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.

Day 1. Arrive in Balmaceda and Coyhaique.
Arrive at the Balmaceda airport and transfer to hotel in Coyahique. In the evening, you’ll meet your guide who will host a welcome dinner and general briefing. 

Day 2. Cerro Castillo NP and beginning of trek.
We will depart early morning by private van to Cerro Castillo with time to stop and observe the surroundings and the fauna (guanacos, lesser rheas and condors). We start the first part of the trek of 55 km at the Las Horquetas sector next to the Ruta 7 Highway (La Carretera Austral). We approach the beautiful mountains along Estero La Lima, crossing several rivers before arriving at our destination, where we’ll set up camp in a beautiful beech forest. 

Day 3. Mountain Pass El Peñon.
An intensive day of trekking. We ascend through beech forest arriving at a waterfall that marks the end of the forest and the beginning of alpine environment and more exposure to the elements. After approximately two hours we arrive in the El Peñon Mountain Pass, a windy, narrow passage between two mountain peaks, where sweeping views open of the Turbio Valley, Cerro Peñon and its glacier, and Castillo Lake. We then descend on rocky ground until we enter the beech forest, passing several beautiful lookouts before arriving at camp.

Day 4. Laguna Castillo & Second Mountain Pass.
We pack up camp early to take advantage of the day, first ascending through forest and arriving to Laguna Castillo just below the Cerro Castillo Peaks. What a view. We continue in steep and slippery alpine environment with impressive views to the south of the Ibañez valley, Lago Chelenko, the Northern Ice Field and the Hudson Volcano. We continue ascending to the highest point of the trip enjoying new views of the Estero Parada. Ahead is a long, steep and loose descent before arriving at camp.

Day 5. Explore Circus Valley.
We leave camp to enter the lovely Circus Valley surrounded by impressive mountain peaks, amongst them the Cerro Castillo. The weather and group abilities will decide our route today. We hike along Estero Parada past the Neozelandés Camp to the origin of the river at Laguna Duff.

Day 6. End of Trek.
Today we take the down camp before heading down the high valley towards Villa Cerro Castillo. We have a huge descent before arriving to Hueitra and flat land to end at our lodging in Villa Cerro Castillo. 

Day 7. Backcountry.
We have a short drive into gaucho land before the trailhead of our second trek to the Towers of Aysen (Torres de Avellano). The valleys are still transited by gauchos and their cattle. We start off on private land winding our way through valleys containing forest and abundant lakes and rivers, many of which we cross, penetrating deep into the forest and always with the striking Avellano Mountain range in sight. We camp close to a gaucho shelter in a beautiful “dead” forest.

Day 8. Torres del Avellano Lookout.
Today we take a daypack and head deep into the most spectacular valley of the entire Avellano Massif. We ascend abruptly, bordering a river carrying glacial melt from the Towers. The trail is very little traveled and presents certain challenges and bush-bashing while still under the tree line. We pass two beautiful high-altitude lagoons before the last ascent to the saddle that makes the Torres del Avellano Lookout. We take in the breathtaking views in all directions and savor the moment, all alone in deep nature before taking the same trail down and back to camp.

Day 9. Gaucho Trails.
We pack up camp and take the western route out of the valley following the Murta River on trails only travelled by gauchos on horseback. Bahia Murta is situated just off the Ruta 7 Highway and is a very small agricultural and artisanal village. It is becoming famous for the best organic beef and the highly valued murta jam. We will camp here, explore the village and the confluence of 3 rivers running out into Lago Chelenko.

Day 10. Marble Caves of Lake Chelenko.
In the morning, we join a guided tour to Puerto Sanchez on the shores of Lake Chelenko, the largest lake in Chile. We set out kayaks on the turquoise waters and paddle to Isla Panichini. We will visit the old port from where locals crossed the lake before the Southern Highway was built during the last part of last century. We pass abandoned boats on our way to the island, and then explore the fantastic marble caves on its western shores. Upon returning to the shore we will drive around the Chelenko Lago to take in the incredible and changing scenery.  

Day 11. Patagonia National Park.
Today we drive into the new Patagonia National Park to experience the vast pampas, unbelievable rock formations and ancient cave paintings. A perfect and leisurely ending to an incredible backcountry trekking trip. Tonight, we finish this amazing journey through culture and nature with a goodbye dinner in the hotel.

Day 12. Goodbye Patagonia.
In the morning we are taken across the Lake Chelenko to the northern shore where a beautiful valley takes us north towards the Carretera Austral Southern Highway (Ruta 7) to the Balmaceda Airport to catch an early afternoon flight out to Santiago. End of Services.

Day 1. Chile Chico.
Upon arrival at Balmaceda Airport in Chile, your trip leader will transport you to the north shore of Lago General Carrera, offering dramatic views along the way of the peaks of Cerro Castillo and the raging Ibáñez River. Following lunch in the village of Puerto Ibañez, we’ll board the ferry Tehuelche for a 2.5-hour ride to the windswept yet charming village of Chile Chico and the Campamento Ñandú Hostel. 

Day 2. Hiking the Luna Valley.
After a relaxed breakfast, we depart to the Lunar Valley for a 5-hour hike that highlights surreal geological formations formed 350 million years ago, well before the Andes range. Here we are also treated to a visit to the Cueva de Manos to view evocative, ancient cave art dated to 9,000 years ago. Night in Chile Chico. 

Day 3. Trek to Glacier Hut.
From Chile Chico, a 1-hour drive across the Patagonian plains and along the Jeinimeni River (the geographical border between Chile and Argentina) will put us at the north entrance of Patagonia Park. Here we will check in, shoulder our packs and start our 16-mile hike along the vibrant turquoise waters of Jeinimeni Lake. The trail crosses wide, shallow rivers with lots of milky glacial silt and river debris, heading over La Gloria Pass, with gorgeous views of Jeinimeni and Verde lakes. A number of steep inclines follow before reaching Glacier Hut Camp, where a roaring fire, hot shower and welcome drink await.

Day 4. Trek Glacier Hut Camp to Lago Superior Circuit.
We will embark today on a more technical trek of the Lago Superior circuit, stopping for lunch at the hanging glacier of Punta Guanaco peak. The hike is steep, ascending eroded rock and gullies until it reaches the dramatic landscape of Baguales Glacier, named after the wild horses the original settlers found there. Enjoy exhilarating views of glacial lakes and cascading waterfalls before returning via the same path to Glacier Hut Camp for dinner.

Day 5. Trek to Renoval Hut.
Leaving early, we’ll begin our trek with impressive views of the Jeinimeni, El Tronador and Las Llaves mountain ranges. Leaving the open alpine terrain, we’ll enter a lush evergreen forest, descending to the Avilés Valley and passing by small lakes and a stand of ancient beech trees, until reaching the Renoval Hut Camp. Along the way, we will see gaucho-dwelling shelters, giving us a glimpse of the past. 

Day 6. Trek Mount Tronador Lookout Circuit.
This morning we’ll hike up the north Aviles Valley through beech forest, on the search for Magellanic woodpeckers and the endangered huemul deer, until we reach Mount Tronador, which we can view along with its glaciers. Night at the Hut Renoval Camp.

Day 7. Trek from Aviles River to Chelenco Lake — Chile Chico.
The last day of the trek takes us across the wide rivers of the Avilés Valley. Depending on weather conditions, we’ll take part in a river crossing undertaken with a rope-and-harness system, which is normally the most exhilarating part of this day’s journey. This route follows cattle trails that gauchos have used to get their animals to summer pasture, with picadas (narrow cut trails) beside a canyon and corrals, ending at the old mining town of Fachinal in Lake General Carrera. Concluding our hike, our van will bring us back to Chile Chico. 

Day 8. Wildlife Conservation and Land Restoration in Patagonia Binational Park.
This morning we will cross the border to the Argentine town Los Antiguos, followed by Monte Zeballos and Patagonia Park. We reach the border again at Baker Pass Entrance, then drive along the park with a stop at the restored house of the British pioneer of the region, passing guanaco herds and lakes dotted with flamingos. This once overgrazed sheep and cattle ranch now protects an abundance of Patagonian steppe grasslands and rebounding wildlife. The binational restoration project here is one of the largest of its kind in the world. We will visit the information center, then continue our drive to our cabin along the most voluminous river in Chile: the Baker.

Day 9. Departure, Carretera Austral.
Drive back to the Balmaceda Airport via the Carretera Austral, Chile’s internationally renowned scenic highway. After breakfast, a bumpy ride along the Baker River follows, with its hypnotic turquoise waters that rush through dense southern beech forests. The drive continues with dramatic views of Lake General Carrera and the Patagonian Andes. After stopping for a picnic lunch, arrive at the airport for trip to Santiago. End of Services.