Bicycling Patagonia's Lakes District Plus! The Island of Chiloé

  • Itinerary Summary

    Join us on our 10-day Bicycling Patagonia's Lakes District Plus! the Island of Chiloé from Argentina to Chile tour where we will cycle paved roads across the Continental Divide in the Andes, from Argentina into Chile. At this latitude, the mountains are much gentler than the severe Peruvian and Ecuadoran landscapes that come to mind when you think of the Andes. Our route winds from the high plateau setting of San Carlos de Bariloche along Andean lakes, down through the valleys of the border region and into Chile's Lake District. Cycle past conical volcanoes and snow capped Andean peaks, one of Chile's famous rushing rivers, and relax in the tranquil settings of our lovely hotels.

    Tranquil fjords, wooden houses and churches, the rugged coastline of the Pacific: The Island of Chiloé, in northern Chilean Patagonia, is remniscient 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.

    ***If this sounds great but you prefer a shorter tour - check out our Bicycling Patagonia's Lakes District tour which features the first 7 days of this itinerary.***

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    1. Day 1: Welcome to South America!

      Highlights: Fit Bicycles, Welcome Dinner

      We meet this afternoon on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi, just outside of the center of San Carlos de Bariloche. We'll schedule a transfer from the Bariloche Airport for anyone flying in this morning. After checking in, take a walk down to the lake and enjoy the stunning views of the Andes right outside the hotel. Or, better yet - explore Bariloche. This mountain town is a year-round destination for outdoor lovers and is bustling in the summer. We'll meet in the afternoon to fit bicycles and suggest a short test ride before meeting for a drink and dinner this evening.

      Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D

      Lodging: Hosteria Las Marianas

    2. Day 2: Bariloche to Circuito Chico

      Highlights: Bariloche, Cerro Campanario take the ski lift to the top of the Andes

      We follow a classic ride today after a brief shuttle out of town. Tiny back roads lead us through forests and offer stunning views of both Lago Nahuel Huapi and the smaller Lago Perito Moreno. Our ride ends at the base of Cerro Campanario. Check in to the hotel and then walk the 500 meters to the chairlift and ride up to enjoy what some people call one of the top ten views in the world.

      Distance: 42 km (26 miles). Meals: B, L

      Lodging: Bosque del Nahuel

    3. Day 3: Villa La Angostura

      Highlights: Lake Nahuel Huapi, Arrayanes National Park

      Your day begins with a shuttle to Lake Nahuel Huapi. From there, you’ll set sail on a ferry and view Bariloche's surrounding area from a different perspective as you float towards the Quetrihué Peninsula. Upon docking you'll have the option to walk a wooded path through Arrayanes National Park and some of the most pristine myrtle in South America. In the 1970s, this 300-year-old myrtle stand was awarded special protection under the Argentine government. Local legend has it that Walt Disney walked through this forest in the late 1930s and it inspired his choice for Bambi's cinnamon color as well as the film's setting.

      Distance: 12 km (7 miles) hiking. Meals: B, L, D

      Lodging: Hosteria El Establo

    4. Day 4: Crossing into Chile

      Highlights: Cardenal Samore Pass, thermal spas

      Heading across the Andes we'll pedal from Lake Espejo over the Cardenal Samore Pass (4,311 feet) 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's thermal pools before dinner together this evening.

      Distance: 87 km (54 miles). Meals: B, L, D

      Lodging: Hotel Termas De Puyehue

    5. Day 5: Termas de Puyehue to Petrohue

      Highlights: Lake Llanquihue, views of Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes

      You'll pedal around the east side of Lake Llanquihue today with stunning views of the snow-capped Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. We'll stop for a picnic lunch and enjoy the tranquility as we pass quiet farmlands and small forests. Take the shuttle or bike the last 6 km of gravel to the hotel before relaxing at the edge one of Patagonia's beautiful lakes. Tonight we'll feast on a delicious home-cooked dinner together.

      Distance: 89-96 km (55-60 miles). Meals: B, L, D

      Lodging: Hotel Petrohue

    6. Day 6: Puerto Varas

      Highlights: Puerto Varas

      Just after leaving our hotel, plan to visit the famous "Saltos de Petrohue," waterfalls. Continuing our ride around Lake Llanquihue we'll enjoy more great views of Osorno Volcano on our way to Puerto Varas, a small but bustling town with numerous craft stores and great walks along the lake. We have the inside scoop on Puerto Varas' best restaurant for dinner together this evening.

      Distance: 55-61 km (34-38 miles). Meals: B, L, D

      Lodging: Hotel Solace

    7. Day 7: Transfer to Chiloé Island

      Highlights: Chiloé Island Penguins, Traditional Curanto Meal, Day off the bikes

      From Puerto Varas we'll shuttle and then ferry to the island of Chiloé continuing to the beautiful Pacific Coast and rock islands of Puñihuil, which just so happens to be the only place in Chile where you can view both Magellan and Humboldt Penguins. First we stop in Ancud for lunch together and then take a boat ride and around the small islands enjoying the antics of the penguins. Our early dinner is a special treat: Curanto - a unique seafood dish "pressure-cooked" underground. Afterward we'll continue to Castro, the capital of Chiloé and our home for the next two nights.

      Distance: No Ride Today. Meals: B, L, D

      Lodging: Hotel de Castro

    8. Day 8: Bicycle Castro to Dalcahue and Achao

      Highlights: Fishing villages, traditional Chilote boats

      We pedal to the east coast of Chiloé today towards Dalcahue where we will then continue on and visit the village of Achao on the Island of Quinchao. Achao is the main town of the island and where the oldest church of Chiloé archipelago is located. We'll take the van back to Castro.

      Distance: 61 km (38 miles). Meals: B, L

      Lodging: Hotel de Castro

    9. Day 9: Bicycle Chiloé National Park

      Highlights: Quiet roads, lakeside bicycling and bird and wildlife viewing opportunities.

      We pedal 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 rare species of animals endemic to Chile, such as picaflores (hummingbirds), kingfishers, huillines (sea otters), and pudúes (the smallest deer in the world). We'll visit with members of the indigenous community of Quilque over lunch with local products. Tonight we overnight in a unique stilt hotel in the small town of Cucao.

      Distance: 55 km (34 miles). Meals: B, L, D

      Lodging: Palafito Cucao

    10. Day 10: Shuttle to the Airport

      Highlights: Tour ends

      We board our shuttle and transfer back to our ferry and then on to the airport in Puerto Montt this morning. Expect to be at the airport in time to catch a flight after 3 pm this afternoon.

      Meals: B

    • Highlights

      Chile's Lake District, Views of Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes, Waterfalls on the Petrohué River, thermal pools, San Carlos de Bariloche, Chiloé Island , Wooden Churches, Penguins
    • Includes

      Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 10 days, 9 nights accommodation; bilingual tour leaders; 7 dinners with wine, 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Argentina, Chile
    • Begin/End

      San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina / Puerto Montt, Chile (PMC). There is a reciprocity entry fee for entering Argentina through an international airport; Canada and Australia passport holders are required to register and pay online prior to arrival.
    • Arrive/Depart

      San Carlos de Bariloche (BRC) / Puerto Montt, Chile
    • Total Distance

      502-606 km (310-374 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      Average per day mileage 62-74 kms (38-46 miles)
    • Rating

      301-401 Asphalt roads, rolling hills and flat terrain on most days. Half the days have mileages exceeding 50 miles. One long climb over the Andes, cumulative elevation gain does not exceed 3000 feet that day.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
    Dec 9-18, 2017 USD$4645 USD$700 4 More to Guarantee the Departure. Save $200, per person, when you book by August 15th. Book it
    Jan 20-29, 2018 USD$4645 USD$700 Save $200, per person, when you book by August 15th. Book it
    Feb 17-26, 2018 USD$4645 USD$700 Guaranteed to Go! Save $200, per person, when you book by August 15th. Book it

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • Great biking, fabulous scenery, extraordinary guides... Would definitely use Experience Plus again, especially in Argentina with the same guides. Have already sung your praises to a number of biking friends. From my first phone call, through trip prep and then the tour, everyone was professional and went out of their way to make this the trip what we wanted. Phenomenal customer service.

      Sue R., Vail, CO
    • Do it. Do it. Do it. Trip of a lifetime. If a medium strength rider, ask for the E-bike and just have fun!

      Melinda C., Renton, WA
    • A brilliant way to see Patagonia at close range with local guides and experience. An excellent tour with great guides. 10 of 10. Would recommend.

      David E., Sydney, Australia
    • Fantastic scenery, a gorgeous view at every turn. Lakes, mountains, forest, volcanoes, wildlife, oceans, parks, it has it all. Great food at locations one would never find on one''s own. Warm and gracious people. Interesting accommodations, with a taste of every kind--B&B, high rise hotel, low rise hotel, park "lodges" and an all-inclusive resort. Challenging riding but one can''t have the scenery without hills.

      Jill W., Sarasota, FL
    • An experience of a lifetime! What was your favorite experience on this trip? I can''t say. Everything on this trip gelled. The guides, the cultural experience in Argentina and Chile, the other members of the group, and the riding was spectacular on a daily basis.

      Susan M., Syracuse, NY
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? Crossing the border from Argentina to Chile. The boat trip to see the penguins. Enjoying the company of my fellow travelers. The home cooked meal on Chiloe Island.

      Bill P., Meadville, PA
    • Two weeks riding through a great place with great folks. I loved lunch at the border of Chile and the hot tub soak at the end of that day at the all inclusive spa.

      Richard H., Raleigh, NC
    • It was truly the greatest adventure of my life--at the age of 71. So glad I did it. Everyone was wonderful!

      Bonita O., Woodston, KS
    • Everything about the trip was excellent, from the well designed routes and navigational arrows, to the guides who were amazing in their knowledge and friendliness and willingness to make the trip a memorable experience.

      Judi B., Waban, MA
    • A great bicycle trip with such beauty, interesting country, people, food, and wine. The guides are great! Fun, helpful, interesting! The road markings are good. The hotels, food, and wine wonderful. ExperiencePlus! has bicycle trips down! I am a big fan and look forward to my next trip!

      Josephine C., Hilo, HI
    • The combination of gorgeous routes and extra cultural experiences made for a totally rich experience. We would head out every morning eager to see what fabulous surprises awaited us. And of course our guides were the best! One of the best vacations of our lives!!!!

      Starr and Phil T., Ft Collins, CO
    • How would you describe this tour to a friend? I would (and have) told them 1) that I had a great trip; 2) that the guides were wonderful; 3) that the mountains were exquisite; 4) accommodations and interesting meals were fabulous.

      Benjamin L., Washington, DC
    • The stilt hotel on Chiloe Island was magical. We took a kayak up the lake to the Pacific coast swam in the ocean and that evening lay on the deck and wondered at the night sky. Fab. A great trip I will never forget, experience of a lifetime.

      Len C., Harrogate, UK
    • Bravo!

      Pam N., Fort Davis, TX
    • One of the best bike trips ever, and we have had many. I can not say enough good things about the trip. I forgot to mention the navigational arrows, what a joy.

      Elena P., New York, NY
    • Excellent, full of new information, new experiences. Great cycling. Chiloe - the phenomenal experiences with the people there. The market in Ancud, the curanto, phenomenal king crab lunch, dinner on the farm, seaweed collectors on the shore.

      Jo E., Appleton, WI
    • Wonderful, wonderful food including meals that were at the homes of local residents. Consistently good lodging. Excellent, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable guides. Much beautiful scenery.

      David S., Appleton, WI
    • Spectacular scenery, good company, comfortable accommodations. My favorite exprience was the three days on Chiloe.

      Zoe E., Williston, VT
    • I was very impressed by the local character of most of the places we ate at, like lunch on the seashore the last day in Chiloe. Biking in beautiful scenery, mountains, and rural roads. An introduction to Chilean coastal culture.

      Jack R., Cary, NC
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? So many... reaching the summit, seeing the penguins, enjoying the curanto dinner and lamb lunch.

      Diane C., Gabriola, Canada
    • Asked what is his favorite opera, a friend replied "the last one I saw." I feel somewhat the same about bike tours. (This is my fourth, the first with ExperiencePlus!.) Putting aside that bias, however, I have to say that you really did do everything possible to make this a first class and memorable experience. The cultural highlights are an extremely valuable addition to some great cycling.

      Guy C., Vallejo, CA
    • I had so many great experiences but I think Chiloé Island was awesome. We saw penguins, had a really special lunch, stayed in the stilt hotel, went out to the lunch on the farm and had a really great ride along the river to the National Park. The people were so friendly! The lake district was beautiful and the volcanos and mountains were stunning.

      Renee C., Johnston, IA
    • What was your favorite experience on this trip? Hard to choose...stunning scenery, challenging climbs, helpful, supportive tour leaders. I also loved the garden luncheon, and enjoyed the farm tour.

      Julia V., Nottingham, NH
    • Thanks for a great ExperiencePlus!

      Jeff W., Fort Collins, CO
    • The trip was well organized: the guides were attentive, informative, helpful and fun to hang out with; the hotels were great; restaurants that were included or recommended by the guides were fabulous; bikes were in "new" condition; the other people on the trip were great travel companions. I would definitely recommend your company to anyone looking for a bike touring company and I hope to make it on another one of your trips some time.

      Jeff F., Cottekill, NY
    • Thanks so much for everything, I feel really blessed in having such nice tour leader all the time. And I'm in love with the Hotel Puelche in Puente Varras, archecturally it was interesting, the porportions and lay out, plus the food was goood.

      Barbara H.
      Lexington, MA
    • We just returned from the Argentina - Chile trip and wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we had. The tour leader did an outstanding job leading this inaugural journey and along with our Argentine guides made our ride fun and interesting. The Chiloé extension only added icing to the cake. What a beautiful island filled with very special people and gorgeous scenery. I would highly recommend to anyone going on the bicycle trip to not miss this added bonus. It is well worth the time and money.

      Larry and Corky B.
      Herkimer, NY
    • [What I liked most was] The biking and the treatment we received from the tour leaders. Especially the birthday cake they provided at the day-three dinner for my 61st birthday.

      James M.
    • [What I liked most was] the ride to Fruitallar. It was so beautiful and not much traffic.

      Whitney R,
      Fresno, CA
    • The tour leader was outstanding. She was most attentive to our needs and helped us have the best experiences ...

      William D.
      Goshin, CT
    • I've taken numerous bike tours with various companies and will say that ExperiencePlus! offers the best value for the money. Also, I find my fellow bikers in the ExperiencePlus! groups to be the easiest to get along with and among the nicest I've ever met while traveling - no whiners! Some of the more expensive bike tour companies tend to attract more high-maintenance travelers (who care more about the hotel and dressing up for dinner than the biking), meaning the focus of their trips will often stray from the biking and cultural experience. I like the fact that ExperiencePlus! will choose/recommend restaurants where the locals themselves dine.

      Charlene L.
      Jersey City, NJ
    • The guides were very good. Great trip.

      Thomas E.
      Houston, TX

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