Road Trip Carretera Austral: End of the Road

18 days of self-guided road tripping on the magical Carretera full of multiple means of adventure. Hike around Laguna Castillo and the Lagunas Altas Trail, and take to the ice on the Callequeo Glacier, spend an afternoon getting up close to the Marble Caves by kayak, and see the San Rafael Glacier by boat.

18 Days

Road Trip Carretera Austral: End of the Road - 18

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Begin the adventure crossing the Castillo mountain range and following the Rio Ibanez into the Andes
  • Sail through the Exploradores Valley to the San Rafael Glacier (day 5), cruise to the Isla de los Muertos (day 9) and take a ferry crossing from Lago General Carrera to Puerto Ibanez (day 17)
  • Tailor the activities to suit you; with different hike options and opportunities for snorkelling in the Cochrane River and rafting in the Baker River
  • Visit the mysterious Tortel, a small village built on stilts, explore Patagonia Park with half-day hikes, and enjoy a picnic lunch at the top of the Lagunas Altas Trail
  • All 17 nights of accommodation organised for you, across comfortable local lodges and hotels

Start from Coyhaique and end at Balmaceda Airport

Landmarks visited on Road Trip Carretera Austral: End of the Road

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Santiago to Balmaceda

Fly from Santiago to Balmaceda, a two hour flight. Upon arrival, pick up your hire car at the airport and driven head south to the Ibanez Valley, reaching the small village of Cerro Castillo.

Journey: 1 hour / 70 km

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: La Casona de Mary Sandoval, Cerro Castillo


Day 2: Hike to Laguna Castillo

Spend the day hiking to Laguna Castillo.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: La Casona de Mary Sandoval, Cerro Castillo


Day 3: Hike

Spend the day hiking.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: La Casona de Mary Sandoval, Cerro Castillo


Day 4: Puerto Rio Tranquilo and kayak to the Marble Caves

In the morning, drive south to Puerto Rio Tranquilo. In the morning, you will then head out on a half day kayak to the Marble Caves (included excursion).

Journey: 3 hours / 120 km

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: El Puesto, Puerto Rio Tranquilo


Day 5: Exploradores Valley and the San Rafael Glacier

A whole day venturing deep into the Exploradores Valley, with a boat trip to the San Rafael Glacier (included excursion).

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: El Puesto, Puerto Rio Tranquilo


Day 6: Drive south to Cochrane

Accommodation: Cochrane


Day 7: Excursion in Cochrane

You'll have a choice of excursions in Cochrane. Either ice hike on the Callequeo Glacier, snorkel in the Cochrane River, or hike in the Tamango Reserve.

Accommodation: Cochrane


Day 8: Caleta Tortel

Drive south to Caleta Tortel and spend the afternoon exploring the walkways and quirkiness of the area. If you'd prefer, you could also do a local hike.

Accommodation: Entre Hielos Lodge, Caleta Tortel


Day 9: Hike or boat trip

Spend the full day hiking to a glacier or take a boat trip to the Isla de los Muertos and hike.

Accommodation: Entre Hielos Lodge, Caleta Tortel


Day 10: Villa O'Higgins

Drive south to Villa O'Higgins.

Accommodation: Robinson Crusoe Lodge


Day 11: Sail around Lago O'Higgins

Enjoy a boat trip observing the glaciers around Lago O'Higgins.

Accommodation: Robinson Crusoe Lodge


Day 12: Day hike

Day hike.

Accommodation: Robinson Crusoe Lodge


Day 13: Patagonia Park

Drive north to the Patagonia Park, stopping off to do a rafting trip on the Baker River or to hike to the confluence of the Rio Neff and the Rio Baker.

On arrival at the Patagonia Park, settle in then head out on a half-day hike.

Journey: 3 hours / 120 km

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Chacabuco Lodge, Patagonia Park


Day 14: Laguna Altas Trail

Today you'll hike the Laguna Altas Trail. Starting at the West Winds Campground, just a short walk from the Lodge, you'll ascend the hill, close to Tamanguito Peak, before winding around numerous alpine lakes and returning to the park headquarters.

The trail is marked with rebar poles and trail maps are available at the reception. Allow at least six to eight hours to complete the route and bring a picnic, water, warm layers and sun protection.

Hike: 23 km / 14 miles / 1268 meter (4160 feet) ascent

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Chacabuco Lodge, Patagonia Park


Day 15: Lago Chico Loop

Another half-day of hiking in the stunning surroundings. In the eastern sector of the Chacabuco Valley, the Lago Chico areas has spectacular views of Lago Cochrane and Mount San Lorenzo. Drive up the valley approximately 45 km (28 miles) until you reach the second road on the right. Follow this road up the hill to a parking area, approximately 7 km. From there, you'll be able to head out on the loop trail around Lago Chico. Alternatively, you can enjoy a shorter stroll to a scenic overlook.

Hike: 12 km / 7.5 miles / 180 meter (590 feet) ascent

Accommodation: Chacabuco Lodge, Patagonia Park


Day 16: Patagonia Park

Explore the Park in the morning with a self-guided hike, before driving to Chile Chico in the afternoon.

Journey: 4 hours / 173 km

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Guest House in Chile Chico


Day 17: Ferry Crossing and final night

Take a ferry across the Lago General Carrera to Puerto Ibanez, a 2 hour 15 minute journey.

Afterwards, drive north and spend your final night in either Cerro Castillo or in a comfortable hotel just outside of Balmaceda.

Journey: 2 hours / 115 km

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Patagonia House


Day 18: Departure

Drive back to Balmaceda Airport and return your hire car, before your flight home or onward.

Journey: 50 minutes / 55 km

Meals: Breakfast

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $0 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.

Please note:

Prices are per person based on a group of 2 people

Departures can be set up for a minimum of 2 people. Please get in touch for details.


Includes

  • Meals: 9 breakfasts
  • Accommodation: 17 nights across lodges/hotels
  • Car hire for 18 days

Excludes

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

Questions about this Trip?