Chilean Patagonia hiking tour

Join Magno, IFMGA certified guide, in this complete 16-day hike in Chilean Patagonia, traversing from impressive glaciers to the sea.

 
 

Details

 

Trip Duration

16 days

Mountain Range

Andes

People per Guide

Trip Level

Easy

Offer Period

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Nov, Dec

Type of Trip

Not specified

Highlights

 
     

    Discover a world-class trek at the foot of the ice cap. The Chilean Patagonia is one of the wildest regions in the world. In addition, the ice bodies hold the second largest fresh water reserve.

    The XI Chilean region, or Aysén, with Coyhaique as capital city, is in the Northern Patagonia. It is the third largest Chilean region but with the least density population: less than one inhabitant per square kilometer.

    The landscape is spectacular. The mainland, bordered by the Andes, is cut into multiple fjords, while the western area has many islands that form a labyrinth, accessible only by boat.

    I propose to you a tour entirely off the beaten track. It takes place partly on private land, as well as in the protected area of the “Laguna San Rafael” National Park. In fact, we will get to see some unique flora and fauna. We will progress in a quite cleared trail that runs between coaguas and lengas forests, multicoloured glacial lakes and tapered granitic peaks. Besides, the immense glaciers everywhere complete the impressive scenery.

    In particular, we will cross one of the glaciers: the Neff. This is for sure the occasion to be deep into a wild and preserved nature.

    After resting in a hacienda, in contact with the Gaucho culture, we descend rafting the Baker river during 4 days. We finish at the fjords of the Pacific coast. In fact, in this trip we travel the entire water cycle: from glaciers to the ocean. Check the daily itinerary below for more information.

    Did you find this unique trip interesting? Then don’t hesitate to contact me! I recommend to sign up as fast as possible as this tour has limited spaces. 

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    Price per person

     
    Group of 3
    6050 USD

    Group of 4
    5850 USD

    Group of 5
    5600 USD

    Group of 6
    5600 USD

    Group of 7
    5600 USD

    Group of 8
    5600 USD

     

    Price includes

     
    • Guiding fee
    • Accommodation
    • Transport during the trip
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
     

    Itinerary

     
    • Day 1Meeting at aiport

      We meet at the Arturo Merino Benitez airport and transfer to the hotel by taxi. Today we visit Santiago. Lunch and dinner on your own.

    • Day 2Santiago – Balmaceda – Puerto Bertrand

      Early wake up to start a long trip. After a 2-hour flight to Balmaceda, we drive through part of the magnificent Carretera Austral (6 hours) to reach the Green Baker Lodge late in the afternoon. It’s located along the turquoise banks of Baker river. We prepare the bags for the next day. Welcome dinner with the accompanying personnel. Lunch and dinner included.

    • Day 3Puerto Bertrand – Valle Soler

      The adventure starts today! First we cross by motor boat the Bertrand and Plomo lakes. Then we start walking in the wild Soler valley. As we go up we start seeing some snowy summits, as well as the imposing ice cap in the background.

    • Day 4Valle Soler – El Palomar

      We continue up the river, going into deep native forests. In the afternoon we reach the Palomar camp. It’s a rustic cabin made out of old trees. The Gauchos join us to provide food during the next days.

    • Day 5El Palomar – Crossing the Neff glacier – Laguna Espejo

      The is the longest stage in the trip. We leave in the morning and go up a valley until the foot of Neff glacier. Crossing the glacier takes about 4 hours. There are some technical passages (moraines and unstable stones). Then we go up to our camp, nested in a native forest. We are not far from Laguna Espejo. We may see huemules (Andean deers). Once we get settled we can appreciated all the path traversed on the glacier.

    • Day 6Laguna Espejo

      Resting day (or spare day in case of bad weather). Optional: ascending the course of a stream (500 m altitude change) up to a pass, a sublime natural viewpoint overlooking several glacial peaks. This regions is probably the wildest and most secluded of the trek. We can often observe condors hovering in the air.

    • Day 7Laguna Espejo – La Terraza

      Descent into a dense primary forest until Laguna Cachet, then climbing up 2 hours until a place called La Terraza. We discover a superb panorama over a huge glacier, as well as Cerro Arenales (3400m). We settle camp in front of a breathtaking scenery.

    • Day 8La Terraza – Colonia

      We continue at the foot of immense ice walls. From time to time, blocks detach themselves from the wall and crash into the water in a deafening din, offering us a grand spectacle! After lunch, we go through a series of valleys to reach our camp above the Colonia glacier and its huge lake. It’s a truly unique viewpoint.

    • Day 9Colonia – Sol de Mayo

      A 2-hour descent and walk along a fine sandy beach will suffice to reach Lake Colonia. We cross it by motorboat admiring many waterfalls. From the landing stage, we have a 30-min walk to reach the Sol de Mayo ranch. The afternoon program is to relax and take a well deserved hot shower! Then, a typical dinner with grilled lamb prepared by a gaucho.

    • Day 10Sol de Mayo – Balsa Colonia

      A short walk takes us to where the Claro and Colonia rivers meet. We slip on the water on our rafts until Baker river, which we reach in the mid-afternoon. We set our camp for the night.

    • Day 11Balsa Colonia – Saltón Baker

      A peaceful rafting day, to enjoy the typical Patagonian landscapes. Then we reach the Saltón Baker, a vertical passage of 10 meters which cannot be crossed by raft. We therefore end the day carrying the equipment downstream by the waterfall.

    • Day 12Saltón Baker – Vargas

      A nice transition, because the Pacific coast is not far away and the vegetation is beginning to change due to increased rain. We set camp on the banks of Baker river, which expands more and more as we move towards the ocean.

    • Day 13Vargas – Tortel

      Last stage of our descent towards the Pacific. The waters are now filled with sediments of the Baker river that mix with the saline waters of the fjord. We reach Tortel, a peaceful coastal village. It has a very original pontoons and staircases network, made of cypress wood. It links houses to each other and has earned the village a reputation of the “Venice of Patagonia”. It’s a Unesco World Cultural Heritage site. We spend the night in a local lodge, after dinner (included) in a small restaurant in the town center.

    • Day 14Tortel – Puerto Bertrand

      We return to the Carretera Austral and drive north. We stop for lunch at Cochrane. Today we traverse very diverse landscapes. We arrive at the Green Baker Lodge in the mid-afternoon. Lunch and dinner are included.

    • Day 15Puerto Bertrand – Balmaceda – Santiago

      After a 6-hour drive we reach Balmaceda airport and fly to Santiago. We check in at the hotel for a well deserved rest. Lunch included.

    • Day 16Santiago - Transfer to airport

      Today we can visit Santiago by bike. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport to take your international flight.

     
     

    Other details

     
    Meeting point

    At Arturo Merino Benitez international airport, in Santiago.

    Accommodation

    - Hotel in Santiago

    - Lodge in Puerto Bertrands

    - Guest house in Caleta Tortel

    - Camping

    More info

    Please note that the flight Santiago-Balmaceda-Santiago is included.

    All meals are included except in Santiago.

    Extra for single room: U$ 150

     

    About the Guide

     
     

    I'm Mountain guide AGMP (Peru) since 1982 and IFMGA (international) since 1988. Technical Director of AGMP (Association of Mountain Guides of Peru) since 1996, I train future mountain guides.

    I started as a porter helping my father in an expedition he organized in 1976. During my first expedition, it did not know anything about mountain, I had to do my first rescue because a client got sick. It has been a hard work to evacuate him because the motorway still did not get to Quebrada Honda.

    I've organized numerous rescues in the mountains and the Amazon jungle and participated in scientific missions on behalf of American glaciologists as Lonnie Thompson. Familiar of the Alps and the Himalayas, the mountain ranges of Peru have no secrets for me.

    Mountains are nice worldwide and give you good memories, but if I had to keep one expedition, I would take one in the Cordillera Blanca, Huandoy (North Face) or Yerupajá maybe.

    What I prefer in this job is keeping learning new knowledge, nice life standard, travel and know the world and of course knowing people and cultures. I also like helping in the training of new guides.

     
     
    FROM 5600 USDper person
     

     

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