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The stunning landscape of Patagonia

Chelenko Experience

Example 8 Day Tour
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Explore the Carretera Austral Region and General Carrera Lake, also known as Lake Chelenko in Chile, on this 8-day tour and experience the remote Patagonia wilderness on an active adventure tour. Visit the beautiful town of Puerto Guadal, known as the "Pearl of the Lake," and kayak the famous Marble Caves and Cathedrals of Lake General Carrera. Hike to San Rafael Glacier, an impressive ice mass tucked away in the fjords of Chile’s Patagonia. Explore Patagonia, one of the world’s most beautiful national parks, home to glaciers, turquoise lakes, stunning waterfalls, and fascinating nature
Explore charming ChileTaking in close-up views of glaciersHiking through colorful fields in PatagoniaFriends rafting in riverFriends hiking during a trip togetherTake in views of Chile's lakes and mountainsView of a beautiful glacierThe stunning landscape of Patagonia
Highlights
  • Kayak the famous Marble Caves and Cathedrals of Lake General Carrera
  • Hike to San Rafael Glacier, an impressive ice mass in Patagonia
  • Visit Puerto Guadal, also known as Pearl of the Lake
  • Explore the many trails to see many lakes and mountain viewpoints.
  • Marvel at the Patagonian forest's stunning natural scenery
  • Visit the mountains and pristine landscapes of Patgonia National Park
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Balmaceda | Puerto Tranquilo

Arrive at Balmaceda airport and set out on the 5-hour drive south along the Carretera Austral to your accommodation in Puerto Tranquilo. Along the way, you will see the signature glaciated lakes, towering mountain peaks, and dramatic valleys for which this remote region of Chile is known. You will arrive at your comfortable room in the enchanting village of Puerto Tranquilo on the shores of Lake General Carrera, the second largest in South America after Lake Titicaca

Day 2: Puerto Rio Tranquilo | Exploradores Valley

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, meet your kayak guides close to the lodge and take your kayak to visit the marble caves with a small group for about three hours. Learn the geological theories about the formation of these unique cliffside architectural caves and see how the stone has been eroded by the movement of water and strong winds throughout the years as you kayak the calypso-blue waters along the shores of Lake General Carrera. 

Once back on shore, head back to the lodge for a well-earned lunch. During the afternoon, your guide will bring you to the east on a less traveled, stunning road inside Exploradores Valley, up to a private park to see the humid forests and their incredible details with a magnifying glass. Frogs, insects, leaves, fungus, and an impressive variety of habitats from the local ecosystem will be your tiny world this afternoon. After your activity, return to Puerto Tranquilo for dinner and rest.

Day 3: San Rafael Glacier

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today your excursion starts at 7 a.m. in Puerto Tranquilo and will include a 5-hour navigation through the Chilean fjords to get to San Rafael Lagoon and its huge wall of ice. This will take a couple of hours of observing and hearing the behavior of the ice. While onboard, enjoy your leisurely lunch. After navigating the lagoon and arriving in Puerto Tranquilo, your guide will bring you to Mallin Colorado, where you will stay to rest and enjoy dinner and lodging.

Day 4: Bahia Catalina Agrotourism

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, go horseback riding or local hiking on Mallin's property, which has stunning views of several lakes and the Cordón Contreras mountain range. After 4 hours of a privileged private hike, lunch awaits you back at the lodge. In the afternoon, you will visit a neighbor's small agrotourism initiative on the shore of the lake. An organic vegetable garden and awesome, cute sheep and hens will show you how locals live in these latitudes. Dinner and accommodation in Mallin Colorado

Day 5: Puerto Guadal

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After leaving Mallin, Colorado, it's time to head to Puerto Guadal, a small, vibrant village of 900 people on the shores of Lake General Carrera. Called La Perla del Lago, Puerto Guadal is situated in a privileged place with a fantastic microclimate and spectacular views of the Northern Icefields through the emerald-colored lake. Explore the village and the old gold mine with its antique machines and tunnels, then continue visiting the cemetery with the most beautiful view in the world and the faro of the town, where you can take a nice photo under the name of Puerto Guadal on the shores of the lake. By midday, lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. Continue with a visit to the artisan women's association to buy local souvenirs and get in touch with a group of happy women. Finally, the day tour includes a visit to Cascada El Maqui and a relaxing time up the waterfall with an incredible view. After that, the sunset will be appreciated with some appetizers from a surprising place. Lodging in Mirador de Guadal

Day 6: Patagonia National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, you will begin a scenic drive to Puerto Bertrand, stopping along the way to see the confluence of the rivers Baker and Nef, a mystical point where different colors of water meet, and you can feel the power of nature in this extraordinary waterfall. The day continues further south to visit Patagonia Park, a completely different ecosystem combining the Patagonia steppe with mountains and forests, full of guanacos roaming freely inside the park. A visit to the Conservation Museum awaits you in the park headquarters, and then a short trail to the river Chacabuco and its hanging bridge will complete the day. An outdoor picnic lunch will be provided after the activities.​

Day 7: Bahia Murta | Coyhaique

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast and an early check-out, your guide will drive you to Bahia Murta for a morning bike tour led by a local bike company, which will take you to less traveled paths with stunning views of Lake General Carrera's various corners. Come back for lunch in a small, cute restaurant in Puerto Murta where the owner works with all kinds of local materials, like wild berry jams, lamb's wool sweaters, and wood furniture. In the afternoon, continue enjoying the Carretera Austral to Coyhaique for one night and enjoy your farewell dinner. 

Day 8: Balmaceda | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, you will travel back to the Balmaceda airport to connect with your flight.

Accommodations

Nomades Hotel Boutique

El Mirador de Guadal

Superior Double Room
Classic Double Room

Hostal El Puesto

Mallin Colorado Ecolodge

Mallin Colorado Ecolodge
Mallin Colorado Ecolodge
Mallin Colorado Ecolodge

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$3,290

Notes

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Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • 3 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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