Chile Tour Plan

Chile Tour Plan

Chile is among countries that start with C listed on Countryaah.com. 17 million people live in Chile, 7 million of them in the capital Santiago de Chile. In the north of the country, the Atacama Desert, which is considered the driest and highest desert on earth, spreads out in the rain shadow of the Andes. Here, on the border with Peru, lies the dormant volcano Ojos de Salamo in a series of 6,000 peaks. At 6,893 m, it is the highest point in the country. Far to the south, in Patagonia, is the largest national park in Chile: It houses the fantastic mountain backdrop of the Torres des Paines. In the far south the continent ends in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. Visit Itypeusa.com for other countries that start with C.

Chile 1

  • Day 1: We’re flying to Chile!
  • Day 2: Arrival in Santiago de Chile and city tour
  • Day 3: Off to the south of the country, to Coyhaique
  • Day 4: Hike in the Cerro Castillo massif
  • Day 5: Lago General Carrera
  • Day 6: hidden marble caves and hike in the Exploradores Valley
  • Day 7: Drive on the legendary Carretera Austral to Cochrane
  • Day 8: Untouched Patagonia: Parque Patagonia
  • Day 9: At the southernmost end of the Carretera Austral: Villa O’Higgins
  • Day 10: Bernardo O’Higgins National Park
  • Day 11: Crossing the border: on foot and by boat from Chile to El Chaltén, Argentina
  • Day 12: Hike to the foot of the Fitz Roy to the Laguna de los Tres
  • Day 13: Hike to the Mirador Torres and drive to El Calafate
  • Day 14: Natural wonder of the Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Day 15: Drive from El Calafate to Puerto Natales
  • Day 16: Torres del Paine National Park: Gray Glacier
  • Day 17: Torres del Paine National Park: “The towers of the blue sky”
  • Day 18: Drive to Punta Arenas
  • Day 19: Strait of Magellan and hike to the San Isidro lighthouse
  • Day 20: Flight to Santiago de Chile and connection to Europe
  • Day 21: Arrival in Europe

From Santiago de Chile we head south, our first hike takes us along the Rio Simpson. At Lago General Carrera, the second largest lake in South America after the Titicaca, we are looking for the “blue wonder”: We cruise to the hidden marble caves, where deposits on the rocks make the caves shimmer in green, turquoise, pink, gray and blue.

We drive through a three-lake region along the legendary Carretera Austral towards Cochrane. Where the 1,350 meter long trunk road ends in a small village, we get into a boat and cross Lake O’Higgins to reach Chile’s largest national park. The view is tremendous, we slide past icebergs, in front of us a 70 meter high glacier front. We spend the night in a hut in Candelario Mancilla, with descendants of the first settlers.

We cross the border from Chile to the Argentine mountaineering Mecca El Chaltén on foot and by boat. We see him for the first time from a bumpy gravel road: the Fitz Roy. The next day we want to get closer to it, we hike to the Lagune de Los Tres and are rewarded for the last steep ascent: the granite towers of the Fitz Roy massif and its glaciers are reflected in the blue melt water of the lagoon.

Great history was written on the Strait of Magellan. Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to see the Pacific here in 1520. The landscape is unlikely to have changed much since then: the rainforest is dense up to the coast. A narrow path leads us to the San Isidro lighthouse, dolphins jump out of the water and maybe even whales can be seen.

Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner

1st day:

We’re flying to Chile!

Our journey starts! We fly to Santiago de Chile, the capital of Chile. Nestled in a valley and the snow-capped Andes as a beautiful backdrop, Santiago is a rough diamond that lies almost exactly in the middle of the 4200 km long country.

No international or national flights are included!

2nd day:

Arrival in Santiago de Chile and city tour

Landed at the airport, we were picked up and taken to our hotel in the city center. Afterwards we take a walk through the Chilean capital and visit the most important sights. Together we will get in the mood for South America and the upcoming trip!

Driving time: approx. 30 min.
Overnight stay in the Hotel Montecarlo (or similar)
City tour: approx. 3 hours (6 km)
(B / – / -)

3rd day:

Off to the south of the country, to Coyhaique

We’re heading to the south of the country – we’re flying to Coyhaique. This place is located on the legendary Carretera Austral, which runs 1350 km through southern Chile. Coyhaique has 50,000 residents and is located at the confluence of the Rio Simpson and Rio Coyhaique. We take a short hike along the Rio Simpson and start our hiking tour through southern Patagonia.

Travel time: approx. 1 hour there and back
Flight time: approx. 2 hours.
Hike: approx. 40 minutes (approx. 3 km, hardly any difference in altitude)
Overnight at Hotel Reloj (or similar)
(B / – / -)

4th day:

Hike in the Cerro Castillo massif

Early in the morning we drive to the starting point of today’s hike. The area around the Cerro Castillo Gerbirge is just as rewarding as the Torres del Paine, but few tourists have discovered this insider tip. Through the entrance gate it goes slightly uphill on a slope through the Langawald. After a steep stretch, we are rewarded with the first great views of the glaciated “Penon” and, to the west of it, the bare “Morro Colorado”. At 1350 m the path finally flattens out and we come to our destination, a viewing point with a lagoon, in which the mountains are wonderfully reflected when there is no wind.

Driving time: approx. 2 hours to Villa Cerro Castillo and 1 hour to Puerto Ibanez
Hike: approx. 8 hours (approx. 12.5 km, + / – 1065m)
Overnight stay in a hut with shared bathroom
(B / – / -)

5th day:

Lago General Carrera

Today we drive to Puerto Río Tranquilo on Lake General Carrera. The lake is three times the size of Lake Constance and is binational, one part belongs to Chile, the other to Argentina. It is also the second largest lake in South America after Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia. The small village is our starting point for the next 2 nights.

Driving time: approx. 6 hours (approx. 280 km)
Overnight in bungalows
(B / – / -)

6th day:

hidden marble caves and hike in the Exploradores Valley

Today there is another natural spectacle on the program, the so-called “blue wonder”. Directly from Puerto Rio Tranquilo we take the boat to the hidden marble caves in the middle of Lake General Carrera. For thousands of years the rock was formed by the sloshing waves of the lake and shimmering deposits make the caves shine in a play of colors of green, turquoise, pink, gray and blue. You can not get enough of the various, mystical formations that nature has created here!
In the afternoon we go on a hike in the Exploradores Valley at the Bahia de Exploradores and to the white glaciers of the Campo de Hielo Norte. The landscape is breathtaking and every change of location offers a new, stunning panorama.

Driving time: approx. 2 hours (approx. 60 km)
Hike: approx. 1 hour
overnight stay in bungalows
(B / – / -)

7th day:

Drive on the legendary Carretera Austral to Cochrane

With the drive to Cochrane we explore an area that has not been developed for tourism – the original Patagonia. We drive on the Carretera Austral along the Lago General Carrera through a three lake area, which is embedded in Andean peaks, beautifully situated. Then we follow the Rio Cochrane to its confluence with the Rio Baker, here is Cochrane. After the ride, we’ll stretch our legs on a hike in the Tamango National Reserve. This nature reserve is the natural habitat of the Huemuls, a species of deer that lives in the Andes. With a little luck we can see specimens of this endangered species.

Driving time: approx. 2 hours (approx. 120 km)
Hike: approx. 4 hours
overnight stay in the Hotel Ultimo Paraiso (or similar)
(B / – / -)

8th day:

Untouched Patagonia: Parque Patagonia

Our destination for today is Parque Patagonia. This nature reserve was founded by the non-profit organization Conservacion Patagonica to protect the country’s fragile ecosystems. In the morning we drive to Camp Casa Piedra, from where we start our hike. The Circuito Avilés connects the heart of the park, the Chacabuco valley, with the northern part of the Jeinimeni reserve. The path leads us over suspension bridges deeper and deeper into the valley – constantly accompanied by the beautiful panorama of the Patagonian landscape.

Driving time: approx. 2 hours (approx. 80 km)
Hike: approx. 6 hours (17 km, +/- 650 m)
Overnight stay in Hotel Ultimo Paraiso (or similar)
(B / – / -)

Day 9:

At the southernmost end of the Carretera Austral: Villa O’Higgins

After breakfast the journey continues along the Carretera Austral to the small, remote village of Villa O’Higgins. This is where the legendary Carretera Austral ends and the place is currently the southernmost point of the 1350 km long highway. To the west lies the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park and the glaciated areas of Campo de Hielo Sur (Southern Patagonian Ice Field).

Driving time: approx. 8 hours (235 km)
Overnight at Lodge Robinson (or similar)
(B / – / -)

10th day:

Bernardo O’Higgins National Park

Today we get on the boat and cross the O’Higgins Lake to get to the largest national park in Chile, the Bernardo O’Higgins NP. The ride is breathtaking, we pass icebergs and can hardly see enough of the glacier front, which is up to 70 meters high. We spend the night in Candelario Mancilla with descendants of the first settlers in a hut.

In bad weather there may be one or more days of delays and corresponding changes to the program for the rest of the time. Given the unpredictability of the Patagonian weather, flexibility is necessary.

Boat trip: approx. 7 hours
overnight in a hut
(B / – / D)

11th day:

Border crossing: on foot and by boat from Chile to El Chaltén in Argentina

Off to Argentina! We lace our boots and hike to the northern shore of Lago del Desierto. Our destination is El Chaltén, the Mecca of all mountaineers. When we arrive at the lake, we take a boat to the Argentine side and a vehicle awaits us there. On a bumpy gravel road we then go to El Chaltén and we can take our first glimpses of the landmark of Patagonia, the mighty Fitz Roy in the Los Glaciares National Park. The main luggage is first transported by vehicles and from there, where a jeep can no longer drive, horses take over the transport.

Travel time: approx. 2 hours.
Boat trip: approx. 45 minutes.
Hike: approx. 6 hours (25 km)
Overnight in a hotel in El Chaltén
(B / – / -)

12th day:

Hike to the foot of the Fitz Roy to the Laguna de los Tres

The day before we were able to take a first look at Fitz Roy and admire the beauty of this mountain from a distance. Today we get very close to it, because we are hiking to the Lagoon de Los Tres. The last, steep ascent is rewarded with a stunning panorama – the granite towers of the Fitz Roy massif with its glaciers is reflected in the blue melt water of the Laguna de Los Tres! It is easy to understand why this mountain is a symbol of Patagonia, as it is difficult to escape the spell of its beauty. Also on the descent back to El Chaltén it is worth looking over your shoulder!

Hike: approx. 8 hours
overnight in a hotel in El Chaltén
(B / – / -)

13th day:

Hike to the Mirador Torres and drive to El Calafate

After breakfast we hike to the “Mirador Torres” viewpoint. The path leads along the Rio Fitz Roy to a glacier lagoon at the foot of the second mountain range of the national park, the famous Cerro Torre. This mountain is considered by climbers to be one of the most difficult and at the same time most beautiful peaks in the world.
In the afternoon we continue to El Calafate, a nice small town on Lake Argentino. In the city, products such as jams, liqueurs or ice cream made from the Calafate berry, a type of Berberis, are offered. The berry is tasty, but caution is advised because a legend has it that whoever eats these berries will always come back to Patagonia!

Driving time: approx. 3.5 hours (235 km)
Hike: approx. 5 hours (+/- 250 m)
Overnight at Hotel Posta Sur (or similar)
(B / – / -)

14th day:

Natural wonder of the Perito Moreno Glacier

Today one of the most famous and imposing natural wonders of Argentina is on the program: the Perito Moreno Glacier. Immediately after breakfast, the bus goes to the Península de Magallanes, where the glacier is located. The outlet glacier extends over a length of approx. 30 km and occupies around 250 km². After about 1.5 hours of driving we reach the glacier and even its silhouette from a distance amazes us. During a short hike we can get an idea of ​​the enormous dimensions of the glacier. There is also the option of a boat trip on Lake Argentino, where the glacier tongue ends. Again and again – sometimes huge – ice blocks detach from the more than 60 m high front walls of the ice mass and crash into the water. We can watch the mighty natural spectacle calmly and with a certain amount of awe. In the afternoon we return to El Calafate.

Driving time: approx. 2 hours (approx. 160 km)
Overnight at Hotel Posta Sur (or similar)
(B / – / -)

15th day:

Drive from El Calafate to Puerto Natales

We keep going to the extreme south of the American continent, to Puerto Natales. The trip is carried out with a public bus and brings us back to Chile. Puerto Natales is a port city, is located on the Ultima Esperanza Fjord and is the starting point for excursions to the Torres del Paine National Park.

Driving time: approx. 5 hours (270 km)
Overnight at Hotel Florence Dixie (or similar)
(B / – / -)

16th day:

Torres del Paine National Park: Gray Glacier

The drive into the national park is already wonderful – we drive past wide areas and can spot guanacos, rheas, foxes and caiquen geese, the striking mountains of the Torres del Paine National Park constantly in the background. With a bit of luck, an Andean condor will circle over our heads. The closer we get to the massif, the more imposing the famous granite towers become. The image of the azure-blue ice floes of the Gray Glacier, drifting comfortably in front of you, surrounded by the lush green beech forest and the intense red of the flowers of the Chilean firebush, burns itself in!

Driving time: approx. 2.5 hours (210 km)
Hike: approx. 3 hours
overnight at the Hotel Lago de Toro (or similar)
(B / – / -)

17th day:

Torres del Paine National Park: “The towers of the blue sky”

Today we go on one of the most beautiful hikes in the park and get closer to the Torres del Paine – the “towers of the blue sky”. We walk through a varied landscape along the Río Ascensio, at the foot of Monte Almirante Nieto, to a rest stop. From there, a particularly scenic path leads us to the de las Torres base camp. Here mountaineers wait for suitable weather conditions to be able to climb the steep walls of the Torres. We hike along a moraine to a unique viewpoint. This natural and spectacular amphitheater at the foot of the impressive and steep granite towers (2,800 m) gives us the best views. Then we start the way back and return to the starting point of today’s stage.

Driving time: approx. 2 hours (100 km)
Hike: approx. 7 hours (approx. 19 km, +/- 1190 m)
Overnight stays in the Hotel Lago de Toro (or similar)
(B / – / -)

18th day:

Drive to Punta Arenas

Our journey continues to Punta Arenas and we leave the national park at its southern end. This city is located on the Strait of Magellan and has a beautiful center that tells the story of the city. The splendid villas of wealthy sheep farmers in the center of Punta Arenas date from the founding time.

Driving time: approx. 5 hours (415 km)
Overnight at Hotel Patagonia B&B (or similar)
(B / – / -)

19th day:

Strait of Magellan and hike to the San Isidro lighthouse

Great history was written along today’s hike and you can almost feel it. It all began with Ferdinand Magellan who was the first European to see the Pacific here in 1520. The landscape has probably not changed much since then, the southern rainforest pushes tightly to the coast. A narrow path leads along it to the San Isidro lighthouse. Dolphins often jump out of the water and our chances are good that we will even spot whales.
There couldn’t be a nicer place to quietly say goodbye to Patagonia. The best thing to do is to grab a few Calafate berries quickly so that we will meet again!

Driving time: approx. 2 hours (70 km each way)
Hike: approx. 4 hours (10 km, hardly any difference in altitude)
Overnight at Hotel Patagonia B&B (or similar)
(B / – / -)

20th day:

Flight to Santiago de Chile and connection to Europe

In the morning we are taken to the airport and fly back to the capital of Chile and from there by connecting flight to Europe.

No international or national flights are included!

(F / – / -)

21st day:

Arrival Europe

Chile 2

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