After decades of traveling to the southern tip of the Americas, we thought it impossible to get any farther off the grid in this part of the world. Until we did. This new trip to the rarely visited Aysén region tempts travelers with adventures in an even wilder Patagonia. Among them: exploring a national park in the making, hiking across the Chile-Argentina border where there are no roads, and spending one night camping by a wonderfully lonely alpine lake.
First we enjoy an afternoon getting acquainted with Santiago, the Chilean capital, before swapping civilization for the Chacabuco Valley. Here we find home in an elegant, intimate eco-lodge, go for awe-inspiring hikes, and learn from our friends at Conservación Patagónica about efforts to protect vulnerable ecosystems, recover endangered species, and support local communities. The extremely remote Carretera Austral (or Southernmost Highway) then takes us to Lago O’Higgins, where we set out by boat to behold the O’Higgins Glacier, one of the largest on the southern Patagonian Ice Cap. After trekking across the frontier to El Chaltén, we ramble among the famous peaks of the Fitz Roy mountain range, then wrap up the journey with a day in intoxicatingly charming Buenos Aires.
If you'd like to discover more of Patagonia, ask about our tempting Torres del Paine extension.
Read a firsthand account of this trip.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Day 1:
arrive in Santiago, sightsee
- Day 2:
fly to Aysen region, drive to Chacabuco Valley
- Days 3 & 4:
Patagonia National Park hiking
- Days 5 & 6:
by road and ferry to Villa O'Higgins, activities around Villa O'Higgins
- Day 7:
boat across Lago O’Higgins, hike to camp
- Day 8:
on foot to Lago del Desierto in Argentina
- Days 9 & 10:
Fitz Roy hiking
- Day 11:
drive to El Chaltén
- Day 12:
by road to El Calafate, fly to Buenos Aires
- Day 13:
Buenos Aires, depart.