Beyond The Carretera Austral: Day Hikes in Aysén

This trip combines the best day hikes in Chile's Aysén region. Trek along forest trails to glacial lagoons, ice-walls and waterfalls. Spend dawn with condors, hike on remote glaciers and take a boat trip to marble caves. With all the logistics taken care of, you can devote yourself to soaking up the stunning variety of Patagonia on this truly diverse adventure. This trip combines the best day hikes in Chile's Aysén region. Trek along forest trails to glacial lagoons, ice-walls and waterfalls. Read more...
13 Days
$4,127

Beyond The Carretera Austral: Day Hikes in Aysén - 13 - $4,127

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Transfer from Balmaceda/Coyhaique to Chile Chico; La Hosteria de Patagonia

Day 2: Trek in Lake Jeinimeni National Park; Transfer to Puerto Guadal

Day 3: Boat trip to Glacier Leones; Mirador del Lago

Day 4: Transfer to Patagonia Park; Trek to La Confluencia; Border Baker Lodge

Day 5: Trek the Lagunas Altas Trail; Border Baker Lodge

Day 6: Transfer to Puerto Río Tranquilo; Trip to the marble caves; El Puesto

Day 7: Trek on Glacier Exploradores; El Puesto

Day 8: Trek on Cerro Palo; Cabanas don Niba

Day 9: Trek to Lake Cerro Castillo; El Puesto

Day 10: Transfer to Punta del Monte; Coyhaique; Lodge

Day 11: Condors at dawn; Transfer to Puyuhuapi; Lodge

Day 12: Trek in the Quelat National Park; Lodge

Day 13: Transfer to Balmaceda Airport

Start from Balmaceda Airport and end at Balmaceda Airport

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

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer from Balmaceda/Coyhaique to Chile Chico; La Hosteria de Patagonia

Meet at Balmaceda/Coyhaique Airport and get started on your adventure in Aysen. You'll head south, along the Carretera Austral, through the beautiful Cerro Castillo National Reserve, with a stop for lunch overlooking the beautiful Ibanez river valley. From there, you'll head to Puerto Ingenerio Ibanez, where you take the local ferry across Lake General Carrera to the town of Chile Chico.

Relax at a beautiful bed and breakfast, La Hosteria de Patagonia, where you can enjoy their secret gardens and appreciate the amazing collection of antiques.

Meals: Picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: La Hosteria de Patagonia


Day 2: Trek in Lake Jeinimeni National Park; Transfer to Puerto Guadal

At around 9am, you'll set out for Lake Jeinimeni National Park, close to Chile Chico. Upon arrival at Chile Chico there will be a short tour of the town, before we head to the national park. After enjoying some lunch you'll start the trek which should take approximately 4-5hrs.

The route takes you through valleys of typical Patagonian steppe where there are some fantastic geological rock formations. You'll pass the most extraordinary rock, the Piedra Enclavada, an obelisk about 30m high which stands alone in the middle of a meadow.

From here continue uphill to the Cueva de las Manos, a cave where indigenous Patagonians, the Tehuelches, created their paintings over 8,000 years ago. You'll cross a lunar landscape with beautifully sculpted rock formations and, after a further 30mins of walking, arrive back at our car.

We’ll then drive to Puerto Guadal where we’ll spend the night at the Mirador del Lago.

Length of hike: 4-5hrs

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Mirador del Lago


Day 3: Boat trip to Glacier Leones; Mirador del Lago

This full day activity begins with a crossing of Lake General Carrera by jet boat. You'll then continue up the Leones River to the base of a waterfall where you disembark and continue on a 30min hike to Glacier Leones.

We'll return to spend the night at the Mirador del Lago in Puerto Guadal.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Mirador del Lago


Day 4: Transfer to Patagonia Park; Trek to La Confluencia; Border Baker Lodge

Today we’ll take a half-day hike in the newly created Patagonia National Park where we'll trek to La Confluencia. The hiking is simply stunning as you take in the immense views and the curious wildlife, whilst following a 3km trail which descends, steeply in places, to the confluence of the Baker and Chacabuco rivers. Whilst not a long distance, expect this hike to take 3-4hrs as you stop to take in your majestic surroundings that few other tourists get to experience. Until recently, this area was private farmland, but it now part of a rewilding project to bring back the natural habitat and autochthonous fauna.

We’ll stay overnight at the delightful and comfortable Border Baker Lodge with its individual cabins overlooking the beautiful river below.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Border Baker Lodge


Day 5: Trek the Lagunas Altas Trail; Border Baker Lodge

Today we’ll trek the 23km Lagunas Altas Trail. This takes a full day and is of intermediate/advanced difficulty. 

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 6-8hrs to complete this route and make sure you bring your picnic lunch, water, warm layers, and sun protection.

After the trek, stay another night at Border Baker Lodge.

Length of hike: 6-8hrs

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Border Baker Park


Day 6: Transfer to Puerto Río Tranquilo; Trip to the marble caves; El Puesto

This morning you'll take a transfer to Puerto Río Tranquilo. We’ll then visit the marble caves and, weather permitting, you'll take a kayak out 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.

At the end of the trip we’ll head to our lodgings, El Puesto in Puerto Río Tranquilo.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: El Puesto


Day 7: Trek on Glacier Exploradores; El Puesto

We'll depart for Glacier Exploradores at 9am. This will be a full day of activity with a 6hr excursion from the starting point at the glacier. Although this trek is graded as easy, it is long so can still be quite tiring. Crampons, ice leggings and ice climbing equipment will be provided.

We'll return to spend another night at El Puesto in Puerto Tranquilo

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Accommodation: El Puesto


Day 8: Trek to Cerro Palo; Cabanas don Niba

You'll begin the day by trekking 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 before heading to the Cabanas don Niba where we’ll spend the night.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Accommodation: Cabanas don Niba


Day 9: Trek to Lake Cerro Castillo; El Puesto

Starting from Cerro Castillo village you'll hike through an old 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 viewpoint of the glacial Lake Cerro Castillo. Your breath will be taken away by the amazing views of the glaciers and surrounding Río Ibanez Valley.

Later we'll take a transfer from Cerro Castillo back to El Puesto in Puerto Tranquilo.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Accommodation: El Puesto


Day 10: Transfer to Punta del Monte; Coyhaique; Lodge

Today you’ll take a stunning transfer along the famed Carretera Austral, northwards for just over 200km/130 miles to Punta del Monte, very close to the Argentine border.

With every curve in the road, you'll want to stop for another panoramic photo, or perhaps you'll be surprised by roaming guanacos (Patagonian llamas) that are found in these wild areas. This is also the home of the Andean condor, the world's heaviest flying bird, which soars on-high, searching for carrion on which to feed.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Accommodation: Lodge


Day 11: Condors at dawn; Transfer to Puyuhuapi; Lodge

You'll have an early breakfast before a 6am departure from Coyhaique to the cliffs where condors spend the night. From here you'll watch the birds rise with the first warm air currents of the day. There will be great photo opportunities here and you can enjoy a unique position of being higher than the condors as they take their first flight of the day.

We'll continue admiring the local birds with a morning spent on the steppe bird watching, followed by lunch back at the estancia. In the afternoon we'll head to the nearby wetland to spot forest birds.

Around 3pm we'll take a transfer to a lodge in Puyuhuapi where we’ll have dinner and stay the night.

Meals: Breakfast, asado lunch, dinner. (The asado lunch today is only included when there are 3 or more guests. The price is CLP 186,000 per person)

Accommodation: Lodge


Day 12: Trek in the Quelat National Park; Lodge

A short journey from the lodge takes you to the start of the Moreena Trail in Quelat National Park – a medium-difficulty trek, 3.3km long. The trail begins steeply but then flattens out to bring you to an amazing viewpoint of the hanging glacier.

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.

We'll return to Puyuhuapi for another night in the lodge.

Two easy and short trails are available as an alternative

Length of hike: 3hrs

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Lodge


Day 13: Transfer to Balmaceda Airport

After breakfast, we'll depart early in order to reach Balmaceda Airport for the last flight of the day.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Customer review background image

What our customers think

Watching 50 to 70 guanacos in their natural habitat about 200 feet from me in the late afternoon in a stunning valley with mountains surrounding the valley - Valle Chacabuco Parque Patagonia

Carolyn Adams United States Of America January 2020

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

The guide price of USD $4,127 per person is based on a group of 4-5 people


The itinerary will be quoted in Chilean Pesos (CLP) and vary due to exchange rate

The price varies depending on group size as shown below:

6-7 people: USD $3,620 per person

4-5 people: USD $4,127 per person

2-3 people: USD $5,256 per person

Includes

  • Meals: 12 breakfasts, 13 picnic lunches, 8 dinners
  • Accommodation: 12 nights in lodges
  • All park entrance fees
  • English and Spanish-speaking guides
  • Transfers in a private minivan
  • Special equipment when required

Excludes

  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Drinks during lunch and 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
  • Authorisation to cross into Argentina

Questions about this Trip?