Northern Patagonia, Chile
  • Duration 12 days / 11 nights
  • Difficulty
  • Departures November to March


Get under the skin of the newly established “Ruta de los Parques” in the heart of Patagonia, introducing you to pristine nature and gaucho culture. A unique trip for the experienced hiker that takes you to two national parks as well as an off-the-grid trek along the route, always with incredible views of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field, the immense pampa, the San Lorenzo and San Valentin; the highest peaks of Patagonia as well as the biggest lake in Chile, Chelenko; we will kayak on its turquoise waters through the marvelous Marble Caves.

Trip Highlights

  • Two backcountry trails in the heart of Northern Patagonia that are off the grid.
  • Get up-close with the gaucho culture along the Southern Highway route.
  • Get close and connect with the biggest lake in Chile, Chelenko.
  • Kayak on the second largest lake in South America exploring the ethereal Marble Caves.


Day 1. Arrive in Punta Arenas.
Arrive at the airport in Punta Arenas, Chile, on the Strait of Magellan, meet your trip leader and transfer to your hotel in this charming, windswept city. In the early evening, gather for a briefing on the adventures ahead.

Day 2. Scenic Drive to Torres del Paine National Park.
Early-morning drive through the monumental, wide-open plains that Patagonian is known for, arriving at the rambling town of Puerto Natales, spread across the shore of the Seno Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope Sound). Here we’ll stretch our legs, have lunch, and continue to Torres del Paine National Park, which rises majestically from the plains. We’ll stop for photos, spot a variety of animals, and view antique, picturesque sheep ranch “estancias” along the way. 

Day 3. Kayaking the Grey Lake & River.
After breakfast, a short drive takes us to the shore of Lake Grey, where we’ll suit up, pick up kayaks, listen to a safety briefing, and then paddle for about three hours. The chance to kayak alongside chunks of floating icebergs, with their range of blues from navy to teal to turquoise, will be one of the major highlights of your Patagonia experience. In the distance, the forbidding wall of ice of the Glacier Grey looms. 

Day 4. Hiking in the French Valley.
We’ll board a catamaran for the ride across the turquoise waters of Lake Pehoé, dropping us off at the trailhead for the French Valley. Several hours of moderate hiking will bring us into the heart of the park’s most stunning alpine valley, whose entrance is heralded by a hanging glacier that drops ice in thunderous crashes. Two hiking options are available: an 11-mile hike back to camp (skipping the return catamaran), or hiking to the Britannic Camp lookout point, with a return to the lodge via catamaran and van ride. 

Day 5. Explore Majestic Torres Del Paine.
Get an early start for the “classic” all-day hike up to the base of the three towers that give this national park its name. After a 45-minute climb, the trail undulates through lovely beech forest and alpine scenery along the Ascencio River, followed by a climb up a massive boulder-strewn moraine to the spectacular viewpoint of the towers rising majestically before an emerald glacial lake. Enjoy a picnic and hike back to hotel. 

Day 6. Biking from Laguna Azul to Guanaco Macho Canyon.
Begin the day driving to eastern side of park for a 5-hour single-track ride along the deep blue waters of Laguna Azul. The 15-mile (25km) ride is made more manageable with e-bikes, allowing for more time to soak in the distant views of the three towers in the distance, and sightings of condors and guanacos. The trail ends at Guanaco Macho Canyon, where our van will be waiting for the return trip to the lodge. 

Day 7. Biking in the wild Las Cumbres Estancia to Berlica Pass.
This is a specially crafted journey to a region that sees few travelers, if any. Baguales, which means “feral animals,” is a unique bike adventure through deep Patagonia, past the jagged peaks that divide Argentina and Chile. Navigating old trails once used by sheep ranching gauchos, we’ll pass antique estancia farms until reaching Berlica Pass, where our van will drive us back to our hotel. 

Day 8. El Chaltén and Los Glaciares National Park.
A leisurely, scenic drive across the border takes us from Chile to El Chaltén, Argentina, the village at Los Glaciares National Park, and our base for the next few days. Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 9. Laguna de Los Tres.
Leave El Chaltén early and drive to Hostería El Pilar for today’s hike, beginning with 4.3 miles up the Rio Blanco to Poincenot’s basecamp. There we’ll begin to hike the steepest slope to the Laguna de los Tres, and then to the highlight of the day, the viewpoint of Cerro Fitz Roy. From the Laguna de los Tres return to Poincenot camp and hike down towards El Chaltén, enjoying the views of Capri Lagoon along the way. 

Day 10. Laguna Torre.
A classic trek you cannot miss. The trail begins in the valley of the Fitz Roy River and follows the stream to its source. The first viewpoint is located in the gorge of the Fitz Roy, affording dynamite panoramic views of the Cerro Solo, the Adela range, and the Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy peaks. Finally, the trail crosses the De Agostini basecamp and continues to Laguna Torre, situated on a beautiful glacial lake set against the backdrop of Cerro Torre. 

Day 11. Pliegue Tumbado.
From our hotel we’ll walk to Los Glaciares National Park visitor center, and from here hike a 5-mile trail to the summit from where we’ll be able to view the mountain peaks and ranges of Cerro Torre, Cerro Fitz Roy and River Fitzroy Valley.

Day 12. Paddle at La Leona River.
On the return drive to El Calafate, we will stop at the historical La Leona Estancia, to visit the steppe in the turquoise waters of La Leona river.  We will visit a part of the badlands of Patagonia where it is possible to see prehistoric fossils and view the southern ice field and Fitz Roy massif. We will then continue to El Calafate.

Day 13. Perito Moreno Glacier.
From Calafate, we’ll head to another side of the Los Glaciares National Park: the famous Perito Moreno Glacier, known as one of the few glaciers worldwide that maintains its equilibrium and is therefore very active. The glacier’s 200-foot-high wall continually calves massive blocks of ice into the lake with a thunderous roar — an awesome spectacle of nature’s power at work. Return to El Calafate at the end of the day to enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 14. Depart.
Transfer to El Calafate Airport, where we bid farewell to our guide. End of services.