Overlanding Carretera Austral
CL-006
9 Days
From USD 4,270
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Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get in touch with the serene Chilean nature on this active journey. Your adventure starts in Santiago de Chile. Get to know Chile’s signature grape variety on an excursion to the premier Santa Rita winery. Hop on a plane to Balmaceda and begin your adventure along the Carretera Austral route where you will not only get to see the most spectacular Patagonian scenery as you travel along one of the world's highest-ranking road trip routes, but this part of your journey also includes support for the local community of Cerro Castillo with a donation of a percentage of our proceeds going towards their upliftment. Trek through scenic national parks and explore picturesque waterfalls, rivers, and lakes. Try your hand at river rafting and ice trekking while being surrounded by spectacular scenery.

Highlights

  • Slow down and enjoy a horse and carriage tour through the historic Santa Rita vineyard
  • Try out ice trekking on the impressive Exploradores Glacier
  • Kayak around the extraordinary ‘Marble Caves’ on Lake General Carrera
  • Discover the local flora and fauna in the Tamango National Reserve – if you’re lucky you might even spot the Huemul, a Chilean deer, a national symbol!
  • Support local artists with your special handmade keepsake from a young Chilean artist inspired by the sights, colors and sounds of his hometown in Aysen
Welcome to Santiago! Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.
For wine lovers, Santiago is one of the best destinations in South America. With a short drive, you can reach some of Chile’s premier wine regions, such as Maipo Valley. This half-day tour to Santa Rita winery, a 45-minute drive from Santiago, pairs a wine tasting with local history. Founded in 1880 this historic property was among the first to pioneer crops of European grape varieties in Chile.

Today you will enjoy a guided tour that highlights Chile's signature grape: Carménère. You start with a tour in a horse and carriage throughout the vineyard to discover our Carménère Monolith that commemorates the exact place where the grape variety was discovered. Long presumed extinct in France and mistaken for a variation of Merlot in Chile it was not until 1994 that two French winemakers recognized it as a distinct variety. Although this grape is also grown in other countries like Italy and France Chile has made its Carmenère known around the globe as the best there is. The visit to the historic cellar is followed by a tasting of 3 fine Carmenère wines

After the wine tasting, you will have lunch at Doña Paula, the historic restaurant of Santa Rita winery. Considered a national monument it was here that General O’Higgins and his soldiers took refuge during the Chilean War of Independence. After lunch, you will be brought back to your hotel in Santiago.

Rest of the day at leisure.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Balmaceda.

Welcome to the Chilean Patagonia! Upon arrival at Balmaceda airport, you will be picked up and transferred to Cerro Castillo National Park (approximately 1-hour drive) where you will begin your 1.5-hour trek to the Cajón del Peñón sector. Along the way, you will make a stop at a breathtaking waterfall hidden along the trail. You will trek through picturesque forests and continue through a glacial moraine with impressive views of the Río Ibáñez Valley. Upon arrival at the viewpoint, you will have some time to enjoy the amazing surroundings of the Peñón glacier. After a well-deserved rest, you will make your way back down the glacier, after which you will be transferred to Refugio Cerro Castillo, where you will spend the night.

Hiking distance: 7 km
Hiking time: 3.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
This morning you will be transferred to Puerto Beltrand (approximately 4.5-hour drive), a small, welcoming town situated near Lake Bertrand which boasts vibrant turquoise water. Here, you will have some free time to enjoy lunch (not included). You will also have the opportunity to partake in one of two different excursions on the Baker River (at an additional cost). For the adventurous, there is the possibility to go rafting, and for those who would like a more peaceful experience, there is the option of floating on inflatable rafts while enjoying the majestic surroundings. If you wish, you can even take a dip in the amazingly pure water. Next, you will leave Puerto Bertrand behind to continue for about 15 minutes to the viewpoint of the junction of rivers Baker and Nef, a place of spectacular scenic beauty. Afterward, you will be brought to the town of Cochrane (approximately 45-minute drive) where you will spend the night at Loft Kalfú.
Today you will enjoy an excursion to the Tamango National Reserve. You will navigate the Cochrane river on a motorboat while you take in the unique scenery. After about 40 minutes you will disembark and begin a short trek with moderate difficulty. If you are lucky you might spot a Huemul, a Chilean deer, and a national symbol. After this scenic excursion, you will return to Cochrane where you will have some free time before being transferred Puerto Río Tranquilo (approx. 2.5-hour drive). This evening you will spend the night at Hostal El Puesto.
Today’s full-day excursion is perfect for those who want to get up close to nature’s wonders. After a 1.5-hour drive from Puerto Río Tranquillo, you will reach the Exploradores glacier, where you will receive a safety briefing and the necessary equipment. Your ice trekking adventure starts through an evergreen forest where you will be able to spot various native species and birds. You will gradually ascend the frontal moraine of the glacier until you reach the viewpoint from which you will be able to take in impressive views of the glacier, Monte San Valentin (the highest mountain in the Chilean Patagonia) and the Bayo lake. From there you will commence your descent down the moraine on ice covered with stones and sand until you reach clean white ice (after approximately 1.5 - 2 hours of trekking). Here, you will have a break and dig into your boxed lunch before putting on the necessary safety equipment to continue your trek. Enjoy the chance to see, feel, and hear the perfect white ice crunch underfoot while trekking down the glacier. You will be able to peer into ice caves and marvel at the deep blue water while learning all about how the glacier descends from the ice field into the river and ultimately reaching the ocean. In the evening you will be transferred back to Puerto Río Tranquillo where you will spend the night at Hostal El Puesto.
This morning you will take part in an exciting kayaking adventure. After a short transfer to Bahia Mansa (approximately 10 minutes), you will board a kayak and begin navigating the stunning blue waters of Lake General Carrera. You will have the chance to explore the magical ‘Capillas de Marmol’ (the Marble Caves), a fascinating natural wonder. Formed by the erosion of some of the purest water in the world, these beautifully sculpted stone caves truly are a breathtaking sight. After returning to the shore, you will be transferred to Coyhaique, the capital of the Aysén region (approximately 4.5-hour drive). This evening you will spend the night at Hotel Raíces Bed & Breakfast.
Today you will make your way to the pristine Río Simpson national reserve (approximately 20-minute drive). The protected park encompasses an area of 41.161 hectares. You will begin the day with a stop at the visitor center where you can observe some flora and fauna of the area. Afterward, you will continue with a short walk to the Simpson river banks where you can take in the spectacular surroundings with the prominent so-called ‘English Cake’ hill in the background. After enjoying the scenery, you will return to Coyhaique where you will have some free time before you are transferred back to Balmaceda airport to board your flight back to Santiago (approximately 50-minute drive).

Upon arrival, you will be assisted for check-in at the airport hotel in Santiago.
At proper time you will be assisted at the airport at check-in for your international flight back home.
Welcome to Santiago! Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.
For wine lovers, Santiago is one of the best destinations in South America. With a short drive, you can reach some of Chile’s premier wine regions, such as Maipo Valley. This half-day tour to Santa Rita winery, a 45-minute drive from Santiago, pairs a wine tasting with local history. Founded in 1880 this historic property was among the first to pioneer crops of European grape varieties in Chile.

Today you will enjoy a guided tour that highlights Chile's signature grape: Carménère. You start with a tour in a horse and carriage throughout the vineyard to discover our Carménère Monolith that commemorates the exact place where the grape variety was discovered. Long presumed extinct in France and mistaken for a variation of Merlot in Chile it was not until 1994 that two French winemakers recognized it as a distinct variety. Although this grape is also grown in other countries like Italy and France Chile has made its Carmenère known around the globe as the best there is. The visit to the historic cellar is followed by a tasting of 3 fine Carmenère wines

After the wine tasting, you will have lunch at Doña Paula, the historic restaurant of Santa Rita winery. Considered a national monument it was here that General O’Higgins and his soldiers took refuge during the Chilean War of Independence. After lunch, you will be brought back to your hotel in Santiago.

Rest of the day at leisure.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Balmaceda.

Welcome to the Chilean Patagonia! Upon arrival at Balmaceda airport, you will be picked up and transferred to Cerro Castillo National Park (approximately 1-hour drive) where you will begin your 1.5-hour trek to the Cajón del Peñón sector. Along the way, you will make a stop at a breathtaking waterfall hidden along the trail. You will trek through picturesque forests and continue through a glacial moraine with impressive views of the Río Ibáñez Valley. Upon arrival at the viewpoint, you will have some time to enjoy the amazing surroundings of the Peñón glacier. After a well-deserved rest, you will make your way back down the glacier, after which you will be transferred to Refugio Cerro Castillo, where you will spend the night.

Hiking distance: 7 km
Hiking time: 3.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
This morning you will be transferred to Puerto Beltrand (approximately 4.5-hour drive), a small, welcoming town situated near Lake Bertrand which boasts vibrant turquoise water. Here, you will have some free time to enjoy lunch (not included). You will also have the opportunity to partake in one of two different excursions on the Baker River (at an additional cost). For the adventurous, there is the possibility to go rafting, and for those who would like a more peaceful experience, there is the option of floating on inflatable rafts while enjoying the majestic surroundings. If you wish, you can even take a dip in the amazingly pure water. Next, you will leave Puerto Bertrand behind to continue for about 15 minutes to the viewpoint of the junction of rivers Baker and Nef, a place of spectacular scenic beauty. Afterward, you will be brought to the town of Cochrane (approximately 45-minute drive) where you will spend the night at Loft Kalfú.
Today you will enjoy an excursion to the Tamango National Reserve. You will navigate the Cochrane river on a motorboat while you take in the unique scenery. After about 40 minutes you will disembark and begin a short trek with moderate difficulty. If you are lucky you might spot a Huemul, a Chilean deer, and a national symbol. After this scenic excursion, you will return to Cochrane where you will have some free time before being transferred Puerto Río Tranquilo (approx. 2.5-hour drive). This evening you will spend the night at Hostal El Puesto.
Today’s full-day excursion is perfect for those who want to get up close to nature’s wonders. After a 1.5-hour drive from Puerto Río Tranquillo, you will reach the Exploradores glacier, where you will receive a safety briefing and the necessary equipment. Your ice trekking adventure starts through an evergreen forest where you will be able to spot various native species and birds. You will gradually ascend the frontal moraine of the glacier until you reach the viewpoint from which you will be able to take in impressive views of the glacier, Monte San Valentin (the highest mountain in the Chilean Patagonia) and the Bayo lake. From there you will commence your descent down the moraine on ice covered with stones and sand until you reach clean white ice (after approximately 1.5 - 2 hours of trekking). Here, you will have a break and dig into your boxed lunch before putting on the necessary safety equipment to continue your trek. Enjoy the chance to see, feel, and hear the perfect white ice crunch underfoot while trekking down the glacier. You will be able to peer into ice caves and marvel at the deep blue water while learning all about how the glacier descends from the ice field into the river and ultimately reaching the ocean. In the evening you will be transferred back to Puerto Río Tranquillo where you will spend the night at Hostal El Puesto.
This morning you will take part in an exciting kayaking adventure. After a short transfer to Bahia Mansa (approximately 10 minutes), you will board a kayak and begin navigating the stunning blue waters of Lake General Carrera. You will have the chance to explore the magical ‘Capillas de Marmol’ (the Marble Caves), a fascinating natural wonder. Formed by the erosion of some of the purest water in the world, these beautifully sculpted stone caves truly are a breathtaking sight. After returning to the shore, you will be transferred to Coyhaique, the capital of the Aysén region (approximately 4.5-hour drive). This evening you will spend the night at Hotel Raíces Bed & Breakfast.
Today you will make your way to the pristine Río Simpson national reserve (approximately 20-minute drive). The protected park encompasses an area of 41.161 hectares. You will begin the day with a stop at the visitor center where you can observe some flora and fauna of the area. Afterward, you will continue with a short walk to the Simpson river banks where you can take in the spectacular surroundings with the prominent so-called ‘English Cake’ hill in the background. After enjoying the scenery, you will return to Coyhaique where you will have some free time before you are transferred back to Balmaceda airport to board your flight back to Santiago (approximately 50-minute drive).

Upon arrival, you will be assisted for check-in at the airport hotel in Santiago.
At proper time you will be assisted at the airport at check-in for your international flight back home.

Based on two people sharing TWIN or double room (excluding international & domestic flights)

USD 4,270 per person (Valid through December 23rd 2021 except for Easter & Chile’s Independence Day, September 18th)

Carménère Eco Hotel, Refugio Cerro Castillo, Loft Kalfú, Hostal El Puesto, Raíces Bed & Breakfast, Holiday Inn Santiago – Airport Terminal

  • Transfers from/to the airport, bus or train station
  • Accommodation based on the selected hotel category
  • Private services with local English-speaking guides except for:
    • Wine tour at Santa Rita Winery (shared with other travelers with English speaking guide)
  • Entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted (B: breakfast, L: lunch, BoxedL: boxed lunch, D: dinner)
  • 1 bottle of water per person per day
  • Permanent assistance by our Guest Experience Department
Santa Rita Winery
National Park Cerro Castillo
Baker River
Tamango National Park
Ice Trek Exploradores Glacier
Marvel Caves
Rio Simpson National Park

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