Day 2: Arrival & introductions
Arrive in Santiago and connect to Puerto Montt. In Puerto Montt you board your 40-minute flight to Chaitén, a flight back in time. We will meet you at the airport where we start our drive across the Andes: volcanoes, fjord-like lakes, hanging glaciers, and the turquoise rapids of the Futaleufu River. We arrive at our Adventure Lodge in Futaleufu, surrounded by majestic mountains. You'll unwind from your trip with a hearty welcome dinner.
Day 3: Las Escalas Valley
After breakfast and a morning orientation, you will start your trek mid morning, walking downstream through green rolling hills and ranch land. Within several miles you will enter a deep black rock gorge. Our trail is cut into the side of the canyon, giving a bird’s eye view of the agitated, radiant turquoise Futaleufu River below. Several miles later the gorge opens into the remote Las Escalas Valley. We cross this open area and enter a old growth, temperate forest where we find a remote ranch where we pitch our tents, and eat dinner as the sun sets on the peaks above us.
Day 4: Throne Room & Rio Azul
We awake in a remote setting. We take breakfast in our host’s kitchen. We learn how life is lived without roads, electricity, or phones. The Futaleufu Valley trail continues downstream, rejoining the Futaleufu River. You will be able to hike to an overlook of the powerful Class 5 “Throne Room” rapid. This Class 5 + rapid is a whitewater powerstorm blasting through a narrowing in the canyon walls.
After viewing this maelstrom from a cliff above, we have lunch on a gravel beach on the side of a huge calm pool below. This is a fishing opportunity. The trail continues with beautiful green meadows and spectacular vistas of the rugged mountains. We arrive at perhaps the climax of beauty when we reach the confluence of the Rio Azul and Rio Futaleufu under the gaze of the Tres Monjas peak. There are several white sand beaches. We cross the Azul in two canoes tied together, and we will spend the night in tents at this eco-camp complete with sauna and hot showers and sit-down dining.
Day 5: Climb to the Tres Monjas Spires
An early morning start allows one to climb as high as one wants to the base of Tres Monjas Peak. This offers a truly spectacular view of the Azul and Futaleufu River Valleys. Near the base is the unusual enchanted forest of the rare Lenga trees. The peak itself defines the border of Chile with Argentina. Carefully hiking down, you return to a sauna, a hot shower, and a great meal at Campo Tres Monjas.
Day 6: Trek to the Terminator Rapid
Today you can choose how far you want to hike. You walk downstream through open meadows looking down on the Futaleufu River. Our destination is the Terminator Rapid and a lunch spot on smooth rapids, one of the best waves on the river. The power and beauty of this river is awe inspiring and will take your breath away. After a relaxing picnic, you will trek back to Campo Tres Monjas.
Day 7: Azul Valley & Lago Loncanao
After a hearty breakfast, we cross the Azul in our canoes and walk on a trail up the glacier-ringed Rio Azul Valley. Entering a forest, we wind around the backside of Lake Lonconao. We pitch our tents at a small homestead and experience the local culture. If we are into hiking a 10 mile day, we can reach a improved cabin at the end of Espolon Lake.
Day 8: Lago & Rio Espolon
After breakfast we depart towards another mountain lake, Lago Espolon. Here the Espolon drains it and plunges over a huge and violent cascade. After viewing this at the overlook, we ride down the side of the Espolon River where white sandy beaches wait for us and where we can swim in the transparent waters of the Espolon. We return to the little village of Futaleufu and our Adventure Center accomodations.
Day 9: Farewell Breakfast & Departure
Wake up for an early breakfast and drive back to Chaitén. From Chaiten fly back to Puerto Montt and the onward to Punta Arenas.
Day 10: Explore Puerto Montt (or Punta Arenas)
Make arrangements to spend the day in Puerto Montt or Punta Arenas, Chile. Explore either city on your own for the day.
Day 11: Arrival & Introductions in Punta Arenas
Our guide will meet you at the Punta Arenas airport. Transfer to Puerto Natales, a three-hour drive through the Patagonian pampa. Lodging in Puerto Natales at hostel Concepto Indigo, dinner, slide show and meeting to discuss trip program.
Day 12: Torres del Paine
Transfer by van to Torres del Paine National Park. This is a two-hour journey through ranch country crossing the pampas of Patagonia, Chile. Arrival at Torres del Paine. Trek to the base of The Towers (7 hours roundtrip, 16 KM ), a spectacular trek to view the three pink granite towers that made Torres del Paine famous. Lodging and dinner at Hostel Chileno, situated in the Ascencio Valley.
Day 13: Lake Nordenskjold & Glaciers
Today we will be trekking along Lake Nordenskjold and below the hanging glaciers of Mount Admiral Nieto, to the base of Los Cuernos (5 hours, 11 KM). One of the most spectacular in Patagonia, Chile. Lodging and dinner at Hostel Cuernos.
Day 14: French Valley & Lake Pehoe
Trekking to the French Valley ( 6 hours round trip). This valley, the most beautiful in Torres del Paine and one of the most unique in the world, it is surrounded by hanging glaciers and an amphitheater of granite walls and spires. Afterward, we will trek to the extraordinary turquoise Lake Pehoe (2 hours). Total 24 KM, Lodging and dinner at Paine Grande Lodge.
Day 15: Trekking Lake Grey
Trekking along the enchanting Lake Grey (3-4 hours 11 KM) with magnificent views of Glacier Grey and floating icebergs. Visit to the glacier lookout point and to the lakeshore for upclose views of vibrant-blue icebergs (Paine is a Tehuelche Indian word for "blue"). You will have a free afternoon for relaxing. In the evening, we will meet to plan the trek on Glacier Grey the following day. Lodging and dinner at Camp Grey.
Day 16: Glacier Grey Trek & Navigation
After breakfast, we begin the trek to Glacier Grey. There, our guides will give an introductory course regarding the basics of trekking on ice, as well as how to use technical equipment, before beginning our blue adventure on Glacier Grey. An optional introductory course on ice climbing will also be offered. After lunch we will board a boat and explore this magical lake surrounded by ice bergs. Transfer from Hosteria Grey to Camp Pehoe Ruta. Lodging and dinner in this beautiful place with the view of Paine Grande, The Horns, French Valley, Almirante Nieto. Another Patagonia trekking highlight.
Day 17: Mirador del Condor
Trekking to Mirador del Condor, look out point to the whole Paine mountain Range, and Laguna Honda, Sarmiento and Verde, continue the trek to Quebrada la Feria, crossing a anscest Lenga Forest, our van wait at Weber bridge, transfer back to Puerto Natales Lodging and farewell dinner at Concepto Indigo Lodge.
Day 18: Departure for Home
Transfer by van to the Punta Arenas airport, with a stop at the Seno Otway penguin reserve. End of the Patagonia trekking trip…
Included: Round trip airfare between Puerto Montt and Chaiten. All local transportation, food and lodging. All equipment and guides for the week of activities. Guides, transfers, kayaking and ice gear, camping gear, park entrance fees.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Chile Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking