Next we ferry across to the Island of Chiloé, in northern Chilean Patagonia where we'll spend 4 days hiking and kayaking the fjords and unique ecosystems of this island, home to rare species of birds and marine animals. Chiloé is reminiscent of the landscapes in Scandinavia. Though it was inhabited long before the Spanish arrived in 1567, the island remained isolated from the commercial trade routes until the founding of the nearby port city Puerto Montt in 1853. During these three isolated centuries, a unique culture developed. The Chilote are of Spanish and indigenous Mapuche descent, and depend on their marine environment to support their way of life.
Day 1: Meet in Bariloche, Argentina
Highlights: Bike fitting and welcome dinnerWe meet today in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. We'll fit bikes and take a short loop ride into the surrounding area for those who need to beat jet lag. We gather for welcome drinks and introductions before dinner together. (You might consider arriving a few days early in Bariloche - it's a great place to relax and enjoy an Argentine mountain resort.) Today's mileage: Your choice for a short ride.
Day 2: Bariloche - Villa La Angostura
Highlights: Lake Nauhel Huapi, scenic road from Paso Coihue to Villa La AngosturaThis morning we head north along Lake Nahuel Huapi, high in the Andes. Enjoy beautiful views across the lake as you cycle through the town of Paso Coihue, and continue on to Villa La Angostura on one of Argentina's most scenic roads. This road gets a bit hilly by the end of the day, but once you reach town, you can relax and enjoy dinner on your own. Distance: about 90 km (56 miles).
Day 3: Crossing into Chile
Highlights: Cardenal Samore Pass, thermal spasHeading across the Andes we'll pedal from Villa La Angostura over the Cardenal Samore Pass to our thermal resort at the Termas de Puyehue. We'll have a picnic lunch together before enjoying the downhill into Chile! Be sure to take time to relax in the hotel thermal pools before we have dinner together. Today's mileage: 93 km (58 miles).
Day 4: Termas de Puyehue to Puerto Octay
Highlights: Chile's Lake District, Lago LlanquihueThis is a long day, but we have left the Andes and are now in Chile's picturesque Lake District. You may confuse your surroundings with Switzerland until you stop for a picnic lunch in the town of Cancura, which has a distinctly Chilean feel and a very interesting history. From here you can shuttle the last 37 km to the hotel in Puerto Octay, unless of course you are up for the challenge! Puerto Octay is situated on the edge of Chile's largest lake, Lago Llanquihue (say "yan-key-way"), and was originally a center of German settlement in Chile's Lake District. Our hotel is beautifully situated overlooking the lake. Dinner together this evening. Distance: 93-130 km (58-81 miles).
Day 5: Puerto Octay to Puerto Varas
Highlights: Lake Llanquihue, views of Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes, FrutillarWe pedal around the west side of Lake Llanquihue today with beautiful views across the lake of the Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes. We'll stop in Frutillar today for lunch. The Germans have had a strong influence in this area and we encourage you to visit the excellent outdoor German Pioneer Museum commemorating the lives of this region's early settlers. Dinner is on your own this evening in Puerto Varas . Today's mileage: 66 km (41 miles).
Day 6: Rest day, or rafting
Highlights: Visit Puerto Varas, or go rafting in Chile!Today is a rest day for those who want. Puerto Varas is a small but bustling town with numerous craft stores and great walks along the lake. We'll offer a half day of rafting today on the Petrohue river around Puerto Varas today. Or, enjoy the town, sit and drink a pisco sour while enjoying the view! Dinner is on your own. Today's optional activity: 4 to 5 hours
Day 7: Puerto Varas to Petrohué
Highlights: Pedal around Lake Llanquihue, waterfalls, Lago Todos los Santos, PetrohuéContinuing our ride around Lake Llanquihue we'll enjoy more great views of Osorno Volcano. As we make our way to Petrohué and Lago Todos los Santos (All Saints Lake) we'll pass through the small village of Ensenada, and also stop to visit the famous "saltos", or waterfalls. Enjoy the natural beauty surrounding our hotel, which sits at the foot of the Volcano Osorno, and spectacular views of Lago Todos los Santos are just a short hike away. We'll have dinner together this evening as we say goodbye to the folks who are not continuing on to Chiloe. Estimated distance: 63 - 69 km (39 - 43 miles).
Day 8: Welcome to Chiloé Island
Highlights: Visit a penguin colony, explore AncudWe'll say goodbye to our bikes and hello to our Chiloé guides this morning at the hotel in Petrohué. Next we shuttle/ferry to Ancud on the island of Chiloé. Founded in 1767, Ancud was a fortified city, a base for seafarers coming north around Cape Horn, and the last stronghold of the Spanish in Chile. Most of the original city was destroyed in 1960 by a tsunami caused by a severe earthquake. After lunch together, we check into our hotel in central Ancud and then shuttle to the beautiful Pacific Coast and rock islands of Puñihuil, host to the only place in Chile where you can view both Magellen and Humboldt Penguins. We'll have dinner together tonight at the beach after taking a walk up to a beautiful lookout and enjoying the antics of the penguins on the islands. Walk - 1.5 hours. Shuttle from hotel to Chiloé - 3.5 hours but split up with lunch in between.
Day 9: Sea Kayaking through the Chiloé Archipelago
Highlights: Half day of sea kayaking, explore CastroWe leave the Pacific Coast behind early this morning as we head southeast to the coastal town of Dalcahue, where we board sea kayaks (or a traditional Chilote boat, depending on the season) to explore the fjords, islands, and hidden coves along the coast of Chiloé. This interior sea is protected from the winds and storms of the Pacific - making it the perfect place to kayak and view abundant wildlife, including sea lions and a large colony of Black-necked Swans. Enjoy a picnic lunch together and learn about the positive and negative affects of the controversial salmon industry. This afternoon after checking into our hotel in Castro, the capitol of Chiloé, have fun exploring and checking out the crafts fair before you have dinner on your own. Approx 3 hours kayaking.
Day 10: Chiloé National Park
Highlights: Guided walks in Chiloé National Park, traditional Chilote dinner with folklore showWe shuttle from Castro to Chiloé National Park on the Pacific Coast today to explore its ancient forests and learn about its history. This region was described by Charles Darwin on his famous voyage as rich in its diversity of temperate-zone forest plants. The park was created by the indigenous communities of Chiloé who have fought to protect the environment threatened by intensive deforestation. The national park is also home to hundreds of species of animals endemic to Chile, such as picaflores, kingfishers, huillines, and pudúes. We'll have a picnic lunch in the forest and then take a walk through the dense Alerce forest (cousin to the redwood, the Alerce is found only in S. America). We'll learn more about the legends and mythology of the indigenous community of Quilque as we enjoy a special folkloric show during dinner on the banks of Cucao Lake. Approx 4 hours walking.
Day 11: Farewell
Highlights: Wooden Churches of ChiloéBefore leaving Chiloé and on our way to the airport in Puerto Montt we will visit some picturesque fisherman villages. The villages are home to colorful wooden churches, which have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We'll have lunch next to the beautiful Tocoihue Waterfall before catching our ferry back to the mainland and arriving at the Puerto Montt airport around 6pm, in time to catch a flight to Santiago. Buen viaje!
HighlightsChile's Lake District, Half-day of sea kayaking in the archipelago, Wooden churches, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Views of Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes, Waterfalls on the Petrohué River, Birds and sea mammals of Chiloé, Half-day of hiking in Chiloé National Park
Includes11 days, 10 nights accommodation, 7 dinners with wine, 10 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, ferry to Chiloé, boat trip to penguin colony, and shuttle to Puerto Montt Airport or hotel at end
Begin/EndSan Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina/Petrohué, Chile
Arrive/DepartSan Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina/Puerto Montt, Chile
Total Distance405 - 448 km (252 - 279 miles)
Daily Distance0-130 km (0 - 81 miles) plus 2 days of walks and 1 half day of sea kayaking
What to ExpectSpectacular natural beauty, wonderful food, penguins, and more...
Moderate terrain, substantial loss of net elevation over the course of the tour. Gentle walking along the coast and through forests, sea kayaking in calm water.
NotesIf this sounds great but you don't have time for the full 11 days, check out our Pedaling the Andes from Argentina to Chile tour, which features the first 8 days of this itinerary.
Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.
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