Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- Base yourself in an idyllic lodge in the heart of Aysen hosted by charming Stefan.
- Visit the ice, steppe and enormous rivers of Aysen with excellent local english speaking guides.
- All transport is included so there is no need to drive the dirt roads of Aysen.
Day 1 - Transfer to Mirador de Guadal Lodge:
You will be met at the airport and driven south along the Carreterra Austral. Enjoy crossing the Cerro Castillo range and skirting the enormous Lago General Carrera lake to catch glimpses of hanging glaciers. Stefan your host will welcome you to Mirador de Guadal Lodge where you will settle into your private villa with views across Lago General Carrera to San Valentin and the Northern Patagonian Ice Cap. You will enjoy supper prepared from local ingredients by Mirador de Guadal's excellent chef. Stefan will join you after dinner to talk you through the next day's activity.
Day 2 - Choice of Excursions:
Option 1: Patagonia Park
At around 10am you will drive to the Chacabuco Valley via the Carretera Austral Sur, passing through Puerto Bertrand and following the shores of the Baker River. During this tour of approximately 4 hours you'll experience the continuously changing environment and make a stop to watch the waterfall where the Neff River meets the Baker River. Half an hour further down the road we will enter the Chacabuco Valley, part of the National Park Patagonia and look for the guanaco herds, flamingos and black neck swans. Active guests can hike the Lagunas Altas circuit and less active visitors can explore the Chacabuco valley by car.
Option 2: Jeinimeini Park
At around 9am you'll head to the Jeinimeini National Park near Chile Chico. Upon arriving at Chile Chico, you will make on a short city tour before heading to the national park. After enjoying your box lunch you'll start a 4-5 hour trek. The route takes you through valleys of typical Patagonian steppe where nature excels with its great variety of geological rock formations. Here you will find the “Piedra Enclavada” a most extraordinary rock, similar to an obelisk of approximately 30 meters high and standing alone in the middle of the meadow. From here you continue uphill to the “Cueva de las Manos”, a naturally formed cave where the old Indians of Patagonia, the Tehuelches, drew their paintings over 8000 years ago. Finally, you cross a moonlike landscape with beautiful rock formations shaped as labyrinths and natural sculptures. After another half hour walking we arrive back at our car and have a long drive back to the lodge. This is a very long day so you'll be looking forward to getting back to your cosy villa with its wood burning stove.
Day 3 - Choice of Excursions:
Option 1: In Search of the Petrified Sea Shelves
After breakfast you will be driven up into the hills approximately one hour from the lodge. From here you will trek uphill through ancient Lenga forests, enjoying spectacular views of Lake Carrera and the Contreras Mountain Range along with its glaciers. After approximately an hour and a half, we will reach the Veranadas, the plateaus populated by grazing cattle during the summer months. From here we go further uphill (half an hour) until you reach the rocks with petrified sea shelves, which, amazingly, were part of the Pacific Ocean in ancient times. You will sit and enjoy a box lunch while taking in the unique scenery before returning to Mirador de Guadal to enjoy a drink on the veranda.
Option 2: Trekking to the high lands along the Maqui Waterfalls
If you are looking for a relaxed day near the lodge then this is a good short excursion. We will hike from the lodge to the nearby Maqui waterfalls, which are formed by several falls, the most impressive one has a height of 25m. From there we can follow the Maqui River for another hour to explore the different falls and enjoy the magnificent view from the high lands. You can then spend the afternoon enjoying the views and taking a dip in the lake.
Day 4 - Marble Caves and Exploradores Valley:
After breakfast you will head to Puerto Tranquilo village. It is a beautiful drive along the northern shores of Lake Carrera, passing Lake Negro and the Leones River. Just before arriving at Puerto Tranquilo, at hour from El Mirador de Guadal, you can (when the weather allows for it) take a boat tour on Lake Carrera to the Marble Caves, an intriguing geological formation formed by an island of marble polished by the turquoise coloured water of the lake. The boat trip will take about an hour after which you can a have a coffee at Hostal Carretera Austral at the entrance of the village. From there you'll be driven up a road that is being built to the Pacific coast. After 50km we will arrive at the trailhead to the Exploradores Glacier. You will climb through temperate rainforest to a platform for a great view of the Exploradores Glacier. The drive back to El Mirador de Guadal will take about 2-3 hours.
Day 5 - Farewell:
Say goodbye to Aysen and transfer back to Balmaceda airport.
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
The price given is a full board option for 2 people.
For 1 person the price is USD $3085
For 3 people the price is USD $1460
For 4 people the price is USD $1185
El Mirador de Guadal offers a B&B option for guests who do not wish to take full board.
Guests can also choose to stay for 3 or 5 nights to suit their itinerary. Please get in touch for more details.
- Transfer to and from the airport Balmaceda or Coyhaique
- Accommodation in superior single or double rooms
- Full board meals, including refreshments and snacks during transfers
- Guide and transfer for the one selected excursion
- Box lunches during the tours
- Drinks during lunch & dinner
- Any additional guided tours (available for USD $600 per group)
- Personal expenses and equipment
- Travel insurance
- Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses