November 2020 - January 2022
Multi activity journey learning about and supporting the critical Tompkins conservation and rewilding effortsFIND A DATE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
El Tepual International Airport, Puerto Montt (PMC) / Balmaceda Airport, Coyhaique (BBA)
You’re at one with nature and happy to be taking on a proper challenge that has elements of the unknown. 8 hours on feet per day over 2-3 days or 3-5 hours on feet over 4 days.
There is a land in the southernmost region of South America where remoteness and wilderness preserve one of the world's hotspots of biodiversity and natural landscapes. Patagonia is a vast area synonymous with adventure in one of the most spectacular regions on planet earth. This epic journey through glaciers, fjords, active volcanoes and exuberant forests is the best way to experience the Route of Parks through 5 national parks and get the most out of this spectacular region.
The purpose element of the trip is focused on the protection of mammals and birds. Working with the Tompkins Conservation staff, you will get involved in re-wilding efforts and observational science by tracking puma habits at night. By partnering with a local B Corp company and the Tompkins Conservation, we're able to put your entry fee towards the local communities and parks we visit, from the locally owned rustic cabins, local produce and the rewilding efforts of Guacos, Rheas and Pumas.
A variety of stays from the luxury Lodge at Valle Chacabuco to cabins at Cerro Castillo to camping in the wilderness
Experience the life of a wildlife park ranger in the field, learning about new species and preserving them to avoid extinction
Supporting the rewilding efforts of Tompkins Conservation of endemic guanacos, pumas, Darwin's rheas and Andean condors. Helping to preserve world-class scenery and wildlife for generations to come
This has everything... sea kayak, mountain bike, hike, photography, horse riding, conservation, re-wilding and much more!
Day 1 - Arrive at Puerto Montt & White Water Rafting
The IGO team will greet you at El Tepual International Airport in Puerto Montt and take you to the charming town of Puerto Varas. After a quick check-in at the hotel, we will head to the headquarters of Tompkins Conservation to have a briefing about the trip, find out more about the Route of Parks and the efforts to preserve the natural wonders of these lands for future generations.
Lunch will be at a local restaurant before we take to rafting the Petrohué River with stunning views of volcanoes.
Accommodation: Hotel Mero Gaucho
Activities: White water rafting (2hrs)
Day 2 - Cycle & Hike Pumalín Park
After breakfast, we will board a 45-minute flight to the Patagonian Fjord region where we will be exploring the two different sections of the Pumalín Park. This park was the first to be open by the environmental philanthropist Douglas Tompkins and preserve a large area of primary forest of Nothofagus and South American conifers.
Upon arrival, our team will have mountain bikes prepared to start peddling to Chaiten, passing evergreen forests and mountains along the way. After Chaiten, we will begin the hike to El Amarillo Glacier and end the day at the comfortable and cosy cabins of Caleta Gonzalo at the fjord Reñihue.
Activities: Mountain bike (20km, 2hrs), Hike (20km, 6hrs)
Accommodation: Caleta Gonzalo
Day 3 - Hiking a Volcano and a Rainforest
A day of spectacular hikes in the park, first ascending more than 600 meters to reach the summit of the active volcano Chaiten. The landscape along the hike changes while we advance to the highest point where the volcanic dome was formed. We will be advancing on a graveled and hard terrain that will be physically demanding.
After a picnic lunch near the base of the mountain we drive a few minutes to the shore of the fjord of Reñihue to start another hike through the dense rainforest to reach a spectacular waterfall. In the evening we will return to our cabins and enjoy a well-deserved dinner made of local products cultivated and produced at the farm of the Park Pumalín.
Activities: Hiking 11km, difficulty low to medium.
Accommodation: Caleta Gonzalo
Day 4 - Hike to the suspended glacier and hot springs
Early morning departure to cover 250 kilometers of the scenic Carretera Austral and reach the Puyuhuapi fjord. The driving along this portion of this southern road is an experience itself with panoramic views on the turquoise waters of the Lake Yelcho, the snowy sharp peaks of the Corcovado Volcano.
On arrival we will start one of the most spectacular hikes of the area to the suspended glacier at the National Park Queulat. We will finish the day enjoying the hot springs at the shore of the fjord Puyuhuapi, part of the more than 84,000 kms of coastal areas of the spectacular fjords region.
Activities: Hiking 6km, difficulty medium
Accommodation: Rustic and cosy luxury cabins
Day 5 - Drive to start of the bike trail and bike to hotel
After breakfast we will start the journey of 160 kilometers to Coyhaique with a section of this road that we will cover pedaling (E-Bike available) for 30 kilometers. We will start to ride our bikes at Villa Los Torreones, only a few kilometers from the intersection between the Route 7 and the Route 240. The road is all paved and surrounded by vegetation and crystalline waterfalls, a great way to arrive to our nicely located lodge La Pasarela at the shore of the River Coyahique.
Tonight we will have a Lamb Barbecue: cooked for three hours in true Patagonian style. The dinner will be assorted with organic vegetables of the area & red wine.
Activities: Cycling 30km, difficulty medium
Accommodation: Hotel Pasarela Lodge
Day 6 - Horseback riding to remote cabins in the reserve
We continue south along the Carretera Austral to reach the natural reserve Cerro Castillo with stunning views to this spectacular range of sharpie peaks that dominated the valley. As all Gauchos in Patagonia we will continue to our lodging on horses enjoying a spectacular ride through a trail along a private reserve located at the area known as “Las Ardillas” horses enjoying a spectacular ride along the edge of the hills that surrounds the Andean range of Cerro Castillo.
Activities: Horseback riding 20km / 6 hours
Accommodation: Cerro Castillo Cabins
Day 7 - Full days hike to the spectacular laguna Duff
One of the mosts spectacular hikes of this region is the one that take us from Cerro Castillo to Laguna Duff. This full day trail will take us through stunning remote lagoons and valleys along the peaks of Cerro Castillo.
We will end the day at our base camp 2 kilometers north from Laguna Duff.
Activities: Hike Laguna Duff 2okm / 8 hours
Accommodation: Camping dome tents
Day 8 - Sea Kayak the marble caves
We head south to Park Patagonia with a stop to visit the stunning marble caves at Lago General Carrera, the second largest lake of South America.
This lake has an extension of 1.850 km2 of which 50% is in Chilean territory and it is famous for its cold waters of an average of temperature of 8 celsius.The lake is 850 meters deep and it was formed by the massive ice blocks that used to cover the area until the last glaciation that had its peak 15.000 thousand of years ago. We will explore these formations on our sea kayaks. After enjoying our boxed lunch at the village of Bahia Mansa we will continue our route to Park, Patagonia for arrival in the evening.
Activities: Kayak the marble caves ( 3 hours )
Accommodation: Exquisite homestead - Lodge Valle Chacabuco
Day 9 - Day in the life of Patagonian Park Ranger
We will dedicate the morning with the staff of Patagonia National Park to learn about their conservation efforts, especially focusing on the mammals and birds. We will visit the rewilding station located at the border with Argentina where there is a scientific program developed to reintroduce populations of Darwin’s rheas to the region. In the afternoon we will visit the Park Ranger's station, spending the rest of the day following their daily work and sharing a mate tea while we learn about the work and challenges this area faces. If any rewilding tasks are going on our travellers will be able to get hands-on.
As the Puma is most active at dusk, following dinner we'll explore the park at last light. The Puma Concolor is the largest mammal of the Andes, a secretive species that was hunted for years. Once the area was taken over by the Foundation, Pumas arrived back to the area and it will be great to go out and look for this elusive and spectacular animal.
Activities: Supporting the local rewinding and conservation efforts.
Day 10 - Glacier Hike next to stunning San Lorenzo
Today we will explore the area at the base of Mountain San Lorenzo, the highest peak of Patagonia. This snowy peak of over 3,500m is the home of the Calluqueo Glacier. The hike will take us to the ice mass where we will also enjoy a glacier hike with stunning views of the San Lorenzo Mountain and the glacier valley below.
Due to the high difficulty level there is also a second option: Early morning departure to enjoy a spectacular hike known as “Lagunas Altas”. This trail of 21,6km goes around high Andean lakes that offer spectacular views over the Northern Ice-Fields (together with the Southern Ice -fields, the second largest reservoir of fresh water in the world), Jeinimeni mountain range and the valley of Chacabuco.
Activities: Glacier Hike (6 Hours)
Accommodation: Exquisite homestead - Lodge Valle Chacabuco
Day 11 - End of the journey and transfer to airport
Early breakfast at sunrise and then transfer to the local airport of Balmaceda for your flight.
Transfer is 400 km, approx 6 hours
Our family project begins in 2016 by buying a traditional 1939 house to restore and transform it into a Boutique Hotel. With a simple and clean design and the reuse of noble woods from the same house we seek the perfect balance between the traditional and the contemporary. Located in a pedestrian passage two minutes walk from the city centre, our hotel has 10 private rooms, a cafe with homemade products and a meeting room.
Caleta Gonzalo cabins
Rustic but luxurious cabins situated next to the Reñihué Fjord with excellent sea views. All are built following the local architectural style but each with its own design. These cozy wooden houses accommodate up to 5 people, depending on the cabin (some have loft). All have private bathrooms
The owners Patricio Silva and Rosario Robert, together with their son Patricio, and Juanito the great cook, They will strive to make your stay as pleasant as possible. “Who does not know the Chilean forest does not know this planet. From those lands, from that mud, from that silence, I have left to walk, to sing for the world ” … Pablo Neruda.
This wonderful forest plus the peaceful ocean turned into canals, estuaries and islands in which the Andes mountain range sinks with volcanoes, glaciers and hot springs, is the Queulat National Park, and, the QUEULAT POSADA is at the heart of this natural paradise.
Hotel Pasarela Lodge
Small boutique wooden hotel on the river
Cerro Castillo Lake Cabins
Gorgeous cabin by a small lake close to Cerro Castillo village. The cabin is nestled between Lenga and ÑireTrees on top of a small promontory overlooking the Quetros and Chacano lakes with pure transparent waters teeming with Brown and Rainbow trout.
Cerro Castillo National Park Camping
One of the most beautiful camping áreas, our spot is located in the Parada Valley where the namesake river is born. The site provides panoramic views of part of the Castillo Range with natural glacial cirques and spires.
Lodge Valle Chacabuco
The lodge at Valle Chacabuco is rustic and elegant at the same time. Inspired by other national park shelters from other parts of the world, Staying true to the style of the historic room, its mostly handmade antique furniture, original photographs and wood burning fireplace.
The main living room and dining room form the ideal place to rest after a day of travel, hiking or exploration. Have Chilean wine at the bar in the main hall and enjoy watching through the wide windows the views of the amazing Mount Tamanguito. The park is looking to adopt a 100% renewable energy system, which will make it the first energy-independent park in the world.
El Tepual International Airport, Puerto Montt (PMC)
Balmaceda Airport, Coyhaique (BBA)
Raffaele is an adventure and naturalist guide with more than 15 years of experience leading groups the world over, from the jungles of Brazil to the frozen continent of Antarctica. He is a top-notch birder and involved in different conservation projects and educational programs with local communities in the Lake District region of Patagonia, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.
Friendly, local, English-speaking and highly knowledgable
Whatever your dietary needs - healthy, delicious meals will be provided throughout, except where made explicit in the itinerary
We put on transfers to and from the start and end airports
All equipment for the route will be provided
Through collective achievement and giving back to the places we visit
Internal flight in country
10 nights in wild luxury cabins, boutique hotels and a night under canvas
A full kit list is available on request and will be sent to all guests ahead of travel. In short, it includes:
It is a requirement of travelling with us that you take out personal accident insurance. In the unlikely event of an emergency, this will cover you for any need of evacuation from the mountains as well as medical attention.
We recommend the Austrian Alpine Club because they will provide cover for helicopter rescue from any mountain in the world for a year.
Specialized/ Trek Brand Shimano 12 transmission Shimano. Different sizes. Sea Kayaks single or double
Food will be based on local products as fresh vegetables of the season, organic meat (lamb, beef, pork), quinoa, cuscus and fruit. Box Lunches are based on the same menu plus sandwiches in certain activities such long distance hikes. Protein bars and dried fruit available during the whole itinerary.
Yes there are places where they can storage their luggage safetly.
They can bring their drone but they must consider that these devices are banned in certain protected areas as National Park Queulat and certain zones in Park Patagonia.
Participants must carry a reusable bottle of water, flashlight, gators, waterproof jackets (goretex), sun hats, a personal bagpack to carry box lunches and personal items duering the hikes, waterproof pants, baselayers, gloves, walking poles collapsable (we can provide you if we are noticed in advance), sunscreen, any personal medication (guides are not allowed to proivide medications to travelers).
Weather in Patagonia can be very different during a single day. Rain, snow, wind and sun are part of the ingredients. Winds sometimes can be very strong and rain specially in the Pumalín area can always be part of the experience. Clothing must be packed consider these factors.
We can adjust our meals to any dietary restriction if notified in advance.
We recommend a travel insurance that covers cancellations of the trip conditions (medical issues prior the departure, natural disasters etc.) The insurance must cover medical emergencies.
They must be phisically and psychologically fit for this trip. They must have 100% of mobility indipendence. Any prior medical condition must be advise in their registration form.
That would be an advantage, however none of the activities are compulsory and if another form of activity can’t be found to replace eg: bike, kayak, trek etc. we have back up and support vehicles to jump into.
Our adventures typically require 5 people to go ahead. Please book when you're ready but hold off from purchasing flights/trains until we confirm the trip.
If you are a group of over 4 people, please get in touch to organise a bespoke trip by clicking here.