Patagonia is a vast, beautiful wilderness with massive, spectacular landscapes and a wide range of outdoor activities to enjoy. It is one of the few places on the planet where people can still disconnect with the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get back in touch with nature.
Day 1 – Arrival in Santiago
Note: This tour can also be run from Buenos Aires if you wish, and include some time in the sophisticated Argentine capital. Everything Escaped do is custom designed so just tell us your preferences and ideas and we will do our best to accommodate them.
Upon arrival in Chile you will be met and transferred to your hotel. If you arrive on an overnight flight there may be time for a Santiago city tour in the afternoon and / or a visit to the famous Santiago Central Market so that you can get a real taste of the city. If you arrive later just rest up from your journey and look ahead to a superb trip.
Day 2 – Flight to Puerto Montt, free afternoon in Puerto Varas
Today you will be picked up after breakfast and taken to the airport for the 1.45 hour flight to the northern Patagonian city of Puerto Montt, upon arrival you will be met and driven the short distance to picturesque Puerto Varas. The “city of roses” is set on the Llanquihue lake shore was founded by German immigrants and retains much of its original character with lots of buildings which would not look out-of-place in Bavaria.
Feel free to wander the town, enjoy the lovely vistas of volcanoes and sample local cuisine while you relax after your travel days. Tomorrow you will be free to choose an activity in the area.
Day 3 – Activity in the Puerto Varas area
Today you could just take it easy again if you wish, it is a lovely spot for sure, but you could also choose an activity to do in the Puerto Varas area. We have suggestions below:
Beer and Bike
You will spend the day on a mountain bike cycling tracks alongside the lovely Llanquihue Lake offering great views. You will get a close look at the local environment and its people from 2 wheels, cycling from Puerto Varas and ending in the small town of Frutillar, which very much retains its German character and roots.
The day includes 2 visits to small, artesanal breweries where you can sample their wares and see a little of the process involved. The first sampling is done at Chester Beer at the start of the route, just to get you going, the second at Salzburg Brewery at the end. If you drink a little too much at the end no problem, our transport will be waiting to get you back to the hotel. No need to ride the bike any more.
The Bike and Beer excursion is just our suggestion as something unusual, there are more options:
Day hike on the Osorno Volcano, with Saltos de Petrohue waterfall
Fjord kayaking on the Reloncavi Estuary – October to May
Puerto Varas city tour, Petrohue falls and Osorno volcano by vehicle
The journey across the lakes and the international border starts in Petrohué after a short drive from Puerto Varas passing by the Calbuco and Osorno Volcanos, to the shores of lake Todos Los Santos. As part of Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, this area it is surrounded by an evergreen millenial forest. The boat terminal is the starting point for the trip on the catamaran “Lagos Andinos” which carries passengers to the small village of Peulla, at the other end of the lake. Before reaching this first ferry terminal we will visit the Petrohué Rapids, a spectacle of nature, geological formations of volcanic origin that give rise to spectacular water rapids.
PETROHUE – PEULLA
From the Petrohué terminal the catamaran “Lagos Andinos”, which can carry up to 280 passengers, will sail over the turquoise water of the Todos Los Santos lake for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to the village of Peulla. This modern catamaran has central heating, a bar-cafeteria and a souvenir store. The motor yachts Don Ricardo and Peulla, two smaller vessels especially adapted to make charter trips, also sail the lake between Petrohué – Peulla and vice versa.
Peulla is an ecologically managed village located within the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, a beautiful natural wilderness, where virgin forests and warm-hearted locals welcome the visitor.
Waterfalls, small streams, ponds, exotic birds and a large number of outdoors activities make Peulla a great tourist destination, with excellent accommodations for spending a few days if time allows on another occasion.
PEULLA – PUERTO FRIAS
After passing through the Chilean customs procedures for leaving the country, you travel on special buses for a short period, climbing up to 976 meters above sea level to the Argentine side of the border. We will enjoy the abundant vegetation of the lower Andes and will see the Cerro Tronador mountain with its 9 glaciers at the top and will then enter Nahuel Huapi National Park, with Puerto Frías only a few kilometers on. Beautiful Lake Frías welcomes us with its green water as we board the “Ciudad de la Fé” ship.
PUERTO FRIAS – PUERTO ALEGRE
We have left Chile so now we must go through the formalities to enter Argentina. On the la “Ciudad de la Fé” ship we will sail lake Frías with its smooth water of a deep green color toward Puerto Alegre. Along the way we will have a lovely view of Cerro Tronador, at an altitude of 3,491 meters. After around 20 minutes we will arrive at the small wharf at Puerto Alegre, surrounded by forests.
PUERTO ALEGRE – PUERTO BLEST
In this lovely place we will board buses that will take us along the Frías River for three kilometers at an altitude of 756 meters above sea level. We will pass through an imposing virgin forest of millenarian Coigüe and Alerce trees before we reach Puerto Blest.
PUERTO BLEST – PUERTO PAÑUELO
Here we board the “Victoria del Lago” catamaran with a maximum capacity of 300 passengers, with comfortable seats, central heating and a cafeteria. On the “Victoria del Lago” you will sail across the Argentine lake Nahuel Huapi to Puerto Pañuelo, the last stop before arriving in Bariloche. During a 23 km journey you can appreciate the majesty of the scenery.
After sailing across the Nahuel Huapi lake you will board buses that will take you on the final short journey into Bariloche. You will drive around the beautiful lake and along the way you will be delighted by the lovely Swiss style architecture that is characteristic of the region’s buildings, with their beautiful gardens and flowers that color the area. You will be dropped off at your hotel in Bariloche after a lovely day crossing the border.
Day 5 – Half-day “Small Circuit” Bariloche Tour
Today we will be visiting several points of interests around Bariloche with a guide and driver. We will travel along the shoreline of Lake Nahuel Huapi until we reach Playa Bonita affording a beautiful view of Huemul Island.
Next we will visit the famous Campanario Hill and take the chair lift to the top for one of the most beautiful views you will ever see stretching over the lakes of Nahuel Huapi and Perito Moreno, the San Pedro peninsula, Victoria Island, the Otto, López, Goye and Catedral hills, and also downtown Bariloche. Then a visit to Llao-Llao will involve a visit to San Eduardo Chapel, and also Pañuelo port on Nahuel Huapi. Then we will cross the bridge at lake Moreno and, on our way back, we skirt the lakes El Trébol and Nahuel Huapi before dropping you back at your hotel and you will have the remainder of the day to relax, wander, wine and dine…something Argentina does very well!
Day 6 – Optional activity day in the Bariloche area
Depending on which season you visit Bariloche there are a number of outdoor activities on foot / boat / 2 wheels plus excursions in vehicles to choose from. There are numerous lakes, forest and hills plus small villages where you can go sightseeing, depending on the weather conditions you have golf, trekking and biking; skiing, kayaking, sailing; culinary tours, fishing….the list is a long one. If you have a particular interest just let us know.
Day 7 –Fly from Bariloche to El Calafate
Today you will be taken to the airport to board your short flight to the heart of Patagonia. Upon arrival in El Calafate you will be met by our representative and transfered to your hotel in this vibrant town. You will have some free time to wander and enjoy the atmosphere of El Calafate, and the excellent Argentine cusine and wine of course.
If we can fly you early this day you would have a whole afternoon in El Calafate where you could choose an extra excursion or activity.
Day 8 – Perito Moreno Glacier Tour
The Perito Moreno Glacier is picture postcard, very impressive natural wonder and, due to its great length, high ice wall and relatively easy access, it has become world famous. This huge river of ice enjoys a continuous advance and hence the loud calving of huge chunks of ice. The Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Glaciers National Park) area is also home to other large glaciers such as the Upsalla, Onelli and Spegazzini.
Once we enter the Los Glaciares National Park, we follow the road around the large Lago Argentino some 50 miles (80km) from the town of El Calafate, Perito Moreno Glacier waits with its 200 foot (60 meter) high ice walls. Following the paths on foot that lead you to face the glacier you will get impressive views from many viewpoints.
Then we board a motor yacht to sail the glacial lake and marvel at the huge ice wall at close quarters. Make sure your camera has plenty of free space for when an ice block breaks off and crashed into the lake.
Day 9 – Rios de Hielo (Rivers of Ice) Navigation
Today you will be picked up and driven south from El Calafate to sail across the waters of Lake Argentino to witness the stunning natural landscapes of the towering ice walls and icebergs in another area of the Los Glaciares National Park.
This “Rivers of Ice” Boat Tour starts from the Punta Bandera harbour, from where we will navigate through the northern arm of Lake Argentino and across the Boca del Diablo, the narrowest part of the lake. We will cruise along the Upsala channel, towards the spectacular Upsala Glacier allowing you to see the beautiful natural landscapes of ice, deep blue lakes and enormous icebergs floating past. The boat tour then continues through the Spegazzini Channel, where you will get the chance to see the Seco Glacier, and finally reaching the tallest glacier in the National park, the Spegazzini Glacier, with its spectacular curved course down the mountainside and into the lake.
Day 10 – Fly back to Santiago or Buenos Aires
Unfortunately its time to leave Patagonia and fly north, either to Buenos Aires, where you may decide to have a couple of days, or connecting on to another city such as Santiago for your international flight back home.
There is so much to see and do in Chile and Argentina that either before or after Patagonia you might consider adding a few days for Buenos Aires as we suggested, or for the wine regions of Chile and Argentina, or the amazing Iguazu falls. Just let us know how long you can stay down here, we can arrange plenty for you to fill your time.