get to know the park’s strong wind and the curious, rapidly changing weather.
Walk steadily uphill through the Ascencio Valley. After a long walk through beech forests, crossing rivers, you get to the steep glacial moraine beneath the towers. At the top you have, on a clear day, wonderful views of the small lake, glacier and towers beyond. The famous Torres reach 2,900m, three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice.
Today could see you heading towards one of the park’s most emblematic destinations as you set off from Paine Grande along the shores of Lake Pehoe to the northern end of Lake Grey. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the shores of the lake, admiring the enormous Glacier Grey. After lunch you board a boat that sails along the blue face of the glacier before taking you to the southern end of the lake.
Journey out of Torres del Paine today as you make your way towards the last part of your journey. Tonight you spend in the town of Puerto Montt, a positioning night to allow you to get to the remote and remarkably beautiful Aisen region tomorrow.
The journey today will take most of the day but is usually exquisite. From the beautiful aerial views of northern Patagonia to the stunning five hour drive along the Carretera Austral, this might look like a day of travel on paper but feels quite different in reality. Settle into your very cosy and comfortable log cabin, perhaps enjoying your private Jacuzzi to ease away any strains from the journey here.
Each day during your stay here you can choose from a menu of excursions, led by the lodge’s own guides. The following is a suggestion of how you might spend your days, but you are free to tailor this as you please. Hike around two hours through ancient forests and past waterfalls towards Lake Leones before lunch in view of the Leones Glacier.
This is a full day’s walk from Mallin Colorado over to Lago Bertrand. The route takes you up and down towards the lake with wonderful views over the stunning mountains and waters. Return to the lodge by boat and car. An alternative is to go rafting on the Rio Baker. The water here has a magnificent turquoise quality, and of course is incredibly refreshing as you plough through the rapids!
After a couple of days’ more active pursuits, slow the pace down today with a boat ride on General Carrera. Erosion by wind and water has created some spectacular rock formations here, known as the 'cathedral of marble'. Drive on this afternoon to the Exploradores Galacier, where a scramble up a rocky moraine takes you onto the packed ice. This glacier tumbles down from the highest mountain in Patagonia; on a clear day the views are magnificent.
Enjoy a longer hike this morning, through the native forests to the south of the lodge. End your walk with a traditional asado (Patagonian lamb barbecue) on the lodge’s private beach before returning by boat and road. Have a Jacuzzi, relax, and enjoy your final night in this remote wilderness spot.
Transfer back to the airport in Balmaceda this morning to fly back north to Santiago. Today is a long travel day although the views are a treat. Dress comfortably, relax and enjoy. Stay in your comfortable hotel near the centre of the city for your final night.
Free morning to explore the city before flying home (flight times may vary). Please note: international flights are quoted separately for this holiday.
Explore an island battered by the wild Pacific. Hike under granite peaks and over open steppes. Drift amongst the caves made of marble in remote and beautiful Aysen. This is a thorough, flexibly active, private immersion into the very best of Chilean Patagonia’s wild beauty.
This, our original active trip to Chile, is an enormously varied adventure in the most dramatic mountain landscapes of South America. Your first contact with Chile is the island of Chiloé Grande. Here you will be walking along the wonderfully wild Pacific coast of the island – battered by the full force of the ocean. If you like, on another day you can paddle the waterways of the sheltered east of the island, the ideal way to see the fishing villages and pastures of the island.
Down south in Torres del Paine National Park you stay in semi-permanent dome tents, each with their own bathroom, set up against the mountains. This is the most comfortable way to experience Torres del Paine close up – all the hotels are down to the south of the lakes, away from the mountains. The advantage of being so close to the mountains themselves is that you can explore them in depth each day you are there. Guides based at the camp lead a range of different hikes and rides each day so you can select the best option for you as each day arrives.
The lodge at Mallín Colorado is beautifully set above the startlingly blue waters of Lago General Carrera. From here you also have a range of options for active excursions each day – from hiking to riding on beautiful horses, from kayaking the lake to rafting the nearby Rio Baker. This part of Patagonia is a very remote, beautiful adventure playground which is also blessed with a rather sunny microclimate – the perfect place to end your journey around Chilean Patagonia!
This holiday has a huge amount of cultural interaction and discovery built in. Being such a long-standing favourite of ours, that perhaps isn’t very surprising though we do constantly evolve the trip to make sure that it still represents the very best of Chilean Patagonia.
The island of Chiloé Grande, itself very distinctive within Chilean culture. As the last outpost of the Jesuits, it developed in isolation from the mainland to some extent. When blended with the very traditional fishing cultures and a very rich regional folklore, it makes for a rather weird and wonderful place. Though physically rather reminiscent of parts of Ireland, that’s where the similarities end. Whilst here you are hosted by a particularly charming couple . They live in the house next door. This is a great way to start a trip, in the company of great hosts who can gently introduce you to the joys of Chile.
In Torres del Paine you stay in what is effectively a seasonal tented lodge. The staff are very largely drawn from around the local community though Patagonia does tend to attract many from further afield in Chile – you will understand why when you see the place.
It is these guides who help introduce you to your surroundings, both physical and human. Dinners at camp are served in a dining tent/dome which allows for great interaction with other guests as well as the guiding staff.
Your last stop is to stay in a beautiful, family run lodge. This is a family we have worked with for years. They have been guests in our homes here in the UK. Really it is a summer home for them, away from the stresses and strains of Santiago. The mum does the gardening and harvests the vegetables, the daughter looks after guests during the day. The dad loves to show off his beautiful horses. This place has all the comforts of a very well run small hotel but all the character of a Chilean family home – a very rare and special combination.
The accommodation throughout this holiday is completely off-piste: a coastal guesthouse, a dome tent in the mountains and a log cabin by a lake. And yet, it is all absolutely first rate, making this a physically very comfortable trip at the same time as being quite active.
The holiday can run from September through April during which time, in Patagonia, daytime temperatures will be mild. Remember that you are on the same relative latitude as London or Quebec so on a still summer's day the temperature can be comfortably in the mid-20°s. However, still days are not the norm here! Expect it all – from rain to wind to sun to snow.
Nights tend to be cool, verging on cold. A clear, cloudless night in Patagonia may be just a few degrees but you won’t notice too much – you will be looking up at the stars. At least that is what you should be doing.
We have a detailed itinerary for this trip, as set out above. If you would like a copy, please get in touch and we can email it over to you.
Ultimately though, this is a tailor made trip so we would love to have time to talk to you in order to send the most appropriate proposal to you.
It might be that the holiday is perfect as it is (we are very proud of it) but equally, you might need a shorter trip or want to see the Atacama Desert or Chilean wineries, or any number of other things which we can neatly tie together for you. We are here to help you make the perfect trip.
In the form set out above, the holiday price includes premium accommodation, most meals, internal flights and transport, guided activities, excursions and entrances as set out in the detailed itinerary. Naturally, on each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.
Flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best flight routings are to fly in and out of Santiago (airport code: SCL).
Departs on a date to suit you, from September through April.
Contact us today to start planning your own personal adventure
The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.
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