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Fully Hosted Northbound Patagonian Odyssey (Overland)    15 days / 14 nights
 
Patagonia - a land of Explorers, Conquerors, Pioneers, Adventurists, Pirates and more.
Wrap yourself in the scenic beauty with volcanoes, lakes, fjords, glaciers, granite peaks and steppes.
Come find out with us why this unique piece of land at the end of the earth has attracted so many humans for so long,
and be a part of your own Patagonian Story.
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  February 25, 2018 (Sunday)
15 days
Santiago, Chile
$5,390
$1,190
Internal airfare included:  Santiago - Punta Arenas / Puerto Montt - Santiago
All meals included beginning with Welcome Dinner in Puerto Natales
3-4 star Hotels, Lodges and Bed & Breakfasts. See below for details
Minimum 3, Maximum 6
Easy to Moderate (walking, boat trips, trekking)
 
  Included in Program     Not Included in Program    
— Internal airfare from Santiago,
— Transfers & transportation,
— All meals and snacks, water with restaurant meals,
— All lodging per itinerary with private bathroom,
— Daily soft adventure activities, including
       hiking, possible horseback riding,
       visits to museums, ranch tours, etc.,
— All taxes and park entrance fees,
— Bilingual (Spanish-English) Tour Hosts
— International airfare into and out of Santiago,
— Alcoholic and other drinks with meals,
— Activities not included in program,
— Souvenirs and other personal "extras",
— Discretionary gratuities,
— Travel Visas or Reciprocity Fees (depends on your home country),
— Travel insurance.
Daily Itinerary
Day 1 Hotel Indigo Puerto Natales, Chile
From Santiago, you will take a flight to Punta Arenas, where you will take a shared bus shuttle (3 hours approx.) up to Puerto Natales, a small town in an unbelievable setting on the Last Hope Sound. We will greet you at the bus station and transfer you to our hotel for the first night. After checking into the hotel by the water, we will drive into town to have our Welcome Dinner at a nearby local restaurant.
Total driving distance today of 250 kilometers.
Day 2 Hotel Rio Serrano Torres del Paine, Chile
Today we begin our Overland Odyssey by entering Chile’s most visited park, Torres del Paine National Park, designated in 1978 a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, being the home to at least 25 species of mammals, as well as more than 115 species of birds. Let's keep our eyes out for the Guanaco, Red Fox, Grey Fox, Common Skunk, Pichi, Lesser Rhea, Andean Condor, Chilean Flamingo, Black- necked Swan, Upland Goose, Buff necked Ibis, and many different varieties of ducks, hawks, eagles & falcons.  We will head north from Natales, making a stop in the town of Cerro Castillo, then continue into Torres del Paine.  For our first day in the park we will visit the northern section, which offers the best views of the Torres, or Towers.  We will have our box lunch at Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon), then drive all the way through the park, in front of the Cuernos (Horns) and to our hotel for the next two nights, with spectacular views of the entire Torres del Paine massif.  After checking into our rooms we will meet for dinner in the main dining room.
Total driving distance today of 200 kilometers.
Day 3 Hotel Rio Serrano Torres del Paine, Chile
After breakfast, we will re-enter Torres del Paine to take a 2-hour roundtrip hike to reach the “Cuernos Lookout”, the best view of the Horns in the park. After making our way back to the van, we will drive through the Valley of Guanacos to Laguna Amarga, a favorite lagoon for Chilean Flamingos.  We then head back directly toward the tallest peak, Cerro Paine Grande (3,050 meters, or just over 10,000 feet), and continue to the southern shore of Lake Grey.  Here we will take a walk through the forest and to Iceberg Bay to witness the magical ice formations carved by the wind and water as calved pieces from the Grey Glacier make their slow southward journey through the lake.  After a good day of hiking in Torres del Paine we will make our way to our hotel for a hot dinner.
Total driving distance today of 200 kilometers.
Day 4 Hotel Kosten Aike El Calafate, Argentina

After an early breakfast, we will leave the park, making a stop for coffee at the border town of Cerro Castillo.  We will cross into Argentina and drive through the steppes, the rest of the day on paved roads. We will have our lunch, then stop at a lookout over Lake Argentino and continue down into the town of El Calafate. We will then visit an "Ice Museum", known as the Glaciarium, giving us more insight into the formation of glaciers in this part of southern Patagonia, then check into our centrally located hotel. You will have some free time to stroll through town full of bookstores and gift shops, before we meet for dinner.


Total driving distance today of 350 kilometers.
Day 5 Hotel Kosten Aike El Calafate, Argentina
After breakfast in the hotel, our local representative will take you on a full day tour for a close-up view of the Perito Moreno Glacier, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and one of the most active glaciers on the planet, often with sections of ice calving off every few minutes. This glacier is not receding, but actually grows around 2 meters per day. The almost constant sound of ice cracking, popping and shifting inside the glacier is something you will never forget. The drive to the park is roughly 90 kilometers, after which you will take a boat trip to get a close-up view of the massive southern face of the glacier. Then you will continue to the modern walkways in front of the glacier, offering stunning views of both faces. Late afternoon transfer back to El Calafate where we will meet for dinner. We will provide your box lunch for today's excursion.
Total driving distance today of 200 kilometers.
Day 6 Hosteria Kaulem El Chalten, Argentina
This morning we will drive around 3 hours to El Chalten, where we will first take a hike to the Condor's Lookout on the outskirts of town, which offers great views of the Fitz Roy range. This hike is pretty easy, slightly steep in parts, and roughly 1½ hours roundtrip. After lunch and checking into our hotel, you can either relax and stroll through the town, or we can take a longer hike to the Torre Lookout, with views of the steepest granite spire in the park, Mount Torre. This hike is easy to medium level, with some ups and downs, and will take around 3-4 hours roundtrip. We will meet back at the hotel for dinner.
Total driving distance today of 220 kilometers.
Day 7 Hotel Rio Tarde Lago Posada, Argentina
After an early breakfast, we will hit the road for our longest drive of the trip. We meet up with the famous Route 40 to begin our adventure up this "wild west" road. After roughly 120 kilometers of paved road, we will make a bathroom stop, the only "proper" bathroom for several hours. There has been an ongoing discussion between various factions about whether to pave this road or leave it as is, as many locals (as well as avid bicyclists and motorcyclists) prefer to maintain the long, seemingly endless stretches of road through the heart of Argentinean Patagonia, but as you will see, sections are already paved or are being prepared. We will have to let you decide! At the crossroads town of Bajo Caracoles, we will make a bathroom stop, then leave the Route 40 heading west to the dusty town of Lago Posada, the most remote destination of our trip. We will check into our rooms and you will have time to stroll through the mostly deserted streets until dinner.
Total driving distance today of 540 kilometers.
Day 8 Terra Luna Lodge Puerto Guadal, Chile
This morning we will drive approximately one hour through unique "moonscapes" to the Argentina border crossing. After getting our passports stamped, we will drive another half hour to the Chilean border (in the Aysen Region), where we will do immigration at the most isolated vehicle border crossing in the country. Then we will drive through the Chacabuco Valley which used to be the largest sheep ranch in the area and was bought by Dougles Tompkins to preserve one of the most remote and rare lands in Patagonia, hardly seen by other travelers, even Chileans. This unique piece of land supports an amazing quality and diversity of wildlife. Today is our Safari day, where we will share this land with the Guanaco (lama guanicoe), Zorro Colorado - Fox (lycalopex culpaeus), Zorro Gris - Grey Fox (lycalopex gymnocercus), Zorrillo Comun - Common Skunk (conepatus chinga), Pichi (zaedyus pichiy), Nandu - Lesser Rhea (rhea pennata), Condor (vultur gryphus), Flamenco Chileno - Chilean Flamingo (phoenicopterus chilensis), Cisne de Cuello Negro - Black- necked Swan (cygnus melancoryphus), Cauquen - Upland Goose (chloephaga picta), Garza Blanca - Great Egret (egretta alba), Bandurria - Buff necked Ibis (theristicus caudatus), and many different varieties of ducks, hawks, eagles & falcons. At the western end of the valley we will meet up with Chile's Carretera Austral, or Southen Road, the only north-south road connecting the country. Then we head north along the glacier-blue waters of the Baker River. This river has the largest discharge in Chile, and is the center of a controversial dam project to provide electrical energy to Santiago and the surrounding area, thousands of kilometers to the north. We will make a stop in the town of Puerto Bertrand, where the Baker River originates, then continue to the town of Puerto Guadal on the shore of Lake General Carrera, Chile's largest, where we will stop for lunch with time to stroll through the streets. Our lodge is just outside of town, with views of the Northern Ice Field across the lake, including Patagonia's tallest peak of San Valentin (4,058 meters). Tonight we will have a home-cooked meal with Chilean wine.
Total driving distance today of 200 kilometers.
Day 9 Hotel El Reloj Coyhaique, Chile
This morning we drive 60 kilometers to take a boat ride to see some unique Marble Cave formations on the lake. The boat is open, but you will be provided with life vests and ponchos. Continuing up the Carretera Austral, we stop for our lunch at a local restaurant for a home-cooked meal with fresh ingredients grown on site, then we enter a valley that became a river of flowing lava after the 1991 eruption of the Hudson Volcano, leaving behind a “Rio de la Muerte”, a riverbed of scorched tree trunks as a reminder of nature’s power. Then we drive around the Cerro Castillo National Reserve and into the Simpson River Valley, reaching the city of Coyhaique, the capital of the Aysen Region, and the largest city we'll see until the end of our trip. Coyhaique has ATM machines, a Post Office, supermarkets and souvenir shops.Tonight we will walk a few blocks for a good BBQ dinner in town.
Note: Tonight we recommend packing just a day pack for the next night, as we will leave the van parked in a safe location and take a small boat across the fjord to our hotel. Don't forget to pack your swimsuit if you want to enjoy the hot springs tomorrow!
Total driving distance today of 300 kilometers.
Day 10 Puyuhuapi Lodge and Spa Glacier Sound, near Puyuhuapi, Chile
This morning we have a beautiful drive through the Simpson River Valley, passing by verdant green lands along the Simpson river with waterfalls in all directions. We then head north along the Manihuales river and into the Manihuales National Reserve and then the Lago Las Torres National Reserve, as we enter the temperate rain forest. Then we leave the paved road and make our way up and over the Queulat pass and into what many consider to be Chile’s most beautiful park, Queulat National Park. After making our way back down the windy dirt road, we will take a hike to see the Hanging Glacier and have a picnic lunch. The hike is easy, relatively level, and 30 minutes each way. The road on this section of the trip is packed with scenic beauty so varied and breathtaking, your cameras will get a workout! We see the Pacific Ocean once again via the Glacier Fjord, where we leave our van and take a 20-minute boat across the fjord to our lodging for the night. Dinner at your leisure at the hotel as of 8:00 pm (a la carte dinner).
Total driving distance today of 240 kilometers.
Day 11 Puyuhuapi Lodge and Spa Glacier Sound, near Puyuhuapi, Chile

This morning you can have breakfast as of 8:00 am, then at 10:00 we will meet to get fitted with Wellington boots for a hike into the rain forest.  The trail has some ups and downs, and can be wet, but the wellies give us freedom to get dirty!  After having our box lunch on the trail, we will return to the lodge where you are free to take another hike, enjoy the various outdoor hot springs, or just relax and read a book listening to the sounds of birds and water lapping the shore.  The lodge also offers numerous massage treatments (at an additional cost) which you can schedule the day before and pay at checkout tomorrow morning, which will also give you access to the indoor pools.
Reminder:  Use of spa services with access to internal pools at Puyuhuapi lodge is available, at an extra charge.
Total driving distance today of 0 kilometers!

Day 12 Caleta Gonzalo Cabins Pumalin Park, Chile
We will meet in the main dining room at 8:00 am for breakfast, then we will take the 8:30 am boat back across the fjord and meet up with “Mercedes” who hopefully got a good night’s rest from the dirt roads!  We will then continue north, through the town of Puyuhuapi at the northern end of the fjord, through sections of the road currently being paved, and cross from the Aysen Region into the Lakes Region. We will pass by the town of Santa Lucia (named after the wife of Agusto Pinochet), by the shore of Lake Yelcho (famous for fly-fishing), then up and over a mountain pass and through a glacier-carved valley into the town of Chaiten.  This town was nearly washed out to sea from diverted rivers after the 2008 eruption of the Chaiten Volcano. After driving through the town, with many houses still filled with ash as witnesses to the force of Mother Nature, we make our way toward Pumalin Park.  This is a large section of temperate rain forest purchased by Douglas Tompkins, founder of North Face and Espirit, who donated the land back to the Chilean government under protection from development. As we continue north, we will pass by Santa Barbara, where the government is relocating the town of Chaiten because the site is much more protected from any future volcanic eruptions.  Then we make our way into the park, with the tallest peak, the Michinmahuida Volcano (2,400 meters) to our east, for two more hiking opportunities. The first one is the trail to the Hidden Waterfall, which is a moderate-level hike, through thick forest with some steep climbs, including a wooden stairway leading down to the base of the falls.  Then we will drive a few kilometers farther to an easy, flat hike to witness groves of Alerce trees (fitzroya cupressoides), the tallest of the southern beech trees, and related to the California redwood, reaching heights of more than 150 feet tall with many of them more than 3,000 years old. Because of their resistance to insects and their tall, straight trunks, they were nearly forested to extinction. We will also be surrounded by the temperate rain forest with tree species such as Coihue (nothofagus dombeyi), Manio (saxegothaea conspicua), Guindo (nothofagus betuloides), Tepa (laureliopsis philippiana), Ulmo (eucryphia cordifolia), Canelo (drymis winteri), and others. Then we drive the last 15 kilometers of the day to our private cabins at the end of the road in Caleta Gonzalo, on the edge of the Renihue Fjord.  After checking in and getting situated with a short rest, we will meet for dinner in the main dining room.
Total driving distance today of 280 kilometers.
Day 13 Hotel Cumbres Puerto Varas, Chile
This morning you will have free after breakfast, then we will meet back for lunch at 12:00 noon in the dining room. Because of the steep terrain between the Andes Mountains and the fjords and resulting limitation of roads, today we will take 3 ferries through some of the most impressive fjords in southern Chile. The first is 30 minutes through the eastern section of the Renihue Fjord. Then we will drive for 10 kilometers through the forest on the southern end of the Huequi peninsula and take a larger ferry for the 4-hour trip through the Comao Fjord, the northermost fjord in the southern hemisphere, and the closest fjord to the equator. The ride offers astounding views of the Andes to the east, along with other fjords branching off towards the mountains. We will sail between the coast and islands such as Isla de Los Ciervos, Isla Llancahue and Isla Lilihuapi, where we can see the open ocean through the Comao Channel. We will be witness to diverse marine wildlife such as the Chilean dolphin, the Dark dolphin, the Tonina overa, cormorants, kingfishers, seagulls, geese, falcons, etc. We will have a light dinner on the ferry before arriving to the town of Hornopiren around 7:00 pm.  We will continue north on the Carretera Austral through the forest for roughly 1½ hours, where we will take a 30-minute ferry across the Reloncavi Estuary. Then we leave the dirt road for good and drive through Puerto Montt, the capital of the Lakes District and the northern entrance to Chilean Patagonia (also “kilometer zero” of the Southern Road). We will take Route 5, or the Pan-American highway which stretches from Alaska to Chiloe Island, up to our final destination, the lakeside town of Puerto Varas, and check into your last hotel for the trip after a long day of traveling. 
Total driving distance today of 140 kilometers.
Day 14 Hotel Cumbres Puerto Varas, Chile
This morning you will have free in Puerto Varas, also known as the City of Roses, great for strolling along the lake or taking care of some last-minute shopping.  We will pick you up from the hotel around 12:00 noon, head along the eastern shore of the lake and drive up to the ski center on the Osorno Volcano (total height of 2,652 meters) where you will have an hour free to hike or to take the first chairlift. After having our lunch and then making our way back down, we will make a side trip to Petrohue Falls, a unique waterfall system formed as the power of the Petrohue River has carved into lava formations from previous eruptions of the Osorno Volcano. We will return along the lake to Puerto Varas, where we will have our Farewell Dinner.
Total driving distance today of 200 kilometers.
Day 15 Santiago, Chile / Home
This morning we will transfer you to the airport outside of Puerto Montt for your flight back to Santiago to make your international connection home, or to continue your adventure.
Total driving distance today of 40 kilometers.
 
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