Road Trip Carretera Austral: Lago Circuit

A spectacular route deep in this remote region, winding around Lago General Carerra on mainly gravel roads, crossing it by ferry and taking in a boat excursion to the shining caves known as the Capilla de Marmol (Marble Cathedral), with car rental, overnight stops and meals all taken care of.

5 Days


Road Trip Carretera Austral: Lago Circuit - 5 - $1,150

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Follow an enchanting suggested route through Chile, with free use of a car allowing freedom to stop and soak up the highlights as you wish
  • Travel through the Rio Ibanez deep into the Andes and join the General Carretera shoreline
  • Discover the Marble Cathedral (Catedral de Marmol) and hike the Glaciar Exploradores
  • See the General Carrera Lake, the Andes and the Northern Ice Field appear before you as you wind through mountain roads 
  • Cover a vast area in five days and experience the charm of several different towns, staying in a range along the route

Start from Balmaceda Airport and end at Balmaceda Airport

Landmarks visited on Road Trip Carretera Austral: Lago Circuit

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Journey south to Puerto Tranquilo

Departure toward the south - the road first crosses the beautiful Castillo Mountain Range to then continue along the Ibanez River. From there the road travels deep into the Andes, crossing beautiful passes.

At the Joffre Pass, it is still possible to see the effects of the eruption of the Hudson Volcano in 1991. After crossing the Murta River, the road begins to border the General Carrera Lake until arriving at Puerto Tranquilo.

Length of excursion: 4 hours, 198km paved and gravelled road

Accommodation: Lodging in Puerto Tranquilo

Day 2: Travel west to Puerto Guadal

In the morning, join an excursion to the Capilla de Marmol.

Later we suggest to drive toward the west on a road that crosses to Bahia Explorador on the Pacific.

Midway, we recommend stopping at Glaciar Exploradores and doing the short hike to the view point - it is a self-guided hike and entrance fee must be paid on location.

Return and drive to Puerto Guadal.

Length of excursion: 1.5 hours, 61km gravel road

Accommodation: Lodging in Puerto Guadal

Day 3: Head north towards Chile Chico

Early in the morning departure toward the north but this time bordering the south-east shore of the General Carrera Lake.  It is a narrow and winding mountain road with magnificent views of the lake, the Andes and the Northern Ice Field.

After crossing Las Llaves pass, the road starts to descend toward Chile Chico always bordering the lake.

Length of excursion: 3 hours, 112km gravel road

Accommodation: Lodging in Chile Chico

Day 4: Chile Chico - Coyhaique

Ferry crossing from Chile Chico to Puerto Ibanez (2.5 hours).  Depending on the ferry schedule to cross to Puerto Ibanez, visitors might want to drive toward the Jeinimeni reserve or hire a navigation on the lake (excursion will depend on weather conditions).

Drive to Coyhaique (4 hours / 120 km).

Length of excursion: 6.5 hours, 120km

Accommodation:  Lodging in Coyhaique

Day 5: Departure to Balmaceda

Leave Coyhaique and travel to Balmaceda for return/onward travel.

Journey time: 45 minutes, 55km paved road

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $1,150 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.


  • Car Hire
  • Accommodation: 4 nights in lodgings along the route


  • Flights
  • Any additional excursions
  • Personal Equipment (request our recommended kit list for more details)
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities/Tips
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?