Road Trip Carretera Austral: End of the Road

Drive the famous Carretera Austral all the way from Balmaceda down to Villa O'Higgins, the last town in the lesser-known Aysén region. You'll cross the most rugged and unspoilt areas in the world, while along the way visiting marble caves, glaciers, villages on stilts and interacting with charming locals on this action-packed 9-day road trip through Chilean Patagonia. Drive the famous Carretera Austral all the way from Balmaceda down to Villa O'Higgins, the last town in the lesser-known Aysén region. You'll cross the most rugged and unspoilt areas in the world, while along the way visiting marble caves, glaciers, villages on stilts and interacting with charming locals on this action-packed 9-day road trip through Chilean Patagonia.
9 Days
$3,720

Road Trip Carretera Austral: End of the Road - 9 - $3,720

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Drive from Balmaceda Airport to Mallín Colorado; Mallín Colorado Ecolodge

Day 2: Trek or horse ride at Mallín Colorado; Mallín Colorado Ecolodge

Day 3: Drive to the River Baker and on to Caleta Tortel; Lodge

Day 4: Drive to Villa O'Higgins; Robinson Crusoe Lodge

Day 5: Boat trip to Glacier O'Higgins; Robinson Crusoe Lodge

Day 6: Drive to Patagonia National Park and on to Mallín Colorado; Mallín Colorado Ecolodge

Day 7: Boat trip on Lake Bertrand; Mallín Colorado Ecolodge

Day 8: Drive to Chile Chico and on to Coyhaique; Hotel

Day 9: Drive to Balmaceda Airport

Start from Balmaceda Airport and end at Balmaceda Airport

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

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Drive from Balmaceda Airport to Mallín Colorado; Mallín Colorado Ecolodge

Arrive at Balmaceda Airport and either pick up your 4x4 vehicle (self-drive), or meet your guide with their vehicle if choosing the guided trip. From this small town and airport you'll drive 240km to Mallín Colorado, through the vast and beautiful North Patagonian landscapes. Stop for lunch en route and take an excursion to the marble caves near Puerto Tranquilo to see fascinating rock formations and caverns and encounter marine life in clear turquoise waters.

In Mallín Colorado you'll stay at Mallín Colorado Ecolodge.

Journey: 4hrs, 240km

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Mallín Colorado Ecolodge


Day 2: Trek or horse ride at Mallín Colorado; Mallín Colorado Ecolodge

Take breakfast in the main lodge and then enjoy either walking or horse riding to Mallín Colorado Lagoon, through native forests of coigüe and lenga trees, with excellent views to the glaciers of Cordón Contreras. In the afternoon you'll have free time – perfect for enjoying the 3km of pathways around Mallín Colorado Ecolodge, or just to relax and soak up the stunning views. 

Meals: Breakfast, dinner 

Accommodation: Mallín Colorado Ecolodge


Day 3: Drive to the River Baker and on to Caleta Tortel; Lodge

After an early breakfast, drive to Caleta Tortel visiting Puerto Bertrand and the River Baker, its confluence with River Nef and the town of Cochrane. Take lunch in Cochrane and in the afternoon continue your road trip to the south arriving at Caleta Tortel by the evening where you'll stay for the night.

The town consists of an ingenious network of footbridges, stairs and bridges that go over rocks, vegetation and marshes, connecting the piers with the houses distributed in the different sectors of the town.

Journey: 3.5hrs, 190km

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Accommodation: Lodge 


Day 4: Drive to Villa O'Higgins; Robinson Crusoe Lodge

Drive south to Villa O'Higgins - this is a 6hr journey down to the southern tip of the road, including a 30min car ferry ride across the New Year Fjord. On arrival into Villa O’Higgins, check in to Robinson Crusoe Lodge and take some time to explore the little village, or have a soak in the hotel's wood burning hot tub, surrounded by stunning snow capped mountains.

Journey: 6.25hrs, 150km, including car ferry

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Accommodation: Robinson Crusoe Lodge


Day 5: Boat trip to Glacier O'Higgins; Robinson Crusoe Lodge

After breakfast, if the weather is good, you'll take a full-day boat excursion to Glacier O'Higgins, located in the Southern Icefield and one of the most unspoilt places in the world.

Lunch is included and will be served onboard. If the weather is too rough for the boat to depart, there are plenty of self-guided hiking options on offer.

You'll return to Villa O'Higgins to spend another night at Robinson Crusoe Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast , picnic lunch and dinner

Accommodation: Robinson Crusoe Lodge


Day 6:  Drive to Patagonia National Park and on to Mallín Colorado; Mallín Colorado Ecolodge 

After breakfast you'll set off to return to Mallín Colorado.

Stop for lunch in Cochrane and pay a visit to the Patagonia National Park. Continue your journey north and arrive back at Mallín Colorado Ecolodge in time for dinner. 

Journey: 6.5hrs, 320km

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Accommodation: Mallín Colorado Ecolodge


Day 7: Boat trip on Lake Bertrand; Mallín Colorado Ecolodge

Enjoy breakfast and a relaxing morning at the lodge. After lunch take a boat trip on Lake Bertrand.

You'll spend another night at Mallín Colorado Ecolodge.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Accommodation: Mallín Colorado Ecolodge


Day 8: Drive to Chile Chico and on to Coyhaique; Hotel

After breakfast, drive along the cliff shore of Lake General Carrera. This is possibly the most beautiful road in Chile. You'll arrive in the town of Chile Chico and if there is a ferry running from Chile Chico to Puerto Ibáñez today, your tour will continue on to Coyhaique. If not, drive back to Mallín Colorado for dinner and lodging. 

Journey: 5.5hrs, 160km

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Accommodation: Hotel in Coyahique or Mallín Colorado Ecolodge


Day 9:  Drive to Balmaceda Airport

After breakfast, drive to Balmaceda Airport for your journey home.

Meals: Breakfast

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

The price of USD $3,720 per person is based on a group of 2 people taking an independent tour with a rented 4x4 car and sharing room.

Private guided tours are available for USD $4,460 per person based on a group of 2 people.

A departure can be set up on a date of your choice. Please get in touch for more details.

Includes

  • Meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 picnic lunch, 8 dinners
  • Accommodation: 4 or 5 nights at Mallín Colorado Ecolodge, 1 night at homestay in Caleta Tortel, 2 nights at Robinson Crusoe Lodge, 1 night at hotel in Coyhaique (if ferry is running)
  • Private transport – either self-drive vehicle, or vehicle with guide/driver
  • 24/7 support from our local partners for any queries
  • Trek/horseback ride to Mallín Colorado Lagoon
  • Marble caves boat excursion
  • Visit to Puerto Bertrand and River Baker confluence
  • Full day boat excursion to Glacier O'Higgins – including picnic lunch
  • Ferry across Lake General Carrera
  • Boat excursion on Lake Bertrand

Excludes

  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Drinks during lunch or dinner
  • Any extra/optional excursions
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?