Bicycling Patagonia's Lakes District

Bicycling Patagonia's Lakes District

Join us on our 7-day Bicycling Patagonia's Lakes District 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, and one of Chile's famous rushing rivers, and relax in the tranquil settings of our lovely hotels.

***Extend this bicycle tour by 3 days. Visit our Bicycling Patagonia's Lakes District Plus! the Island of Chiloé bicycle tour.***

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Feb 2-8, 2019
USD$3495
USD$600
Guaranteed to Go!
Dec 7-13, 2019
TBA
TBA
 
Feb 1-7, 2020
TBA
TBA
 
Feb 15-21, 2020
TBA
TBA
 

* 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.

Book This Trip Now Hold-A-Space/Questions Download Itinerary Request Custom Date

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 7 Days
  • Total Distance / 287-300 kms (177 - 185 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 57-60 kms (35-37 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 3.0
  • Countries / Argentina, Chile
  • Begin/End / San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina / Puerto Varas, Chile
  • Price / From USD$3495
More Photos
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Argentina and Chile's Lake District, Views of Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes, Waterfalls on the Petrohué River, thermal pools, San Carlos de Bariloche. Puerto Varas

    Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

    Our bikes in South America are aluminum frames and the road bikes come with a carbon fork. We do shuttle a number of times on this ride to avoid traffic or sections of rough roads.
  • Includes
    7 days, 6 nights accommodation; 5 dinners with wine, 6 breakfasts, 3 (2 picnic) lunches; and the usual (see below).

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    San Carlos de Bariloche (BRC) / Puerto Montt, Chile (PMC). San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina / Puerto Montt, Chile (PMC). There may be a reciprocity entry fee for entering Argentina through an international airport
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    difficulty level
    2
    42km / 664m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    3
    Hiking day
    difficulty level
    4
    87km / 1437m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 5.0
    5
    97km / 1147m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 4.5
    6
    61km / 439m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    7
    Last day

    Tour Level Note: Asphalt roads. Rolling hills and flat terrain on most days with some longer distances. One long climb on Day 3 over the Andes, cumulative elevation gain does not exceed 3000 feet that day.

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Welcome to South America!

Highlights: Fit Bicycles, Welcome Dinner

We meet this afternoon at our hotel in San Carlos de Bariloche. We'll offer a transfer from the Bariloche Airport at 4:00 p.m. for anyone flying in today. After checking in, take a walk down to the lake and enjoy the stunning views of the Andes. 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. After the fitting we will go on a guided walk through Bariloche, that will take us to our restaurant for our welcome dinner.

DAY 2: Bariloche to Circuito Chico

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

After a brief shuttle out of town we'll do a short test ride to make any necessary adjustments to your bike, before heading out on our longer route. 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 take a short walk to the chairlift and take a ride up to enjoy what some people call one of the top ten views in the world.

  • Distance: 42 km (26 mi)
  • Gain: 664 m (2178 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Lodging:

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 Quetrihu? 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. Today our hike will take between 3 and 4 hours.

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 mi)
  • Gain: 1437 m (4713 ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 5.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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: 97 km (60 mi)
  • Gain: 1147 m (3762 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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: 61 km (38 mi)
  • Gain: 439 m (1440 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Puerto Varas

Highlights: Tour ends

Our tour ends after breakfast this morning. We'll offer a shuttle, or you can take a taxi to the airport in Puerto Montt which is less than a half-hour away for those who are flying home. If you need to return to Bariloche, we recommend transferring across Todos los Santos Lake. This trip has daily departures and the bus leaves just one hundred meters from our hotel! It is a beautiful and relaxing boat and bus trip and you'll arrive in Bariloche in time for a late dinner. Whatever your plans, buen viaje..

***Extend this bicycle tour by 3 days. Visit our Bicycling Patagonia's Lakes District Plus! the Island of Chilo? bicycle tour.***

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Welcome to South America!

Lodging: Alma Suites del Lago

Meet your Tour Leaders and fellow travelers in the afternoon of Day 1 at the Day 1 hotel. Keep an eye out for a note at the front desk with more details.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Bariloche Airport (BRC).

A Note on Flights: For this trip, we recommend booking international flights into Buenos Aires’ International Airport (EZE) and out of Santiago, Chile (SCL). This means that you’ll also need to purchase domestic tickets from Buenos Aires Domestic Airport (AEP) to Bariloche (BRC). For information on transferring between Buenos Aires’ international and domestic airports see our information here.

How to arrive at the Day 1 Hotel:

If you arrive on Day 1: Complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle from the Bariloche Airport to the Day 1 Hotel at 4 p.m.. Please make your shuttle reservation by emailing us no later than 30 days prior to your tour start date.

If you are arriving a few days prior or earlier in the day on Day 1, the following options are available:

  • Taxi, available just outside the airport exit (30-40 min, 450 to 560 pesos/US$12-15)
  • Pre-arranged private transfer, contact us for arrangements (costs vary).

Day 7: Departure Information

Puerto Varas

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying out of the Puerto Montt Airport (PMC):

  • If you are departing the day the tour ends, join our complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle. You can book this with Tour Leaders while on tour. Schedule your flights at 2 p.m. or later. The transfer takes about 30 minutes and the shuttle arrives around 10:00 a.m.
  • If you are departing on your own, a taxi from the ending hotel to the Puerto Montt Airport costs around 30,000 pesos and takes around 30 minutes.

Puerto Montt Airport (PMC) has connections to Santiago, Chile (SCL), Buenos Aires International Airport (EZE), and Buenos Aires Domestic Airport (AEP) see LATAM

  • Connecting in Santiago, Chile: LATAM offers several 1.5 hour direct flights to Santiago.
  • Connecting in Buenos Aires: LATAM offers several flights daily to both Buenos Aires Airports - you may have to connect through Santiago). It is a 4.5 to 5.5 hour flight.
  • Most international flights from South America leave in the late evening, so it is possible to connect with an international flight the day the tour ends.

If you plan to travel some more and fly out of Bariloche, you can opt for a scenic day-long boat and bus ride. The boat departs Puerto Varas between 8 and 9 a.m. and arrives in Bariloche between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. on the same day. Email us for arrangements.

  1. Free hotel shuttle from the hotel to the dock (10 min, complimentary)
  2. Boat and Bus connets through Puerto Varas to Bariloche (12 hours, USD 230-300/person)

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Keep in Mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

Our bikes in South America are aluminum frames and the road bikes come with a carbon fork. We do shuttle a number of times on this ride to avoid traffic or sections of rough roads.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two) and a water bottle (or two) and in some cases a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

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

    Whitney R,
    Fresno, CA
  • 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
  • Great bike, great guides, great people, great scenery, great experience.

    Justin L., San Francisco, CA
  • Another fine ExperiencePlus! trip!

    Robin D., Oakland, CA
  • 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
  • An awesome tour. Best bike I have had on a tour (besides my own). I'll be back

    Patricia S., Alexandria, VA
  • The scenery was amazing. Hotels and meals were also amazing and our tour leaders were the best!!!

    Walter S., Westmeadows, Australia
  • The tour leader was outstanding. She was most attentive to our needs and helped us have the best experiences ...

    William D.
    Goshin, CT
  • The guides were very good. Great trip.

    Thomas E.
    Houston, TX
  • Amazing scenery, great food, great wines, very knowledgeable and helpful guides.

    Michael S., New York, NY
  • I had such a fantastic time on this tour. I think I can speak for my whole family when I say that this was my most favorite vacation of all time. I absolutely LOVED the hotels including the range and variety we got to stay in. Food was good, especially breakfast. Loved the empanadas as well. I felt like I really got to experience a great part of Patagonia and even the volcano was a good story. All pre-trip correspondence was so informational and very much helped me to prepare for the trip.

    Tiana E., Steamboat Springs, CO
  • 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
  • What was your favorite experience on this trip? The breathtaking scenery, the camaraderie of the folks in the group, the challenge of daily riding, the food and wine, the chance to see how another culture lives.

    Kathleen L., Springfield, VA
  • This was my first cycle tour and it has set a very high benchmark. Beautiful scenery, informative and attentive tour guides, challenging but very rewarding rides. The luxury of not having to worry about a maps, directions when cycling is excellent (loved the chalk arrows) and it was lovely to arrive at each of the accommodations and our luggage was waiting for us in the room.

    Trina M., Gwellup, Australia
  • 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
  • Thanks for a great ExperiencePlus!

    Jeff W., Fort Collins, CO
  • I have described this as the best vacation of my life.

    Toni H., Steamboat Springs
  • Beautiful and challenging ride. Very amazing guides who worked well together. Most hotels were great and delicious food.

    Lynn H., University Place, WA
  • I have to say that this was the best vacation of my life! I loved the guides, the places we stayed, the people, the challenges of our first bike trip, and of course the family together (without any disagreements!)

    Toni H. Steamboat Springs, CO
  • The guides were excellant--always available and helpful. It was a great biking as well as cultural experience!

    Diane W., Boulder, CO
  • I enjoyed listening to our guides' regional stories, the scenery was magnificent crossing the Andes and the food was terrific in Chile.

    Lisa N., Pottersville, NJ
  • I would recommend the tour until I am blue in the face. We loved the cycling, we enjoyed the people we met, and we had such fun at the stops...

    Gillian Q., Vancouver, Canada
  • 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
  • Exquisite.

    David H., Littleton, CO
  • [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.
    HI
  • Spectacular scenery, excellent leaders, wonderful hotels. Most of the rides were truly breathtaking

    Samuel S., Asheville, NC
Similar Tours

Awards, Memberships and Reviews