What excursions does Barraco Lodge offer?

Illustrated Guide

1. Arcoíris hike

This 5.8km trek requires us to leave the lodge early in the morning and
take a 30min flight in our helicopter to get to the of the trek located at La Junta in the Cochamó Valley.

Once landed, we’ll begin our trek to Cerro Arcoíris. To get to
the first balcony of this mountain we must trek 3.6km, reaching 1210m. This trail has a constant slope, making it difficult. Along the route we will walk through the native forest of Cochamó where we’ll see trees such as Alerce, Coihue and Arrayan. There will also be times when we’ll need to use a rope
to help us pass the difficult sections. At the first lookout we’ll see a fantastic panoramic view of the Cochamó Valley. After that we’ll walk another 600m to get to the second lookout where we’ll see Rio Reloncavi, Osorno
Volcano and Yates Volcano.

On the last part of the trek we’ll walk for 1km along the southwest ridge which requires a little rock climbing in parts, but it’s neither difficult nor technical.

We’ll then see our helicopter waiting for us at the summit from where we’ll be taken back to the lodge. At the summit we’ll be able to see three volcanoes: Osorno, Yates and Tronador, plus fantastic views of the Lake District region.

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The Arcoíris trek, Chilean Lake District, Chile

The Acoíris trek

2. Cochamó Amphitheatre hike

This 4.8km trek begins at La Junta and heads south-west along the edge of Río Cochamó. We will cross the river on a tree trunk that serves as a natural bridge and enter the evergreen forest.

After three hours of walking, we’ll leave the forest behind and be treated to the sight of the magnificent amphitheater – a circular, vertical granite wall 700m high.

The most demanding part of the hike begins here as we start to follow a streambed, dodging the large rocks that cross the stream in some places and navigating roots and fallen trees.

At the end of the walk, we’ll enjoy a spectacular view at the base of the huge granite wall. We’ll also have lunch here before the helicopter picks us up and flies us past the iconic peaks of Trinidad and El Monstruo.

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The Cochamó Amphitheatre, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

The Cochamó Amphitheatre

3. Laguna Gaviotas kayak

Secretly hidden in the heart of the Alerce Andino National Park lies this crystal-clear blue lagoon. We’ll leave the lodge by helicopter for a 20min flight to Laguna Gaviotas - a nesting places for these birds during summer. Experience what it feels to explore this jewel by kayaking amongst the birds and islands.

For lunch we’ll enjoy some wild food on a secret beach. The helicopter will pick us up later on in the day for a 20min flight over the Alerce Andino National Park, then along the Reloncavi Estuary and Río Puelo back to the lodge.

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Kayaking on Laguna Gaviotas, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Kayaking on Laguna Gaviotas

4. Heli-fishing

This is by far one of our most spectacular excursions. The day starts with breakfast at 7.30am at the lodge. At 8.30am we’ll meet the fishing guide and check that all your gear is in order and then escort you to the helicopter for a small safety brief from your pilot. At 9.00am, if weather permits, we’ll will take off, flying over lakes, mountains and rivers to reach some of the most pristine fishing spots in northern Patagonia.

With the company of your guide you’ll be able to explore locations on the rivers, lagoons and spring creeks. These are home to brown and rainbow trout and also king salmon during the season. Depending on what you like you’ll be able to explore more than one location in the day, or spend the whole day in one spot. At the end of the day be ready to fly back over some amazing scenery. In the afternoon, enjoy a nice hot tube, sauna and drinks.

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Heli-fishing for trout and salmon, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Heli-fishing for trout and salmon

5. Lodge to the Pacific Ocean by jetboat

Jetboat from the lodge to the Pacific Ocean, sailing with dolphins and including an optional stop at Del Sol hot springs. We’ll board our jetboat Viper at our dock and begin navigating through the Barraco current towards Lake Victoria.

We’ll pass by this calm lake, surrounded by abundant native forest coihues and arrayanes. We’ll follow Río Botapiedras and enter the narrow El Salto where your adrenaline is sure to rise in the level 3 rapids we pass through to enter the narrow arm of the Gaviones.

The jetboat continues at full speed down until we reach the delta of Río Puelo and enter Estuario de Reloncaví. If the Pacific Ocean is calm and we are lucky the dolphins will come to play around our jetboat. If the crew wants we can make an optional stop at the natural volcanic Del Sol hot springs at the base of Yates Volcano. We'd then head back to the lodge at full speed against the current.

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Jetboating on Lago Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Jetboating on Lago Tagua Tagua

6. Yates Volcano hike

We’ll leave in the morning from our helipad with all necessary mountain gear: crampons, ropes, harnesses and probes to walk on the southern glacier of the active Yates Volcano. Guides and a chef will accompany us on our flight heading west. We’ll fly close to the rapid el Salto in the Puelo River and ascend the eastern slope of Yates Volcano, full of crevasses and sulphur smoke.

Weather permitting, we’ll land at the base of the southern glacier where we start ascending, led by guides and roped. The views north to the Estuario Reloncavi and south to the Hornopiren Volcano and Canal Comau in the Pacific Ocean are superb. To our east are the snowy peaks of Puntiagudo, Osorno and Tronador. To our west is the majestic Pacific Ocean.

We'll descend to the spot where our chef will cook lunch. The flight back descends by the east side of the volcano and then along the Puelo Valley to arrive back in the lodge.

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Yates Volcano trek, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Yates Vocano trek

7. Cataraft: Tagua Tagua to Las Gualas

We’ll start this excursion by navigating down Río Puelo from Lago Tagua Tagua in our double catarafts with a guide, touring the best fishing spots. First is Lake Victoria, surrounded by exuberant nature, then we pass El Salto white-water rapid.

You’ll have the possibility to fish for brown and rainbow trout and salmon as you go through crystal clear level 3 rapids.

We stop at noon to enjoy a well deserved lunch next to the turquoise waters of Río Puelo. Later we can enjoy the hot tub and sauna.

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Catarafting - fishing for trout, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Catarafting - fishing for trout

8. Fly-fishing

We will sail on different areas of Puelo River looking for the best places to fish. Each jetboat will have two fishermen and one guide.

You can take this excursion during the morning, returning to the lodge to have lunch and go out again afterwards, or you can have lunch on the shore of the river with your guide and be able to enjoy a full-day of the best fishing.

The numeros rivers and lagoons found in this part of the world make the fly fishing extraordinary and is one of the main reasons to visit to stay at the lodge.

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Fly-fishing on Río Puelo, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Fly-fishing on Río Puelo

9. Barraco warm-up bike circuit

We start on the outskirts of Barraco, pedalling a 200m ascent to the meadow before entering the native forest. We make our way north through here on a narrow trail surrounded by coihues and arrayanes where we reach the Barraco trail and turn west in a deep descent of approximately 500m until we reach the gate of the north garden of the lodge.

We can start a second circuit here, or divert to the trail towards the Barraco waterfall in a gentle descent to the banks of Barraco river. Here we follow a flat winding trail by the river shore to arrive at the waterfall pond where a relaxing swim awaits us. A short but steep trail will bring us back to the lodge.

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Barraco warm-up circuit, Barraco Lodge, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Barraco warm-up circuit

10. Canyoning

This excursion is run at Barraco Waterfall, a 10min walk from the lodge. We’ll walk along the east shore of Rio Barraco then cross it and climb a short steep path to the upper part of the waterfall. Our guide will help us with the safety equipment – helmet, harness, gloves, slippers and wetsuit, if needed. In the upper part of the waterfall there is a second waterfall with a nice pond to swim.

Once our guide has done the briefing for the rappel and secured the fix point and rope, we start descending down the 40m waterfall. At the bottom we’ll stop on a platform that is connected to the path in case we want to repeat the rappel. There is also a tempting pond at the bottom of the waterfall where we can swim.

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Canyoning, Barraco Lodge, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile


11. Barraco hike

We start our trek from the lodge. We ascend to the east, towards the Mea de la Yegua waterfall in the ancient native forest with coihues, ulms, arrayanes, palo Santo, luma, avellanos and maitenes, all embracing us with their colours and scents.

The trail has three different sections, each featuring different types of trees and landscapes. The first section has native forest and is abundant in species from sea level until 600m. The second section has steeper terrain, reaching the mañios at about 900m. The third section, from 900m to 1,200m, is where the enormous larches are and the steep part of the trail finishes. After this point the terrain turns flatter and we walk towards the lagoon which, in winter, freezes thick enough to skate on.

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The Barraco trek, Barraco Lodge, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

The Barraco trek

Swoop Says background image

Peter says

I immediately felt very at home at Barraco Lodge – a welcoming team and idyllic location will do that to you. My (all too short) stay was crammed from start to end with stunning views, exhilarating hikes, wonderful people and incredible food, making for some very special memories.

Peter StanleyJones Patagonia Specialist

12. Horseride at La Junta

Our horses are ready to take you on a 2½hr ride through native forest to the banks of the Puelo River. From here we’ll continue our ride until we reach the magical beach at La Junta.

You’ll enjoy an incredible lunch amongst this luscious nature that’s home to wild boars, birds and pumas.

To return to the lodge you have two options:

1. Return on horseback until Jabali Island then sail back on our boat and enjoy and exciting 30mins going down the river between rapids before reaching Tagua Tagua Lake and the lodge.

2. Return by jet viper boat in 45mins from the beach at La Junta, along the Puelo River to the lodge.

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Horseriding at La Junta, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Horseriding at La Junta

13. Kayak Río Puelo

We’ll cross Tagua Tagua Lake in our safety boat carrying the duckies (for two people each). We’ll then board the duckies in Puerto Maldonado from where we’ll start our paddling adventure down Río Puelo.

After passing by the inflow of the river into Lake Tagua Tagua we’ll arrive at the base of a waterfall and continue our trip choosing the most favourable lake shore. Here we’ll stop at noon to enjoy a healthy meal on a beach.

After lunch we continue on our journey, arriving at the boat dock on the lake. We can board the safety boat at any time and return to the lodge if conditions turn unpleasant, or if you feel tired.

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Kayaking at the waterfall, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Kayaking at the waterfall

14. Tagua Tagua Park hike

The Tagua Tagua Park is located in a part of the Patagonian Andes where the forest, water and mountains interact as part of an endless life cycle. The geographical characteristics have allowed this valley to remain virgin to this day. Its natural barriers – Lake Tagua Tagua in its lower part and granite peaks in the other - have protected this beautiful place from the intervention of man.

There are 18km of trails and two refuges in this park: the Alerces refuge and the Quetrus refuge. To access the Alerces refuge you must walk 6.5km (about 4hrs), reaching a height of 535m. To reach the Quetrus refuge you must walk for approximately 5.5hrs, covering 10km. This refuge has a stunning view of the granite mountains, all surrounded by beautiful larch trees.

We can walk until we reach the Alerce or Quetrus refuge, then walk back to the park entrance and return to the lodge by boat.

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Trekking in Tagua Tagua Park, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Trekking in Tagua Tagua Park

15. Río Frío heli-bike

We’ll depart from our helipad, with our bikes and guide in the helicopter. The 20min flight heads across Lake Tagua Tagua and the meadows of the Río Puelo before turning north along Río Manso. We fly past the Cheyre bridge to the north with the notorious Río Frío entrance flowing into Río Manso.

Finally we land in the picturesque village of Frío and start pedalling, following a narrow dirt ox-cart road, passing small streams and ditches.

Through gaps in the native forest we’ll see the crystalline waters of Río Frío. The road continues for 8km with up and downs to arrive at Río Manso, crossing a bridge to continue to the eastern shore of Río Manso where the helicopter and our meal will be waiting. The return flight leaves from Isla Jabali.

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Heli-biking at Río Frío, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Heli-biking at Río Frío

16. Cataraft: Río Manso

We’ll board the first ferry of the day up Lake Tagua Tagua from Puerto Canelo. We’ll then continue in our 4x4 truck to the Río Frío where it flows into Río Manso.

Our catarafts will be waiting on site with our guide, ready to start floating on the shallow and calm waters. We’ll be able to land rainbow and brown trout. Lunch will be prepared on the riverbank by our chef and served with Chilean wine and soft drinks.

After lunch we’ll continue drifting and casting for more trout, passing by coves and pristine scenery until we reach our final destination at Oco’s place where our truck will be waiting to return us to the lodge.

Here we’ll enjoy our special curanto en olla or a lamb BBQ and later relax in our hot tub.

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Catarafting on Río Manso, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Catarafting on Río Manso

17. Lago Inexplorado heli-kayaking

We’ll leave the lodge in the morning, flying by helicopter with our guide and chef. The 30min flight is astounding through snowy peaks surrounding the Tagua Tagua Park is astounding on a clear day. We continue over the Río Traidor and Glaciar Toro where we will see huge glaciers and it’s around here that the two Inexplorados lakes will appear. Inexplorado Chico and Grande.

We'll land on the shore of Inexplorado Grande and our guides will prepare the kayaks/SUP. Paddling the lake we keep silent to hear the roaring avalanches of blocks of ice coming down from the peaks covered by permanent snow.

When we arrive back at the beach, the chef will have prepared our meal. After lunch, we can swim or paddle again in the before taking a flight back to the lodge. Our cozy hot-tub, sauna and quincho with appetisers will be ready.

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Kayaking on Lago Inexplorado, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Kayaking on Lago Inexplorado

18. Heli-ski

After breakfast at 8am be ready to walk down to the lodge’s helipad where our helicopter will take you on a 15-20min flight up to the drop zones on the nearby mountains and volcanos.

Your guide will make sure to lead you down some great runs that meet your skills while enjoying the epic scenery of northern Patagonia. You will have up to 1.5hrs of flight time included however if you feel the need to continue skiing/boarding you can purchase extra flight time at the lodge.

Note, there is a maximum of four people per group, plus a guide. The season is August to November. For safety reasons all heli-ski and boarding operations finish at 3pm. Barraco Lodge will only provide backpack with shovel, probe, and beacon. Ski gear can be rented at the lodge if needed.

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Heli-ski trip, Tagua Tagua, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Heli-ski trip

19. Ventisquero heli-bike

We’ll leave the lodge in our helicopter with a guide. It’s a 30min flight to Río Ventisquero, a tributary of Rio Puelo. We’ll follow a riverside trail that runs for 10km along the north west bank through native forest with lots of coihues. The trail crosses many shallow streams along the way and runs close to the river bank, letting us admire the turquoise waters which originated from the Toro Glacier. The trail is almost flat.

Down river we can continue, if desired, by the banks of Rio Puelo for another 10km. The helicopter will be waiting for us at the end with a healthy snack.

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Heli-bike trip to Río Ventisquero, Chilean Lake District, Chile

Heli-bike trip to Río Ventisquero