The Great Patagonia Adventure - 35 days in Chile and Argentina, South America!
A dream journey through Patagonia to the end of the world including crossing the Strait of Magellan twice!
Travel with us to the end of the world and experience the wonders of Patagonia in a unique way:
Enjoy a trip that is both active and relaxed, with plenty of time to yourselves, together with the convenience of travelling in an exclusive group. Benefit from our extensive travel preparations and well-conceived overall organisation, including accompanying mechanic service.
In your own vehicle from northern Patagonia to the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego! We arrange the round-trip shipping of your vehicle as part of the overall organisation of the journey.
on request, possible October, November, December, January, February
You'll drive along the famous Carretera Austral, see spectacular national parks, ancient caves and impressive glaciers, cross the Strait of Magellan twice, cross Tierra del Fuego, see volcanoes, and much more.
17 nights' camping in spots with stunning views.
16 nights in exclusive, typical local hotels, private lodges, haciendas, and estancias.
Santiago de Chile → Puerto Montt (domestic flight)
Puerto Montt → Petrohué (Chile)
Petrohué → Puyuhuapi (Chile)
Puyuhuapi → Coyhaique (Chile)
Coyhaique → Tres Lagos/Rio Baker (Chile)
Tres Lagos/Rio Baker → Perito Moreno (Argentina)
Perito Moreno → Gobernador Gregores (Argentina)
Gobernador Gregores → El Chaltén (Argentina)
El Chaltén → El Calafate (Argentina)
El Calafate → Villa Serrano (Chile)
Villa Serrano → Provinz Magallanes (Chile)
Provinz Magallanes → Río Grande (Argentina)
Río Grande → Ushuaia (Argentina)
Ushuaia → Seccion Russfin (Chile)
Seccion Russfin → Punta Arenas (Chile)
Punta Arenas → Santiago de Chile (domestic flight)
= Total distance about 4,300 km
Patagonia lies in the extreme southern tip of South America and covers both Chile and Argentina. Known for a variety of landscapes not found anywhere else in the world, it never fails to impress visitors. The roads and trails of PaDayonia take you through dreamy landscapes ranging from rain forests to fjords, past glaciers and volcanoes, between barren rock and abundant vegetation, through endless expanses, and all the way to the "end of the world"!
Day: 1 | 2 | 3 + 4 + 5 | 6 + 7 | 8 | 9 + 10 | 11 + 12 | 13 + 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 + 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 + 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 + 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 + 31 | 32 + 33 + 34 | 35 |
Day 1 / Santiago de Chile
Overnight flight departing the day before from Frankfurt (or other airport)
Morning arrival in Chile’s capital Santiago de Chile
Hotel transfer to listed, comfortable villa hotel in the famous arts & dining district of Bellavista. Welcome with a pisco sour, the Chilean national drink
After lunch, a walk in Santiago’s largest park, the Parque Metropolitano. Enjoy magnificent views of the city at the feet of the giant Madonna statue. We visit Santa Lucia, the beginnings of the city, and then to famous Plaza de Armas, the central square of this metropolis of 7 million inhabitants. A look at the lifestyle and culture of Chile, see artists and performers, visit historical buildings... The 100% Chile experience
20:00 Dinner together in pleasant surroundings
Day 2 / Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas
Stylish breakfast in the hotel garden
At midday, a short domestic flight to Puerto Montt, the actual starting point of our journey and subsequent transfer to the neighbouring town of Puerto Varas. We will be spending the next 3 nights here on the shores of the second largest lake in Chile, Lago Llanquihue, with views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes.
Puerto Montt has been called the “gateway to Patagonia”, because all the roads heading south from here head to and through Patagonia. It’s also where the famous Carretera Austral begins.
The harbour’s charms are not limited to the freshly caught seafood: this is also where we’re collecting our vehicles!
In the evening, we will enjoy the fine art of Chilean cuisine
Day 3 + 4 + 5 / Trip preparation
We will collect our vehicles from the container port at Puerto Montt. Depending on how long it takes to complete regulatory checks and customs clearance, we will use the time for individual vehicle and travel preparation, such as picking up supplies.
However, the area around Puerto Montt also provides us many excursion choices that we’ll organise on the fly: maybe a visit to the island of Chiloe, known for its nearly pristine nature and wildlife as well as its historic wooden churches and the nearby penguin colony.
Other options include walks along the seashore, the Swiss German Herz-Jesu-Kirche, and the fishing port of Angelmó, where you can enjoy your fill of fresh seafood and browse the regional handicrafts.
Day 6 + 7 / Volcano Osorno and Hornopirén
07:00 Breakfast at the hotel
08:00 Start of the first stage (130 km).
We will drive around stunning Lago Llanquihue to the foot of Volcano Osorno. At 2,652 m, it has been called “Little Fuji” and is one of the most popular attractions and photographic panoramas in Chile.
After visiting the volcano, we will head to Lago Todos Los Santos in the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, where we’ll set up camp.
The next morning we’ll ride 180 km to Golfo de Ancud. The first kilometres via Ruta CH-7 and then via ferry to our destination: the port of Hornopirén.
You might enjoy a walk along this idyllic small harbour where we’ll be spending the night.
Day 8 / Golfo de Ancud and Carretera Austral
09:00 Drive to Hornopirén harbour and take a 5-hour ferry ride through the magnificent fjords of the Golfo de Ancud to where the highway continues at Caleta Gonzalo.
We will enjoy our picnic lunch during our leisurely ferry ride.
Continue riding on the famous Carretera Austral (Ruta 7). This highway will take us through the wilderness of Patagonia on of the most fantastic and spectacular nature experiences in all of South America. We will pass Volcano Chaitén, which left behind impressive traces of its power in the nearby town of the same name after erupting in 2008.
After riding for about 120 km on gravel and semi-asphalt roads, we’ll spend the night in the fly fishing paradise Lago Yelcho.
Day 9 + 10 / Puyuhuapi and Rest Day
At 10:00, we set off again heading south and continue to follow Ruta 7 through the rainforest of Patagonia.
After 160 km, we will be welcomed by the village of Puyuhuapi, a place where the influence of German settlers remains visible to this day.
Our Day 9 destination can only be reached by boat transfer: a spa lodge lying in a narrow fjord between three national parks. Relax surrounded by the amazing natural landscape and possibly enjoy one of the inviting hot springs at the hotel under the open sky.
Treat yourself to a relaxing day on Day 10 with a spa day, a relaxing massage, the use of the indoor pool, or take a guided tour of the surrounding fjord by kayak. We will dine together in the beautiful hotel restaurant on both nights.
Day 11 + 12 / Queulat National Park, Coyhaique
After breakfast and a boat transfer back to the highway, we will take a short drive to the nearby Queulat National Park. Different trails invite us to explore the primitive wilderness found here. Whether you choose to hike to a high overlook or take a cruise on Laguna Témpanos, you’ll be rewarded with very special views of Ventisquero Colgante, a hanging glacier that’s slowly breaking away. Camp both nights in the national park.
On Day 12, we have a long 220 km drive ahead of us to the provincial capital of Coyhaique. You’ll soon succumb to its charm. After all, its name from the language of the Mapuche means “A place where you settle down.”
We’ll have views of the imposing Cerro Mackay from our campsite tonight after enjoying a fine dinner in the city.
Day 13 + 14 / Cerro Castillo, Marble Caves
Today’s 210 km ride takes us further along the Carretera Austral. This was one of the most difficult sections for the engineers to build, meandering as it does with almost innumerable twists and turns through swamps and rainforest to Puerto Rio Tranquilo on Lago General Carrera. We’ll set up camp on its shores tonight.
On Day 14, we will take an impressive boat tour to the natural “cathedrals” Capillas de Marmol, known for their amazing play of colour in the marble in the midst of giant boulders that have fallen from the cliff.
We will then head to the tip of Lago General Carrera, where we’ll dine and spend the night in a cosy hacienda surrounded by three lakes.
Day 15 / First border crossing to Argentina
From 08:00 Breakfast at the hacienda
Around 09:30, we’ll head out for today’s 200 km ride including a border crossing to Argentina.
The highway, with its stunning panoramic landscapes and majestic mountains in the distance, leads us along Lago General Carrera to the small border town Chile Chico.
After crossing the border at Paso Rio Jeinemeni, there will be time for a short walk in Los Antiguos, lunch, or shopping for supplies.
After refuelling in the nearby tranquil town of Perito Moreno, we’ll then ride on asphalt roads through some steppe. Shortly thereafter, we’ll set up camp for the night for the first time in Argentina, surrounded by the endless Pampas.
Day 16 / Cueva de las Manos and Mystical Pampas
Around midday, we’ll visit Cueva de las Manos (“Cave of the Hands”), a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the banks of the Rio Pinturas. This cave contains paintings going back thousands of years to the earliest inhabitants of this region.
In the afternoon, after riding about 340 km, we’ll reach an idyllic, century-old estancia near Gobernador Gregores. If you want, you can choose to explore the surrounding area on horseback or you can check out the various animals that make their home at the estancia.
Set up camp on the estancia grounds
20:30 Extraordinary dinner around an open fire with homemade delicacies.
Day 17 + 18 / El Chaltén and Fitz Roy
From 08:30 breakfast.
11:00 Continue riding through the vast expanses of the Pampas.
After about 160 km, we will reach the Lago Viedma. This turquoise lake is approx. 1500 km² and is fed by the glacial waters from the Los Glaciares National Park.
From here, we’ll ride another 90 km to El Chaltén at the foot of famous Monte Fitz Roy. This granite massif is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Patagonia. In the shadow of this 3,400 m high mountain, originally called the “Smoking Mountain” by the natives, we’ll set up our camp for the next two nights.
On Day 18, we can explore the flora and fauna around Monte Fitz Roy on a hike lasting several hours.
Day 19 / Steppe and El Calafate
Depart approx. 10:00 am.
Before tomorrow’s rest/free day, we have another ride of 290 km across the steppe landscape of the province of Santa Cruz in front of us: one of the most sparsely populated regions of Argentina, almost uninhabited in many parts.
Around 17:00, we will arrive at our destination El Calafate on Lago Argentino. This pretty little town has become the tourist centre for Los Glaciares National Park, home to spectacular glacier Perito Moreno which draws visitors from around the world. We will take our time and visit it tomorrow.
Overnight at selected hotel with lake view.
Dinner at an insider-tip of a restaurant with open end.
Day 20 / Perito Moreno Glacier or Rest Day
09:00 Breakfast at the hotel.
11:00 Optional excursion to one of the most impressive sights in Patagonia: the Perito Moreno Glacier. Famous for its ice cliff that reaches as high as 100 m and running for kilometres along Lago Argentino (which it frequently causes to dam up), this glacier will put you under its spell. Surrounded by spectacular views and fascinating soundscapes and colours as blocks of ice weighing tonnes break away, this 254 km² ice giant inspires people from around the world.
Optional visit to the Glaciarium, a glacier museum.
But, if you’d rather relax, we understand. You might choose to have a spa day at the hotel or explore El Calafate on your own.
We’ll share our experiences around dinner in a cosy restaurant.
Day 21 + 22 / Back to Chile
08:00 Breakfast at the hotel.
09:00 Depart from El Calafate.
Today’s ride of 280 km takes us through the Argentine province of Santa Cruz with its typical steppe for the last time to Paso Rio Don Guillermo.
At the border crossing, we’ll set up camp for the night.
On Day 22, we will cross the border back to Chile and after many kilometres will reach our next destination, another of the special highlights of Patagonia: the unique Torres del Paine National Park with its majestic rock towers.
Camp overnight in the national park at the foot of the towers.
Day 23 / Torres del Paine or Rest Day
If you like, you can join us on a tour through parts of the famous Torres del Paine National Park at 11:30. We will see the “towers of the blue sky”, spectacular hiking trails, beautiful mountain massifs, huge glaciers, lakes shimmering in different colours, or take an impressive boat tour to Grey Glacier. Alternatively, you can take an impressive boat tour to the Grey Glacier instead.
Or, if you like, you can relax in the nearby, cosy hotel where we will be spending the night.
The hotel offers spectacular views over the surrounding landscape. You can also arrange to explore from here the area on horseback.
Around 20:00, we’ll rendezvous for a lovely dinner at the grand buffet in the hotel restaurant .
Day 24 / Puerto Natales and Morro Chico
09:00 Breakfast in the hotel.
Around 10:30, we will leave Torres Del Paine National Park behind us and head south to the Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region. After visiting the Cueva del Milodón, we will take Ruta CH-9 to the quaint town of Puerto Natales with its extensive waterfront.
We’ll then ride past the volcano Morro Chico through a remote landscape crisscrossed with swamps and low woodlands as we steadily make progress to the famous Strait of Magellan. After about 200 km past Volcano Morro Chico, we will arrive at an idyllic, historic villa still owned by the family. We will park our vehicles on the grounds of the picturesque, 100-year old estate and dine in the main house.
Day 25 + 26 / Cross the Strait of Magellan and second border crossing to Argentina
Today’s 330 km long route brings us to the end of the Patagonian mainland. At Ponta Delgada, we will encounter one of the narrowest points in the Strait of Magellan. From there, the ferry will take us in just 20 minutes to the legendary island of Tierra del Fuego.
Not far from a bay, we’ll set up camp for the night. The next day (Day 26), we’ll cross back over to Argentina at Paso San Sebastián. We’ll ride through extensive pastures and rocky, barren landscapes and then follow the Atlantic coast to the largest city on Tierra del Fuego: Rio Grande.
After we leave the city behind us, we’ll spend the night in our vehicles, right on the Atlantic coast.
Day 27 / Tierra del Fuego
09:00 Departure to Ushuaia, the southernmost destination on our journey, the southernmost city of continental America, and the end of the Pan-American highway.
We will pass through diverse panoramas on today’s 220 km ride, first past Lago Fagnano then crossing the last, massive mountain ranges of Tierra del Fuego before we reach the Beagle Channel and the end of Ruta 3, the last bit of highway in all of America.
After checking into our hotel with a lovely view of the city, we will meet at 20:30 for dinner and celebrate a bit in the city centre. Open End
Day 28 / Ushuaia
Free day. Today is yours to do with as you wish. Here are some suggestions:
Relax at the hotel and share your stories.
Go sightseeing or shopping in the city centre of Ushuaia.
Take a boat trip to Isla Navarino, the penguin colony on Isla de los Pajaros, or the famous lighthouse of Ushuaia.
Tourthe former pirates’ prison.
Visit the museum of the Yamana people
Ride the prison train or double-decker bus, and so much more.
Around 19:00, we’ll meet up for dinner in a very nice city restaurant.
Day 29 / Through the heart of Tierra del Fuego and back to Chile
From 08:00, relaxed breakfast with stunning views.
At 10:30, we will start on our 320 km ride, first along the only road that heads back to Rio Grande. Shortly before the town, we will turn at Paso Rio Bellavista to cross the border back to Chile.
After crossing the border, we’ll take the gravel roads at a more moderate pace as we continue across the pasture, steppe and marsh of the mysterious heart of Tierra del Fuego.
At around 17:00, we will reach a remote, private fishing lodge on the Rio Grande. Here we’ll have time to relax, enjoy the wide views, fresh homemade delicacies, and reminisce about our memories around the fireplace.
Day 30 + 31 / 2nd Crossing of the Strait of Magellan
Around noon, we will depart for the 150 km drive along the beautiful Bahía Inútil toward Cameron. Right on the shores of the bay, we’ll set up camp for the night, so that we can ride well-rested onto the ferry in Porvenir the next day.
On Day 31, we will again cross the Strait of Magellan via ferry. Maybe a whale or some dolphins will accompany us. We’ll also use the crossing to have a little snack.
Once in Punta Arenas at 16:30, we will check into the historic Jose Nogueira Hotel.
At night, we will head to the Shackleton Bar and the world of famous explorer Ernest Shackleton before we tuck into dinner in one of the many city restaurants.
Day 32 + 33 + 34 / Punta Arenas
We prepare our vehicles for return shipment.
In addition to initiating the shipping process, you’ll have time for activities around Punta Arenas according to your mood:
Visit the regional handicraft market on the Plaza de Armas.
Visit the open-air ship museum Museo Nao Victoria.
Stroll along the beautiful beach promenade.
Boat tour and visit the penguin colonies on nearby islands.
We can also arrange to meet for dinner in various restaurants around the city.
Day 35 / Santiago de Chile and Return Flight
Morning domestic flight to Santiago de Chile
Earliest arrival from 09:30
Depending on your connecting flight, you may still have time for another stroll through this great southern city.
Day 36 / Evening arrival back in Germany