Explore Chile’s good nature on this adventure that includes a full-day trek through one of the lesser explored areas of the stunning Lake District, and a 7.5-mile trek to Paso Desolacion that covers a large and scenic section of Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, the first park opened in Chile in 1926. Also enjoy an easy stroll through the renowned Valdivian rainforest. Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will love this adventure into Chile’s landscapes.
While the world has been changing, we have been exploring.
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Day 1: Santiago, Chile
Welcome to Chile. On arrival in Santiago, clear immigration, collect luggage, and proceed through customs. Continue to the arrivals hall where you are met by a representative from Big Five Tours & Expeditions holding a sign with your last name. You are greeted, assisted with your luggage, and escorted to the waiting vehicle for transfer to your hotel for a one-night stay.
Later you join your guide for a taste of Santiago. During this excursion, you see the highlights of the city while you discover hidden secrets with a focus on foods. You visit three classic restaurants that serve generous portions of the best typical Chilean dishes. These restaurants have long histories in the cities. Rich traditions and local culture reflected in their dishes. You enjoy tasting two dishes at each location and what a typical Chilean would call his or her favorite dish such as arrollado huaso (pork roll, peasant style) or pork shoulder, fish, seafood, sandwiches, soups and dessert – all served with traditional drinks. Le Reve Boutique Hotel – Deluxe King with Terrace
Day 2: Santiago / Balmaceda / Coyhaique
This morning, at a pre-arranged time, you are transferred to the Santiago airport and assisted with check-in procedures for your flight to Balmaceda. On arrival, collect luggage and proceed to the arrivals hall where you are met, assisted with your luggage, and escorted to the waiting vehicle for the one-hour transfer to your hotel for a two-night stay.
This afternoon join your guide for a half-day tour of Coyhaique. You will first explore the residential area followed by a stop at the lookout of Piedra del Indio. Continue to Plaza del Pionero to see the Monument to the Shepard and then to the handicraft market located in front of the Main Square.
En route back to the hotel, stop at the D’Olbek Brewery, operated by a family of Belgian immigrants. You will tour the facilities and sample their beer, a product that combines European ingredients and Patagonian water. Nomades Hotel Boutique – Standard River-view Room (B)
Day 3: Coyhaique
After an early breakfast, join your guide for the 4-hour drive to Queulat National Park for a visit to the Ventisquero Colgante (Hanging Glacier). Queulat means ‘’Sound of Waterfalls’’ in the Chono people’s language. This park was first seen by outsiders in the 18th century. Jesuits were searching for the mythical City of the Caesars. Today, Queulat National Park, near Puyuhuapi, attracts thousands of visitors annually, drawn by the beautiful evergreen and Andean Patagonian forests, lavish waterfalls, fjords, jagged rock walls, abundant rivers, and famous hanging glacier, which can be spotted from the Carretera Austral. During the drive, admire the landscapes of the Carretera Austral Norte, surrounded by incredible mountains and fast flowing rivers. En route, you stop at the Marchant Lookout and the Virgin Waterfall. On arrival at the park, you set out on a two-mile walk along the Morrena Trail with an incline of approximately 660 feet to the viewpoint. Here you enjoy a spectacular view of the glacier. Continue another hour along the Laguna Tempanos Trail through native forests to the mouth of a lagoon. After a stop to enjoy lunch, return to the starting point for your drive back to your hotel. Nomades Hotel Boutique – Standard River-view Room (B, Box L)
Day 4: Coyhaique / Puerto Guadal
After an early breakfast, join your guide for the six-hour scenic, 621-mile-long drive along the Carretera Austral (Southern Highway) to your hotel in Puerto Guadal for a two-night stay. The Carretera Austral captures the hearts of intrepid drivers and cyclists with its pristine landscapes and possibly the freshest air in the world. Situated in one of Patagonia’s most beautiful locations on the shores of the great lake “Lago General Carrera”. Enjoy your lodge this evening in beautiful surroundings overlooking the lake with comfortable cabins and cozy rooms. Terra Luna Lodge – Standard Room (B, Box L,D)
Day 5: Puerto Guadal
Meet your guide for a drive to the refuge of Valle Exploradores. The Exploradores Glacier is situated on the northeastern slope of Monte San Valentín, in the Aysén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo Region of Chile. The locality nearest to the glacier is Puerto Río Tranquilo on the western shore of General Carrera Lake. On arrival, you begin a trek through an evergreen forest. Gradually you will ascend through the frontal moraine to a terrace with views of the Exploradores Glacier, Mount San Valentín (the highest in Patagonia) and Bayo Lake. After a short rest, begin the two-hour descent over a rocky path. Relax this evening. Terra Luna Lodge – Standard Room (B, Box L,D)
Day 6: Puerto Guadal / Puerto Tranquilo/ Coyhaique
This morning, board a 12-passenger boat, Flipper, for a journey to the magnificent Marble Caverns. Explore vibrant blue, gray and lavender caverns that are partially submerged in the equally stunning turquoise waters of the General Carrera Lake. The lake sits on the border of Argentina and Chile with the caves on the Chilean side. Three main caverns: the Chapel (La Capilla), the Cathedral (La Catedral), and the Cave (La Cueva), make up the majority of the system. You disembark in Puerto Tranquilo and relax during the five-hour transfer back to your hotel in Coyhaique. Nomades Hotel Boutique – Standard Riverview Room (B, Box L)
Day 7: Coyhaique / Puerto Montt / Puerto Varas
After breakfast, you are transferred to the Balmaceda airport and assisted with check-in for your flight to Puerto Montt. On arrival, collect luggage and proceed to the arrivals hall where you are met, assisted with your luggage, and escorted to the waiting vehicle to begin your half-day tour of Puerto Montt.
Your first stop is the small port of Angelmó with its artisanal fair and fish market. Discover the diverse variety of seafood and local products for sale. Watch the nearby fishermen bringing in their catch to sell in town. Head-up to the scenic overlook for a view of this prosperous city. From here, continue downtown to the main square with a visit to the city’s church, the oldest building in town with a design reminiscent of the Parthenon. It was built in 1856 entirely out of larch, among the dominant plants in the boreal forests. End at the main lookout, you get glimpses of the old and the new areas of the city, islands, and the beginning of the austral road. Transfer to your hotel for a four-night stay. Hotel Awa – Superior Room (B)
Day 8: Puerto Varas
After breakfast, join your guide for the drive towards the coast to the southern face of the Calbuco Volcano and the entrance of the Llanquihue National Reserve. Here you set out on a full-day trek through one of the lesser explored areas of the Lake District. The area suffered many changes after the eruption of the volcano in 2015. This is an eight-hour trek, rated medium to high in difficulty, traverses solidified lava rivers of the volcano and goes deep within the evergreen rainforest crossing streams and waterfalls. The rewards are spectacular views of the mountain summit. Hotel Awa – Superior Room (B,BoxL)
Day 9: Puerto Varas
After breakfast, join your guide for a drive along the southern shoreline of Lake Llanquihue, passing by spectacular landscapes such as Rio Pescado, where anglers can be seen wading in the river fishing for trout. Savor an in-depth food, wine and soul cooking demonstration at Inal Lewfu. If you want to try the local food with a delicious wine and music, surrounded by nature, take this tour and have a great lunch or dinner cooking session with a local chef.
Arrive at Ensenada and enjoy an easy stroll through the renowned Valdivian rainforest. As you walk along the trail, you discover the natural ecosystem with its moss-covered trees, an occasional bird call, and the sounds of distant water flowing beckons you to Petrohue River Falls. At the Falls, observe the enormous volume of emerald-colored water that drains from Lake Todos los Santos, rushing through chutes carved in the crystallized lava.
Continue to the Presidente Ibañez Market where you see the wide variety of seafood and vegetables for sale. As you browse the market stalls, you purchase the ingredients you need for your private culinary lesson at Inal Lewfu. Drive on the Panamerican Highway 5 for 30 minutes. After arriving at Inal Lewfu, you can relax or play darts and try the local beer and sausages. Enjoy a great view of Maullin River and get ready for your wild boar barbecue. Surrounded by nature and with the help of a chef, you will learn how to cook your own lunch following local recipes before sitting down to share a meal. In this beautiful setting. Hotel Awa – Superior Room (B,L)
Day 10: Puerto Varas
After an early breakfast, join your guide for a 7.5-mile trek to Paso Desolacion that covers a large and scenic section of Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, the first park opened in Chile in 1926. Admire the stunning views over the volcanoes and the lakes that surround this section of the park. The landscape changes dramatically from the temperate rainforest to the volcanic steppe and then to the shores of the Andean lakes. Hotel Awa – Superior Room (B)
Day 11: Puerto Varas / Puerto Montt / Santiago / Depart
At a pre-arranged time, you are transferred to the Puerto Montt airport and assisted with check-in procedures for your flight to Santiago. On arrival, collect luggage and proceed to the arrivals hall where you are met and assisted with check-in procedures for your international flight. (B)
Land price, per person, double occupancy: Price starts from US$650 per person per day.