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Save $1,000 per couple | $500 solo

Pure Patagonia

9 days

A uniquely flexible private journey

Our Distinctive A+R Style

+ Travel Chile’s famed Austral Highway deep into some of Patagonia’s most purely enthralling landscapes.
+ Behold the Marble Chapels: Rising from the azure waters of Lago General Carrera and inaccessible by land, these caverns are among the most isolated natural wonders on Earth!
+ Guided morning nature walk or all-day trek? Tailor your exploration of the new Patagonia National Park, created from land donated by American philanthropists Doug and Kris Tompkins.
+ Don your crampons and join our experienced glacier guide to walk on Exploradores Glacier as you learn about mysterious ice caves and other amazing natural phenomena.
+ Delight in a boat ride across Laguna San Rafael and stop for lunch directly in front of the ice face of one of the most active glaciers in Patagonia – famed for its calving icebergs.
+ With 8 nights in our luxury hotel and upscale lodges; 21 meals with wine at dinner; open bar at Explora lodge; land + water expeditions including all equipment and safety briefings; choice of guided adventures at Explora lodge; all transfers; all park entry fees; both internal flights; and all gratuities except for your guides.

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Day
1

Welcome to Santiago

Le Reve - Santiago, Chile

On arrival, you’ll be met and chauffeured to Le Reve, our lovely city-center boutique hotel. This evening, we’ll take you to the art-filled home of a local chef where you’ll help in the preparation of your dinner. Using fresh, locally-sourced products, this evening’s culinary experience is a fun way to learn about classic Chilean cuisine. Sit down to the fine meal that you’ve helped to prepare, accompanied by fine regional wine.  Meals D
 

Day
2

Tailor Your Day in Santiago

Le Reve - Santiago, Chile

Choose one of these included, privately guided excursions to tailor this day to your personal interests and style:
 
Santiago City Tour: Join our guide for a private walking tour, starting with Colonial-era landmarks like La Moneda Palace. Continue to Plaza de Armas to see City Hall and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Then discover some of Santiago’s loveliest and most avant garde districts and stroll through Parque Forestal, a lovely riverside park. After a cup of coffee or some ice cream at a popular cafe, visit La Chascona, the uniquely designed former home of Nobel Poet Laureate, Pablo Neruda. End your day atop San Cristobal Hill for spectacular views of the city and its mountain backdrop.
 
Santiago Street Art + Graffiti: This guided half-day tour explores the city’s colorful and vibrant street art, both its history and cultural impact. It promises a fun and unique perspective on Chilean culture, politics, art and life. You can choose to do this excursion in the morning or afternoon.
 
Santiago by Bike: You can enjoy this tour in the morning or afternoon. Accompanied by your private guide, this gently paced cycling tour is a terrific way to explore some of Santiago’s most exclusive neighborhoods, from the open-air sculptures in Parque de las Esculturas to the elegant boutiques of Nueva Costanera.
 
Meals B
 

Day
3

Fly to Balmaceda + Journey to Puerto Tranquilo

Hostal El Puesto - Puerto Tranquilo, Chile

After breakfast, we’ll take you to the airport for you included flight to Balmaceda in southern Chile. On arrival, meet our local guide and embark on a 3-½ hour overland journey that will take you through some breathtaking scenery - from the soaring jagged peaks of the Cerro Castillo Mountains to ancient groves of Lenga, Coigü and Ñire, deciduous trees native to the Southern Andes. Descending through the picturesque Rio Murta Valley brings you to the shores of Lago General Carrera where you’ll check in to the comfortable Hostal El Puesto in the quiet lakeside town of Puerto Tranquilo.  Meals B+L+D
 

Day
4

Glacier Walk in the Exploradores Valley

Hostal El Puesto - Puerto Tranquilo, Chile

Today’s full day excursion begins with a scenic drive into the Exploradores Valley where you’ll meet our specialists guide for a briefing on the day’s adventure. Setting out through the evergreen forest, you’ll have a chance to observe the native flora and birdlife. A gentle ascent brings you to the highest point in Patagonia where you’ll have your first glimpse of the Exploradores Glacier. Continue directly on to the stone and sand covered glacier surface for a guided walk that brings you to a stunning stretch of “clean” glacier ice. After some refreshments, don your crampons and join our experienced guide for a narrated adventure that will reveal remarkable ice caves and other stunning natural features of this glacial environment. Then retrace your steps and return to Puerto Tranquilo where you’ll have time to refresh before dinner.  

For those who prefer a less adventurous day, you can retrace your steps before reaching the glacier, and spend a leisurely afternoon at your lodge.

Meals B+L+D

Day
5

Laguna San Rafael National Park

Hostal El Puesto - Puerto Tranquilo, Chile

Encompassing more than 3 million acres including the entire Northern Patagonia Ice Fields, Laguna San Rafael National Park is a spectacular region of mountain peaks, rivers, lakes and glaciers. And chief among its 19 glaciers is the San Rafael Glacier. Setting out this morning after an early breakfast, you’ll travel over land and water to experience the captivating beauty of this esteemed national park. Highlighting the day is an onboard box lunch in front of San Rafael’s immense ice face. This is one of Patagonia’s most active glaciers and anchoring in these iceberg-strewn waters offers an excellent chance to watch huge chunks of ice calving off the glacier and crashing into the lagoon. Surprisingly, San Rafael National Park is also home to a temperate rainforest, and today’s excursion also offers the chance to observe native wildlife including dolphins, elephant seals, small Pudu deer and a variety of birds.  Meals B+L+D
 

Day
6

Accessible only by water, the Marble Chapels have to be among the most isolated natural treasures on the planet. Partially submerged in the turquoise and azure waters of Lago General Carrera, these ethereal caverns and rock chambers have been formed over thousands of years by the slow erosion of calcium carbonate deposits that were left behind long ago. This morning, you can join your expert guide to explore these unique geological formations in a small motor boat or paddling your own kayak. Either way, you’ll have ample opportunity to experience these marble caverns with their amazingly swirled and stippled patterns of blue and grey.

Back on land, continue your journey along a stunning stretch of Chile’s Route 7, fondly known as the Austral Highway. It’s a southward journey that encompasses charming lakeside communities like Puerto Bertrand and pristine aquamarine waterways. Stop along the way for an exciting, expertly-guided whitewater rafting adventure on the Baker River, putting in at Lake Bertrand and descending about 4 miles through thrilling Class II and III rapids. Continue overland and check in to our luxury lodge set amidst the spectacular natural beauty of Patagonia National Park.  Meals B+L+D

Day
7

Surrounded by mountains, rivers, forests and lakes, our Explora lodge is the ideal base for exploring one of South Americas newest parks—created from more than 600,000 acres of land donated to the Chilean government by Doug Tompkins, founder of The North Face, and his wife Kris Tompkins, a former CEO at the Patagonia clothing company. Each evening of your stay, experienced Explora guides will talk about the included excursions that will be offered the following day. Based upon your personal interests and taste for physical adventure, you’ll be able to customize your exploration of Patagonia National Park with the guided activities of your choice.

The surrounding territory has been divided into six unique zones, each with its own set of unique geographic, cultural and biosphere characteristics. Accompanied by expert naturalists and guides, these activities by land and water have been designed to reveal the beauty, diversity and unique essence of each zone. For your first day in the National Park, you can choose an easy half-day activity, a more challenging full day adventure, or a guided overland excursion by van.  Meals B+L+D

Day
8

Another Day in Patagonia National Park

Explora Patagonia National Park - Patagonia, Chile

The Explora Lodge has designed dozens of unique excursions by foot, bicycle, horseback, kayak and van—all of them fully guided by engaging experts who possess a deep knowledge and passion for the Park’s diverse natural wonders. The excursions available during your stay will depend upon local weather and terrain conditions, but you will be able to choose from a variety of half and full-day excursions to tailor your stay. To give you an idea of our lodge’s varied excursions, here are some of the activities they offer (shared with other lodge guests):

Los Carpinteros | 2.5 Hours |3 Mile Hike: Exploring the southern slopes of Patagonia National Park, this gentle hike reveals diverse ecosystems including dense Coigüe forests. Along the way, you’ll enjoy terrific views of Lake Cochrane and the surrounding mountains.

Laguna Cisnes | 3 Hours | 4.5 Mile Hike: A guided hike through gentle steppe terrain brings you to a pristine lagoon, home to a wide variety of Patagonian birdlife. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery as our naturalist guide shares insight into the region’s geography and its native flora and fauna.

La Valchac | 8 Hours | 90 Miles by Van: This full-day overland excursion takes you deep into the valleys of the Chacabuco River, once home to ancient nomadic peoples. In addition to discovering the region’s haunting beauty, your expert guide will delve into some of Patagonia’s anthropological and paleontological mysteries. Learn about Chile’s pre-Hispanic history and its impact on the present day.

Chelenko Sur | 8 Hours | 102 Miles by Van: This full-day overland journey takes you through scenic ranchlands and along the beautiful Baker River to reach its confluence with the Neff, a pristine glacial river that has its source in the Northern Ice Fields. Enjoy a gentle hike that includes a chance to see and learn about Patagonian fossils.

Áviles | 7 Hours | 10.5 Mile Hike: Exploring the varied terrain and eco-systems of the Chacabuco Valley, this moderately challenging full-day hike is designed to immerse you in the remote vastness of Patagonia National Park. The birdlife is especially rich in the springtime and rushing streams offer a chance to drink the pure waters that flow down from mountains.

Tamango | 10.5 Hours | 18 Mile Hike: This physically-challenging, full-day expedition takes you across the Patagonian steppe to Cerro Tamango, a 5,500-foot peak. Ascend the mountain slopes as your expert guide offers insight into the region’s varied topography. Delight in broad views of the Chacabuco Valley, including lagoons and plateaus, and a chance to espy some wildlife.

El Furioso | 6.5 Hours | 27 Miles by Bike or E-Bike: From valley and forest to plateaus and high-mountain desert, this guided expedition is designed for the physically fit and active. Those who participate will be rewarded with a broad, in-depth exploration of the Park’s many wonders.

Las Correntadas | 4.5 Hours | 2.5 Miles By Land + Water: This fully guided excursion begins with a thrilling kayak adventure down the fast-flowing Cochrane River. Continue overland, walking through Coigüe forests and then along the riverbank through captivating landscapes of pampa and Patagonian steppe. This excursion is rated by Explora Lodge as “Easy.”

Meals B+L+D

Day
9

Back to Santiago for Departure

You’ll be chauffeured back to the airport in Balmaceda for your included return flight to Santiago - where our local staff is on hand to assist with the connection to your international flight. Meals B

Extend Your Trip

Discover Torres del Paine National Park

5-Day Post-Tour Extension from $2,399

Complement your exploration of Northern Patagonia with our easy-to-add extension to Torres del Paine National Park in the southern reaches of Patagonia. We include all on-tour flights and transfers, accommodations and guided excursions.

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Day
10

From Balmaceda to Torres del Paine

After your 9-day Pure Patagonia journey, we include your flights from Balmaceda to Puerto Montt and onward to Punta Arenas in southern Chile. On arrival, you’ll be met and chauffeured to the Cabo de Hornos Hotel; our comfortable hotel enjoys a terrific location overlooking the central plaza in this friendly and historic town.

Day
11

Onward to Patagonia Camp

Delight in the scenic overland journey from Punta Arenas to Torres del Paine National Park where you’ll check in to our luxury camp, set on Lake Toro facing the granite peaks of the Paine Massif. Here at Patagonia Camp, you’ll find 20 generously-appointed yurts, each with an en suite bath and a private terrace overlooking these magnificent landscapes.
 
Your stay includes a choice of expeditions. Depending upon your personal interests and taste for adventure, you can choose from full and half-day guided excursions that include gentle hikes, invigorating treks, kayaking, and fishing. Horseback riding, boating on Lago Grey and Zodiac expeditions to the Serrano Glacier can also be arranged. This evening, you’ll enjoy dinner and your first nightly briefing from the Camp’s experienced guides as they review the excursions that will be offered the following day.  Meals B+D

Day
12

Tailor Your Day

Enjoy your first of two full days exploring Patagonia’s soaring landscapes and pristine waterways with our Camp’s expert guides and naturalists. You might venture deep within Torres del Paine National Park or join an exclusive activity closer to Camp. Each evening, the Camp’s staff will present the excursions to be offered the next day. They’re led by our Camp’s superb naturalists, so you’ll learn much about Patagonia’s geology, flora and fauna. At the end of each day, you might relax at the bar with a Pisco Sour or a glass of fine Chilean wine. Or you might just retreat to your private terrace to enjoy the breathtaking views over mountain and lake. Meals B+L+D

Day
13

Another Day of Adventures

Delight in another day exploring the region’s soaring landscapes and pristine waterways. Accompanied by our Camp’s naturalists, you’ll learn much about Patagonia’s geology, flora and fauna. Back at Camp, you can relax with fellow guests at the bar – perhaps sipping a traditional Pisco Sour or enjoying a glass of fine Chilean wine. As before, our Camp’s naturalist team will describe the expeditions that will be offered tomorrow.  Meals B+L+D

Day
14

Return Flight to Santiago

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred back to Punta Arenas for your included flight to Santiago where our tour services end.  Meals B

MapSearch

Chile’s New National Park is Born  

When Doug and Kris Tompkins of The North Face and Patagonia clothing companies started to acquire property in the Chacabuco Valley in 1991, much of it was over-grazed ranch land. Now less than 30 years later, the natural ecology of the valley is being restored – and the grasslands, glaciated peaks and rivers are again sheltering abundant wildlife. With our uniquely flexible style, tailor your stay here in the new Patagonia National Park with your choice of included guided adventure.

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