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Patagonia by Sea

Example 6 Day Tour
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Board the intimate motor yacht Cahuella for a truly unique exploration of the Northern Patagonian fjords and the charming island culture of Chiloe. Far from the beaten path, you'll visit small fishing villages only accessible by sea, explore the fantastic temperate rainforest and isolated natural hotsprings in Pumalin Park, and enjoy the freshest seafood and delicious meals along the way. A wonderful Chile travel adventure by sea!
Cahuella into the sunsetCahuella
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.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: The Big Island of Chiloe

  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leaving in the morning from the Lake District, begin your Chile travels with an open air ferry across the Gulf of Ancud to the big island of Chiloe, known as a mystical island full of traditions and folklore. Sea lions and penguins are often viewed from the ferry, playing in the waters of the Gulf, while the snowcapped backbone of the Andes, complete with at least 5 visible volcanoes, stretches southward. Once on the magical island of Chiloe, you'll visit the bustling city of Ancud and have a tea and kuchen (a traditional German cake) overlooking the bay.

After your guides explain some of the history and culture of the area you'll head west through the verdant countryside, past forests and rolling hills. Pastures and farms dot the way, where every morning and afternoon tin milk jugs await pickup by the local cheese and yogurt factory. Your destination is the rugged Pacific coast and the island penguin colony of Punihuil. This group of small islands offers the only place in the world where Humbolt and Magellanic penguins coexist - a very important area for the Chilean conservation movement.

Later in the afternoon you'll make your way down the Panamerican Highway before taking a detour into the countryside for dinner with a local family at their farmhouse to experience the hospitality for which the island is famous. You'll then continue to the village of Quemchi where you will board the Cahuella. After a brief introduction and a tour of the boat, you will enjoy a peaceful evening on the water.

Day 2: Chiloe by Sea

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a peaceful night's rest, we'll set sail out of the channel and into Chiloe Archipelago. Numerous islands will fill the foreground, shimmering green amidst the blue waters, while the snowcapped peaks of the Andes complete the background (weather permitting, of course). We will drop anchor in the protected bay of Mechuque Island, where traditional palafitos (wooden houses built on stilts with boat parking underneath) and the quaint village make for a wonderful afternoon walk. We will visit a nearby family and their small seafood farm nestled among the inlets of the channel. In the evening, you will have the opportunity to taste an expertly made pisco sour (the national drink) and enjoy two new wonders: the Chiloe sunset and the wonders of the gourmet cuisine your chef creates from the freshest local produce and seafood.

Day 3: Archipelago

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a breakfast of fresh fruit, bread, jams, local yogurt and more, you will begin cruising amidst the numerous islands of the Archipelago. Your navigation will take you to the quaint village of Tenaun, whose hand-crafted crafted 140-year-old wooden church is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an impressive monument to the region's missionary past. The rest of the day will be spent immersed in the marine culture of the archipelago: visiting small islands, taking short walks and pulling up to local fishing boats, observing not only their work firsthand, but also taste the freshness of their catch only moments out of the water!

Day 4: Pumalin Park and Rainforest Hike

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After an early breakfast of fresh homemade specialties, you will continue your Patagonia cruise by setting out across the Gulf of Ancud towards the glacier-topped Andes to the east. Accompanied by a wide variety of sea birds, dolphins and sea lions, you will cruise to the Comao Fjord and the virgin beauty of the Pumalin Park Project, the brainchild of American Conservationist Douglas Tompkins. The night will most likely be spent below the steep walls of the Quintupeu Fjord, whose misty green walls rise over 1500 meters (4500 ft) out of the deep ocean. A perfect place to relax, take the zodiac exploring up the river or simply absorb the quiet majesty of life on the shore of a Patagonian fjord.

Day 5: Heart of Pumalin Park - Hot Springs

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a wonderful night's sleep you will continue your exploration of this remote corner of Pumalin Park. Depending on the weather and your interests, you may go for a walk up a nearby valley visiting some of the area's original settlers. The setting is truly breathtaking: dense forest and snowcapped mountains looming overheard. Massive old-growth forests, pristine clear rivers, endless birdlife and the raw beauty of mother nature.

In early evening you will visit one of the area's hidden volcanic treasures: a spectacular stream of hot water that runs through the rainforest with numerous pools amidst the ferns.

Day 6: Hornopiren Hot Springs

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
In the morning you will cruise up the Cholgo Channel towards the perfect forested cone of the Hornopiren Volcano (4800ft, 1572 meters), at the base of which lies the town of the same name. You will finish your Patagonian cruise at the ferry ramp, where the crew will join you for a farewell lunch before bidding you goodbye. Transport will take you up and over the mountains on the lovely journey back to Puerto Montt and the human hum of civilization--a 3 1/2 hour drive amidst the rugged beauty of the Carretera Austral to continue your Chile travels.

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  • 5 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 5 Dinners
  • 5 Nights Accommodations
  • 6 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Park Entrance Fee
  • Both Arrival and Departure Transfers are excluded.
  • International Flights
  • Meals not Included
  • Chile Visa Reciprocity Fee


When to Go

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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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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