Patagonia's Lakes & Capitals

Experience the Patagonian Lake Districts of Chile and Argentina , as well as their national capitals, Santiago and Buenos Aires. In a small group of no more than 16, you'll get to grips with the local culture, whether tasting wine and cuisine, discovering the 'Paris of South America', or catching a tango show.

8 Days


Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Santiago
  • Puerto Varas 
  • Bariloche
  • Buenos Aires

Start from Santiago and end at Buenos Aires

Landmarks visited on Patagonia's Lakes & Capitals

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Santiago

Private Vehicle: Airport - Santiago

Arrive at any time (Arrival transfer included).

The day is free to spend at your leisure exploring the city until our welcome meeting this evening.

Santiago is Chile's largest city and capital, with internationally recognised vineyards and Andean ski resorts very close by. Possible day trips include a trip to Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, Chile's premier beach resort, and to Isla Negra, Pablo Neruda's seaside home. Should you want more time to explore Santiago and do optional day trips, we highly recommend you book additional pre-nights.

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your tour leader will review the details of your tour.

Accommodation: Hotel Fundador (or similar)

Day 2: Santiago

Private Vehicle: Santiago

Spend the morning with a wine expert, visiting a local winery outside Santiago and discussing the process that makes Chilean wine some of the best in the world. Sample various wines and enjoy a vertical tasting.

Head out on an excursion to the Maipo Valley area for an in-depth look at the region that produces such fine quality wines. Chilean wine is top-notch, with only France and Italy selling more wine worldwide.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Chilean Wine Experience

Spend the morning with a local wine expert, visiting a winery outside Santiago and discussing the process that makes Chilean wine some of the world's best. The first step will be visiting the 'field' to learn about the vine process from planting to the harvest times. We then explore how wine is produced and the difference in grapes and techniques unique to the region. We will have a vertical tasting, trying one wine at various stages of the process, from different barrels, to experience the evolution of the wine for ourselves. After, with our newly acquired knowledge, we will enjoy a tasting of various wines.

Accommodation: Hotel Fundador (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Santiago to Puerto Varas

Plane: Santiago - Puerto Montt 1h30m-2h 996km

Private Vehicle: Puerto Montt - Puerto Varas

Flight and transfer to Puerto Varas, in the stunning Chilean Lake District. Explore the countryside and Chilean culture as you visit the Puerto Montt's Angelmo fish market and the scenic town of Puerto Varas. After, visit a local family home and enjoy a curanto, a beloved traditional dish. Mingle with the friendly hosts and try your hand at whipping up salsa pebre.

There are few areas in the world that can match the Chilean Lake District for scenic grandeur. Enjoy picture perfect views from snow-capped mountains to deep-blue and emerald lakes, smoking volcanoes, forests, and glaciers.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Chilean Cultural Tour and Community Lunch

Embrace Chilean countryside and culture on a tour that includes Puerto Montt's Angelmo fish market (with its rows of vendors selling fresh and smoked fish and seafood, cheese, colourful woolens, and souvenirs) and a visit to the scenic town of Puerto Varas. Here, enjoy a visit to the home of a local family. Mingle with the friendly hosts, try your hand at whipping up salsa pebre and enjoy "curanto," a beloved traditional dish. Also learn how to make a traditional drink, then sit back and savour the fruits of your labour. Yum!

Accommodation: Hotel Cabana del Lago (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Puerto Varas

Today is free to explore on your own. Enjoy the day exploring the sites of the region.

Optional Activity: Chiloe Island Excursion (110USD per person)

Take the ferry to Chiloe Island. This quaint fishing village is known for its wooden houses on stilts, artistic wooden shingles, and historical churches (remnants of the Jesuit influence of the Spanish conquistadors), most of which has been declared as Patrimony to Humanity sites. Sample fresh fish and produce for lunch, then motor to a penguin colony to see upwards of 5,000 Humboldt and Magellanic penguins.

Accommodation: Hotel Cabana del Lago (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: Puerto Varas to San Carlos De Bariloche

Travel by bus and ferry to Bariloche, Argentina. Visit the Petrohue Falls, then enjoy the sights from the 'Cruce de los Lagos', considered one of the most scenic cruises in the world.

The approximate journey time today is between 10 and 11 hours. This journey is by comfortable bus and a scenic ferry that crosses the Chilean/Argentine border. Travel time can change based on the time of year and weather conditions. During certain times of the year, the ferry cannot be used, which means we will travel overland by bus.

Petrohue Falls Visit

Petrohue Waterfalls are gorgeous green falls that cascade over black basalt (former lava flows from the nearby Osorno Volcano). The falls are part of the Petrohue River and offer a picture-perfect setting. Don't try to swim though - the water is very cold.

Cruce de los Lagos Cruise 

Chile's Lake District has few rivals when it comes to sheer scenic grandeur. Cross the placid Lago Todos Los Santos aboard a catamaran and marvel at vast mountainscapes and stunning views that'll have your shutter finger working overtime. Enjoy the breeze and beautiful scenery then continue by bus and another ferry. This full day excursion is considered one of the world's most scenic ferry crossings.

Border Crossing (Chile - Argentina) 

Ready for a little more ink in your passport? Grab your bags and get ready to check another country off your bucket list.

Accommodation: Design Suites Bariloche (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: San Carlos De Bariloche

Free time to explore this stunning region. Opt to take a bike tour, hike, or explore the town's shops and restaurants.

Bariloche in many ways resembles the alpine resorts of Europe. Sample a beef parrillada, or a variety of fresh salmon or lake trout, then take a day hike around Cerro Cathedral or enjoy some shopping. It's also important to know that Bariloche is famous for its quality and quantity of chocolate!

Optional Activity: Puerto Blest

Cruise the Blest arm of Lake Nahuel Huapi, passing by Centinela Island and landing at Cantaros Port. Trek through the forest and enjoy views of Lake Los Cantaros and the adjacent waterfalls.

Accommodation: Design Suites Bariloche (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: San Carlos De Bariloche to Buenos Aires

Plane: San Carlos de Bariloche - Buenos Aires 1h30m 1640km

Fly to Buenos Aires. Opt to enjoy a tango dinner show, take a city tour, or enjoy free time to explore the many neighbourhoods and museums.

Fly north to the buzzing metropolis that is Buenos Aires. Known as the 'Paris of the Americas', Buenos Aires is a vibrant city full of life. When you are done exploring, rest your weary feet and enjoy a drink in one of the many sidewalk cafes and restaurants. It's the best way to get a feel for the contemplative Argentine way of life. Since Buenos Aires will be your last chance to try the succulent beef, chicken, and chorizo parrilladas, dig in and enjoy!

Optional Activity: Take an optional city tour and visit the districts of La Boca, Recoleta, and San Telmo.

Consider catching a tango show at one of the many famous tanguerias or wander the pedestrian walkways and see some dancing in the streets. Whatever you do, Buenos Aires is sure to leave lasting memories.

Accommodation: Design Suites-Buenos Aires (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Buenos Aires

Depart at any time.

Not ready to leave? Your tour leader can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

Meals: Breakfast

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $2,010 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.

The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.


  • Arrival transfer.
  • Maipo Valley winery tour with tastings.
  • Half-day cultural tour with visit to Angelmo fish market and traditional curanto meal.
  • Visit Petrohue Falls. 'Cruce de los Lagos' lake crossing by scenic ferry.
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
  • 7 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch. (Allow USD350-450 for meals not included.)
  • Comfort hotels (7 nts).
  • Tour leader


  • Flights to Santiago and home from Buenos Aires.
  • Personal expenses and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?