What excursions does El Mirador de Guadal offer?

Illustrated Guide

1. The marble caves and the Exploradores Glacier

After breakfast you'll leave for Puerto Tranquilo on a beautiful drive along the northern shores of Lake Carrera, passing Lake Negro and the Leones River.

Just before Puerto Tranquilo, 1hr from El Mirador de Guadal, weather permitting, you can take a boat to the fascinating Marble Caves on Lake Carrera. The tour lasts an hour, after which you can have coffee at Hostal Carretera Austral at the entrance of the village. From there you'll take the road to the Pacific coast.

After 50km you'll arrive at the start of the short trek to the Exploradores Glacier and walk to a platform from where there's a great view of the Exploradores Glacier. The way back to El Mirador de Guadal will take about 2-3hrs.

Duration: Full-day | Activity level: Easy

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The spectacular Marble Caves

2. In search of the petrified sea shelves

After breakfast you'll take a van to the high lands about an hour from the lodge. From there you'll start trekking uphill through ancient lenga forests, enjoying spectacular views of Lake Carrera and the Contreras Mountain Range, along with its glaciers.

After approximately 90 minutes you'll reach the Veranadas - plateaus populated by grazing cattle during the summer months. From here you'll go further uphill for 30mins until you reach the rocks with the petrified sea shelves that were previously part of the Pacific Ocean.

You'll have your box lunch here while taking in this unique scenery before heading back to the van.

Duration: Full-day | Activity level: Medium-high

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Excursions from El Mirador de Guadal

3. The Secrets of the Meliquina Glaciers

After breakfast you'll drive for an hour to the valley of the Leones River. From here you'll hike along the Meliquina River, of which only the first 30mins is uphill.

While passing through beautiful lenga forests, you'll enjoy fantastic views of the river and the glaciers of the Northern Ice Field. After about two and a half hours you'll arrive at the Meliquina Glacier viewpoint from where you'll have an impressive view of the glacier, lake and valley.

Here you'll have time for a picnic lunch and a walk to take in the tranquillity of the place, before heading back to the lodge.

Duration: Full-day | Activity level: Medium

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Excursions from El Mirador de Guadal

4. To the high lands looking for the forgotten mine

You'll leave the lodge by car or foot (you can also leave the car half-way) to the forgotten mine. This old zinc and copper mine was an important income source for the region in the 1970s.

You can walk around the mine buildings and then uphill to the mysterious forest of lenga trees, many of which are fully covered with 'old man’s beard'.

You can enjoy your picnic lunch with a beautiful view over the lenga forests before heading back to the lodge.

Duration: 2-4hrs | Activity level: Easy

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View over Lake General Carrera, Puerto Guadal, Patagonia, Chile

View over Lake General Carrera

5. Trekking to the high lands along the Maqui Waterfalls

You'll leave the lodge and hike to the nearby Maqui Waterfalls, formed by several falls, the most impressive of which is 25m high.

From there you can follow the Maqui River for another hour to explore the different falls and enjoy the superb views from the high lands.

Duration: 1-3hrs | Activity level: Easy–medium

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Maquis Waterfalls, Puerto Guadal, Patagonia, Chile

Maquis Waterfalls

6. Neff/Baker river confluence and the National Park Patagonia

Around 10am you'll take a van to the village of Cochrane, along the Carretera Austral Sur, passing through Puerto Bertrand and following the shores of the Baker River.

Throughout this 4-hr tour you'll stop to visit the waterfall at the confluence of the Neff and Baker rivers. Half an hour further down the road you'll enter the Chacabuco Valley, part of the Patagonia National Park where the climate is drier and windier, the ideal habitat for guanacos.

Further into the park you might find flamingos and black neck swans in the small lagoons along the road. You'll also make a stop at the visitors centre of the park.

Duration: Full-day | Activity level: Easy

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Laguna views from the trails, Explora Patagonia Park, Patagonia National Park, Chile

Laguna views from the trails, Patagonia National Park

7. National Park Jeinimeni: like walking on another planet

Around 9am you'll head to the Jeinimeni National Park near Chile Chico. Upon arriving at Chile Chico, you'll take a short tour of the city before heading to the national park.

After a picnic lunch you'll start a 4-5hr trek, taking you through valleys of Patagonian steppe with a fantastic variety of geological rock formations. Here you'll see the 'Piedra Enclavada', an obelisk about 30m high, standing alone in the middle of the meadow.

From here you'll continue uphill to the 'Cueva de las Manos', a naturally formed cave where the Tehuelches created paintings over 8000 years ago.

Finally, you'll cross a lunar landscape with beautiful labyrinthine rock formations. After another 30mins walking you'll arrive back at your car and return to the lodge.

Duration: Full-day | Activity level: Medium

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Excursions from El Mirador de Guadal