Chile Patagonia National Park Trek

Epic Wildlands of Northern Patagonia

 

Trace the footsteps of mountain pioneers and conservationists on this unique hiking adventure deep into the wildest reaches of northern Patagonia. From Coyhaique, travel across General Carrera Lake to Chile Chico, your launch point for an unforgettable 5-day trek past glaciers and turquoise lakes in the Jeinimeni wilderness, a former reserve now part of the new Patagonia National Park. Cross the border into Argentina before returning to Chile and journeying across the steppe grasslands and wetlands of the Chacabuco Valley, also now part of the national park. A lovely lodge on the Baker River is your base for a final 3-day trek around the base of the San Lorenzo massif, the second highest summit in Patagonia. Spot flamingo, guanaco, huemul, and foxes that now roam free of fences in the national park, share meals and stories with a gaucho family, and enjoy warm Patagonian hospitality.

MT Sobek Presents: On the Smuggler's Trail in Patagonia

  • Explore the diverse landscapes of the new Patagonia National Park, home to a major bi-national conservation project - protecting 790,000 acres!

  • Trek in the backcountry past glacial lakes and wildlife-rich pampas, and gaze at the dramatic spires of the San Lorenzo massif

  • Stay in authentic mountain huts and camps, and enjoy a traditional meal with a local gaucho family

Contact an Expert

Arrive:

Balmaceda, Chile

Depart:

Balmaceda, Chile

Price: from $8,495

Duration:

12 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

6-14 Guests

Min Age:

16 yrs

Activity:

Level 5

This trip is a physically demanding ultimate challenge adventure, involving 7 full days of rigorous hiking, averaging 5 to 16 miles (5 to 9 hours) per day on rugged terrain. Expect elevation gain/loss from 500\' to 2,000\' with a maximum altitude of about 4,400\'. Backcountry trekking routes consist of continuous long hikes over uneven terrain, including glacial moraines with loose rocks with sand, large boulders, and some steppe grasslands and forests.
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Arrive in Northern Chilean Patagonia

    Day 1

    Arrive at Balmaceda Airport in Northern Patagonia. Meet your trip leader and transfer to your hotel in Coyhaique. Explore the town on your own, then gather in the evening for a group dinner and trip briefing.

    Accommodation: Hotel Dreams de la Patagonia-Coyhaique, Chile

    This 4-star hotel is located a 10-minute walk from the city center. Décor is modern and stylish, from the dramatic lobby to the cozy bar. Spacious, well-appointed rooms offer 24-hour room service, LED TVs, free WiFi, and minibars. Other features include an upstairs restaurant with great views, on-site casino, indoor pool, and fitness center.

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Dinner

  • Journey to Chile Chico & Hike Lunar Valley

    Day 2

    Depart early and travel through Cerro Castillo National Park and Ibañez Pass, known for its stunning views of the dramatic Castillo mountain range and the Rio Ibáñez. Board the Tehuelche Ferry in Puerto Ibañez for a 2.5-hour voyage across the second-largest lake in South America, known historically as Chelenco but now referred to as Lago General Carrera in Chile and Lago Buenos Aires in Argentina. Arrive in Chile Chico, a small mining and agricultural community on the lake's southern shore and a regional oasis with a uniquely warm, lake influenced microclimate. This afternoon, take a short hike in the Lunar Valley, taking in its surreal geological formations and evocative cave paintings of the Tehuelche culture. Overnight at cabins in Chile Chico.

    Accommodation: Cabins Chile Chico-Chile Chico, Chile

    These comfortable cabins with tasteful contemporary decor sit in a quiet waterfront location on the south shore of General Carrera Lake, just a short walk from the town center. Each features a private bathroom and sitting area.

    Activity: 2 hours/2-3 miles hiking with no significant elevation gain

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer & 2.5-hour boat crossing

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike from Jeinimeni Lake to Glacier Hut

    Day 3

    Travel across the Patagonian plains and along the Jeinimeni River (the geographical border between Chile and Argentina) to the north entrance of Patagonia National Park. Set off on a challenging, 16-mile hike along the vibrant turquoise waters of Jeinimeni Lake to Glacier Hut Camp. The trail crosses wide, shallow rivers with lots of glacial and river debris, then climbs over La Gloria Pass, with gorgeous views of Jeinimeni and Verde lakes, and many lofty peaks. Tackle a number of steep inclines before reaching Glacier Hut Camp in Valle Hermoso, your home for the night. Take a sunset stroll around the glacier lake then relax around the camp fire.

    Accommodation: Glacier Hut Camp-Valle Hermoso, Chile

    Sleep in two-person tents and wake up to views of Lago Superior at this campsite situated on the edge of a moraine under a hanging glacier. Camp amenities include a rustic outdoor shower with hot water, a flush toilet, and a generator for lighting and charging equipment. Your guiding crew will create hearty camp meals on a gas stove.

    Activity: 9-10 hours/16 miles hiking with 750' elevation gain on one steep incline; cross multiple wide, shallow rivers

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek Lago Superior Circuit to Baguales Glacier

    Day 4

    Embark on a technical trek of the Lago Superior circuit, stopping for a box lunch at the hanging glacier of Punta Guanaco peak. The hike is steep and ascends on eroded rock and gullies until it reaches the dramatic landscape of Baguales Glacier, named after the wild horses the original settlers found there. Enjoy the exhilarating views of glacial lakes and cascading waterfalls before returning via the same path to Glacier Hut Camp for dinner.

    Accommodation: Glacier Hut Camp-Valle Hermoso, Chile

    Sleep in two-person tents and wake up to views of Lago Superior at this campsite situated on the edge of a moraine under a hanging glacier. Camp amenities include a rustic outdoor shower with hot water, a flush toilet, and a generator for lighting and charging equipment. Your guiding crew will create hearty camp meals on a gas stove.

    Activity: 4-5 hours/4 miles hiking with technical trek involving steep 1,000' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek to Aviles Valley

    Day 5

    Rise early for a hike with breathtaking views of the Jeinimeni, El Tronador and Las Llaves Mountain ranges and ragged peaks. Our path leaves behind the open alpine to enter the lush northwest evergreen forest. Walk down to the Avilés Valley, around lagoons to an old Lenga Forest, and to a remote, newly constructed wilderness camp. Along the way, catch glimpses of the past as we trek past abandoned shelters built by gauchos.

    Accommodation: Renoval Hut Camp

    This newly constructed camp is located alongside a river in one of the most remote parts of Patagonia Park, with tents set up in an evergreen forest surrounding a rustic permanent shelter that serves as a lounge and dining area, with table and wood stove. An evocative old gaucho shelter ("puesto") is nearby. Comfortable 2-person tents with inflatable pads are provided. Camp amenities include a rustic outdoor latrine and a generator for lighting and charging equipment. There is no running water.

    Activity: 5-6 hours/9 miles hiking with 300' elevation gain and 1900' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek Mount Tronador Lookout Circuit

    Day 6

    Hike up the north Avilés Valley and through beech forests in search of the endangered Magellanic woodpecker and Huemul deer. Reach up to a side debris of Mount Tronador, with great views of the surrounding glaciers, then return to camp for an early dinner.

    Accommodation: Renoval Hut Camp

    This newly constructed camp is located alongside a river in one of the most remote parts of Patagonia Park, with tents set up in an evergreen forest surrounding a rustic permanent shelter that serves as a lounge and dining area, with table and wood stove. An evocative old gaucho shelter ("puesto") is nearby. Comfortable 2-person tents with inflatable pads are provided. Camp amenities include a rustic outdoor latrine and a generator for lighting and charging equipment. There is no running water.

    Activity: 5-6 hours/6.5 miles hiking with 500' elevation gain and loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek from Avilés River to Chelenco Lake - Chile Chico

    Day 7

    The last day of the first backcountry trek traverses the wide rivers of the Avilés Valley. Depending on weather conditions, enjoy exhilarating river crossings, complete with rope systems and harnesses! Follow cattle trails used by gauchos to get their animals to summer pasture, including some narrow-cut trails beside a canyon. Arrive back at Chelenco Lake (Lago General Carrera), near the old mining village of Fachinal, and meet the van for a rugged, bumpy drive back to Chile Chico. Take in spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountain terrain.

    Accommodation: Cabins Chile Chico-Chile Chico, Chile

    These comfortable cabins with tasteful contemporary decor sit in a quiet waterfront location on the south shore of General Carrera Lake, just a short walk from the town center. Each features a private bathroom and sitting area.

    Activity: 9-10 hours/14 miles hiking with 500' elevation gain, 1000' elevation loss; two river crossings with rope systems and harnesses

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Experience Conservation in Patagonia National Park

    Day 8

    Cross back and forth across the border with Argentina today, driving via the Argentinian town of Los Antiguos, then south to Monte Zeballos within the Argentinian side of Patagonia National Park. Return to Chile at Entrada Baker Pass, once used by the pioneers to colonize the Aysen region. Drive along the park, stopping at the restored house of a British pioneer, passing guanaco herds and lakes with flamingos and crested ducks. This once overgrazed sheep and cattle ranch now protects an abundance of Patagonian steppe grasslands and rebounding wildlife. The national restoration project here is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Visit the information center to learn about the fascinating details of this project. Arrive late this afternoon at the peaceful Borde Baker Lodge on the emerald-colored Baker River.

    Accommodation: Borde Baker Lodge

    This riverside eco-lodge features cozy wooden cabins that are beautifully constructed to complement the surrounding landscape, and are connected to the main lodge by wooden walkways. Its peaceful location on Rio Baker, combined with delicious food, beautiful scenery, and charming cabins with panoramic windows, make it a top refuge for global travelers. Dine at the lodge's excellent restaurant, which serves organic, locally sourced produce and creative takes on traditional Patagonian dishes.

    Activity: Optional short hike

    Transportation: 4-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike the Tranquilo Valley to Cordon Cochrane

    Day 9

    Drive to Cochrane, stopping for a short walk to stretch the legs, then continue to San Lorenzo Camp, your base for the next two nights. From the camp trailhead, hike through a beech forest and past heart-shaped Corazon Lake, then deep into the Tranquilo Valley and up to the Cordon Cochrane Mountain range amphitheater with its shimmering hanging glaciers and array of amazing unclimbed peaks. Return to San Lorenzo Camp for dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: San Lorenzo Camp

    Located on private family-owned property at the base of the San Lorenzo massif, San Lorenzo Camp includes an enclosed barbecue area and lounge/dining area. Two-person tents with inflatable pads are set up in the surrounding area. Camp amenities include a rustic outdoor shower with hot water, a flush toilet, and a generator for lighting and charging equipment.

    Activity: 7 hours/14 miles hiking with 500' elevation gain to camp, and then 1,500' elevation gain and loss

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Follow Trails to Refugio Agostini & Enjoy Views of San Lorenzo Massif

    Day 10


    Take a trail through a beech forest that opens onto a valley with views of the San Lorenzo Mountains. Explore the remains of a rustic hut built by Alberto De Agostini, an Italian priest and mountaineer who was the first to summit San Lorenzo. Weather permitting, eat lunch with views of an alpine lake and the pinnacles of the massif. Return to San Lorenzo Camp for a typical gaucho barbeque with the locals, complete with music and tales of the legendary pioneers and adventurers who first explored this rugged land.

    Accommodation: San Lorenzo Camp

    Located on private family-owned property at the base of the San Lorenzo massif, San Lorenzo Camp includes an enclosed barbecue area and lounge/dining area. Two-person tents with inflatable pads are set up in the surrounding area. Camp amenities include a rustic outdoor shower with hot water, a flush toilet, and a generator for lighting and charging equipment.

    Activity: 7 hours/12 miles hiking with 700' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to Mirador Confluencia & Relax at Riverside Lodge

    Day 11

    After an early breakfast, take a bumpy road back to the Borde Baker Lodge. En route, stop for a short hike to Mirador Confluencia. The afternoon is at your leisure; enjoy fishing, take a well-deserved soak in the hot tub, or simply relax. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at the lodge.

    Accommodation: Borde Baker Lodge

    This riverside eco-lodge features cozy wooden cabins that are beautifully constructed to complement the surrounding landscape, and are connected to the main lodge by wooden walkways. Its peaceful location on Rio Baker, combined with delicious food, beautiful scenery, and charming cabins with panoramic windows, make it a top refuge for global travelers. Dine at the lodge's excellent restaurant, which serves organic, locally sourced produce and creative takes on traditional Patagonian dishes.

    Activity: 2-3 hours/5 miles hiking with 200' elevation gain

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Chile

    Day 12

    Rise early for a morning departure to Balmaceda Airport. It's a long drive along the Carretera Austral, but the spectacular views of General Carrera Lake, beech and larch trees, and the Patagonian Andes are worth it. Enjoy a packed lunch along the way.

    Transportation: 6-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Chile Patagonia National Park Trek

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek pioneered commercial trekking in Patagonia in the 1970s. We continue to offer trailblazing routes throughout Chile and Argentina.

Reason #02

You will be in the company of local professional guides, who know this remote Patagonian wilderness and can expertly lead an ultimate challenge adventure.

Reason #03

This trip blends tough hikes with deep insight into the region, from the major bi-national conservation project to local life.

Meet your guides

Andre Labarca

Andre Labarca

André fell in love with Patagonia at first sight and has made it his home for the last 10 years. He has participated in more than ten mountain expeditions in the region, accomplishing many first ascents, including the summits of the North and South Towers of the Torres del Paine. André has a great interest in the development of sustainable tourism and is always looking for other regions to explore within Patagonia. André's love for nature and respect for the mountains is infectious to all who travel with him.

Activities

This is a physically demanding ultimate challenge adventure, involving 7 full days of rigorous hiking, on average 5 to 16 miles a day on rugged terrain.

Lodging

A range of lodging, from comfortable hotels to remote mountain huts and wilderness camps supported by porters (or set up in advance).

Climate

Expect extreme weather conditions that can change from one moment to another. Be prepared for everything, especially strong winds and sun.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

Your guides will meet you at the Balmaceda Airport on Day 1, and transfer you to your hotel in Coyhaique.

What are the river crossings like?

There will be multiple rope-harnessed river crossings on Day 3 and 7. Water levels can vary depending on the amount of rain the area has seen and several of the rivers could be above waist level. Guests need to be prepared to hike up to 16 miles with wet boots.

What temperature rating of sleeping bag do I need?

Plan to bring a sleeping bag rated for 0° Fahrenheit (-17° Celsius).

What are the trail conditions like?

Backcountry trekking routes consist of continuous long hikes over uneven terrain, including glacial moraines with loose rocks with sand, large boulders, and some steppe grasslands and forests. There are 5-day and 2-day portions where hikes cannot be shortened.

How much water do I need to carry?

1 to 2 liters, or a bladder system. Potable water from glaciers is accessible from the streams every few hours.

Will I have access to my duffel bag during the trip?

While camping at Glacier Hut and Renoval Hut Camps (nights 3, 4, 5 & 6) you will not have access to your duffel. You will be provided with a 15-liter dry bag for the porters to carry your overnight essentials.

Does this trip contribute to any local conservation efforts?

Yes! Patagonia National Park combines smaller reserves together with new lands reclaimed, restored and donated back to the Chilean and Argentinean park systems by the Tompkins Foundation. Its trails are maintained in large part because of hikers like you visiting the park!

  • 2023
  • Go Custom

2023

The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

Scheduled Dates

  • Mar 03 - 14, 2023
    $8,495 price per person dbl occ
    +$2,000 single supplement
    Available
  • Nov 17 - 28, 2023
    $8,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$2,000 single supplement
    Available

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers, as well as camp staff
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.