Day 1. Punta Arenas.
Arrive at the airport in the historical city of Punta Arenas, and transfer to your hotel. In the evening, we’ll meet for a welcome dinner, and a briefing and the last preparations for our upcoming great adventure.
Day 2. Strait of Magellan & Wildlife.
In the morning, we’ll drive towards our embarkation point for a zodiac boat ride that will take us along the continental coast in the Strait of Magellan. We’ll disembark to view wildlife and the San Isidro Lighthouse, that houses an exhibition of the indigenous people of the region. Later, we’ll arrive at our base and set up camp, and enjoy the silence of being far away from civilization and this southernmost point.
Day 3. Cabo Froward.
Our goal today is to reach a white cross that marks the tip of the South American land mass. Getting here won’t be easy, as roughing it is the name of the game on today’s hike. Bird and sea life abound, and, weather permitting, we’ll be treated to wonderful views of Dawson Island, the Darwin Range, and the twin peaks of Mt. Sarmiento. This trek is strenuous, but highly memorable.
Day 4. The Strait of Magellan.
We’ll trek along the isolated beaches, coves, and bays along the Strait of Magellan, keeping an eye out for impressive wildlife such as whales, dolphins, sea birds, and with luck a Huemul, or Andean deer. The trek is varied, passing through dense temperate rainforest, “turba” (a cross between tundra and mossy swamp), slippery rocks, neverending beaches in protected bays accompanied by the sound of crashing waves throughout the day. River crossings are the highlight of the day. We set camp for the night next to a river, dine and contemplate the beautiful night.
Day 5. San Isidro Lighthouse.
The trek today heads north along the Strait of Magellan, passing an old whaling station and surprising rock features on the beach. The trail improves as we get closer to the San Isidro Lighthouse, where we’ll hop in a van and head back to Punta Arenas for the evening and prepare for the next leg of the trip.
Day 6. Darwin Mountain Range and Isla Navarino.
A short flight takes us to Puerto Williams, the southernmost city in the world, and one that boasts a spectacular location on the Beagle Channel with the peaks of the Dientes de Navarino rising high behind. In the afternoon we’ll visit Villa Ukika and an indigenous Yámana craft market.
Day 7. Begin trek of Dientes de Navarino.
After a short transfer to the Dientes de Navarino trailhead, we’ll take a steep hike up through old-growth forest and wetlands until we reach the Cerro Bandera Summit, savoring the breathtaking views north towards Puerto Williams and the Beagle Channel. After a hike bordering Cerro Bandera, we’ll drop down to a beautiful lake and set up camp.
Day 8. Day of the Passes.
The trail today crosses three neighboring mountains, a winding pass through alpine environment that can often see snow, especially when reaching the highest point at Paso Australia. Later, we’ll set up camp near Windhond Lake, and enjoy a view of the Wollaston Islands and Cape Horn. If weather permits, we will hike up to Cerro Bettinelli for an incredible 360 view.
Day 9. Paso Ventarron/ Laguna Martillo.
Our day hike today will take us deep into the hidden and isolated valleys of this faraway island, looking out for beavers, an intrusive species brought to the region in the 1940s. After reaching the saddle of Paso Ventarron, we’ll begin a descent to a forest for lunch, then continue through a picturesque valley arriving at a lovely lake that sits under the impressive peak of Cerro Clem.
Day 10. Paso Virginia/ Laguna Guanacos.
Our rocky climb brings us to the highest point on the trail. If weather permits, we’ll be able to see the last islands of South America before Antarctica, in the distance. We’ll then cross an alpine plain and look out for birds such as the seed snipe, enjoying the total solitude of this faraway island, lingering to take it all in and before a steep descent to Lake Guanaco. After lunch we will continue bordering the lake until reaching out campsite for the night.
Day 11. End of the World Trek End.
Our last day of trekking is no less adventurous than the previous days, beginning with an especially tough trail deep inside the Sub Antarctic forest. Fallen tree trunks, mud and ravines complicate the descent, but we are carried along by the satisfaction of having completed this exceptional trip at the end of the world. The trail ends at a road where our van waits to take us back to town. Afternoon free to relax, later we’ll celebrate with a farewell dinner.
Day 12. Flight back to Punta Arenas
Our return flight to Punta Arenas lands just after 12pm. Afternoon is at your leisure to explore the many museums, restaurants, and city streets of this fascinating urban outpost.
Day 13. Goodbye Patagonia
Depart Punta Arenas for your next destination. End of Services
Day 1. Arrive in El Calafate.
In the early morning you will be met by your guide and transfer across the Patagonian Steppe to the little mountain village El Chaltén. We’ll have an equipment check and briefing of the upcoming adventure and a welcome dinner in the evening. We leave time for last minute adjustments.
Day 2. Hike to Marconi Glacier.
Depart from El Chaltén and transfer to Rio Eléctrico. From here we will hike to our camp situated just below the Marconi Glacier. The terrain becomes alpine and we have to pay special attention on slippery moraine.
Day 3. Marconi Pass to Mount Gorra Blanca.
We will hike the ascent of the Marconi Pass where we’ll start to trek on the ice and then towards the Sotto Garcia Refuge situated at the very base of Mount Gorra Blanca. We need reasonably good weather today to be able to reach the pass. If weather permits, we will be presented with fantastic views of the mountains Fitz Roy, Pier Giorgio and Gorra Blanca.
Day 4. Circo de los Altares (The Altar Cirque).
As we trek on the ice towards Circo de Los Altares (The Altar Cirque) it will be a relatively short day so you will have plenty of time to enjoy the most impressive views of the Los Glaciers National Park. This might be one of the most isolated and powerful places on earth.
Day 5. Sotto Garcia Refuge.
Today we trek back towards Sotto Garcia Refuge. The day starts out rather light, however on the ice field new challenges occur while we leave the “Altar” behind. We can appreciate incredible views to the north of the Mariano Moreno range and the Volcano Lautaro situated in the very heart of the ice field.
Day 6. Marconi Mountain Pass to Electric Valley.
We descend carefully through the Marconi Mountain Pass. The environment changes as we enter the high alpine area, our first step back toward civilization. Contemplate on the incredible journey to one of the most isolated places while we hike to the Rio Eléctrico Valley.
Day 7. Additional day in case of bad weather.
The weather in the northern part of Los Glaciers National Park is unstable due to its unpredictable nature. It may cause unexpected and/or multiple changes in the original itinerary while underway, which is why we have incorporated a certain amount of flexibility in our itinerary; We have included an extra day to allow our chance for a successful expedition. Any decision on itinerary changes will be made by your mountain guide.
Day 8. Back to El Chaltén.
We hike back through the Rio Eléctrico Valley to El Chaltén. Farewell dinner at a restaurant.
Day 9. Goodbye Chaltén.
You can depart in the morning from El Chaltén. Transfer to El Calafate can be included upon request.
Day 1. Puerto Montt.
Arrive at airport in Puerto Montt, the gateway to Patagonia and a major port town in Chile. Transfer to your hotel for a welcome dinner and trip briefing.
Day 2. Pumalin National Park.
Early flight from Puerto Montt to Chaiten, then drive north to arrive at Pumalín National Park. Around midday, we will begin our hike to Laguna Tronador, where we have the opportunity to wander through a forest of majestic, towering alerce trees, some of which are nearly 3,000 years old. A second option is a 2-hour hike on the Las Cascades Trail to visit waterfalls, followed by a 40-minute hike to the alerce forest.
Day 3. Volcano Chaitén.
Today we take a short but steep hike up the flank of the Volcano Chaitén to a viewpoint affording a look at the volcano’s recent 2008 eruption, which caused significant damage to the surrounding forest and can be fully appreciated from this point. As a bonus, the views from the summit are electrifying, stretching out to the Pacific Ocean and with vistas of the surrounding fumaroles.
Day 4. Michimahuida.
The Michimahuida trail is one of the least transited in the country, and it is a primordial, almost impenetrable forest and wetland of beech, twisted arrayán, and cypress dripping in moss, lichens, and billowy ferns. We’ll keep an eye out for hard-to-see wildlife such as the Magellanic woodpecker or the pudú, the smallest deer in the world. The trail ends with a lovely view of the Michimahuida Volcano’s west face, before returning on the same trail.
Day 5. Puyuhuapi.
We’ll spend half the day hiking the Las Cascadas trail, followed by a 3-hour van ride south to the Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa for the evening. “The Waterfalls” trail is very scenic as it winds through an exceptionally dense, mossy rainforest, crossing rivers, climbing over rocks, and ending at a crashing waterfall. Once back at camp, we’ll jump in the van for the stunning drive south along the narrow, winding Southern Highway, until it unfolds into a grand ocean sound at Puyuhaupi, where we’ll board a boat for a quick ride to the lodge, well-known for its collection of hot springs overlooking the sound.
Day 6. Queulat National Park and Coyhaique.
Today we’ll visit a little-known national park, Queulat, for a short, leisurely hike along a river and through temperate rainforest until reaching a lookout platform with picture-perfect views of a hanging glacier and its cascading rivers. After lunch, we’ll continue to south through changing Patagonian scenery to Coyhaique, the region’s largest city in the Aysén region, where we’ll spend the night and get a taste of local culture and cuisine.
Day 7. Patagonia National Park.
We’ll hop in the van early and drive to Patagonia National Park, with views along the way of Cerro Castillo National Park and the emerald Lake General Carrera, the second largest in South America. Before arriving to Chacabuco Valley, we will stop at the roaring confluence of the electric blue waters of the mighty Baker River and the milkier, glacier-fed Neff River. We’ll enjoy an early night at the cozy, attractive Lodge Chacabuco, in preparation for tomorrow’s hike.
Day 8. Lagunas Atlas Trail.
Today’s day hike is a long one at 23 miles, but it will take us to the top of a mountain range that offers dramatic views of the Chacabuco Valley and the Jeinimeni Range and the northern Patagonia ice field. As the trail zigzags across the hillside to gain elevation, we will cross numerous small streams and then enter a thick beech forest. Here, the trek grows challenging for 4 miles, looping around gemstone lakes until descending back to the park’s administration center.
Day 9. Lago Chico Trail.
Today we will drive east on a bumpy road towards the border with Argentina to reach the Lago Chico Trail. The trail is lightly transited, and will take about half a day, looping around the eastern section of the park through a section of once-burned forest, then through grasslands and beech forest. The trail borders part of Chico and Cochrane lakes, and the reward is a stunning view of Mt. San Lorenzo, the second highest in Patagonia, and the Cochrane Range in the distance.
Day 10. Valle Chacabuco.
We’ll spend the day in Valle Chacabuco, on a more leisurely walk/hike around lagoons and grassland ecosystems looking for wildlife and enjoying scenic views of the park. We will have opportunities to see guanacos, flamingos, black-necked swans, and perhaps the elusive austral pigmy owl or puma.
Day 11. Aviles Valley.
Today’s trek will take us to one of the park’s most remote and dramatic trails, the Aviles Valley Loop. The hike covers grassland, groves, and rivers, and offers beautiful views of the valley with mountains as a backdrop. Halfway through the hike we will cross a hanging footbridge that swings 100 feet above the Aviles River, continuing the hike and looping back to our point of origination.
Day 12. Balmaceda Airport.
After breakfast, we return to the Balmaceda Airport and bid farewell. End of Services.