Because of the popularity and challenging nature of our ExpeditionPlus! adventures, we require an application for this expedition. If you would like to join us, click here to fill out the application today.
And don't forget our regular Pedaling the Andes from Argentina to Chile bicycle tour if the "expedition" format doesn't suit your fancy! This 8 day tour starts in the mountains of Argentina and heads west to the Pacific coast along a route slightly north of the ExpeditionPlus! itinerary.
Day 1: Gather in Puerto Montt, Chile, bus transfer to Ancud, Chiloé
Highlights:Our trip begins today with a bus transfer to Ancund, Chiloé where we fit bicycles and take a warm-up ride to get the travel kinks out of our legs. Founded in 1767, Ancund was a fortified city, a base for seafarers coming north around Cape Horn, and the last Spanish stronghold in Chile. Chiloé is a fascinating island with one of the largest indigenous populations of any place in Chile. Dinner together.
Day 2: Dip your toe in the Pacific Ocean
Highlights: Magellan and Humboldt penguins colony, walk on beachWe’re in Ancud again tonight but we'll take an excursion today to be sure our bikes are properly fitted and to walk on the beach at Puñihuil, the only place in Chile where both the Magellan and Humboldt penguins breed. We have a dual purpose with today’s ride: one is to visit the penguin colony and the other is to dip our toes in the Pacific Ocean on this spectacularly remote beach. Tomorrow we'll begin our two-plus week journey east for our dip in the Atlantic Ocean. Our ride from Ancud is 30 km. one- way. We'll take a walk (1-2 hours), have lunch and then pedal back. Dinner is on your own. Estimated mileage: 60 km. (37 miles), 50% gravel.
Day 3: East Coast of Chiloé Island
Highlights: Fishing port, East coast of Chiloé IslandOur route today takes us on the Panamerican Highway for a stretch, then off to the east coast of Chiloé Island. We’ll end our day in Dalcahue, a fishing port north and east of Castro, the capital of the island. Dinner together this evening. Estimated mileage: 90 km (56 miles), 60% gravel.
Day 4: Explore fishing community, bicycle to Castro
Highlights: Market in Castro, wooden churchesWe'll hop back on the Panamericana and bicycle to Castro. You'll want to take time to explore the market some time today. Estimated mileage: 80 km. (48 miles).
Day 5: Castro to Quellon
Highlights: Visit the market morning in CastroTake your time this morning, and be sure to visit the market and get some photos with that early morning light. We head south to Quellon today where we catch the ferry tomorrow to the mainland. Estimated mileage: 92 km (57 miles), all paved.
Day 6: Ferry to the mainland
Highlights: Optional ride, ferry to ChaitenOur ferry leaves at noon today so if you’d like to get a ride in you can go explore the area this morning. But be back by 11 a.m. so we can count heads to get on the ferry to Chaiten. We arrive in Chaiten at about 4 p.m. this evening. From Chaiten we'll shuttle (or ride for anyone who wants a late afternoon ride!) To Yelcho de la Patagonia. Estimated mileage: 50 km. (31 miles) or a rest day if you prefer.
Day 7: Approaching the Andes, bicycle to Futaleufu
Highlights: FutaleufuWe’ll get an early start this morning as we have a 110 km. ride today into the Andes. Our destination is the town of Futaleufu on the river of the same name. Dinner together. Estimated mileage: 110 km (68 miles).
Day 8: River Rafting on Futaleufu
Highlights: Chile's best white water riverWe’ve scheduled a day of river rafting today on what is widely considered Chile’s best white water river. No riding today, just chills and thrills on the river. Try and take it easy, though, as tomorrow we head over the Andes, not a big climb but a day on gravel roads.
Day 9: Into the Foothills of the Andes
Highlights: River views, views of Patagonia Express narrow gauge steam trainWe head up the river this morning and climb about 2,000 feet by the time we arrive in Esquel, a small ski resort in the foothills of the Argentine Andes. Esquel is famous as the terminus of the Old Patagonian Express, one of the oldest continuously operating steam railways in the world. The train now operates primarily as a tourist attraction. We should be able to get some good photographs. Estimated mileage: 78 km (48 miles) 70% gravel.
Day 10: Climb to Tecka
Highlights: Bicycle Ruta 40, the AndesWe continue to climb as we leave Esquel for Tecka. After about 10 km. we’ll intersect the famous "Ruta 40" which we’ll follow to Tecka where we spend the night. Continue south on the Ruta 40 and you’ll go to southern Patagonia (after about 4 weeks on your bike!) Estimated mileage: 93 km (58 miles) 100% paved.
Day 11: Tecka to Paso de Indios
Highlights: Tea and barbecue, pampasToday is your opportunity to ride a century, from Tecka to Paso de Indios on Ruta 25 rather than Ruta 40. We'll go over our last mountain range and head down to the beginning of the Chubut River Valley Tonight we'll stay in a newly built hostel and we'll visit the new Mapuche cultural center where we'll have dinner. 165 kms (102 miles).
Day 12: Down into the Valle de Los Altares
Highlights: Bicycle the Rio ChubutContinuing east from Paso de Indios we encounter the Rio Chubut and the landscape changes dramatically as we enter the Valle de Los Altares. This green river valley contrasts starkly with the eroded sedimentary cliffs on either side. Our destination tonight is a small hotel in the village of Los Altares. Estimated mileage: 56 km (35 miles). 100% paved.
Day 13: Dique Florentino Almeghino
Highlights: Rio Chubut, Ride another century today!The Rio Chubut was dammed in 1963 to provide irrigation, hydroelectric power, and flood control for communities down the river. We'll have the winds at our back (hopefully!) and ride down the valley. The village that grew up around the dam’s construction has remained. We spend the night here near the lake formed behind the dam, Dique Florentino Almeghino Estimated mileage: 190 km (110 miles). 95% paved.
Day 14: Bicycle to Gaiman and find the Welsh
Highlights: Welsh tea houseAs we follow the Rio Chubut further eastward, the last thing you might expect to find is a Welsh tea house and a city of 6,000 people speaking both Spanish and Welsh, but that is precisely what Gaiman has to offer. Settled by Welsh immigrants in the 1860s and ?70s, the entire region is a miniature Welsh enclave. Estimated mileage: 109 km (68 miles). 97% paved.
Day 15: Bicycle to Trelew and the beach
Highlights: Playa Union and the Atlantic OceanWe continue pedaling through this unlikely Welsh culture region, through Trelew, and Rawson, capital of the Chubut region. Take your time, our trip is nearly complete as we pedal the last 6 km to the beach at Playa Union. Estimated mileage: 50 km (31 miles)
Day 16: Farewell and enjoy Argentina or Patagonia
Highlights: Fly out to Buenos Aires or down to Tierra del FuegoOur tour ends this morning on the Atlantic Beach of Playa Union. You understand Patagonia and the Pampas a little better now. Keep pedaling, if you wish. Buenos Aires is only 1500 km to the north. But if you are staying on, buen viaje!
HighlightsChiloé Island, The Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Penguin Colony, Market in Castro, Old Patagonian Express, Gaiman, Rafting
Includes16 days, 15 nights accommodation, 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 10 dinners, quality hybrid bicycle, 1 night in dormitory style hostel
Begin/EndPuerto Montt, Chile/Rawson, Argentina
Arrive/DepartPuerto Montt, Chile (via Santiago, Chile) /Trelew, Argentina, (via Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Total Distance1172 km ( 728 miles)
Daily Distance30-164km (19-102 miles)
What to Expect*Due to the remote nature of the tour single supplements may not be available on every night of the trip. Solo travelers who are willing to share a room and cannot be matched with a roommate will be charged 50% of the single supplement rate.