The stunning landscapes of both northern and southern Patagonia were the perfect backdrop for this group of 7 family members and friends. On this trip, they were able to see all of the highlights of the region, including trekking in Torres del Paine, glacier ice hiking, bike riding on Chiloé Island, whitewater rafting, and more!
In celebration of Bill’s birthday, Vicki and Patricia worked with Knowmad specialists to create the perfect large-group trip for them. After hiking the world-famous W-Trek and ice hiking on Grey Glacier in Torres del Paine National Park, the group was off to Chiloé, where in addition to cultural opportunities, they went bike riding through the countryside and boating in search of wildlife. They topped off their adventure-filled Patagonia Odyssey by whitewater rafting on the class III Petrohue River. You can see more information and photos from their adrenaline-pumping holiday itinerary below!
Do you want to travel to Chile? We’re regional experts here at Knowmad Adventures and pride ourselves in building custom trips that are a perfect fit for our travelers. If you’re interested in crafting an adventure combining several regions in Chile and/or Argentina, but this particular itinerary doesn’t strike your fancy, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Trip Specialists at 612-394-2894 or [email protected] to begin planning your trip today!
Patagonia Odyssey Trip: Chiloé Island, Rafting, Ice-Hiking + More
DAY 1 USA – Santiago
You will take an overnight flight from the U.S. arriving to Santiago the following morning.
DAY 2 Santiago
Upon your early morning arrival, you will be met at the airport by a Knowmad Adventures representative and taken into the city. Enjoy a half-day privately guided exploration of the city. Your bilingual guide will lead you on a tour featuring Santiago’s most important historic and cultural sites. Highlights include: the Plaza de Armas, La Moneda Presidential Palace, the Mercado Central (Chile’s largest fresh seafood market), the historic República & Concha y Toro neighborhoods, eclectic Barrio Lastarria, Parque Forestal, and artsy Barrio Bellavista. For a panoramic view of the city, you’ll visit the top of San Cristobal Hill, 984 feet above the city. You’ll also have the chance to visit the famous La Chascona Museum, former home to beloved poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda. Following your exploration, you’ll be taken to your hotel.
- Atton El Bosque
DAY 3 Santiago – Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales
In the morning you will be picked up at 10:00 a.m. (please have luggage and be in lobby) and transferred to the airport in accordance with your morning flight to Punta Arenas. After arriving to Punta Arenas your guide will meet you at the airport and you’ll unwind on a 3-hour scenic drive through Patagonian Pampa to the small town of Puerto Natales. After arriving to your hotel nestled on Last Hope Sound with views of the Serrano Glacier, enjoy a delicious dinner while chatting with your guide about the adventure to come.
- B, D – Kau Lodge
DAY 4 Base of the Towers Hike
You’ll head out early by van and enter Torres del Paine National Park. Begin trekking to the Ascencio Valley where from above you see the river running wildly past Refugio Chileno where you will spend your first night. After a quick stop here continue through a forest of the native lenga (southern beech) trees until reaching glacial moraine. From here it’s an hour’s trek before the towers seemingly emerge from nowhere. This spectacular hike affords views to three pink granite towers above a hanging glacial lake, and below is part of what gives Torres del Paine its fame.
Hiking detail: approximately 6 hours, 16 km or 10 miles
- B, L, D – Refugio Torre Norte
DAY 5 Las Torres – Lago Nordeskjold – Horns of Paine
After a hearty camp breakfast, continue your spectacular hike along the shores of Lake Nordenskjold and, if you’re feeling up for it, take a dip in the icy waters as we picnic on the beach. This classic hike runs just below the towering Horns of Paine before passing the hanging glaciers of Almirante Nieto and onward to the base of Los Cuernos mountains.
Hiking detail: approximately 5 hours, 11 km or 6 miles
- B, L, D – camping
DAY 6 French Valley
Today you head into the park’s most beautiful valley, one unique in the world for its beauty. Throughout this full day’s hike enjoy fantastic views of the natural granite amphitheater that makes up this enclosed valley, as well as the waterscapes below including lakes Pehoe, Skottsberg, Toro and Nordenskjold. It is also possible to hear and see avalanches coming down from the glacier. Hike deep and high into the valley or relax and soak in the scenery before trekking onward to Pehoe.
Hiking detail: approximately 6-8 hours, 15-24 km, or 9-14 mi. depending)
- B, L, D – camping
DAY 7 Kayaking Grey Glacier
Setting out early you will hike along the Grey Lake before it’s massive glacier at Lake’s end comes into sight. Continuing on you will reach the glacier lookout point witnessing giant floating icebergs up close and the Patagonian Ice Field’s most spectacular glacier. Relax and enjoy a lavish picnic in the midst of this natural wonder before a safety briefing and suiting up for your glacier kayak. This once in a lifetime experience allows you to safely kayak amongst massive icebergs and up to the face of the glacier towering above.
Activity detail: approximately 3-4 hours hiking, 11 km or 6 mi., 3 hours kayaking
- B, L, D – Lago Grey Lodge
DAY 8 Grey Glacier Ice Hiking
After breakfast your expert guide will give you a safety, technique, and equipment briefing before strapping on your crampons and embarking upon the glacier. The route reveals the immensity of the glacier itself with its crevices, slopes and cracks. Those with experience will have the opportunity to do some vertical ice climbing. After a few hours return to terra firma for a delicious lunch followed by an amazing boat ride aboard the Grey II back to the face of the glacier for an iceberg pisco sour and relaxed two-hour cruise through icebergs. Upon disembarking you will transfer by van back to your lakeside hotel to refresh and relax before a rousing farewell dinner.
- B, L, D – Kau Lodge
DAY 9 Puerto Natales – Puerto Montt – Chiloé
After being transferred to Punta Arenas and flying north, you’ll be picked up at the Puerto Montt airport and head for approximately a half hour by ferry over the channel and to the island of Chiloé. Continuing on you’ll stop at a lovely local family’s home and small farm for a traditional Chilote meal. From there we’ll head to the small fishing village of Dalcahue where the coast is lined with the traditional fishing boats that are still fundamental to the islands life and culture. Visit the traditional markets known for woven goods of local lambswool before we head to the town of Castro. Here you’ll check in to a boutique hotel built in the palafito style – perched on stilts over the ebbing tide.
- B, D – Palafito 1326
DAY 10 Chiloé
After enjoying breakfast overlooking a tidal cove home to hundreds of black-necked swans, you’ll be met at your hotel by your bike guide at 9:15 a.m. to make a short drive to the small town of Chonchi. Roam the sleepy village streets lined with traditional wood shingle homes and visit the UNESCO World Heritage church. This over-a-hundred-year-old church made without nails and in the style of an inverted boat is an architectural masterpiece that will have you asking about the interesting fusion of Jesuit and Animist faiths on the island. From here you take a leisurely bike ride through the enchanting Chilote countryside. Rolling through small towns and villages you’ll have the opportunity to meet locals and see how life continues for many on Chiloé as it has for centuries – don’t be surprised when you pass an ox- drawn cart. We’ll stop for a lunch of delicious empanadas and milcaos before continuing by bike or by van on to the mystical national forest and the dramatic pacific coastline. Enjoy dinner and the evening on your own after returning to Castro.
- B, L – Palafito 1326
DAY 11 Chiloé – Puerto Varas
Departing at 9:15 a.m. (please have luggage ready) in the morning you will visit the sunken forest of Chepu on the island’s west coast. The origins of many of the island culture’s myths and legends derive from this mystical forest. Next head to the northern reaches of the island to a sheltered cove where you will motor aboard a small fishing boat spotting Humboldt and Magellanic penguins, as well as watching for otters, seals and myriad bird species. After a fresh-catch seafood lunch and visit in the town of Ancud, ferry back to the mainland and make the approximately hour and a half drive to the town of Puerto Varas for the evening.
- B, L – Hotel Puelche
DAY 12 Puerto Varas
You will be picked up in your hotel lobby between 8:30-8:45 a.m. and taken for a half-day rafting trip on the class III Petrohue River. This exciting adventure is filled with exciting rapids, beautiful turquoise waters, and views of multiple volcanoes throughout.
- B, snack – Hotel Puelche
DAY 13 Puerto Varas – Onward
Enjoy the morning at your leisure independently exploring Puerto Varas and the nearby areas. You will be picked up at 2:45 p.m. (please have luggage and be in lobby) in accordance with your onward flight to Santiago, where you will reclaim your baggage and check in for your onward overnight flight home.
DAY 14 Arrive Home
Hasta Pronto, Knowmad Adventurers!
Knowmad Adventures works closely with independent-minded travelers creating innovative trips to South America. Our specialists in Patagonia, Chile, Machu Picchu, Peru, Argentina, the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Antarctica are eager to collaborate and create a trip as unique and authentic as you are, and our experienced South American operations team guarantees you get an insider’s perspective, superior values, and a flawlessly operated trip.