Cross one of the world’s most legendary mountain ranges on an expedition in the depths of Patagonia

Join Intrepid on a new off-the-beaten-track expedition the through the great landscapes of Patagonia. This challenging but rewarding journey explores the real Patagonian wilderness, revealing the beauty behind its well-earned reputation as a premier trekking destination. Kick things off on the shores of stunning Nahuel Huapi Lake in Bariloche, Argentina, and head across the Andes and into Chile. This Patagonia expedition offers some of the most spectacular scenery on the continent, with lush valleys and rainforest, pristine rivers and lakes, and awe-inspiring mountains such as the majestic Tronador volcano.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Bariloche, Argentina
Finish
Puerto Varas, Chile
Countries
Argentina, Chile
Style
Original
Theme
Expedition
Code
GGOX
Physical rating
Ages
Min 16
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Trek through a variety of unspoiled Patagonian landscapes, in both Argentina and Chile

  • Camp out beneath the stars in the shadow of Andean peaks, on the homestead of a 200-year-old house of a longtime local, and riverside in the Rio Blanco Valley

  • Bathe in natural thermal pools in the middle of the forest and take a refreshing dip in Esperanza River

  • Take in unforgettable views of the Tronador volcano and the beautiful Todos los Santos Lake

Is this trip right for you?

  • Previous hiking experience is essential for this expedition, along with an adventurous spirit and a love of straying from the beaten path.

  • A good level of physical fitness is required. You’ll need to be able to carry your own 45–60 litre backpack with 7–10 kg. (Horses are provided for porterage on the first trek day, and human porters can be hired at an extra cost after that.)

  • Remember that this is a trekking and camping trip, which means services will be of a basic level. The reward for all of this is the chance to behold the great landscapes of Patagonia, one of the most incredible wildernesses on the planet.

Itinerary

Hola! Welcome to Bariloche, Argentina. Other than a welcome meeting and equipment check, your day is free, so be sure to explore around town if you arrive with time up your sleeve. Not only is Bariloche nestled in the foothills of the Andes, it sits on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake, so there are many beautiful scenes to take in on foot. The town is famous for more than just its location; consider a sample of fine local artisan chocolate or beer. Epicureans might take advantage of the strong restaurant scene and sample some Patagonian lamb or that famous Argentinian steak. Be sure to get a good rest tonight, as the first day of walking is a rigorous one.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
Embracing an early start, drive (approximately 1.5 hours) to Pampa Linda. This is the starting point for the day's hike, which will be a fairly strenuous one to kick off the adventure (approximately 7 hours; 12 km). You'll go through border control on the Argentinian side before we start. The path starts off low and follows the Cauquenes River upstream through bamboo and Nothofagus forest. After our first river crossing we start our slow climb up the pass. We stay inside the forest most of the time till we reach the border monument. Here you officially cross into Chilean territory. Half an hour later we reach our final destination for the day. It's an adventurous journey across the pass today, and an elevation of 500 metres is gained. At the day's end, set up camp at Chilean border control and enjoy some well-earned rest and tasty food.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today we descend, dropping roughly the same amount of altitude which was gained yesterday. Though it's a descent, it's by no means an easy walk (approximately 7 hours; 12 km), so be prepared to sweat a little and make good use of your walking poles. Today the landscape opens up to some incredible views of the southern face of Tronador with some great view points. We can observe the Blanco Glacier and moraine coming down the Blanco Valley. Tronador is the biggest mountain in the area, 1000 metres taller than all the rest. It has seven overhanging glaciers which provide water to several surrounding valleys. Watch as the vegetation slowly begins to change as we find some new species compared to the Argentinean side. Tonight we camp next to our friend Don Oyarzo's 200-year-old house. Don has been living in this residence for more than half a century and lives self-sustainably there all year round. He always has a story or two to share and hopefully he has some chicha (home-made liquor made from apples) or homemade cheese to share as well.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Time to enter the great Patagonian rainforest. Today's walk is a relatively easy one (approximately 4 hours; 9 km). It's a beautiful thing to watch the shift in landscape and vegetation as the rich green of the forest reveals itself. Arrive in La Junta (The Junction), which is situated between the Esperanza and Blanco rivers. We will stay here two nights, so make yourself comfortable in paradise. From here you can access the famous Leticia thermal waters and enjoy a relaxing soak, which by now your hard-working limbs will surely welcome. Kicking back and relaxing in these natural pools, enveloped by the atmosphere of such a pristine rainforest, is sure to be one of the trip's memorable moments.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy a day to relax and chill out. There’s plenty of tasty food to be enjoyed, and when the hot springs get tiresome – if that's possible – change it up by taking a dip in the Esperanza River. The beauty of this spot makes for a perfect rest day. You can go on short walks around the area, read a book, write in your dairy, help harvest some fruit on the other side of the river or introduce yourself to the concept of a siesta under a tree. It’s a tough life.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Hike out through the rainforest that becomes thicker and bigger as we head west, following the Blanco River and passing several abandoned farmhouses. Today it's a moderate day of hiking (approximately 6–7 hours; 14 km). In addition to the eyepopping landscapes of the Rio Blanco Valley, a bonus of today's route is the abundance of fruit trees. Feel free to pick some fresh apples or plums to snack on along the way. Reaching La Bandurria farm, set up camp and settle into a relaxing evening in this remote spot. Your host Tito Velazquez is a younger farmer with lots of experience in the area. He also happens to be the best Patagonian lamb chef Intrepid has come across, so enjoy.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Tackle the final stretch through the Rio Blanco Valley which opens up into a big delta. The river divides itself into a few smaller arms that allow us to cross it by foot. The terrain is mainly flat and leads into a great wide valley with steep hills on the side. Your finishing point is Todos Los Santos Lake where the local gaucho Aroldo Alvarado is ready to serve you a sample of a special bitter mate drink. The sight of the spectacular Patagonian marvel of Todos Los Santos lake is a nice note to end on; this natural wonder is the product of volcanic activity and glacial activity as recent as 10,000 years ago. Camping next to the lake and river on your final night, and with the hiking behind you, drift off one last time to the hum and trickle of the Patagonian wild.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After a final breakfast at camp, take a boat ride across Todos los Santos Lake to arrive in Petrohue and catch a bus to Puerto Varas. The lake provides some incredible views of Puntiagudo Volcano and Tronador from the western side. We arrive at around lunch time, so you'll have the remainder of the day free for exploring, a well deserved hot shower and some shopping. Maybe seek out some good cuisine (ask your leader for a recommendation), or relax at a cafe and enjoy views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanos on the skyline. Take the opportunity to hit the nightlife before retiring to your hostel in Puerto Varas.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The adventure comes to an end after breakfast.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Boat

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (6 nights), Hotel (2 nights)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

MINIMUM AGE
The minimum age for this trip is 16 years ol. Unfortunatrely there are no exceptions to this rule.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.