Suggested Itinerary – 3 Nights
"Hike the High Lakes"
Day 1: Travel to the Park
To reach Patagonia Park, arrive by air to the Balmaceda Airport, then enjoy one of South America’s most spectacular road trips down the Carretera Austral (Southern Highway) by rental car, transfer, or bus. You’ll pass Lago General Carrera—the continent’s second-largest lake—countless glaciated peaks, and lush temperate rainforests. When you arrive at the Lodge, our team will welcome you with a quick orientation to the park. You’ll walk around the park headquarters area, and, if you’re up for it, take a quick stroll on the La Vega Trail, which begins right behind the Lodge. Spy your first guanacos, the curious South American camelid that roam the grasslands. Enjoy a cocktail on the terrace at the Lodge followed by dinner at the Bar and Restaurant El Rincón Gaucho.
Day 2: Hike the Lagunas Altas Trail
After a hearty breakfast challenge yourself on the spectacular 23-km Lagunas Altas day hike. Starting from the Lodge, you’ll hike up toward the summit of Mount Tamanguito before winding around stunning alpine lakes with dramatic views of the valley. The first major trail we created, it was named one of “Patagonia’s best five treks” and continues to offer visitors an incredibly rewarding challenge. Once you return, savor a cocktail and curl up with a book before a delicious dinner at the restaurant.
Day 3: Tour the Chacabuco Valley and hike the Lago Chico Loop
Experience the dramatic transformation in ecosystems as you drive east to the border with Argentina. In less than two hours, you’ll be looking east across the vast expanse of the Argentine Patagonian steppe. Along the way, stop to count flamingos, black-necked swans, and myriad other bird species that reside within the park. On your return, take a detour to hike the crowd-pleasing Lago Chico trail, a 12-km (7.5-mile) loop in the eastern sector of the park. You’ll appreciate the big views of Mount San Lorenzo, Patagonia’s second-highest peak, and the massive Lago Cochrane. For those interested in a shorter hike, a ten-minute stroll from the parking lot brings you to an excellent lookout point over the lake. For dinner, gather around the parrilla (grill) in the restaurant for a traditional asado (BBQ) and buffet alongside team members and other guests.
Day 4: Depart Patagonia Park
Pack your belongings and say goodbye to the park. Drive back to Balmaceda or continue on in your Patagonian travels to Torres del Paine, Los Glaciares, or other destinations.
Suggested Itinerary – 5 Nights
"Patagonia Sin Represas!
Ride the Río Baker"
Start with the first three days from the 3 Nights itinerary, plus...
Day 4: Float the Baker
The Baker River is Chile’s largest and one of the most spectacular. Draining from Lago General Carrera and the Northern Patagonian Ice Field, it forms the western border of the park before continuing on to the sea at Caleta Tortel. Spend the day rafting a scenic section of the river with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Learn about the controversy around proposed mega hydroelectric dams—the HidroAysen project—which we are delighted to report seems to be blocked for now. When you return, speak with park experts about the campaign to keep these rivers free, which has been the biggest environmental fight in Chile’s history.
Day 5: Hike the Aviles Trail
Set out for a final day of hiking on one of the park’s most remote and dramatic trails, the Aviles Valley Loop. After breakfast, head up the valley to the historic Stone House, site of the park’s second public campground, to begin this 16-km (10-mile) loop trail up the Aviles Valley Canyon. Halfway through your hike, you’ll cross the dramatic hanging footbridge—100 feet long, 100 feet up—that our team constructed in 2012. Stop for a picnic lunch near the span and then continue on down the valley. In the evening, tuck into a farewell asado (another BBQ—a real Patagonian tradition).
Day 6: Depart Patagonia Park
Pack your belongings and say goodbye to the park. Drive back to Balmaceda, or continue onwards in your Patagonian travels to Torres del Paine, Los Glaciares, or other destinations.