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Carretera Austral road trip adventure

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13 days / 12 nights
san rafael glacier

Carretera Austral road trip adventure

  • 13 Days tour
  • Ideal for: families, couples, groups
  • icon voiture circuit autotour chili
    Self-drive
  • Difficulty : moderate
  • Style: off the beaten path, adventure, road trip
  • Minimum : 2 travelers

This ultimate road trip in Northern Chilean Patagonia will take you on legendary Carretera Austral

Your travel adventure will follow the famous ruta 7 from off-the-beaten path treasures to breath-taking experiences in the secret Patagonia. The Carretera Austral will no doubt seduce you for its magnificent landscapes and clean air, but also because during this tour, you will watch glaciers from small boats, away of the crowd. For a perfect finish, this itinerary takes you to Casablanca wine valley and in the artsy streets of Valparaíso, by the Pacific Ocean front.

Enjoy and experience all types of adventure during this 13 days itinerary: rafting, kayaking, wildlife observation, horseback riding or even a glacier hike !

 

Map
What to Expect

Here is an ideal 2 weeks itinerary for those who want to discover Patagonia far from the crowds and who are looking for authenticity in their trip. This self-drive itinerary on the legendary Carretera Austral promises a stay filled with original activities, a change of scenery and breathtaking landscapes.

Double rooms are provided in authentic accommodation or cabaña in the middle of wild nature. Discover the Austral Road, and all of its magic !

A family friendly journey filled with experiences awaits you:

  • Horseback riding with gauchos
  • Kayaking to the marble caves
  • Relaxation by Lake General Carrera
  • Rafting on the Rio Baker
  • Cruise to San Rafael Glacier
  • Wine tasting in Casablanca valley
  • Discoveries of chilean culture in Valparaiso
Photos
Itinerary

Day 1Discovering Santiago de Chile

Welcome to Chile! Once arrived and the administrative procedures completed, your driver will take you from the airport to your hotel.

During the afternoon, you can explore the Chilean capital, on foot and by metro, as you wish. we suggest to take the funicular to Cerro San Cristobal, have a drink in the trendy Bellavista district or stroll through the historic center… the choice is yours!

For families, we recommend the Bellavista district, which is a little bohemian, with a young and relaxed atmosphere, with many street arts. Located at the foot of Cerro San Cristobal, it is made up of colorful streets and trendy bars and restaurants

Overnight: Casa Bellavista, Santiago de Chile.

Day 2On the way to the hidden Patagonia

Your driver will pick you up in the morning to take you to the airport. You will then take the plane to Balmaceda, arriving in the middle of the day on the mystical austral route. Your road tripping adventure can beggin !

At Balmaceda airport, your rental Jeep 4×4 will be waiting for you. Hop on the Carretera Austral and head to Coyhaique, a 45-minute-drive.

Discover the city in the afternoon or take advantage of the hotel’s facilities to familiarize yourself with the peaceful atmosphere of Northern Patagonia. Some will be able to let off steam in the surrounding nature while others will prefer reading a book quietly.

Overnight: Cerro Negro Lodge, Coyhaique.

Day 3Horseback riding in the Cerro Castillo reserve

For this day of road trip on the legendary Carretera Austral: head to Villa Cerro Castillo. The road is paved from Coyhaique, for a 95 km journey up South. Once you leave the pastures, you will climb quickly towards the Cerro Castillo massif. This mountain is aptly named: a real fortified castle with sharp peaks, flanked by large glaciers! An impressive sight!

Enjoy a typical stay at Villa Cerro Castillo, a pioneer village (be careful, no petrol station here!).

In the afternoon, I suggest you live a real local experience by going on a 3-hour horseback ride with real “gauchos” (local cowboys) and a tasting of Cordero al Palo (typical barbecue). Something to amuse young and old alike, in the footsteps of the Patagonian mountains !

Overnight: Chalet Cerro Castillo, Villa Cerro Castillo.

Day 4On the road to Puerto Tranquilo

Puerto Tranquilo is a modest town located on the shore of the massive and impressive Lago General Carrera. By traveling the Carretera Austral road, the lake will be your faithful companion for more than 100 kilometers! Emerald green waters and attractive vegetation characterize Lake General Carrera, the second largest in South America.

We recommend visiting the amazing marble caves by kayak. Your children will be delighted to do this activity !

Overnight: El Puesto, Puerto Rio Tranquilo.

Day 5Walking on a glacier

To discover the Explorador Glacier, we suggest an ice trek that takes place 50km west of Puerto Tranquilo, in the Exploradores valley.

Here again, this off the beaten track activity will be a wonderful memory for the whole family! What best than to take a hike on a glacier to really explore it ? You will be able to discover natural wonders during this sporty experience.

Overnight: Cabañas Konaiken, Puerto Bertrand.

Day 6Rafting on the Río Baker

Start your day with a gentle rafting trip down the Río Baker. This activity can be done by the whole family and the landscapes are magnificent! Enough to leave you with unforgettable memories of the Carretera Austral !

Then, take the road to Cochrane, and stop at the confluence of the Río Baker. A short walk will take you to a superb viewpoint where a 10 meters waterfall clearly shows the contrast between the turquoise waters of the rio Baker mixing with the waters of the Nef river. Beautiful panoramic view. From Puerto Bertrand to Cochrane, count 1 hour and 50km of track road.

Overnight: Borde Baker Lodge. Cochrane.

Day 7Discovery of Patagonia Park and its fauna

In the heart of this sublime valley, a new private park has emerged thanks to the Tompkins couple who have already set up Pumalín park north of Chaitén. A visit to Patagonia Natural Park will allow you to enjoy superb landscapes and to watch local fauna (condors, rheas, foxes, vizcachas, ducks, guanacos, flamingos, swans and, perhaps, huemules, with a lot of luck).

The arrival at the park is impressive, one-on-one with guanacos by the dozen! Your children will be enchanted by the surrounding wildlife and you will have a wonderful time of natural discoveries.

Overnight: Terra Luna Lodge, Puerto Guadal.

Day 8Day of rest and relaxation

Enjoy a free day to rest and take advantage the Lodge’s wellness facilities : hot tub, sauna, etc. Adults will enjoy it, and teens can explore the lodge’s great natural spaces !

If resting is not for you and you want outdoor activities, you can take one of the excursions offered by the hotel : trekking, boat tour, canopy, helicopter tour, ice trekking, kayaking, canoeing, discovery of nature reserves, easy or medium walks, horseback riding, mountain biking, canopy, excursions, fishing; there is something for everyone !

For more glacier sightseeing, we can arrange a full-day excursion by boat towards the Glacier Los Leones !

Overnight: Terra Luna Lodge, Puerto Guadal.

Day 9Around Lake General Carrera

Enjoy a free morning to rest the whole family before leaving in great shape!

In the middle of the day take the road to Chile Chico town. Chile Chico located on the south shore of Lake General Carrera, is a welcoming city close to nature.

Take the opportunity to swim in the lake and get a deep breath of fresh air ! 

Overnight: Costanera Appart, Chile Chico.

Day 10Return to Chile's capital


This lovely 2,5 hour navigation will allow you to reach the small lost hamlet of Puerto General Ibañez from Chile Chico. By the water, the view are truly breath-taking. 

As your final step of your travel in the Austral Route, take a 1.5 hour drive to reach Balmaceda airport. Then take your internal flight to Santiago where the family road trip ends. Upon your arrival at Santiago, your private driver will take you directly to Valparaíso, the gem of the Pacific.

 
Overnight: Fauna Hotel, Valparaiso.

Day 11Visiting Valparaíso's culture

For this second day in the bohemian city harbour of Valparaíso, we recommend that you explore the Cerros Concepción and Alegre by foot at your own pace.

You will discover these small narrow streets, take the historic elevators and enjoy the panoramas from the many viewpoints. Our map will guide you step by step, unless you prefer to take a tour for tips, or in private service!

Overnight: Fauna Hotel, Valparaíso.

Day 12Wine tasting in Casablanca valley

Enjoy a free morning to get to visit the museum of the beloved poet Pablo Neruda, on the top of a beautifull hill. On the way down, to not miss the open air museum, with its colorful graffiti. 

Back to your hotel, your private transfer will drive you the world-class wine valley of Casablanca. Between the mountains, you will enjoy a delicous lunch in a typical Chilean vineyard. You will also visit the winery and taste the well known wines of Chile. An unmissable Chilean gastronomy and cultural experience ! 

Your driver will then drive you back to Santiago, where you can continue your visit of the capital.

Overnight: Casa Bellavista, Santiago de Chile.

Day 13Goodbye beautiful Chile

Enjoy a last walk in Santiago de Chile, before taking off. 

Your driver will pick you up to take you to the airport from where you will take the plane back home.

Have a safe flight home !

Recommended Airport

Santiago international airport

Price Includes

  • 13 nights in typical private rooms with bathroom
  • 10 days Jeep 4x4 car rental
  • 2 local flights per person
  • High quality activites: rafting, horse back riding, glacier navigation, ice trekking, kayaking
  • Private transfer to and from Santiago airport
  • The ferry on General Carrera Lake
  • A customize travelbook
  • A dedicated local interlocutor

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Extra activities
  • Fuel
  • Tips