Beyond The Carretera Austral: Day Hikes in Aysen

An exciting combination of some of the best day hikes that the Aysen region has to offer. With transfers to your accommodation and meals taken care of, you can soak up Aysen's stunning variety, on this truly diverse adventure.

13 Days

$4,750

Beyond The Carretera Austral: Day Hikes in Aysen - 13 - $4,750

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Individual day treks to all of Aysen's highlights including:

  • Enchanted Forest
  • Hanging Glacier
  • Exploradores Glacier
  • Marble Caves at Lago General Carrera

Start from Balmaceda Airport and end at Balmaceda Airport

Landmarks visited on Beyond The Carretera Austral: Day Hikes in Aysen

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Balmaceda to Lodge

After arrival at Balmaceda airport, where you will be met by your guide, you will travel for approximately four hours along a mostly paved road to the lodge near Coyhaique. The drive will take you along the scenic Carretera Austral which criss-crosses the Andes and brings you to the fjords that feed into the Pacific Ocean. After some lunch, there will be time to explore the area around the lodge. 

Accommodation: Lodge

Meals: Lunch, Dinner


Day 2: The Enchanted Trail

Hike details: 3 hours 

This morning, you'll depart for the Enchanted Trail. Following 12km of dirt road surrounded by waterfalls descending from mountain tops, the trail is rise and fall along the hairpins of the road into the Cisnes Valley. Here the Enchanted Forest Trail begins and you will find huge magical-looking trees covered with moss, ferns and lichens. 

The trail varies in difficulty and crosses streams, hills and rocky land. Lunch will be a picnic at the top of the trail by a glacial lagoon.

Back at the posada, you can soak in a hot tub or take a relaxed kayak trip around the lodge, out into the sea.

Accommodation: Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 3: The Hanging Glacier

Hike details: 3 hours

A short journey from the lodge takes you to the Hanging Glacier, where you will take a medium difficulty trail, the Moreena Trail. At 3.3km long, the trail begins steeply but then flattens out to bring you to an amazing viewpoint of the hanging glacier.

(Two easy and short trails are available as an alternative)

After lunch at the viewpoint, you have the option to take a boat ride on the lake to get a closer look at the glacier from below. Before returning to the lodge, there is a chance to visit Puyuhuapi village, approximately 30 minutes away.

Accommodation: Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 4: Cascada Vida Salvaje

Journey time: 4 hours

From the lodge, you will hike to a viewpoint of the Vida Salvaje waterfall. The hiking trail crosses the heart of the temperate coastal rain forest - this type of forest can be found only in five other locations in the world. During the hike curious chucao and hued hued birds can be seen easily, also you might see Rayaditos and hummingbirds. You will see various trees: arrayanes, tineos, tepas and canelos guests. The hike itself is easy all the way to the foot of the waterfall and then of medium difficulty up to the viewpoint, which 120m high. 

We return to the lodge for a light lunch and then journey onwards in the afternoon. Leaving the lush rainforest behind, we enter the drier Patagonian steppe and make our way to Estancia El Zorro.

Accommodation: Estancia El Zorro

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 5: Dawn with the Condors

Journey Time: 2 hours

You will have an early breakfast before a 6am departure toward the cliffs where condors spend the night. From here you will watch them rise with the first warm air currents of the day. You will have great photo opportunities here and enjoy a unique aspect of being higher than the condors as they take their first flight of the day.

Continue appreciating the local birds with a morning spent on the steppe bird watching, followed by lunch back at the estancia. More birds follow in the afternoon; this time seek out the wetland and forest birds nearby.

In the late afternoon, depart for the traditional Patagonian village of Cerro Castillo.

Accommodation: Cabanas don Niba, Cerro Castillo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 6: Cerro Palo

You'll begin the day by hiking through beautiful beech forests, ascending the mountain on a well-beaten trail before meandering your way into an old growth forest that is guaranteed to make you think 'Lord of the Rings'. Just near the tree line, you'll escape the forest and feast on a picnic in an alpine valley between Cerro Palo and Cerro Castillo. If you feel up for it, you can continue for another hour, to soak your feet in glacial Lake Yagan.

Accommodation: Cabanas don Niba, Cerro Castillo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 7: Laguna Cerro Castillo

Journey time: 2 hours

Starting from the village you'll hike through old Chilean farm before heading up through the forest with amazing views of the glaciers of Cerro Castillo. Upon reaching the tree line the going gets tough with a steep but well-trodden path to the overlook of the Cerro Castillo glacial lake. Your breath will be taken away with amazing views of the glaciers and surrounding Rio Ibanez Valley.

Drive from Cerro Castillo to Puerto Tranquilo and your lodgings for the night: El Puesto.

Accommodation: El Puesto, Puerto Tranquilo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 8: Exploradores Glacier

Depart for the Exploradores Glacier at 9am. It will be a full day's activity with a six hour excursion from the starting point at the glacier. Although it is graded as easy, this trek is long and so can still be quite tiring. Crampons, ice legging and ice climbing equipment will be provided.

Accommodation: El Puesto, Puerto Tranquilo

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch


Day 9: Marble Caves

This morning you will visit the marble caves and, weather permitting, you will take a boat tour on the lake to get up close and see this intriguing geological formation. You will see a beautiful island of marble, polished to a stunning turquoise blue by the water of the lake. The tour lasts for approximately one hour after which you can enjoy a coffee in Puerto Tranquilo before heading to Mirador de Guadal.

Accommodation: Mirador del Lago, Puerto Guadal

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 10: Leones Glacier

This full day activity begins with crossing the General Carrera Lake by jet boat. You then continue up the Leones river. At the bottom of a waterfall, disembark to continue on a 30 minute hike to the Leones Glacier.

Accommodation: Mirador del Lago, Puerto Guadal

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner


Day 11: Patagonia Park

Hike details: 6-8 hours

You will depart very early from Puerto Guadal to drive approximately one hour on a gravel road to the Patagonia Park. A possible hike is the Lagunas Altas Trail, which takes a full day, is of intermediate/advanced difficulty and is approximately 23km long. 

The trail starts at the West Winds Campground,and climbs up 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 office. Allow at least six to eight hours to complete this route, and bring your lunch, water, warm layers, and sun protection. 

Accommodation: Mirador del Lago, Puerto Guadal

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner


Day 12: Jeinimeni Hike

Hike details: 4-5 hours

At around 9am, you set out for the Jeinimeni National Park, close to Chile Chico. Upon arriving at Chile Chico there will be a short city tour, before heading to the national park. After enjoying some lunch you'll start the trek which should take approximately 4 to 5 hours.

The route takes you through valleys of typical Patagonian steppe where nature displays its great variety of geological rock formations. You'll pass the most extraordinary rock, the Piedra Enclavada an obelisk of approximately 30 meters high and standing alone in the middle of the meadow.

From here continue uphill to the Cueva de las Manos, a cave where indigenous Patagonians, the Tehuelches, drew their paintings over 8000 years ago. Finally, you'll cross a lunar landscape with beautiful labyrinth and sculpted rock formations, and after a further 30 minutes of walking arrive back at our car to return to the lodge.

Accommodation: Mirador del Lago, Puerto Guadal

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner


Day 13: Departure

After breakfast, we will depart early in order to reach Balmaceda airport for the last flight of the day.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $4,750 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, the price varies depending on group size, as follows: 

(Prices per person)

2 people: USD$ 8580

3 people: USD$ 6650

4 - 5 people: USD$ 6150

6 - 7 people: USD$ 5600

8 people: USD$ 4750

Includes

  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Park entrances
  • English speaking tour guide throughout
  • Transfer in a private minivan
  • Hikes described in itinerary
  • Special equipment when required
  • Local guides when required

Excludes

  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Personal expenses and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
  • Authorisation to cross into Argentina

Questions about this Trip?