Day 1: Arrive in Puerto Montt
We'll arrive in the afternoon at the airport in Puerto Montt from Santiago and take a transfer from the airport directly to the nearby town of Puerto Varas. The town was founded in the 1850s by German settlers and still maintains some of the German customs. We'll stroll around town, visiting the historical church and pretty lakeside promenade. We'll finish the night with a delicious dinner in a local restaurant and settling into our charming bed and breakfast. Note: whether you need to arrive a day early (in essence Day 0) and spend the night in Santiago, or can fly to Puerto Montt via Santiago in one day depends upon your flight. There are some flights that arrive in Santiago early in the morning. In this case, you may be able to travel the same day to Puerto Montt.
Day 2: Kayak in Reloncavi Estuary
After a nice breakfast we'll be picked up and taken to Reloncavi Estuary, a fjord off Reloncavi Sound and the northernmost of Chile’s glacial inlets, for a sea kayaking outing. It is a quiet and beautiful estuary and recommended for its wildlife, including sea lions and dolphins, and for its peaceful atmosphere. We’ll enjoy a nice hot cup of cocoa and have a safety, rescue and paddling techniques talk after which we’ll begin paddling four to five hours in this beautiful estuary. A visit to a local fjord-side farm for lunch is a highlight of today's adventure.
Day 3: Trek to Osorno Volcano
We will depart after breakfast from Puerto Varas and travel along the southern edge of Lago Llanquihue. We'll pass through Ensenada and Saltos de Petrohué, where we'll stop and see the beautiful rivers and the waterfalls. When we reach Petrohué, we'll begin trekking. We'll hike up for approximately three hours, and enjoy one of the most amazing views of the Andes Mountains. At our feet we will see three volcanoes and one of the most beautiful Chilean lakes. After a bit of time enjoying the view from up above, we will hike three hours back down and see Todo Los Santos Lake from another perspective.
Day 4: Puerto Montt - Torres del Paine (flights only Saturday, Monday, or Thursday)
After a lazy morning we'll take a transfer back to the Puerto Montt airport. We'll board a plane that will take us directly to the small town of Puerto Natales, where a transfer will be waiting to take us directly to Torres del Paine. Note: if planes are not currently flying to Puerto Natales, we'll enjoy a bus ride, complete with the occassional sheep blocking the road, as a scenic alternative. We'll arrive and transfer to the Refugio Las Torres, about two and a half hours away from the airport. We'll have the sense that we are definitely near the southern most and remote part of South America, as we enjoy the wild scenery and occassional guanaco (a camelid native to South America) on this beautiful drive. In the evening we'll relax with the awesome views of the nearby the Torres del Paine.
Day 5: Hike to Torres Lookout
After an early breakfast, we'll begin to hike up Almirante Nieto, a mountain that takes us to an incredible view of Lake Nordenskjold and the Asencio Valley. We'll arrive at Camp Chileno before lunch. After a short rest in Chileno we'll hike through a dense and lovely Lenga forest. After leaving the forest, we'll approach a moraine and climb to see the amazing granite peaks known as the Torres. After a bit of time admiring the view we'll return back to Refugio Las Torres for dinner.
Day 6: Hike the French Valley
Today will be a spectacular day with a hike into the French Valley. The day will start with a short transfer from Refugio Las Torres to Pudeto, a place where we'll catch a catamaran to cross the lake to Refugio Paine Grande. This refugio is at the entrance of the Valley, and from here it is an easy two hour hike. We'll walk along bordering Lake Scottsberg and admire the tremendous peaks, called the Cuernos just in front of us. After arriving at Camp Italiano we'll continue walking past the French Glacier and into the Valley. We'll have views of Lake Nordenskjold, the Cuernos, the French Glacier and, in the back of the Valley, various peaks, including Hoja, Espada, Mascara, Aleta de Tiburon, Forteleza and many others. After a bit of time enjoying the views we'll hike back out of the Valley. Later we'll begin the hike back to Refugio Paine Grande and catch the catamaran back across Lake Pehoe and a short transfer to Rio Serrano. We'll enjoy a barbeque and a night of camping (with creature comforts) under the stars in Rio Serrano.
Day 7: Rio Serrano - Puerto Natales
In the morning we'll have breakfast and begin our cruise down Rio Serrano in a zodiac boat. This open-air boat is a fun and exciting way to return towards Puerto Natales. Before lunch we'll stop at Glaciers Serrano and Balmaceda and get out to take a walk and see the glaciers a bit closer. We'll switch to a larger and very comfortable boat to continue through the fjord back to Puerto Natales. After a short transfer we'll reach an old Estancia house where we'll enjoy a typical Magellan lunch. We'll check into our hotel in Puerto Natales in the late afternoon and toast each other at our farewell dinner in a restaurant with local specialties.
Day 8: Puerto Natales - Santiago (flights are only Saturday, Monday, or Thursday)
We'll catch a flight from Puerto Natales back to Santiago in the afternoon. Alternatively, depending upon available air travel routes, we'll take a bus to Puerto Montt and fly back to Santiago where we'll connect to homeward flights, or to other destinations within Chile.
Please bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual walks and outings may vary due to season, special events or weather. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. We are always on the look-out for fun surprises to add to the itinerary.