Days 1 - 2: Santiago - Puerto Montt. Overnight flight to Santiago, the vibrant capital of Chile. Onward flight to Puerto Montt, a bustling harbour town which is gateway to the spectacular Lake District. Accommodation: Hotel.
Day 3: Puerto Vares - Puelo. Morning drive into the Chilean wilderness passing Alerce Andino National Park, the largest surviving valdivian rainforest in the world. Our destination is Caleta La Arena for a short ferry crossing to the tiny forested island of Caleta Puelche. Ride on undulating off-road trails alongside the tranquil Reloncavi Fjord (Estuario de Reloncavi) to our overnight accommodation near the small town of Puelo. Accommodation: Lodge. Cycling distance: 65 km.
Day 4: Puelo - Ensenada. After another short hop across the fjord we set off towards Cochamó, a beautiful fishing village which boasts Volcán Yate as a stunning backdrop. This thrilling off-road ride is followed by a tarmaced section towards Ensenada. The panoramic vistas are breathtaking with snow-capped Volcán Osorno (2652 m) dominating the horizon. This afternoon we visit Saltos de Petrohué, a series of impressive waterfalls formed from layers of lava which cascade into the emerald waters of Todos Los Santos Lake. This area is protected by Chile's oldest national park, Vincente Pérez Rosales. Overnight in Ensenada. Accommodation: Hotel. Cycling distance: 87 km.
Day 5: Ensenada - Bariloche. After breakfast we drive to the Chile-Argentina border. Once into Argentina we rejoin our bikes for the mainly downhill stretch to the densely forested resort of Villa La Angostera on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. From there it's a 1½ hour transfer to Bariloche, the Lake District's premier adventure sport destination at the entrance of Nahuel Huapi National Park. This charming town is known for its alpine architecture and many buildings are reminiscent of Switzerland. It is also the chocolate capital of Argentina. Accommodation: Hotel. Cycling distance: 63 km.
Day 6: Bariloche. Taking a rest from the bikes today there's plenty of other activities to keep you occupied - horse riding, white water rafting, kayaking, fishing and paragliding to name but a few. Otherwise you may prefer to relax by the lake or sample some of the chocolate for which this area is renowned. Accommodation: Hotel.
Day 7: Bariloche- Villa Tráful. This morning we tackle the Circuito Chico, a scenic circular route around Bariloche. We transfer to the base of Cerro Campanario from where we take a chair lift to the summit for spectacular panoramic views. It's then back on our bikes for a challenging ride over undulating terrain around the lakes and mountains of Bariloche. After a well-earned lunch we drive a short distance out of Bariloche then continue cycling through the Valle Encantado (Enchanted Valley), an area of wild, towering rock formations. We head off-road through more magnificent scenery of snow-capped mountains and rugged valleys. Around 4km outside Villa Tráful the road climbs to Mirador de Tráful, a viewpoint overlooking Lago Traful below. We then trace the perimeter of the lake all the way to the peaceful village of Villa Tráful. A long but rewarding day. Accommodation: Lodge. Cycling distance: 98 km.
Day 8: Villa Tráful - Villa La Angostura. We leave Villa Tráful along part of the stunning "Camino de los Siete Lagos" (Seven Lakes Route). It's an unforgettable day as we meander through a dramatic landscape of glistening lakes, verdant forests and snow-capped mountains. Our destination is the tranquil resort of Villa La Angostura on the north-west shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi. Accommodation: Hotel. Cycling distance: 62 km.
Day 9: Villa La Angostura - San Martin de los Andes. From Villa La Angostura we drive to Pichi Tráful, a point just north of where we joined the Seven Lakes Route yesterday. From here we continue our journey along this famous trail of rugged terrain, dazzling rivers and tumbling waterfalls. The route skirts several of the famous 7 sparkling lakes on whose shores are deserted beaches and panoramic lookout points. We pass a small number of villages and homesteads for an insight into local life. Towards the end of the day the road winds on a thrilling descent into San Martin de los Andes. This picturesque alpine-like town on the shores of Lake Lácar is located in a natural basin surrounded by dense forests and snow-capped mountains. Accommodation: Guest house. Cycling distance: 67 km.
Day 10: San Martin de los Andes - Pucón. This morning we drive to the Chilean border for the next stage of our adventure. En-route we enjoy stunning views of Volcán Lanin (3776m) the centrepiece of Lanin National Park with its immense snow-capped cone. Once across the border we saddle up and descend into Villarica National Park, home to dense araucaria forests (also known as monkey puzzle trees). We transfer the last part of the day to Pucón, our base for the next 2 nights. This lakeside town is one of the main adventure tourism hubs of the Lake District. It is situated on the edge of Lake Villarrica, which unfolds in the shadow of the perfectly conical (and currently active) Volcán Villarrica. Accommodation: Guest house. Cycling distance: 86 km.
Day 11: Pucón. Rest day in beautiful Pucón with a choice of activities available. Those looking to relax should visit one of the many thermal spas which surround the town. The more energetic might opt for white water rafting or horse riding. Adventure seekers will want to climb beautiful Volcan Villarica (weather permitting). It is a challenging but not technical ascent to the summit for magnificent views across the surrounding area and into the bubbling lava within. Overnight in Pucón. Accommodation: Guest house.
Day 12: Pucón - Termas De Rio Blanco. Today we cycle to the settlement of Melipueco, southern gateway to the Conguillio National Park. We transfer in a north-easterly direction before riding on a mainly tarmaced road. Approaching Melipueco we are rewarded with views of Volcán Llaima (3125m) one of the 3 most active volcanoes on the continent which erupted as recently as January. We will witness how the volcano has permanently shaped the landscape of the area and have the opportunity to walk on the lava flows it has formed. Accommodation: Guest house. Cycling distance: 67 km.
Day 13: Conguillio National Park. Today is a ride of contrasts as we head into the enchanting Conguillio National Park. The centrepiece of the park's southern sector is Volcán Llaima which has established a lunar-like landscape. For millions of years, lakes, lagoons, rivers and lava flows have been created from its many eruptions. The northern part is characterised by lush vegetation, particularly the prolific spindly armed araucaria (monkey) trees. In fact another name of the park is 'the umbrellas' due to its ancient araucaria forests. The area is criss-crossed by a network of well marked paths and trails making our ride a relatively easy and rewarding experience. We follow a circular route, returning to Melipueco in the afternoon. Transfer to our overnight accommodation in Temuco. Accommodation: Hotel. Cycling distance: 60 km.
Day 14: Temuco - Santiago - Home. Drive to Temuco Airport for the domestic flight to Santiago to connect with an international flight home, arriving the next day.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Chile Argentina Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring National Parks
Email it to a friend:
Click here to email this vacation to a friend