The Carretera Austral Mountainbike Challenge

A challenging, two-week mountain bike journey along the legendary Carretera Austral highway's southernmost portion and visit some truly unique places, like Caleta Tortel.

14 Days

$4,357

The Carretera Austral Mountainbike Challenge - 14 - $4,357

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • A predominantly paved route, you'll cycle through to Villa Cerro Castillo
  • Passing lakes and farmland, a graveled route to Puerto Bertrand
  • 97km to Caleta Tortel - a fascinating fishing village built on stilts and boardwalksp
  • Cross Lago O'Higgins by boat to Candelario Mancilla and rest up in tents under the stars
  • Hike up an adventurous trail to Lago del Desierto; crossing by boat

Start from Coyhaique and end at El Chaltén

Landmarks visited on The Carretera Austral Mountainbike Challenge

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Coyhaique

You will arrive in Coyhaique and a transfer will be waiting for you with a sign ready to take you to your hostel. Coihaique is the biggest city in the region and the commercial center for this part of Patagonia. You will spend the night in the town and you will have the opportunity to explore and enjoy "city" life for the last time in many days.

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Coyhaique, Dreams Hotel


Day 2: Villa Cerro Castillo

You will be able to take it easy this morning, you will ride 40 km on paved road towards El Blanco. The town was a post for travelers and populated by farmers. There are just 500 people that live in the town today. In the afternoon you will continue to Villa Cerro Castillo. It is approximately 64 km more on paved roads. You will pass by the Reserva Villa Cerro Castillo and admire the interesting landscapes and peaks.

In the evening you will settle into a hostel and enjoy a filling meal!

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Cerro Castillo, Camping Huemul 


Day 3: Puerto Murta

You will start out very early today, because you are going to have a big riding day. Breakfast will be at 7:30 and you will leave before 9:00, the first portion of the day will be ridden in a transfer. In the afternoon you will get out of the transfer and continue your way on your bikes. The ride mostly on paved roads and you will continue pedaling past beautiful lakes, rivers, and through valleys until you finally reach Puerto Tranquilo. This small port town is home to Lake General Carrera, the largest lake in Chile. If you have time in the afternoon you might want to visit Exploradores Glacier and San Valentin Mount and ice field; both bodies of ice contribute to the northern ice field.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Puerto Tranquillo, El Puerto 


Day 4: Puerto Bertrand

Today you will leave the peace of Puerto Tranquilo and head towards to Puerto Bertrand, a place where the famous and amazing Baker River starts. Along the route you will pass three lakes, during the summer months the lakes will rise and flood a lot of the area is farmlands. You will ride 78 km on gravel roads and cozy cabins will be awaiting you in the evening. The town is a great place for fly fishing and you may encounter serious fishermen in this town.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Puerto Bertrand, Cabanas Patagonia 


Day 5: Parque Patagonia

After a nutritional breakfast you will begin cycling along Baker River. You will be able to relax and admire the impressive rapids along the way. You will ride 62 km on gravel road, and cycle over a couple of demanding stretches as you head towards an amazing park created by the Tompkins Foundation in 2004. Tonight you will camp and enjoy nature. You will have time for a short hike in the area or just to rest and enjoy the area.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping, Parque Patagonia


Day 6: Camping Los Nadis

You will be off into the wilderness! Camping Los Nadis is a nice stop along the road, there aren't many options for accommodations in the area, but this is a perfect spot to stop and enjoy a typical Patagonian barbecue. You will enjoy beautiful views and a peaceful campsite after a 60km ride on gravel roads.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Camping, Los Nadis


Day 7: Caleta Tortel

Today you will leave the peaceful camp and get back on the road. Your destination today is called Caleta Tortel; it is 97 km, along gravel roads, away from Camping Los Nadis. It is an incredible town built on steep stone cliffs and until 2003 was only accessible by water. Today the town is connected via boardwalks and when you arrive you will have to get a boat-taxi or walk along the boardwalks for about 30 minutes until reaching your final destination in a cozy hostel.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Caleta Tortel, Entre Hielos 


Day 8: Villa O'Higgins

You will need to start out early today because the journey today is 155 km on gravel roads and on water. You will begin the day by taking a transfer to Puerto Yungay where you will board a boat. This ferry will save you some distance peddling and also make the last leg of your adventure on the Carretera Austral more interesting! You will head towards Villa O'Higgins after the ferry crossing docks in Rio Bravo and have 92 km to go on gravel roads.

Finally you will arrive in Villa O'Higgins and prepare for the crossing the following day.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Villa O'Higgins, El Mosco


Day 9: Villa O'Higgins

Today will be a rest day or a weather day. You will have time for an excursion from town towards a beautiful glacier or up a mountain. If the weather is wild you may use this day to reroute the trip through Argentina in order to arrive at your destination in El Chalten on time. Either way you will have another exciting day in Patagonia!

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Villa O'Higgins, El Mosco


Day 10: Candelario Mansilla

Today you will begin your voyage across Lake O'Higgins and Lake San Martin. First you will have breakfast and prepare to cross the lake on a ferry. You will have to ride 15 minutes down a gravel road and then board a ferry that will take you two and a half hours across Lake O'Higgins to Candelario Mansilla, where you will stop and enjoy the life of this remote Estancia for the evening. You will eat dinner here and sleep under the stars in tents.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Estancia, Candelario Mansilla


Day 11: Lago del Desierto - El Chalten

Today will be a bit longer than the day before. You will begin the day hiking four to six hours on a trail that isn't maintained very well; the distance is only 22 km. It will be difficult, but will add an aspect of true adventure and wilderness to your expedition. Finally you will reach Lago Del Desierto and you will board another boat that will take you across the lake. A transfer will meet you and as you come into El Chalten you will notice the amazing peaks that made this area famous. It is a short 40 km ride in the van to El Chalten and you will arrive in time for a shower and dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: El Chalten, Lunajuim


Day 12: El Calafate

In the morning you will catch a bus to El Calafate. Your flight should not be before noon, and your transfer will take you to the airport depending on what time you depart.

Meals: Breakfast

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

There are set departures to match up with appropriate ferries

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $4,357 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.

The price of 2,962,000 CLP per person is based on a group of 2 people 

The price of 2,747,000 CLP per person is based on a group of 4 people

The price of 2,308,000 CLP per person is based on a group of 6 people

The price of 2,328,000 CLP per person is based on a group of 8 people

Includes

  • Transfer from Coyhaique airport to Hotel
  • 7 nights in private double hostel room or private cabins (up to 5 people per cabin, but not sharing rooms)
  • 1 night camping
  • 1 night in dorm bed in Candelario Mansilla - Subject to availability, camping may be used.
  • Breakfast on days 2 - 12
  • Lunch on days 2 - 11
  • Dinner on days 1 - 11
  • Support vehicle during cycling days 2-10 (including cycling snacks, water, transportation of gear)
  • Mechanical assistance with bike throughout trip
  • Cleaning and maintenance on bike
  • Camping gear (tents, cooking gear, sleeping pads, cooking tent)
  • Excursions listed in program
  • Rental Bike - Giant Talon 27.5 in various sizes, includes helmet
  • Transfer from Chalten to Calafate airport
  • Communication satellite (for security reasons only)

Excludes

  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Personal expenses and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?