Northern Patagonia Odyssey Trip Highlights

  • Explore the lovely lakeside town of Puerto Varas and photograph the iconic Osorno Volcano
  • Ride horseback (no previous experience necessary) or hike through the lush temperate rainforest of the Northern Patagonia
  • Stay in a remote mountain lodge nestled in a serene valley filled with azure rivers and surrounded by massive granite peaks
  • Get to know your Mountain Lodge hosts Tatiana and Horacio, Patagonian homesteaders living in the ways of generations past
  • Meander the other-worldly countryside of mythical Chiloé before returning to your boutique palafito hotel perched above the tides

Itinerary Overview

Discover the magic and traditional cultures of Chiloe, visit the lakeside town of Puerto Varas, and explore temperate rainforest and emerald rivers on a historic trail linking Chile to Argentina. Stay in a palafito boutique hotel perched on stilts above the tides, a riverside cottage, and a cozy homesteaders cabin as you travel from the Chilean coast through southern towns and on to the Andean highlands.Chiloe Island South America

DAY 1  Puerto Montt – Chiloé

From Puerto Montt head to Chiloé Island for welcome oysters. After lunch at a local farm, visit the traditional markets of Dalcahue and palafito (stilt house) neighborhoods of Castro.

DAY 2 Chiloé

Biking through Chiloe’s countryside you’ll visit a 140-year-old wooden church recently made a UNESCO World Heritage site and learn of Chiloe’s interesting fusion of Jesuit and local beliefs. Hike through the dense, moss covered national park forest, watching for the trolls and shamans believed to inhabit them, and emerge at the Pacific Ocean.

DAY 3 Chiloé – Puerto Varas

Visit the sunken forest of Chepu, the penguins of Punihuil by fishing boat, and the town of Ancud before ferrying to Puerto Varas

DAY 4 Puerto Varas

Sample kuchen pastries and an empanada, visit the colonial museum and wander the volcano-rimmed shores of Lago Llanquihue while exploring the German influenced town of Puerto Varas.

DAY 5 Puerto Varas – Saltos del Petrohue – Cochamo

Visit Petrohue falls at the foot of Osorno Volcano in Perez Rosales National Park. Continue deeper into the fjord to your riverside cottage. *Optional sea kayaking through fjord.

DAY 6 Cochamo Valley

Ride horseback on an over 400-year-old trail once used by Butch Cassidy. Winding through rainforest and rivers, you arrive to a remote mountain cabin surrounded by spectacular granite cliffs and utter serenity.

DAY 7 Cochamo Valley

Summit spectacular Arco Iris peak, zoom down the natural waterslide, take guided nature walks, or simply enjoy the valley from the cabin’s terrace. Learn of the subsistence lifestyle practiced by your hosts Tatiana and Horacio.

DAY 8 Cochamo Valley

Horseback ride down from the valley to your riverside cottage.

DAY 9 Puerto Montt – Home

Depart from Puerto Montt.

Is It For Me?

Enjoy biking, hiking and horseback riding while getting an intimate perspective into the varied cultures of modern Chileans, traditional Chilotes and remote Patagonian horsemen. Ideal for those looking to do a little of everything.

Knowmad has vast knowledge and operations in Chile; this is a private trip and we are happy to modify excursions, accommodations, and the flow of the itinerary to perfectly suit your travel style and interests.

Have questions? Talk to an expert: 612-315-2894

Important Info

Chiloe Island Church

COSTS

Listed prices are approximations. All Knowmad trips are custom and exact pricing is provided in your trip proposal.

  • From $2,715 per person / 2 travelers

Additionally, regional airfare is estimated at $250 (Santiago/Puerto Montt, Puerto Montt/Santiago—subject to change).

  • $605 single supplement – rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double accommodations. If you request single accommodations you are required to pay the single supplement. 

TYPE Flexible Date Private Departures. Please inquire for pricing.

MODERATE TRIP More active trips that are suitable for most people in good health, these trips may also venture into remote territory and more rugged terrain. Activities include biking, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing & cultural opportunities. *Optional kayaking.

DEPARTuRES October through April; can be set up to match your dates.

LENGTH 9 days – 4 nights comfortable hotels, 4 nights cabins                BEGIN / END Santiago, Chile

Air Travel

INTERNATIONALAirfare is not included in the land cost of our trips. You may arrange your international airfare independently, or we are happy to offer our feedback and assistance in helping you book it.

REGIONAL If booked by Knowmad Adventures, internal airfare for this trip (Santiago/Puerto Montt, Puerto Montt/Santiago) averages $250, however this is an approximation and the airfare is subject to change upon booking. If you would like to arrange your own regional flights, please consult us prior so we can verify the departure and arrival times.

What's Next?

Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Signing up is easy. Call us at 612-315-2894 or email travel@knowmadadventures.com and reserve your spot. Or simply download our registration form, fill it out, and send it back to us along with your trip deposit. Please refer to registration form for terms & conditions.

Weather & When to Go to Chile

The Southern Hemisphere the seasons and climate are reversed from those in the Northern Hemisphere. While the United States and Europe are experiencing winter, in Chile it is summer. Patagonian weather is unpredictable. Expect sunshine as well as some rainy, windy South Pacific weather. The average temperature in this region from October through April is about 55 °F. Please also note that some of the activities are weather dependent.

Northern Patagonia

Prior to your departure, you are provided a detailed pre-trip information packet including a recommended pack list, information about the regions you’ll be visiting, suggested readings, up-to-date health information including any recommended vaccinations and more.

Accommodations

Our trips feature comfortable accommodations that complement their surroundings. We seek out intimacy and character, but never sacrifice cleanliness and security. We also find the best value for quality. In general, our physically moderate to vigorous trips feature hotels classified as 3+ to 4 stars, while less physically demanding trips feature 4+ to 5 star hotels.

As South American travel specialists, we’re experts and have inspected hundreds of properties. Knowmad is happy to suggest upgrades and alternative hotels based on your preferences to ensure your trip is perfect for you. Photos below are from this itinerary’s preferred accommodations. For more specifics, call or write to request more info, or download the detailed trip itinerary.

Places to Visit in Chile

Accomodations featured in this itinerary are the following:

  • Palafito 1326 located in Castro, Chiloe
  • Hotel Puelche located in Puerto Varas, Chile
  • Campo Aventura Riverside Cottage located in the Cochamo Valley, Chile
  • Campo Aventura Mountain Cabin located in the Cochamo Valley, Chile

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 Puerto Montt – Chiloe

You’ll be picked up at the Puerto Montt airport or at your hotel in Puerto Varas and head for approximately a half hour by ferry over the channel and to the island of Chiloé where you’ll be welcomed with locally harvested oysters. 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.

DAY 2 Chiloé

After enjoying breakfast overlooking a tidal cove home to hundreds of black-necked swans, you’ll 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 Chiloe 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.

DAY 3 Chiloé – Puerto Varas

Departing 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.

DAY 4 Puerto Varas

Enjoy a leisurely day exploring Puerto Varas. This lovely town nestled along the shores of Lake Llanquihue enjoys views to the idyllic Osorno Volcano and is a popular vacation destination for Chileans from the north. You will notice a significant German influence in the area owed to a large 19th century migration. There are no scheduled excursions during this day and you are encouraged to explore at your leisure. We encourage you to visit the colonial museum, wander the lakes shoreline, and sample kuchen pastries during your explorations. *If you’ve got energy to burn, choose to raft the Petrohue River or take a day of guided fly-fishing.

DAY 5 Puerto Varas – Saltos del Petrohue – Cochamo

Today we’ll depart from Puerto Varas and once-again travel back in time as we head into Patagonian wilderness. We’ll stop in Perez Rosales National Park, Chile’s second largest, and visit the volcanically-formed, turquoise Petrohue falls at the foot of the Osorno Volcano before entering the Reloncavi fjord and continuing on to the charming Campo Aventura Riverside Cottage where you’ll enjoy a tasty dinner in their cozy, candle-lit restaurant. *Optional sea kayaking through the fjord.

  • B, D – Campo Aventure Riverside Cottage

DAY 6 Cochamo Valley

After a hearty breakfast the gaucho horsemen and your guide will have your horses saddled and ready. Sit back and relax as these amazing horses take you winding through lush temperate rainforest home to old-growth alerce trees, turquoise rivers and endless beauty. For those not keen on riding, enjoy hiking along the over 400 year-old trail once used by Butch Cassidy that eventually crosses the entire Andes range linking Chile and Argentina.

After a riverside trail lunch and an approximately 4-hour ride through the forest, the trail enters an open valley revealing enormous granite walls, waterfalls and natural amphitheatres. Nestled amongst them is a remote mountain cabin, your home for the next two nights. Along with your guide, local homesteaders from the neighboring cabin Tatiana and Horacio will be your hosts. Besides cooking delicious, locally grown meals they will give you an intimate window into the remote lifestyle of Patagonian horsemen and women.

The Mountain Cabin has two shared beds and can accommodate up to 8 guests at a time with two shared bathrooms. Hot water is available for showering by way of a wood-burning stove. There is no electricity.

  • B, L, D – Campo Aventura Mountain Cabin

DAY 7 Cochamo Valley

Enjoy the unmatched serenity and captivating beauty that is Valle Cochamo. With massive granite domes the valley is often compared to Yosemite. Thrill-seekers won’t want to miss the summit
of spectacular Arco Iris peak, zooming down the natural waterslide is often a trip favorite, and enjoying the valley while spotting Andean condors from the cabin’s terrace perch should not be missed.

Enjoy a Patagonian asado (barbeque) over an open pit fire in the evening and relax by candlelight.

  • B, L, D – Campo Aventura Mountain Cabin 

DAY 8 Cochamo Valley

Enjoy one-last breakfast cooked over a wood-fueled stove and say good-bye to Tatiana and Horacio before riding or hiking through the verdant, moss-covered temperate rainforest. Relax, unwind, or cast a line in the river back at the Riverside Cottage before a rousing farewell dinner.

  • B, L, D – Campo Aventura Riverside Cottage

DAY 9 Puerto Montt – Home

You’ll be taken in the morning to the airport in Puerto Montt for onward flights.

  • B

Extend Your Adventure

Wine Country

Bike from vineyard to vineyard on gentle country roads, tour the cellars, taste fine wines, eat gourmet cuisine and stay in charming boutique hotels. With premier wine growing valleys just an hour from Santiago, a few days in wine country is an ideal extension to your adventure and a good example of the diversity of landscapes and lifestyles within Chile.

Atacama Desert

Looking for unique? Earth’s closest thing to Mars, Atacama will not disappoint. Your trip to this surreal landscape offers countless cultural and adventure excursions to choose from during the day, while spending nights in a true oasis, the Tierra Atacama boutique hotel and spa. Return for a dip in the pool and enjoy a local cabernet with gourmet cuisine. Don’t forget to take advantage of the world’s best moonscape and stargazing. 

Easter Island

A tropical paradise with history, culture and mystery at every beautiful turn, a visit to Easter Island – the world’s most isolated speck of land – will captivate any traveler. Meander through the picturesque countryside dotted with volcanoes, and learn about the mysterious Moai statues erected by the original Polynesian tribes who inhabited the island. Still today little is known about the statues or their creators. While circumnavigating the island on visits to the diverse Moai sites, you’ll have opportunities to relax on deserted, white-sand beaches, explore volcanic caves with petroglyphs and walk the rim of a seaside volcano. 

Let The Journey Begin

Let the Journey Begin - Knowmad Adventures

Planning a trip to South America might seem a little overwhelming at first. Knowmad offers door-to-door trip planning: first, we listen, and then we help you navigate the seasonal differences and itinerary options, resulting in a holistic, seamless, and custom-crafted experience, all at a guaranteed best value.

The simplest way to get started is to give us a call at 612-315-2894or to fill out this short form so we can learn more about your travel preferences.