Parque Patagonia Discovery Trek

Balmaceda, Chile

Trip Highlights

  • New Trip Offering
  • Traverse Parque Patagonia
  • Stunning Mountain Scenery
  • Waterfalls & Rushing Rivers
  • Wildlife, Glaciers & Wildflowers
  • Deep Wilderness Experience
  • Glacial-fed Alpine Lakes
  • Broad, Wild River Valleys

Description

Through nine days in the rugged backcountry of Patagonia’s newest national park, participants will traverse over 65 miles through the varied ecosystems that make Patagonia National Park a conservation priority. From dazzling glacially-fed lakes to expansive grasslands, this expedition will immerse participants in the beauty and solitude of remote Patagonia. This trip will challenge you physically, mesmerize you visually and astonish you intellectually!

Our guests will learn about the rich and complex backstory of the park’s conservation, as well as the amazing history of the Aysén Region. We will delve into Patagonia’s natural and human history and gain a richer understanding of the uniqueness and importance of this landscape. This is a rare opportunity to take advantage of the true wilderness of Patagonia, while learning about conservation and how we can save our planet for future generations.

11 Days
$4700 Per Person
$200 Single Supplement  

$200 Single Supplement

This trip has hotel/lodge at beginning and end of trip, so the single supplement only applies to those nights. The rest of trip is camping. Guests provide their own tents. A limited number of tents are available to rent and must be reserved in advance. Rental tents are also shared.

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 3-12 Guests
Trip Length: 11 Days
Distance: 66MI / 106KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 4

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
35-45 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
5-10 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
2000 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
2000 feet
Quality of Trails:
This trip follows established trails with some rugged, off-trail hiking and many river crossings.
Additional:
This trip earns its Level 4 Difficulty rating due to the heavier backpacks (30-35 pounds) and our long hikes (9-10 miles) over successive days.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise vigorously 3-5 times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-10 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 35 pound backpack

SOLITUDE LEVEL 4

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Patagonia hike a solitude 4. You can expect to see a couple other groups of hikers per day.

Learn More about our Rating System
BOOKING FLIGHTS

For this trek you will fly into Balmaceda, Chile on the day the trip begins. Flights should arrive before 3 PM. All flights into Balmaceda connect through Santiago, Chile. Most major airlines fly into Santiago from major connecting cities in the United States, primarily Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and Miami, Florida. It is important to leave enough time to pass through customs in Santiago. We recommend scheduling flights with a layover of 4 hours in Santiago between flights before continuing on to Balmaceda.

Your flight on the final day should depart no earlier than 3 PM.

Please Note: When you enter Chile, you will be issued a document called a PDI (tourism card). Please do NOT throw this away. You will need it to exit the country and nearly every lodge we stay in also asks for a copy.

We require a minimum of 3 guests to confirm this trip. If a trip date is not confirmed yet, you can register and will be notified when the trip is officially confirmed. We recommend not making final travel arrangements until your trip meets the minimum number of guests and is confirmed.

In most cases, if a trip does not reach the minimum number of guests, you may choose to transfer to another trip date or another trip, or be refunded your payments in full. We make the final determination for these trips 45 days before the departure date.

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 6-7 People: Rate x 1.2
  • 8-10 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 11-12 People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
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TRIP ITINERARY

TRIP ITINERARY

DAY 1

On this Patagonia hiking tour, Wildland will pick you up from the domestic Balmaceda (BBA) airport in Chile, the main airport for the remote, wild Aysén Region. (You will connect through Santiago to reach Balmaceda.) We will leave the airport at 4pm and transfer everyone to Coyhaique. (NOTE: Make sure you arrive before 3pm!) We will have dinner, an introductory briefing and overnight at our elegant accommodation on the outskirts of town, the Patagonia House (see accommodations.) Be sure to drink copious amounts of water in route, as flying and traveling will certainly dehydrate you. Self-care begins immediately.

DAY 2

This morning after a hearty Patagonian breakfast, we will pack our bags and depart Coyhaique. We drive roughly 2 hours to Puerto Ibanez, traveling out of the temperate rainforest and into the Patagonian steppe, where we will board a ferry and cross the brilliant-blue Lago General Carrera, South America’s second largest lake. Upon arrival on the other side of the lake, we drive another 1.5 hours to the Jeinimeni trailhead of Patagonia National Park, on the shores of the spectacular clear Lago Jeinimeni. After lunch, we will jump into classes on how to set up camp, backcountry cooking and meal preparation, and sleeping warm in chilly Patagonian evenings. We will also hike to a dramatic lookout over Lago Jeinimeni before returning to camp, cooking dinner gathering to share our goals for the trip and discuss plans for the days to come. Finally, we’ll turn in for a great night’s sleep beneath the stars.

DAY 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 150 feet

After sharing breakfast, we’ll dive into the finer points of pack-packing and pack-fitting, and then move onto boot fitting and hiking techniques to make sure we’re set up for successful hiking. Our traverse of Patagonia National Park starts winding along the shores of Lago Jeinimeni, on a track formerly used by gauchos who used this route to bring livestock to market. The lake sits in a spectacular valley between brightly colored red and green mountains, evidence of the rich geological past of this region. Toward the end of our day, we’ll reach our first substantial river crossing: glacial river crossings are one of the elements that make this trek an adventure. Our professional Instructors will show you how it’s done! We will discuss risk management and proper techniques associated with crossing rivers, before arriving at the spectacular Camp Raleigh, tucked on the shores of aptly-named Lago Verde.

DAY 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1200 feet

We’ll start this morning and settle into and observe this spectacular landscape, our home for the next week. As we set off for the day, we’ll learn about the native plants of the southern beech forest we travel through, before leaving the forest and entering a dramatic glacial valley that leads to the day’s major challenge: the pass to the far shore of Lago Verde. From the top of the pass, we’ll enjoy dazzling views of Lago Verde and Valle Hermos stretching out behind us, a remarkable sight! After a well-deserved break, we’ll take our time navigating a steep descent, then make our way across Valle Hermoso, crossing several rivers, to our camp: the Refugio Valle Hermoso, tucked into the trees on the bank of the river.

DAY 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 800 feet

Time for a day hike! We leave the full backpacks behind for a day exploration of the remote Valle Ventisquero, making our way toward the hanging glaciers for which the valley is named. Great opportunity for a polar plunge, for the brave! As we hike, we’ll focus on navigation and route finding. You will learn how to use a map and compass while understanding how they relate to route finding. Back at camp, we’ll have a conversation about the history and creation of Patagonia National Park.

DAY 6

  • Hiking Mileage: 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1100 feet

This morning we wake up and bid farewell to our cozy campsite, traveling west up Valle Hermoso toward its dramatic glaciers, crossing the braided river numerous times. After several miles, we cut into the pristine southern beech forest, making our way gradually up a low pass into the Aviles Valley, one of the north-south valleys that leads into the park’s main Chacabuco Valley. From here, we amble downhill to a midway point in the valley, where we set up camp beneath colorful peaks and waterfalls. We’ll relax in the grasslands and share conversations after dinner.

DAY 7

  • Hiking Mileage: 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 700 feet

This morning we set off down the Aviles Valley, through dramatically changing scenery. The forested upper valley gives way to rugged canyons and unusual topography. We cross a high hanging footbridge over the canyon and continue our hike into the main Chacabuco Valley. We eventually arrive at our front-country campground at Casa Piedra and complete the Jeinimeni-Aviles route. Good news! We get hot showers and fresh vegetables! Our guides will debrief the day before heading off to sleep.

DAY 8

  • Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2000 feet

After a fresh breakfast, we set off from Casa Piedra with our backpacks re-filled with food supplies, ready to take on the second part of our traverse of Patagonia National Park. We soon arrive to the tropical-colored (not in temperature, though!) waters of Lago Gutierrez, and climb high above the lake for dramatic views. Our challenge continues as we make our way over a pass in the Cordón Chacabuco, which on a clear day provides views of Cerro San Valentin and Cerro San Lorenzo, Patagonia’s two highest peaks. We camp on the shores of Lago La Guagua, a remote lake that few have visited. Upon arrival at camp, we set up our tents, cook dinner and our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

DAY 9

  • Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1800 feet

This morning, we’ll set off after breakfast through wild southern beach forest before encountering yet another remote alpine lake. We wind our way around several lakes, crossing through prime habitat of the endangered huemul deer, one of the species this park was created to protect. We’ll set up camp near our final lake, enjoying rich bird life.

DAY 10

  • Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1200 feet

Our final hiking day begins as we take off from the lake shore, making our way toward the park headquarters. We continue the Siete Lagunas hike until it merges with the classic Lagunas Altas trail, the first trail established in the park with sweeping views across the Chacabuco Valley. We continue hiking until we reach our accomodation for the night, Valle Chacabuco Lodge. Upon arrival, we will have showers, visit the new park museum and enjoy a celebratory dinner at the Rincon del Gaucho park restaurant.

DAY 11

This morning we will wake up early and board our transportation back to Balamaceda, driving north along the Carretera Austral (“Southern Highway”), often called one of the world’s great road trips. We’ll drive along the turquoise Baker River, and then near the eastern border of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. The total drive is approximately 6 hours. We can either drop you at the airport or in town depending on your flight departure time. We hope you have learned a lot and enjoyed your adventure. Thanks for choosing Wildland Trekking.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, availability of refugios, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Lodging and camping accommodations
  • Meals beginning with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on the final day
  • Backcountry cooking and dining equipment and utensils
  • Professional, certified Wildland Patagonia hiking guides
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Transportation to Balmaceda, Chile
  • Individual gear including tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, backpack and trekking poles (tents can be rented but are mandatory double occupancy)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD is recommended.)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

MEALS: WHAT TO EXPECT

This Patagonia hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guides. We’ll have dinners at carefully selected, wonderful restaurants in Balmaceda as well as meals prepared on the trail as a group.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you’re interested in.

GEAR WE PROVIDE

  • Cooking gear
  • First aid kit
  • Satellite phone carried by trained/certified Wildland guide

WHAT GEAR TO BRING

  • Backpack
  • Trekking poles
  • Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad
  • Two 1-liter water bottles per person and/or water bladder

Please consult your trip packet for a complete list. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. Some of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

WHERE DO WE MEET?

We will meet you at the airport in Balmaceda, Chile at 4:00 PM on Day 1 and transport you to the first night’s hotel (included), where we’ll conduct an orientation meeting the first evening (your flight should arrive before 3PM). Your guide will be in contact approximately 45 days before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Your safety is our top priority. Our Global Destination trips are led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Finally, we’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it’s important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.

GUIDES

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

GUIDE WORKING PARAMETERS

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

GROUP SIZE AND AGE RESTRICTIONS

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 12 guests and 2 guides, with a minimum of 3 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

TRIP INSURANCE

For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664

If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.

WEATHER IN PATAGONIA

Chile is a long, thin country extending North-South more than half the length of South America which gives it a tremendous diversity of climates. The Patagonia region of Chile, where we operate our trips, is at the far southern tip of South America, relatively far from the equator and close to the South Pole. It is a generally cool climate with potential for year round inclement weather including rain, snow, sleet, and very strong winds.

The average temperatures and precipitation in the Patagonia region are:

Month Hi Low Precip
October 51° F 37° F 5 in
November 55° F 40° F 5.6 in
December 57° F 42° F 7.2 in
January 59° F 44° F 5.1 in
February 58° F 43° F 3.8 in
March 55° F 41° F 4.9 in
April 50° F 38° F 5.8 in

Accommodations

Accommodations

PATAGONIA HOUSE

1 NIGHT

This is Patagonia’s newest and most exciting boutique hotel in Coyhaique, the capital of Aysen, Chile’s remote region with stunning forests, rivers, lakes, glaciers and peaks. This hotel is perfectly situated for our jumping off point into Parque Patagonia, and offers us a relaxing, scenic home for the night.

TENT CAMPING

8 NIGHTS

For most of this trip our accommodations are tent camping in the backcountry. All of the campsites are in intensely scenic locations that put us right in the action to make the most of our Patagonia trek. Two are outfitted with rustic amenities such as bathrooms and solar-heated showers, but most are primitive.

VALLE CHACABUCO LODGE

1 NIGHT

Inspired by famous and historic national park lodges from around the globe, Chacabuco’s amazing woodwork and stunning photography of local cultures and landscapes offer an iconic lodging experience. The main living and dining areas and comfortable rooms are perfect for resting after our week of adventure

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

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