Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- Take the alternative lake crossing into Argentina, giving you time to really soak up this special corner of Chile
- Explore the remote heart of the Patagonian Andes and the rural Puelo Valley
- Surrounded by southern beech forests and gemstone-coloured lakes, follow beautiful trails around Lago Azul
- Stay in authentic wooden cottages and enjoy meals in the cosy reception room, with an open fire and a snug library area
- Food is locally sourced and meals are interesting, while wine freely flows
Day 1: Puerto Varas / Las Bandurrias Island
Timing: 4 hrs private transfer including several stops; 45 minutes ferry crossing, 50 minutes walk; 10 minutes motorboat to Las Bandurrias Island.
The trip starts in Puerto Varas where a private transfer will pick you up in the morning. You'll head towards the Andes, admiring the Llanquihue Lake as well as the Calbuco and Oxorno volcanoes that are part of the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park.
Upon reaching the shore of the Lake Tagua Tagua, you'll stop for a picnic lunch. Then continue onwards by water, taking the ferry across the lake. On the other side, the road will slow down inside the Puelo Valley until you arrive at La Colina Farm, allowing time to delight at the scenery.
The farm keeper, or baquiano, will be ready to greet you at the farm,with pack horses to take the luggage to the edge of the lake. You'll walk for 50 minutes on easy terrain until reaching Las Rocas Lake, from where you'll take a motorboat across to Las Bandurrias Island, a short 10 minute journey.
Welcome to Las Bandurrias! Greeted by homemade cakes and cookies, before dinner you'll be able to walk around the island or go for a swim.
Meals: Picnic lunch, tea, dinner
Accommodation: Retreat, Las Bandurrias Island
Day 2: Excursion of your choice
For your full day on the island you can choose how you wish to explore:
Hiking or Horse Riding
Just a short 20 minute boat trip takes you across to the shores of the Lago de Las Rocas where hiking or horse back trails lead you to the beautiful Lago Azul or Blue Lagoon. Depending on your appetite for hiking, this can either be a short 2 hour (8km) there and back hike or a longer 5 hour version that takes you through old growth forest and along the extension of the lake.
The house has 2 double canoes which you can take out self-guiding (with life jackets). Do a loop of the island by canoe or head over to the lake shores to explore skirting the edge of the lake. The peace and tranquility is incredible.
Walk the Island Loop
There is a 1km trail (20 minutes walking) that takes you around the island up to 3 different view points. It’s short but the views are stunning. There is also a handily positioned bench for you to take your time at the highest point — 352 mts!
If you like swimming, be sure to bring your goggles! The thick evergreen beach forest tumbles straight into the water not just on the island but throughout the whole lake region. When trees fall into the water, as the water is pretty cold due to the depth of the lake, they don’t decompose but stay under the water — with a pair of googles you can see hundreds of years of tree trunks under the water.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner
Accommodation: Retreat, Las Bandurrias Island
Day 3: Las Bandurrias Island / Bariloche
Timing: 3 hrs private transfer to Puerto Varas; 10 minutes motor-boat, 50 minutes walk, 1 hr private transfer from La Colina farm to Lake Tagua Tagua, 45 minutes ferry crossing.
After a homemade breakfast you'll take the motorboat to the east side of Lake Las Rocas, witnessing the stunning beauty of Inferior Lake and the source of the Puelo River, a major river that flows into the Pacific Ocean.
You'll reach the customs and immigration post for Chile from where it is a short walk to reach Inferior Lake. Here, you'll travel across the lake by motorboat and then down the river through a short rapid, the natural border between both countries. Before Argentine border formalities you will arrive at Lago Puelo National Park and from the far end of the lake you'll take a private transfer to El Bolson, stopping for lunch and possibly also a traditional craft market.
You'll arrive into the town of Bariloche in the afternoon.
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
The cost of the trip is USD $2,300 per person based on two people sharing.
Departures can be set for a minimum of 2 people for any date between October and February depending on availability.
It is also possible to visit this Island traveling from Bariloche to Puerto Varas.
The trip can also be extended to a two or three night itinerary including activities such as horse-riding and fishing, please enquire for more details.
- Meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 teas and 2 dinners
- Accommodation: 2 nights in a private cabin
- In/out private transfers
- All boat transport – car ferry, small local boat & jet boat
- Local guides, huasos and tour leader
- VHF radio & communication equipment
- Any meals not indicated in itinerary
- Personal expenses and equipment
- Horse riding is at an additional cost
- Travel insurance
- Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses